Freelance Business Week, aka #FBW, is designed, organized, and brought to life each year by freelancers just like you.
The theme, content, and layout of the week is a collaborative effort of every city organizer. It’s quite beautiful.
The overall goal of Freelance Business Week is to reach and support the growth of freelance business owners across the United States. We believe every freelancers needs strategic partners they can collaborate with, peers to brainstorm solutions and friends that understand the ups and downs of a one-person business owner.
The #FBW founder, Emily Leach, learned through her experience building the largest localized freelance community in the U.S. and building a worldwide conference that freelance business owners are more successful with community. Local and nationwide connections change the dynamic of your business.
#FBW is designed to facilitate connections, growth, skills and celebration of the work you are doing as a freelance business.
I’ve been called a pioneer in the world of uniquely-talented people who feel empowered to go beyond conventional jobs and create businesses from unique vantage points and perspectives.
I have a guiding belief that those working for themselves deserve the same respect, access to benefits and opportunities for growth as those working for corporations. It’s what drives my tireless fight to ensure this growing population of Independent Professionals are lifted up and celebrated for their courage and willingness to live their lives according to a new set of rules … their own.
In 2014 I started a Facebook group to help connect freelancers to work, later that year The Freelance Conference was born. In 2015 I and a small group of like-minded adventurers launched the Texas Freelance Association as a 501(c)3 nonprofit with a mission to support and connect freelance business owners. I didn’t stop there.
In 2017 I launched the first-ever Freelancers Choice Awards to highlight and celebrate freelancers that are inspiring others and leading local communities. In 2019 the momentum continues with the launch of the first network of week-long local events across America organized by freelancers for freelancers, Freelance Business Week.
When I’m not behind this computer screen I enjoy learning to garden, rowing, sailing a set of Caribbean islands, two-stepping across Texas, and riding the mountain bike trails throughout Austin.
Mikala Lark is a Coach, Speaker, and Author as The Procrastinator’s Coach. As a fitness trainer and life coach, she combines her passion for physical fitness with whole health. As a speaker, she aims to deliver a uniquely unpolished presentation that encourages her audiences to CTRL+ALT+DEL their lives, empowering them to SHIFT & RETURN to a life of true freedom.
Mikala is a proud U.S. Air Force Veteran, former corporate 9-5er, now living the life that she desires.
The Procrastinator’s Coach was created in 2018 when Mikala wanted to combine her love for fitness training and life coaching. Self-care is Mikala’s top priority and will always advocate for taking care of your mind, body, and soul, first, every day. She develops personalized fitness programs that incorporate yoga, HIIT, strength, and endurance training into her workouts.
Being the self-proclaimed Queen of Procrastination, Mikala wanted to coach in an area where she is the most authentic. She also believes that procrastination isn’t wrong and procrastinators aren’t lazy but operate differently. Mikala has created many methods within procrastination and alternatively uses it as a superpower rather than a weakness.
Off work hours, Mikala is a bougie-foodie, spa-junkie, but believes in balance and loves hiking at Walnut Creek Metropolitan Park.
Kansas City, MO
An award-winning advertising/marketing copywriter, Julie Cortés has run her own freelance business for more than 20 years. Best known as the founder of The Freelance Exchange of KC, Cortés created her own much-needed college-level course, Freelancing 101, and teaches as an adjunct professor at the world-renowned KC Art Institute. Recognized with awards dozens of times over for her work, leadership, volunteerism and community involvement, this freelance rockstar is regularly sought out for media interviews, public speaking, and professional coaching for freelancers as well as those who hire them. Cortés is loving life, living out her passion of helping others succeed.
