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I recently got back from my fourth FinCon, the annual conference where money and media meet. Founded by Philip Taylor of PT Money, its mission is to help financial influencers and brands create better content, reach their audience, and make more money. If you’re an aspiring entrepreneur, small business owner, freelancer, blogger, or podcaster who wants to make a bigger impact in the world (while making money and achieving financial independence at the same time), then this is one must-attend conference that you need to put on your calendar. FinCon is the one conference that all small business owners can benefit from attending year after year.
FinCon centers around three important concepts that every small business owner needs to get right:
You can only survive and thrive with your small business if you learn how to create quality content, effectively promote to reach your ideal audience, and make a profit to continue doing what you love.
The One Business Conference You Must Attend
It will come as no surprise the one small business conference that I recommend every entrepreneur and small business owner to attend is FinCon.
Take a look at the numbers and see how it’s exploded in growth:
- My first small business conference was FinCon15 in Charlotte, with 1,000+ attendees.
- FinCon16 in San Diego had 1,250+ attendees
- FinCon17 in Dallas had 1,850+ attendees
- FinCon18 in Orlando had a record high of 2,000+ attendees.
Why Should You Go to This Conference (FinCon)?
The biggest challenge that I see many small business owners face is the struggle to make enough money to stay in business. Entrepreneurship can be isolating at times, and many owners often feel like they are going through their own, unique set of challenges and setbacks. Going to this small business conference will allow you to meet and learn from those who are just a few steps ahead of you, as well as those influencers who are leaps and bounds beyond where you’re at, and get their best advice on how to solve the questions keeping you up at night and motivate you to keep moving forward.
On the flip side, I also see business owners limit the size of the businesses, because they’re scared that they can’t afford to hire someone. Or they don’t have the tools and process in place to scale their businesses, and flounder when they expand too quickly and can’t handle the increased demands. FinCon is a place where successful business owners and bloggers who have scaled their businesses will hold workshops and speak on panels to share the keys to their success.
Who Should Attend FinCon:
It doesn’t matter if you’re new, haven’t started your blog or business, or only doing it on the side while working a regular 9-5 job. I’ve seen and met many who have gained value from FinCon including:
- Bloggers (topics ranging from personal finance, travel, minimalist lifestyle, photography, etc.)
- Financial coaches
- Financial advisors
- Business coaches
- Podcast hosts
- Website developers (with an interest or appreciation in money)
- Copywriters (who can help write compelling content and better sales copy)
- Marketing experts (who can share the latest tips on reaching your audience with the ever-changing social media algorithms)
- …basically any entrepreneur who supports business owners or individuals in making (and keeping) their money.
Who Shouldn’t Attend FinCon:
- If talking about money gives you the hives and makes your blood pressure instantly rise, then this is NOT the conference for you.
- If you see everyone as your competition and people’s success comes at your expense.
- If you just want to push your products and services on everyone that you meet.
Top 21 Reasons to Go to FinCon and Add as Must-Attend Conference of the Year
- Talking about money is not taboo.
- Everyone is about self-improvement and learning to become more successful, both personally and professionally.
- Reading and being a “nerd” is cool.
- Working on your blog on a Friday night instead of getting drunk is fun.
- There are millionaires, business owners with 6-figure and 7-figure businesses, and early retirees walking around, yet they are approachable and willing to talk to newbies.
- Erin Chase – known as the $5 Dinner Mom, runs a very successful meal planning service business, sharing weekly menu plans (with each meal costing less than $5) at a monthly subscription of $5.
- J.D. Roth – early retiree and original owner and current owner of Get Rich Slowly is one of the early successful financial bloggers, willing to share a beer and chat with anyone. In fact, he was visiting Raleigh earlier this year and realized that I lived here. He sent me a message on Facebook, and an hour later, I joined him for drinks in downtown before his dinner meeting.
- If you want to write and publish your first book, you’re in good company.
- It was always a pipedream of mine to write a book, but I didn’t know how. Listening to a panel of self-published and traditional published authors helped me realize that it was a realistic dream.
- Wes Moss – financial advisor and author of You Can Retire Sooner Than You Think, shared in his FinCon15 session that there are two approaches to publishing a book and growing your business.
- Amanda Abella – business coach and author of Make Money Your Honey, shared in a FinCon16 panel that it’s important to share the journey of writing a book with your readers, allowing them to ride the emotionally rollercoaster in excitement (and disappointment) when your first book proof has arrived, but the cover design is shifted and has to get fixed.
- Emily Guy Birken – author of Making Social Security Work for You, shared in a FinCon16 panel that when you go with a publishing house versus self-publishing, you don’t always get a say on the book cover design.
- Nick Loper – podcast host and author of Buy Buttons: The Fast-Track Strategy to Make Extra Money and Start a Business in Your Spare Time, handed out a bookmark with a $1 bill attached to promote the launch of his book during FinCon15. It was unique and memorable…and of course I purchased a copy!
- Meet influencers and bestselling authors.
