I’ve just come back from the Creative Freelancer Conference. This was my third conference (my, time flies) and I’ve always come back with some little nuggets of inspiration and information. This was no exception.
There’s always some kind of information overload after these things, but here’s the Cliffs Notes version:
Luke Mysse & Planning
Luke was inspirational and awesome (as he was last year). And he double-dog dared us have some goals and make them happen. Yes, sir! His tips:
- Write down your goals or else you’ll forget them (and they won’t happen).
- Make your goals big and juicy. Stay away from the mundane. Juicy goals provide motivation. And of course they should be audacious.
- Find your core values and strengths. Use those as a guideline for your goals.
Steve Gordon & Being Creative 24/7
As my friend Joanna tweeted during Steve’s presentation: “Steve Gordon has given me permission to play.” Damn straight! I loved Steve and his philosophy and his verve for life. We need more Steves in the world. And I’m glad he’s sort of reinforced a lot of things I do already so I don’t feel bad about it.
- Don’t be afraid to play. In the middle of the day, even. You’ll make it up somewhere. (Maybe I will go on those bike rides I keep lamenting I haven’t had time to do.)
- Leave work to do work. (I do this a lot, going to a local coffee shop when home is distracting. Or when I feel like I have to get stuff done.) Steve takes it to an extreme sometimes, flying out to see friends and work. I like that idea. Maybe if I get my butt in gear and plan well, I should do that!
Von Glitschka & Becoming a Hired Gun
Von Glitschka’s opening line was “don’t suck!” That appealed to the snark in me. And of course, you should never suck. And maybe do a few of these things:
- Don’t wait to get some of the work you really want to do. Do it. Do some personal projects that reflect that work
- Corollary to that: Share the work you’re doing. You never know who’s going to see it. And it might lead to awesome projects that you really, really want to do.
- Challenge yourself creatively.
- Supersize your clients. There’s a lot you can offer them.
Allen Murabayashi & Marketing
I liked Allen’s presentation a lot. It was super informative and funny. He had lots of SEO tips (most of which I won’t rehash here):
- Look at your keywords. You want unsolicited traffic and search hits. And they’re not looking for you by name … they’re looking for what you do. So adjust your keywords accordingly!
- Don’t focus on just your website. Widen your online footprint.
(I guess I should finally start that Facebook fan page my husband has been pestering me to do for ages. “I think it would help you,” he says. “I don’t think you market yourself enough.” Husbands. Such sages.)
That’s kind of it in a nutshell. I’ve definitely got to take some time to distill some information further, but CFC kicked off my thought process for sure!
I also had a terrific time meeting up with friends old and new and finally meeting in person some folks I’ve been collaborating with on projects over the last year (hi Rochelle and Julie!). And those lunches, dinners, train rides and walks have provided a lot of great tips and lots of time to compare business notes and brainstorm and just well, vent. So here’s to a fun and productive time in Chicago!