If you have no relation to the personal finance or blogging space, you’re probably scratching your head asking why we would have a blog post on this thing called “FinCon.” And if you’re like my Lyft driver, you may be asking if FinCon is a place where finance nerds gather, dress-up in money costumes, and have panels on Bitcoin or the S&P.
FinCon is a gathering of over 1,700+ bloggers, influencers, CFPs, podcast hosts, etc. primarily in the personal finance space looking to create or build their brand and to engage with others like them. I attended FinCon to meet face-to-face with the bloggers and journalists I’ve virtually interacted with and to immerse myself in the growing tribe of die-hard FinCon-ers. I attended sessions on content creation, social media strategy, engaging with followers, and watched a rapper drop some serious financial rhymes about paying back Sallie Mae.
Although I personally don’t plan on being a financial blogger anytime soon, I got the chance to pick the brains of those who are very well known in the space and prominent media who cover personal finance -- highlight being Dan Kadlec from TIME Money sitting next to me during a “how to network” panel.
Here are my three takeaways from FinCon ‘17:
You don’t have to be in a financial niche to attend: Seriously. I lost count on how many people attending just to learn and soak in as much knowledge and networking experience as possible. This included a podcaster tackling how to get into medical school to someone blogging about how to successfully flip your home. All the content at FinCon works outside the personal finance space.
How to run your side hustle? Check.
How to develop more engaging content? Check.
How to collaborate better with other influencers/bloggers? Check.
How to get out of $50k of shopping debt? Sorta -- but you get the point.
Befriend one influencer and the whole influencer world is unlocked: As PR practitioners, we are often so focused on top tier media that we forget the power of influencers and bloggers. There is such incredible value in chatting with influencers. At FinCon I found that taking one influencer meeting opened a door to ten more introductions. Also bloggers and influencers actually use the products/services your clients’ offer, making their posts/articles more honest and directed towards other potential users.
Do Your Own Thing: FinCon is over an exciting (slightly exhausting) 4-day span. It’s jampacked with sessions after sessions, networking opportunities, lunches, after parties, after-after parties. My advice is to circle the panel sessions that stand out the most and just attend maybe 2-3 in a day. I found the most success in building relationships by just wandering around the conference center and running into the major influencers and speakers who don’t usually attend the sessions and are just wandering around themselves.
Also you’re not the only one who needs to decompress -- attending a conference that goes from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 a.m. -- you’re going to need a nap somewhere in there.
And one last thing, if you found this information valuable, FinCon ‘18 will be in Orlando, Florida next year! Great opportunity to engage with influencers and potential new business leads...and to go to Disney World. The Key and kids will be there...come say hi!