What? You don’t use WordPress to tell stories? You lose.
WordPress is just for blogging. Right? Wrong. In business, facts – not stories – sell your product, service, or point-of-view. Right? Double-wrong. Our minds are wired to process stories, not facts. WordPress is a POWERHOUSE storytelling engine. Don’t use it? You lose – customers and business. First, we’ll explore why short stories – not “death-by-Powerpoint” bullets – engage your buyer, capture their attention, and convince them to buy your product, service, or point-of-view. Second, we’ll drill into how I used WordPress to build a storytelling engine – and you can too. Want more sales? Forget the website, build a storySite™.
7 Inexpensive & Easy Secrets to Build Your Biz
This session will cover 7 easy & inexpensive ways to build business in today’s world. Including online and offline strategies that are so simple and inexpensive! Heather and her clients have used these strategies to increase business as much as 300% with very little expense.
Panel Discussion “From Consulting to Product”
Joe Audette, Laney Dale, Nathaniel Talbott
Join our panel of local entrepreneurs who have made the jump from generalist web development consulting to specialized products/services. Focus can be powerful, but requires many sacrifices, and the panel will be your chance to learn from these businessmen what worked, what didn’t, and their advice for people looking to create a product or service in the web arena.
The things I wished someone had told me before I started!
Andrew C. Oliver
When going independent there are some things you should know. Unfortunately, no one told them to me. While Open Software Integrators scaled from a one man show to over 15 people in under 3 years, I made a lot of mistakes. I’ll describe the things I didn’t know up front and wished I had known. I’ll also discuss what went wrong and what is going right.
Low and No Cost Marketing and Public Relations Tools: Tactics & Techniques
Attendees will learn how to get on their prospect’s radar screen and leverage the power of the Web to build an online presence, drive more traffic to their site and land more clients. They will also learn how to:
- Position themselves as an expert in their industry
- Generate press coverage
- Write press and news releases that get noticed
- Build a media list
- Produce a press kit
- Leverage the power of email marketing, blogs and social media
- And more
Building Your Name via the Social Web
The social web, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, niche communities and other platforms, represents a great opportunity for you to showcase your knowledge to a wider audience, whether local or international. People will become familiar with what you know and, when they need what you can offer, they’ll be more likely to think of you. And unlike other forms of getting noticed, the investment isn’t about how much money you have – it’s about how much time you have. How can you demonstrate your expertise in a genuine way, and become a recognized expert, without falling into the category of self-described gurus and experts that people have grown to distrust? We’ll talk about how I’ve built my name and how you can get your knowledge out there, help people and build a reputation on the platforms where the people you want to reach are engaging.
CSS3: Using media queries to improve the website experience
Zoe Mickley Gillenwater
It’s no longer practical or even possible to build different sites for all of the different devices that your users may be visiting your sites with. From widescreen TVs to mobile phones, desktop computers to tablets, the number of ways that people view web pages is more diverse than ever before.
How can you create a site that looks good in all these different environments—and keep your sanity? A new feature of CSS3 called media queries allows you to easily make a single site that automatically adapts its design to the users’ settings so that it looks good and works well in whatever screen space is available.
Using practical but progressive examples, Zoe will show you how to use media queries combined with liquid/fluid layout techniques to make your web pages more dynamic, responsive, and usable. You’ll learn how to use media queries to tailor your sites to mobile devices like iPhone, Android, and iPad, as well as the various screen sizes of desktop computers, while still attending to outdated browsers like IE 6, 7, and 8.
What every business owner needs to know about finances
Presentation will provide an overview on what every business owner needs to know about the financial aspect of their business. How do do I deal with taxes? Why should I be concerned with financial statements? How do I know what to pay myself? When is my business ever going to make me money?
User Experience & Making Education Suck Less
Discover the meaning and importance of user-centered design and how to make decisions based on the needs of people that use a website or web application. After a nice frolic through the principles of user experience design we’ll review the history of the education system, how it’s been twisted and changed and how you, yes you can self-educate and help the education in your communities suck a little less.
