DIGITAL DAY: Online Strategies, Maverick Approaches and Essential Tools for Freelance Success


Saturday January 25, 2014
10:00 AM to 4:00 PM EST

Registrants adding the FREE Social Media Starter begin at 9:00 AM!

Registration opens at 8:30 AM for the Social Media Starter attendees and at 9:30 AM for all other attendees.

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Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre, Room R318 
750 Spadina Avenue
Toronto, ON M5S 2J2

Driving Directions 



Kim Lear, Digital Day Co-chair  


Event Sponsor

As freelancers we live online. Whether we are digging up research, sharing files with clients, writing web copy, invoicing – all of it can be done online. 

But what if you could do it all a little better, or faster, or with less frustration?

Digital Day is a special one-day event on January 25, 2014

-  SOLD OUT! - 

This full-day seminar will present best practices and shine a light on some unseen opportunities for freelancers.

Online Strategies: learn the secrets behind how top agencies and fellow freelancers craft social media campaigns and websites that sell. 

Maverick Approaches: meet writers and communications specialists who are changing the way we all work online.

Essential Tools: leave with insights into popular online tools for freelancers. How can you crack open Google analytics to write better copy? What file back up sites and meeting platforms are most trusted? 

Sophisticated Social Media Strategies 
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM

  • Are you thinking strategically about social media?
  • Who’s at the forefront of social media strategy?
  • And what are they looking for from freelancers?

Three presenters will talk about strategies that agencies use, what agencies look for when sourcing freelancers for social media campaigns and how you can leverage those strategies to promote your clients and your own business! 


Helen Androlia is a highly experienced social media strategist, digital creative and community manager at Draftfcb Toronto, a global agency with clients including Nivea, Kraft and Fairmont. With an eclectic background spanning the technology sector to fine arts and culture (and everything in between), Helen creates engaging social media experiences for a number of large brands. A featured speaker at this year's PodCamp, Helen was also a keynote speaker at Mesh Marketing 2013. 

Jennifer Shah joined FleishmanHillard in 2011 and is responsible for strategic consultation and the hands-on integration of digital solutions for clients across Canada, and serves as a senior member of the FleishmanHillard International Digital Leadership Team. Jennifer actively supports clients such as General Motors, Visa, Mars, and the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care in the areas of digital communications and social media strategy. 

Adina Zaiontz is director and founder of napkin marketing, where she is responsible for setting the overall direction and product strategy for the company. Previously, Adina worked at Yahoo!, most recently as trade marketing manager for Yahoo! Canada; and for Rogers Media and Glacier Business Information Group, developing trade and industry-specific websites for construction, mining, health and safety, and manufacturing magazines. Through her previous consulting company, MarketConsult, Adina assisted businesses ranging from dot com start-ups to brand name companies such as BMG Music, HP Canada and CIBC sharpen their online and traditional marketing strategies.

Website Must-Haves, SEO Must-Knows and Blogging Breakthroughs
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM 

  • How effectively are you using your website or blog to drive your business? 
  • What's new in content strategy and what do you need to know to land well-paying web writing gigs? 
  • What does it take to achieve optimal search engine rankings? 

This session will reveal best practices for writing web copy that attracts clients and impresses clients. Learn how you can apply success strategies to your own website and leverage them when writing for clients.


Dev Basu is the CEO of Powered by Search. Dev has deep expertise with local, national, and international search engine optimization, paid search marketing, social media marketing, and conversion rate optimization.  His agency's client list includes FedEx USA, REMAX, Rogers, Belairdirect, andInterContinental Hotels Group. Dev lectures on search engine strategies at Seneca College and guest lectures on search engine optimization at University of Toronto.

Jennifer Johannesen runs Low to the Ground, a Toronto-based WordPress development and training company. Jennifer has almost 20 years of experience developing websites for clients and digital agencies, and for the past five years has worked exclusively with WordPress. At last count she has built just over 200 custom WP sites for a wide range of clients. Jennifer is also an author and active blogger with a particular interest in bioethics and patient advocacy.

