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indieconf - the conference for independent web professionals

Michael Kimsal / Foster Burgess, LL

Saturday, November 19, 2011 from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM (EST)

Ticket Information

Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
really early bird Ended $99.00 $0.00
early bird Ended $129.00 $0.00
regular bird Ended $149.00 $0.00
conference + Friday night dinner with speakers   more info Ended $199.00 $0.00
Friday night free drinks with Freshbooks
Freshbook and the Raleigh Forum will be hosting a pre-conference get together - casual drinks and networking for all indieconf attendees. This is a *free* event, but does require you to grab this ticket separately from your conference ticket.
Ended Free $0.00

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Event Details



Visit indieconf.com for complete details on speakers and sessions.



Morning snacks, lunch, afternoon snacks and an evening reception are all provided during the conference.  Let us know if you have any food allergies or dietary requirements.



Join our linkedin group to keep up to date with indieconf, arrange carpools to the conference, network with others, or just make some new friends :)



Our "dinner with the speakers" proved popular last year, so we're doing it again.  With this ticket, you'll have a private dinner with our speakers to pick their brains, network, and have a good time.  This is a relaxed, casual atmosphere limited to 30 people.  



Freshbooks will be hosting a drinks get together at the Raleigh Forum in downtown Raleigh starting at 5pm on Friday the 18th. Register for your free ticket today!



Full refunds will be issued up to 7 days before the event.  Please contact michael@indieconf.com to arrange for a refund or ticket transfer should something come up.




What? You don’t use WordPress to tell stories? You lose.

Doug Foster
WordPress is just for blogging. Right? Wrong. In business, facts – not stories – sell your product, service, or point-of-view. Right? Double-wrong. Our minds are wired to process stories, not facts. WordPress is a POWERHOUSE storytelling engine. Don’t use it? You lose – customers and business. First, we’ll explore why short stories – not “death-by-Powerpoint” bullets – engage your buyer, capture their attention, and convince them to buy your product, service, or point-of-view. Second, we’ll drill into how I used WordPress to  build a storytelling engine – and you can too. Want more sales? Forget the website, build a storySite™.


The things I wished someone had told me before I started!

Andrew Oliver
When going independent there are some things you should know. Unfortunately, no one told them to me. While Open Software Integrators scaled from a one man show to over 15 people in under 3 years, I made a lot of mistakes. I’ll describe the things I didn’t know up front and wished I had known. I’ll also discuss what went wrong and what is going right.


Low and No Cost Marketing and Public Relations Tools: Tactics & Techniques

Neil Tortorella
Attendees will learn how to get on their prospect’s radar screen and leverage the power of the Web to build an online presence, drive more traffic to their site and land more clients. They will also learn how to:

    • Position themselves as an expert in their industry
    • Generate press coverage
    • Write press and news releases that get noticed
    • Build a media list
    • Produce a press kit
    • Leverage the power of email marketing, blogs and social media
    • And more


Building Your Name via the Social Web

Patrick O’Keefe
The social web, including Twitter, Facebook, Google+, niche communities and other platforms, represents a great opportunity for you to showcase your knowledge to a wider audience, whether local or international. People will become familiar with what you know and, when they need what you can offer, they’ll be more likely to think of you. And unlike other forms of getting noticed, the investment isn’t about how much money you have – it’s about how much time you have. How can you demonstrate your expertise in a genuine way, and become a recognized expert, without falling into the category of self-described gurus and experts that people have grown to distrust? We’ll talk about how I’ve built my name and how you can get your knowledge out there, help people and build a reputation on the platforms where the people you want to reach are engaging.


CSS3: Using media queries to improve the website experience

Zoe Mickley Gillenwater
It’s no longer practical or even possible to build different sites for all of the different devices that your users may be visiting your sites with. From widescreen TVs to mobile phones, desktop computers to tablets, the number of ways that people view web pages is more diverse than ever before.

How can you create a site that looks good in all these different environments—and keep your sanity? A new feature of CSS3 called media queries allows you to easily make a single site that automatically adapts its design to the users’ settings so that it looks good and works well in whatever screen space is available.

