DMSS Bali 2018: Recap and Takeaways (Digital Marketing Skill Share)


There are a few events that everyone should know about, and today I’m writing about one such event which I attended in Bali.

DMSSDigital Marketing Skill Share, just concluded the 2nd edition of the event in Bali.

A quick background

It was my friend, Andrea (VagabondCEO) who told me about the mastermind event.

He was flying from London to speak at the event. He had attended the first edition of the event in 2017 too, also as a speaker.

Upon doing some due-diligence and seeing some of my favourite companies and people like Gael from Authorityhacker, Ahrefs, Payoneer and a few others, I decided to attend the summit.

DMSS: Digital Marketing Skill Share, Bali

DMSS is an event for marketing professionals, digital nomads and entrepreneurs to share the knowledge and skills to excel and grow in the career.

Don’t mistake this as one of those typical events. I am blown away by the kind of content and learnings. It’s real people sharing real experience and knowledge about things they do. I have shared some of the takeaways in the latter half of this article.

There were workshops on topics such as SEO, social media, marketing funnels along with keynote speech by speakers from companies like Google, Hootsuite, WWF International, to name a few.

There were also workshops on things that we need in our day to day life for higher productivity and a better physical and mental state.

For example:

  • Creating the Ultimate Functional Flow State with the Wim Hof Method by Richard Ayling
  • Multi-Orgasmic Woman (workshop for women) by Magda Kay
  • How To Create Wild, Movement-Based Workstations to Achieve Kickass Health in the Digital Age by Matt Totten

You can check the complete agenda of the event here.

The event was held in Bali, one of the world’s most beautiful destination, and loved by the digital nomads, entrepreneurs and travel enthusiasts.

The event kicked off on October 6, 2018, and lasted two days. The third day, October 8, was for Mastermind, a limited entry event.

There is an optional upgrade of networking and holiday event called Networkation where one can opt for and stay in a villa for three days with the like-minded digital marketers and entrepreneur to share their learning and skills.

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I  will be attending Networkation from October 10-13, 2018, and will share my experience on my Instagram handle @denharsh. Follow me for regular updates.

Takeaways from DMSS and some personal anecdotes

I attended about multiple workshops and here are some takeaways from the same. Please note that these takeaways are my version of understanding and may not be 100% of the speaker.

Tim Soulo – Ahrefs

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Anyone who uses the Ahrefs tool for keyword research, backlink analysis or site SEO Audit, knows Tim Soulo. His was the first talk that I attended. Unfortunately, I only managed to reach at the end of his session. However, here are a few things that I could gather from listening to him:

  • Start using videos on YouTube. It’s the world’s second largest search engine and #1 search engine for videos. The conversion and engagement are quite high with YouTube.
  • Ahrefs is launching a keyword tool for YouTube soon.

Beyond SEO: Next Level Content by Greg Elfrink from Empireflippers

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In his session, Greg took an interesting approach to content marketing.

  • He mentioned the Empireflippers valuation tool to evaluate the price of your website/blog/saas product if you decide to sell it. In case you’re unaware, Empireflippers is a popular platform for flipping websites. This free valuation tool helped them to earn a lot of free mentions from PR companies and journalists all across the globe.
  • Share Insider knowledge content – These are not for SEO, but it earns loyalty. For example, case studies, personal experience. This article is an example of Insider knowledge content.
  • Buyer intent keyword – These are the keywords which a buyer is searching for.
  • Shoulder niche keyword –  The intent isn’t close to buying, but they are in the same sphere as your customers who are looking for information.
  • Buying an affiliate website is an option. (Personal note: These could be good as an investment which will continue adding to your residual income. If you know SEO or marketing, you can buy a good website generating a decent income every month, and add your magic to grow traffic and revenue). You can use Empireflippers to look for such opportunities.

Roger Graham from Hootsuite

Roger’s topic was “How to blow away your clients on social media (and gain new ones)”.  Here are some of the things that I learned:

  • Redirect free wifi to Instagram or other important landing pages. (You can use this for your office, home or even ask your clients to do that with their wifi connection).
  • Work with brand advocates that influence consumers.
  • Brand collaboration – Branded video would be pretty awesome.
  • He mentioned about one of his clients, Accorhotels, that used Hootsuite to set up The Social Desk using the Hootsuite Enterprise. If you are in the hotel business, this could be interesting for you. You can find their case study here.
  • Offline business or offices should be optimized for social media. For example, a selfie booth. This was the most common suggestion by experts to make your restaurant, bars, cafes, co-working space, office or businesses to be Instagram friendly. I am excited to share this with my friends who are into the restaurant and bar business.

