{MMYH Ep. 59} FinCon18 Review: How to Make Money At Conferences

by Amanda Abella  - October 9, 2018

I’m back from FinCon18 in Orlando! So many of you have asked questions about this conference so I wanted to do a special podcast episode about my experience. More specifically, I wanted to share how I made about $11,000 in sales while I was there. Because, ultimately, you go to conferences to make money. That’s kind of the point, right?

FREE guide

Learn how I got 300 leads in a day with referral partners.

This free guide details the 8 step process I used to build a network of referral partners that have sent me up to 300 leads in a day.

So what is the financial blogger conference?

This is a conference that happens once a year where money nerds like myself take over a city. There are incredible sessions on online marketing which really do help you make money. I’ve been attending this conference since 2013 and every time I apply something I learned my business grows.

There are also parties, an exhibition hall with sponsors, meetups, networking and so much more. To be honest, it’s literally impossible to do everything because there is so much going on.

This is also not a typical financial conference. I’ve attended more traditional financial conferences as a speaker and they tend to be very formal. FinCon is a bunch of CFPs gone rogue, bloggers, and marketers running amuck. It’s amazing. Everyone is also brilliant at what they do and there is so much to learn from these awesome humans.

Who should attend the Financial Blogger Conference?

If you have bills to pay, you need to attend this conference. I don’t care whether you’re a financial blogger or not, you need to start hanging around people who get business and money. Period. It will change your life for the better.

Why? Because what’s the point of running a business if you’re not making a profit? And listen, I attend a lot of online marketing and business conferences. A lot of them are complete bullshit because they don’t dive deep enough for you to actually make a return on your investment.

However, when you’re attending a conference organized by people who love and get money, they will make sure the content somehow helps you make more money. Because, again, what would be the point otherwise?

What did FinCon18 look like for me?

I didn’t speak this year. I didn’t even apply to speak. It was partially because I had a lot going on during the submission deadline, but I also wanted to see how much money I could make if I wasn’t speaking. I wanted to focus on meetings, contracts, and sales. That’s it.

And, not gonna lie, it was nice to have a break from speaking this year. I’ve spoken at every FinCon since 2013. I even covered for someone in 2014 (which is actually how I met Josh Elledge who runs my PR now). 

Since I didn’t have to worry about speaking, I had room for meetings and events. I booked myself SOLID.

The first night I was there, I went to the live recording of the Stacking Benjamins show at the Orlando Improv. It. Was. Hilarious. I also got to catch up with friends and colleagues and meet new people!

Day 1

On day 1, I had coffee with colleagues, lunch with Nav, registering and networking, the conference happy hour and an event sponsored by Charles Schwabb.

Day 2

This day included a meet up with some Persuade to Profit clients, lunch with some of my favorite people from the Elevate Mastermind that I’m a part of, a community meet up, supporting one of my mentors during her community meet up, a happy hour on a Ferris wheel sponsored by Varo Money and the annual Fidelity Women and Money Dinner.

Day 3

Day 3 included brunch with the women from the Statement Mastermind which I attended in New York earlier this year, recording testimonial videos with Persuade to Profit clients which you can find all over my social media, getting interviewed for a media piece about what it’s like to be an influencer, hanging out with some of my brand ambassador clients like Capital One in the Expo Hall, making connections with potential new brand ambassador clients and running into friends.

The Plutus awards was also that night. The awards nominated me for Best Entrepreneurship Blog and Podcast. Although the blog wasn’t the winner, it was still amazing to be nominated considering that, 

a) I put this thing on hiatus for months and

b) I just relaunched it back in July.

It was major validation that I need to keep this going because people are getting a lot of value from it. And then, of course, we had the Plutus Awards after party.

Day 4

I was booked all morning with people who were interested in joining Persuade to Profit. I sold two spots that day. Then, I went to Ellie Kay’s session on how to be a brand ambassador. For those who don’t know, Ellie and I work together and she’s helped me secure deals.

I only got to catch the last 15 minutes or so because I had meetings with prospects, but from what a lot of the attendees have told me, it was one of the best sessions there.

I did more networking in the halls afterward. Then I attended the keynote which included Emma Johnson, Mr. Money Mustach, and Chris Hogan. All three did an amazing job. To be honest, I was so busy with meetings and events that this is pretty much the only full presentation I attended while I was there.

And then, that night, I had dinner with my Elevate Mastermind. For those who don’t know, Elevate is a community Sandy Smith started a few years ago that encourages people of color to collaborate with each other as we help our communities with their finances. There are several nuances depending on which culture you’re speaking to and there are also many similarities among them, and it’s important that we support each other in our journeys so we can uplift people who may be underserved by traditional financial services.

Day 5

My accountant, Eric Nisall, and I were carpooling back to South Florida. I decided to maximize my time and meet new people my last morning in Orlando. So, I posted in the app that I was going to breakfast and anyone was welcome to join. I met Anthony Kirlew and we had an awesome time meeting each other for the first time until Eric met me so we could start our track back home.

For the record, we carpool karaoke’d the entire way because LITTLE KNOWN FACT, Eric Niall is a hardcore old school hip hop head who doesn’t listen to anything created after 2002 lol.

We made it to my place just in time for a party my roommate was hosting. Instead of going to bed, I ended up swimming in the pools at my building until midnight haha.


So that’s a recap of the five-ish days at FinCon. Here are my main takeaways:

  • There’s more value in me taking meetings because that’s how I make the most money. $11k in sales were made within a 24 hour period while I was there and I’m booked solid with meetings when I get back.


  • I took advantage that so many of my current clients were in the same place and decided to do an informal meet up to catch up with everyone. Also, I recorded some testimonial videos which will now be plastered all over social. Batching for the win!


  • I love these people. I feel like I can really be my nerdy self around them. And it’s one of the few places you can have very candid conversations about something so taboo like money.


  • So normally I recover after such an intense event, but this year I felt super motivated to get back to work. After a night of swimming and sleeping for 12 hours, the first thing I did was edit all those testimonial videos and get them out there.


  • Then, I sent video emails to people I’d connected with. Six people scheduled meetings overnight. Here’s why – money doesn’t sleep and it likes speed. The reason for this is because people are motivated NOW, which means I need to speak with them NOW. I can rest later. And it’s also part of the reason I took the whole week prior to FinCon off – because I knew it was going to be nuts.

What’s next

  • Obviously, I already bought my ticket and booked the hotel for FinCon 2019 in Washington D.C. I have a ton of coaching clients in the DMV area so I’m excited to meet that group since most of them weren’t able to make it to Orlando. My coaching clients have taken it upon themselves to start doing meetups and having accountability calls among themselves and it’s AMAZING. It gives me all the feels.


  • Clearly, the podcast needs to keep going because you guys are loving it. If you have any questions you’d like me to answer or content ideas, drop me a note at [email protected], or hit me up on Twitter and IG (@amandaabella) or Facebook (@coachamandaabella)

Book a Free Mini Coaching Session with Amanda

I have ONE VIP SPOT LEFT for Persuade to Profit VIP! Click the button below to book a time to get mini coaching from me and we’ll work together to see what your next business moves are!


Resources that are mentioned or add value to this episode:

{MMYH Ep. 61} Getting Comfortable With Risk

You may be interested in