When you talk about your dreams of being self-employed, do your friends, family and colleagues look at you like you’re crazy? Do they suggest you just get a different job?
Maybe you’re already self-employed. Do you find yourself talking to the walls all day? Do you wonder if you are on the right track or which way you should go when you’re faced with a big looming decision?
It’s not impossible to go it alone in your creative business but it sure is easier with the support of people who “get you.” But how do you go at it alone?
Here are a few ideas:
- Create a small, personal group. Have you hit it off with other crafters at local shows? Are there local crafters you’ve met on Facebook or Twitter who might also be looking for support? Meet up on occasion to create together, take in an art show, or simply have a “show and tell” critique. You can even just go on coffee dates to discuss business issues.
- Search for a professional organization. Look for a Fine Art Guild or other local professional organization that you could join.
- Network at galleries, art shows, craft fairs and other public venues. Talk to the artists and creators, talk about their work, ask questions, leave your business card. You never know when a valuable new connection might be made.
- Look online for a local blogger group if you also have or are thinking about starting a blog for your business. Try searching for bloggers along with the town you live in or the largest nearby town to find other area bloggers. Often, there will just be a listing of the bloggers in your general area (NE Ohio for example) or state. You never know, you might get invited to local meet-ups for the launch of new products (like I did in the photo above).
- Attend trade shows. You might be surprised to find just how many different kinds of trade show there are. There are shows for all sorts of hobbies, industries and activities, so find something relevant to your business and attend seminars, classes and demonstrations. You’ll come away inspired and better connected.
- Collaborate online. Even though in-person conversations might be what you are looking for, don’t under estimate the amount of support and camaraderie that can be enjoyed from online communities. There are many private and public groups that focus on lots of topics. Spend some time searching and reaching out to like-minded groups online for some added support.
Are you self-employed? How do you find the support you need?
By: Vicki O’Dell, The Creative Goddess