My Creative Freelancer “Progress Report”

Heather ParlatoI just got my Marketing Mentor 6-month planning card in the mail! (Did you?)

If you haven’t been to a Creative Freelancer Conference, here’s what it is: at the end of the conference everyone writes a card to their future self about the plans they’re energized to take on in the 6 months following the conference.

Here’s what mine said, and a recap of how I did:

Dear Heather,

You did so well with this last time. Please, future Heather, tell me you did it again [& tell me your handwriting has improved].

  • web site overhaul
  • take AIGA by storm [drizzle is acceptable]
  • speak to the LA chamber breakfast
  • try guest-blogging
  • keep doing research calls
  • get those 3-4 regulars
  • keep doing meaningful networking
  • what ever happened to the wine industry?

Well, it’s true, I did do really well with the previous year’s CFC follow up, but that’s because they were plans a long time in the making. This time, my next steps were a little more vague. Let’s see how I did.

Things I nailed: take AIGA by storm, try guest-blogging, keep doing meaningful networking. I signed on with the AIGA LA programming committee, produced a handful of events, and have a balanced plan to move forward [this also led to working with other design orgs—a huge plus]. Guest-blogging? You’re lookin’ at it [this has also expanded, another plus]. Meaningful networking is a bit of a nod to my previous year in business, where I was the “try everything” networking person and ended up at a lot of dead-end events. I’ve honed in on what I like, and host when I can’t find what I want to attend.

Things still in progress: keep doing research calls, get those 3-4 regulars, what ever happened to the wine industry [as a new niche]. I do research calls, but nowhere near as regularly as my marketing calendar advises. I have only started seeing the materialization of 2 new regulars to add to my whopping 1 from last year—but it is in progress. I’m on a long term plan to work with the wine industry, starting with blogging, and working off one of my new regulars, who is in the beverage industry. Slowly but surely.

Things I saved for later: web site overhaul, and speak to the LA chamber breakfast. The web site was slated at a time when WordPress made a major upgrade, which changed the project entirely. I’ve decided to put it off to this year so I can plan everything out. As for speaking at the LA chamber, the speaking isn’t the issue, it’s more that I’ve already confirmed they’re not my audience, so it would be purely for the experience of doing it. This is not the biggest motivator, but I have 3 months till my membership expires.

Considering all the unexpected, unlisted things that did happen, I think my past self would be pretty happy with the progress. I’m sure other attendees got their cards, how did we all do? What was on  your list?

And registration is open for this year’s CFC in Chicago, June 23-24. Details at

3 thoughts on “My Creative Freelancer “Progress Report”

  1. lidia varesco design

    Congrats Heather! I couldn’t attend last year’s CFC and I miss getting that postcard in the mail. I do keep the postcards from the 2 conferences I attended on my desk as reminders of what I’ve accomplished and what I’m still working on.

    Good luck with the rest of your goals!