Friend, I get it… It’s sometimes really hard to meet other creatives in your industry. It’s hard to step outside of your comfort zone or routine – to put yourself out there in a vulnerable way to meet others. I’ve been there, and I feel you!
But do you know what’s also really hard? Being a small business owner – an entrepreneur or creative – and doing it all on your own… Without a tribe or creative community that supports and encourages you. That’s the hard stuff, too! Over eight years ago, I started my business. And can I let you in on a little secret? In those early years, I wasn’t connected to a creative community. Sure, I “knew” other photographers and had “photographer friends”, but I didn’t even know the half of it when it came to meeting and truly building community and relationships with other creatives.
Today’s post is dedicated to that part of my heart that didn’t know it needed a creative community when I started my business. Now, I couldn’t be the creative entrepreneur I am today without my creative community… And I wouldn’t trade my tribe for the world!
But how do you meet other creatives in your industry? I’m here to help you with that!
I know it might seem as easy as pie, but really, connect on social media! In today’s day and age, we can all agree that social media has its positives and negatives. As a creative, it’s imperative that we add social media to our toolbox… Not necessarily as a place to make more sales or book more clients but as a place for connection. Just as you might use social media as a tool to build relationships with your clients and potential clients, you can use social media to connect to other creatives just like you! Put yourself out there – respond to an Instagram story with a simple DM to say hello to another creative or start a conversation with a local creative that you could connect with in-person… Whatever it takes – social media is a place where you can connect with other creatives inside (and outside) of your industry.
And friend, I know that being a little vulnerable can be intimidating. Yes, that’s right – that’s coming from an extroverted introvert right here. Sometimes we need our sacred space to refuel and recharge so that we can be present in social situations. I get that, and that is totally me. But sometimes, we have to break down our own walls so that we can connect and find a community that we so deeply desire.
Every month, I try to host a virtual happy hour for creatives. A welcoming, virtual space where fellow creatives can candidly chat about business and life, dream together, and simply catch-up for 60 minutes. And you know what? I’m not the only creative (or photographer!) out there that is doing this!
These virtual meetups, or happy hours as I love to call them, are a perfect place to meet other creatives in your industry. Best part? You can stay in the comforts of your home and your fav yoga pants all while connecting with other like-minded peeps. It doesn’t get much better than that!
Side note… Send me a message if you want an invite to our next virtual happy hour – we would love to have you!
Man, I love gathering in-person to encourage and love on other creatives!
Over four years ago, my friend Karen and I started the Kankakee County TuesdaysTogether chapter. What started as a monthly gathering of two or three people has grown into monthly gatherings of eight to ten (or more) local creatives and business owners. Friends, I will never not love the power in gathering with like-minded creatives in-person! There’s just something about being in the same space and opening your heart.
And okay, I get it – you might not have a local TuesdaysTogether chapter. Well, I would challenge you to do a couple of things…
1) Start one! You surely aren’t the only person in your area that is yearning for community. Lean in, and find your local tribe.
2) Research! Many areas have local networks for small business owners, young professionals, etc., so do your research and get to know your area better. You might be surprised by what you find!
So maybe you have (or have not) done some of the other things I’ve mentioned above to connect and meet other creatives in your industry. That’s a-okay! Now conferences, in-person education, and even styled shoots come into play…
I can vividly remember a few conference experiences where I met fellow creatives that I still – to this very day – connect with throughout various virtual spaces and on social media. We may have only met once or sometimes twice, but we can still cheer each other on and encourage one another in our creative endeavors. You never know what the future holds for you and the person sitting next to you at that next conference you attend!
Friend, I truly believe life is better connected! I so earnestly hope that you will meet other creatives, find your creative community, and lean into that very tribe in your life and business. As a creative, it’s on my heart to cultivate community and connect with other creatives day in and day out. If you ask me… Meeting other creatives in your industry is one of the keys to a happy entrepreneur’s heart!
P.S. – Wanna learn more about one-on-one mentoring? It’s the icing on the cake where I help you navigate your biz so that you can live your life!