The Third Grounded Creatives Meet Up & The Importance of Networking
Last Friday (has it really been a week already?) I hosted my third Grounded Creatives Meet Up. These events are incredibly special to me and I am always so touched from all the feedback from the lovely people that make it along. Last June I realised just how hard it is to “get out there” as a creative. We’re constantly told how beneficial networking is but it can actually be incredibly difficult to find the courage to socialise and find a group of like minded people. I wanted to make that a lot easier.
In this post I’m going to talk about the event but I’d also like to share my views on how you can actually broaden your horizons and find you’re own supportive network. If you like the sound of Grounded Creatives you can read about the last event here and join the Facebook support group here.
From Introvert to People Person
I’ve learnt how to be a people person. I’m naturally very shy and introverted unless I’m around people I know and trust so this whole networking thing definitely did not come naturally to me. I receive my energy from time alone and I find parties and big crowds quite tiring and overwhelming (I’ve never liked celebrating my birthday!). I’ve also had terrible anxiety since I was a toddler, so if there was someone who would end up hosting a successful networking event it wasn’t going to be me!
So what changed? Over the past two years I began to realise that if I didn’t put myself out there that I would end up working alone forever. Stylists need to know people, they need to know photographers, florists, designers etc etc so I realised just how important meeting people would be for my career as well as my mental health.
I began to go to more workshops, making more creative friends via Twitter and Instagram and not being afraid to meet someone new for coffee. I took baby steps, I would send someone a message to say hello and how much I liked their work and if they were nice we’d start chatting, sometimes this lead to one of us asking “hey it would be really good to do a styled shoot or something together” and boom I gained a new creative work buddy.
I reached out to everyone involved in the past three meet ups - the florists, cake designers, indie makers who donate beautiful things for the goodie bags, food and drinks sponsors and venues - I told them my vision and got to know them. I consider many of them to be my best friends and I really don’t know where I’d be without them.
My Networking Tips
Find an event that you’re really interested in, something that sounds exciting to you. There’s no point going to a business seminar in a hotel boardroom if you want to do something creative and fun, and it would be a wast of time doing a floristry course if what you really need is marketing help. Networking isn’t just about meeting people its also about benefitting you.
Don’t wait for people to come to you. You really do have to push yourself out of your comfort zone and force yourself to meet up with people. I know how scary it can be, trust me, but the the positives far out-way that scared feeling.
If going to an event feel too much for you, don’t force it. Maybe just start by reaching out to someone you’ve been meaning to connect with, send them a friendly message. It’s very unlikely that they’ll ignore you if you’re enthusiastic and polite.
If you can’t find a networking event in your area why not try to organise one yourself? Yes, they’re a lot of work and you’ll need at least three months to plan everything but if you love events and want to help others then they’re a perfect option for you. I can’t see myself ever not wanting to run Grounded Creatives despite all the hard work.
Grounded Creatives Q&A
What happens at the events?
My meet ups are an informal gathering of around 30 people in a beautiful venue, we start by having some time to network and get the know each other. I always have a guest speaker join the group and this time I invited Niko from Earl of East to discuss all things self care and offer lots of work / life balance advice. There is also a Q&A session so everyone can discuss their worries, thoughts and concerns.
What’s included in the ticket price?
Your £25 ticket price covers food (usually in the form of fancy canapés), a wonderful cake, drinks, all talks and expert Q&A sessions and an incredible goodie bag filled with lots of products made by my favourite makers.
Who are these events for?
Anyone who is creative! Whether you’re a hobbyist or running a full time business you can come along, meet new friends and hopefully learn a lot too. I always make sure to create a space that is open for everyone in all stages of business. We have photographers, stylists, graphic designers, cake designers, bloggers, illustrators and makers of all kinds coming along!
Where do the events take place?
The past three have been in London but as I’m moving to the North East in Less than a week I am so excited at the prospect of taking Grounded Creatives up north!
I really hope you found this blog post useful and you feel inspired to take the plunge into the world of networking. As I’m due to have a baby in a few months I will be taking a little break from running Grounded Creatives but I’ll be back! Where would you like to see a Grounded Creatives event?
Here are the links of all the brands that were involved in my spring meet up. If you like their work please do consider giving them a follow and supporting their work as I could not have created this event without them.
Photography - tiatalula.com
Venue - www.bondsstores.com
Flowers - www.hazelgardinerdesign.com
Cakes - www.mylittlecaketin.co.uk
Guest speaker - www.earlofeastlondon.com
Drinks - www.lanique.co.uk
Hi I'm Nancy!
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