At the Creative Freelancer Conference this year, there was a lot of networking. That was, in a sense, the whole point of traveling to San Francisco. Yes, the program we put together is designed for value and essential business training that most creatives have never had (and you can get the audio recordings here).
But what you absolutely can not do online is the magical connecting that happens when you’re in a room, face to face with another human being.
At the Matchmaking Happy Hour, we anticipated that bringing the InHOWse Design Managers together with the freelancers would spark some working relationships and in fact it did. (Read about copywriter, Tom Tumbusch, who left the conference with a project!)
But what we hadn’t realized is how much work the freelancers themselves could give each other, how much potential collaboration there is amongst freelancers, especially between designers and writers. (That’s why more writers would be smart to attend next year in Boston.)
When 40 freelancers laid their work samples on the tables for everyone to see, putting themselves out there in a way many had never done before — designers looking at a copywriter’s portfolio samples; copywriters looking at designer samples — collaborations were fostered around the work; ideas hatched, virtual agencies born. I even overheard one designer asking a copywriter for permission to add her to the “team” page on their web site.
Since then, projects have begun among these freelancers. In addition to Tom and Sonia Quinones, Michele Schlup of Marktime Media got an infographics project from Karen McElmoyle because they shared a house in San Francisco.
And web designer for designers, Jill Anderson of JillLynnDesign.com has secured 3 new projects from or through freelancers she met at CFC.
She has also added 33 new subscribers to her email newsletter. “The total is now 541 — I think that’s awesome for my little list.” She’s also done 8 free chats — her goal is 10/month. (Sign up here)
“My CFC investment has totally paid off!”
Part of it can be attributed to how involved Jill got. “CFC was successful for me because I got to talk to people in a couple different ways: at the Matchmaking Happy Hour, then when I introduced a speaker, Jessica Hische, and had a chance to say what I do. Sarah Durham put my web site up as an example of good positioning and people remembered that. Plus just being there and networking. I had multiple points of contact and exposure. That definitely helped.”
Anyone else getting work from CFC that we need to know about?