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What did I do this year? My 2017 new year’s resolutions

H-Farm -Venice- pic by Alessia Camera

2017: what did I do this year?

Last year’s digital detox article have ben tremendously successful, so I decided to keep it like a yearly meeting. But before, what am I worried about this year?
Last year I was experiencing FOMO, this year I see everyone’s digital bias. How is it possible that everyone’s thinking of appearing rather than learning? People are pushing perceptions rather than been recognised for their work or expertise. What’s going on? Are we getting into a world of people pretending to be, when the internet and information can help us learning everything on a fingertip?

I’ll leave it here for the moment and I’ll ask myself another question. What did I do this year? As you know I’m never satisfied and I always think I can do more. I don’t know if it’s because I’m writing it down now, but this year I think I’ve achieved even more than the last one and I’m very proud of it.

I learned to speak up in the right way

When you’re working with big companies you know that speaking up is not always a good idea.
Well, even in some small ones. But this year, thanks to the choice of going back full-time to startups I got the opportunity of working with very passionate people, talking and arguing to make a product every day better. And I learned from their strength, from their passion and their enthusiasm that at one point you need to leave and that’s the best thing you can do to yourself.

Take your time

This year I travelled a lot, I needed it. I needed time to think, to spend by myself. I’ve experienced the first solo trip of my life, where I hear from my silences and from the inner of myself. alessiacamera-stepoutfromyourcomfortzonePeople told me I’ve been brave. But why? Just because I decided to go to Lanzarote alone for one week? I learned to take my time, book my slots and avoid the rest.
In Lanzarote’s been easy.
Not sure I’m good enough when I’m doing it in London! 🙂

Be confident: public speaking hero

I pushed myself in terms of digital marketing workshops and public speaking events accepting the invitation to speak at the Web Marketing Festival in Italy and running digital marketing workshops for artisan and handicraft associations.
It was the first time ever I was speaking in Italians to such a big audience about my experience in growth hacking. And I’m very proud that my talk has been valued as one of the best 6 out of 160 speakers!

Be ready even if you don’t know there’s a train passing: OMG!

meryl-streep-oyeah-2017 new years resolutionsSometimes you need to be ready, even if you don’t know there’s a train passing. It seems to me that, for a lot of projects I’ve been involved, everyone was just waiting for the right circumstances.
There’s a secret project you’ll hear about in 2017 (I can’t tell you more for now but I’ll let you know as soon as I can, promised!!). A few early stage startups: Rawfish is the only one I can mention, the other three are in stealth mode.
I mentored startups at H-Farm and I’m going there also in 2017 to mentor the new batch. And it’s so exciting you can’t believe. Everything I’ve been involved in I didn’t do it on purpose: it just came up as I was ready to jump on it.

Do what you’re passionate about

This year, thanks to this blog, I realised how much I’m passionate about writing. I’ve been asked to write a piece about girls in tech and to write an article about men mentoring women for the Austin startup collection. And you know what? I love the topic and I want to do more to help more women in tech.

I also worked a lot to redesign This is Not Art‘s website and to organise the international touring exhibition Personal Relations which opened in London in December, putting together 150 artists from 3 different countries. It’s been an incredible journey and I’m very happy that 40 artists are coming from Vicenza. I look forward to the private viewing in The Hague and Vicenza…can’t wait for it!

2017 New Years Resolutions

There are 3 things I’ll keep the focus on for 2017:

  1. Learning where my energy is coming from and optimise that channel, in the same way, I’ll do it if it were a traffic or conversion sources 🙂
  2. Make the projects I’m working on amazing: set goals and build plans to exceed them;
  3. Learn as much as I can taking part to discussion and online groups, without been scared of it. If you’re confident in yourself, people will listen to you and it will enrich everyone.

be a better you 2017 new years resolutions

Have a great break, everyone!
See ya in 2017!