How Not to be a Freelancer
If you read enough books or blog posts about working for yourself and becoming a freelancer, you’ll begin to see some of the same advice repeated over and over again. Putting all of that into practice while trying to juggle clients, finances, marketing and actually doing the work itself isn’t always easy (or even possible!). This talk is about how I managed to systematically screw up all of that advice, sometimes doing just the opposite, and yet have been able to build a successful freelance career that in many ways is better because of my “mistakes”. I’ll give you some of the “worst” advice you can receive if you’re starting a freelance career, including how to give your company an unpronounceable name, how to ignore email, and why you shouldn’t print up business cards. Learn why it’s ok to screw up along the way and how those mistakes might just lead you to a better career in the end.
Publishing as Marketing
Joseph D’Agnese and Denise Kiernan
Nothing builds your credibility like having written a book about some area of your expertise. The advent of digital publishing means that every freelancer has the tools to become a book author overnight. But is that the way to go? Or would your business be better served in the long run trying to land a traditional book deal? The presenters—who have a combined 40 years of publishing experience with agents, editors, and Big 6 publishers—deconstruct both forms of publishing and share what you need to know about turning your knowledge and your words into a decent marketing tool for your growing business. At the very least, come find out why Stephen King really isn’t as rich as you think.
Starting Your Career As A Freelance Web Designer
Running a successful freelance Web business means being more than a great designer or programmer and having a lot of talent. It also means knowing the ins and outs of numerous business issues and tasks. Based on Tortorella’s book (Allworth, 2011), attendees will learn how to:
- Determine if they’re cut out for the freelance lifestyle
- Draft a solid business plan
- Deal with necessary business tasks, such as taxes, insurances, finding the right accountant and attorney
- Calculate their real base hourly rate
- Market and promote their freelance business
- Create winning proposals
- Build quality business relationships
- Manage projects
- And more
Don’t work without a net…
How to Be a Freelance Money Geek
Joseph D’Agnese and Denise Kiernan
In the freelance world, talk of money inevitably centers around basics such as efficient invoicing, nailing down contracts that work, tax deductions, setting up LLCs, and so on. D’Agnese and Kiernan are more interested in the concept of wealth-building: How can you consistently build your net worth and ride out the feast-or-famine cycle on a freelance income? How do you manage your filthy freelance lucre once it comes in the door? In this session, the presenters offer a simple to-do list that gives session participants the info they need to “geek out” on their finances and put a system in place that will help build their nest egg as quickly as possible upon leaving indieconf. Some tips are inspirational. The rest are solid methods for money management that have stood the test of time and are culled from The Money Book for Freelancers (Random House).
Building a business — growing beyond indie work
Lessons learned about adding a staff to work with you. Discussion about adding a first employee, learning to delegate work and building from one FTE to more. Session covers growth, people, finance, marketing and strategy insights into building a business. Information on if hiring people is right for you, how to minimize risk as you build a business and what a development business might look like a few years into the journey.
Next Generation SEO
Best Practices for the Solo Developer
You are the only developer in your company. Maybe you’re an independent consultant. Maybe you work from home, maybe not. Any way it goes, being the lone developer can be tough. Whether you work in a cube or the comfort of your home office or the local coffee shop, there are many challenges facing the solo developer. Project management, estimation, testing and even writing code all change when you work alone. In this session, I will discuss many of the lessons learned and practices I’ve developed working almost exclusively as a single developer for the past ten years.
Audience-based SEO - An interactive simulation of SEO research-based website development
• On-Site SEO tags, titles, heads, and successful code
• Off-site SEO, gaining inbound links from authoritative sources, lens pages, and sales pages
• Strategic placement planning for search engine local pages, matching highly searched terms by your client’s target audience.
Legal Considerations for Web Professionals
Content Strategy: A Framework for Marketing Success
Public Speaking 101
Public speaking scares most people more than dying, but it’s also a necessary skill for independents trying to build their reputation. Speaking at user groups, conferences, and in front of clients is something we have to do. With a few key tricks, you’ll find it’s not that difficult or scary.We’ll discuss several techniques to make you a more effective public speaker, and then we’ll take the time to practice them (for a few brave volunteers!). You’ll learn how to avoid classic traps like Rambo spraying and doing the Secret Service. Then you’ll learn how to effectively engage your audience and present at their pace. You’ll leave with a solid toolbox of tricks and techniques that’ll make you look like a seasoned professional the next time you step in front of an audience of any size.