by | Oct 25, 2023 | Business | 0 comments

Sometimes, the anticipation of the event is not matched by the reality. But that was definitely not the case with this digital marketing conference with a difference.

I’d been looking forward to Kate Toon’s Digital Marketing Collective conference for months, and was confident it would be amazing. And while I knew the speakers would be exceptional, I was more excited about seeing old friends and meeting online buddies for the first time.

Cathy Camera and Korryn Haines have already published fantastic wrap-ups, so I almost didn’t write this. But I’d hate for you to miss out on connecting with some of these fantastic speakers. So here’s my wrap-up of the 2023 DMC Conference.

Digital Marketing Conference Mastermind

Held the day before the conference, the mastermind included 6 speaker presentations in the morning, and 4 small group huddles with the speakers after lunch. Kate and her team surprised us all with gorgeous goodie boxes and I won a $200 voucher from fellow DMC member Janine Leghissa’s Taleeta clothing brand.

DMC Conference Mastermind Goodie Box

Jo Saunders – Be a LinkedIn Rebel with a Cause

Jo Saunders is a ray of pink, sparkly sunshine and proof that LinkedIn doesn’t need to be soulless and boring. Encouraging us to build our ‘rebel alliance’, share our causes and connect in our own language, Jo gave us permission to unfollow boring people.

Key takeout: Be yourself on LinkedIn. It makes you more credible.

Kara Lambert – How to Overcoming Fear and Thrive

Kara is a business psychology consultant, fellow South Australian and a good friend. Having heard Kara speak before, I knew this would be a good session.

Kara shared her insights and suggestions to reframe fear, which included focusing on your values to stay on track. She also talked about reframing not, can’t and won’t by adding yet, as in I can’t do that yet. Another useful tip is remembering other people probably have much lower expectations of us than we have of ourselves.

Key takeout: It’s possible towrite and rewrite your story so you can fill your brain with the right story.

Kate Toon – Building Fabulous Funnels

To be honest, I think everything I know about funnels, I learned from Kate. I’ve been in her funnel(s) for years, and Kate shares loads of advice about funnels in her groups. I enjoyed seeing how Kate mapped the copywriting formula – Awareness – Interest- Decision – Action against the funnel from top (awareness) to bottom (action).

Key takeout: Looking after your bottom of funnel people and building loyalty is as important as getting new leads into the top of your funnel.

Photos of the the presentations at the Digital Marketing Conference Mastermind
DMC Conference Mastermind Presenters – Clockwise from top: Fiona Johnston, Jo Saunders, Kara Lambert, Erin Huckle, Shannon Morrison and Jessica Staines, Kate Toon

Erin Huckle – The Introverts Guide to Self-Promotion

Erin from Chuckle Communications is a friend and someone I’ve been learning from over the past few years. She’s the DMC expert on PR, profile raising, and awards. I was lucky to have Erin review some article pitches (which I still need to send) during the mastermind.

During the session, Erin explained how to craft a good pitch and shared tips on pitching from building relationships to following up and sharing success.

Key takeout: It’s not about you. Reframe how you think about what you could share and focus on what could help someone else.

Jessica Staines and Shannon Morrison – Content Strategies for a Non-Stop Online World

Jessica is the founder of Koori Curriculum, an Aboriginal Early Childhood consultancy supporting early childhood educators to grow their cultural confidence and capacity. Shannon Morrison is an online operations manager and content whiz.

Shannon and Jess shared some great insights into creating content. Planning content 12 months ahead is a waste of time because you need to respond to current issues. They look at key dates, find a hook, and then link to their vision, values, products, and offers. Find opportunities to repurpose content. Understanding the audience is key and focusing on brand recognition is more important than follower numbers.

During the conference on day 2, Jess and Shannon also shared how they’ve built a successful membership by building funnels for every offering. This also comes down to knowing the audience and mapping out steps.

Key takeout: If you don’t know your audience, you’ll waste your best content and offers on the wrong people.