 

About me Startups

Giving back to the community: mentoring startups at H-Farm

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Why giving back to your community is important

When 4 years I decided to move to London I wouldn’t have expected that things were changing so fast in Italy and of course, I’m very happy to see how things are different now.
There’s still a lot of work to do, but I am positive. That’s why this summer I decided to spend some time working with the community where my passion for digital was born, having had the opportunity to speak at Web Marketing Festival in Rimini, one of the biggest marketing festival in Italy and mentoring startups H-Farm.

My experience mentoring startups at H-Farm

H-Farm is an amazing project, born in 2005 nearby Venice, to help entrepreneurs launching new initiatives. If you think that nobody at that time, in Italy, was talking about startups or building an environment where digital and technology were the king and the queen, now we can say it was an very thought-out vision. It’s an area where you meet smart and motivated people, where you can “smell” innovation and where everyone is working on personal projects aiming to change the reality we live in, and you know, innovation is contagious.

Hello I'm in @hfarm and there's a tiny little self-driving gardener having fun around #tech #startups #robot #hfarm

A post shared by Alessia Camera (@alessiacamera) on

I learned a lot of things mentoring startups H-Farm!

In two days I’ve talked more than ten hours about tech, projects, marketing and strategy, ending up being exhausted but happy. I arrived in the morning at the railway station in Mestre, picked up by a private driver taking me to the Campus. Jessica was waiting for me and helped me arranging the room for the workshop I wanted to give about customer acquisition strategies. After that, I started immediately with 9 one-to-one meetings with the 9 startups involved in the Wellness and Fashion & Retail accelerator. Talking with people, believing in what they were doing was awesome and I felt privileged to have this chance.

I arrived in the morning at the railway station in Mestre, picked up by a private driver taking me to the Campus. Jessica was waiting for me and helped me arranging the room for the workshop I wanted to give about customer acquisition strategies. After that, I started immediately with 9 one-to-one meetings with the 9 startups involved in the Wellness and Fashion & Retail accelerator. Talking with people, believing in what they were doing was awesome and I felt privileged to have this chance.

I also learned that opportunities are not coming alone, you need to create them, and that being surrounded by amazing people makes easier overpassing difficulties.
Giving back to the community is just an amazing idea I recommend to everyone doing it once in life as you’re really feeling well-helping others on something you’ve already faced. And for once, money is not involved, at all.   

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Which are the startups I mentored at H-farm?

I met with Bernard, from Loyaly, building a personal assistant to help improving relationships customers and brands in the beauty industry, facing the challenge of building the technology and how to position themselves on the marketing reaching big and established brands. I met with Marcus from Fitsapp, an app to make easier for people looking for trainings to get in touch with personal trainers with a tailored program or a one-to-one premium plan, launching soon in Northern Europe. Indigo Recommendations is creating a mobile tool to help retailers maximising the experience they have while in the shop, I had an awesome chat with Gianluca, helping to understand how reach out to their clients. Xensify wants to help small retailers with information and  tools to optimise customers’ inshore experience, I met with Sergio and Giacomo helping them with the marketing strategy. Rob with Roundstay aims to make easier organising and booking trips for people passionate about fitness, we had a good chat about the concept and the overall idea. Fitssi is a social-training app mainly for women, helping them to gather together and share the cost of a personal trainer in a more fun experience: Danny and I talked mainly about branding and business strategy. InteriorBE is a platform to help users in needs of renovating their spaces with a community of interior designers, and I really enjoyed talking with Federica about their marketing and social media strategy. I met with Cristiano from Train Me creating a platform for gyms to coordinate and better support personal trainers from the gym point of view, with whom I talked about marketing and acquisition strategies. And the last one (but just in order of meetings :D) was Adzuki Mobile, a recommendation/referral platform based on images where with Claus and Veronica we talked a lot about the concept and their business strategy.
What else? If I were you I would follow all of them, they’re doing a great job and I wish them good luck for their demo night in October, I hope I can make it.

