Life is Better Shared: Focused Creative Community

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Business Skills, Education, Networking

Artists often have amazing ideas and ambition, full to the brim with plans for success, but they don’t always know how to channel that into achieving real results.

During the pandemic a lot of artists feel like they have come to a dead end, ideas dried up and no concept of what and when things might happen again, it’s easy for every day to feel like Groundhog Day.

Enter Tom Elliott with the Focused Creative.

As a freelancer himself with many years of experience in the Arts Industry, Tom quickly came to the conclusion that he needed to become business savvy.

After trying every different method under the sun, and spending a small fortune, he eventually designed his own method which is the driving force behind his online arts community.

The Focused Creative is a membership-based community encouraging creatives to come together and share their skills. It aims to enhance individual productivity by bringing people together in a supportive environment.

The main aim is to help artists find clarity and focus in planning, goal setting and understanding which tasks will drive future ambitions. It also assists members in gaining confidence alongside other people who are in the same boat, aiding you to battle any doubts or imposter syndrome you might feel when launching your career.

He believes in teaching creatives to take ownership of their career and have or create something of their own. It leads participants to define themselves as their own brand, setting themselves apart from others to create a unique, individual selling point.

There are weekly check-ins where the team work together to share what they have been up to and make a plan for the week ahead. This ensures a level of accountability for you to get work done. Not only are you responsible to yourself but now there are others backing you, who have helped you formulate a strategy.

The membership also includes quarterly Masterclasses with industry professionals to improve skills in all elements of business and creative practice. Also, coming soon will be your very own 90-day planner so you can plan for your future.

If you don’t think you have the time, then think again. It only requires 90 minutes of your week! By prioritising the right tasks you’re more likely to get the right results and introduce a sense of rhythm to your work.

And Tom is offering all of this for the bargain price of £19 per month! That’s less than a gym membership which, if you’re anything like me, you’re realistically never gonna use. Plus if you dedicate time to the community and yourself you should find an excellent return on your investment!

Tom has an amazing life philosophy:

Live Well, Dream Big, Laugh Often and encourage others to do the same.

Pretty inspirational right?

He spreads this philosophy through his own work as a comedy magician, the Focused Creative Community, and running a Variety Night in his hometown of Doncaster, all of which share the objectives to boost well-being and create a sense of belonging in anyone who may come across him and his work.

He has some great branding and marketing techniques we could all learn from too. Particular highlights include:

  • The tongue in cheek comedy elements strung throughout his entire website
  • The great injection of his personality found in all his online content
  • The ingenious method of getting visitors to sign up to his mailing list by offering instructions to a magic trick you can do yourself
  • His expansive coverage of all things social media

There are loads of ways you can get in touch with Tom too. Just click the links below to learn more:



Are there ways you could introduce community groups or shared learning into your company to help fellows in the creative industries? Or have you done so already? I’d love to hear about it so hit me up in the comments below.

40 Social Media Networks You’ve Probably Never Heard of: An A-Z Part One

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Marketing, Networking, Social Media

Find a niche social media network that fits you could be great marketing for your arts business.

Starting with A-L

Read M-Z in Part Two


Billed as a simple yet professional profile to showcase who you are and what you do, is basically an easy way to create a website for your business. Initially free and only $6.58 a month to connect your own domain it’s one of the cheapest options out there, but you are limited to one page (also known as a landing page) which sums up you and your business.  It is insanely easy to set up and the free version is great if you’re a recent graduate or just starting out and want a little online presence.


  1. Anobii

An International Social Media Platform for people who love reading. Does exactly what it says on the tin, whether you’re into fiction or non-fiction and whatever the genre you’re bound to find your next read on here. You will also be able to find the right community to interact with! So, if you’ve written a book which has been published, or you are thinking about writing and want to check if there’s a market for it this is the network of groups, discussions and blogs for you to be a part of!


  1. beBee

Share your personal brand with employers and professionals. It will help your business grow and allow you to network within your industry. In the UK it is primarily used as a job search site which you can limit by location and find freelance positions or jobs which can be done remotely (or from home). The perfect network for finding work in the pandemic.


  1. Behance

Also our App of the Month for April 2021 Behance is a social network set up by Adobe as a place where you can showcase your work in an online portfolio as well as find some new, hand-picked inspiration for whatever your next project might be.


