Just this week, as we're deep in the process of planning the '09 CFC program for San Diego, comes this terrific story from Nora Richardson, who joined us in Chicago. Here's from Nora:
I always thought I thought of myself as a creative professional until I attended the Creative Freelancers Conference (CFC). I was really just acting as if I was a professional … and not playing a very convincing role. It seems I was only fooling myself. I mean, what was I thinking with no target market, no business plan, no accurate way to track hours … the list goes on. The CFC opened my eyes to the fact that being creative actually helps my business and shouldn't hinder it.
Since the CFC, I have had the opportunity to utilize my new business skills paired with my instinctual personal touches to land a profitable job. This is the breakdown:
A networking contact informed me of a particular job with one of her contacts. She arranged a meeting and told me a bit about the job. I researched the company, the client, as well as brought in samples of what I thought would interest them in their new venture. They were appreciative and noticed the additional personalized work I had prepared before ever meeting them. During the meeting, I talked of their needs and suggested helpful topics they had not thought of prior. They tried to discuss money and time, where I then told them I would work up a proposal for them. It was so easy … there was no pressure (until I was at home faced with writing a professional looking proposal). After much fretting, I completed the proposal and sent it off. When following-up on the proposal, I included a testimonial from a long standing client with whom I completed a similar job. I was told by my networking contact that the testimonial was a "nice touch." She told me that all my actions really showed the prospect that I was interested in their project, so they chose me to help them with their project.
Now, let me be clear: Before the CFC, I would have gotten the opportunity to meet with this client and I would have done research and the additional work beforehand. I probably would have suggested helpful topics. I would have never thought about a proposal and would have thought including a testimonial in a follow-up would be way too pushy. But, there was something different about me at that meeting. I had more confidence in myself as a professional. I felt like a professional and they were responding to me as a professional which gave me even more confidence.
I have PLENTY more to do on my internal structure and marketing of my company, but I am not "acting" anymore. I am not just your run-of-the-mill flaky artist. I AM a creative professional! I thank all the speakers and attendees at the CFC for giving me the tools and support to help me realize I have what it takes to be a successful business.
Do you have a success story like Nora's that you'd like to share? Let us know about it! Email it to email@example.com.