Heading to the Creative Freelancer Conference

This year marks the fifth anniversary of HOW’s Creative Freelancer Conference, and I’ve attended every one HOW launched the event with co-founder Ilise Benun of Marketing Mentor and Peleg Top in 2008.

This year … this year will be different for me. In addition to helping Ilise with some small hosting duties, I’ll be a full-on, official, taking-notes-and-paying-attention attendee. That’s because this week marks my first anniversary as a creative freelancer myself. Having spent virtually all my publishing career with HOW, and having learned so much from HOW’s efforts to help creatives run successful practices, I figured I had this freelancing thing figured out. I was wrong. I have a lot—a LOT— to learn.

Which is why I’m eager to attend CFC this year. I love that the conference now has two ‘tracks’—for newbies and veterans—so I can pick and choose the sessions that most apply to me. I’m especially eager to hear Mark O’Brien talk about effective websites for creative freelancers—as I’m smack-dab in the middle of creating a new site myself. I’m keen to hear Ed Gandia present on developing an effective marketing plan—as I need a good kick in the butt. I’m excited to see return speakers like Dyana Valentine and Luke Mysse, and also to see first-time CFC-ers including Marcia Hoeck and Sarah Durham.

Mostly, I’m looking forward to collaborating, celebrating (and, yes, commiserating) with my fellow creative solopreneurs. This can be lonely work, y’all, and sometimes just a little camaraderie helps.

If you’re on the fence about whether to attend the Creative Freelancer Conference—whether you can set aside the time and money and mental energy—I’ll say: You should make every effort.

And when you decide to join the rest of us in Boston, you should make every effort to connect, to participate, to be present. We need everyone who’s there to join in the conversation. Share what you know. Ask questions. We’re all in this together.

In fact, we’ve made it easy for you to engage—and we’re looking for people who are interested in participating in three aspects of the conference:

  • Happy Hour presentations—we’re looking for folks who want to give 5-minute, pecha-kucha-style presentations
  • Live business audit—Ilise is conducting a real-time business review for one creative freelancer who volunteers; this is a hugely valuable consultation from a true marketing expert
  • Breakfast roundtables—Friday, June 22 will kick off with roundtable discussions over coffee and breakfast, and we’re looking for discussion leaders … name your topic!
  • Interested in any of these opportunities? E-mail Ilise Benun directly.

Learn more about CFC’s extras and networking opportunities here. And be sure to sign up soon, while you’re thinking of it. CFC can change your business … I’m fully expecting it’ll change mine.

See you in Boston!