604-349-7787 rahim@rahimgulam.com

A week and a half ago, I had the privilege of attending the Social Media Mastery Conference which was put on by Ricky Shetty, the founder of Daddyblogger.com.  How does this relate to golf, you ask?  Well, as an entrepreneur and golf instructor, I’m always looking for new ways to grow my businesses and expand my knowledge base.  What better way then attending an event specifically designed to help me do that using the power of social media.  Rather than posting golf tips, today’s blog post is about tips to help you expand your business and network using the information I learned from the conference.

Going into the conference, I had no idea what to expect in terms of what sort of information I’d be receiving and what I’d actually get out of the event.  I’ve attended events in the past put on by social media platforms where they try and sell you on paid advertising etc. and, to be honest, I was a little hesitant going into this conference as I didn’t want to be bombarded with sales pitches and useless information all day long.  It was a beautiful, sunny Saturday in Vancouver and as I made my way to the Diamond Ballroom early in the morning, I kept thinking to myself that I should be out on the golf course rather than being cooped up at a conference all day.

Well, I can honestly say that I’m glad I attended #SMMastery as it provided me with a wealth of information and opened my eyes up to a whole new world of social media.  I spent the entire day in a room of 200+ entrepreneurs who were eager to learn and soak up all the tools and tips that were shared by the experts.  Not only did I learn a lot, but I also had the pleasure of meeting many new people and making some great connections.

Here’s a summary of the speakers and what they had to share:

Ricky Shetty
www.daddyblogger.com
As organizer and host of the conference, Ricky started the day off with a very inspirational story of his background and his journey through life  Ricky and I actually attended the same high school and lost touch with each other for many years.  We reconnected through a group that he put together called the YVR Bloggers and I’ve come to realize how passionate he is about family and fatherhood as well as his goal of helping others and making the world a better place through #OneSimpleAction which he launched at the conference.  What a great start to the day and you could feel the buzz in the room as we prepared to hear from the first speaker.

Matt Astifan
www.webfriendly.ca
Matt is a Facebook expert and shared his insight on how to use your personal Facebook profile for business.  Not once did Matt plug Facebook ads, instead he spoke about how to use Facebook to expand your reach and grow your network by completing your entire personal profile and using the power of Facebook to create relationships by finding things you have in common with other people.  He stressed the importance of getting a professional head shot done to use as your profile pic as well taking the time to fill in everything in your personal profile so that you get the most reach.  I found Matt to be very insightful and his presentation was well done even though he had to work his way through a few technical difficulties, which he handled like a pro.

Wendy McClelland
http://www.WendyMcClelland.com
Wendy is a LinkedIn expert and her recommendations were similar to Matt’s in that she stressed the importance of completing your full profile and having a professional head shot done to use as your profile pic.  She also taught us the best way to make connections with others, how to develop and nurture those relationships and build your network to help your business grow.  Again, a great presentation with lots of great information to take away.

Michelle Castillo
http://castillomediagroup.com
Michelle is a Google Plus “expert” although she herself admitted that it’s hard to call someone an expert when referring to this social media platform.  To be honest, I didn’t get a whole lot out of this presentation other than it’s important for your business to have a presence on Google Plus for SEO.

Steve Dotto
www.dottotech.com
Steve is a YouTube expert and a very entertaining speaker.  He’s extremely energetic and his presentation shared with us how he’s used YouTube to build a business by becoming an expert at what he does and doing it regularly.  Steve showed us things we need to do in order to make the most of this platform and how to gain the most exposure.  Currently, I don’t use YouTube, but it’s something I’m planning to use in the near future as I’d like to share my knowledge of golf through video lessons.  Again, lots of great information to take with me and put to use.

Cadi Jordan
http://www.cadijordan.com
Cadi is an Instagram expert and her presentation focused on how you can use this platform to help grow your business.  Just like some of the previous speakers, she stressed the importance of completing your Instagram profile as well as putting in keywords that pertain to your business.  Providing relevant content is key and researching hashtags helps you to see who else is using those hashtags in addition to using hashtags to grow your following.  I’m relatively new to Instagram and Cadi’s presentation was great in terms of what to focus on and how to use this platform to my advantage (especially with myjewellery company).   

Vincent Ng
www.mcngmarketing.com
Vincent labels himself as a Pinterest geek and I found his presentation to be the most insightful and engaging of all the speakers.  He’s a very dynamic presenter and he opened my eyes up to the power of Pinterest.  Before this conference, I was vaguely aware of this platform, but now I’ve come to realize how great Pinterest is and what a great fit it is forK.I.G. Fine Jewellery & Custom Design.  Vincent showed us how visual social media is the way of the future and how Pinterest is both a social network and a search engine.  I never knew that this platform is second to Facebook in terms of driving traffic to websites.  I learned exactly what pins are, the best way to create pins and how to use them in order to direct traffic back to my websites.  What a powerful tool and I can’t thank Vincent enough for his amazing presentation!

Katt Stearns
www.kattstearns.com
Katt is a Twitter expert and, again, she stressed the importance of completing your fullTwitter profile.  Your bio should be a story of what you do, how you can help others and what you’re passionate about.  Her presentation was very engaging as she worked her way through the audience and captured everyone’s attention the entire time.  I found the information she provided very useful and she’s given me some great ideas on how I can use Twitter properly to grow my network and gain more exposure.

Jonathan Christian
www.wemakestuffhappen.com
Jonathan is a Snapchat expert and I found his presentation to be OK.  Before the conference, I had little knowledge of Snapchat and he provided some useful information although I don’t think I see much benefit (at least at this point) of spending my time on this platform.  He spoke about how this could be the future of social media and how it’s becoming more popular, but I’m not totally sold on it yet.

Kemp Edmonds
www.hootsuite.com
Kemp is an employee of Hootsuite and he spoke about how it’s a software for social media management and how it helps create more efficiency by allowing you to manage all of your social media platforms in one place.  I’m somewhat familiar with Hootsuite and it definitely helps with time management which is something that everyone can benefit from.

In summary, there was a lot of information provided by the experts at the conference and I found most of it to be very relevant and helpful to me.  As you can see, there are many social media platforms out there and each has its own purpose.  One thing I definitely learned is to pick and choose what works best for you and then focus on using those platforms to the best of your ability.  This way you can focus and use your time wisely rather than just doing a little bit here and there.

A few suggestions I have for future conferences that are similar is to extend it over two days so that each speaker has enough time to answer questions immediately after his/her presentation when the information is fresh in our minds.  Since this was a one-day event and there were so many speakers, it felt a bit rushed at times (plus, we started a bit late and didn’t manage to catch up and get back on time).  Also, the wifi was an issue throughout the day and I know that Ricky and his team did their best to make it work.  I’m sure that they learned from this event and those wifi issues won’t come up in the future.

Kudos to Ricky and his entire team for putting on a spectacular conference and I look forward to attending more of his events in the future!

Sandra Garcia, the winner of a free golf lesson with me!
Thanks to The Shiatsushaman for my free massage that I won!
  
Our panel of social media experts

rahimMy blog is designed to provide my readers with golf tips and drills that will help you improve your game so you can get out on the golf course, enjoy the game more and, ultimately, shoot your best scores. I'll also be providing reviews of golf clubs, equipment, apparel and training aids so that you can make an informed decision when shopping around. Feel free to post comments and contact me directly if you have any questions about anything related to golf or my blog posts.
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