But H-Farm is not just an accelerator, in 10 days is launching H-Campus, an educational program based on technology and digital for children and youngers from 3 until 26 years old to prepare the new generations to the challenges of the new century. And it will be awesome, because for once, going to school, especially in Italy, will not just mean passively listening to a teacher but work in groups, solve real problems, interact with each other and technology. ‘Cause in this 21st century we can’t just go to school and university, graduated and wait for a job, we need to invent it, never stop learning and be ready to change our path if there’s not what we’re looking for.
And if you’re not much convinced, here a quote from my most favourite author. 

work-job-build-your-future-quote-alessiacamera

ps: many thanks to Luca, Laura & Jessica for having made this happen. 

pss:If you’re a startup and you have an awesome idea for a IoT project you should check the IOT-Fintech acceleration program at H-Farm. You have time until the 3rd of October to apply!

 

About me Growth Hacking

Secret Sauce Conference: we smashed it (again). Here what I learned as a co-founder

What’s Secret Sauce Conference

When we met the first time aiming to put together Secret Sauce Conference, I had the feeling it was a very good idea. And challenging. And crazy. But if someone had told me about the results we achieved in just 7 months, well, I wouldn’t have believed it.

On Tuesday, we put together the last chapter of Secret Sauce Conference supporting Vincent’s growth hacking talk, while working on our next event, probably at the end of June. And it was amazing: more than 800 tickets sold, 400 showing up at WeWork Moorgate, such a massive crowd.

But this is just the successful part of the story: the craziest is about sharing how everything’s born.

 

How everything started

We founded Secret Sauce Conference in August 2015 to create a no-bullshit conference, for entrepreneurs and startup people. The idea was to gathering speakers willing to share valuable but also practical experience, in an industry, where everyone is dreaming of changing the world (but it’s extremely hard to do it).
Which mistakes should be avoided? What can you do to acquire your first users? How can you achieve a seed round? Those were just some questions we tried to reply with our first one-day event at Google Campus.
The response was massive: more than 600 tickets sold, a full house on the both floors at Google Campus during the day and at the after-party.

Here you can find what we were aiming to achieve with our fist conference.
Here some spontaneous responses by the tech community

Then, we put together the #2, the #3. And after 7 months, I’m happy to share with you what I learned being a co-founder together with Vincent, Silvia, Jordan, Gioia, Laura and Eva.

What I learned running Secret Sauce Conference


1) Content is king
growth-hacking-secret-sauce-conference@alessicamera
Easy-peasy setting up a conference giving suggestions to entrepreneurs in order to grow their business. Isn’t it? Well, not really. I’ve been to tons of conferences, where the only thing I remember was what I had for lunch. And not because the food was amazing, just because the event was full of bullshit, speakers were more keen to sell their products rather than really sharing their insights and people didn’t care about talking or networking.
I think the core business of conferences is speakers + topics, so you need to work on a winning combination.
If you’re working in a startup, it’s very important, as normally startup teams & founders don’t want to waste time on something they’re not sure it will be worth.
Also, startups are much more interested in having practical examples rather than tons of theoretical experience or very big names: if I’m launching a digital product my main goal is reaching my potential customers, increase the registrations and activate them (branding campaigns, what are them??).

2) Create a fun experience!
Vincent is a character and it wasn’t really difficult making Secret Sauce as funniest as possible. We wanted to create an experience for people to learn, but who said that learning or attending conferences  is boring?
As a lot of startup environments in the tech city are playful and fun, we also wanted to be fun. We got the chef hats, provided the wristbands, and some other cool stuff. We put on a lot of enthusiasm, making Secret Sauce very relaxed and enjoyable.
We didn’t want people going out thinking it was a boring one.
Positive and fun experience are more likely to be remembered, did you know it?

secret-sauce-conference-wework-London-startup-grwothacking-@alessiacamera

3) You don’t need to hire a PR agency: understand your audience and reach out
To make it successful, we put into practice a lot of tips and growth hacks Vincent is sharing during his talks. So, don’t write press releases, tell your story. Use social media to reach to people directly.
Ask people to invite their friends over. Make it sound like a party rather than a conference.
Make it exclusive, people will love having the chance of attending an exclusive event designed to reply to their particular questions. Understand your audience and share what people are looking for.
If you’re working well on the first two points, well, the word of mouth will do the rest.

