Finding community online

“All I want is to stay at home and work in my yoga pants.”

This quote was on repeat the year before I went full-time with Spruce Rd. Frustrated with my current job, all I could focus on was getting out of there and starting on my own — in yoga pants of course :). 

What I didn’t realize at the time is just how difficult that would be, and the endless questions that would pop up.

How do I get clients online?
Should I launch a course?
Would people be interested in this product and purchase it?
Will this client like this design?!

These questions, and many others, cropped up daily. Without having cubicle friends to chat with, I was left asking these questions to my husband! Though he helped when he could, he often admits he is clueless (as he should be) about the online design field.

Because this online creative industry? It’s overwhelming. 

Having a small group of like-minded freelancers who’ve got your back is transformative. I’m a testiment to that from my mastermind!

Without my pals Phyllis and Kelsey, I can honestly say I have no idea where my business would be today. We’ve combed through website copy, critiqued logo sketches for clients, exchanged app recommendations, swapped freelance processes and even shared breakups, pregnancy announcements, and insecurities. All over a bag of Milanos and wine.

Hold up, what’s a mastermind?

There’s a lot of business jargon out there, and this one has made its way to the top of the list! A mastermind is essentially an intimate group of individuals focused on one topic. An accountability group of sorts. So for Spruce Rd., my mastermind consists of the lovely Kelsey of Paper and Oats, and Phyllis Sa. Our central focus is our online businesses.

These ladies get me. They are the unofficial team members of Spruce Rd., navigating me through the big decisions for my brand. Everything from “should I launch this product” to “how do I respond to this difficult client situation?” To say I’m grateful for their daily encouragement and wisdom is an understatement!

Okay okay, so this quickly took a turn into a love letter to my mastermind gals ;).

Maybe you’re thinking… this sounds great, but why am I receiving this in my inbox?

Whelp, I’ve been asked numerous times about my mastermind, so I thought I’d give you a peek behind the curtain!

How to find your mastermind

So, you’re sold on the concept of a community group of fellow online business owners! But how do you find the right group to come alongside your business?

My mastermind formed through an online course we took together. It was the perfect way for us to kick-start our group since we were all diving into the course content together. We all knew of each other earlier from Instagram, but didn’t formally come together until going through the e-course. The course didn’t pair us up (though that’s a great idea… more on that later!), we found each other ourselves and started a group chat! 

Since then, we’ve snowballed that group chat into Skype calls and in-person retreats!

So, if you’re trying to form your own mastermind, I would recommend reaching out to a few people you love following on Instagram. Make sure they are in a similar spot in their business (ie: not a mentorship relationship), so the mastermind is all around beneficial for everyone.

Once you’ve got your roster of potential besties, set up a Skype call to get to know them! Make sure they are a) an overall nice person and b) open to committing to a mastermind.

Ready to kickstart your own mastermind? I’m cheering you on!

There are countless ways to structure your group, but here are a few things I’ve seen work well:

  • Start a Slack team. Essentially Slack is an app that allows for organized chatter. We’ve set up channels in ours based on what we talk about most — clients, Squarespace, courses, etc. You can add more categories as you go!
  • Set-up Skype dates. Setting aside dedicated time to meet with your mastermind is so impactful. I look forward to these virtual dates each time! Everytime I walk away with new insight and fresh ideas for my business. Since we’re a small group, we just take turns focusing on each other’s businesses. Nothing too structured here, just more of a check in and space for any insight we may need.
  • Meet in person. You know those people you meet where you say “WHAT?! You’re into that too?” — that phrase was on repeat when we met up in person. Photographing flat lays for instagram, exchanging Evernote organization tips, to critiquing the menu design at restaurants. These are my people. Meeting in person after having an online mastermind was yes - beneficial to my business, but more than that it was FUN!

That’s enough to get you started!

Are you amped to startup your own band of freelancers? Well, I miiiiiight have something for you in a couple weeks! Share-worthy Design for Freelancers opens up again on February 8th, and this go around I might just create intimate masterminds for the students. OKAY! I’ve said too much. You’ll receive a live workshop invite in a couple weeks to hear more about it!

Want to chat about masterminds?

Join me for the next lunch + learn! We're at it again with a candid Q+A style workshop around the theme of community for your online business. Tune in live to ask your questions, and hey... maybe you'll find your own mastermind there!