Hey, friends, welcome back to another episode of the Business Journey podcast. I'm Rebecca, and today we're talking about cultivating friendships in the photography industry. Now, coming from a natural introvert like myself, cultivating those friendships is not always easy. I don't know about you, but for me as an introvert, I like to consider myself an extroverted introvert, that I can be extroverted, but I need to be. But naturally, when it comes to, you know, meeting new people and striking up new conversations with people, I don't know that well. It's just a little bit uncomfortable for me. And so today I'm going to give you some tips from an introvert to help cultivate those relationships in the photography industry, because I think they're so important. Now, before we get too far, I wanted to let you know that I have a free resource. If anybody is looking at planning out your mini sessions and kind of wondering what theme would be best or like what what kind of monies to do, you know, in the upcoming seasons, I've got a freebie that is full of my 12 best proven ideas like themes for mini sessions. So you can grab that today at Rebeccaricephoto.com/12ideas. One word, one, two ideas. I know that freebie will be helpful to people, especially if you're in the planning stages of like, what do I want the next several months of minis to look like? Those five ideas will get you started. They're proven they're profitable and they'll just get you started on the right foot. So again, that's Rebeccaricephoto.com/12ideas. One, two ideas, all one word. So go check that out. Now, let's dive into today's episode. Like I mentioned, I'm an introvert and that tends to surprise people when they find out that I'm an introvert just because I seem, you know, bubbly and easy to talk to and whatnot, which I mean, I am those things. But I think the difference between an extrovert and an introvert is where you get your energy from. So I have extroverted friends that truly recharge by being around people. And for me, being around a lot of people drains me after, you know, talking and talking and talking to people, you know, if I'm at a conference or something like that. Oh, my gosh. By the end of the day, I'm so pooped and I just want to lay down, whereas introverts recharge by spending time alone or in a very small group of people. And so that's really where I fall. And so I think naturally meeting new people, making new friends, especially, you know, something like the photography industry where there's a lot of extroverted creatives, it can be a little difficult. And so I thankfully have made some amazing friends in the photography industry and wanted to give some really practical tips to how to cultivate those relationships, whether it comes naturally and easily to you or even if it doesn't like me. And so my first tip to cultivating those friendships is to find your tribe, OK, find a community of people that are like minded, that you really feel, you know, align with your values and align with just where you want to see yourself. A good rule of thumb is, you know, where do you want to see yourself in five years? Surround yourself by those kind of people. Right. You know, I worked in youth ministry for years and we would say, show me your friends and I'll show you your future. And the guys who you hang around makes a huge difference in the trajectory of your life. And so you want to find a group of people, find a tribe that are like minded. They have similar values in you, and they are doing things that you want to be doing, right, that are achieving things that you want to be seeing yourself achieve. Those are the people you want to surround yourself with. There's some really great ways to find your tribe searching through Facebook, Facebook groups. There are lots of photography groups. Some of the best ones I'm a part of are paid ones. So like I took Amy and Jordan's business and shooting and editing courses, I'm in their Facebook groups. Caitlyn Jameses Facebook group is so awesome. I have a Facebook group for my students and I love our community. All of our students are so amazing. They just have the best attitudes and they truly believe in community over competition and it's just so uplifting, so encouraging. So for me, those are the kinds of people that I wanted to surround myself with. You know, in those communities, of course, there's people from all over, but you'll be able to find your pocket of people that are in your area. One of the best things to do is, you know, post in the group, whatever group you're in, that you're like, these are my people post and say, hey, is there anybody from such and such area? Like, I'd love to meet up. Just finding where that group is first is just a big, helpful step to take. If you're not a part of any sort of paid community, you can search the Facebook bar for, you know, family photographers or, you know, whatever niche you want to go into, just search it and see what kind of groups you can find. It may take a little bit of trial and error. I know there are some photography communities that are a part of that are brutal. And they're not my people. They're not kind. They're not encouraging and uplifting. They're really harsh and mean. And those are not the people I want to surround myself with. So it may take some trial and error to finding your people. A great place to start is the Rebecca Rice education community. We, like I said, have amazing people that are just genuine and so just they're just awesome people. So find that community. The next thing that I would say that's a really important step to cultivating those friendships is to be intentional. Things like that. Those those relationships in the photography industry don't happen by accident. You need to be intentional and put yourself out there to meet people. So for an introvert, that can be a little bit uncomfortable. But if you see, you know, a local group of people hosting a hangout, go to the hangout or do you know whatever you can to be there, go to photography conferences or join in clubhouse rooms if you know, if clubhouse is still a thing, I'm like in and out of clubhouse. But what I mean, I pop into some really awesome rooms if you want to see, like, what rooms I hang out in, like follow me on clubhouse. I don't even know my username search. Rebecca Rice, you might find me, but follow me on clubhouse and I think you'll get like a notification when I pop into a room. Either way, clubhouse is a good way to just meet new people. And it's nice because you don't have, like, the in-person aspect to it where you can like you can choose to participate in layers with clubhouse. You can just be a spectator and listen and sort of like hear people's voices or you can, you know, join in the conversation, take it that step further. It's a great way to, you know, meet people and then follow them on social and start, you know, the conversation there. Whatever it is, clubhouse is a good way. Another way to get involved is like Facebook lives or, you know, whatever communities are offering jump into those opportunities to meet people. If you see somebody on Instagram that you just really love their personality and you think you gel DM, hey, I just love following you and you know, I love to chat or hang out or whatever, that's a really great way. You just have to be intentional to put yourself out there. I know one of the first times I think it is the first time I went to like a photography hangout. There was a local group, I think it was through the Amy and Jordan group. So it was back when we were in Texas. There was a group of people that were meeting up for lunch one day. And I was like, you know what ? I'm just going to go. I think I knew one person there and going