Recently I attended #FreelanceHeroesDay in Wolverhampton in Mid May in a gorgeous and acoustically wonderful Grand Central in Wolverhampton. This was my first Freelance Heroes Day, as the first one was even before I handed in my notice to go freelance. A year on I’m now fully functioning freelancer over at Dwi’n Rhys, and I decided to get out of the WordPress/SEO bubble a bit (though there were some digital marketing speakers), and instead make the short hop to the West Midlands to attend the event.
I Learned More Soft Skills than Most Tech Conferences I Attended
One of the best things about this conference that probably stood out more than previous conferences I have attended have been the soft skills I picked up. It lead to me taking a look at how I’m doing business and re-evaluating what I’m doing. I learned a lot from Kelly Molson’s emotional talk on Goal Setting and begun to think my quiet, reflective goal setting I take part in every year that I announce with bluster at the end of the year may not be the best way to structure my year, so I’m going to try and realign my goals and announce them.
I also picked up a lot from Annie Browne’s talk on Work Life Balance (or Blend). I’d always referred to what I done as a “Work Life Balance”, but it’s probably more of a blend. Since going freelance at Dwi’n Rhys I don’t think I’ve had a full day off outside of Christmas, but I don’t think I’ve worked a 10 hour day as well. So recognising where I’m at as an individual and how focussed I am can help improve my productivity and accountability.
It Reinforced Some Things I Did Know (but haven’t actioned yet)
A lot of the conference was dedicated to advertising, finding leads, and digital marketing, so I was familiar with a few of the speakers, and a bit of the content. That being said, it was good to have it reinforced and I’m planning a 5 step plan below based on what I learned and what was reinforced to help grow in the next couple of months.
First reinforcement was from Steve Morgan and his “Anti Sell” (The Anti-Sell Book available now) talk. One takeaway that was particularly relevant was the starting of an event to help become the “go to guy” (or gal) for your niche. It’s been something I’ve been looking to do with a friend of mine recently in our co-working space in Manchester, so it was good to hear that is a possible solution.
I also was reinforced (and also introduced) to some great ideas from Andrew Cock-Starkey on Local SEO that I had not really thought of before – when I got out of the SEO game Local SEO wasn’t really a thing so to get a primer on things to do was amazing.
Finally, it was great (as always) to delve into Stacey MacNaught process on how she carries out SEO and content marketing. The big takeaway I learned was how crappy I own my name – Rhys Wynne – performs in search engines for my freelance website. This was action number one!
I Left Feeling Energised and a New Sense of Purpose
I was speaking at the bar after the event and discussed some of the issues that have been occurring in the WordPress community in the past 18 months or so. After seeing both friends and people I look up to in the WordPress scene get marginalised and having a toll taken on their health, it was refreshing to be once again bear witness supportive-from-the-top community. It’s something that felt me get a bit energised, and whilst I cannot promise I answer everything I can, or indeed I’ll go quiet for a while, I have been dipping my toe into the Freelance Heroes Facebook group every so often to help with some of the WordPress queries that people have. Pay it forward & all. It certainly helps as already in my short Freelance career thanks to people providing recommendations I’ve made some cracking contacts.
My 5-Point Plan Post Freelance Heroes Day
So after this, I made a list of five things I plan to do post Freelance Heroes Day. So, to follow Kelly’s advice on sharing goals, here’s what I’m aiming to do.
- Get Dwi’n Rhys registered for Google Local Business.
- Improve the ranking of Dwi’n Rhys for my name – Rhys Wynne.
- Collect and add testimonials to my freelance site – this was a tip from another speaker – Karen Arnott.
- Carry out an Assessment Chart of my current clients (this was mentioned in Steve Morgan’s talk – you can read a blog post about it here).
- Run an event me and a colleague been planning for a while in the coworking space I’m in.
Overall, it was a great event. I’d highly recommend if you are a Freelancer you should go next year!