The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Life Is Eventful: How Getting Out There Got Me Here — May 5, 2013

Life Is Eventful: How Getting Out There Got Me Here

We’re taught from a very young age that there are certain major life events that will have significant importance and deliver at least a modicum of respect. Being born (though you aren’t quite aware of that one), graduating from college, getting married, having children, buying a house, turning 50, etc. These are the Events with a capital ‘E’.

What no one really tells you, however, is the way the other kind of events will impact your life. These events will present the opportunity for learning, fun, and personal growth. Occasionally they will offer you a few hours of complete anonymity, and with it the extraordinary chance to be whoever you want.

When you scan The Fetch each week, deciding which events you’d like to attend, you never know how they will go. You could meet a new friend, make a new connection that leads to a new job, or find the perfect person with whom to start a company. We know this is true because we have experienced it first hand, and we’d like to share our stories with you (first Eliza and then Kate will in a follow-up post). Hopefully these will encourage you to take a chance on something new. Feel free to leave your own stories in the comment section, we’d love to hear them!

Eliza’s Experience

The events I have attended in the last year have had a greater impact on my life than I ever could have anticipated. While working as a marketing intern for Lovely last summer, I organized a mini-guerrilla marketing party in Dolores Park. We entitled the party “A Lovely Day In The Park,” and luckily for me, Kate was in attendance.

Two weeks later I had the opportunity to go to one of the monthly Community Manager Breakfasts at SoundCloud. As a verifiable tech newbie, I didn’t know what to expect. I’d only been working for a few weeks and I wasn’t entirely sure what the role of a community manager was. Not only did a conversation contributor (Kate) give me the full scoop of the CM role, I also became friends with Jane, the SoundCloud CMand had my first pupusa at Balompies (nearby the SC office).

Delicious.

This past fall I became involved with Yelp. It’s a funny story actually. I was studying abroad in London and made the audacious decision to spend a good chunk of October’s living budget on a plane ticket to surprise my boyfriend in California at a later date.  I lived off of a few pounds a day supplemented by a lot of quinoa and Hare Krishna for a week before I received a thrilling email inviting me to become a member of the London Yelp Elite. I accepted the invitation and RSVP’d yes to the next Elite event. When the day came I was almost too nervous to go, but emboldened by my +1, memories of images of wild Yelp Elite parties from Ligaya Tichy’s TED talk, and a growing hatred of quinoa, I hopped on the tube and went.

Easily one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

My first Yelp event was followed by dozens more, taking me all over London to places I would have never otherwise gone. I made terrific Yelp friends (shout out to the London Yelp CM Alex Shebar), ate delicious things and drank delicious cocktails for free(If there was ever a time for a #winning, this would be it).

If there is one nugget of wisdom you can take away from this blog post I hope it is the following truth: the only thing holding you back is yourself. Everyone is intimidated by the thought of conversing with a group of random strangers, but the truth of the matter is people (generally) don’t bite! If you pick an event of interest to you, the chances are you’ll meet some cool people. Plus you’ll already have something to talk about 🙂

Good luck, and happy networking!

Eliza

Event Review: KPI – Become a Key Person of Influence — February 10, 2013

Event Review: KPI – Become a Key Person of Influence

What: KPI event or an introduction to an entrepreneur growth accelerator designed to assist small businesses through a growth phase.
Over Heard: “There has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur. There are opportunities for everyone.”

Captivated audience
Captivated audience

Last Saturday, the KPI event kicked off 2013 with over 670 people attending the conference at NAIDA in spite of the rain… this big number shows how much people, are they owners of small businesses or entrepreneurs, are eager to learn more about how to make a difference in their industry or even to the world.

The KPI Accelerator programme presents itself like a recipe to follow in order to achieve success in your industry. The motto being to love what you do, to stay authentic and to be ready to spare no expense to make it real… sounds interesting, doesn’t it?

Let’s start the journey with Glen Carlson and Daniel Priestley, our hosts for the day. Glen has an impressive list of professional achievements and describes himself as a startup enthusiast and a fun hunter. Daniel is known for coining the phrase ‘Global Small Business’ and believes that an Entrepreneur Revolution is unfolding. He is  also the best-selling author of the book Key Person of Influence.

We are no longer in the Industrial Age; we are in the Ideas Economy and everything has changed.

