A couple of years ago, I was involved in a mentorship program run by Vic ICT for Women, and it was run by (seemingly) older corporate women, and I was really disappointed in how old-fashioned it was – no social media, no Facebook group, no online community for the mentors/mentees – nothing powered by modern technology in the program. I’m not a huge fan of social media for business, but for something like a mentor program, it’s ideal! You can build a sense of community, have conversations and enable phatic communication (which can lead to deeper relationships), help people in real-time, promote and list events, share wisdom, get people networking, and help with job leads!
So. When I first read about Creative Women’s Circle (CWC), I thought it sounded old-fashioned and I (unfairly) expected that the organisation might be similar. But when I arrived on Saturday at Frankie and Swiss, who were hosting the event, it was SO COOL being in a space with 100+ women who were all creatives (everyone was dressed so interestingly!). It wasn’t a corporate/older/fuddy-duddy event at all. The place was a-buzz with rows & rows of dapper women introducing themselves to each other!
Tess McCabe (the CWC lead) made an introduction to the concept of CWC, their events, membership, and so on, and then she introduced Clare Bowditch. Clare talked (very smoothly; an accomplished public speaker, and of course, an accomplished performer!) about where she started out, how she stuck to her creative vision and personal values, and about her consulting, events and conference company, Big Hearted Business (BHB).
Clare also had some questions for us. Early on, she asked us to get a pen and paper, and to answer this question: Why are you here? (My answer was: “Looking for anything interesting. Would love to work doing something creative, meaningful, something I love. Admire Clare.”)
She then said that any successful, profitable business solves a problem. Her business, BHB, helps creative people to be successful in their (creative) business endeavours. So, next, she asked us: What problem are we solving?
Clare went through some examples, asking people in the audience about their craft (e.g. one woman runs the Australian Burlesque Festival) and then talked about the problem that they solve (Clare loves burlesque and wants to know where it’s on.)
Her next questions were:
Who is the target audience?
Where are they?
How can we let them know?
What price can they afford?
She then asked us to do a quick exercise, answering all of these questions for our creative-business idea, and recommended this as a great way to start or grow our business.
At the end, Clare said that BHB will be launching its first product soon – a virtual conference – and recommended that we sign up to the mailing list, to get an early bird offer. Also, she recommended their Inspiration Bombs, which are inspirational videos from “creative-business heroes.”
To conclude: I enjoyed the talk, but it did seem so short! Skimmed the surface of a lot of information in Clare’s brain.
P.s. Other recommendations noted during the talk:
- Dumbo Feather magazine (issue 37 has Clare Bowditch piece)
- Good Grace & Humour floral & botanical design
- The power of vulnerability TED talk by Brené Brown
- Ubud Readers & Writers Festival in Bali
- The Divided Heart: Art and Motherhood book by Rachel Power
- Australian Burlesque Festival
photo credit: @frankieandswiss