In my 10 years as a full-time creative entrepreneur, I’ve craved community on more than one occasion. When I found a group of like-minded women who were also creative entrepreneurs, my world and my business changed 100% for the better.
When you have community, you have a group of people who have your back, build you up and cheer you on in new endeavors. Even if they’re in the same field of work, they recognize that we can all rise up together – when one of us wins, we all win.
I feel so grateful to have found a thriving creative community in my little corner of the Midwest, and today I wanted to share a few tips on how to find a community of your own.
Join Local Creative Groups
In almost every area, there are creative groups that meet once or twice a month to chat about different business topics, work on creative projects or just mingle and chat business. For me, joining a group like the local chapter of my Rising Tide Society group was the first step in finding a wonderful community – some of my best friends have come out of that group, and so many doors have been opened because of it.
It might be scary to join a new creative group, but when you put yourself out there and show up with confidence, doors will be opened for you. You can find your local chapter of Rising Tide Society here.
If there isn’t an RTS chapter near you, search Facebook for some local creative groups, or reach out to some other local creatives on Instagram and start your own mini meet-up. I think one thing all creatives have in common is wanting to feel seen and understood, so meeting up with like-minded people is a great way to connect and grow your little circle.
Meet New People at Events or Partner with Local Creatives
One of the easiest ways I have found community is to chat with people at local events. For me, it was a makers market and I was selling vintage goods. I connected with the other vendors and strong friendships were formed.
If you’re a photographer, designer or another non-maker type of creative, you can still go to events like makers markets and make friends with the vendors. Chat with the vendors – they’re creative like you, just in a different way – and will generally value the same things you do. You might land some new clients, friends or business besties just from initiating a friendly conversation.
Another way to find community is to partner with other local creatives on projects! If you’re a photographer and meet a maker you want to grow a connection with, offer to do a trade with her – brand photos for a custom piece you can give to your clients. When you collaborate, community is built. And when you start to build that community, it will expand in the best way possible.
Create the Community you Crave
I’ve always craved connection with people who understand what I do – working from home, having a creative career and being a mama while working from home aren’t things that people who work a 9-5 in corporate don’t always understand. Sometimes it’s even hard for your spouse to understand.
But when you get creatives together – there are such good conversations to be had, you feel seen and understood. And there have been times in the last 10 years when that community didn’t exist for me, so I either created or dreamed of creating it.
Before we had a local Rising Tide chapter, I worked on plans to create something just like it with other creatives in our area. And this year when I wasn’t finding a group for graphic designers to build each other up, share goals and refer work, I created it myself.
When you can’t find it, you can always create it. There are people out there who crave it just like you, they want the connection too – you’re not alone! Just have faith and create it yourself.
Above all, have the bravery to put yourself out there and meet new people. We’re all human. We all have a hard time connecting in person in an ultra-online world.
When you take the first step and introduce yourself, you open up doors you never knew existed and you can find the community you’ve been craving.
You’ve got this, my dear!