If you're like me, your brain is still jam-packed more than a week after the Creative Freelancer Conference ended. For those of you who skipped the event, you missed a ton of really compelling info that was directed at helping freelancers succeed. I was amazed at the number of people (a dozen, perhaps) who chose CFC as the kickoff point for their new creative businesses.
On the first day, co-host Ilise
Benun kicked things off with a firm reminder for freelancers: you are
running a business, not indulging a hobby … and you need to value yourself and your work accordingly.
The ever-energetic Dyana Valentine took the stage with a simple
formula for creating your perfect pitch: your awesomeness + your
prospect’s need + a desire to make the world a better place = your
pitch. She led the group through a Mad Libs-like exercise to wordsmith
their mission statement.
Then, veteran solopreneur Luke Mysse stepped up with some strong
ideas about retaining the upper hand in client relationships. He
dropped into the day’s conversation strategies like maintaining one day
per week dedicated to working on your business (i.e., no client
contact), establishing a minimum price for a client engagement and
packaging different bundles of services at set rates. Luke challenged
everyone in the room to remember why they set out as freelancers: for
the freedom of it. Letting clients bully you, dictate your schedule or
run your life isn’t so freeing.
(An aside ... Ilise and I really loved what Luke had to say, and we'll be bringing you more of his experience and advice in HOW's Freelance column and, if he agrees, in a DesignCast session this fall.)
Day 2 was filled with hard-core business info, but the speakers all managed to boil things
down to the essentials. Financial guru Galia Gichon offered up a list
of everyday tasks that creative freelancers can do to get a handle on
their money, then suggested simply tackling one thing at a time.
Likewise, Cybergrrl Aliza Sherman ran through a host of social media
marketing tools, but gave the skeptics and newbies permission to start
small, with just one or two tools.
But don't take my word for it: other attendees and presenters have posted recaps of their own—
Stay connected with folks you met in Denver and stay informed about growing your business right here on the CFC Blog, and stay tuned for scoop on next year's conference in Chicago! We hope to see you there!