- The keynote speakers have ranged from bestselling authors, tv personalities, and influencers including:
- David Bach, author of The Automatic Millionaire
- Rachel Cruze, author of Love Your Life Not Theirs: 7 Money Habits for Living the Life You Want, who shared how she was mortified at spending $12 for guacamole on her honeymoon
- Chris Hogan, author of Retire Inspired: It’s Not an Age, It’s a Financial Number, mesmerized the crowd with his deep voice and inspirational closing keynote.
- The keynote speakers have ranged from bestselling authors, tv personalities, and influencers including:
- Darren Rowse, founder of ProBlogger and author of ProBlogger: Secrets for Blogging Your Way to a Six-Figure Income, making a living from bloggings sine 2004/5.
- Jean Chatsky, financial editor of NBC’s TODAY show, who interviewed Sarah Li Cain from Beyond the Dollar podcast, sharing how she once had to stash $20,000 in suitcases to cross international borders.
6. Get advice from those who are juggling the same challenges of work and family.
- Rosemarie Groner – founder of The Busy Budgeter, is a mom who scaled her business to $100,000 a month, while working less than 20 hours a week. (*Gain Instant Access: If you working too many late nights on your business, purchase the FinCon18 Virtual Pass to watch a recording of her session “Streamlined Results: How to Skyrocket Your Income While Working Less Than 20 Hours a Week.”)
- Belinda Rosenblum, the founder of Own Your Money, has two toddlers and a college bound step-daughter, and brings in $15,000 per month with her subscription/membership program and has successfully launched six online courses generating over $700,000. (*Gain Instant Access: If you want to find out what worked – and what really didn’t work – to fast-track your success, purchase the FinCon18 Virtual Pass to watch a recording of her session “$0 to $15,000 per month With Online Course.”)
7. Learn what blogs to read and podcasts to listen to.
- Plutus Awards – The Plutus Awards was established by Harlan Luke Landes, celebrating companies in the financial industry that develop the best products and services. It awards the work by financial publishers, authors, and podcasters, as well as the broader financial media in categories. Some of my personal favorites from the 9th Annual Plutus Winners include:
- Best Family Finance Blog: Chief Mom Officer
- Best Multi-Author Blog or Co-Hosted Podcast: The Stacking Benjamins Show
- Best Debt Freedom Blog: Debt Free Guys
- Best Financial Independence/Retire Early Blog or Podcast: Choose FI
- Best Entrepreneurship / Side Hustle Blog or Podcast: Side Hustle Nation
- Best New Personal Finance Podcast: Popcorn Finance
- Jeff Rose, founder of GoodFinancialCents and previous speaker at FinCon, wrote a great article on Forbes for “20 FinCon Influencers To Watch Out for In 2018.”
8. Get just-in-time advice through the Facebook group.
- Steve Stewart, a veteran podcast producer, happened to share in the group his thoughts on the best affordable microphone for podcast interviews, the same week that I was going to be interviewed as a guest on a major podcast.
- Brandon Renfro (a finance professor) and other FinCon colleagues shared how to respond when I posted that a professor asked me for a desk copy of my Small Business Finance for the Busy Entrepreneur book to use as a textbook for his Small Business Finance class.
9. Everyone has an abundance mindset.
- Everyone wants to help each other succeed, and doesn’t view each other as competition.
10. Money nerds know how to have fun.
- I didn’t know how many of these financial bloggers were such ham with the karaoke mic!
11. Be around generous people making a big impact on the world.
- Guy on Fire – used his website to challenged the personal finance community to donate to the hurricane relief efforts in 2017. I found out about his site, donated, and sent him my receipt. He offered to match up to $1,000 in donations that day. He agreed to extend that offer every day for up to 5 days if we met or exceeded $1,000. In short, he received a bit over $5,000 in donations over a 5 day period. Some of those donations were matched by the donors’ employers as well. He also matched the donors’ $5,000 and his employer matched his donation of $5,000. So – the end result was over $15,000!
- J. Money with Rockstar Finance – Through this community over the the course of a year, they pooled together funds and anyone who applied could receive it to jumpstart a philanthropic idea or giving project close to their hearts. They gave away $20,778 in 2017, spreading GOOD in over 40 states and across the globe.
12. Learn about new products and services, and share your brand.
- Meet and connect with 100 exhibitors in the vendor expo hall.
- Simple Money Magazine – This is a unique money magazine in that it is ad-free and offers a lifetime subscription for only $20. (*Note: Current promotion through October 31st, BOGO – buy one lifetime subscription, gift one. Check out the first issue for free.)
- Stockpile – I found out about this company at FinCon17 and really love their concept. They allow people to buy fractional shares. This means kids and teens can get excited that they “own a piece of a company,” watch their stocks, and learn the power of investing, even as low as $1. (*Claim free $5 bonus for signing up.)
- Invest in a vendor booth to connect with 2,000+ attendees about your brand, products & services.
13. Find a mentor.
- There is a free mentor/mentee program offered to anyone who signs up. Mentees will be paired with a speaker/expert and get one-on-one advice on their topic of choice including SEO, email marketing, blogging, etc.
