Being an entrepreneur can be a very lonely job. Especially if you don’t have a large team or a team that you work with in the same office. Let’s be real, most of the time it’s you and your yoga pants hanging out day in and day out. Am I right? This is especially true for wedding stationery designers, since most of our work is virtual and done well before the wedding day; we don’t even get to go to the wedding and mingle with the other vendors throughout the day. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in your own world and spend all your time in your business and forget how much we miss daily interactions/friendships. But I’m here to tell you how critical it is to take off the yoga pants and get out of the house!
If you’re just tuning in, I am putting together a 12 part blog series that is chock full of great advice, tips and freebies to help stationers (and calligraphers) run their stationery business to the fullest. Below are links for our previous posts:
3 Tips for Starting a Stationery Business
How I Prepare an Invitation for Print
5 Things Every Stationery Designer Needs to Know
3 Tips to Help You Know Your Numbers in Your Stationery Business
3 Key Elements to a Successful Stationery Proposal
How to Expand Your Revenue Streams as a Stationery Designer
Why Branding is so Important as a Stationery Designer
How to Present Your Mockups to Wow Your Clients
3 Reasons to Use Dubsado in Your Stationery Business
3 Reasons Your Stationery Business Might Not Be Attracting Your Ideal Client
How I Use Pinterest to Market my Stationery Business
A few years into my business I really started connecting with other wedding industry professionals. Whether it was planners referring brides my way or photographers who were taking pictures of my work, I slowly started connecting with more and more professionals and developing relationships with them. Those friendships are now invaluable to me.
You will notice a connection, that as you foster and grow those relationships, so will your business. You start making a name for yourself in your town and in your industry. About 3 years ago, I joined a local group called TuesdaysTogether, it is a chapter of the national organization The Rising Tide Society, a group founded by creative entrepreneurs for creative entrepreneurs. They believe in putting community over competition and helping each other grow. They believe that when creatives rise, the world is changed for the better. Together, they are empowering the creative economy to pursue their passion with the support of a community.
In the beginning, I hung back and was mainly active on social medial. After a year, I decided to attend one of their monthly meetings with a guest speaker. One meeting and I was hooked. There was so much goodness in those meetings, the education, the friendships and fact that I got out of the house without the kids (HA!). I think I have attended every meeting since! I started connecting with other business owners and strengthened the relationships I already had.. It was so empowering. After a few months I even decided to apply for an open leadership position on the board of our local chapter. and was honored with the position of Education Chair, and I now help secure the speakers for each meeting.
The connections and friendships that I have made over the last few years have seriously helped shaped my business into what it is today. You can only do so much by yourself, and I have learned that sometimes it takes a village. The friends that I have made would be there at the drop of a hat to help in a time of need.
And while the friendships I have made alone are worth it; so much more has come from it for my business. Networking has allowed me to make connections with other business that serve the same ideal client as mine and in turn, over half of my clients come from some sort of friend, vendor or past client referral.
I know that it can be hard to get out and network in your industry, because more than likely most of these individuals do exactly what you do. For instance, a majority of our chapter is made up of wedding photographers. Ones that have the same ideal clients, the same price ranges, and the same styles. But, at the end of the day, they are creatives with the same desire to build one another up, grow our community, and empower one another.
If you’re not part of a local TuesdaysTogether chapter, I highly encourage you to look and see if there is one in your city (there are over 400!). And if there isn’t one, they do take applications to start new ones. Trust me, you won’t regret it! And if you’re in Jacksonville, I highly recommend you check out our awesome group, I’m a little biased though!
And even if you don’t have a local chapter or aren’t ready to dive into a Tuesdays Together group, you can still make connections! Reach out to other entrepreneurs in your area to grab lunch or coffee! Trust me, they’re in the same boat as you and you’ll never know where those connections could lead!
Photo by Bri Cibene Photography