Andrea from Webing on Instagram marketing

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Do you remember Andrea?

He is the friend who told me about the DMSS event. He spoke on a fascinating topic, and this turned out to be one of my favourite session of the event.

Andrea explained to us how he is managing and helping a lot of Instagram profiles grow, and most of his tips were actionable.

  • Buy profile with followers if you are working for a client. You can always change the username as long as it’s available.
  • Use Hyperauditor to analyze the Instagram profile before buying it.
  • Post link in stories (this is good for driving traffic and something I also do for ShoutMeLoud).
  • Create or curate posts.
  • Post stories.
  • Post consistently.
  • Add your own hashtag. For example, I use #ShoutMeLoud as the hashtag.
  • Add up to 30 hashtags.
  • Write great captions.
  • Find targeted followers.
  • Target followers of competitors.
  • Target followers based on locations.
  • Search for influencers.
  • Engage with comments or likes.
  • Use stories highlights (You can see an example of this on my Instagram profile).

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Use shoppable posts if you are selling products. You can find more information about here.
Use linktree to post multiple links on your Instagram bio.

Instagram bots

This part of his session was mind-blowing. He explained the use of Instagram bots with real examples.

Here are a few recommended bots:

  • Instazood: They offer a 3-day free trial. Test it with a dummy IG account as it automatically starts following, liking and commenting.
  • Stimsocial: They offer a 5-day free trial.

The one that Andrea uses:

Jarvee: This is perfect for agencies or freelancers who are managing multiple Instagram profiles. It is feature-rich, and unlike the two mentioned above which are cloud-based, this one needs to be installed on a Windows system.

If you are using a Mac, you can buy a Windows VPS and use it. This one is for advanced users and if you have never used a bot before, you can start with the cloud-based tools like Instazood or Stimsocial.

Here are a few things you should start doing with your bots:

  • Auto direct message
  • Target followers of your competition
  • Like
  • Follow
  • Comments
  • Follow new profile and automatically unfollow them after x number of days.

However, you need to be careful with the automation you use. If you don’t know anything about it, spend time reading and learning before you even touch an Instagram bot.

For those who have their products:

  • Focus on the packaging.
  • Welcome message in the package (personal note or something similar)
  • Gifts like candies (which is not expensive) in the packages can bring the smile on the face of your customers and they might talk about your brand on social media.

Day 2:

Gael Breton from AuthorityHacker

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I was pretty excited about listening to Gael. This guy always talks sense.  He spoke about “Building automated high converting sales funnels”.

Few takeaways:

  • Focus on creating high engagement content
  • Reverse discount – increase the price by 50% (anchor high value) and then offer a discount.
  • Transfer rational buying into emotional buying. They are doing this with a webinar where they offer bonuses if viewer purchases their course within 45 minutes.
Personally, I have witnessed that this works great. Anyone who runs webinars and sells products can take advantage of it. You can think of bonuses like templates, blueprints or adding some other value stuff which is exclusive.
  • Enforce real deadlines for your courses. If you promise to open only twice a year, it should be twice only. I have made a mistake with ShoutUniversity where I opened it 3-4 times in a year which is not ideal.
He recommended using Deadlinefunnel for enforcing the real deadlines. He uses Activecampaign which also integrates with Facebook audiences and helps them run targeted ads on Facebook to their email list only. Here, the segmentation has helped them get maximum ROI from the ads. I currently use Convertkit for ShoutMeLoud but I will evaluate Activecampaign in the days to come. I will share my findings with you soon.
  • Replica webinar – This is an interesting concept where you record webinar once and then you keep reusing it in an automated manner. You can see an example of this on They offer you to watch their webinar with a countdown timer.
  • Go above and beyond when offering free stuff.
  • Mehedihasan404 – He recommended this Fiverr guy for graphics related stuff.

They use the following tools for lead capture:

Use Webinar as the content upgrade

Use Pixel caffeine WordPress plugin for segmenting FB audience based on category. I have shared a detailed write-up about this plugin here.

