Things that I learned in TechPHX

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    By @ivabraga


TechPHX is a mix of meeting, workshop, mingling, and sharing. It takes places annually in Phoenix by one group of engaged people, all of whom are volunteers. The main topic is technologies. Speakers share how they’ve used technology for their business, job and communities. It’s not a group of tech people speaking a language that only they understand. They make things simple and easy to apply because their journeys were similar to ours in most cases. This year, TechPHX happened on the 16 and 17 of November. Even without anybody talking about it, a visit to its website made me sure I wanted to be a part of TechPHX.

Beyond what the sessions discussed, I first of all learned that a few people can help many others. Besides, I have the confirmation that the revolution is not going to be televised! I know in my country there are many people doing it and others willing to embrace this kind of sharing community, and I hope I will be able to contribute with it soon.

Directly to the point – I attended  these sessions: Sources for online business, Powering Your Business with Google+, Passion -> action -> change (community organizing, story telling, and action plans for making your passion a reality), Using Pinterest For Your Business, Strategic marketing for small business, Taking Offline Networking Online and Closing session: Be Dangerous. I will try summarize each one.  By the way, you can have access to all of the sessions in stream at the website TechPHX.

Sources for online business
Nicole and Marc Spagnuolo opened the event by telling how they built The Wood Whisperer, their dream and business. They advise to Network in events such as conferences, seminars, with TechPHX working for fun and business; Be collaborative with others in the same field, when you expect less you are making business; If you started offering free content and change to paid, don’t cut all content. Continue to offer those and make new paid – it keeps loyalty; Making one simple app for mobile; that is not expensive, but its presence in the Apple store drives audience for your website/business, even if you don’t sell the app; Having someone that can divide tasks and brainstorm will increase your capacity. Nicole wrote a detailed post about this:
Powering Your Business with Google+, by Shannon Hernandez
I never cared about Google +. People add me in their circle, but I don’t even remember the last time I went there. From now, I will spend some time to make my Google + more +.
Why? Google + indexes content and helps it show up  in google search based on keywords;
1 – First of all, we need content, in other words a blog or website;
2 – Blogging regularly such as weekly;
3 – Focus on profile page as it is our own brand;
4 – Use hash tags to facilitate indexation;
5 – Be an authority providing relevant content, blogging for others websites, answering question, re-share content, interact with authorities (people who are trusted), building alliances to share content.
Next step: Know what is Google Authorship?
Passion -> action -> change (community organizing, story telling, and action plans for making your passion a reality) by Kathy Jacobs
She talked about how one’s expectations might not match what we really want to do, but we do to fit in one’s expectations. It was the most powerful session I had at the TechPHX. It’s simple to explain. We want to know how to manage all tech tools for a purpose – give our message, share our passion. What Kathy did was started from the beginning.
1 – What are our passions about, it doesn’t matter what others think, we should be passionate. Do we know our passions?
2 – How to communicate our passion? Are we able to share our passion and engage people on it? Are we able to express our passion in 15 words?
3 – If we don’t know the first two answers, what is the value of those tech tools?
Next step – I didn’t take many notes about that session, but I have that content inside myself.  I’m rethinking about my blog content, what I really want to share, my presence in social media, and how to communicate better my passion and how people can help me. If I do it, I can use all the tools properly.
Using Pinterest For Your Business by Desiree Ford
I don’t even have a Pinterest. But I went to this session because I saw how it is growing in the Top trend of using social media.
Why? – Pinterest drive traffic for our content. We attract people by the cute pictures and link them with our website;  And, through it, verify your website.
1 – In case of business, make your own content, produce or use stock photos, but do not steal pic from the others to sell your things;
2 – Fill all the board information,  and most importantly connect with a link that works.
3 – Engage audience: like pins, re-pin, comments are the most valuable interaction in all platforms;
4 – Drives traffic with: add text to images; Pin check lists and tutorial: 5 ways to things, Top wherever; Make Group Board can drive followers because involve others in  develop content  (it’s been used more for fun things than business);
5 – Best time to pin: 2pm-4pm and 8pm -12pm.
Next step: Discovering what are Board Ambassadors Link… and;
Gold tip: Amazing source to create your own images: and
Strategic marketing for small business, Michel Hunter
I would suggest to watch the stream because Michel shared some charts and graphics that facilitate the understanding of strategy by visualization, but it was not available. In sum, he talked about the dedication and planning required to succeed in owning a business. Once the owner usually is the marketer, or the owner must wear many hats which can prevent focus and planning.
1 – 4 key elements in marketing: Alignment; Research; Strategy and Execution;
2 – Which levels your businesses are: You must know where you are, in order to go where you want.
3- Plan to integrate off-line and online efforts;
4 – Promotion strategy: Collect costumer information. It is easier to bring back someone who already knows your business than to find a new one.
5 – Content is the king, but pay attention on: core message, information age, how people find you, credibility, how to step above your competitors.
Next step: What your life looks like if you accomplished 3 tasks everyday for your own business.
Taking Offline Networking Online.
How to build a business with social media networking, by Stacey Harris 
She started establishing boundaries, identifying herself as a social networker, not social marketer. The main point I got from that session is that I should match my online schedule to my offline because both require planning and time, and both bring results.
1- Know somebody at the conference, meet-up etc. After the event reach out online by social media;
2- Go to online events. For example see the calendar and join a group, the same of LinkedIn and Google +. Be recognized in this group by providing valuable sources; Follow the hash tag; Build relationships and follow them on Twitter;
3-Plan your time in social media: 15 minutes to answer questions, comments, like things and re-share; 1h – to show up in online events, etc. Measure the time spent according to your interest in each one;
4-Consistency is the king – Keep doing it periodically;
5-Be authentic. Keep the same bio everywhere. You could use different pictures, but the same way.
Next step: Organize you online contact creating list in Twitter with the name the group or chat and how you knew them.
Be Dangerous by Derek Neighbors
That was a powerful closing session. He challenged the audience to approach each other. It was a reflection about how we have used tech tools and Internet collectively, but not for the advancement of humanity. I highly recommend to watch the stream. Some provocations:
We are more connected and more lonely than ever before.
What does this generation have as a legacy for others?
How to start to move humanity forward in significant ways?
What is your magnificence?People who challenged the way the life is, suffered. Look at Socrates for example;
It’s not enough break the pattern. We need others to put creativity on it.Strong communities move humanity forward.
Innovation is to create wealth, share experience and be collaborative.
Do you want to be the media personality or the revolutionary?

6 Comments on “Things that I learned in TechPHX”

  1. Really cool post. I can’t believe we have come so far with technology these days. I would definitely get one

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