In 2013 I quit my job as a recruiter to finally start freelancing full-time. That was also the year I started attending blogging conferences. Over the past three years I have come to see the value of making sure I am always in
Over the past three years, I have come to see the value of making sure I am always in attendance of my favorite conferences. After tallying up the numbers every year, I come to find that I always make a profit off of my initial investment of attending the conference. Here are some of the ways to build your freelance business by attending blogger conferences.
Become a speaker.
If you want people at a conference to take you seriously, become a speaker. This gives you seemingly instant credibility which you can then use when you’re networking and meeting potential clients.
You may be wondering how one actually becomes a speaker at blogger conferences. It’s actually quite simple. Many blogging conferences have an open call where potential speakers can pitch an idea. The cool part is your ticket is usually comped so it brings down the total cost of your investment.
Attend conferences you know editors go to.
Not all blogging conferences are created equal. That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re attending conferences where you know editors and potential clients will be in attendance.
For example, The Financial Blogger Conference has an event called Freelance Marketplace. It’s where freelancers and editors can partake in speed networking and exchange information.
Some conferences may not have such an event, but they may have an attendee list you can check out before deciding whether or not it’s worth attending.
Have a system for contacts you meet.
My virtual assistant and I have a system in place whenever I’m at a blogging conference meeting new people. Let’s say I meet an editor who would be a great client. I snap a picture of their business card, upload it onto Basecamp (our project management system) and my assistant already knows what email to send them.
This is a great way to ensure that you are maintaining the connection right away. I’ve also found it works better than waiting until you get back home to do follow-up emails.
Set up meetings on the spot.
I have taught some coaching clients to set up meetings with people they meet on the spot. As in, you meet someone and you agree upon a time to speak when you are both back home. This is far more effective than emailing back and forth after the event in an effort to try and set up a meeting.
Once the meeting is set, I put the information in Basecamp and my assistant sends us both calendar invites. Again, it’s a streamlined system that helps us get results.
Apply what you learn.
The last step is to apply at you learn at the blogging conference. Some conferences have excellent classes and sessions that teach you the ins and outs of pitching, online marketing and more. Make sure to take it all in and then apply at least one thing when you get back home.