Denver. Blue Moon Digital obviously loves this city, and apparently we aren’t the only ones. Did you know that according to Forbes, Denver is #1 for the best places for business and careers? Area Development also states that we take the lead on the best place for economic and job growth. Forbes even adds that Denver is #2 in the U.S. to launch a startup company. So why wouldn’t we do a Denver Startup Week to bring all the city’s entrepreneurs together? #DENStartupWeek is the largest free entrepreneurial event in the United States. Over 10,000 people registered this year to attend the plethora of sessions around town in the dynamic schedule the committee organized.

The week kicked off on Monday, September 28, at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts with a deliciously hip breakfast (if I do say so myself). The opening remarks featured the Governor of Colorado, John Hickenlooper, who was quite confident that Denver can reach that #1 Forbes spot for best place to launch a business. A great quote came thereafter from the co-founder and CEO of Galvanize, Jim Deters, who said, “I’m unemployable.” What an applicable statement to say to a ballroom full of eager entrepreneurs. Some people are just meant to start their own way of employing others. Most of the time though they need that boost from others who have succeeded doing the same thing. That little boost was one of the main intentions of last week’s presentations and panel discussions.

At Monday’s “Social Media: You’re Doing it Wrong” session, crucial information was shared by the panel to better what everyone in the room was already doing on social media. Some key takeaways for you:

  • Use social media as a window, not a manual for your followers. It’s primarily for inspiration, so don’t give away too much!
  • Start your Instagram account ASAP as those users are 30% more engaged than those on Facebook due to less saturation.
  • Abide by the “80/20” rule – share relevant posts that you know your audience is reading about 80% of the time, and push out your own content 20% of the time.
  • With Twitter, be conversational to maximize engagement, and never tweet a hashtag that you haven’t researched.
  • If you have content out in the social media world that’s performing really well, don’t be afraid to post again. The same goes for others in your industry – repost pertinent content that they have published for your own followers. If you don’t show people that you care about what they’re posting, then don’t expect the same in return.

To piggyback off of this advice, the session later on that day “SEO, PPC, and Social Media: The Trifecta of Digital Strategy”, challenged the audience to ask yourself, “Am I solving a problem for my target audience within this post?” If you aren’t helping them out, then keep it to yourself!

On a different note, Tuesday’s session “Why Culture Matters” gave outstanding expertise on why culture within a company is crucial to growth. Because what’s a culture without people, and what’s growth without people who are invested in your company? The panel talked about culture not being getting beers after work together, but how you as a business make decisions, reward employees, and treat each other on a daily basis. Culture exists no matter what, but it’s up to you as a company to set out an intention for it. A sound culture is grounded in values that each employee should exude everyday. For example, Blue Moon Digital’s six values are: Achievement, Innovation, Growth, Integrity, Respect, and Teamwork. Values will give employees cultural clarity around rules in the workplace. Otherwise, there’s likely to be a stagnation of prioritization/lack of alignment, and who has time for that?

Along the same lines, Craig Baute who started Creative Density (Denver’s coworking and shared offices space for remote workers, freelancers, startups, and small businesses), spoke at Friday’s session called “Impact of Design And Culture On The Workplace”. The talk was centered around designing a workplace that affects your culture and how your business operates. Some individuals spoke about how a minimilistic space with TVs that showed stats about sales or goals created a competitive culture. Creative Density was designed to have smaller open work spaces (about 300 – 500 square feet) to allow for more intimate conversations to erupt deeper relationships (which always helps with the culture piece).

And this was all only derived from four sessions! Last week was jam-packed with expert advice and learnings from all sorts of different business owners. The timing of attending this event was impeccable as today marks Blue Moon Digital’s first day with a New York office! Check out our new contact page that marks the beginning of some serious growth for our agency. So cheers to startups!