Fiona Johnston – Become a Smug Money Human: Finance Management Made Easy

Fiona from Peach Business Management shared her tips for being a smug money human. If you’re not following her, I highly recommend you find her on your platform of choice.

Fiona believes small business can change the world. We need to get more money into the hands of the right people.

 I loved her advice about it being easier to increase prices and bring more money in than to cut. You also need to understand the costs of doing business and reframe your beliefs about money. She’s also a big fan of Profit First, which is something I’ve implemented since starting my business.

If you have a big money goal, you need 2 things.

  1. Self-belief, which comes from doing not thinking
  2. 2 levers – volume and price

Key takeout: (or truth bombs) from Fiona included:

  • Bespoke will send you broke
  • Revenue is vanity, profit is sanity, cash is reality.
  • Money is a tool and the lube of small business

Digital Marketing Conference – The main event

After the stellar line-up of mastermind speakers, I could have gone home inspired and happy. But conference day proper was still to come, and it did not disappoint.

April Helene Horton (aka The Bodzilla) – How to Be a Leader (and still be yourself)

April (aka The Bodzilla) was the perfect speaker to start the day. I’d heard of her, and discovered we had a mutual friend (the fabulous author Emma Grey), and by the end of the session, I was a huge fan.

April’s presentation about being an authentic leader was fun and full of so many great quotes and tips, including:

  • You don’t need to share more online than you’re comfortable with
  • You may not control the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
  • Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.

Key takeout: Be authentic. As much about what you don’t say as what you do say.

Omar Zenhom – Why Nobody Cares About Your Course: How to Sell More by Being Better

Omar is the founder of Webinar Ninja and, apart from being an engaging speaker, knows all about online courses. I’m not planning on launching a course. But courses need sales pages, so learning about the 3 ingredients for a successful course was super interesting.

  1. You need a compelling outcome – give people what they want.
  2. Live interaction sells your course because people know they can ask a question, and those interactions help you improve the course.
  3. Testimonials and proof you can teach (this includes the video on your sales page).

Key takeout: Stop worrying about the HOW and focus on the WHAT.

Anu Sawhney – 7 Ways to Sell Your Products (Without Selling Your Soul)

Anu is the founder ethical jewellery business, Bidiliia. She’s also in DMC and I’ve loved following the journey of her brand

Anu shared her flearnings (failures that are lessons) including choosing the wrong influencer, trying to do everything all at once and playing it too safe. She also shared epic wins, including building relationships with celebrity stylists before pitching, not following trends and not haggling with her makers – because happy people make happy things.

Key takeout: When you got your ABN, you got a risk taker badge for free. Trust your instincts and pace yourself.

Ben Amos – 7 Insanely Effective Ways to Grow Your Business with Video (Without Needing to Hire a Video Company)

While video being easier than ever to create makes it more affordable and accessible, it also means there is a lot of noise out in the world.

While my image looks a little wonky, it’s a great representation of the key points from Ben’s session.

Key takeout: Video for the sake of video doesn’t work. But with the right strategy, even video you record yourself can have a huge impact.

Carrie Kwan – Pitch Your Business with Clarity and Conviction

Mums & Co founder Carrie Kwan spoke about presenting a confident business pitch that builds connection. Carrie shared an example of crafting a Gaddie pitch with 4 key elements – target audience, problem, outcome and feelings.

Key takeout: 80% of your pitch delivery depends on non-verbal cues like tone, volume and posture.

Dante St James – How to Be All Over Social Media Without Burning Out

Dante presented on Chat GPT for DMC in January, so it was fantastic to meet in IRL. His weekly newsletter is packed with tips on business and digital marketing.

The stats he shared about the growth of users and posts on social media (especially Facebook and Instagram) over the last 10 years confirmed what we all know. It’s hard to get seen out there. Focus on building connections in the comments. Share posts focusing on your values, answer questions and help, and use the format you do best.

Key takeout: Create 39 evergreen posts, share a week, and repurpose each quarter.

