Many people dream of being their own boss. The mental image of a laptop, a beach, and a cold drink dances through most people’s head as they do their 9 to 5 in a cubicle. So you pack up your computer, give your two weeks, and go out into the world ready to make it work. Weeks go by and somehow this isn’t as easy as you pictured. Where’s your beach? Where is your drink? You do have the laptop though. Maybe it’s time to bring in a professional.
In no particular order, here are 5 conferences (and a few bonuses) for freelancers, solopreneurs, and digital nomads to learn from the best.
5) World Domination Summit (June 26, 2018):
Isn’t this what everyone wants? To rule the world? Calling themselves an unconventional weekend for unconventional thinkers, the World Domination Summit (WDS) gives work-from-anywhere types the chance to learn from unconventional thinkers and walk away with a community of new friends and supporters. WDS attracts more than 10,000 adventurers from all over the globe. Their goal? To foster an incredible community that helps each person pursue their big dream.
It isn’t just about their powerful keynote speakers. There are opportunities all over the city to expand your horizons with activities like Bollywood dancing, Academies, Guinness World Records, or you can use the app to RSVP and create your own. There also is a foundation that offers grants to individuals who wish to positively impact their community. They’re called “Scholarships for Real Life”.
If there isn’t enough for you to do, the city of Portland is one of the most electric and beautiful cities in the US. Known for being bold and creative with their food, drink, art,and the outdoors, Portland is the perfect gathering spot for remarkable adventurers.
For more information, to buy your tickets, or just see what they have to offer check out https://worlddominationsummit.com/.
4) MozCon (July 9, 2018):
The key to any successful business venture is making sure your prospective clients know who you are. MozCon in Seattle, WA is a three-day conference focused solely on SEO, growth marketing, mobile applications, content marketing, and more.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become the gold standard in online marketing. Having a strong online presence is nothing if your clients can’t find you. MozCon takes you from Google newbie to search engine genius.
Moz started out at SEOmoz: the leaders in SEO and wrote the beginner’s guide on search engine optimization. In 2013 they shifted from SEOmoz to just Moz. Moz released a suite of tools called Moz Analytics including features that drive content on social media and brand management.
They offer several speakers to listen to and learn from like Jono Alderson who is speaking about what happens before SEO can ever begin. Oli Gardner will be speaking about content marketing and market organization maps.
If you’re looking to up your marketing game and put your brand out in the public eye MozCon can help you get there.
For more information, to buy your tickets, or just see what they have to offer check out https://moz.com/mozcon
3) Freelancer’s Union (First Wednesday of Every Month):
Freelancing is very different than working for someone else. Wouldn’t it be awesome if there was a group of people you could go to to ask about contracts, time management, marketing, and more? Spark from the Freelancer’s Union is just that.
Unlike the other conferences on this list, Spark is a monthly local get together to help new freelancers get started and keep moving forward. On the first Wednesday of every month there is an opportunity to network, attend workshops, ask questions, and just build your brand within your own local freelancing community. Currently there are meetings in Atlanta, Chicago, Kingston, Orlando, Seattle, Tucson, and so many more.
Membership to the Freelancer’s Union is free and is the largest and fastest-growing organization representing independent workers. Currently they are 57 million members strong and aren’t slowing down.
Besides the Spark meetup they offer advice and connections to things like insurance as well as advice on everything from billing to working with a non-paying client.
To find the meeting near you, sign up, or just peruse their resources you can check out https://www.freelancersunion.org/spark/.
2) 99u Conference (May 9, 2018):
Adobe’s 99u conference is different than the other conferences on this list. Located in NYC, this is billed as a “one-of-a-kind live experience” that inspires creative thought and problem solving. For 3 days speakers, workshops, and networking will endeavor to change the way you approach your business. You have the chance to learn creative leadership from Todd Yellin of Netflix, Jamie Myrold of Adobe, and more.
In addition to their main-stage speakers there are plenty of smaller breakout sessions that cover everything from Innovative thinking, to Facebook presence, the art of risk taking, and even giving and receiving effective feedback.
