CFBC 2014: My top 8 takeaways in tweets

Last year, the Creative Freelancer Conference was awesome. This year, it added a letter (B for business) to become the Creative Freelancer Business Conference, and guess what? It was even more awesome! Why? The reasons are plentiful.

Some of my clients attended, I got to meet the members of my Creatives Roundtable (ladies, you rock!) and being on the Work/Life Balance panel blew my mind. It was my first time speaking at a conference, and I can’t wait to do it again. Though I was freaked out about getting in front of a room full of people, it ended up being energizing and not scary at all. Sharing what I’ve learned was addictive. Get my presentation slides.

In related news, Twitter is freaking great. It helps you remember defining moments. So to sum up my moments of intellectual wonder at CFBC 2014, here are my hottest takeaways—in tweets.

1. It’s about value. Jason Blumer made this point hit home. As creatives, we have to learn to price our services based on value, not just on time or deliverables. To learn more about value-based pricing, read this fantastic e-book, Breaking the Time Barrier: How to Unlock Your True Earning Potential from FreshBooks.

2. You don’t have to do rush work. When I allow clients to rush me, kittens cry. I loved the validation from Jason Blumer; I’m not the only one who sets expectations about the way I work best. Just because other people jump off bridges (do rush work) doesn’t mean you have to. Want to set expectations for your clients? Create a values page on your website.

3. We don’t have to help everybody. A potential client is either a great fit, or they’re not. If we build processes that send the wrong customers away, it gives us more time to spend with our ideal clients. I do this on my contact page. Our businesses don’t have to be open doors for everybody. If we define what we do well, and our messaging makes people leave our websites, we didn’t want them as clients anyway.

4. It’s not about age—it’s about outlook. Our businesses are always evolving. I loved Alina Wheeler’s session, Ready. Set. Reinvent! She wrote a textbook I studied in design school called Designing Brand Identity, so seeing her speak was extra powerful for me. Alina continues to reinvent herself! I see younger people in web development coming up in the new way of doing things. Even though I obsessively stay up-to-date, it still makes me feel older. I don’t want to lose that youthful outlook, especially because being young in the world of the web can be a positive. But Alina showed me it’s not about age—it’s about outlook. Getting older is a good thing. We can embrace maturity and the wisdom that comes with it, while always keeping a fresh, youthful perspective.

Drilling in what I learned during Alina’s session, Corwin Hiebert stressed that our businesses are always evolving. We continually get to know our clients better. We should always be moving forward.

5. Be personal on LinkedIn. It may be quicker to use the standard LinkedIn request, but it’s not personal. Jen Lombardi reminded me to always take a few seconds to be personal—it makes a world of difference.

6. Being self-employed rocks! Hell yes! Ilise Benun reminded us in her opening session that now is the best time to be self-employed. My goal was always to work for myself. Whether it’s called freelancer, creative professional or solopreneur—I love the whole idea having a business, and treating it like one.

7. Virtual teams rock! Stephanie Helline is a client of mine who rocked on the Virtual Teams panel. She reminded me that we can shape our businesses to be whatever we want. One thing I want is to keep being on virtual teams. They are a great way to be part of a happy community, deliver killer work, and share in the coworker mentality with others who get it. If you’re growing a virtual team, get my latest report: 5 tips for partnering with a web designer.

8. Don’t just define a target market. Go deeper. Get to know the people in that market by creating a detailed persona. Who is this person? What time do they wake up? Do they exercise? How much money do they make? What does their business look like? What’s their lifestyle? Get down to the nitty-gritty details of who they are, and your content marketing will become so much easier. You’ll know exactly what your audience is interested in.

Did you attend HOW Live/CFBC? What stood out for you?

About Jill Anderson

Hi, I’m Jill, a WordPress WordPress designer/developer who partners with talented designers, copywriters, and agencies on their websites, and their client’s sites. I’m passionate about crafting beautiful and innovative WordPress websites focused on clear positioning and positive user experiences. Get my free report, Get Your Website Done: 12 Actionable Steps for Designers, and check out my Client Onboarding Toolkit, a simple 4-step digital course for converting prospects into a paying clients.


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3 thoughts on “CFBC 2014: My top 8 takeaways in tweets

  1. Love this post Jill. I was considering going to CFBC, but the timing didn’t work out for me. It’s definitely on my conference list for next year!

    Love #3, and it’s something that most freelancers have difficulty with. I’ve actually got a list of questions I use with each prospect that help me pre-qualify them. It saves both of us time.


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