Using practical but progressive examples, Zoe will show you how to use media queries combined with liquid/fluid layout techniques to make your web pages more dynamic, responsive, and usable. You’ll learn how to use media queries to tailor your sites to mobile devices like iPhone, Android, and iPad, as well as the various screen sizes of desktop computers, while still attending to outdated browsers like IE 6, 7, and 8.


What every business owner needs to know about finances

Damon Yudichak
Presentation will provide an overview on what every business owner needs to know about the financial aspect of their business. How do do I deal with taxes? Why should I be concerned with financial statements? How do I know what to pay myself? When is my business ever going to make me money?


User Experience & Making Education Suck Less

Bermon Painter
Discover the meaning and importance of user-centered design and how to make decisions based on the needs of people that use a website or web application. After a nice frolic through the principles of user experience design we’ll review the history of the education system, how it’s been twisted and changed and how you, yes you can self-educate and help the education in your communities suck a little less.


How Not to be a Freelancer

Richard Powell
If you read enough books or blog posts about working for yourself and becoming a freelancer, you’ll begin to see some of the same advice repeated over and over again. Putting all of that into practice while trying to juggle clients, finances, marketing and actually doing the work itself isn’t always easy (or even possible!). This talk is about how I managed to systematically screw up all of that advice, sometimes doing just the opposite, and yet have been able to build a successful freelance career that in many ways is better because of my “mistakes”. I’ll give you some of the “worst” advice you can receive if you’re starting a freelance career, including how to give your company an unpronounceable name, how to ignore email, and why you shouldn’t print up business cards. Learn why it’s ok to screw up along the way and how those mistakes might just lead you to a better career in the end.

Publishing as Marketing

Joseph D’Agnese and Denise Kiernan
Nothing builds your credibility like having written a book about some area of your expertise. The advent of digital publishing means that every freelancer has the tools to become a book author overnight. But is that the way to go? Or would your business be better served in the long run trying to land a traditional book deal? The presenters—who have a combined 40 years of publishing experience with agents, editors, and Big 6 publishers—deconstruct both forms of publishing and share what you need to know about turning your knowledge and your words into a decent marketing tool for your growing business. At the very least, come find out why Stephen King really isn’t as rich as you think.


Starting Your Career As A Freelance Web Designer

Neil Tortorella
Running a successful freelance Web business means being more than a great designer or programmer and having a lot of talent. It also means knowing the ins and outs of numerous business issues and tasks. Based on Tortorella’s book (Allworth, 2011), attendees will learn how to:

    • Determine if they’re cut out for the freelance lifestyle
    • Draft a solid business plan
    • Deal with necessary business tasks, such as taxes, insurances, finding the right accountant and attorney
    • Calculate their real base hourly rate
    • Market and promote their freelance business
    • Create winning proposals
    • Build quality business relationships
    • Manage projects
    • And more


Don’t work without a net…

I see it all the time. People getting permanently injured on the job. Companies running reckless through the lives and well-being of their employees. Both frustratingly ignorant of their ignorance. After months, sometimes years, they call me in to look around, examine the mess, and try to put it right. Mostly, they’re just working without a net. Let’s face it, software development isn’t exactly a deadly art. The kind of personal injury you might incur from running a reckless software project has more to do with reputation and financial expense than your ability to walk afterwards (depending on your clients). Still, those consequences can be damning to a project or a person, and as freelancers, we can’t really afford to lose money, time, or street cred. Every industry has its safety measures. Let me show you what I’ve shown countless other clients: the hard-hats, safety glasses, and steel-toe boots of the software industry. Donning these simple protective practices and using the right tools, you’ll be more confident about your ability to work unfettered. Stress levels will decrease, productivity will increase, and you won’t be calling some pricey heavy-hitter to help you sort out the mess.

How to Be a Freelance Money Geek

Joseph D’Agnese and Denise Kiernan
In the freelance world, talk of money inevitably centers around basics such as efficient invoicing, nailing down contracts that work, tax deductions, setting up LLCs, and so on. D’Agnese and Kiernan are more interested in the concept of wealth-building: How can you consistently build your net worth and ride out the feast-or-famine cycle on a freelance income? How do you manage your filthy freelance lucre once it comes in the door? In this session, the presenters offer a simple to-do list that gives session participants the info they need to “geek out” on their finances and put a system in place that will help build their nest egg as quickly as possible upon leaving indieconf. Some tips are inspirational. The rest are solid methods for money management that have stood the test of time and are culled from The Money Book for Freelancers (Random House).


