Where do I even begin, so much to say, so much to review, such great memories made and people met, @wordcampmiami #wcmia, the hashtag that set off a fantastic weekend of learning, networking, sunshine and best of all team building with my amazing team.
Business Development and Team Leader
George Arabian – @garabian
Our Creative Director
Kevin Doherty – @kevindoherty40
Our Lead Designer and Marketing Strategist
Dave Kramer – @kramersrf
Our Young Gun Lead Developer
Nathan Marks – @nathansmarks
One of the hottest things in Miami aside from the gorgeous weather this weekend was the gathering of over 750 individuals all interested in exploring a variety of topics surrounding WordPress. Hosted at the beautiful University of Miami Campus, the three-day event was full of beginner sessions right up to advance WordPress and plugin development and integration. My focus going into the weekend was to identify with my peers and learn learn learn.
Some notable speakers that stood out for me and really captured my attention from the perspective of running a digital agency were the following, I strongly suggest following these thought leaders on Twitter to get further insight into the world of Web Development, Design and most notably the power of WordPress.
John brought up some fantastic points during his presentation, most notably however when he said: “Never write for a specific keyword, write for a topic first”. This makes a lot of sense if you factor how Google is currently experimenting with author ranking and ranking you as a writer on your relevancy to specific subjects and categories of subjects. Additionally with Google’s algorithm becoming more sophisticated and their ability to weed out “natural speak” vs. “unnatural speak” it’s really important to write naturally without having to worry about stuffing keywords. Overall, very well presented John!
You can see John’s Presentation here.
Another great speaker who was called in last minute after one of the other speakers couldn’t attend. The key takeaway here was Rosie’s awesome personality and her dialogue around landing pages. One of the key items I took away from Rosie’s track was when she said: “Try different stuff, it’s okay – these are pixels “. She’s exactly right, people have a tendency to get caught up on making everything perfect without appreciating how easily these days we can change things. Web design is very different than print, we can change things after the fact unlike in print where you get stuck with those ten thousand brochures that had a typo or a stock watermark. Additionally, these days we have to take advantage of the vast amounts of data we have to analyze and identify what works and what’s doesn’t, so inevitably things have to change, so don’t get all caught up on pixel perfection because at the end of the day, your site visitors are going to dictate the changes you’re going to need to make.
You can check out Rosie’s Presentation here.
Twitter – @nhangen
Topic – 10 Things We’ve Learned Building a Product Business
Nathan is the Co-Founder: Virtuous Giant. Co-builder of @ignitiondeck & @memberdeck, a great speaker with a lot of passion for his WP Plugin. Nathan touched on one very good point which stood out to me personally which was, don’t be afraid to call up any vendors and negotiate for a better rate. As business owners, we’re always looking to maximize our profits and often get caught up on the posted price. Nathan spoke about calling up Stripe, one of the webs largest merchant service providers, and re-working a better rate. Just because an organization has posted a price on their site doesn’t mean they’re not willing to modify it to land your business. Great advice!
Speaker – Chris Lema
Twitter – @chrislema
Topic – Pricing Your Development Project
Chris was definitely one of the weekend’s most entertaining and charismatic speakers. His ability to story tell while bringing relevancy to the subject matter is amazing. He opened up his talk by telling a story about peanut butter and by the end was able to make it relevant to the world of web design and development pricing all the while keeping the attention of around 500 listeners. Throughout Chris’s talk, there was one very clear message, don’t undersell our industry. We are a group of strategic thinkers and planners that need to appreciate that our clients may not know everything we’re asking for, it is our jobs to guide our clients and be afraid to stay firm and not undersell ourselves, a sentiment I’ve to share with my team @nvision for years. We are really good at what we do, let’s not under-appreciate that.
On closing, WordCamp Miami was a great success from my vantage point, I look forward to meeting more of my peers at future events! Thank you #wcmia for a great weekend!
A Few photos along the way