  • Facebook ads – Lookalike audience
  • Create a lookalike audience on Facebook from your existing email list or segmented category users. Use it to promote your blog posts and drive new traffic.
  • No email open 6 months – unsubscribe them (Basically keep cleaning up your email list)
  • Email whole list – once in a while

Hanne Vervaeck from Thrivethemes

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Hanna is the CMO of Thrivethemes. She shared a lot of knowledge on A/B testing and user testing.

Focus on percentage rather than numbers when looking at conversions or A/B testing.

Start with testing things that matters the most. For example, CTA text matters more than what colour your CTA button is.

Every website should implement heatmap and user session recording. Here are a few tools that you can use:

You can also ask your readers, customers to give feedback of your website. You can use Loom which makes it easier for them to record the screen and give you a video feedback.

Here are a few suggestions for optimizing landing pages:

  • Clarity of benefits
  • Remove friction. – useless stuff like phone number if you don’t really need it.
  • Distraction – remove distraction
  • Add urgency
  • Add social proof

What to test?

You should pick stuff which will have the maximum possible impact to your end goal. Do consider the speed of implementation. Document all the A/B test at one place such as Google docs so one can easily refer to it in the future.

Tools for A/B testing
  • Google optimize
  • Thrive optimize
  • Optimizely
  • VWO
  • Convert

If you don’t have much traffic, listen to your customers and optimize.

Matt Totten: How To Create Wild, Movement Based Workstations to Achieve Kickass Health in the Digital Age

This was another workshop that has a great impact on me. I had no idea about Mott Totten before his talk, but I got great insights from his talk.

He talked about how we should work in this digital age and made a strong case on what will happen if we don’t take care of our body. His talk was inspired from his work on this blog called Wild workstation.

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  • Work for 90 minutes straight and then take a 30-minute movement break. Make sure to move your body by exercising or just take a walk.
  • Do acro yoga or other forms of exercise in the morning.
  • Set a digital sunset time. For him its 6.30 pm. He recommends not using any form of digital stuff including Kindle post that time. I like this idea, but I also know it would take a great deal of self-control to make this a part of life.
  • Use flux or similar app for your computer or mobile in the night.
  • I recommend you to read his blog. He has shared many interesting ideas which you can implement to improve your day to day life.

The Space Cowboy

He was the highlight of the event. Probably the craziest guy in the whole event who is also a world record holder for many stunts. He also gave a speech on how he achieved things which seemed impossible.

Here are a few things that stuck in my head:

  • If one person can do it, another person can do it too.
  • Sometimes its ok to take a step back and then start. This is exactly something I’m doing with my life right now.
  • Persistence and conviction are two tools that could let you achieve anything in life.

He also performed some of his stunts which was mind-blowing. You can watch the video below: (Sorry about the quality)

Meeting a Shouter from China

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Whenever I travel, I often meet Shouters. This time I met a Shouter from China who is also a fellow blogger. His name is J.P. and he also blogs in the Chinese language about SEO.

He also showed how he is using Wechat for blogging. He has a blog on WordPress and also publishes his blog on Wechat. It was interesting to see that people can donate money on Wechat to him for his content.

I hope something like this comes to other parts of the world. If you know of the similar platform, do let us know in the comment section below.

See you next year at DMSS

One thing is for sure, if you ever feel that your work is becoming monotonous you should visit Bali and attend DMSS for fresh dose of inspiration. The people here will show you how to live a free life, something which is not so common in this digital age.

Bali as an Island is full of charismatic people who are not too different from you. They follow the mantra of “Live a boss-free life” and “Do what your heart says”. These will remain only words for you until you experience it yourself.

If you are a marketer or a blogger or anyone who lives a laptop lifestyle, you can stay in Changgu (book via AirB&B) or you can also take advantage of DojoBali which is a co-working space that also offers co-living. Make sure to rent a bike and experience the streets of Bali like a local.

From the pricing point of view, the event is not cheap. I spent $397 for the conference, $250 for the mastermind and $797 for the networkation. However, this will be compensated by the kind of personal and business growth that you will get here at the event.

However, Bali is quite cheap in terms of renting a space and food. You can literally spend your day and night in shorts and T-shirts. Those who live in corporate cities can understand the freedom of this.