 

I think that’s it, if you want to join our team for the next Secret Sauce Conference, let us know!
And clear your calendar for our next event in London in June 2016. Secret Sauce is coming!

About me

What did I do this year? Ready for my 2015 digital detox

alessia-camera-digital-portrait

We’re interconnected. We’re FOMO sufferers. We feel guilty that we’re constantly plugged in.
Alright, when I think I’m not sharing enough stuff on either Twitter or the social media in general, it means I need to step out of the hustle and enter a digital detox rehab retreat.
So, I’m almost ready to leave London and switch off for a bit. 😀

But before leaving, the question is: what did I do this year? Did I work enough? I’m never satisfied and I always think I could have done more. So, this is a great collection of stuff I’ve done and I have to be proud of! Maybe you can be inspired for your new year’s resolutions! 😉

  • Projects need to evolve
    I think we always need to learn & grow, and our projects are just following us. This year we’ve expanded This is Not Art to make the network bigger, involving new people, artists and stories. It has meant step out from a comfort zone we’ve been living during the last 3 years. But it wouldn’t have made any sense keeping it. Now we’re looking for people helping us creating content from all around Europe.

work-hard-dream-big-startup

  • I joined a seed-stage startup where things are continually changing
    After two years working at PlayStation, I decided to join Rentecarlo, where things are different, everyday. Goals are set weekly, new ideas just take 1 day to be implemented and if you really want to learn, you can, even if it’s the hard way. Meaning you’re doing a lot of mistakes. And you’re working hard. But I’m having a lot of fun.
  • excited-techies-secret-sauce-conference
  • Be open minded and don’t be scared of sharing your ideas with people
    You need to be a bit lucky and be open to new ideas, tools and experiences. You need also to know you can’t know everything.
    I’ve worked with a bunch of incredible people to create Secret Sauce conference and I’ve learned a lot from the team, from the speakers and myself too.  It’s been un unforgettable experience working with the awesome Vincent, Silvia, Jordan, Gioia, Eva and I hope it won’t be the only one.
  • Collaboration is key, everywhere, every time and interviews are a very important step of establishing one. This year I’ve been interviewed by: 
    Italian Kingdom, an online magazine telling stories of Italians living abroad
    Unco Mag, an online magazine telling stories of people achieving their dreams
    MarketingArena, a very cool digital marketing agency in Italy

Now I’m ready for my digital detox. See you soon! <3

About me Social Media

Social Media Marketing Speaker in London

alessia-camera-social-media-marketing-speaker-london

How I did being a Social Media Marketing Speaker in London

In the last few weeks, I’ve been a speaker for a few social media talks about Social Media Marketing, strategy, tools, personal reputation.
I’ve been invited by Outreach Digital  and a few other organisations and it’s been incredibly interesting meeting and talking with people, being on the other side for the first time. 😀

alessiacamera-socialmedia-speaker-online-marketing-LondonAs I think that Marketing is not something with established and generic rules valid for everyone I really like workshops, also because every month there are new tools, new ideas and you need to jump on them to give it a try, you really can’t be behind if you want to stay alive.
[Ok, maybe “staying alive” is a bit too much, but you did get what I meant, didn’t you?]
And I’m not only talking about businesses, but also professionals and consultants.
Personal reputation is important and you need to be online, using social media and connect with people important for your industry and your job.
Do you know that we’re spending more time scrolling Facebook than in the toilet?

Here my social media deck!

