How To Be A Good Friend To Your Creative Friends

Camden Sloss

Camden Sloss,

2021-08-11

“Bro I neeeeeeed one”

“I would like to preorder every piece of clothing pls & thx”

“How do I sign up to be an ambassador? Can’t wait to see what you guys come up with!!!”

As an entrepreneur, it’s a great feeling to create something you’ve been dreaming about for years.

It’s an even greater feeling to receive comments like the ones above from friends when they see what you’re doing. This reassurance can be the final encouragement you need to bring your product to market.

It’s the greatest feeling to release what you’ve created into the world, with the hopes that someone will like it enough to buy it… especially those who said they were going to.

Want to know the worst feeling? When only one person buys your product after hundreds of friends told you that they loved it.

During our Freshman year of college, my roommate and I created a t-shirt business from scratch. We designed and printed the shirts by hand, built a website, and created content for social media. It was a blast… until we released the shirts and nobody bought them. Even though my experience relates to t-shirts, I think the lessons I learned can be applied to pretty much any creative or business process.

Here are my best tips for supporting your creative friends:

  • Choose your words carefully.

    • Encouragement is great if they’ve created something worth praising… but don’t tell them you’re going to buy something from them if you don’t actually plan on following through.
  • Show up.

    • Whether it’s a pop-up shop, an art show, or a concert; show up for your friends. Even if you only stop by for 5 minutes, showing your support for them by actually being present means the world.
  • Tap that like button.

    • Nowadays, brands are built on a strong social media presence. When you interact with one of your friend’s posts (liking, commenting, saving, sharing), it increases the chances that post will be seen by new people. Take 5 seconds out of your day to support them in this way!
  • Pay the asking price.

    • Don’t expect a discount just because you’re their friend! Pay the price on the tag because chances are, they know more about pricing their products than you do. Only take a discount if they offer one!

Tips for entrepreneurs and creatives:

  • Don’t listen to everyone’s advice.

    • Just because your friend or relative gives you advice, it doesn’t mean you have to take it. Take a step back, think about what they said, and figure out if it aligns with your vision.
  • Don’t believe the hype.

    • Make sure there is real demand for your product, and if there isn’t any, create that demand yourself. It’s easy for friends and others to hype up something they aren’t going to buy for the sake of sparing hurt feelings. 
  • Don’t do too much, too fast.

    • Start small. Don’t overwhelm people (or yourself) with tons of products all at once. Focus on what you’re really good at.
  • Do your best to rest.

    • Building your own business or brand can be very rewarding and fun. However, you’re not going to be the best by hustling and hurrying around 24/7. Remember to give your brain a break to recharge.

Starting your own business is hard, risky work. Keep going. If your pursuits ultimately fail, that’s okay. You’ll reap the rewards of the knowledge and experience you gained. If you succeed and your business takes off, don’t look down. Appreciate the views that result from it and use them as fuel for the next step in your journey.