5 Ways To Grow Your Network

ByJessica Ruhfus

Whether you’re looking to make new buddies, geek-out on your favourite topic, build a business network or just have your finger on the pulse, growing your network should be a priority no matter what life stage you’re in. If the word ‘networking’ gives you the heebie-jeebies, don’t worry! Here are 5 ways to grow your network without the *cringe*-factor.

Collaborate with Brands
If you’re in business or work for a pretty awesome company, there’s really no better way to grow your network AND the business at the same time. If I’ve lost you at ‘collaboration’ think GoPro x Redbull, Spotify x Uber, Gelato Messina x Tim Tam or Peter Alexander x Moccona - when two brands partner up for some cool marketing activities. I started Collabosaurus as a matchmaking platform that is perfect for matching up with the right, complementary, relevant brands for collaborations just like these and there are over 3000 opportunities to connect with! If you’re not sure where to start, we have a free 5 day masterclass series on the lot (you can check that out HERE)

Attend Events
They’re not what they used to be! There are so many great events going on at the moment. Today, I got a message from one of my event attendees letting me know that she signed Redbull thanks to connecting at the event! How amazing is that? Attend events that target people you want to connect with. A great place to start is on Eventbrite, local co-working spaces, websites like Work-shop or checking out festival scenarios like Vivid in Sydney.

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Have a peek on Directories
There are so many directory listings in different niches that you can try as a way to connect with awesome people. LinkedIn is of course the obvious one, but there are also platforms such as Like Minded Bitches Drinking Wine, Business Chicks, Behance, Big Hearted Business & The League of Extraordinary Women where it’s far less *cringe* to reach out than sending a cold email. That weird term ‘putting yourself out there’ doesn’t have to be awkward! Find some niches that you fit into and see what directories and websites are out there connecting people in the space.

Ask your Existing Network
You probably have some pretty cool friends, suppliers and co-workers already, actively tap into that! Send an email to your top 10 people and let them know that you’re actively looking to expand your network in _____ space and would love an intro to anyone they know (who is as awesome as they are, of course). You’ll be amazed at the results, especially from your existing, legendary network.

Start Stalking on Instagram
I love a good stalk as much as the next person, but stalking doesn’t actually grow that network of yours, does it? My advice is to take stalking to a whole new level: find 5 brands or people that you are inspired by and actively comment on their posts. Please, for the sake of everyone’s sanity, steer clear of “love it” “100%” or “Nice work!”  - make your comments personalised, involved and interested, it will help you stand out. I know that if I have a client or a follower consistently comment on my Instagram posts (over on @collabosaurus, in case you want to join the party) I end up becoming virtual best buddies with that person. The amount of real-life friends and networks I have made through Instagram is astonishing and so much easier than you might think.

What are you waiting for? Start growing that network of yours and consistently invest time in building relationships. The saying “it’s who you know” really does ring true!

Collabosaurus is an online match-making platform for brands to source valuable partnerships with other brands. If you want to tap into communities around Australia, and even internationally, Collabosaurus is a go-to tool that makes sourcing and negotiating a strategic collaborations simple. It’s FREE to get started and view your matches.

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Creative Collaboration: Playing The Win-Win Game

By K.M. Tremills

As a storyteller, I always assumed I had to go it alone.

Whether I was writing, pitching, or taking meetings, I bought into the solo artist myth. Our do-it-yourself culture reinforces that to earn something — to be worthy of your success — you have to scale the mountain without help.

No oxygen. No sherpas. No one to throw you a rope when you’re hanging off a cliff.

But here’s the thing.

Collaborating with other folks is FUN. Oh my god, yes!

As I dangled from yet another creative precipice, and wondered how the heck I was going to get myself out of this latest terrifying scenario, I noticed that there were folks who knew how to scale rock-faces WAY better than I did. In fact, they wanted to show me HOW to scale the cliff. And they had the ropes, shoes, and carabiners ready to go.

What, exactly, am I referring to with this rock-climbing metaphor? Graphic design. Marketing. Event Planning. Copyediting. Sales savvy. Any skillset you’ve been led to believe you must master and do all on your own. I promise that there is another person who is not only far better at it that you, but who LIVES to do it!

This is what I call the blessing of the Win-Win scenario.

To paraphrase Gay Hendricks, from his game-changing book, The Big Leap, we all have a genius zone. Not our comfort zone. Or excellence zone. But our genius zone. That Einstein-level, time warp you enter when creating from your true passion and brilliance.

Time disappears. Creation flows. And magic happens.

Every person on this planet has a genius zone. And if I pretend that I am any good at graphic design (which I am not), I am robbing another person of expressing her genius! I discovered that if I accept that I suck at design and choose instead to empower a person who is brilliant with graphics, I step into the virtuous, time warp of creative collaboration.

Even more exciting, is how fast someone in her zone completes tasks I put off for weeks.