99u also gives you the opportunity to learn new skills hands on. If you’re interested in doing your own marketing visuals, prototyping, social media presence, and more there is a hands-on session waiting just for you.
99u isn’t all speakers and note taking. There are endless opportunities to network with fellow attendees at lunches, parties, outings, and informal gatherings. From the time you check in and pick up your badge to the last night there are parties, hands-on demos, and get togethers to make lasting connections. 99u prides itself on not being just another conference.
If you can’t make it to NYC, or maybe they just sold out, there is a live-stream option.
For tickets and more information go to https://conference.99u.com/.
1) GrowCo (May 30, 2018):
Sponsored by Inc., Grow Your Company Conference (GrowCo) is a 3 day event just for entrepreneurs looking to grow their business. This event arms you with proven strategies and necessary connections to grow your business. There are motivating mainstage speakers as well as educational (and fun) breakout sessions that strive to not just instruct but inspire you with shortcuts and insights you can’t get anywhere else.
This year’s keynote speakers aren’t your usual CEOs. They are seasoned entrepreneurs and industry disruptors bringing you their keys to success. You will leave with a renewed sense of purpose and energy, ready to run your company better. Learn from Daymond John of Shark Tank and Ben Chestnut (co-founder and CEO of MailChimp) how to innovate and “listen hard, change fast.”
The breakout sessions fit into four themes – kick-start growth, keep growing, grow smarter, and grow profits – you’ll gain not just knowledge, but the how to to achieve your very own business growth and profitability.
GrowCo is the perfect networking backdrop. Enjoy daily coffee hours, happy hours, down time, even the GrowCo party, where you will connect and mingle with hundreds of people just like you. Business leaders looking to take their brand to the next level.
Located in New Orleans, GrowCo takes advantage of the beautiful backdrop to encourage new opportunities. Take in eccentric shops, live jazz, ride a street car, and enjoy some of the most incredible food the Crescent City has to offer all while building connections to last the rest of your career.
For more information and tickets visit https://growco.inc.com/
For those so busy rocking and hustling that you can’t take the time to attend a three day conference in Dallas or NYC or New Orleans maybe an online summit is right up your alley.
People at Work Summit (July 12-14):
The People at Work Summit is the only 100% virtual coworking conference. The goal is to help work-from-anywhere types learn to have better collaborations.
Being a summit means there are no high-profile keynote speakers. It’s just attendees talking to attendees about what works for them. You’ll meet coworking space members like freelancers, entrepreneurs, remote workers, and digital nomads. You’ll get to talk with coworking newbies as well as support staff and founders of the coworking movement. You can learn about people who work out of their home, essentials for planning a successful event, and even anxiety and working as a digital project manager.
They pride themselves on being a “buzzword-free” look at what being a independent worker really is and what it takes to collaborate. What skills do we still need to learn? What does the research tell us is coming next? What can you do to get immediate results?
Tickets start at just $99 and since it’s 100% virtual you can always catch the sessions you really want later. They say all you need is “a ticket, an internet connection, and a friendly disposition.”
For more information or tickets go to https://www.peopleatworksummit.com/
7in7 Nomad Conference
Being a digital nomad means your office is wherever you want it to be. 7in7 Digital Nomad conference takes place in Medellin, Colombia and is nothing like anything you’ve seen before.
Hundreds of experienced nomads get together to share their experiences, giving you the chance to learn what really works, 75% of their attendees are women and they pride themselves on their women-led team. They are also LGBTQA+ friendly.
This conference is exclusively for experienced nomads. They curate their content for people who have been location independent for 1, 3, 7, or ever 15+ years.
There is a whole week of content and none of it is sitting quietly in a theater with hundreds of other attendees. There are small meetups, workshops, challenging breakout sessions and so much more.
This is less of a conference and more of a retreat aimed at not just educating but giving back. Attendees are encouraged to volunteer to give back to their host city.
For more information, ticket sales, or just some beautiful photos go to https://7in7.co/
Being your boss is a lot of hard work. It takes dedication, determination, and out-of-the-box thinking. Having the opportunity to come together, ask questions of the experts, and just network is invaluable. Conferences aren’t just for the 9 -5 crowd anymore.