Freelance Camp 2012: Impression and Highlights

Ekaterina RamirezFreelance Camp 2012 Recap by Ekaterina Ramirez

Being totally transparent, when I was going to Freelance Camp 2012 this Saturday morning I was not sure what to expect. First of all, I am not a freelancer myself. Also I had no clue who would be presenting. I was just going there to check it out.

And oh my! How much fun I had! What great people I got connected with!

The event started with speakers pitching their presentations right in front of an audience. Then after every 1-minute intro people raised their hands if they were interested to attend that session. The event calendar was created right on the spot and hung on the wall.

I found this part of event so engaging because it gives the audience a chance to communicate and be part of the flow.

From 0 To 10K Clients with Jill Binder

The first presentation I attended was my favorite (disclaimer: I didn't attend all 23 sessions.)

Jill Binder delivered a session with a title “From 0 To 10K Clients.” Jill is a web developer. She talked about her personal experience finding awesome clients she loves working with who are willing to pay good money for her services.

From her 45 minutes presentation I will share some highlights:

  • Don't undersell yourself even if you don't have much work. Clients are willing to pay more than even they expect themselves.
  • Avoid having a sales breath! When you are desperate for work, people can sense it. Meanwhile when you aren't hungry for business, people are attracted to you. Jill recommended to have a financial cushion if possible. It could be parents, partners, funding, or part-time jobs.
  • Be a good listener to hear a bigger issue behind clients' problems.
  • Set up your hourly rate as a foundation for a price structure. Always keep in mind how much your time is worth.
  • Also define how much money you want to make a month. It will give you clarity.

What I like about Jill so much is that she stands strong in her values and priorities while being 100% transparent with clients. I think her presentation inspired other freelances and gave permission to do the same.

Inbound Marketing with Chris Mack and Alexandra Skey

The second session I attended was delivered by Chris Mack and Alexandra Skey. They talked about inbound marketing. Quoting from their website: “Inbound marketing focuses on earning, not buying, a person’s attention. The goal is to help clients find you so you can build relationships with them, on their terms, and when they’re ready to buy, you’re top of mind.”

Some highlights from the presentation:

  • Build and nurture relationships with your list of subscribers.
  • Think about your customers/clients when you craft your offer.
  • Use aweber or mailchimp to manage newsletters.
  • While creating newsletters, think about your subscribers.

Supply Value Chain with Anthony Taylor

After lunch I went to listen to Anthony Taylor presentation on “Supply Value Chain.” His main message for freelances was about focusing on the value they deliver to clients.

Some highlights:

  • Know your Core Competencies (What are you good at?) and your Competitive Advantage (What are you better at compared with everyone else?). Ask yourself, “What will it take for competitors to catch up?”
  • Focus not only increasing sales but also on increasing margins (revenue up, cost down.)
  • Deliver the value your Ideal clients want. If you don't know what they value, research and learn about their businesses!
  • Put your ideas on paper, don't keep it in your head.
  • Ask WHY some businesses can charge more. Remember being cheap is not a competitive advantage.
  • Keep in mind that selling is about solving a problem for a client.

You can take a look at Anthony's PowerPoint slides here.

There were 20 more presenters at Freelance Camp. If you are interested, go to Freelance Camp website to learn more.

To finish my recap I want to give you some stats about Freelance Camp's hashtag #FLC2012 that was trending on twitter on Sept 15!

  • 1,877 tweets
  • 196 unique twitter users
  • 145 photos uploaded

Ekaterina Ramirez, @Ekat_Ra

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