Read this in: German
Some people start here on Instagram, with YouTube or with blogging and are honored to get something for free or to be invited to an event. At the beginning you don’t ask yourself: What should that bring me?
The thing with added value
More and more people like the YouTuber Mirellativegal or many bloggers with whom I have spoken in recent years publicly admit that they do not go to events or only go to events. Why, one might ask. But then at a second glance, the following may occur:
Do I have to travel extra?
Travel expenses, accommodation, do I have to pay the costs myself or will you pay them, do I have to pay taxes?
What added value do I have? Do I have to take vacation days at work?
Fashion Week? No thanks.
For example, I know a lot of people who no longer go to the Fashion Week in Berlin or who never went there because they couldn’t add any value.
Personally, as part of the plus size community, the fashion week is rather pragmatic. Because I show myself and I am part of the diversity community and make a statement through my presence. And when I’m already there, I go to trade fairs, get to know new labels and collect business cards that are relevant to me.
All of these are factors that should not be underestimated. This blog post is about two examples of events in Hamburg that gave me added value.
Women should support themselves instead of chopping on each other. I am currently writing a lot in analog life about self-love and one point that I keep coming back to is that the gentlemen of creation are more likely to be educated by open aggression than boys and it is completely ok for them that in Quotation marks “boys are allowed to be boys”, while showing open aggression is rather undesirable in women and thus women are attracted to passive aggressiveness from an early age. There are already very interesting books and approaches on this topic in elementary education, for example how to show girls with the help of “Where the Wild Things Are” that it is not bad to be loud and wild sometimes.
It was very well described at the female.Business.Now.Events with the words that the men are often on the golf course and exchange ideas. Why don’t we women adopt this as our own?
Why we shouldn’t see ourselves as competition
Fortunately, there are more and more people who want to make sure that women network with each other. I have been seeing it for years and since my youth that every woman is so different and every person, regardless of gender. Each of us has our own talents and strengths and is individually shaped by our own history. Why should I see a certain person or every person as my competitor? Even if this person has the same intention as me, it may be a completely different story to tell than the other person. Because this person comes from a completely different world and from a really different life reality than mine. There is only one person with my story. Fortunately, this thinking has also reached many ingenious minds of business women and so Ann-Christin Heymann organized the first Female.Business.Now Meetup in Hamburg two weeks ago. The first guest for this was Tanja Marfo, who has been a pioneer in plussize fashion with her blog Curve Rush since 2013 and since then has also organized the Plussize Fashion Days in Hamburg (last year Diversity Fashion Days).
You might think that now that I haven’t seen Tanja for the first time in my life, I already knew her entire story, but I got a lot of helpful tips on what should be in my handbag, for example, and that is basic it is better to be alone at an event to be networked. Just not lugging someone like your best friend, because you have to jump into the cold water and meet new people.
Why you should network
If you have a business idea or are just starting your own business, there are numerous reasons to exchange ideas with others. By this I don’t just mean other people who do exactly the same or similar things as you and are, for example, virtual assistants or are active in the area of cultural management. No, it is also very exciting and important to exchange ideas with other industries. Processes and procedures from other industries can be a good impulse to adapt, expand and improve your own strategies, milestones and goals. Perhaps this will enable you to discover a special feature that sets you apart from the majority for your own professional skills.
Exchange of experiences
An important point for networking and exchange at events or congresses or meetups is definitely that you can exchange your own experience. Registering for your own business is at least the same from city to city and, with a few exceptions, is mostly independent of the industry. For years I have been a good contact for the legal bases on Instagram. I always write very nicely with every message that this is not legal advice because I am not a lawyer, but I went through life with lawyers and also have several workshops on legal security on Instagram or legal security on YouTube or legal security on blogs visited.
You shouldn’t sit on your high horse there either, because other people don’t really know about the imprint.
For example, someone recently asked me if she could just take photos and publish it without a source. For anyone who’s been active in the social media area for a long time, this may be a totally strange question, but if you haven’t yet dealt with the area of stock photos and freely available photos on the Internet, then maybe that’s just new territory for you.
An important point that Tanja Marfo has consistently pervaded at Fashion Week for many years is the representation of diversity in fashion. Many can not do anything with Fashion Week because it does not result in good collaborations or the like, but you can also simply go there to show diversity or make a statement. This was only recently seen at the Oscars, when Natalie Portman wore a coat on the red carpet on which the name was embroidered by many female directors who were not nominated for an Oscar.
It may sound a bit banana, but sometimes it helps to have a second person by your side to help you achieve your goals. Quasi a tandem partner. Are you also doing an online course? You are also writing a book, then let’s just call once a week and talk about how far we have come. This buggy method is actually very widespread and many people are looking for groups via Facebook or Instagram or just someone with whom they can share their successes. And the principle is as simple as it is effective. If you call someone once a week and want to share your progress, you must have made progress.
You never know…
I personally also find it exciting beyond my own industry what people do in different things and you never know when you might be helped by this or that person. I am currently writing and, for example, have always found someone in my own circle of friends who masters illustrations. It may just as easily be that you are in the area of cultural management and have to organize an event and then maybe need someone who does special catering with gluten-free cakes. Therefore, it is simply exciting to go out of the comfort zone, to leave your own bladder and to be open to new things.
Many are sometimes confused because I have not yet offered a podcast or online course and still go to such events to network. But you never know who you’ll meet there. And sometimes it’s just that I create a good platform for cooperation through blogging or my reach on Instagram. Basically, the best cooperation actually started with finding the days or analogue and having exchanged them first and not through any brokerage exchanges or the like. Because at events or congresses or other events you see yourself as a person and not just the finished feed.
That actually speaks for the Fashion Week again, there are often events where you can easily get accredited and then simply exchange ideas with brands on site.
Learn something new
I went to a Meetup twice within a week. With the latter, constantly under pressure to get my train. That is why it was less about networking and more about the workshop character, because it was about customer acquisition in the broadest sense. Because we make Instagram and build reach and likes, but what for? Unlike on YouTube, where you can monetize your advertising at a certain point in time and thus earn at least a few cents per click or not skipped advertising, simply by populating Instagram you do not earn any money, but all the working hours that you spend on Instagram is work that is without any direct remuneration.
That’s why I can advise anyone who is somehow a blogger or on Instagram to deal with the topic of customer gain. For my part, I have to admit to myself that I would never use Instagram privately in my life. The simple reason for this is that it simply takes a lot of time. It makes sense for me to think about exactly what I want to achieve personally with Instagram, Tiktok or another social network.
A new impulse
The exchange can also be a good way to get a completely different new idea and to work efficiently with your resources. In this way you also collect your own inspiration, which you can then use in the future. For example, I recently exchanged ideas with someone who is currently turning an online book into a self-written book. So there is no lengthy research and no boring days in specialist literature research. There is a finished book and so that this content is more tangible for people, it is made into a kind of digital interactive workbook. An online course is nothing else, sometimes with more, less or no supervision.