Wednesday, 13 February 2013
making things happen
If I have learned one thing over the past six months of working with my mentor, Debbie Bryan, on the Design Factory Mentorship programme, it is that one of the major things you should be concentrating on is your ability to make your own opportunities and make things happen yourself. This can really make a difference to your business and your progression as a Creative Business Owner and when you start to see results it can be really motivating and inspiring. Take my word for it, it's working for me.
Now, when I first came into the Creative Sector in 2008, I must admit I was quite in-awe of what was going on in the local area and I didn't have a clue what was going on nationally. It's only by making links with other creatives, through Nottingham Craft Mafia and Nottinghamshire Creative Business Scheme, joining online forums such as Etsy, Folksy, and UKHandmade that I began to feel a part of the creative scene.
It can be all too easy to rest on your laurels and hope that people will 'discover' you (I did this a couple of years ago and got very disheartened when the orders and queries from stockists DIDN'T come flooding in!). I had a lovely website online and I was waiting for people to come across it rather than putting myself out there and gaining recognition for myself. Once I realised that the answer to increasing peoples' awareness of me and my work lay with me and I actually got off my butt and started being pro-active in my approach to my business, then that is when things started to happen.
I became a lot more active with my social media, making links with other creatives, I started to blog a lot more regularly and I made the effort to get out of my comfort zone and do things I would never normally have dreamed I was capable of. In return for this my followings have slowly increased and blog readership has gone up considerably. I started approaching new stockists once my confidence grew and I found that I was getting a really positive response to my actions, reaching my target of stockists by the end of last year. Eventually I found that people started to seek me out which goes to prove that making things happen yourself in the first place really can enable you to reap the benefits of your efforts later.
At the moment I'm really busy with lots of exciting new projects, many of which I have initiated myself. I'm a definite advocate of the northern saying 'shy bairns get nowt' and think I have proved this to myself many times over the last twelve months. If you don't put yourself out there who else is going to?
I'd love to hear how you are all promoting yourselves and getting your names out there. What's working well for you? It would be great to share...