Get the most out of your next conference

by Kristina on August 26, 2013 · 3 comments

Good morning Dinks. Ok so you are a financial blogger or a money enthusiast – so how do you make friends in the online world of personal finance and how do you learn about new industry trends? By going to Fin Con of course!

Before making my recent career change to corporate communications I was employed in the world of personal finance for a long time, so what does that mean and what does that have to do with attending a conference?

Building relationships will get you business

It means that I work in sales.  Over my 12 years of working in financial sales I learned that the best way to get business is to promote yourself and your services.  When I go to a conference for my own freelance writing business or for my 9 to 5 job I always hope for a predetermined outcome…to gain new clients.

How do you get new clients? By talking to complete strangers about yourself. It’s always awkward and I never want to do it, but I have to if I want to gain clients, grow my business and make money.

Building relationships is the key to growing a business.  You can be the best financial planner on the planet, but if people don’t want to talk to you because they don’t like you as a person then it doesn’t matter.  Personal finance is a hard business to break into and it’s overflowing with corporate douche bags – so if you want to succeed you have to stand out and your personality is the way to do so.

My very first conference was at 25

My first “conference” was a golf tournament with a cocktail hour and a meal afterwards. I was only 25 years old and my objective (set by my boss) was to have 3 new clients by the end of the night. There is a fine line between being transparent and building relationships.

Succeed at your next conference with these 3 tips

1. Set a goal before you go. Last year I went to BlogHer and I had no idea what to expect. But three hours into my first day I set goals for myself for the next day. I wanted to work with brands and to do that I had to come out of my shell and talk to brands. I wanted to leave BlogHer with at least one potential new client and I walk away with two bloggers who could connect me with companies that needed personal finance writers. What a great experience.

2. Talk and ask questions at the end of sessions. Get your name out there. Meet attendees, speakers and other bloggers in person. When you ask questions state your name and blog name, it will help people remember you and your work.  Some people may be too shy to speak up in a room full of other professionals but learning from experienced bloggers can only help your career.

3. Always have business cards on you. Leave a lasting impression by leaving your business card everywhere you go and with everyone that you talk to.  Bring 50 business cards for every day that you are at the conference because you just never know who you are going to meet.  It’s better to bring some business cards home than run out of business cards while at the conference.

Photo by venimarkovski

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michelle August 26, 2013 at 12:23 pm

Great post! FinCon will be my very first blog conference, and I’m super excited! I do need to make business cards for it.

2 Carrie August 27, 2013 at 12:41 am

I’m really excited about FinCon this year and I can’t wait to hang out with you again! I’ve always been intimidated by talking with potential clients and brands, but now I know it’s an important part of the business. As long as you’re genuine, I think people expect you to open up and share your expertise. Conferences are all about connecting!

3 Crystal August 28, 2013 at 1:55 am

I LOVE FINCON! Yeah, I go through about 75 business cards every time though, lol. And the staying after stuff to talk part is my absolute favorite reason to go! See you there!

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