Donna Papacosta is a writer, blogger, consultant, speaker, podcaster, and content marketer. With clients she emphasizes the importance of storytelling and the intelligent use of social media. In particular, she is a huge proponent of blogging as a thought leadership and business development tool, especially for independent professionals. A frequent speaker at international conferences and workshops, Donna was named an “all-star” by the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC).

(Lunch Break is 1:00 - 2:00 PM. Attendees are encouraged to go to one of the many wonderful lunch spots around Bloor and Spadina with new and old colleagues.)

Mastering Google and Going Deeper: Web research skills for writers and communications specialists
2:00 PM - 3:00 PM 

Investigative journalist Tim Groves shares the skills and techniques that investigative journalists and private-eyes use to dig deep into the Internet.

  • Learn how to use Google in ways most people don't.
  • Learn how to access a wealth of information that Google can’t find. 
  • Get faster at finding the information you need and want online.

Jam-packed with tips and tricks that will help you leverage Google's power, this session is a chance for novice and expert researchers alike to pick up skills they can use every day.


Tim Groves is a freelance reporter and investigative researcher. His articles have appeared in The Guardian, The Toronto Star,, The Dominion, Briarpatch and He focuses his reporting on surveillance, national security, environmental issues, and First Nations struggles.

Online Tricks of the Trade
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM 

We wrap up the day with group discussions about the tools and resources that freelance writers and communicators use every day. Hear from your colleagues what sites and software they trust for common business practices such as: writing tools, bookkeeping and communicating with clients.

Learn from fellow freelancers and leave with action items to build your business. 

Each session will include small-group discussion time, so you can ask more questions, share your experience and come up with your own list of action items on the topic. We know how important it is to make time to network and plan, so we've built in opportunities to do both. Working online is great, but nothing beats talking an idea out face-to-face. This day is all about you and your business needs.

Register Now!VALUE-ADD!!!

Are you new to social media? Come at  9 AM for a FREE Social Media Starter session with Sharon Aschaiek, PWAC Toronto Chapter Blog Editor, PIC Chair and Amy Sept, PIC Social Media Director. Due to overwhelming demand, we’ve increased the session size from 15 to 40 for this special there's-no-such-thing-as-a-stupid-social-media-question Q&A - but there are only a few spaces left. Sharon and Amy will do a quick overview of LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook for freelancers. If you want to add this FREE Social Media Starter session to your day, you must sign up when you register for Digital Day.


Sharon Aschaiek is a writer, editor and communication consultant who focuses on the higher education sector. She works with universities, colleges, and education associations to develop communication projects. Publications and websites where her stories have appeared include The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, Our Kids Go To School, The Bay Street Bull, U of T Magazine, and Sharon actively uses LinkedIn to generate business, build connections, research story ideas and promote professional achievements. She also speaks publicly about the how-to’s and benefits of LinkedIn. Sharon is the chair of IABC/Toronto’s Professional Independent Communicators, and the editor of PWAC Toronto Chapter’s blog.

Amy Sept launched Nimbyist Communications in 2011. Amy brings a bit of geekiness and a preference for journalistic writing style to her work with nonprofits, small businesses and tech startups. Amy focuses on content creation and social media solutions to help organizations build their reputations online and connect with the people who need their help. She currently serves as Director of Social Media for IABC/Toronto’s Professional Independent Communicators.

Spend a day learning from fellow freelancers and thought leaders. Leave with resources, strategies and contacts to build your business.

Register Now!


Digital Day is presented by the Professional Writers Association of Canada, Toronto Chapter and the International Association of Business Communicators, Professional Independent Communicators Chapter.

 Event Sponsor


Digital Day Co-chairs:

Sharon Aschaiek – chair of Professional Independent Communicators, and editor of PWAC Toronto Chapter’s blog

Allison Hilliar – PWAC member, learning and development consultant, instructional designer at Coalescent Learning

Kim Lear – vice-president, professional development at PWAC Toronto Chapter

Roger Morier – director of programming, Professional Independent Communicators

Register Now!