***

Nelle ultime settimane sono stata invitata come speaker per alcuni eventi e workshop di social media marketing dove ho parlato di strategia, tool e personal reputation. E’ stato molto eccitante essere all’altra parte per una volta ed incontrare e confrontarsi con la community di Outreach Digital e di altre organizzazioni.

alessiacamera-socialmedia-strategy-online-marketing-consultant-LondonCredo infatti, che quando si parla di Marketing infatti non ci siano regole prestabilite e valide per tutti e quindi adoro gli workshop e la possibilità di confrontarsi. Inoltre, ogni mese ci sono nuovi strumenti e tool, nuove idee e campagne che bisogna conoscere e provare per rimanere aggiornati!
Ed ovviamente non parlo solo di aziende ma anche di professionisti e consulenti.
La personal reputation è importante come è necessario essere online, usare i socia media ed entrare in contatto con persone rilevanti per il tuo lavoro e il tuo settore.

Anche perchè  lo sapete che le persone spendono mediamente più tempo a “scrollare” Facebook che in bagno?

About me

Step out from your comfort zone!

step-out-comfort-zone-alessiacamera

Step out from your comfort zone

Such a busy time people! But today I’m happy to invite you to step out from your comfort zone.
What’s your comfort zone? I was watching this amazing video by TEDxVicenza where Steve Haley was explaining the same thing. So, I’m not going to explain you, watch him! 😀

So, I hope you watched it ’cause it’s a great one. Step out from your comfort zone means pushing your limits, make mistakes and do every day something that scares you.
step out from your comfort zone london startupIf you’re not stepping out your comfort zone, you’re not learning and you’re not growing.
In the last months I’ve been pushing my limits a lot: take on new side projects, a new job (I’m full time with Rentecarlo now, the UK marketplace to rent cars from owners living nearby), planning a crowdfunding campaign, organise an amazing tech conference for early-stage startups and I’ve been speaking to Social Media Strategy Meetups
Sorry, what are you saying? Where do I find the time? I told you I’ve been busy, lol

I’ve been extremely busy but also really satisfied, ’cause I think I’ve learned more in the last 3 months than in the last year. Stepping out from my comfort zone has allowed me to learn a lot and I’m happy to share this learning with you.

1) Create conversations and collaborations
. Power to people, I think I’ll never stop saying that. And I’m not only talking about the online world, talking with people and sharing ideas is extremely important not only if you want to learn but also understand what you like doing.
2) Say YES. 
Don’t be scared. You’re scared of falling ’cause now you’re feeling really comfortable in your comfort zone. Find people who can help you, and never say no. Do one step after the other one, but learn to take risks.
3) Find your energy booster
For sure you have it, somewhere. Find what makes you happy and do it. You won’t believe how much positive and energetic you’ll start to be!

Is there something else you’d like to add? Tell me in the comments, always keen to listen to other points of view!

 

motivation-quote-do-something-scares-you-eleanor-roosevelt

About me

London two and a half years later. I’m living the tech life I’ve always wondered

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London two and a half years later. My tech life. How much did I learn?

Yeah, it’s been two and a half years I’ve been living in London. Incredible. Time flies so much here.
So, why not celebrating with a brand new blog? Yep, another one. Why not? Some people likes buying shoes, I prefer buying domains.

Well, first promise: I won’t write anything related to food, best things to do, to see or eat in London. ‘Cause there are already a lot of amazing travel bloggers talking about it.

Second promise: I won’t write anything related to art ’cause I have already a place where I talk about it which is This is Not Art .

My experience in London is mainly related to online marketing, innovation, startups, geek people, disruptive projects, networking events. In London I’m living a tech life I wouldn’t exchange for anything else.
That’s why I moved: learning. And that’s why I’m still in love with this city: opportunities. I can’t get bored.

I’m living the tech life in London I’ve always looked for, without even knowing I was looking for it.

So, as my memory is limited sometimes and I’m doing so much, I want to keep track of it (I’m eating a lot of fish but it’s not enough! :D)
I’ll use this blog to keep memories of everything I’m doing, startups I’m involved, tools & app I’m using and books I’m reading..so, follow me, if you can! 😀

London two and a half years later