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...

4 comments:

  1. Really great blog Sue, has inspired me to go out there and promote myself and not hide away in the comfort of my own four walls

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  2. Thank you for this. Between reading this and a small " discussion" with another creative this morning, I've been given a right royal kick up the bum. Having the support of your peers is lovely, but you are responsible for pushing yourself. " no fate but what we make" (sorry for the cheesy quote)

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  3. Another really positive and inspiring post Sue. It's great to look back and see how far you have come. V inspiring. Keep it up.

    From my point of view too, recently working with a fab mentor has helped me focus on making opportunities for my business too. I can't recommend working with a mentor enough. Sometimes it just helps to get a different view point. As creatives, often working independently you can become somewhat boxed in but having another person in on the act really does open up your mind and ultimately can help you step forward massively.

    Recently we've been focussing on getting a tighter grip on financial targets / sales targets with an aim of growing the business.
    It's really helped me visualise where I need to be going. But not only that, but it's helped me realise that I'm not too far off my targets too and see that what seemed like a daunting task really isn't that big.

    Similar to you, amongst other things we've also been looking at what type of clients to approach and how to approach them, instead of waiting for them to find us too.

    I think that sometimes it's really tough to take an honest look at your business and make changes, but I whole heartedly recommend it.

    Heather x

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    Replies
    1. A great insight and glad to know other people are putting themselves out there with success too!!

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