First, I want to make something perfectly clear: nobody at Marketing Mentor or HOW is paying me to write this. I’m posting this on my own initiative to help you avoid a really stupid mistake I made last year.
Fact is, I goofed big time. I didn’t go to the Creative Freelancer Conference in Boston.
I stayed home last year thinking it would keep my costs down. In a way, it did. I didn’t have to pay for conference fees, airfare, or a hotel room.
But in the long run, I didn’t “save” money. I lost.
That’s because I missed out on the great new connections I could have made…not to mention opportunities to have face time with prospects and clients I already know.
Now I’m going to let you in on a secret you won’t hear from the CFC staff (shh…don’t tell Ilise…I posted this when she wasn’t looking). The CFC speakers are great, and they have a lot of wisdom to share, but they’re not the main event at this or any other conference.
The most important things you’ll come away with are the relationships you’ll establish with like-minded people. I’m not talking about the number of business cards you collect, but the folks you make a real connection with, follow up with, and stay in touch with long after the conference is over.
I hear some of you saying: “But talking to people is terrifying!” Don’t worry. I’m shy too. That’s why CFC is such a great place to connect with people—networking opportunities are built into everything you’ll do there.
Will it stretch your comfort zone? Probably. But that won’t hurt you and it will be great for your business. There’s no better place to form a freelancer tribe, find an accountability buddy, or meet potential mentors.
Better yet, here’s a low-risk way for you to jump right in: introduce yourself to me! Just walk up, smile, extend your hand and say: “Hi, Tom! I’m ______________. I saw your article on the CFC blog and wanted to say hello.” After you’ve practiced on me, it will be easier to break the ice with anyone else at the conference, including the big kahunas.
Seriously. Don’t worry about being bashful. Remember that I’ll be there to meet you.
So don’t repeat my mistake. Sign up now, before the Early Bird discount expires on March 15. Here’s the link to make it easy for you. And I’m sure Ilise won’t mind if I pass along her own personal promo code, good for an additional $50 off CFC. It’s “ILISE”.
Tom N. Tumbusch writes copy that creates action for creative agencies and green businesses. He publishes a free writing tips newsletter each month and periodically shares more casual wisdom on the WordStream of Consciousness Blog. His tiny solar-powered corner of the Internet can be found at www.wordstreamcopy.com.