We recently celebrated my youngest son’s first birthday with a big party -- with a bounce-house, around 80 guests and a Yogi Bear picnic theme. Seeing my son light up when we sang “Happy Birthday” was the highlight. When you're self-employed, though, it's often hard to turn off your "work brain." Here are a few things I noticed.

People will talk business if they want to. There were a number of teachers and their families at this party, some of whom could be potential clients for my advisory practice. I was careful not to talk about my practice unless someone else brought it up -- but a lot of them did. I shared basic information with them, wary about making a sales pitch. But in one conversation, I wound up explaining my practice in detail and learning out about a family’s financial needs. By the end, they had a better understanding of how I could help them. It may not turn into anything, but the word about Finance for Teachers was spread.

Personal information matters. In the weeks leading up to the party, some of the educational content I posted on the Finance for Teachers Facebook page had started to get some a few likes and clicks. But after the party, when I posted a photo of my son attempting to feed me some cake, it got three times the amount of interaction than on other posts. Showing your prospects and clients an insight into your life goes a long way.

People connect. Among the party guests were a couple of family members who I currently work with. At one point, I overheard part of a conversation they were having about working with me -- although none of the details. There’s no better marketing than word of mouth -- so I hope that if these people talked to each other about me, they will talk to other people as well. 

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