Be a Better Freelancer Conference
Gain unexpected solutions for your everyday workday.
Meet colleagues who can answer your questions.
Attend professional development sessions for people working in publishing.
The 16th annual NAIWE-Communication Central Be a Better Freelancer conference will be held October 8-10, 2021. This year’s conference offers resources for overall business success, productivity, and expansion, from launching a freelance business to getting the rates you deserve to incorporating diversity into your and your clients’ projects, strengthening the structure of your business, and more.
This conference is the ultimate place for networking. I’ve attended other much larger conferences, but I feel I have gained so much more by attending this one simply due to being able to closely connect with literally everyone there. I made friends and connections that I never would have made at larger conferences. Will definitely make the trip again!
Plans for the 2021 conference schedule include
- Launching Your Freelance Business/Getting Started, Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, long-time freelancer and owner of Communication Central/Be a Better Freelancer®
- Generating a Generous Income, Laura Pennington Briggs, Six-figure Freelance Income
- Getting Self-Publishing Authors to a Finished Book, Laying Out a Book in InDesign, Dick Margulis, typography and book production guru
- The Visual Edge — Using Video and Podcasting to Enhance the Visibility of Your Business, Bradley Rayford, Jr., videographer and documentarian
- Making the Most of Your Website through Better Functionality, Kathie York, website usability expert
- Getting the Rates You Want and Deserve, Jake “Dr. Freelance” Poinier
- Star Power — Why and How to Create Your Own TV Show, Patricia Nogar, host of “Living Well with Pat Nogar” and “Saturday Morning with Pat” TV programs
- Looking to the Future: Financial and Retirement Planning, Bennie M. Currie, financial planning professional
Attending the Be a Better Freelance Conference provided me with the ideal opportunity to meet industry leaders and hear them speak on relevant topics. The size of the conference is perfect for making solid connections and talking to experts you would normally not get to interact with much at a larger conference. It was a valuable and enlightening experience I wouldn’t trade for anything.
This is one of the only conferences specifically for freelancers in the editorial world—writers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, desktop publishers, graphic artists, photographers, website creators, etc.
Friday, October 8
9–11 am Eastern
Launching Your Freelance Business/Getting Started, Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, long-time freelancer and owner/founder of Communication Central/Be a Better Freelancer®
No matter what kind of freelance, consulting, entrepreneurial or other business you’d like to have (or enhance), achieving success will involve many of the same techniques and processes. Find out what you need to know and do to get your business off to a strong start, and keep it rolling.
Getting Self-Publishing Authors to a Finished Book, Dick Margulis, typography and book production guru
Self-publishing or independent authors have become one of the biggest, and often best, potential clients for freelancers, especially editors, proofreaders, indexers, illustrators, photographers, and book designers. Working with these clients often means shepherding them through the publishing process. Here’s how to manage this potentially profitable side of freelancing.
12:30 – 2:30 pm Eastern
Generating a Generous Income, Laura Briggs, Six-figure Freelance Income author
Making a good living as a freelancer is a challenge, especially nowadays. Discover what today’s six-figure freelancers have in common and earn how to search, negotiate and maximize your revenue and profits as you build a successful business as a freelancer.
Looking to the Future: Financial and Retirement Planning, Bennie M. Currie, financial planning professional
For colleagues already established or approaching retirement age, it’s vital to have a strong financial plan and retirement options in mind before we need them. Find out how to build a more-secure future for yourself and your freelance business in this practical session.
3 – 5 pm Eastern
Building Diversity and Sensitivity into Your Business and Your Clients’ Projects, Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, long-time freelancer and owner/founder of Communication Central/Be a Better Freelancer®
As publishing and the reading public become more aware of the value of including diverse voices or characters in all types of editorial work, freelancers must respond by becoming inclusive in their own work and helping their clients ensure that projects are both inclusive and sensitive. These tips will strengthen any freelancer’s business by providing ways to make their and their clients’ work diverse, inclusive, equitable and sensitive.