Building a business - growing beyond indie work

Tim Barsness
Lessons learned about adding a staff to work with you. Discussion about adding a first employee, learning to delegate work and building from one FTE to more.  Session covers growth, people, finance, marketing and strategy insights into building a business.  Information on if hiring people is right for you, how to minimize risk as you build a business and what a development business might look like a few years into the journey.

Next Generation SEO

This session will cover a new approach to SEO that can help get better results faster. The approach is founded on a more accurate understanding of how search engines actually work rather than some of the principles (some mistaken and others now or soon to be outdated) that are the foundation of some current methodologies and practices in SEO.

Best Practices for the Solo Developer

Michael Eaton
You are the only developer in your company. Maybe you’re an independent consultant. Maybe you work from home, maybe not. Any way it goes, being the lone developer can be tough. Whether you work in a cube or the comfort of your home office or the local coffee shop, there are many challenges facing the solo developer. Project management, estimation, testing and even writing code all change when you work alone. In this session, I will discuss many of the lessons learned and practices I’ve developed working almost exclusively as a single developer for the past ten years.


Basic SEO for Website Designers and Developers

I am struck by how many clients purchase new websites that cannot be seen by search engines. It is sad when someone pays a good bit of money and then has to build the site over again so the search engine can see it. The big problems are always the coding. There are simple things you can do to code a website so the search engines will get to the text and headlines and other tags easily. Consider this a refresher or just new information if you are not already aware of it.The content for this session will be based on real problems experienced by my clients, showing the problems and their solutions that moved them from being invisible to first page results.Website ranking factors discussed will include:
• On-Site SEO tags, titles, heads, and successful code
• Off-site SEO, gaining inbound links from authoritative sources, lens pages, and sales pages
• Strategic placement planning for search engine local pages, matching highly searched terms by your client’s target audience.

Legal Considerations for Web Professionals

You’re an excellent designer or developer, and you have figured out how to get clients and work. You’re all set, right? Legal agreements present unique opportunities and pitfalls for independent designers and developers. It is essential to know whether to incorporate (and which entity to choose), how to most effectively protect intellectual property via copyrights, trademarks, patents, and nondisclosure agreements, what the difference is between and employee and a 1099 independent contractor, and why all of that matters for a web professional. You’ll learn the foundational pieces you need to have in place so you can focus on what you do best – designing, developing, and building a business.

Content Strategy: A Framework for Marketing Success

Content strategy is a framework to help you make better decisions about managing content as a business asset.Great writing is an art, but business realities demand that we standardize and structure our content for maximum effectiveness. Content strategy gives you the tools to spend your marketing time and money well, whether you’re working on your website, a software product or designing a social media campaign.This session will explain how content strategy can improve your marketing results, and it will walk you step by step through the content strategy framework, giving you ideas to improve your work today.

Public Speaking 101

Jared Richardson
Public speaking scares most people more than dying, but it’s also a necessary skill for independents trying to build their reputation. Speaking at user groups, conferences, and in front of clients is something we have to do. With a few key tricks, you’ll find it’s not that difficult or scary.We’ll discuss several techniques to make you a more effective public speaker, and then we’ll take the time to practice them (for a few brave volunteers!). You’ll learn how to avoid classic traps like Rambo spraying and doing the Secret Service. Then you’ll learn how to effectively engage your audience and present at their pace. You’ll leave with a solid toolbox of tricks and techniques that’ll make you look like a seasoned professional the next time you step in front of an audience of any size.

Have questions about indieconf - the conference for independent web professionals? Contact Michael Kimsal / Foster Burgess, LL
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When & Where

McKimmon Center
1101 Gorman Street
Raleigh, NC 27606

Saturday, November 19, 2011 from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM (EST)

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Michael Kimsal / Foster Burgess, LL

Michael Kimsal is a freelance web consultant based in Raleigh, NC.

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indieconf - the conference for independent web professionals
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