in. I was I felt really uncomfortable. I'm like, oh, my gosh, I don't know anybody here. I don't know what I'm going to talk about it like how this is going to go by. Knew one person. So I'm like, OK, at least I know so and so. So when I go, I'll just sit by her. And so I went and I actually met a few people that were I mean, I met a ton of people that were really sweet, but a couple of them like really stood out to me and we were able to connect afterwards and like, I've hung out with them, you know, one on one. And we've done, like, you know, coffee dates or lunch or whatever. So that was really uplifting to be able to meet them there. There are some of my other friends that I've met again through like Facebook groups like that where we just started following each other on Instagram and like responding to each other's stories. And the more that you do that, the more that, you know, you relate to each other and then you become like Instagram friends. So I have like a handful of Instagram friends I've never met in real life that I'm excited one day to meet them in real life. I need to make a trip because several of them are in Charleston. I don't know what it is about Charleston, but I have a bunch of like Instagram friends in Charleston. So I'm going to plan a trip to be able to like me, all of them in one swoop. But anyway, I have this like handful of Instagram friends that that relationship was cultivated just by, like, sliding in DMs. I know one person that sticks out to me, not even know if she's going to listen to this episode. She might, but her name is Kate Dye. She is a photographer in Charleston and I'm pretty sure so I think she may have bought one of my courses at one point and then she just like started flying into my DMs and she was one of the first people that would like voice message me. And like Natasha Quale does this a lot to do with voice messages. And I first I was like, well, it's kind of weird. Like I had no voice message, somebody and Instagram. But Kate was like all about it. And so just by voice messaging her a few times, like, we clicked so fast and we became friends. And then, you know, we're responding to each other's stories and we're in each other's Facebook communities and. All kinds of things, and, you know, she's just the sweetest I love, you know, getting to be friends with her and support her however I can. And so that relationship is cultivated literally just by showing up in DM's that she's the extrovert. She reached out to me and, you know, started that conversation. But I continued that conversation, you know, and got out of my comfort zone and responded with a voice message or whatever, and that it just went well. So you have to be really intentional to put yourself out there to make those connections. And that's where those friendships really blossom. Another way that's really great to, you know, make awesome industry friends is to join like group coaching or mastermind's. Some of the sweetest people I've ever met came from mastermind's that I was a part of. If you can find somebody offering group coaching or a mastermind, that's a great way to just meet industry people and get to know their businesses and get to know them as people. So that's a really awesome way just to meet people. So we talked about finding your tribe. We talked about being intentional to, you know, meet those people and talk to them.The third thing that I would say that's really practical that you can do to cultivate relationships in the industry is to support one another. In Episode 13 of this podcast, we talked about what true community over competition looks like. And that is just, I think, such an important lesson I'm going to keep hitting on because supporting and learning to support other photographers with joy and not jealousy is a really big step of maturity in the journey of a photographer to be able to look at somebody who is thriving and succeeding and celebrate with them with joy and not with jealousy of like, well, I wish I was there and this and that and the other. I know just this last week, I posted an Instagram real about how this whole thing isn't a right. It's not about trying to beat somebody. You know, this journey that we're on, it's a journey. It's not a race. And a friend of mine actually had to remind me of my own message because I was getting stuck in the comparison trap and I was just feeling down and there, like Rebecca, hello. Like, what do you preach all the time? It's not a race. It's not about competition. Just, you know, be happy for whoever and live your life like enjoy it. And so life is a lot more joyful whenever you can support other photographers. So some really great ways to support others in your industry is, you know, give them a shout out on social media or, you know, comment and engage on their posts. If there's an educator, if they have some kind of like course or group like Joinet, you know, there's just a lot of ways that you can support other photographers in your area and even not in your area. I know that, you know, the meet ups and things like that that's local. But you can have community and friendships with people all over the nation. And that's what's so cool. Like, I have friends and all kinds of states that, again, are like Instagram friends. I've never met him in real life. I've never seen their legs. But I know that they are just sweet, genuine people. And I would have never had the opportunity to meet them if it weren't for something like social media. So take advantage of those opportunities and support them whenever you can. That's just a huge, I don't know, cornerstone of what I teach because it just makes such a huge difference to be able to support people in the industry and truly cheer them on. I was just thinking today, Dolly DeLong, I mentioned her a lot where I'm like hashtag like Dolly because she does a really great job about this. I'm going to have her on our podcast at at some point. She teaches amazing things about systems and workflows. So, Dolly, if you're listening to this, reach out to me because we're going to have you on the podcast at some point. But anyway, Dolly does a really great job of this. So you don't support one another. Be intentional to meet people even if it's out of your comfort zone and find your tribe. OK, those are three really practical things that you can do today to grow your reach and your friendships in the photography industry. So I hope that was helpful, especially for me introverts here. If you're an extrovert like I love you, but like making friends is a lot naturally easier for you. So that comes a lot more naturally. Do so for my introvert friends. I hope this is helpful. If you ever have any questions or are wondering, like how you meet people or whatnot, like I'm always open to chat in midterm's on Instagram at Rebecca Rice Photography. I just moved to a new state. And so I'm like in the process of like starting over meeting new people. So if you are like me and you just relocated, like, let's chat. I love to connect and, you know, see how I can help, like, find you a good, solid tribe. But anyways, again, just one of those, like, hard messages that I feel needs to be said. And, you know, reminded. Did so short and sweet episode today, but I hopefully this is helpful and like really gets you excited to build those relationships and like, reach out to somebody new and cultivate some kind of relationship. So those relationships, I'm telling you, are ones that lasts a lifetime. Those are ones that make all the difference in your journey and just make it just so much better. Life is so much better with people. So anyway, all that to say, go find your community, go meet people and cultivate those relationships. We'll see you next week.