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Jasmine Morris

Image of Jasmine Morris – Source: Erica Simmons / JM

Making friends in your industry is not always as easy as it looks. Trying to navigate workplace hierarchy, networking events, unwritten rules, and the ever-changing social media landscape can be confusing, and if we’re honest, a little isolating. If you’ve ever felt this way you’re not alone. We’re here to give you the answers you need to succeed.

We chatted with faith-based digital writer and storyteller Jasmine Morris, a woman on a mission to help creatives get their life together. In addition to writing her own content on her eponymous site, she also offers creative career coaching, content strategy sessions, and daily tips on how to grow your online presence. She shared with us how she made friends in the writing industry. As we all know, the Internet is becoming a huge part of our lives, including our work lives. Jasmine’s writing career is mostly online, so she has experience working with people IRL and digitally. Keep reading to find out how she worked through it all.

 

Don’t Underestimate Networking Online 

“I found a lot of my writing/entrepreneur friends online for sure. I’ll never forget when I made a connection with someone who writes for Forbes on LinkedIn. Connecting with him was a blessing that changed a lot for me in my writing career. Some of the most impactful relationships have come from networking online. I think it is one of the most effective, yet unrated ways to truly connect with someone in any industry.”

Signs of an Actual Reliable Industry Friend

“Someone who truly looks out for you no matter what season you’re in. It truly fulfills my heart when I see friends support me and show up for me even when they have busy lives. That’s a good sign of a good friend. Or a friend who is supporting your every win, even when they have several things of their own to celebrate or none at all. I love that so much!”

Making Connections Online Versus Face to Face

“I find that it’s much easier to find friends, especially in my industry, online. I run a writing business at JasmineMorris.com where I help women-owned businesses with their brand stories through intentional content creation and copy writing. Because my job is mainly online, and people who are in my industry are online, it makes more sense to connect there. It’s not uncommon for me to connect with someone online, and go grab coffee with them after talking with them online. For instance, when I moved to Atlanta about four years ago, I connected with a girl via a mutual friend. We ended up meeting for coffee and the rest became history. We show up for each other. We encourage one another. We don’t compete. I learned that it’s not necessarily about finding friends in the same profession or who have the same passions or who even look like you. Be open to what and who may come along and you’ll attract the community you need.”

Balancing Work and Social Life

“This was a hard one, especially when I entered full-time entrepreneurship. I didn’t think I had time for anyone really—even myself. Then, I started to realize that the more I worked, the less I felt fulfilled in my work because I lacked a community. I didn’t understand balance. But now, I try my best to create boundaries in work and say ‘no’ more often to ensure I’m remaining healthy. I ensure that every week, I intentionally place on my to-do list an outing with a friend or to call or text my family and friends. These simple reminders help me remain balanced for sure.”

 

On Hiring Friends in Your Industry and Vice Versa

“For me, I think it’s best to separate the two. I believe in keeping healthy boundaries in my friendships and if we’re friends, we’re friends. I’ve learned the hard way how the lines can be blurred if there are too many conversations being had about business advice in friendships. My friends don’t hire me, but as their friend, at times I may give out my advice here and there, but never on a consistent basis. For example, if my friend needed quick advice on her content, then I would absolutely help her with caption guidelines. At the end of the day, communication is huge and honoring each other’s businesses is huge as well. That’s the best way to keep everything healthy and orderly.”

Avoid Industry Users

“I think every entrepreneur can relate to that person who unfortunately only wants to be your friend to use you for your skills and innovative ideas. So, a deal breaker is when someone isn’t completely honest with both themselves and me. I can’t put up with people who are kind to me only when they want something from me. I believe in healthy, fair, balanced friendships where we both bring something to the table.”

…But Also Know Your Weaknesses

“I would also suggest writing down three main areas you need the most help in. It’s important to know your needs before attending these events. For example, maybe you want to become better at graphic design. Make it your mission at an event to connect with graphic designers in the rooms, rather than floating and trying to connect with everyone. Lastly, remember, everyone can’t help you get to the next step in your business. Try not to be offended or disappointed if someone can’t help you. There’s always a greater door behind the closed one.”

Maintaining Your Connections 

“Communication is huge. My friends and I don’t have to necessarily talk every day, but we are intentional about speaking every week and checking in. The next thing is honesty. I think at some point in all my friendships, we’ve had to put aside the “fluff” and talk about the real things that bothered us about our relationship with one another. Talking problems out versus allowing them to fester helped our friendships become a lot richer. Lasting friendships are built on authenticity, communication, and honesty. I believe if you have those three things, even in industry relationships, the friendship will be healthy.”

Don’t Be Afraid to Be “Social” 

“As I mentioned earlier, most jobs in my industry are online, so the best thing is to connect with someone via social media or LinkedIn. It’s called ‘social’ media for a reason because it was created for us to be social. Media before networking sites were all about what could be pushed out to us without us having a way to respond. The beauty in social media is that we can connect with one another in real-time versus waiting for a letter in the mail or even an email. Using these platforms in the way they were supposed to be used is vital to your network. Comment on blog posts. Engage with their content online. Then, of course, go to workshops, networking events, etc. to meet people in person.”

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