First, Last and Only (in a good way) Digital Marketing Collective Conference 2023


My brain is well and truly coming back down off the high that was the Digital Marketing Collective Conference in Sydney last weekend. Brain fried in the most positive way. I want to share some of the learnings and the amazing people that presented at the conference with you. It was the first big in person conference I’ve attended in a while. 

I remember booking the tickets almost a year ago and thinking oh yeah, that’s that’s a while away. Given the year we’ve had it suddenly crept up really fast and the prospect of spending two days in a room got real and a little overwhelming fast. However, just like every group and event Kate Toon facilitates, the room and speakers were just damn good awesome humans and I learned so much in the two days. 

Day One – Mastermind that blew my mind

Day one was jam packed for the Mastermind – a smaller group with six amazing sessions and then dedicated round tables to dive deeper in the second half of the day. The smaller group kept my social awkwardness gremlins to a minimum so I was able to take things in a bit more throughout the sessions. The round tables were really good to absorb the more specific advice the presenters had for questions and helped to give some idea of their concepts in action. 

Jo Saunders – Be a LinkedIn Rebel With A Cause

LinkedIn has been on my radar for a long while and Jo’s session was perfectly timed as I feel like it’s going to be my focus for 2024. I’ve always just bumped my Facebook content over there but I know it has the potential to be a huge part of my knowledge sharing platform for my business. As always, Jo was incredibly engaging and shared her own insights and personality on the stage. She provided really relatable and actionable ideas for me to be able to show up on LinkedIn in a way that feels right for me so keep your eyes peeled on my LinkedIn to see how that plays out. 

Check out / Connect with Jo Saunders here

Kara Lambert – How To Overcome Fear and Thrive

Kara is a fully qualified psychologist so I was really looking forward to hearing her take on fear in business. Her session was really thought provoking and gave some key tools to tame those fear wobbles that inevitably come in running my own small business. And as much as it pains me to acknowledge and be reminded of – I am not alone in feeling fear when it comes to business (sheesh, here I was hoping I was a special little snowflake).  

Check out / Connect with Kara Lambert here

Kate Toon – Building Fabulous Funnels

As a member of Digital Marketing Collective, I know how amazing Kate is at creating fabulous community and experience – and her sharing how she does that with fabulous funnels was a great reminder for me and for some of the work my clients are engaging me for at the moment. The key reminder was that funnels are a great way to guide any person’s interaction with you or your businesses along a positive journey and is a great way to attract the right clients to your space in the playground so to speak.

Check out / Connect with Kate Toon here

Erin Huckle – The Introverts Guide To Self-Promotion

The title of Erin’s presentation had me at introvert. It may be surprising to some (especially given by the number of comments from people I met that exclaimed – oh you’re absolutely everywhere right now) but I’m a very big introvert. My socials, despite the bright colours, are done in a very introverted way, batch create and schedule them up and hide away. Awards submissions – they’re generally a very momentary burst of energy when I think yep, I can do that, submit it and then crawl back into my introvert cave. Erin’s presentation was a really great nod in confirming how I do things is actually a positive but it was also a timely reminder that I do have a story to share and I can find a way to share it in a way that feels right for me. 

Check out / Connect with Erin Huckle here

Shannon Morrison & Jessica Staines – Content Strategies For A Non-Stop Online World

I envy those who are content creating machines and especially those who run memberships – because they’re a whole different level of business beast. Shannon and Jessica gave an amazing insight into how they sustainably do that for Jessica’s business Koori Curriculum (which, side note, if you’re an educator or in the education space, you must check her out). 

Check out / Connect with Shannon Morrison hereCheck out / Connect with Jessica Staines here

Fi Johnson – Become A Smug Money Human; Finance Management Made Easy

I’ve heard of Fi’s greatness from a number of places so I was super excited to witness her in person. And boy oh boy, she exploded my little business brain (and gave me a very timely butt kick to get clearer on my goals and tie some financial ones to them so that I stay on track). 

Check out / Connect with Fi Johnson here

Day Two – Conference Day where my Misfit flag flew high

Day one was comfortable, day two was epic. And not just because I got to collapse in bean bags and have serious chats with lifesize cutouts of Jason Momoa and Harry Styles – but I met so many humans in real life that I have known and spoken with and followed online for more years than I should admit to. It really felt like the homecoming of the Misfit Entrepreneurs (for those not familiar, that is Kate Toon’s free Facebook group) and I felt so at ease and at home it was ridiculous. Seriously, you can’t fathom how much that room was filled to the brim of just plain good humans. 

April Helene-Horton – How To Be A Leader (And Still Be Yourself)

Kicking off with the Keynote, April effortlessly weaved more Taylor Swift-isms into the first few minutes and I was totally there for it. As someone who doesn’t peg myself as a leader it was a great reminder that even so, being yourself is in itself being a leader, As much as I try to fight it, I need to connect with my leadership qualities and lead in a way that works for me, my clients and my business (and by extension my family). 

Check out / Connect with April Helene-Horton here

Omar Zenhom – Why Nobody Cares About Your Course

Omar being the founder of Webinar Ninja is very much in the space of online courses – and his presentation really laid bare some truths about designing courses for the right reasons. There is so much noise in the online course space that it feels like you’re not getting heard in the marketplace but taking Omar’s suggestions on board helps give some new direction for my ideas. 

Check out / Connect with Omar Zenhom here

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

I’ve watched Anu’s brilliance from afar for a few years now. I had a pinch myself moment watching her present in person (which for her was for the first time ever mind you) and loved learning how she built her business in line with her own values. I may or may not have purchased some of my own Bidiliia sparkles right at the end of Anu’s presentation…. 

