While I’ve had this blog for over a decade, I started making personal finance content during the pandemic.
Then I slowed down and got stagnant.
I wasn’t sure if I was doing the right thing.
I felt what a lot of content creators called “shouting into the void” – posting and not getting much traction.
Do people care? Could I make a meaningful side income doing this?
I tell you all this because this is what inspired me to go to Fincon.
Fincon is an annual conference for content creators in finance.
In the span of 4 days, it’s really helped rekindle the fire to continue creating.
Before I get too far ahead, here’s a quick preview of this post (with jump links):
- Fincon is for tribe finding
- Why content creators should going to Fincon
- Personal lessons learned from Fincon to apply to my life
- Tips for anyone considering going to the next Fincon
- Closing thoughts
Fincon is for finding my tribe
“Hey you should get on TikTok and try some dancing videos.”
If you’re a content creator, you might have heard generic advice like this.
First, not a lot of people are content creators.
Second, even less people are focused on the finance niche.
But at Fincon I met people who found success just by focusing in one place.
Like the 6 figure business that doesn’t even have a website.
Or the couple that makes a handsome living mostly through brand deals.
And the coach that runs her practice mainly through DMs.
Just like any niche conference, I felt like I really found “my people” in terms of people hustling on the same thing.
As they say, Steel sharpens steel.
Reasons content creators should attend Fincon
I say “beginner content creator” because that’s where I sized myself in terms of all the raw talent I met at Fincon.
But it’s really helpful for all stages of the creation process.
If you’re just starting to make content, Fincon will give you ideas and clarify your direction.
If you having been getting traction, Fincon will help you keep going and face some truths (me).
If you’ve been making a living as a content creator, you’ll learn how to master other platforms and sills.
If you’ve mastered content creation, then you’ll find brand deals and collaboration.
There was no gatekeeping.
Creators were super open in talking about their numbers, what’s working for them or not.
Maybe it’s because content creators are already used to giving away free content in the stuff they make for their audiences every day.
I forgot who said this but this stuck with me: “there are so many financial scams and bad info out there that together, we can overwhelm the internet with good financial content“
It was so fun to meet the people behind the accounts that I’ve been following. Meeting content creators behind some viral videos, it was normalizing to see that they’re just normal people who worked really hard to build their platforms.
(A perfect application of comparing up for inspiration, and down for gratitude.)
Throughout the experience of connecting with others at Fincon, I realized that I was starving for connection in this space.
I walked away from Fincon more excited to make content again and felt more connected to the work, by connecting with others on the same path.
Personal lessons learned from Fincon
Fincon lesson #1: Refine my brand.
In a networking environment, attendees say over and over what they do. What brought you to Fincon? was just about the most commonly asked question.
This reminded me when I was rushing for a business fraternity and interview 60 people. That really sharpened my interview skills come graduation time.
At Fincon, I found that I stumbled through this a couple times. Do I mention my current employer, who’s in the finance space? Do I mention my personal blog, which still begs the question so what do you blog about?
By the end of the conference, I had a more refined statement on the impact I was looking to make.
I look forward to the next Fincon in making my brand and pitch much more specific.
Fincon lesson #2: Stop doing single session coaching
I learned this from talking to some successful money coaches – don’t focus on single coaching sessions and more on packages of at least 6-7 weeks.
This has been something I’ve been sitting on. Financial change is often identity and behavioral change, and that’s hard to pull off in a single session (though I’ve been able to generate topic-specific breakthroughs for my clients).
Look out for me changing up my money coaching page :)
Fincon #3: Find my balance between consistency + trying new things.
I’m now aiming to finish a digital course on investing and then commit to “experiments” that last anywhere from 30 90 days each.
30 days: Try Facebook ads, a new style of posting
Fincon Lesson #3: Follow the data / analytics.
Just about every successful creator, be they a Youtuber or Instagram influencer, said that they adjust their content based on studying their content’s analytics.
This is my weakness and something I don’t like to do. I value creative freedom, but to an unhealthy extent where I’ve been resistant to looking at data to inform the next type of content to post.
The only thing I pay attention to is likes on Instagram or email open rates, if at that.
I definitely need help in this area, which brings me to my next learning…
Fincon Lesson #4: Form accountability + masterminds.
Numerous successful creators mentioned getting into a mastermind with other creators. Many of them came out of Fincon.
My next thought is to create or join a creator’s accountability / mastermind so we can all uplevel together.
If this interests you, please reach out to me :)
Tips for your next Fincon
These are just notes to self for how well or not well I managed myself during Fincon. Some things I did right and not so well:
Fincon Tip #1: Account for rest
If you haven’t been to an actual networking-focused conference like me in years (thanks Covid!), then you WILL be overwhelmed by the amount of conversation and socializing.
Especially if you’re an introvert.
One of the best decisions I made during Fincon was to skip some afternoon sessions in order to take a nap.
Fincon Tip #2: Bookmark at most 1-2 sessions ahead of time
There are a lot of overlapping sessions at Fincon and you’ll want to go to all of them.
What I ended up doing was booking my top 2 sessions for each time slot. I’d go to my #1 pick, and if I didn’t find it relevant, I’d go to my #2 pick.
Pro tip: if you’re looking for something actionable, it will be reflected in title of the workshop. Example: “Secrets behind an $85K product launch” was hyper actionable (in a good way).
Fincton Tip #3: Focus more on the conference than the city
I had bookmarked many places in New Orleans and only managed to go to 1.
That’s because I realized the main reason for me going was to connect with other content creators.
So much of the conference is just hanging out in the lobby talking or going out for a meal.
If you manage your expectations in focus on the conference more than the city, you’ll have a good time and reduce FOMO.
That said, if you’re good at planning, you’ll love this next tip:
Fincon Tip #4: Plan for lunch and dinner everyday
I made the mistake of inviting people out individually in the beginning of the conference.
Everyone wants to increase their surface area of networking, meaning group lunches or dinners with people you haven’t connected yet.
You can initiate dinners through the Fincon app / Facebook group. or just hang out in the hotel lobby #LobbyCon. I was able to pull off a group dinner this way by recruiting folks during lobby loitering :)
Lobbycon is great. Just stick around in the hotel lobby after the lesson session of the day and ask to join people for a meal. Even better if you have a suggestion in mind and are willing to be a masternode.
Fincon tip #5: Plan your pitch + contact details
I mostly connected with people through a mishmash of Instagram + using Apple Notes for details.
Some people handed out business cards, and others had a nice BlinQ digital business card that shares contacts via QR codes. Whatever your method, just choose a method to be consistent to make it easy for you to remember where to follow up.
And if nothing else, attend the welcome session. They’ll give you tips on how to maximize your time at Fincon.
Fincon closing thoughts
As I mentioned in the CampFI post (another financial event…but wildly different), it’s helpful to think of conferences in terms of the predominant question that’s on people’s minds.
Financial independence events: “When can I stop working?”
Business conferences: “I’m definitely going to be working more.”
I’ll make an exception for Fincon, and that question is “How can I keep working on what I love?”
This year, it was held in New Orleans.
Next Fincon 2024 will be in Atlanta.
And I’m already planning to go again.