The Visual Edge — Using Video and Podcasting to Enhance the Visibility of Your Business, Bradley Rayford, Jr., videographer and documentarian
Using visual tools to present, promote and enhance a freelance business is becoming more and more important. Learn how to create videos and podcasts that will go beyond the traditional ways to promote your freelance business — and can increase your profits by adding to the services you provide to clients as well.
Saturday, October 9
9 – 11 am Eastern
Getting the Rates You Want and Deserve, Jake “Dr. Freelance” Poinier
No matter how little or how long a freelancer has been in business, setting or negotiating rates is a constant challenge. Get the lowdown on this elemental aspect of freelancing to keep from undervaluing your business, skills and experience!
Everyone Has a Book in Them: How to Know if Your Book Idea Will Sell in Today’s Marketplace, Nicole Evelina
Learn how to know if your book idea is likely to appeal to traditional publishers and whether your self-published book is likely to reach readers from an author who has published in both ways. Topics will include gatekeepers in traditional publishing, genre trends, perennial bestselling topics, the importance of platform and how to find an idea that not only appeals to you but fills a gap in the marketplace. For those who write, this session will provide insights into getting published, whether traditionally or independently. For those who work with independent authors as coaches, editors, proofreaders, etc., the session will help you guide your clients in their publishing decisions.
12:30 – 2:30 pm Eastern
Making the Most of Your Website through Better Usability, Kathie York, website usability expert, and Ruth E. Thaler-Carter, Communication Central/Be a Better Freelancer® owner
It’s become common wisdom that every freelancer or business owner needs a website to be found, vetted and hired, but there’s more to it than throwing a site together and hoping for the best — you need a site that’s easy to use and makes the most of your skills and experience. Get the basics of why and how to create (or improve) a site, content and design essentials, and do/don’t-do examples, and then find out why websites aren’t just about bots and search engines.
A freelancer’s website should be a user-friendly space for human visitors to explore. Website guests are busy people, so freelancers have to grab their attention before they click away, and your website only works for you if it works. Learn how to make your website functional and usable. If your website is easy for prospective clients to use, it will do your freelance business proud. No more confusing navigation or vital-but-hidden information!
Star Power — Why and How to Create Your Own TV Show, Pat Nogar, host of “Living Well with Pat Nogar” and “Saturday Morning with Pat” TV programs
We all want to be stars of our own lives and businesses — and it can be done. Find out how to craft a broadcast version of your freelance business that engages potential clients and expands the visibility of your skills and services.
3 – 5 pm Eastern
Getting the Hang of Laying Out a Book in InDesign, Dick Margulis, typography and book production guru
Independent authors often expect freelance communications professionals to design and lay out their books. Get the basics of using InDesign to provide effective, attractive, readable typography and layout. If time allows, learn how to respond as more and more clients expect editors or proofreaders to work on projects created in InDesign.
Marketing Magic — Positioning Your Business for Visibility and Success, Laura Briggs
It isn’t enough to launch your freelance business and do good work; you also have to let the world know that you exist, what you offer and how to find you — and keep those messages going. Nowadays, that often means having a strong presence on LinkedIn, which is retaining its position as the lead platform for business networking, visibility and connections. Figure out how to create an effective profile and claim your status as a thought leader in your profession or industry.
Sunday, October 10
9 am – 12 pm Eastern
Business Planning Basics, April Michelle Davis, executive director, NAIWE; co-host, Be a Better Freelancer®
Go beyond “Freelancing 101” start-up essentials to learn about ways to structure a freelance business, track income and project status, organize files and versions of projects, and more.
I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to meet the speakers in person (I’ve long followed many of them online from my little hut in California) and to become acquainted with other attendees. The smallish scale of the conference was conducive to forming new bonds, and, in all honesty, I was relieved not to have had to deploy my “elevator speech.”
Interested in showcasing your product or service? Conference sponsorships are available now!
To help us celebrate the 2019 conference, we have created a video for your viewing pleasure.