I know that I’ve been inconsistent and I’m sorry about that.
To be completely honest with you, I’m having a bout of writer’s block. It’s a little bit of that and a little bit of an issue of motivation lately. I’m still finding it hard to do more than the bare minimum.
I’m going to give the creative side of my brain a bit of a break by sharing some useful business and marketing takeaways that I learned from others at an event I helped produce with my partner in crime, Samm Mammoser, for The Marketing Alliance
We designed the event to be a resource for freelancers and marketing agencies who want to take their businesses to the next level in terms of learning new marketing strategies, creating better systems for being paid on time, and outsourcing work to contractors.
Here’s one major thing I learned from each session:
The Future of Marketing: How Technology is Changing Everything - Tamara McCleary. AI can certainly mimic human speech but it doesn’t yet understand the context of the words it threads together. At first glance, AI-generated text passes as human (Tamara asked us to identify human vs AI-generated text and I was wrong with every guess!) but in tests run on Tamara’s social channels, she found that engagement significantly dropped when using AI-generated text. Luckily, for the sake of my work, AI doesn’t yet fully grasp the concept of context.
How to Master Keyword Research (Even if SEO Makes You Feel Lost) - Maddy Osman. Oh hey, that’s me. 🙂 You can watch a version of this presentation with 2 months of FREE access on Skillshare.
Figuring your Finances: Best Practices for your Financial Systems and Working with Agencies Panel - Vinny DiPietro, Joe Caston, and Serin Silva. There were several *mic drop* moments from this panel about how agencies and freelancers can create better systems for making sure everyone gets paid on time! In terms of takeaways, I shared this and this on Twitter.
Help! I’m Drowning in Work: When and How to Hire Panel - Lauren Friesen and Desiree Johnson. We had a great discussion that included the audience. We talked about how when you work with a contractor, you’re getting a deal. Their rate will likely be higher than someone’s full-time salary works out to be — but note that you aren’t paying for days they’re sick, on vacation, medical benefits, training, equipment, their education/experience up to that point, and so on. Furthermore, you don’t have to keep them around on your staff once a project is finished if you don’t have more work for them. Freelancers: know your worth! And make sure to adequately cover your bases when quoting pricing.
The Audience Targeting Landscape - Social, Retargeting & Beyond - Evan Williams. I don’t know a lot about the paid ads world, so I was eager to hear what Evan had to say. Some new knowledge for me: you can really optimize your budget by using custom audiences (as platforms allow), which involves a combination of owned and paid for data. Here’s another tweet takeaway about targeting that you might find useful.
Branding: The Path to Personalization - Caitlin Fitzpatrick. Caitlin is part of a mastermind group that Samm and I are also a part of, so we were thrilled to get her involved with our event. She led the group through a series of branding exercises that really got people’s wheels turning. One of my favorite questions she asked was, “What’s your brand’s guiding principle?” to which one participant responded, “I strive for a sum gain”. In other words, don’t create a business that succeeds by hurting another party (like your client who is paying your bills). You’re only successful if both you and your client come out of a transaction better off. Now, if only my past apartment property manager also followed this guiding principle…
I had a lot of fun planning this event and feel accomplished now that it’s over. But there’s no rest for the wicked — as I write this, I’m on a plane back home to Chicago for a wedding. I’m in the bridal party and the blushing bride is my future sister-in-law. I couldn’t ask for a better addition to my family. 🙂
One final thought: I’m going to switch up things a bit with two newsletters a month instead of four until I find my voice again. Thanks for sticking with me and keeping me honest (Hi Jimmy!) while I sort through my crap. I’m so luckily to have so many supportive, genuinely good people in my life.
Until next time,
Maddy Osman, The Blogsmith