- I’ve earned a positive ROI on my investment to attend FinCon just from having a business mentor in FinCon17 and FinCon18. (*Read #4 in 7 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Should Attend Small Business Conferences)
14. Speed Network
- This is similar to speed dating where you get 15 minutes with brands and media that can help you grow your business. Sure you can meet these brands at the vendor booths, but this is one-on-one attention.
15. Learn about affiliate marketing.
- Affiliate marketing is a great source of passive income. (*If you don’t know how to get started, Pat Flynn, previous FinCon speaker, has an amazing course called 1*2*3 Affiliate Marketing that walks you through the entire process.)
- Find affiliate marketing platforms that will allow you to earn income from promoting or reviewing their products and services.
16. Get excited when you see your new friends and colleagues on television.
- David Rae, certified financial planner and founder of FinancialPlannerLA.com, has been interviewed and seen on the Today Show, NBC Nightly News, ABC, CBS News, etc.
17. Get noticed by influencers.
- Purchase a Pro Pass to meet influencers and brands during FinCon
- Get invited to exclusive VIP events to have more in-depth conversations.
18. Find a freelancer or get hired as one through the FinCon Freelancer Marketplace.
19. Become a speaker.
- There are upwards of 200 speaker spots. Apply to be a speaker, share your knowledge, and gain recognition!
- Speakers may get their entire conference fee comped.
20. Be part of a powerful movement.
- Everyone has a goal of helping others crush debt, make more money, and do what matters in their life.
- There is a FIRE movement documentary coming out in 2019, aimed to help people understand how others have retired early, gained financial independence, and can focus on doing what is most important to them and their families.
21. Build lifelong friendships.
- Chad Carson – my first friend at FinCon15, which happened to be both of our first FinCon. Becoming friends first, allowed us to help each other with business needs and questions, including him reading an early copy of my book to make it a bestseller success and us brainstorming ideas for his first book Retire Early with Real Estate. He’s also been there for me to share tips, checklists, podcast pitches, etc. that have been helpful in growing his CoachCarson.com business.
- Lena Gott – founder of What Mommy Does, is an expert in Pinterest. Having just started with her Adventures of SEO course, she walked me through her thought process in choosing images, font, and text, and helped create an amazing Pinterest image to show a real-life example for an existing blog post at 1am before FinCon started.
- Liz Stapleton – When I realized that my website developer was on vacation and wouldn’t be able to add my new email marketing tool to my website in time for a launch, I panicked. I reached out to Liz (who I knew used ConvertKit) via Facebook message at 10pm on a Friday night. Luckily, she told me to come over the following morning and she could show me how to fix my website. While she normally charges clients for the technical work she showed me in-person, she didn’t charge me…and I gladly gifted her a bottle of wine the next time I saw her.
Why Do People Attend FinCon?
Hopefully these top 21 reasons gave you a greater understanding and appreciation for why FinCon has to be on your calendar as a must-attend conference to help grow your business, blog, or podcast. If you still need more convincing or not sure if you’re established enough to attend a small business conference, here are great re-caps from other FinCon colleagues:
- Go to FinCon Before You’ve Earned It – Money Montana Adventures addresses why you should attend FinCon even before you think you’re ready.
- Chief Mom Officer Goes to FinCon 2018, Wins An Award, And Rounds Up 50+ Recaps
- I Finally Went to FinCon – Here’s What I Learned – by My Money Wizard
When is the Next FinCon?
FinCon19 will be held in Washington D.C. from September 4 – 7, 2019. Tickets will go on sale to the general public in January 2019. Early bird pricing for the upcoming FinCon is awarded to those who attended the current year’s FinCon.
For those of you who missed FinCon18 in Orlando and are having major regrets that you didn’t attend or wish you learned about FinCon earlier, you can still benefit from the 65+ hours of content!
Purchase a FinCon18 virtual pass and get:
- 1-month access to Chris Hogan and Rachel Cruze’s keynotes (*They are both compelling storytellers and had powerful messages to share.)
- Lifetime access to the Big Idea Talks from:
- Tai & Talatt McNeely, America’s #1 Money Couple, on a mission to get individuals and couples on the same page financially and to experience the joy of financial freedom. Their keynote gave me goosebumps. Find out why in 7 Reasons Why Entrepreneurs Should Attend Small Business Conferences (*Note – I had the honor of being on their top rated podcast, The His and Her Money Show. Listen to the episode.)
- Money Mustache, who retired from tech work at the age of 30 in order to raise a family, and has created a cult of loyal readers.
- Emma Johnson, long-time award winning business journalist and founder of Wealthysinglemommy.com.
- FinCon Central Talks on the three main themes of FinCon:
- Lifetime access to all the video recordings of 100+ sessions and panels
Get instant access and purchase a $199 FinCon18 virtual pass.
Hope to see you at the next FinCon!
I’d love to hear from you! Are you planning to attend FinCon next year? If you feedback on your experience or still have questions, post them in the comments!
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