Buffalo, New York
Marie Rachelle is a freelancer by trade, coach by passion and community builder by nature. Starting off as a freelancer in 2014, going full time in 2019, she scaled her social media business to over six-figures in less than two years! Shifting her business in 2020, she is now The Coach for Aspiring Freelancers as well as Founder of Convergence Coworking. Voted Most Aspirational Freelancer by her peers at the Freelance Conference in 2019, she lives up to her title by organizing Freelance Business Week Buffalo and is the President of the WNY Freelance and Cowork Alliance. Marie has also been a featured speaker on many local and national stages. She is passionate about building community both online and in-person.
Kevin Bakewell, APR
Kevin Bakewell, Principal of Bakewell Public Relations LLC, is passionate about supporting nonprofits and his profession – passions that evolved during his 45-year career at AAA and which have guided his focus since retiring as AAA’s senior vice president and chief public information officer and becoming a freelance public relations practitioner.
Kevin is nationally accredited by the Public Relations Society of America and current chair of its Independent Practitioners Alliance Section. He is board chair of the statewide nonprofit, Preserve Vision Florida; board member and Communications Chair of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Tampa Bay Chapter; executive committee member and former president of Suncoast Safety Council; and through his d/b/a PR4nonprofits (www.pr4np.com) will soon be launching a suite of NPO-affordable services designed to help nonprofits leverage the power of public relations and strategic communications to support their missions.
A native of St. Petersburg, Kevin and Debbie, his wife of 43 years, have three grown children, four grandchildren, and reside in Clearwater, Florida.
Ty Hardin of Ichthus (Pronounced Ic-thus) Communication, Networking & Consulting, LLC [Ichthus Communication] organized in 2008 and launched in 2016 is a Publicist for Sports, Arts, Music and Entertainment [DBA Liberty Productions Music & Entertainment] as well as a Business Development Consultant for Start Ups, Small Businesses and Community Based Organizations (CBO).
Ty has been connected to the SBDC – Aurora South (Small Business Development Center) and in 2016 attended the LEADING EDGE Business Development Training. A Gradutate from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a BA degree in Communication and studied in the areas of Public and Media Relations as a Sports Information Student Assistant working for the Sports Information Department – Media Relations. He first attended and volunteered at FBWDEN in 2019.
A native of the Mile High City – Denver, CO and has now relocated to the Lone Star State residing in Dallas, TX.
Helping people has been my passion as long as I can remember. It started with me being a big sister and helping (bossing) my younger brothers around. My professional career started in healthcare as a Medical Assistant while I tried to figure out what I REALLY wanted to be when I grew up. I knew I didn’t want to be the “Boss”, but I knew I wanted a position that impacted the bottom line. Not just financially, but from a customer experience perspective.
After the birth of my fourth child (oh… did I mention I am a mommy of 4?!) I realized I wanted a flexible schedule that allowed me to enjoy the first year at home and still generate income. Just like that Creative PlanHer was born!
As a virtual assistant, I strive to make every phone call, email, special event and face-to-face interaction memorable by making customers smile! Taking the monotonous, but necessary tasks off your plate so you can focus on scaling your business is my goal!
How much time is required to organize a local #FBW event?
If you choose to host in-person local events the time needed will depend on how many sessions, what type of sessions and if you have help from your local community.
You will have access to a team of organizers that have experienced the process of hosting in-person events to help simplify the process and answer questions.
What are you responsible for as a city organizer?
Once you agree to take on organizing #FBW for your selected city you commit to being an engaged member of the organizing team.
You will be responsible for any expenses you agree to pay for (i.e. event spaces, advertising, food, etc).
We work together as a team to reduce costs, design sponsor programs you can sell locally and/or share costs where possible.
What does it cost to become a city organizer?
There is no up-front cost to becoming a city organizer. It is possible to completely organize an event at no additional cost, we help you design a sponsorship program that can potentially cover any expenses.
You can also charge for your local sessions on top of the cost to attend virtual sessions. All of the organizers decide together how the profit from virtual ticket sales will be used.
What if someone is already organizing an event in my city?
I would suggest joining the team, you may even want to consider offering to be a co-organizer. It is always helpful to have someone to work with to reach more local freelancers.