Entries in SXSW (4)


Stop Feeling the Post SXSW Interactive Blues

This was my fourth year in a row attending SXSW.

When I return home to a life and work that I love, there is a sinking feeling inside.

I miss the non-stop networking, events, sessions, photos with tech's finest like Robert Scoble (yes, that is us in the photo), social media interaction, swag, and more.

If you are a little down after leaving SXSW, here are some ideas to get your mojo back:

  • Meet with a friend who didn't attend SXSW. Think of the connections that you made that could benefit this person. Make those introductions.

  • Thank someone who helped make your time in Austin better. Find a thoughtful way to pay-it-forward.

  • Follow up with any new connections. Set calls in a few weeks to see how you can help each other.

  • Start planning your bucket list for SXSW next year. Maybe you'd like to speak on a panel or host your own event. Dream big and hustle like Gary V.

  • Remember, many people want to attend this event and don't get the opportunity. Be grateful and pass along what you learned to others.

What are some additional ways to beat the post SXSW Interactive blues?


Bring on the EGOsystem + Long Live Klout

One of my favorite sessions at SXSW this year was moderated and orchestrated by Brian Solis. It was called, "Welcome to the EGOsystem: How Much are You Worth?". The panelists included Ad.ly’s Sean Rad and Arnie Gullov-Singh, Klout’s CEO and Founder, Joe Fernandez and Jon M. Chu, Director of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never and creator of The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers.

This session provided insights into Ad.ly's relationship with Charlie Sheen, including how brands can leverage celebrity endorsements with fewer liabilities for both parties using Twitter. Jon M. Chu is continually humbled by the responses of loyal Bieber fans each time he tweets.  Joe Fernandez discussed how he created Klout while recovering from surgery. I find it fascinating that Joe's Klout score is 59 and mine is 61. Charlie Sheen's is 94. I get to finally insert my favorite hashtag, compliments of Charlie Sheen, #winning.

There have been times when I've viewed a list and wondered why I didn't rank higher or even make the list at all. However, that is just one algorithm or way of comparing you to others. Regardless of your feelings about being ranked as a number on an influential scale, getting a higher Klout score, more connections on LinkedIn and thousands of followers on Twitter takes a lot of work. Like most of my peers, we hustle like Gary Vaynerchuk and pay-it-forward every day to deliver value to our audience. Numbers alone cannot determine your self-worth. Analyze several quantitative and qualitative metrics to verify and learn from your successes or failures.

Ask yourself: do people reach out to you to hire you as a consultant in your field? Do colleagues seek you for advice regarding problems in your area of expertise? Do you take the time to listen to your audience and provide solutions? If not, revisit some new ways to better engage your social network.


Your Personal Brand - Niche or Noise?

One of my favorite things about SXSW is seeing some of the most influential web celebrities in person. I can tell them how they have inspired me and start building a genuine relationship. Each online mentor has their own distinctive characteristics, perspective and success story that sets them apart from others.

You were also given strengths and attributes that make you special. There are many opportunities for experts of all hobbies and interests. Instead of trying to be something that you are not, be the best you that you can be. Find your voice and start speaking to your niche audience.

In my SXSW core conversation with Robyn Cobb, we discussed how to shine a light on others to increase your brand. I challenged the attendees to have brand sacrifice (thanks to Jerry S. Wilson). Look at your last ten tweets, blog posts or Facebook status updates. Do they reflect who you are? Are they valuable to your desired audience or is it just noise?


Shine Light On Others To Build Your Brand at SXSW

In Atlanta, Robyn Cobb is a friend to all who cross her path: online and in-person. Robyn is currently the VP of Digital Influence at Ogilvy PR and serves many non-profit efforts in her free time. I was honored when Robyn submitted me as a potential panelist for a core conversation at SXSW (South By Southwest) Interactive titled, "Shine Light on Others to Build Your Brand". It was an amazing feeling to be selected for this session.

During this core conversation, Robyn and I will reveal how paying it forward to others has helped us tremendously in our careers and personal interests. We share an upfront, yet positive style and promise to provide actionable advice.

For those with a SXSW Interactive, Gold or Platinum pass, our session is on Friday, March 11th at 5:00 PM in the Marriott Courtyard, Rio Grande B, 300 East 4th Street (between Trinity and San Jacinto) in Austin.

If you are unable to attend SXSW, please follow the tweets using the hashtag, #shine and join the movement!