New Media Europe 2015, Manchester - Day 1


Let me start this post by thanking Izabela & Mike Russell for making New Media Europe 2015 happen. I wouldn't be writing this post (and probably many other posts to come) if it wasn't for them. Thank you guys, and congratulations for pulling it off - exceptionally!

I was, if not exactly the last, one of the last few attendees to get a ticket to the conference. I mean, I got mine the day before it started - and boy am I happy I did it! Not being into podcasting or even listening to podcasts made it a bit weird at first, as I was surrounded by podcasters, but then not only it got interesting and not just about podcasting, it got me interested in podcasting as well.

It all started with someone I guess everyone at #NMEU knew, except me (yes, I was missing out, I admit).

Cliff Ravenscraft

Cliff Ravenscraft at New Media Europe 2015
Cliff Ravenscraft at New Media Europe 2015

Known as Podcast Answer Man, Cliff is as inspiration to many podcasters and non-podcasters. If you're have a life in digital world (which reading my blog kinda proves you do), you need to hear his story. I'm not gonna tell his story - cause it's his story, not mine to tell - but I will tell you some of the stuff I learned from him.

First of all, he's crazy. I mean Steve-Jobs-crazy. The kind of crazy you'd love to be:

The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.
— Steve Jobs

He stopped being someone others wanted him to be, and became who he wanted to be. This is something I could totally relate to. I mean, I posted this on my blog one day before meeting him and hearing his story! Coincidence!?

His message was so clear:

Just be yourself and have a clear message. Your content can change the world!
— Cliff Ravenscraft

And also, deal with imposter syndrome if you have to, but be yourself. If you don't know how, these are Cliff's tips for you. Be crystal clear:

  1. This is who I am.
  2. This is what I have experienced.
  3. This is what I'm experiencing right now.
  4. These are my hopes, dreams, and goals for the future.

Let people want you for who you are, not who they want you to be. Let them choose if they're IN or OUT - and make it easy for them to decide.

Another part of Cliff's keynote that I really loved was about building relationship with your audience. This is something I've been always yelling about - A LOT! (I mean here, here, and here... and here, and more!) If you don't take my word for it, please take his!

Here are Cliff Ravenscraft's tips on how to build relationships online:

  1. Engage with their content first.
  2. Ask questions (end your comments with questions)
  3. Set reminders to keep in touch with people.

Bonus tip: Learn about your audiences' personal details and keep them in a spreadsheet or something. Care about them on a personal level.

Cliff's keynote set the bar high for the next ones to come, and not everyone could keep up with it.

I'm just being honest, because this is who I am.

Cliff, if you ever read this, thank you again for everything you taught me.

Next up, for us in Room B, New Media Europe 2015, The Midland, Manchester was:

Harmony Eichsteadt

Harmony Eichsteadt at New Media Europe 2015
Harmony Eichsteadt at New Media Europe 2015

I wish I could give you the same intros as Peter Billingham did for the speakers - 'cause he was like... awesome - but I can't! So, in my own words, Harmony is a this cool down-to-earth bubbly coach, author, and speaker who's all about community. Her message is crystal clear. She talked about community building versus mass marketing.

She continued Cliff's passion for building real relationships with people in a community:

Make them feel like they belong.
— Harmony Eichsteadt

And here are Harmony Eichsteadt's tips on how to build meaningful, sustainable and longterm relationships in a community:

  1. LISTEN: Learn what's wanted so you can be of service.
  2. CORE GROUP: Find your true believers. Your super fans.
  3. SHARED VALUES: Identify the shared values of your community.
  4. IN/OUT: Create messaging with clear in/out response. Make them choose.
  5. PAST: Treat them based on their past action, location, and interest.

Harmony touched a very delicate point in her speech: people are more forgiving than you think and they appreciate honesty. That's so true, specially regarding their communities.

By the time Harmony finished her talk, New Media Europe 2015 already had a theme:

Real Relationships and Clear Messages.

Bonus tip: Use the power of this simple question: How can I help? In the end, it's all about the people.

But what if you're an introvert and you don't really engage in your community? This was Harmony's recommendation:

Book recommendation: Quiet: The power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking by Susan Cain.

Harmony, if you ever read this, thank you for reminding me about the power of community and that I'm on the right track.

Had to switch rooms, but next up, for us in Room A, New Media Europe 2015 was:

Michał Szafrański

Michał was one of the highlights of New Media Europe 2015, and I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one feeling this way. He's the money saving go-to expert in Poland. He's won different awards from 'The Most Inspiring Blog of 2013' to 'Socially Responsible Blogger' in 2014.

In 2013, Michał left his full time job as a Business Development Director in the IT industry to become a full time blogger. I want to believe that good decisions pay off, and I think Michał is a great example of that. (Same as Cliff. Read his story)

The main thing I learned from Michał was to look at my blog as a startup. It should go through

  1. Validation
  2. Money making (AdSense, affiliation, workshops, etc.)
  3. Sponsorship (hopefully with transparency!)
  4. MY WAY

Of course, it should be my way. Michał chose value creation and trust as his way. Align with the shaped theme of the New Media Europe 2015, he treated his tribe with respect and created value for them and in return, only in 2014, he earned 4 times what he earned in the best year of his 9-to-5 job.

I'd say his success in landing strategic partnerships with the likes of MasterCard while creating valuable content for his community is any blogger's dream. Here are the steps Michał takes for a big project setup:

  1. Value for his tribe.
  2. How will he do it? (Planning, Action, Result)
  3. Perfect partner (for that specific project)
  4. Is doing it alone an option? (Regardless of partnership)
  5. Value for partners.
  6. Commit to selling hard.