Being a key person of influence means having a voice within the industry. Influence comes from being a visible, remarkable, credible and valuable person in the inner-circle of the industry you love. Back in the days, what made you a person of influence was the family you were born, the school you went to and a touch of luck. Today, we’re facing a critical change: we came from the Industrial Age to the Ideas Economy and with the development of technology and smart devices everyone has a factory in his pocket. The last five years have seen a huge shift and with no geographic barriers, more and more people are working for themselves and today, your soft skills are what makes the difference.

Let’s be back to the recipe or five-step methods to set you and your business apart:

KPI event 5 steps

1. You need a Perfect Pitch: it’s all about answering the “What do you do?” question. You may have a great product, service or idea but if you can’t communicate its values in a remarkable way, you’ll always struggle. Words have power: they can convey what you stand for or against. “Being able to describe what makes you or your product unique is key to your success. This is called the unique value proposition”, explained Ian Elliot.  Defining your niche can also help you to stand out from the crowd: it’s better to be famous in a small area than being all things to all people. Crafting your brand essence will ensure your business grow as an authentic expression of who you are: the brand essence is the core spirit behind your business. When you’re working on your elevator pitch, don’t forget the customer. Understand him: who is he? what does he want? need? expect? What are his rational, emotional and corporate needs? A satisfied customer is a worthless asset.

Consistency in little things and continuity across all your messages: they are things that matter.

2. You need to Publish your ideas: in the Ideas Economy, publishing positions you as an authority. Andrew Griffiths is Australia’s #1 small business author with 11 books sold in over 50 countries. As he said : “Before I wrote my first book, I was an idiot. After I published it, I was a genius”. Following the success of his first publication, Andrew decided to leverage the power of his book and wrote a second one, then a third… up to eleventh! This gave him a huge competitive advantage in his industry as being an author gives credibility. Andrew explained why publishing makes a difference:

  • It shows that you have information that is valuable to others
  • It sets you apart from other people in your chosen field
  • It also demonstrates that you have the discipline to complete a major project that requires structure and creativity
  • It also shows that you have convictions and are brave enough to back yourself

If you are unsure of your capacity of writing a book, you can start with your own blog, a website, some white papers or even Twitter. Publishing in your industry shows that you are a person to be consulted, engaged, listened to and sought for advice. But unlike Andrew whose business is writing books, you don’t have to write 11 books to get noticed.

There has never been a better time to publish with the new publishing landscape.

3. You need to Productise your values: time is money and as an entrepeneur, making the most of your time and making money is crucial. But regularly people get it wrong by sticking to the OOPS model: Only One Product/Service that makes them dependent in terms of brand, time and capital.To make money, you have to create value. Product and service don’t make money. The product eco-system can change that: for example, Steve Jobs decided to heavily promote the iPod which turned out to be a huge success. This was also the first key entrance for customers into Apple’s world. People were then ready to buy Mac computers. Defining the asset of your product is another way to increase your value: What is your asset? Is it said in your positioning? Can you develop your product or the scale of your product? Multiple products sold through multiple channels mean multiplying your value.

Income follows assets. Defining the assets of your product is what will allow you to earn money.

4. You need to raise your Profile: being good at what you do is no longer enough. You need to stand out and using social media is one of the best tactics to achieve it. In a world where everything can be Googled, you have to do your best to ensure the results that show up are positive and convincing enough to win the deal. Kylie Bartlett shared be sure that your pitch and message are replicated across all your social media; content is the new currency: write, publish, share and syndicate all your content across the web; don’t do social media without a strategy to transform leads into sales; pay attention to your digital footprint, be sure that there is coherence; enjoy social media as it allows you  to meet interesting people that could bring you new opportunities.

When your customers Google you, they want to see a video, updates, dowloads, community and dynamic information.

5. You need great Partnerships: Partnership creates wholesale value. The IRL (Illusion of Limited Resource) prevents you from doing what you want: you think you don’t have enough time or money or people. But there is an amazing network of partners out there ready to give you what you need. As Daniel Priestley said, “There is no such thing as a self-made millionaire”. The beauty of the partnership is that you don’t need to have all things, you partner with those who have what’s missing. Ideas are great but worthless in themselves; implementation is everything. Cathy Burke, the CEO of The Hunger Project in Australia came to explain how she mastered the art of mobilising key resources like time, money and knowledge via strategic joint ventures and partnerships. When she approaches CEOs, rather than saying that the aim of The Hunger Project is to put an end to the worldwide hunger, she explains that it seeks to empower people to resolve their hunger problem. And that changes everything. To explain the essence of the partnership, Cathy shared an african proverb:

If you want to go quick, go alone; if you want to go far, go together.

