I learned so much at the VenturePOP conference it was ridiculous. I am working on a review but I wanted to quickly share 10 takeaways I have from the conference.

#1 – If you want to get results on Instagram, you have to commit and engage with the community for at least 6 months.

All of the speakers at VenturePOP built up an online following. Their following did not happen by chance but in some cases was a part of their growth strategy. This became the most evident when I heard Jennifer Puno talk about how she committed to engaging with others on Instagram for 6 months.

She posted new imagery and engaged in conversations on other Instagram for 1 hour each day during the span of 6 months. That’s at least 180 – 200 hours spent talking to people with no expectation of a reward on Instagram. Her presentation was a reminder to engage more on social platforms if you want to build up a following.

#2 – Good storytelling is Good marketing.

There were quite a few speakers at the conference who work with video. When I say video I mean those who are willing to capture an audience visually and emotionally with engaging content. I would look closely called them cinematographers. Other ones that I saw there David and Jesse from Pioneer Collective discussed how if you create a compelling story then marketing is easy. They have not once use any paid advertisement on Facebook with the content they have generated is shared.

For me again this was a reminder that you can’t push marketing on someone. You have to invest the time to create quality and once you do because it’s high-quality people will share it naturally and organically.

#3 – If you are building a product get it out the door. Iterating is a part of the process.

Most of us have heard of a beta project or a rough draft. However, when I heard Tara Gentile talk about this it just was a reminder of something I needed to do.

I have a perfectionist attitude when it comes to creating something that’s going to be public-facing. I’ve been working on freelance jumpstart, a resource for Creative entrepreneurs for almost two years because I’m tweaking things and making sure they are perfect. The drawback of my quest for perfection is that I’ve seen many people including Tara release products and courses while I’m still developing mind.

It is a better thing to get something out the door then to have something perfect two years later. There’s so much I will learn about the process and so many things that I can change about the product when I get feedback from real people vs what I think people may say. For me this is an encouragement that the sooner I get my product out the better because I can start in a rating on it and making it better once it’s out the door.

#4 – Your goals are not big enough, you need to 10X them.

Ironically I heard the principal of 10x in your goals while listening to the seanwes podcast. Sean was highlighting a book that he read by Grant Cardone called The 10X Rule. The whole purpose is whatever plans or goals or dreams you have you’re limited to the imagination of your capabilities. What would your gold look like if it was 10 times larger.

Chances are if your goal is 10 times larger and still be such a huge thing to accomplish he would encourage you to hustle everyday because there’s work to be done to reach that goal. I have a go and I have a dream but if I would have text that go then it was a wake-up call that even though I’m doing a lot of work at the moment there’s more that needs to be done if I’m truly going to accomplish the 10x goal.

#5 – Look for strategic partners when creating a project, they may sponsor you.

We all have ideas. But it’s not about good ideas it’s about making ideas happen. There are tons of projects and other things that I want to work on but I don’t have the time or financial resources to pursue them.

Wesley chronicled how he went about finding sponsors for a photography project One of Many. The project ended up not only being free advertisement to the type of work that he does but he was also able to strategically select companies to sponsor and pay for the execution of his project.

In my business my main revenue stream is working with clients, but his talk reminded me that there are other ways to generate income and still do good work even if it’s a fun project.

#6 You must be able to communicate how you help people.

This principle was a reminder to something I believe. There is a difference between what people perceive you to do and communicating the value of what you do. Shenee Howard’s was about branding and how to communicate to others how you can help them in business.

People don’t care as much about you specifically but they do care about how you as a business can help them become a better version of themselves or help them accomplish their goals.

#7 – Write out your goals in a place that his highly visible you can see.

This point mainly came from keynote speakers Kathleen Shannon and Emily Thompson from the Being Boss Podcast. They highlighted what they called the chalkboard method, which is a way to plan out your goals and remind yourself of them daily. This helps to track your progress on whether or not you have accomplished your goals.

Many of my goals are either in my head in a software like Asana or sitting somewhere in a Google doc. I plan to write out what my goals are print them out and put them on my wall as a reminder of what I need to work towards.

#8 – If you cannot afford a base rate than it is an automatic NO

This is another point I heard from Kathleen Shannon. She highlighted how certain projects might be a distraction if they prevent her from reaching certain goals period as a freelancer.

I have been somewhat flexible as it pertains to price. Sometimes I do work with people who can not afford me because of our friendship, and I want to help empower them to reach their goal. In the back of my mind, I think “maybe if they get more of a following they’ll remember me.”

However what Kathleen is saying is true, the more I say yes to these types of projects the less I have time for work that is actually paid or side projects that bring me satisfaction. This was a reminder that I need to be more strict and put my foot down and say no if someone can not afford me.

#9 – When creating an online course considering using Facebook Groups or Slack

There was a portion of the conference that was highlighted by Sara Morgan of xosarah.com. Sarah spoke of building and online community that is free vs. a paid community inside of a course.

Since I’m working on a course of my own, she had my attention. One of the more important things she mentioned was using a Facebook group versus using Slack, and she discussed the pros/cons of both platforms.

Based on her presentation if the community is free a Facebook group is preferred, if paid then go with Slack.

#10 – I have the ability to create.

I was encouraged by the fact there were a lot of people who were doers. They were either making six figures, building products, accomplishing their dreams, running multiple businesses and empowering others.

These people were all around my age. In fact, one of the speakers, Tara Gentile, shared that 4 years ago she was working at a Borders bookstore only making a little over $20k.

This was a reminder that I need to think bigger, and it is possible to accomplish my goals. The speakers were not more capable than I was so for me the conference just served as inspiration for me to go after my business goals and step it up.

  • Great article, Nathan!
    Now I want to attend one of those conferences 🙂

    • Hey Santiago, I just visited your website. I definitely recommend attending creative conferences so you can connect with other creatives and grow your business. There are TONS of conferences so I know you’d benefit from it. Maybe there’s a wordcamp in your area.