It’s been a busy old week at Dollies HQ. My eldest daydreamer lost her first tooth, I’ve been working on orders and new ideas (including some for around 6 months time…) and I have been thoroughly enjoying the sunshine with family and friends. I am a fan of winter but its so lovely to throw the doors and windows open in the summer.
In addition to all this, I have been networking on social media and reaching out to other crafters, businesses and customers. Now to some of you, you may be thinking ‘she’s only just started doing this?’ and it may be part of your daily routine whether you want to publicize your blog, business or other venture. For me, I admit it is new to some extent.
Don’t get me wrong, I have dipped my toe in the water when it comes to networking but as a result of time (not making time that is) and more importantly confidence, I have shied away from it. I have concentrated on creating, writing and keeping my head down. Slowly though I have carved time into my day to spend time on Twitter and Facebook to communicate with other businesses and have found myself enjoying chatting to like minded people.
Yes, the goal of networking is to get your name and your product out there but it has been so much more in the past week. By communicating with other people I admit I have made sales but more importantly, I have discovered some lovely individuals and beautiful work. I have received some fantastic feedback on my designs, developed new ideas and purchased a few lovely gifts for birthdays etc. that are coming up.
I think there is a danger when networking to have a take, take, take attitude. Maybe to some, it’s the way of the world. It comes across very quickly when someone is wanting to do this and its not nice to be on the receiving end. To others, networking can seem daunting for fear that their work won’t stand up or that by publicisizing their work they are opening themselves up to imitators, critisisors or even worse the sound of silence.
I am pleased to say that in the communities I have connected with and the people I have met have not been like this. Through this experience, I have felt a part of something. I have felt less isolated. I have been able to ask questions and find out information I wouldn’t otherwise have done.
I have also developed a new found respect for those ‘bigger personalities’ on social media – those with a more established fan base and network of people. They have worked hard for that following, for those relationships. They are well known and well thought of for a reason.
It would be easy to sit back and think that if I just create and its meant to be, positive things will happen. It would also be simpler (though ALOT more expensive) to throw money at advertising and other things to do the work for me and hope good things will come. What I’ve realised over this last week is that it wouldn’t be half as fun to do that. I wouldn’t be able to direct people to other sellers when I know they have just what they’re looking for. I wouldn’t be able to have a chat with someone about their market nights, their fantastic work or the weather. 🙂 I took on a challenge to network for an hour a day (instigated by the amazing HTLMP) and I’m so glad I did. It is hard work, especially on busy days but I’m reaping so many rewards…many of them unexpected and delightful.
I am not there yet. I still have a few stumbling blocks in all this – I haven’t dared giveaways yet (God forbid no-one likes the giveaway and does not enter…) and I need to get myself further out into the world but just for today this is enough.
Do you network? Have you got some success stories or tips for networking? I would love to hear about them.
Until next time,