Today I wanted to share a lesson that I've learnt whilst on both my personal and professional journey through life. The idea is simple: build meaningful connections with people vs creating competition with them.
Whilst working in my corporate marketing job I managed the marketing for a 35+ store shopping centre. During this time I felt the flurry of competition between our big named brands; their head offices' need for power and money was so big it was always something that didn't sit well with me. Luckily I worked with an amazing team where we created a beautiful partnership between the stores and a real camaraderie when it came to supporting each other's businesses. This is something that really got instilled within me and something I took away from this job when I left 9 months ago to start up a new life here in Vancouver, Canada.
As someone who needs a reset every now and again the pull to create my own business was so strong that I wanted to get away from 'reality' to allow me to have time to work on my business idea. At the age of 28 it had been at least 10 years since I'd been in a situation where I needed to make a lot of new friends and connections all at once. I wanted to prioritise this connection vs competition concept that I had been building within me and felt that I wanted to bring people together somehow through my new business.
I first started making new connections by creating a new Instagram account. Nearly every day in the run up to moving to Vancouver I talked about my journey on there, what I was doing and used every Vancouver related hashtag I could find to start making these connections. Living and breathing my new life before I had even arrived allowed me to find the places I wanted to visit, the brands and businesses I wanted to meet and overall it allowed me to connect with people who I'd never had done before if I'd just arrived in Vancouver without having spent 3 months on Instagram beforehand.
As soon as I met someone new I started talking to them and actually engaging with them with such passion. I know! Shock, horror, this is actually a thing you can to do make new connections, sounds a bit old school doesn't it talking to people in real life? I realised that for both my personal and professional life I needed to talk to people, everyone, anyone and tell them what I wanted. Once I had created the idea for my marketing consultancy business the saying "if you don't ask, you don't get" really made sense to me. This is something I talk about this in a previous post, Sing It From The Rooftops, you need to tell everyone you meet who you are and what you want whilst also searching for a way to help them out too. I've been amazed by how many connections I've made since telling new people I meet that I'm a marketing consultant for creative entrepreneurs. It's so nice to see how willing other business owners are when it comes supporting you and sharing your name with their network. Since entering this world of connection vs competition it's something I wish I'd done sooner.
Marketing your creative business can be messy when you fall into the world of push push push. Pushing content out to an audience and asking so much from them (money, likes, downloads) and yet giving very little back to them in return for their support is not a world I encourage anyone to be apart of. Sadly, this is a culture I feel many 'marketing experts' create; a flurry of making you feel guilty if you don't work 24/7 and that desire to have competition against others in your field.
Instead of having competition on your mind, why not focus on yourself, work out what your brand story is and then use this information to go and share with people you meet. In my last blog post about Earth Day I shared 3 creatives: Chloe Hall, Mélanie Johnsson and Jennie Lewis who are all doing their bit for the environment. The feelings I got when I received such lovely messages from them to thank me for sharing their story are the kind of feelings I want to have every day. This sense of creating connections and not causing competition is what drives me in my business.
We all market our businesses differently and creating connections is a large part of my current marketing strategy, you may find this idea daunting or impossible but it takes time and you need to have the true desire to do it.
If you feel this post has resonated with you and you're interested in finding out how to work with me, you can find out more info about my packages over on my consultancy page. I hope you have a lovely day and as always, please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.