As creative small business owners, we oftentimes get caught up working IN our businesses more than we do ON our businesses. And to be fair, we have to keep up with client work and the everyday nitty gritty in order to stay afloat. Am I right?!
But if we have big dreams to scale our income, quit our 9-5’s, add additional revenue streams or grow our team, there comes a point where investing in our business is a must. Whether it be in client management tools, software programs, education, outsourcing, business coaching and so on.
After 6 years in business, I still have to reel myself in every once in a while (especially during seasons of hustle) and shift the focus to my long term goals, and propelling my business forward.
One of those ways has been by investing in education.
From attending creative conferences to working with a business coach – I’ve found that by stepping outside of my local market to learn and grow from industry leaders and meet other creative business owners from across the country, I’ve not only seen my business grow exponentially but I myself have grown as well.
With the next Creative at Heart Conference just around the corner, I want to share 5 quick tips to prepare for a creative conference.
01. Write down your goals
Before every conference I attend, I make a point to write down a few goals. From a specific hurdle or project I’m working through in my business to a couple people I really want to connect with – I narrow in on what I want to get out of the experience both personally and professionally.
Think about why you chose to attend this creative conference in the first place – there must’ve been a reason you clicked ‘Register’. Maybe you have a big scary dream of finally launching your wedding planning business. Or maybe you’re at a point in your business where you’d like to implement new strategies and tactics, or even grow your team.
Setting goals beforehand will allow you to get the most out of your conference experience.
02. Memorize your elevator pitch
What I love most about attending a creative conference, is meeting so many amazing small business owners and learning about their craft. But with that, I in turn always find myself explaining what I do over and over. Having a quick 2-3 sentence “elevator pitch” memorized keeps me from looking like a deer in headlights when someone asks me what I do.
03. Study up on the speakers + sessions
A few days before every conference, I make a point to review all the sessions I’ll be attending and look up each speaker. I’ve found that it helps refresh my memory of who I’ll be learning from and what I should expect to learn from them.
04. Make a list of questions (and don’t be afraid to ask them!)
Creative Conferences are always jam packed with an incredible lineup of educators. And while you most certainly will think of even more questions in the moment, it’s always helpful to come up with a list ahead of time that pertain to your business and the season you are in as a business owner.
Who knows – they may hit your question head on in their talk. But maybe not. So having a few ready-to-ask questions in your back pocket will allow for some great conversation!
05. Plan to mingle with different people every day
It’s easy for us to stick to what we know, especially in unfamiliar territory. I’m guilty of this too! However, I always make a point to sit next to different people every day – during keynote sessions, breakout sessions, meals, and even in panel groups.
Creative Conferences are meant to be interactive, and I’ve found that by stepping out of my comfort zone to mingle with others it has opened doors to new friendships and even unexpected business relationships that never would’ve been possible should I have kept to myself.
So there you have it – just a few tips to help prepare you for a creative conference as a small business owner.
Tell me in the comments below, what creative conferences have you attended? What tips would you have for other creative entrepreneurs looking to invest in education?
Images via the Creative at Heart Conference Round 4 in Annapolis