  1. Blind

This company is genius and I really hope it grows to be an important resource in the corporate world. Blind is community of over 3.5 million users who are there to share advice, discover information about taking steps in their chosen profession and provide honest feedback on their workplaces, whether dishing the dirt or singing the praises. It’s mission is to break down barriers within the business industry to enable people to make a real change where it is needed and make informed decisions on their career path.


  1. Blogger

Have you ever wanted to start a blog? Well with blogger you’ll find that it is super easy! Find a community filled with millions of people with different hobbies and interests to match yours. With free domain names, loads of templates to choose from and built in analytics so you can get to know your audience this is the perfect platform to kick start your creative business. As you start building your following you can even add Google AdSense into your blog so you can start to earn money from your hard work.


  1. Care2

This is the world’s largest community for good. With over 45 million users it is the perfect place to build online petitions, whatever the cause. Anyone can start a petition, share petitions to help them gain momentum and sign up for updates on causes they’re interested in! Current Arts, Media and Culture petitions include things from changing the name of Columbus Day to Indigenous People Day to co-naming West 8th Street in New York to Jimi Hendrix Way. As you can see it allows a wide scope for people to make a change. They also have important partnerships with companies like Amnesty International to ensure your petition gets seen by the right people.

8. Clubhouse

This new social network is so exclusive you have to be invited by a current user.  Experimenting with the current rise in the popularity of audio-based content (like podcasts and radio plays) this platform is all about dropping in on other peoples conversations. Audiences can listen live to interviews, discussions and general chit-chats! The difference to platforms like Twitch is that these aren’t saved and stored to listen to later, you have to be there or you’ll miss out on the fun!

9. Connected Heroes

connected heroes

A relatively new social network that aims to bring together entrepreneurs from all over the world to create a positive change in the business world. Entrepreneurship can be lonely so it’s important to remember that we can ask for help from others who have been there and done that! In return, we can provide our own knowledge and expertise to those who need it and this is the perfect platform to do it all from.

10. Crunchy Roll

This is the world’s most popular Anime Network connecting fans of Anime and Manga across more than 200 countries. They provide unique content, events, products, games and Manga to their subscribers. It’s a nieche network but if this is where your artistry and expertise lie this is most definitely a platform you’ll want to be a part of.


11. DeviantArt

Created in 2000, with over 61 million users and 45 million unique monthly views DeviantArt is the must have social media network for artists and art enthusiasts. This platform allows you to share, exhibit and promote your work online, whatever your medium from comic to cosplay, sculpture to street art, traditional artforms to tutorials, and everything inbetween. The supportive, inclusive community on DeviantArt will allow you to grow and develop your work with like-minded individuals.

12. Ello

Known as The Creative Network, Ello showcases art, fashion, photography and web culture. What sets it apart from other platforms in this area is that they won’t sell your data and they never display adverts. They also have some awesome features including a blog with recent news and a discover section which is similar to Pinterest. There are offerings of creative briefs from companies which work almost like a competition-based system. You send in your design (at the moment to companies like #OnlyTogether and films including Space Jam and In The Heights are participating) which you will be paid for if it’s used in the final campaign. They also have a Giveaways section in which artists can give away pieces of artwork in a competition to encourage online interaction and user generated content.

13. Fandalism

Fandalism is a social networking site especially for musicians run by Philip Kaplan, a New York based Drummer. Reported to have 500,000 users, it’s simply a place to share your music and meet fellow musicians. They also run a business called Distrokid alongside; a paid service which will put your music into online stores and streaming sites including Spotify, Amazon, Tidal, TikTok and YouTube.


14. Fotki

Fotki is a photo sharing site (like Flickr and Tumblr) but what makes it different is pretty much that it’s been around the longest so it is bound to have a lot of users. Starting in 1998 and constantly evolving it has state of the art, super protected servers which store your images, basic editing software built in and the ability to buy prints of your photos along with every genre of photography you could ever imagine, but no porn (or at least no obvious porn)! So, that’s a win over Tumblr.


15. GoodReads

Another site for avid readers, GoodReads is now a recognisable brand in the UK as they frequently run award ceromonies and book recommendation campaigns. You can use it track what you’ve read, create a reading list, see what your friends are reading and read book reviews. It’s unique feature is its recommendation engine which analyses 20 billion data points giving you suggestions tailored to your literary tastes! Scary, but pretty amazing!


