Last week you might have noticed that my blog (along with many others) was pretty silent. I left town early on Wednesday morning to travel to the best event I’ve gone to in a long time – FinCon15. I know I’ve talked about my excitement for the event for quite a while, and I was actually starting to worry that it might not be able to live up to my expectations because they were set so high.
But I’m happy to say that FinCon15 far exceeded my expectations and it’s definitely the best thing I’ve ever done for my freelancing business, other than maybe connecting with my favorite blogger, client, un-official coach, and now IRL friend – the amazing Cat Alford.
Here’s why FinCon was a great investment for my business, and why you should consider going next year if you are looking for a boost in your freelance business.
Treat it as Work, Not a Vacation
Although I was very excited to connect with bloggers I’ve formed a relationship with online, I knew that my main purpose for attending FinCon15 was to build and improve my business. Attending FinCon15 was the largest business investment I’ve made so far and I knew I wanted to make it count if I was going to spend that much money to attend a conference. (I’ll tell you in another post more about my FinCon15 budget and spending.) I definitely tried to be pretty frugal this trip, but I still learned a few things I can do differently next time to make it even cheaper.
Connecting with Current Clients
While I was at FinCon15, connecting with my current clients and finally getting to talk to them in person was a big priority on my to-do list. I knew that I wanted to take advantage of meeting with my current clients in person so I could put a face to their name, talk about our working relationship, make sure I’m meeting their needs, and best of all, discuss the possibility of expanding my services with them if they need additional help.
This tactic worked well for me at FinCon15. Most of my current clients were there and I was able to confirm that they are happy with my work and that we are on the right track to accomplish the results they are seeking. I was also able to expand my services with a couple of my clients, which should help me continue to increase my online income.
Reaching Out to New Clients
FinCon15 offered plenty of opportunities to reach out and connect with possible new clients. There are two levels of FinCon passes offered, the regular pass and the pro-pass. The pro-pass offers additional exclusive networking events. But since this was my first year to attend the conference, I wanted to keep costs down as much as possible, so I opted for the regular pass. Even without the exclusive extra networking events, I had plenty of opportunities to reach out to possible new clients.
There are events each evening during FinCon that offer great opportunities for you to network and search for new clients, and the Expo Hall on Thursday and Friday was a great way to talk to companies that might also be hiring freelance writers, VA services, or other types of freelancers.
Even just walking through the hallways between sessions, or going to the bathroom, can result in new connections with possible clients.
By the time I left FinCon I had a huge stack of business cards from blogger friends, and also potential new clients.
Learning about the Business
The sessions offered at FinCon are also a great part of the value of the conference. Unfortunately, with all the networking being my primary focus this year, I didn’t attend as many sessions as I had originally planned. The only other issue I ran into with the sessions as FinCon is that there were times that I wanted to attend two sessions that were going on at the same time. Luckily, FinCon offers a virtual pass so attendees can view recorded sessions later, so I’ll definitely be taking advantage of that feature.
The learning doesn’t stop at just the sessions of FinCon. It’s amazing how much you can learn from simply talking to the other bloggers and attendees of FinCon. The PF community is seriously amazing and very willing to help people by sharing knowledge, tips, ideas, and more. Everyone in the community has tons of their own projects to work on, and yet they are always willing to go out of their way to help others too.
Developing New Ideas
With all the inspiration of FinCon and the meeting of great minds in the PF community, it’s no wonder that new ideas are developed nearly every year at the conference. In fact, while I was at FinCon15, I decided to take a new approach to running my other site, Financial Conversation. It’s not up and running yet, but I’ll be sure to let you know when it is so you can check it out. It’s going to be an awesome collaborative project and I can’t wait to get it up and running. My good friends, Erin from Journey to Saving, Chonce from My Debt Epiphany, and my amazing staff writer Kristi Muse from Moderate Muse, are going to be working with me on this project.
Why You Should DEFINITELY Attend FinCon16
The organizers of FinCon have already announced that dates and location of FinCon16 (next September it’ll be in San Diego, CA) and I cannot wait for the conference to be here. I’m already counting down the days. 🙂
As if the reasons I listed above are not enough to convince you to attend the conference, the organizers have given out some codes to allow new FinCon attendees to get their FinCon16 pass for absolutely FREE! I have one of these codes to give out this year so if you are interested, let me know. If there’s interest from more than one person, I’ll have a drawing.
The only thing I ask is that if you later decide you can’t attend the conference you forfeit the pass to another FinCon newbie who’d like to go.
Basically, FinCon15 is the best thing I’ve ever done to invest in my business and myself and I can’t wait to share some more results with you in upcoming months. I really think it’s going to make a big difference in my income, my budget, and ultimately getting out of debt.
What have you done lately to invest in yourself?