#33: 5 Lessons for Freelance Business Owners from She Podcasts Conference

On today’s show I am going to outline five lessons I learned at the She Podcasts LIVE conference that are relevant to freelance business owners.

She Podcasts LIVE was an inaugural conference for the She Podcasts community, which started as a Facebook group that now has 14,000 members—all women podcasters. There’s also a She Podcasts podcast hosted by co-creators Elsie Escobar and Jessica Kupferman.

While I learned a bunch of podcast strategies and tips at the conference, there were also tips and reminders that can be helpful for all freelance business owners, no matter what service you provide.

Lesson #1 is brought to you by Erica Mandy, host of the very successful podcast the NewsWorthy. Erica is an experienced broadcast journalist who quit her job and launched a daily 10-minute news podcast just a few years ago. In her session at She Podcasts, she offered up the The Six Cs of Success. No. 1 is confidence.

Erica says you have to have the confidence that you are resourceful and that you can figure out the solutions. She posed the question: What is the traffic jam in your business?

We ask this of our clients, but we should also ask it of ourselves: What is the problem you’re trying to solve?

This also reminds me of the book I’m reading right now: Marie Forleo’s “Everything Is Figureoutable.”

Lesson #2 was also from Erica’s list: consistency. As Erica said: You have to take it seriously when no one is looking.

It takes a lot of work to work ON your business, not just IN your business. Are we doing the marketing and networking and analyzing and planning when no one is looking?

Lesson #3 comes from Phylecia Jones, creator of iFind You Close, a research company that helps people find speaking gigs.

During a period of time when Phylecia was trying to get more people to pay attention to her and her podcast—which was called Ask the Budgetologist—she asked herself every morning: Who needs to know my name today?

Think about it: Don’t you want clients and potential clients to immediately think of you when they need a freelancer that provides the services you do?

Almost all of my work is from referrals. That means people know my name. My clients think of me when they have work, but they also think to recommend me to others.

Lesson #4 is a combo. It’s spend more time with LinkedIn.

At the She Podcasts conference, Karen Yankovich, CEO of Uplevel Media, presented a stellar presentation on how to maximize LinkedIn. A few quick tips:

  1. Put LinkedIn on your phone and log in and save the password, so you can more quickly respond to LinkedIn outreach.
  2. If you spot a green dot on someone’s profile photo that means they are on LinkedIn now, so you should contact them no.
  3. Make sure the keywords that pop up on Your Dashboard (on your profile page) are the keywords you want to be known for.

Lesson #5: Take care of yourself.

I’ve mentioned before how much I love conferences but also that I’m a complete introvert. I have to prepare myself for all that networking and people time. While I loved the overall She Podcasts vibe, a few sessions started out with bold  interaction, including describing our podcasts to a stranger in a superhero voice.

I implore all conference speakers and meeting planners: I know you’re looking to make conferences more interactive, but please consider introverts. If you are doing some sort of interactive thing, you need to put that in the session description and you need to say it up front when people walk in the room. Please.

As for individuals, You need to take care of yourself in all situations. There’s a balance between opening yourself up to new experiences and taking care of your own needs. This may mean walking out if you are uncomfortable, saying no, skipping sessions to relax alone in your hotel room.

In your business, this means structuring your business around what works best for your productivity but also your mental health. It could mean not taking calls after work hours. Not working on weekends. Saying no to a project with glaring red flags. Saying no to volunteer activities because you’re overwhelmed.

Notice how a lot of these examples are simply saying no. YOU are the owner and creator of your business. YOU are in charge. You don’t want to put off the vibe that you’re desperate and will do ANYTHING for a client or to accept a project. It needs to be the right fit for YOU. So, take care of yourself.

Biz Bite: Embrace whimsy

The Bookshelf: The Widows of Malabar Hill” by Sujata Massey

Resources:

Episode #24 of Deliberate Freelancer: Networking Tips, Especially as an Introvert

Episode #6 of Deliberate Freelancer: Make the Most of Conferences

Episode #25 of Deliberate Freelancer: Finding Your Community, with She Podcasts Co-Founder Jessica Kupferman

She Podcasts

Erica Mandy’s The NewsWorthy podcast

Everything is Figureoutable” by Marie Forleo

Phylecia Jones’ iFind You Close

Ask the Budgetologist podcast

Karen Yankovich and Good Girls Get Rich podcast

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