16. Hello Network

I’m not gonna lie, I have little idea what this social network does, but my god it is compelling in its ambiguity! I really think this is one to watch. It’s based on love and creating real connections from shared passions. It has a graphic novel in which adventurers explore a parallel universe (What’s not to love about that?!) but it also isn’t available in the UK… yet! It’s made by a load of old google engineers and I reckon it’s gonna be great so keep your eyes on this one!

17. Hive

Hive Social is pretty much an amalgamation of all the social media platforms you know and love with the best bits pick n mixed in to create a new uber network. Like Twitter, you can microblog, like Instagram you can upload snapshots, like Facebook you can share and repost stuff you’re interested in and for those of you who remember the good old days of MySpace and Bebo you can save your favourite music to your profile. And (for now at least) the feed is chronological instead of algorithm-based so your content is more likely to be seen and spread! It’s blowing up at the moment so definitely one to watch!

18. Kroogi

Kroogi is a Russian and English social networking company based in San Francisco (obviously…) which tranlates to ‘circles’.  It’s a site for creatives including musicians, painters, writers, videographers, photographers and other artists to showcase their work, but what gives this platform an edge? They run a ‘Pay what you want’ scheme in which you can pay artists directly for downloads they’ve created. Artists are also able to set a minimum contribution. It pretty much sits in the middle of free of charge sites and fixed price models in the image industry respecting both the rights of the creatives and consumers.


19. Library Thing

Yep, you guessed it, it’s yet another social network for book lovers! Catalogue your books and must reads alongside a community of like-minded people. Turn your catalogue of books into an online library or book store with Library Thing’s paid service Tiny Cat with prices ranging from absolutely free for personal libraries to $35 per month to list up to 20,000 items.


20. Likee

Pretty much TikTok but from what I can tell a lot more lapsed with its security. It’s target audience is over the age of 17 so it has more adult content than TikTok and it has an expansive selection of unique video effects. It also boasts an impressive 150 million users so someone must be using it. I would take a look but approach with caution. There is a lot of negative press about it kicking around the interweb!


21. Listography

I don’t know about you, but I bloody love a list! And this site is full of them! Lists about everything from Baby Names to Things to make you happy, you can store all your lists on here and hopefully spread a little happiness. They also offer a great range of Listography merch including list journals and even a board game!

Read M-Z in Part Two

Do you visit any niche, creative social networks we haven’t listed? Let us know in the comments and we’ll add them.

Studio Open Days: Coburg House Art Studios

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Art, Networking, Promotion

Artists need space.


Whether we find ourselves requiring more so set up a studio, the need for a professional business address, a little extra storage to free up some space in the house or just the need for a bit of company, we often seek out studio, office or rehearsal space to work in.


And I don’t know about you but despite the fact I ‘work from home’ most of the time I actually find it immensely difficult to work at home. Whether I move to a coffee shop, a coworking space, a mate’s house or even a train (which I am currently on) I tend to get a lot more done! I think this is down to the naturally collaborative nature of creative work.


There are loads of these spaces all over the country for every different field of work and every price bracket. Usually located alongside the artistic suburbs of towns and cities not only do they make excellent workspaces but they can also make for great communities!


One of my favourites of these is Coburg House Art Studio situated in Leith, Edinburgh and home to over 80 designers, artists and makers.


It has been running for over 20 years and across that time has built up quite the reputation as an exciting, unique creative hub.  To get a studio space at this former granary there is a wait list and (I’m told) it costs a pretty penny, but for good reasons! Very good reasons indeed.


First and foremost, much of the ground floor of the Coburg House Art Studio forms a shop and gallery where studio users can display and sell their work. It is open every Saturday and Sunday 11am-4pm.  A really nice touch with this shop is the counter which consists mainly of a display of artistic business cards, presumably from every designer, so that if you should find something you like you can find that artists card and contact them directly or take them as a keepsake from your visit.


Another great idea is that twice a year they run weekend open days. One during the spring/summer and one just in time for Christmas. Not only can you learn more about how their artists work, you can talk to them about, well, anything you have ever wanted to know! It’s like a living museum where you can learn about any craft you could imagine.


Coburg offer their artists in residence the opportunity to display their work in exhibitions both independently and collaboratively.  They have quite a unique range of arts and crafts including: painting, print work, ceramics, glass, jewellery and illustration so I can only imagine the diverse and imaginative installs hosted.


