Community is vital for any small business owner! When you have a strong sense of community, I fully believe that you can achieve more! They can help you feel less alone, help you solve problems, and bring joy into your life as a business owner. There are 5 ways that community is helpful, & I wanna share them with you plus how to find community!
The Benefits of Community
First, community is essential to learning. We all learn from someone. And everything I’ve learned in my business I can trace back to hearing about or being taught direclty by someone I’ve met in the small business world! It’s also important to stay up to date on new trends. Having a community to ask questions to is invaluable!
This is a big one. Being a small business owner can feel so overwhelming sometimes. Comparison can hit hard, or you can just have a really hard year. I think 2020 was one of those for all of us. When you have a strong community, you can go to them when you need help or just need to know you’re not alone!
Chances are, a lot of the small business owners you meet in different groups will be interacting with your ideal client as well! By being involved in a community, you can refer work to each other. If you’re a photographer and you hear about someone needing design work, you can refer someone that you know! Or you can hire each other! Or if you’re a photographer & you are not available on a date that someone inquires about with you, you can refer them to someone in your community. I believe strongly in the power of community over competition!
Also, community is so helpful in the area of accountability. I have achieved so many more goals when I tell other people about what I’m doing or about a project I’m working on. If you’re really wanting to spend more time on your email marketing but you just don’t make the time to do it, you can get one of your friends and have a coworking session (even virtually if you need to!) and sit down and work on it. You can hash things out with a fellow business owner & get inspired.
Collaborating with others is also possible when you’re involved in a community! You can put together styled shoots, work on a large project, or accomplish a goal together. I think of musicians playing together in a string quartet or coming together to work on a community project. The possibilities are endless!
How to Find Community
There are a so many Facebook groups that you can join! I’m a part of photography groups in San Jose, The Bay Area, and Greenville since I’ve lived in those places. You can find affinity groups to join & build community that way. Another great group is TuesdaysTogether, which I’ve talked about before! You just need to start with one group & find one person and ask about other groups they are involved with!
You can also be a part of local groups like the Rotary Club, Junior League, or the Chamber of Commerce. Your town may also have other resources for small business owners! The city of Greer, for example, has a small business association and they meet regularly! Again, you can ask other people you meet in these communities what groups they are a part of that they really enjoy.
Remember, the more time you invest in your community the more you’ll get back. When you move to a new place, it’s especially hard to build community because you have to start from square one. But keep trying, keep pushing, and in time you can form those deep relationships! You’ll find your people, I promise!
What You Can Do with Your Community
Once you’ve found your community, you can do so many different things together! This is by no means an exhaustive list, but here are some of the things you can do:
- Cowork sessions
- Coffee sessions
- Headshot swaps
- Venue crawl
- Styled shoots
- Collaborate on a project
- Ask for advice/encouragement
- Give advice/encouragement
Go out there and get started! If you have any questions, please let me know! You can also join my FREE Freedom to Flourish Community on Facebook!
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