It’s funny how things work out. Sometimes a decision that seems small ends up being huge.
And then, there are those times when something that seems completely unrelated to anything is the spark that puts you on a smoother road to success.
I’m a living, breathing example of this.
Once upon a time, a Wimbledon match changed my writing career forever. It was in 2010, and Rafael Nadal and Tomas Berdych were playing in the men’s final match… which, believe it or not, went on for two days! They had to stop short the first day, because it got too dark to play. They came back the next day to finish.
Now, I don’t follow tennis. But, I had stumbled on a blog covering the match. And, it was a live blog with time-stamped updates of what was happening some 4,200 miles away in the UK.
I loved it. It was entertaining and different. It made me feel a little like I were there watching these two men give everything they had to win the match.
It was days later when the thought struck me: What if the Web Copywriting Intensive had a live blog? With time-stamped updates on what the experts were saying. I could see something like this delivering so much value to members. So, I ran the idea by Rebecca and earned a seat at the next Web Copywriting Intensive. It was my first live event. That, in itself, was exciting.
But, it led to so much more and changed the landscape of my career… very much for the better.
Live Events Lead to Amazing Connections
A live event puts you in the same room with like-minded people.
When you attend a live event like AWAI’s Bootcamp or the Web Copywriting Intensive, you meet writers who are just like you. It’s wonderful to connect with people who understand the unique challenges and joys of the career you’ve chosen to pursue. You might even find the perfect match for your accountability partner or a group of writers you can meet with regularly for support. This can be a very positive step toward your success.
You also meet experts in the industry. You have the opportunity to ask them questions and to seek their advice. This can be pretty amazing.
At every live event I’ve attended, I’ve had at least one “aha” moment while listening to the speakers. A gem of an idea that I walked away with, excited to carry into my own business. Something that propels me forward with less stress and better results.
(At the most recent Bootcamp, my “aha” moment came while listening to Mike Palmer talk about the normalness of having ups and downs during a project, even during a typical day. Not just normalness, but predictableness, too. It makes it so much easier to get over a hump when you know it’s coming and it’s supposed to be there!)
At many live events, you also have the opportunity to meet potential clients or potential partners… or both. This happened at my first Web Intensive. I met Mark Everett Johnson, a well-known copywriter. We hit it off, and he brought me in to work with him for one of his major clients. I’m still working with that client to this day. And, working directly with Mark pushed me to be a much better writer.
All these face-to-face connections you make at a live event… create opportunities you just don’t have when you stay at home. The Internet is amazing, but it doesn’t replace this kind of personal interaction.
Live Events Stoke the Fires of Motivation and Momentum
Motivation is the wonderful feeling you have when you can’t wait to sit down at your desk and dig into the projects waiting for you. It doesn’t matter if you’re working on a client’s projects or working on your own materials. You’re excited. You’re jazzed. You can’t get to work fast enough.
Momentum is this fantastic phenomenon where you accomplish one task, and then the next is easier, and the next is easier after that. Soon your ideas are coming fast, your words are coming faster, and you’re knocking out some really good stuff.
Motivation and momentum feed each other. But both are also like the tides. They ebb and flow.
Fortunately, there are ways you can trigger the flow of both. Attending live events is one of the most powerful ways to do it, because they’re all about ideas… and moving forward… and building great things. It’s easy to come out of a live event feeling overwhelmed, but it’s almost impossible to come out of one not feeling motivated.
Attending two or three live events a year can keep your motivation fresh and can keep momentum on your side. It’s a great, positive way to keep you moving forward toward whatever you want to achieve… provided the event you’re attending is related to your goals.
Live Events Give You a Growing Knowledge Base
You are a web writer. It’s an exciting thing to be, because things are always changing. There’s always something new to learn. Something interesting to keep you engaged.
But, that can be scary, too. When you get busy with projects and all the general life stuff that demands attention, you might find there’s not a lot of room in your schedule to keep your knowledge fresh and up-to-date.
Live events can be the perfect antidote. If you fall behind on the regular upkeep of your web-writing education, a live event can fit months of learning into a single week… or even a weekend.
Plus, at live events, you’ll often get more in-depth or cutting-edge knowledge than you might find available in blogs or news feeds. The information you learn at a single live event can help keep your project calendar booked for months… just by giving you new and innovative ideas to suggest to your existing client base.
It’s obvious by now I’m a big fan of attending live events. That’s quite a switch from what I believed six years ago. Back then, I thought they were expensive and that I wouldn’t learn anything new. It took attending a single live event to change my attitude. In fact, it would have been much more expensive for me had I not attended… given how much my earnings increased from the connections I made, the momentum I gained, and the knowledge I acquired.
If you haven’t made live events part of your yearly web-writing career plan, I hope you’ll make the switch. The experience can be positively transformational.