Welcome to The Normal Girl's Guide to Freelance! It’s is a semi-frequent blog series about the lessons I've learned while suddenly working for myself. You can read the other sections about how I got started, finding my community, why money and I are friends now and why you should schedule your next vacation right now.
For the past two years of my life I've been working by my lonesome for my lonesome and I've been absolutely perplexed by the idea that a creative community must be cold and secretive. That's what I think of when I hear about professionals. That might not be what everyone thinks when they hear that word, but I don't I'm alone. I know I've felt out of place before. We've all felt that, right? We've shown up to an event and said hi to that cool person who didn't give us the time of day. We've all felt left out. We've all felt wholly unimpressive. There are a million and one reasons why those sorts of things happen, and this blog post isn't about that-- it's about attempting to be a more welcoming + dare I say it... affectionate creative.
Today I want to talk about loving your fellow creatives. I know that seems like such a no brainer, but in my opinion it's one of the first areas of your creative life to get pushed out when the fog of comparison + imposter syndrome floods in. It's really easy to look at the person next to you and want what they have. I'm so guilty of that. I think we probably all are. Over the past year I've been actively battling that feeling and combatting it with one simple thought. When they succeed, we all move forward in a creative community.
When she wins, I win.
Here are a few things that you can do to spread some small business love around any time you're feeling like this industry feels too cold.
1) Go comment on 10 Instagram accounts or Facebook pages that you admire.
2) Patronize a small business.
3) Send emails to your small business pals (I always do this through their contact forms because that always seems fun!)
4) Write a few positive reviews on Facebook.
5) Share their work.
6) Refer clients their way if it's a better fit (I know, this one's tough.)
7) Be vocal-- tell them in person what you like about their work.
8) Always try to be kind to people who are new to your creative community.
9) Take them coffee.
10) When you're caught up on your own work, offer to run an errand for them.
These are all things that I actively try to do. I once made my good friend Richelle a flyer to put up around her apartment complex advertising her dog running services after I plowed through my to-do list for the day. I try to make it a point to accept any coffee invitation that comes my way. You don't have to do them every single item on the list if you don't have resources (time, money... mostly time), but being a supportive creative will never damage your business. I always tell my husband that it's all just part of my business plan and it is-- these are the things that are important to me. I really want all of us to succeed.
That's why I started hosting monthly networking mixers. I wanted to provide a place to introduce female entrepreneurs to one another, to introduce future clients to future freelancers, and to introduce future business best friends to each other. We hosted February's mixer at The South Congress Hotel and Cat Spring Yaupon Tea sponsored! It was an absolute blast! If you're interested in hosting, sponsoring or attending a future #atxconnectionmixer fill out the contact form below!