I used to avoid conferences. I had nothing against them but when I was first starting out in my business I didn’t have the money to go, and as my business grew I felt that I was too busy to go. In my mind, I could drop some money to attend a conference or I could just stay at home and earn instead.
I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Last year I attended my first conference. Truth be told, I probably wouldn’t have gone except that it was a conference that a client was putting on. This was a pretty big client who I had worked with for years but never met in person, plus the topic of the conference (real estate investing) was one that I wanted to build up some skill and knowledge in. So I went.
And it was amazing.
- I learned a ton at the conference, of course.
- Perhaps less of a surprise to some, I made so many contacts. This might be a “duh!” moment for some readers who already knew this. I knew I’d meet people, of course, but just assumed that those contacts would be like any other contact — a name and number and we’d never really connect again. I never realized the breadth, depth, or value of those connections before. From that one weekend, I made some really great contacts — some became clients; some became friends.
- I picked up some new clients, adding maybe another 10% of revenue to my business.
- I got my face out there in the industry a bit, too, which is a good thing.
- I also met my avatar. This was a huge, unexpected benefit: I met the very people I would be marketing to. I learned so much about who my clients were from the people I met at this conference.
That one conference was really powerful and had a distinct impact on my business. So this year, I’m doing more: I’m attending three conferences (and, in fact, I’m speaking at one of them). I’d love to dial in even more conferences in the future… but baby steps, right?
I’m also doing a better job this year of building out a sales funnel for the people I meet. Specifically, if they’re prospective clients, I want a way to capture that information and put them into my funnel so I’m strategically connecting with them. (I had a bit of that last year but it was very rudimentary and not automated at all).
In the future, I’d love to attend a conference every month or two — perhaps including some as a speaker.
If you aren’t using conferences to level up your business, get started now. If you are already using attending conferences, what can you do to increase the results you get from them?