A few of the artists in residence offer courses which you can take in the studios to and in case that wasn’t enough they also have a combined social media following of around 6500.  It is a hugely positive and inspiring environment which is clearly adored by its artists in residence!


So how can your Arts Business take inspiration from the Coburg House Art Studios? How can you get the public involved and improve awareness and income for the artists and you company?

  • Think about having open days for the public where they have the opportunity to get a special behind the scenes look at how you run your arts business.  Do you run a theatre company? Think about running an open rehearsal or script read throughs.  Do you have a dance school? Try having an open workshop.  What about a museum? Have an access the curators or scientists day or run specialist educational tours.  Think outside the box to develop unique community events.
  • Run specialist workshops encourage the local community to learn new skills or try something new.  You could offer these for free to raise awareness or charge a ticket fee as a way of bringing in additional income
  • Think about introducing a shop or gallery.  This works great in galleries and studios as it gives artists an immediate connection to sell their work and the commission you earn can be used to put money back into your venue and make it even better for clients.  Think outside the box here, the RSC runs
  • If you have the space available, you may consider launching a coffee shop or bar.  Make your work place a cool place to hang out!


Coburg House Art Studios have created a community beyond their community and become creative hub for the people of Edinburgh as well as the artists.

How could you do the same?  Let us know in the comments below!


Posted Leave a commentPosted in App of the Month, Networking, Social Media
Name Ravelry
Product Description So, technically not an app but a great online community designed especially for crafters!
Availability Only Available through your browser at
Key Features ·         A way for knitters, crocheters, designers, spinners, and dyers to find like-minded folk!

·         Stay up to date with the latest yarns, tools and projects

·         Free and paid for patterns available to download.  You can use outright or as inspiration.

·         User based content from similar hobbyists

·         Meet and stay in touch with people from all over the world

·         Find different themed groups to suit any crafters needs

·         Upload your projects in an online notebook to share what you’re working on and make your patterns available online.

·         Create an advertising account with specific craft products or services and know you’re directly reaching your target audience!

Prices and Plans FREE!

Think of it like Facebook but for material makers!

Biggest Pro The instant community you find at the mere click of a button!  If you’re a designer or maker, or even a specialist product developer for the craft sector then you’re bound to find friends through Ravelry.
Biggest Con They don’t have any apps currently available for direct access from your phone or tablet but it’s easy enough to log in from your browser.  They also have a page that gives you a list of recommended apps here.


Do you love Ravelry? Tell us all about your Ravelry experiences in the comments!

Make Fringe Friends, Romans and Countrymen!

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Business Skills, Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Networking

One of the best things about the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the shear number of artists, practioners and generally like-minded people who are all in the same place at the same time!


Do you think they can find a freelance lampie in London? NO! They’re all in Edinburgh!  What about up and coming poets for your open mic night? Edinburgh! An audience in general? EDINBURGH!


In fact, the population of Edinburgh triples from 500 thousand to 1.5 million!  That’s 1,499,999 potential friends to make.  I know what that sounds like but people inherently like to work with people who they know a little bit about, both in regards to their work and on a personal level.


So, run a meet up.


So simple! So effective!


Get in touch with fellow minded companies and individuals and invite them out.  If you’ve got a bit of budget to spare you could take a group out for a meal and a show. Less budget? How about cocktails at Cabaret Voltaire. Shoestring? Go for a picnic in the park.  No money? Throw a party at your digs!


With or without seducing people with food and booze the key selling point is the good company.  Although this is essentially a networking event you are organising for yourself or your company it is sure to benefit all parties who attend so let them know who you’re inviting and why.


How do you invite them? If you find their show on the Edinburgh Fringe site you’ll find links to their social media and websites so send them a message on facebook or Instagram, drop them an email or, old school, give them a ring.


Keep your eye on the numbers at gatherings like this, too small and it can be awkward, too big and there is no way you can have a personal conversation with people.  You’ll find a sweet spot between 10-20.


And that’s all there is to it!


For one month a year you can find similar minded individuals, with similar ideals and similar goals, to raise awareness of their show.  So, take advantage of it!  And you’re bound to meet all kinds of interesting people from all over the world!



Thinking of running a meet and greet?!  Why yes, I’d love to come!  You only need to ask. 


Have you run a successful Meet Up in Edinburgh! How did it go? Let us know in the comments below!