A collage of photos of the presentations at the Digital Marketing Conference.
DMC Conference Presenters
Top: April Helene Horton (The Bodzilla), Omar Zenhom, Anu Sawhney
Middle: Ben Amos, Jessica Staines and Shannon Morrison, Carrie Kwan
Bottom: Dante St James, Kate Toon, Jade Warne

Kate Toon – How I Make My Money (The Absolute Truth)

As expected, Kate’s presentation was honest, generous and funny. I don’t think there are many business mentors and coaches who are as transparent as Kate about money.

Money was a big focus of the mastermind with Kate, so I was familiar with some of what she spoke about, but a couple of things stood out.

It’s important to create success on your own terms

Business diversity, productising services and charging a premium for training are some ways to make more. But the key is knowing what is profitable and focusing on that.

Key takeout: Money is freedom and choice, but it doesn’t give you then feels you might think.

Jade Warne – What Really Works on Instagram

I think it’s fair to say that being the last speaker of the day is tough. But Jade from Social Small Business Growth Club brought the same energy that’s built her a huge following as an Instagram coach and photographer.

Using Instagram to build your business isn’t about the format, time to post, or hashtags. The focus should be on the customer, their pain points and the gain (or transformation) you deliver.

Key takeout: Focus on starting conversations via stickers on stories or DMs.

Clockwise from top Amy from Bush Biz Boost, Mastermind buddies Elise Doyle and Natasha Sutton, Copybeasts Jacinta Marshall and Rashida Tayabali, Laura Mudge, Rebeccca Cofransesco.

The extras

In true Kate Toon style, there were fabulous prizes, lunchtime massages, beanbags and quiet space. Lizzie Williamson was a fantastic surprise, sharing her mental health journey and then getting us up for some of her signature 2 minute moves. Perfect after lunch.

I also want to give a shoutout to the conference sponsor True Green – Web Hosting for a Kind Planet. Described by founder Ray Pastoors as a passion project that turned into a business, I’ll definitely be looking to shift my hosting when it’s due.


This was the first year for both the digital marketing conference and awards and it was lovely to see some exceptional members of our community recognised in the ecommerce and services categories.

My good friend Nerissa Bentley (The Melbourne Health Writer) wasn’t able to make it, so I suggested I’d FaceTime her in for the awards. What an excellent decision that was. Nerissa won service business of the year, and I took her “on stage” to chat with Kate and the judges. Another good friend and business inspiration, Beck Co (Marketing Goodness) was the runner-up.

In the eCommerce category, the winner was Sue McGary from French Affair and Nicola Filia from Be. Bangles was runner-up.

Sparkles and socialising

You might have thought after all that (and 2 days of morning and afternoon teas and lunches) we’d be worn out. But I was on a high, and happy to change into my sequined dress to match the theme. I’d tried to make the most of the breaks to chat to as many people as I could.

DMC Conference Drinks – with Jane Fonti (Ruby’s Home Store), Korryn Haines, Jodie Minto, April Helene Horton (aka The Bodzilla), Jo Violeta, Kate Merryweather, Coral Wilkinson, Sue Waterson

Apart from my mastermind group, there were so many people I felt like I’d known after 4 years in DMC. There were people I’ve worked with and a few clients, which was quite special. These people are my business lifeline, and while technology is great, in person hugs are better.

I’m sad Kate’s hanging up her conference organising hat, but I don’t blame her. Organising events is stressful and time-consuming. Kate is promising some small group events, which should be a good excuse to travel next year.

I hope you’ve found this wrap-up of the DMC digital marketing conference useful. Please check out the speakers, sign-up to their mailing lists or follow them on social media.

Hi, I’m Angela Pickett, an approachable copywriter with stellar communication and organisational skills. 

I’ll help you transform your ideas into logical arguments and engaging copy, creating straight-talking sales pages and winning websites.

I acknowledge the Ngadjuri, Peramangk and Kaurna people as the Traditional Custodians of the land on which I live and work. I acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. I pay my respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

I work with people from all backgrounds, beliefs and experiences. I believe everyone should have the freedom to be themselves and be valued for their differences. It’s what makes our world go around.