One of my genius zones is writing and storytelling. I have honed my craft for years and adore the process of telling stories. So when I choose to write, I am fast! If I focus, I can create a short story in one day. I finish that day feeling tired, but deeply satisfied.

When I struggle to complete a task that I am far from good at, it takes hours, weeks, or even months. Partly due to procrastination. And partly thanks to that old belief that I have to do everything alone. Plus, I am learning while doing, which slows every action down tenfold.

No more! What a beautiful world we make together by empowering each other to live in our genius zones. All while building our businesses faster and easier.

So how do you get started with collaborating creatively?

First, ask yourself what tasks you’ve been putting off. If these skills are not your expertise, make a list of people who either excel at them or might know someone who does.

Next, reach out to those people. Creative collaboration begins the moment you make a request. Even if asking for assistance feels scary or difficult, take the first step by believing you are worthy of partnership and support. Then make the request.

Finally, be clear about what you need and what you are willing to exchange. The currency of collaboration can be money, time, services, products, expertise, and more. Remember that you have as much to offer a creative partner as she has to offer you.

Once you discover the liberation and exhilaration of creative collaboration, I promise you will leap with joy off the Do It Alone cliff into the wide-open Win-Win skies!

K.M. Tremills is a lover of myth and story. She delves deep into the realm of the human spirit in two distinct series, The Great Lands and Fated, as well as her Fiction Vixen collections, Fabled and Three Short Tales of Red. When not creating fantastical worlds, she gives strategic counsel to creative entrepreneurs. Her latest offering is a course in Creative Breakthroughs: Smashing through Blocks to uncover the courage in your heart. Kate has contributed to Elle Canada, Moving Pictures, and ScreenTalk and is a member of the Writers Guild of Canada. Find out more at and connect with Kate at Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook.

Ready to learn how to market your biz like a boss? Our Digital Bravery Ecourse is open for enrolment now!

March into Merivale 2016 // Guilty Pleasures

March Into Merivale
March Into Merivale

This year is all about nourishment for me – including nourishment of the senses and continued inspiration. Many of you know that I’m a die-hard events fan and absolutely love to host events that bring people together. But I also love getting glimpses into other blogging events from around the world and will be committed to sharing more of these this year – in fact I have a TON of events to report on from last year that we hosted that I’ll be sharing soon – stay tuned!

In the meantime I wanted to share some information on March into Merivale, the annual five-week food and wine festival taking Sydney by storm every year. Now in its eighth year, the event is surely the most anticipated on Sydney’s culinary calendar. With over 50 restaurants and bars ready to showcase the food and chefs who make Merivale venues the best in town. This year March into Merivale is your excuse to just go for it! To yield to your guiltiest pleasures… and then some, with first-class food, desserts of the highest sin, and cheeky drinks to keep the party rolling. March into Merivale kicked off in style on Feb 10, and for the next five weeks will be showcasing the best of Merivale with events at Mr Wong, The Paddington, Felix, Ms.G’s, sushi e and many more. Choose from luxurious Champagne tasting evenings, desserts dripping in chocolate, beachside carnivals, shameless dance parties and once-in-a-lifetime dinners.

Last week I was luckily enough to join Natalie from Eat Read Love and 20 of Sydney’s best food and lifestyle bloggers at the March Into Merivale exclusive preview launch dinner. Hosted by Rebecca Gibbs, we indulged in chef David Lovett’s Ultimate Guilty Pleasures Menu overlooking the Ivy Pool Bar from Uccello. It was a decadent dinner, held poolside and with the theme of ‘guilty pleasures’ – pure heaven on a beautiful Sydney summer evening.

March into Merivale runs from Feb 15- 20th March. For all of the details and bookings head to

Eat Read Love Pop Up // Beachside Dojo Manly

Eat Read Love
Eat Read Love
Eat Read Love
Eat Read Lover
Eat Read Love

Coming at you with some visual eye candy today to get you through the mid week hump! Nothing fills our creative tank like a well executed event. Fresh flowers, pops of colour, dreamy views and a great vibe make for an event to remember and our gal pal, Natalie Hayllar from Eat Read Love is no stranger to pulling off the impossible and creating consistent, one of a kind and sought after events here in Australia.

Her most recent event, a relaxed 'Summer Soiree by the Sea', took place at the beautiful Beachside Dojo Manly Rooftop in Sydney and we're reporting on all the Pinterest worthy pics and details to help inspire your own summer celebration.

Taking advantage of Sydney's summer weather, guests mingled in the rooftop bar overlooking picturesque Manly beach, sharing New Year's resolutions over a glass of sparkling D&B Rose 'Pour les-Amour'. Floral designers, The Sisters,  created a magical floral table display, with whimsical over-hanging greenery, hot pink Dahlias and luscious pink roses with Gascoigne & King Belle candles burning brightly in between.  Each guest received a bespoke gift box from online gift registry From The Owl, lovely homewares from Millie & Archer and a luxury travel guide from Mr & Mrs Smith. Guests dined on a shared Asian inspired menu of fresh and cooked seafood, Sushi, Sashimi and salads, with the sound of waves crashing in the background, as the steamy afternoon storm rolled in.  

