Since I relaunched my blog, the one thing I’ve learned about growing my side-hustle and business has been that you’re not going to go anywhere if you don’t network, network, network, and build a solid community around your passion project. Pretty evident and simple, correct? Well… It takes a bit more legwork than that but listen closely.
For anyone who wishes to take their side-hustle (whatever it may be) to the next level, make it an active and daily effort to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who are working as hard as you are on their goals and side gigs.
Ok, but how do I accomplish this?
By reaching out to them! Yes, the most effective way in which you can develop your network is by stepping out of your comfort zone and putting your name and your brand’s name out there.
But where do I even begin?
Branch out and look for people who are doing the same or similar things to what you’re doing. Are you a blogger, a freelancer, a stylist, a designer, a musician, a makeup artist? Take a break from procrastinating on your social accounts and utilize them to your advantage. Do some research and reach out to individuals you’ve been following on your socials, and who you admire for what they’ve been doing with their businesses and/or around your industry of interest. Send them an email, introduce yourself, tell them a bit about your story and why is it you wish to get in touch with them. Once a conversation gets going, don’t be afraid to pick their brains and ask them questions. Friendly reminder, always keep it conversational!
Adrianna, have you done this before?
Yes! As a matter of fact, I have. This is exactly how I met fellow blogger and friend Andrea Loredo from Pretty Proper Quaint. The photos on this post were taken at her birthday party, which we celebrated not too long ago! So back to the story, Andrea and I followed each other on Instagram and continuously gave each other love on our pictures. I really liked what she was doing with her blog and decided to reach out to her via a private message. From there on, we made brunch plans and everything else was magic!
After meeting Andrea and realizing how much we had in common, she introduced me to the girls at the New York City Style Collective. Best. Thing. Ever. In all honesty, I would never have fathomed meeting such an amazing community of fellow bloggers and influencers. All of these girls are so creative and inspiring on their own, being around them fuels me to give my 100% at my side-hustle and every day endeavors. It is amazing because we’re all pursuing similar dreams, but we all have very particular ways to go about this journey. Getting to know what has and hasn't worked for them and being able to share our experiences has been ultimately insightful and I'm immensely grateful for it.
Over time, I’ve branched out and have been able to meet and interact with other bloggers outside of the Collective in the same way I initially reached out to Andrea. Pro tip: If any of the individuals you intend to reach out to resides near your vicinity, try to make plans to meet for a lunch or a coffee date once you feel that a genuine conversation has been initiated. Slowly but surely you’ll see how you begin to build a solid growth and support network around these people and you’ll be surprised with how much you will learn from each other!
If you have any questions or would like some ideas on how to go about this, feel free to reach out to me as well – I’m always happy to help shed some light and inspiration on matters of the sort. And before I put an end to this story… I have one more thing to point out.
For Current + Aspiring Bloggers
Let’s cut to the chase, blogging should be about sharing insightful content, building a community around your brand by inviting others into the conversation, and about creating meaningful relationships (as mentioned above). Whoever is on this for the momentary ‘fame’ of having a large following or the ‘glory’ of your posts reaching +1K likes, is in it for all the wrong reasons. But as I like to say, to each his own.
Personally, one of the most beautiful and catalytic aspects of blogging has been finding and strengthening my voice as a writer and as an overall individual. Having this little corner of the internet to freely express myself, talk about topics which truly matter to me, and being able to share my thoughts and experiences with an audience who is wholeheartedly genuine and supportive is probably the most rewarding part of it all.
As every job, side-hustle, and phenomenon in life, blogging has been a huge learning experience for me. Same way in which I emphasize on branching out, networking, building a community and meaningful relationships, I have to reiterate the following: If you reach out to someone and for one reason or another they don’t give you the time of day, move on. Not worth it. There are plenty of amazing individuals out there who I am positive will be delighted to share their story and bounce ideas back and forth with you, all for the sake of each other’s growth and personal development.
Mic drop. I'm out.