Seattle has a long history of being a hub for creatives, and has been in the midst of a huge makeover as Silicon Valley has begun to expand into the Emerald City. Seattle and the Puget Sound are a dense mix of urban areas surrounded by beautiful wilderness. Coupled with a robust public transit system, this provides many opportunities for both business and pleasure! In addition to 6200 acres of city parks there is access to wilderness recreational areas within 30m of the city.
Seattle sports a strong coworking presence spread amongst more than 20 vendors. Some of the more popular spaces are Impact Hub Seattle, Office Nomads, thinkspace, Pioneer Collective, Metrix Space, Glavanize, Ada’s Technical Books and Coworking, WeWork, and many others. Of course, you are only a stones throw from a purveyor of coffee, too. My favorite places to ‘cafe freelance’ in Seattle are Zeitgeist and Local Color because of their creative atmosphere (and plenty of outlets to power up too!).
Some of the best tech learning and networking can be found through General Assembly in Seattle, as well as NewTech Northwest which is THE place to meet folks in the tech industry and get connected to opportunities all around Seattle. A wonderful organization, Here Seattle, is working hard at the problem of diversity in tech, offering advocacy and education centered around an empassioned vision. As a professional photographer, one of my personal favorite meetups is the Seattle Flickr Meetup, which regularly gets together as a group to go on photo explorations around the city! It’s a very relaxing environment for photographers of all levels to get together and practice their skills!
Every month a diverse crowd of professional meets at Impact Hub Seattle to discuss Spark topics that freelancers and independent contractors are eager to learn about! Impact Hub is a B-Corp co-working and events space, that focuses on building communities around social impact and providing resources to it’s membership towards these ends. The Hub is part of an international network of over 90 locations participating in this purpose-driven mission. Two of the longest Seattle Spark members are David Layton: a musical teacher and saxophonist and Kris Keppeler: a freelance voice actor and writer. These two embody the diversity of creative professionals that make up the Seattle Spark community!
For November, the Seattle chapter started with a Post-it exercise to create archtypes of different demanding clients that our group has encountered. After defining these client types we grouped similar archtypes together and discussed our various experiences based upon the client types. Next, we developed best practices for managing the demands of these clients as well as strategies for anticipating client needs, managing their expectations and creating boundaries that protect the relationship we create with our clients. A core of our discussion focused on communication tools we can deploy including patience, active listening, and repeating what we hear back to the client (which makes them feel heard). We also talked about one of my favorite tools, a system of collaboration called the Core Protocols, which is highly applicable to working with people in many different capacities namely in transparency of communication.