Just like the other two speakers till then, Michał was about quality, value, and community (or tribe). One thing that seemed so obvious, but Michał reminded me, was to 'ask my audience what they want' - I think you should to. Give your tribe what you can and they want, I'm pretty sure you'll win. But while doing so,

[clickToTweet tweet="Get rid of everything that doesn't scale. - @szaffi at #NMEU" quote="Get rid of everything that doesn't scale."]

Bonus tip: Michał has created a bonus page on his blog for NMEU attendees with some of his great stuff, and since he publicly tweeted the link himself, I'll share it with you too:

Book recommendationThe $100 Startup: Fire Your Boss, Do What You Love and Work Better To Live More by Chris Guillebeau

Michał, if you ever read this, thank you for reminding me that I can. (PS. Your presentation was so interesting, and I was so busy enjoying your content, I couldn't take a photo of you! That's why I had to embed your goodbye #NMEU tweet! 😄)


First day continued, after lunch break, with a familiar topic - at least for me and anyone who's read my last few post - with a fun presentation by

David Mark Shaw

Passionate marketing and technology consultant, David Shaw, took the stage at New Media Europe to talk about 'why good content is not enough,' and  I couldn't agree more. Creating valuable can only do so much from a marketing perspective. I think David had this quote from Jonathan Perelman (or part of it) in his presentation, and it's so true! (It's also in my post from two weeks ago! Here! Told you it was familiar, but it gets better)

Content is King, but distribution is Queen and she wears the pants.
— Jonathan Perelman

With the help of his assistant, little Dave, David talked about the effects of social media and mobile devices on the market as well as our behaviour. Then he asked a very very interesting question:

What’s the last thing you touch before you go to sleep? What’s the first thing you touch in the morning?
— David Mark Shaw


At least one of them is your smart phone, isn't it? (Don't look at me! It's not my question.) Then David touched a point which caught my attention quite quickly:

David Mark Shaw at New Media Europe 2015

David Mark Shaw at New Media Europe 2015

Someone talking about parts of Attention Economy - what I'm doing my PhD on - was quite interesting. I liked David's approach with Zero Moment Of Truth (ZMOT). I'll have to do some studying around the ZMOT and contrast it with my current working model, Consumer Decision Journey (CDJ), and hopefully improve my work.

David's passion for content marketing was absolutely amazing, and he had a clear message:

Stop selling. Start helping.

How? Through building trust and transparency was David's tip. He also emphasised on having a clear message with the prices range of your business services. Again, make them choose if they're IN or OUT?

Bonus Tip: Answer the questions of your audiences or someone else will.

David, if you ever read this, thank you for helping me move beyond the horizon of my own research.

Next up on stage at New Media Europe was

Andrea Vahl

Andrea Vahl at New Media Europe 2015
Andrea Vahl at New Media Europe 2015

Also known as 'Grandma Mary,' Andrea Vahl, is an author and Facebook Ad expert. Andrea took the stage to teach us how to grow our email lists using Facebook ads; and she did that quite well.

The thing is Andrea's presentation was more like a tutorial on how to use Facebook ads, and although I appreciate her clear message, I think that's more suitable for a workshop rather than a conference.

But my favourite part of her presentation was this quote:

Don’t build your castle on rented property.
— Andrea Vahl

This is something I tell all my clients about social media and the importance of their home base.

And here's a [affiliate] link to Andrea's Book: Facebook Marketing All-in-One For Dummies in case you're interested.

Andrea, if you ever read this, thank you for the tips.

Jonathan Tilley

Jonathan Tilley at New Media Europe 2015
Jonathan Tilley at New Media Europe 2015

After a day of presentations and networking, writer, public speaker, ex-dancer, voice actor, and creative, Jonathan Tilley was about to show us at New Media Europe how to

Embrace the "F" Word: FAILURE

Everyone adores success. From media, to employers, to public. The sad fact remains that behind the scene of that success hardly ever matters to people. Even

Our definition of failure has become equalled to that of disgust and shame.
— Jonathan Tilley

After sharing his story - of how he made a fool of himself on Broadway stage at "Cats" audition and his other failures - in an interactive talk, Jonathan created an experience in which he taught the audience to make peace with their failures. One point that stood out through his presentation was a question he kept asking himself and the audience in facing failure:

Did anybody die? No? So get over it and move on!

Other than that, Jonathan's main message in his speech was

  1. Ask for help - even if the answer is NO, at least you'll know and won't waste your time.
  2. Act upon what you want - not 40%, not 50%, not 80%... do it 100%, and do it before it's too late.
  3. Adjust when there are obstacles - your goal is still there for you to reach.

These are all tips for life, way beyond New Media Europe - or world for that matter! Another advice Jonathan had for us was never to touch a running success. I can't say I totally agree with Jonathan on this one, but I do understand what he's trying to say. When it's like failure... failure... failure... failure... and then comes success, you don't wanna ruin it and start again - which kinda makes sense, but misses the chance for improvements!

In addition to all the great advice and motivation he injected to New Media Europe 2015 with his speech, he was kind enough to write this for me:

New Media Europe - Jonathan Tilley - Perspective IX - by Behrouz Jafarnezhad

And Jonathan, if you ever read this, thank you for "ASK, ACT, ADJUST" and the note.

Although I attended the UK Podcast Awards, I'll end this post here - by then I still wasn't the biggest fan of podcast[listen]ing. But that changed...

Listen to all the speeches in your own time! Visit New Media Europe 2015.