The KPI event was a great introduction to the 5-step method developed by Daniel Priestley to become the new Steve Jobs or new Larry and Sergey of your industry. Let’s conclude with few words: opportunity is nowhere = now here.

Kpi event

About our ambassador // Delphine Vuagnoux is a community ambassador for Sydney. She is passionate about innovation and social change. She does her best working at All Together Now and Medianet. You can find her on Twitter here: @delphinevuagnou.

Hello Kat – our Melbourne curator — August 7, 2012

Hello Kat – our Melbourne curator

So, it’s another good week at Fetch HQ. This time we welcome an added pair of city-event loving hands in Kat Loughrey. I met Kat at a community management workshop I hosted earlier in the year and have been impressed with her enthusiasm and super-organisation skills ever since. It feels great to now collaborate together and bring you all the best of  Melbourne. Stay tuned for more from Kat, but read on to discover more below:

How did you end up where you are today?

I’ve always been a curious and inquisitive person, and its that nature of mine that set me on this journey… from getting educated in Brisbane, completing undergrad in NSW, then to Japan for three exciting years of freelance writing, travel and teaching English. Upon my return to Australia, I moved to Melbourne to complete a Masters and get a ‘serious’ job. I realised that I was immensely interested in the digital space, new technologies and the emerging content-fuelled ‘Online Communications’ field, so after stints in government and music media, I eventually landed my current job with Victoria Racing Club. Now I can professionally combine my passion for digital, communications, content curation and social media while being involved with Australia’s most well-known racing event – the Melbourne Cup Carnival – and now also with Melbourne’s established yet ever-growing industry site, The Fetch.

What makes you tick? What makes you ick?

I thrive on exploring Melbourne for new happenings and “hotspots” across the digital industry and creative/art/music scenes, attending what I can with the aim of connecting with new people (and have a good time in the process!). Good music is also a massive ‘tick’ for me, as well as simple home-cooking, wine-tasting, tweeting, Googling, editing academic research, reading non-fiction, LOLdogs, live gigs & DJs, and singing loudly in my lounge room to 90s dance music.

On the flipside, ‘icks’ include ignorance, wastefulness, decisions that don’t help the greater good of people or the environment, and inconsiderate people on public transport. Oh and bad music!

Why do you love ‘fetchin?

I’m a hardcore information junkie, so as I already source my daily fix via the internet, social media, newspapers and more, so being involved with The Fetch will give me a chance to justify my obsession.

I love to share exciting events, places and fun things to do in Melbourne with my friends/networks, so I’m stoked to have the opportunity to share this now to a wider tech savvy and engaged community. Pay it forward I say…

What things excite you about our community right now?

Melbourne is a culturally vibrant and creative city, with always something enticing happening across digital, creative, art, music or environmental scenes.

There is an increased importance placed on “networking”, and this is proven with the ever-growing number of meet-ups available and coworking hubs for the digital/tech industries popping up, that enthusiasm for learning and meeting people in a non-pretentious or office environment is really exciting. The non-judgemental space for entrepreneurs to share their ideas with others is positive and valuable for the growth of the city as well. I am thoroughly enjoying the opportunities to engage with people outside of my field and gain new skills for my career. And the more I chat with people, the more I hear that I’m not alone on this point, so that’s great! Please feel free to invite me to events, we should never stop learning.

What’s your favourite thing about your city?

I love that there’s always something to do in Melbourne… a well as plenty of free events for all ages and numerous industry meetups, it’s simply fantastic. Add to this the long-list of fabulous restaurants, bars, clubs, live music venues, art galleries and more, and you have a stellar city to live in. Plus as with all Australian cities, there are close communities within all scenes, so you can easily see familiar faces if you’re active in your passions.

I’ve lived here six years and yet still feel like I haven’t scratched the surface… I have met many great people though while exploring!

Where can we find you in Melbourne?

Riding the tram to various destinations as I continue exploring this stellar city, observing the sights and the people out of the window.

If not, then at home tip-tapping away on projects online on my lappie listening to ABCJazz… and on the weekend, possibly on the dancefloor at one of Melbs’ underground clubs critiquing the DJ’s set with fellow music-loving friends …

How can we connect with you?

You can tweet me (@KatLoughrey) or email me (kat@thefetch.org). I’d love to hear from you!

Follow @thefetchmelb and ‘like’ us on Facebook to keep up with what’s happening in Melbourne. Please feel free to touch base and introduce yourself, I look forward meeting in person at a local upcoming event. Please also send me your event listings, cool jobs and links that you think the Melbs’ The Fetch community should know about!

Kat watching what appears to be sport – how Melbourne!

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