One of the big struggles when it comes to transitioning from a side hustle to being self-employed full time, is the sudden loss of accountability. When you work for someone else, you have no choice but to do all of the work. When you start working for yourself full time, however, this changes. Technically, yes, you still have to do the work. But that’s easier said than done!
Over the last few years, I have used lots of different tools to help my business. When I first started, I relied heavily on spreadsheets, because it was the free option, for which I’m definitely grateful for! When you’re first starting out, you don’t want to spend money unnecessarily. You have to be careful about the expenses that very quickly accumulate, and so the free options are perfect for when you’re starting out.
Networking has such bad connotations - we instantly think of corporate settings, suits and formal chats. Let me tell you - networking has come on a long way, and the key to success is finding the right event for YOU. I’ve never felt good in a corporate environment - I much prefer to meet new people over a coffee, wearing jeans and my favourite jumper. I don’t want to be putting on a front. I value real conversations so much more over the formal chit chat you gain nothing from.
So in the spirit of real connections, I wanted to ask you something. When is the last time you reached out to someone you’ve been following for a while, to collaborate on a project, work together or maybe even just meet up for coffee?
It’s so easy to get caught up in working and constantly bettering your business, but the truth is, life is better when we work together. I’m not saying that you have to go out and get yourself a business partner - that’s not what I’m saying at all, but working with other creatives once in a while can have huge benefits.
I found this out very quickly - the monthly meet ups I organise prove to be the perfect amount of motivation to keep me focused and raring to go smash those goals I’ve been working towards.
Not only will you make new professional contacts, which may benefit you somewhere down the road, but you will also gain SO much personally. I have met so many wonderful people through reaching out - a simple message on Instagram is sometimes all it takes. I’ve met new friends, I’ve collaborated on projects together.
As you already know, running your own business can be a bit of a bumpy road sometimes. Having that support, even if it’s in the form of a quick chat over Instagram or Facebook, can really make the difference between feeling completely defeated, and feeling like you can actually tackle the next tasks ahead.
So, I’d like to challenge you - reach out to that one person you’ve been wanting to meet for ages. Maybe there’s a project you’ve been thinking about for months now, but need someone else’s help. Reach out - you never know what might come of it!
If you’d like to join us and meet other female creatives in real life, we meet on the first Wednesday of every month at Blend cafe in Sneinton, Nottingham, 10-12pm. We are a welcoming bunch, so don’t worry if you don’t know anyone. If you’d like to know more, feel free to drop me a message!
If you’re not local to Nottingham, there’s still plenty of other networking events that are going on all around the country. Check out One Girl Band, Flock and Form, Girls doing cool things to name a few!
Until next time,
Personal Branding photoshoot with Julia from Frances Day Bridal
Frances Day Bridal opened back in August of 2016 in the beautiful town of Southwell. After many years working as a fashion buyer, Julia decided to pursue a different passion and took the plunge to open her own business. After searching for the perfect wedding dress for her own wedding, she felt that many boutiques didn’t provide the experience she was hoping for. Determined to help other brides have the best dress shopping experience, Frances Day Bridal was born.
Julia stocks a range of exclusive designer dresses, including Jenny Packham, Suzanne Neville and Augusta Jones to name a few. The boutique was refurbished when she first took over, and is now a bright and airy space, allowing brides to have private appointments, offering bridal accessories and alterations, too.
It was an absolute pleasure to work with Julia on this personal branding photoshoot. If you would like to enquire about your very own personal branding photoshoot, you can do so here.
Gigil & Bloom - Personal Branding photoshoot in Southwell, Nottinghamshire
Gigil & Bloom is a relatively new florist based in the town of Southwell in Nottinghamshire. As soon as you walk into the shop, you’re welcomed by gorgeous gifts, including candles, vases and of course, the stunning flowers. Sophie has done an incredible job renovating the shop, making it into a beautiful and light space. Sophie started her floristry career back in the very same shop some years ago, and when the opportunity came up, she decided to take the plunge and set up on her own. It’s safe to say she made the right choice! The business has grown from strength to strength and Sophie is beginning to take on more wedding work - something she’s really passionate about.
I felt that it was important to include photos of the shop in Sophie’s personal branding photoshoot, because the shop is such a huge part of the business, and the branding, too. As you can see, it was a dream to shoot, all thanks to the hard work Sophie has put into making the shop as Pinterest worthy as it is now!
Even though Sophie was a little nervous to begin with, she eased into the session pretty quickly. We chatted the whole way through, talking about business, Instagram (of course) and how lucky we feel to love our jobs.
Here’s a few words from Sophie herself about her personal branding photoshoot:
“I love my photos, thank you so much Anna for capturing my little shops
character so authentically, they are beautiful, I can't stop looking
at them! And although I characteristically shy away from the front of
the lens myself, you helped put me perfectly at ease and the shots are
so natural I couldn't be happier with how they turned out!”
If you would like to find out more about the personal branding photoshoot, please get in touch now!