An event to remember? I certainly think so.

Let's recap all the details that came together to make it happen:

VENUE: Beachside Dojo Manly
EVENTS + STYLING: Natalie Hayllar - Eat Read Love
FLORAL DESIGN & TABLE STYLING: Naomi & Esther - The Sisters
WINE: D&B Pour Les-Amour by Bird in Hand Wine
PHOTOGRAPHY: Nadean Richards - One Fine Collective
GRAPHIC DESIGN: Hilary Thackway
CANDLES: Gascoigne & King
From The Owl
Mr & Mrs Smith
Millie Archer
Wanderlust Union


The benefits of coworking and collaboration

By Celeste Mitchell

Coworking might just be the biggest buzzword of 2015 in Australia, but with more and more companies – not just indie creatives and work-from-home solopreneurs – getting their hot desk on, there’s got to be a much more deep rooted benefit than just free coffee and ping pong tables, right?!

When you’re used to working on your own schedule (and in your pyjamas) it can be an intimidating thought to step back inside four walls of the office you fought so hard to escape, but on top of the productivity benefits (and infinitely better WiFi on tap), there’s a community thriving within coworking spaces across the world that could just help propel your business to the next level or launch your new idea with a bang.

When you work from home the lure of the fridge, putting on that load of washing, or answering the door/phone to yet another well-meaning relative or friend who seems to think that working from home = not working at all, can easily rip your days from under you before you’ve even had a chance to tick one measly thing off your to-do list.

By booking a day or week in a coworking space, you’re making a commitment to yourself and your business to show up and get shit done. And the benefits of simple getting dressed and setting yourself up for the day are surprisingly high.

But what are some of the other benefits of coworking?

Coworking can spark ideas

Waiting at home for that innovative idea to strike? One of the best things about coworking spaces is the varied skill-sets and industries that hum together under the same roof. That informal chat on the couch or by the coffee machine might just spark that next big revelation for you – when you listen to how other industries are tackling problems you might find ways you can apply the same principles to your own business.

Coworking can hook you up with the perfect collab partner

Short of blog commenting, Facebook stalking and buying every product your idol releases, there are not many better ways to get out in the real world and meet like minded people than working in a coworking space. You might turn around to find a web developer that can help you relaunch your site, a financial advisor who would be the perfect expert for your next podcast, or a copywriter who can turn your idea into that ebook you’ve been meaning to write for at least 12 months now!

Coworking can boost your productivity

Making a commitment to work, cutting out the distractions of home, adding an inspiring work space and having fast, reliable WiFi all add up to the perfect recipe for getting shit done. Having access to a coworking space, even if you find you only fire on all cylinders for 3-4 hours per day, allows you to smash through deadlines a helluva lot easier than faffing about at home all day long.

Coworking is way more fun than working alone

It’s simple: working alone at home = drop in motivation, feelings of isolation and creative blocks. Working in a bright, sunny, inspiring workspace that’s centrally located, amongst other creative souls with great music and coffee on tap = happy life (and less offloading on your partner when he/she gets home from work!).

Coworking skills you up

Most coworking spaces offer workshops and networking events for their events, allowing skills to be shared and the opportunity to hear from those who have blazed the trail before you. At Share Space we hold a regular Nibbles & Know-How event where five experts speak for five minutes each on the topic of their choosing, giving guests quick insights, which they can implement further through longer workshops or connecting with those businesses.

Coworking is the way of the future

Fast Company recently reported that by 2040 the workforce will “accelerate in a major way towards entrepreneurship, independent contracting, and ‘peer-to-peer’ work”, meaning being a “freelancer” will be the norm and coworking spaces will likely be on every corner.

Even if you live in a town devoid of a coworking space (and with hubs setting up in towns like Armidale and Hervey Bay that’s becoming more and more unlikely), why not go the route of Swedish startup, Hoffice, which is like AirBnB for coworkers – opening your home to turn it into a bustling coworking space?

Have you ever worked in a coworking space? What do you love most about it?

Celeste Mitchell is a whip-smart wordslinger & business pimp for entrepreneurs and brands who want to take their online presence from boring to badass.

As a journalist, former magazine editor and the founder of The Devil Wears Flip Flops she’s obsessed with flipping clichéd copy on its head and writing words that will make you sit up and pay attention.

Celeste and her partner Zac opened Share Space on the Sunshine Coast in March 2015 after being frustrated at the lack of creative workspaces available in a region renowned for its BIG ideas and kick-ass online businesses.

The church hall-turned inspirational hub (with super fast WiFi) has desks available to rent by the day or week, an ‘Un-Bored’ Room complete with a ping pong table to make meetings all the more productive, and after hours the space transforms for yoga and pilates classes, workshops and talks. See it here.

Photo Credits: Krista Eppelstun