“Community over competition,” have you heard this phrase?” I love what it represents, but how can we truly become a community instead of competing with each other?
How can we make this more than a catchy slogan? Why is this important?
When I started Color Give Smile, I reached out to the only other nonprofit that I was creating cards just for seniors. They gave me advice and even promoted my Facebook posts! Inspired by our connection, I started to research companies that promoted micro-volunteering. I started networking with each one I could find, and they allowed me to share my link on their pages.
You know what happened?
Those websites are STILL the number one way I get volunteers, interviews, promotional articles, and more networking opportunities.
I eventually partnered with Cause Corps to help them send art to seniors all over the world. Now, there are other nonprofits that liked the idea and started sending art to seniors. I’ve added them to my list of references that I send to volunteers. The more we work together, the better it is for senior citizens.
Now here are some tips, if you’re looking to practice “community over competition”:
- Build each other up. Like what someone in your industry is doing? Let them know! Comment on their social media, email them to say hello, encourage them.
- Teach someone for free. Don’t be afraid to mentor someone who is new to something you do professionally. We all started somewhere. If you truly believe that what you do serves people, then don’t you want more people to do it?
- Don’t get mad at newbie prices. Someone in your industry will always undercut your pricing, but that’s only your problem if you allow it to be. We both know this isn’t sustainable anyways. Do what you can to provide a valuable experience to your customers and the rest will follow.
- Join Facebook Groups and participate! This is great for sharing your own wisdom, promoting your art, and networking with other professionals who also have a lot to share.
- Invest in others, while investing in yourself. Don’t get jealous, get inspired and learn something. Whether it’s a class or book, support other artists!
Has anyone helped you get your art to the next level? I’d love to hear about it!