#shift: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

This article was written by Kunal Merchant, co-founder of social media acquisition and analytics agency Etiquette Creative.

Last year I was asked to participate in an “un-conference” called #shift by my friend, Joey Rubin. I’ve known Joey for a few years while working in nightlife, producing events, and DJ-ing in New York City. At the time, I was working as the director of marketing for flash-sales start-up Exclusively.In, a company that sells Indian fashion to the American audience. While working with them, I was required to maintain daily communication with a team that was based in India. Because of this, Joey thought it was only fitting that I participate in a panel That focused on communicating with teams, while working remotely. It was an enlightening panel, and I learned a lot from those who also work in similar situations.

At the same time of #shift, unbeknownst to Joey and others at the event, I was on the verge of branching out and starting my own social media acquisition and analytics business called Etiquette Creative. The first day of #shift, I randomly sat next to Lynette Townes during a break in the Shift sessions. As we introduced ourselves to each other, there were instant synergies in our businesses – well, my new business. After a brief conversation, I learned that Lynette is a publicist that represents DJ Jazzy Jeff, Greg Watkins (co-founder of AllHipHop.com), and is founder of Remix Public Relations. I was immediately excited about the possibility of working with her. I was able to identify ways in which I could improve online visibility of her clients. We exchanged information, and the rest is history. Thanks to #shift, Etiquette Creative can add world-renowned DJ and Grammy-winning producer DJ Jazzy Jeff to its client roster.

And this wasn’t the only case. Nearly everyone that I met at #shift inspired me to feel confidence as I continue to grow my business. The tools and tactics I learned, the stories and approaches I heard, and the leaders I met, all served as great motivators for me as I launched Etiquette Creative. I’m very thankful to Joey, Social People, iMeet and PGi for building this great event, and I look forward to attending more #shift events. The #shift series is an amazing forum to discuss topics that are relative to innovators and forward-thinking entrepreneurs. The experience was invaluable.

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