Check out / Connect with Anu Sawhney here

Ben Amos – 7 Insanely Effective Ways To Grow Your Business With Video

As someone who really does need to use video more Ben wiped away my excuse of not having the budget for a videographer. Dammit. But what was most compelling about Ben’s session is that having a simple strategy makes video creation all the more simple and by doing just one of the 7 video types will see a difference in growth. I especially like the personalised outreach videos, they’re a great way to connect in a thoughtful way (once I get brave enough to record one).The AI generated one creeped me out a little…

Check out / Connect with Ben Amos here

Shannon Morrison & Jessica Staines – Using Micro-Funnels & Content Strategy To Build A 6 Figure Membership

The growth of Koori Curriculum is nothing short of amazing and having Shannon and Jessica share the real time stately behind that growth was a phenomenal example case study of online business kicking ass and contributing positively to such an important space. It was also a great showcase of how relevant content can create a strong community too. 

Check out / Connect with Jessica Staines here | Check out / Connect with Shannon Morrison here

Carrie Kwan – Pitch Your Business With Clarity and Conviction

Confession – Mums&Co was possibly one of the very first business memberships I joined after starting my business. And I have stayed a part of the membership ever since because of Carrie’s drive to have a space for Mum’s in business and the recognition that its very much the &Co that we need more than anything else. I have been lucky enough to speak with Carrie on her podcast and in a 1:1 Pitch Session through Mums&Co so her presentation was a fantastic refresh for refining how I present myself and my business. 

Check out / Connect with Carrie Kwan here

Lizzie Williamson – Two Minute Moves

Lizzie’s surprise session was an unexpected burst of energy that I didn’t realise I needed – but very glad I did. And her message of just two minutes of movement to help boost your mental health is something very needed as someone who works from home in her little office that can most days. 

Check out / Connect with Lizzie Williamson here

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

I have to say Dante’s session was close to my fave of the day – anyone that can Hammertime as good as MC rates highly in my books. I have comments from people that I am all over socials but the reality is that I’m not, and I love that Dante both affirmed the strategies I use are good ones (and not icky) and also that its ok to do it in a way that doesn’t burn you out. I still need to work on that burnout balance though – which he gave some really great alternative options I can add to my mix. 

Check out / Connect with Dante St James here

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

This is going to sound a little fangirly but I am in awe of Kate’s willingness to share her soft underbelly of her business – and this presentation absolutely delivered. It was done in a truly teaching and sharing way that left me both inspired and hopeful that I can build my own income cul de sac in a way that Kate has done for herself. 

Check out / Connect with Kate Toon here

Jade Warne – What Really Works on Instagram

I have spotted Jade’s photos through Business Chicks over the years and it has been fascinating watching the progression that she’s had in growing her membership called Small Business Growth Club. What’s even more intriguing for me is that she has done it purely with Instagram and without the reliance on a website or complicated funnels. I really struggle with how to show my services visually (because well; I hide behind my computer screen tech tinkering a lot). But Jade gave me some really fantastic idea through her presentation on how I could translate things in a visual way (because Instagram is a very visual platform). 

Check out / Connect with Jade Warne here 

Sponsor Shout Out

I also wanted to give a huge shout out to Ray Pastoors from True Green for sponsoring the event weekend – and for his dedication to dressing up in a full koala suit – because that would have been hot as. And it was fascinating to hear how much of an impact (even though it never really crossed my mind before) website hosting has on the environment. So if you’re looking for a greener option for your online business (and Australian based) reach out to the team at True Green

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

Not only was there an insane amount of learning through the presenters but there were even more lucky door prizes throughout the day. I was pretty stoked to win one of them – and so I want to extend my thanks to Kate Merryweather for her prize donation of a LinkedIn Content Strategy session (which I actually had on my want to do list for 2024). Cannot wait to get that booked in for myself.

Not only that, the winners (and runners-up) of The Digital Marketing Collective Awards were announced at the end of the day. I was named as a finalist in the Best Service-Based Business category but given who I was alongside I held zero hope of being named a winner. But it was very cool to see Nerissa Bentley (The Melbourne Health Writer) named winner and Rebecca Cofrancesco (Marketing Goodness) as runner up for my category. Then for Best E-Commerce Business Sue McGary (French Affair) was named winner and Nikki Filia (Be. Bangles) runner up. Honestly, could not have gone to more deserving business humans. 

Now my headline for this blog post is a little bit click baity isn’t it? I cannot express more how much of a phenomenal weekend the Mastermind and Conference were – and it was my first time attending one of Kate’s Conferences (she has run CopyCon for a number of years previously) – but the reason I say it was my last and only is that Kate has announced she’s no longer running conferences (which was very much clarified within her presentation, for good reason). And even though that makes me sad, it also makes me excited for what she has planned ahead for smaller format events because if she can make a massive room of people like that feel a part of her community then it will translate even more to smaller groups. 

Kate always describes how she wants to look after the people who invest in her by investing in them and the DMC Conference really showed that. 


Korryn Haines

Korryn Haines

Written by Korryn Haines

Korryn Haines is an administration ninja with over 10 years of administrative experience in a wide range of industries. Based in Brisbane, she provides virtual assistant services and administration process consulting services to micro and small businesses. She loves a nice big pot of tea, smashing out a BodyPump class and spending time with her young children, husband and lovable Cocker Spaniel.

Connect with her on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

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