Have you ever wondered how people move on, grow their business, how they become successful? Well, me too! So I decided to stop putting off going to the Creative Freelancer Conference and (in the spirit of Nike) said to myself – Just Do It!
I had already spent my budget for conferences, so I had to get creative. With a birthday coming up, my reply to the usual suspects for birthday gifts was simple – “I need to get to a conference!” (Isn’t it funny if you just make a decision, the rest usually fails into place. And it did.)
So here’s what I did and you can do it too….
- Be Hungry for Knowledge and put it to use! If you are always in learning mode, you’ll never be stagnant, you’ll always be growing. If you are evolving and moving forward, your business will automatically follow. Luke Mysse (also speaking at CFC this year) never stops learning, allows space to cultivate creative solutions and he’s making a pretty big difference in the world. I read everyday as well. From blogs, magazines, books, to whatever I need to so I can connect, learn and grow.
- Get the right tools. I also take advantage of tools that help me be more effective. I was keeping track of my hours, but once I tweaked my accounts payable/ receivable software, I was freed up to be more productive and less obsessive about billing. Check out Freshbooks and FunctionFox.
- Interact, be present and engage~ First, I search out ways to interact and engage with colleagues, for example the HOW conferences, LinkedIn and email. I knew I really needed to overhaul my website, especially the portfolio section. So I created the Portfolio Mafia, enlisted some trusted colleagues to keep me accountable and just got it done.
Von Glitschka says “Designers are victims of the graphic precedents they set.” So I took his advice and only show my best work in my portfolio and I only show the kind of work I want to do. Second, I look for ways to genuinely interactive and partner with current and potential clients.
Allen Murabayashi (also speaking at CFC this year) encourages “Be where your clients are. Go where your clients go and have fun with them.” By attending an International Conference that hosts one of my target markets earlier this year, I not only showed a current client support, I gained more projects from a new one and touched base with 3 other potential clients. A good investment indeed.
This is the first part of how I grew my business an extra 25% since the last CFC. Watch for Part 2 tomorrow.
In the meantime, I’d love to hear from you and see you again this year in Boston! Details and registration here for CFC, June 21-22 in Boston.