Over the weekend I was on the Gold Coast attending the ProBlogger Event, for the fourth consecutive year.
The first time I attended to learn more about blogging and how I could improve.
The second, third and fourth times I attended primarily to learn more about how to more effectively run my business. Despite this not actually being the purpose behind ProBlogger Event, as a small business owner, it is easily the best conference I have attended.
As a small business owner, ProBlogger is easily the best conference I go to every year. Click To Tweet
Yes, this is a big call. However it is one of the only conferences I have been to where I have come away equipped with practical and often simple advice I can immediately apply to improve the way I do things. And this has led to greater productivity, a clearer understanding of my purpose and more dollars in the bank.
Why small business owners should attend ProBlogger
- My number one reason is all the great content with practical advice around how to improve my website SEO, become a better copywriter, creating a community around social media, build a sales funnel, use video and live video effectively (actually, just to use it).
- The outstanding speaker lineup. This year my highlights were Lisa Corduff and Dan Norris. Lisa spoke about creating online products and how she uses video. Dan shared his personal story about the highs and lows of becoming an entrepreneur, with the overarching message of back yourself and believe in yourself.
- Other speakers I learned from and really enjoyed included Brian Fanzo, Shayne Tilley and Paul Cunningham, Emilie Wapnick, Daniel Flynn and of course Mr ProBlogger, Darren Rowse.
- There are countless networking opportunities, and they started months before our arrival on the Gold Coast. The #PBevent team created a hashtag and Facebook groups so those inclined could meet and chat online, and get to know each other. I quickly lost count of how many people I met who I had spoken to via twitter and Facebook in the weeks leading up to the event. A real highlight for me was the opportunity to meet and build meaningful personal and professional relationships with so many people who are in my tribe. Spending time with likeminded people who want to talk to you and get to know you is of massive value to me, and motivates me to keep going on the dreary days we all have.
- Meeting people you can collaborate with professionally. Some of these people I am giving my money to, some are giving their money to me. At this and at previous ProBlogger Events I have met people who have or will be guests on my podcast, who I will give and/or receive referrals to/from and who will share advice with me as our businesses change and evolve.
- It is exceptional value for money. I purchased the early bird ticket for $399, which gave me two jam-packed days of conference sessions, morning/afternoon tea and lunch, opportunities to network and more. I also purchased the Friday night cocktail party ticket for $50 which gave me all the food and wine I needed, and an opportunity to meet and talk to many more people. There were also masterclasses (for an extra fee) on the day before and day after the conference.
- Compare this to the almost $1200 I paid for a public health communication conference or the $800 I paid for a science communication conference or the $900 I paid to go to a health and social media conference, and the value of ProBlogger was OUTSTANDING. These other three conferences provided no practical solutions to my problems, few networking opportunities as the majority of attendees had their own little cliques, and definitely no organised pre-conference networking suggestions. And if I missed a session, I missed it. There were no recordings for later. One of these conferences had ten concurrent sessions. You can bet I missed a lot.
- You are given access to all the sessions via the virtual pass you get with your ticket (if you currently have FOMO, you can still buy a virtual ticket, giving you access to recordings of all the sessions). This means the hard decision of deciding which of the three concurrent sessions you want to attend is somewhat alleviated, as you can catch up later.
- The generosity of knowledge shared is remarkable. You can pretty much ask anyone anything and they will share their knowledge.
The top three things I learnt at ProBlogger 2016
- Use video, and use live video. I’m so bad at this and it’s certainly not because I’m scared of the camera. I need a routine and I need it NOW!
- Be your authentic self and show up consistently and just take action – I certainly have the authentic part down, but not the consistency. As anyone who is on my email list knows…
- Have your own list and use it. Again, I so need to improve with this. You own your email list – unlike your likes, followers or fans on social channels. Create it, use it, don’t ever share it!
Obviously this event wouldn’t be the success it is without the huge amount of work by Darren Rowse and his team, led by the super-hardworking Laney Galligan. Thank you all. You outdo yourselves every year.
And of course, the reason this event is such great value is because of the marvellous generosity of the sponsors. This year thanks go to Olympus, Shoebox, The Good Guys and Orange Sky Laundry, RACV Royal Pines Resort (I also forgot to mention the stunning food…) and Katalane Tents. You are all awesome. Thank you.
Did you go to ProBlogger Event this year? Or previously? What is your advice for other small business owners? What did you love the most?
Don’t forget, if you missed out, it’s not too late. You can still purchase a virtual ticket to get access to recordings of all the sessions.