128 Relentless slowburn: How Steve Vallas builds visibility, influence and trust one event at a time

Steve Vallas, the founder of Honey Digital, is quietly but surely making his mark in the Blockchain technology space.

A qualified lawyer with a background in business strategy and digital marketing, Steve is developing a reputation as the Blockchain go-to guy in Australia.

He has done this through relentless self-education, as well as proactively building connections and facilitating conversations with like-minded people interested in the space.

In the wide-ranging chat with my good self, Steve discusses how he’s gone from being unknown in the Blockchain sector in Australia, to someone with a growing profile and reputation.

Along the way, he has:

  • staged Blockchain APAC 2018, the biggest event of its kind for enterprise in Australia (taking it from idea to fully-blown conference with 45 speakers, in just 10 weeks)
  • been invited by Austrade to attend a major international Blockchain event in Shanghai
  • appeared on Australia’s new Your Money TV channel

We talk a lot on Reputation Revolution about the power of owned, earned and social media. In Steve’s case, you can add another one – IRL (In Real Life) media.

One of the keys to Steve’s ongoing success in this nascent sector is his willingness to attend Blockchain events, no matter how small and grassroots they may be. From professionally run conferences and seminars right through to informal meetups, over the course of a year, Steve has attended well over 100 events, on average of 2-3 per week.

He says showing up to so many events and having genuine conversations with people builds familiarity and trust.


Key takeaways:

  • Take the slow but steady route – Steve eschewed ‘making a splash’, preferring to bide his time, build his knowledge and expertise over a one-and-a-half to two-year period.
  • Show up and be present – while people are out having a good time on a Friday night, Steve is attending another Blockchain event, potentially his third for the week.
  • If the idea is a good one, back yourself in – organising a major conference from go-to-whoa in 10 weeks is a massive, if somewhat crazy, undertaking. But Steve could see the potential, and the risk paid off: running such an event has elevated Steve’s standing within Blockchain circles.
  • Build your community before you need it – Steve has been building his online/offline community for years, always adding value, helping people and rarely asking for much in return. When he wanted to generate some heat around Blockchain APAC 2018, he asked his community to help him spread the word on social media. The response was overwhelming, and a critical factor in the overall success of the event.

Connect with Steve on Twitter.

 

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