Networking Vs Making Friends – By Natasha Steer

Networking can be quite a scary word to a lot of creatives, it evokes the thought of dressing up smartly and becoming someone they are not in order to secure business. Often at organised networking events you swap business card with potential clients and are asked awkward questions like “so where do you work?” and “how do you make money?” rather than the more interesting question of “what are you working on at the moment?”.

3 years ago I started going to a monthly event in Rochester, Kent, called Tuttle 101 – a relaxed event with a collection of various types of people focused on inspiration, collaboration and learning through doing. First held upstairs in a local pub the event now happens once a month in a local coffee bar. Yes this one single event opened up a whole new world to me, and through it I have made friends, not “contacts”.

Tuttle 101 lead on to the majority of us converting an empty bank into a co-working space, called coFWD. Here we work on our own personal projects, and similar to the ethos of Tuttle 101, we bounce ideas off one another and help each other to do what we do even better. This is not an office space, we even hung balloons from the ceiling to prove this. It is a community space, we hold various events for the local area, and we do things together socially as well. I describe it as working in a place where you have chosen all the people you want to work with.

 

So when did people start thinking that a networking event would encourage creatives? As a creative I can speak for most of us and say that often our motive is not money, it is to make a difference in the world. We want to earn a living yes, but do we want to start discussing how much money we make? No, our inspiration does not come from money, it comes from projects, people and places – to name a few.

I have yet to meet a creative who enjoys “networking” events, however I know many creatives who are happy to meet up for a coffee. Yet people continue to try and connect with creatives by arranging fancy meetings and networking events or workshops with the aim of “expanding business” and “making profit”. A huge majority of the time these type of events never really connect with the creatives invited.

Maybe some money minded people think they are helping a creative by convincing them to become more business orientated. I can tell you now, it isn’t going to work, our whole life’s ambition is to make things much more important than money. So if you are a business reading this, think about how you can help them make a difference, not make money. As Albert Einstein said “Try to become not a man of success, but try rather to become a man of value.”

By Natasha Steer

@natashasteer

natasha@creatabot.co.uk

The next Tuttle 101 event is on Monday 17th September 2012 at 9.30am at the Deaf Cat Coffee Bar, Rochester, ME1 1LX

If you would like to know more about coFWD please email me at natasha@creatabot.co.uk

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A Jack Of All Trades – By Emily Foster

This week at work I got into a spot of bother with my boss. He was concerned that I had been potentially sharing insider information on Limehouse Books, telling the secrets of our trade. He was annoyed because I had told people that last week, instead of working, we spent a day cleaning his flat.

Now, I should stress that I did volunteer to help him with the task. On Saturday night he hosted the Limehouse Summer party, and it was me who insisted his flat was at least vacuumed before people could be allowed in. The tidying was necessary to fit us all in. Cleaning the kitchen was just for extra sparkle.

However the experience did make me think about all the other things I do at Limehouse Books, as well as being a designer. Working for such a small company, the more you can learn a little bit of everything, the better. And, as always, there is lots to learn.

By Zfaerman

There’s fun stuff, like organising events and press coverage. This covers most of our marketing and publicity side of things – attending networking events, forging partnerships with other organisations to host events with (for wider audience reach), finding and contacting new ways to gain press coverage through newspapers, magazines, radio.

Being trained in the editorial side of things means I get to be a lot more involved in book projects than just coming from the designer’s perspective. This includes proofreading and editing at the early stages – later everything is proof read professionally by a freelancer.

Then there’s bookkeeping and managing invoices. You’d think that with such a small company keeping track of the finances would be easy, but this is much more effort than you think. We use online bookkeeping software.

There’s other little tasks that keep cropping up too: posting on Facebook and Twitter; attending meetings and liaising with anyone involved in a project, from printers to authors and potential clients; submitting books for awards; responding to any queries.

As you can see, there’s lots to do. It’s hard work, but varied, engaging and, most of the time, fun. Apart from the cleaning… 

By Emily Foster

http://uk.linkedin.com/in/emilyjaynefoster

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