I Won An iPad! iHappy.

I guess it pays to use Twitter.

This past June I attended the third annual Creative Freelancer Conference. I rave about it often. It’s a must-attend event for anyone who makes a living as a freelancer in the arts (illustrators, photographers, graphic designers, etc.) This year to promote the conference the organizers ran a contest: Whoever could get the most people to sign up for the conference via Twitter would win an iPad plus free registration to next year’s conference. I’m a big fan of the conference and I happily promote it every year anyway, but this year I decided that just for fun I’d plug it a bit more than usual (while giving full disclosure that I was taking part in the contest.)

Then the conference came and went, I had a great time, and I pretty much forgot about the contest.

Last week the conference people called to tell me I had won! They were very apologetic. In all the craziness of organizing the event they just now realized they never got around to announcing the winner. I would imagine it takes an enormous amount of time and energy to put together an entire conference and then to clean up after the dust has settled so I can’t say that I blame them. Besides, its hard to look a gift iPad in the mouth.

As an extra bonus, we got the phone call on my wife’s birthday and it arrived on our anniversary, just in time for us to take it with us on an out of town trip.

Not too long ago I wrote a blog post explaining why I had decided not to buy an iPad. In a nutshell, while the iPad is an amazing device for me it didn’t fall into the category of a “must-have” (unlike my iPhone or my laptop). Now that I’ve had a couple of days to play with an iPad I may reconsider. Too early to tell but you might see an iPad review popping up on this blog in the near future

In the mean time I want to say a big “thank you” to everyone who signed up for the conference as a result of my two cents here and there. I hope you got as much out of it as  I did.

The next Creative Freelancer Conference will be June 23-24, 2011 in Chicago. The conference is designed to help educate, encourage, and inspire artistic freelancers in all things business; to help them work smarter, get better clients, and as a result boost their income. If you are creative and self-employed this conference is a must.

If you want to get a taste you can purchase mp3s of the 2009 conference to listen to at your leisure.

Time Is Running Out For Creative Freelancer Conference

Time is running out to register for the Creative Freelancer Conference June 5-6 in Denver. If you make some or all of your living freelancing, this conference is a must! I’ve attended the previous two years and I can tell you, you are doing yourself a disservice if you miss it. Even though I’ve been freelancing for 13 years I’ve still picked up plenty of tricks and tips at each conference that has helped me work smarter, communicate with cients better, and boost my income.

As a bonus, if you take part in their Twitter promotion you’ll save an additional $25 off the registration price. Details here.

(Full disclosure: If you enter my Twitter name (“cedrichohnstadt”) when you register I’ll be in the running to win an free iPad. But I’m not expecting to win so I don’t want you to think that’s why I’m plugging the conference. I would highly recommend it with or without my very slim chances of winning.)

Discount for Creative Freelancer Conference

Today (April 15) is the last day to get the early-bird discount on the Creative Freelancer Conference. Plus, if you take part in their Twitter promotion you’ll save an additional $25 off the registration price (even after today’s deadline, I believe). Details here.

Full disclosure: If you enter my Twitter name (“cedrichohnstadt”) when you register I’ll be in the running to win an free iPad. But I’m not expecting to win so I don’t want you to think that’s why I’m plugging the conference. I’m being completely sincere when I say the Creative Freelancer Conference is a *fantastic* resource and I would highly recommend it with or without my very slim chances of winning.

This will be the third annual conference. I attended the first two and each one has been one of the professional high points of my year. Even though I’ve been freelancing for thirteen years I still learned an awful lot from these conference that has helped me to be more professional and boost my income. In my case, I’ve learned enough ways to make more money through all the great seminars that each conference has easily paid for itself.

But its not just about the money. You’ll also learn a great deal about how to run your freelance career more like a business, which just makes life a little easier. At past conferences I’ve learned a lot about “scary” topics  like networking, self-promotion, how to talk to clients about money, etc. The folks who put this conference together are top-drawer and really know their stuff.

I own a ton of books on freelancing but when am I ever going to have time to read an entire book? By carving out a couple of days in my schedule to get out of my studio and focus solely on learning about freelancing, surrounded by other creatives with the same goal, has been a terrific solution for me. Each year I’ve come back smarter and excited and ready to take my business to the next level.

Unfortunately most art schools don’t do a very good job of preparing their students for the business side of freelancing. I’ve certainly had to learn most of it on the fly. Fortunately this conference is custom-made for illustrators, designers, photographers, and other creative types who would rather be creative than do a business plan. You’ll learn how to make your skills profitable from other successful people who speak your same language.

The conference this year will be June 5-6 in Denver. It will be immediately followed by the HOW Design Conference so you can kill two birds with one stone if you are so inclined.

More info on the Creative Freelancer Conference here.

Resources From The Creative Freelancing Conference

So, you’ve read my recap of the 2009 Creative Freelancer Conference and now you’re bummed that you missed out? Don’t worry, I’m here to help!

The Free Stuff

The conference organizers have posted a ton of free downloads and resources over at their website. Check it out!

The Not-So-Free Stuff

In a few weeks the audio from the conference seminars will be available for purchase. Keep an eye on my blog for the link. In the mean time, you can still purchase .mp3′s, session handouts, and powerpoint presentations from the 2008 conference here.

Several books were also available for purchase at the conference. Here’s the Amazon.com links:

The Designer’s Guide To Marketing And Pricing by Ilise Benun and Peleg Top

The Anti 9-to-5 Guide by Michelle Goodman

My So-Called Freelance Life by Michelle Goodman

Self-employed Tax Solutions by June Walker

Finally, while you are waiting for next year’s conference be sure to follow the CFC blog. And don’t forget to sign up for future updates on the 2010 conference.

HOW Webinar Series

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HOW Magazine is a leading publication in the art and graphics community. If you don’t subscribe, you should. There are a ton of great articles on both the creative and business aspects of being a commercial artist.

Recently HOW started offering a series of online “webinars”. (A webinar is a seminar broadcast over the web.) These webinars are designed to help creative types improve their business skills so they can land more jobs and grow more successful. Continue reading