By now you know that connecting with other creatives is one of our favorite things (alongside dance parties and homemade biscuits). But often this "it's who you know" world temps us to see people as objects instead of individuals --it becomes easy to approach folks as a means to our desired end rather than a real person with feelings. And so, our thoughts on make meaningful business connections while maintaining your humanity :
Reach out. We know it requires vulnerability and some gumption to be the one saying "Hi, I like you. Let's be friends?" We went to kindergarten, too. But nothing ventured, nothing gained -- send that email and offer to buy someone a cup of coffee for the chance to pick their creative brain.
Be yourself. No further explanation required.
See Them as a Person. Not as an Instagram-mer with 5k followers or the designer who knows this blogger... get to know them for who they are, what they like, where they've been. Remember, we're promoting a creative community, not building a step ladder to creative world domination.
Let Go of Competition. No matter what field you're in, I'd venture to say that there is ample business to spread around. In any given year there are upwards of 2 million marriages within the United States alone. As a wedding photographer I'd like to get to know 25 of those couples -- any more and I share with my friends! Don't let competition poo-poo on potentially beautiful friendships. We're all in this together (que music).
and when you have the chance,
Promote One Another. And not in a "you scratch my back and I'll scratch your back" kind of way. This is the beauty of getting to know people whose work you admire and personality you respect -- you'll want to promote them and can do so with a clear conscience.