Hey creative lovelies! Episode 9 already… where did this season go already?!
Today we’re bringing you the wonderful Eli Trier – she is a community builder for quiet revolutionaries, and helps introverts with big dreams get connected & build thriving communities – making their corner of the business world a better place!
Loud & visible not your happy place, but still have big, world-changing ideas to get out there? Eli is your woman.
A self described “borderline recluse introvert” (we love her already), and also autistic, she knows how tricky social interactions, relationships and stuff can be.
She shows you introvert friendly ways to communicate with your people, find your kindred spirits, and makes marketing feel like hanging out with your mates rather than shouting into the void. And she reassures you that if it’s not working for you, then it’s not the right approach – even if it’s worked for someone else.
Yes, we want some of that!! The opposite of hustle – and right up our street. And hopefully yours, too!
This kind of work shouldn’t be, but is, still quite revolutionary in the world of business and online business. There is so much noise out there, the idea that you can be quiet and effective is kind of amazing.
Aligning what you do in your business and in promoting your business with your long term energy levels feels radical – as Sarah says, some of it *cough* traditional networking *cough* is marginally less attractive than sticking forks in your eyes.
Through connection and a circular approach, which Eli calls Love is greater than numbers, she helps business owners figure out who your people are, who your kindred spirits are, whether that’s a group of people at a live event, a wall of faces on social media or googling people in a new area.
Creating a sustainable strategy
Knowing how to immediately clock the people you’ll click with (ooh, that was almost a tongue twister!) is a great way to narrow down the people you need to have conversations with, rather than trying to speak to everyone in a room or on a list or a call.
It means you’re nearly always having a conversation with exactly the right person, which means the conversation is much more likely to lead to something – a client, a referral, a new friend, a connection, whatever.
Time is precious, so choosing the people you most want to connect with is a very valuable skill.
Discovering community projects
An artist, a creative coach and formerly a marketer and running a hotel, and having written and illustrated some of her own work, Eli decided to facilitate honest conversations. Much like we do here at Creative Reboot, but in a different format.
She pulled together 30 artists she knew, brought them together in an online group and got them to talk about the things they had struggled with, what it mean to them to be an artist, all kinds of things.
And it was, in her words, phenomenal. Seeing everyone’s thoughts and words come together and echo each other and be different and the same – it’s definitely a kind of magic.
And now that’s a core part of her business – helping other people to conceptualise and run their own community projects, to grow their businesses in a gentle, quiet and very effective way.
Social media is not synonymous with marketing
Oooh can we say that again?! Eli is adamant that growing an audience and finding clients are two different things – and there are SO many ways to do both, without using social media unless you want to.
Possibly our favourite quote ever ever ever sneaks in round about here – “I have a pathological inability to do stuff that makes me miserable for an extended period of time”.
During around a five year period where Eli did illustration and creativity coaching, she found her own creative practice had almost entirely dried up, and she’d stopped enjoying creating.
But the community projects felt like joy – talking about stuff, bringing conversations to life and connecting people.
And so she created a business which allows her to help other people do the same – connect, converse, talk!
A glorious, not-overnight success
That feeling when someone you’ve followed for years has heard of you, and gets in touch? That’s a glorious moment.
And realising you’ve finally reached a point where what you want to do for money intersects with what makes you happy, and is also something you’re really good at? Also a glorious moment.
But these things do not line themselves up overnight, and all three of us would like to emphasise that it is totally normal to take a while to figure out the right combination for you. Especially now we live in this world where there are often at least 5 different ways to accomplish one thing.
Several thousand overnights to get to an overnight success 🙂
(it makes sense if you’re listening to the episode!)
There’s nothing like self employment to bring up all of your shit. Confidence, money issues, anything you’re struggling with is probably going to get magnified if you start and run a business.
Eli, like all of us, has faced these things, and says it’s incredibly uncomfortable and incredibly exhilarating.
Getting good at being rejected, getting good at failing – throwing a bunch of spaghetti at the wall and failing over and over again. It’s quite possibly the best therapy in existence, but sometimes unpleasant to go through.
She also says she tends to overcomplicate things, which makes us smile because she seems like an incredibly sorted human!
But a really key message (and a driving reason behind us starting this podcast in the first place) is that overwhelmingly, no one talks about their failures until they are already super-successful. And then it’s harder to relate to when you’re earlier on in the journey.
Well, actually a normal kind of support network, but Eli makes the point that for all of the things that we’re told that we should be doing to market and run a business, there are people who have whole teams who are struggling to do all the things were supposed to do by ourselves.
And we thought that was absolutely worth highlighting!
Hiring people who excel at the stuff you find meh is a definite theme this season, and Eli is no exception. It feels like a scary step, choosing your own support team – but it frees you up to do the stuff which you shine at.
It’s also important to have “anti cheerleaders” in your life – the people who know and love you well enough to be able to call you on your bullshit when that needs to happen.
Masterminds pop up here – and the idea of having ones with different experience levels. So it’s great to have one where you’re the most experienced, it’s important to also have people at a similar level to you to check in with, but there’s also space for one where you’re the least experienced, so you can continue to learn.
She also recommends (and our hearts sing to hear it!) looking at books before looking at the internet for business advice. As we compare business to a bra – the foundations being important – this is sound advice.
And her parting advice?
Don’t become fearless. Get good at doing everything while being a little bit petrified.
On that wonderful note…
Get more Eli in your life
Find Eli at elitriercommunities.com
The Sunday Letter is at elitriercommunities.com/resources
She’s on Instagram @elitriercommunities
Links we love (and probably mentioned)
The Wayback machine – in case you want to peek at what people were doing years ago
Watertight Marketing by Bryony Thomas