You should make a plan for 10-15 days as it will give you enough time to reflect upon your learning and also strengthening your bond with the new connections that you will make here. If you are an adrenaline junkie like me, you can go scuba diving, cliff jumping or learn surfing.

Phew! I had so much to share that I didn’t even realize it’s been 4 hours and have written more than 2700 words. I have a lot of other stuff to share about DMSS but I think it would be better if I stop here and you could probably explore this amazing event yourself the next year.

You can join DMSS on various channels to keep yourself updated about the next chapter.

Also, on November 1st and 2nd 2018, there is an SEO event happening in Chiang Mai, Thailand, which is one event everyone here is talking about. You can find information about the event here.

Well, stay tuned for more similar updates from some of the best events and conferences around the world. For now, I’m off to Networkation and will share my experience on my Instagram handle @denharsh after the event.

See ya!

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Authored By
A Blogger, Author and a speaker! Harsh Agrawal is recognized as a leader in digital marketing and FinTech space. Fountainhead of ShoutMeLoud, and a Speaker at ASW, Hero Mindmine, Inorbit, IBM, India blockchain summit. Also, an award-winning blogger.

15 thoughts on “DMSS Bali 2018: Recap and Takeaways (Digital Marketing Skill Share)”

  1. Ravi+Sharma

    Hi Harsh,
    i m glad to find your blog and this post. I already try facebook but just the traffic and conversion option. I ve got the pixel set up then i m gonna try this plug in.
    Thank a lot Harsh

  2. amit sharma

    Thanks for sharing your experiences with us

  3. sanbrains

    Great experience to learn new concepts. Congrats you attended and thanks you shared to the world.

  4. Vishwajeet Kumar

    Hello Harsh,

    Thanks sharing the pics of the event. All are fabulous. I am also love to read and hear Gael. He is very much informative and have great content on his blog. Thanks for sharing this.

  5. Ryan Biddulph

    Mott sounds like such an inspiring guy Harsh. Plus Bali is the ultimate background for any conference. I keep going back because the place is so beautiful.

  6. Nancy

    Hi Harsh,
    Nice blog! DMSS as well as Bali shall be the amazing experience to explore on and worth it to spend on.

  7. Milind Mandsorwale

    Great experience to learn new concepts. Congrats you attended and thanks you shared to the world.

  8. Lisa Sicard

    Hi Harsh, It sounds like it was an awesome event with lots to learn. I can’t believe how many tools there are for social media like the ones you shared for Instagram. Do you think these tools are like gaming the system? That one really got me thinking, the Linktree tool. Thanks for sharing all of this with us and I look forward to reading more from this experience.

  9. vimal

    superb article as always thanks harsh for sharing such a insights, we could also feel bali trip with u

  10. Siddharth Singh

    Thanks for sharing this Bali event. I will join DMSS on you tube for updating my skill.

  11. Philip V Ariel

    Hi Harsh,
    It is indeed a great joy to be here again after a bit gap! 🙂
    Yet another wonderful event this time from the land of lovely Bali. 🙂
    The images and videos speak volume. especially the wild workstation pics are really wonderful. Yes, sitting is killing and we need to have a change in our sitting postures, I am sure these types of changes works well with many longtime sitting mouse pushing people like us!!! 🙂
    It is really great to know that you found yet another shouters in the land of Bali, that too he is from China. 🙂
    But sad to note that you haven’t posted a single pic of the Bali landscape or the nature photographs from this lovely land called Bali.
    Hope you will post in some other posts or include in this at a later stage.
    Anyways thanks a lot for sharing this amazing information with the shouters.
    Best Regards
    ~ Phil @pvariel
    PS: Unable to login on website, several time tried but getting a message: “Session expired”please fix it.

  12. Shyam Mahanta

    Off topic comment..
    Such an energetic article but can’t explore such line by myself.

  13. Rajesh Chandra Pandey

    Great tools and websites you shared. Each of the attendees is a source of inspiration and someone to gather knowledge from.
    Thanks a lot

  14. Binay

    Nice blog. Loved the info about Bali.. Spl. Details on cost food etc.

  15. Himadri Saha

    Wow! This is an awesome experience and a great event. Thanks for sharing your experiences with the #Shouters.

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