Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Favorite Post Replay: Don't Overdirect the Hairdresser!

I am posting this again because it is so relevant now and always.  It originally posted in 2011, but is one of my most visited blogs every year....

Rinse. Repeat.  Don't overdirect the hairdresser.  When you hire a professional to assist you because you have never done something before, listen to them (you are paying them after all).  How do I know this is good advice?  The first time I decided to change my hair color, I sat down and told my stylist exactly what I thought she should do. She suggested otherwise, but I insisted. As she predicted, it looked awful.

Embarrassed, I went to another salon and said "Who's best at short hair techniques?"  They suggested Kimberly.  I told her "I'm hiring you to look at my face, coloring and overall image and do what you think will be best."  Then I trusted her to do it, and I continue to trust her to do what she thinks will look and work best for me, my image, changing hair color techniques, and my lifestyle.

The same holds true for hiring any expert...
Hire people you trust, validate them, and then trust them to do the job you hired them to do.  It's hard sometimes, and the control freak that gets all those other projects done every day may not know everything that is required to do the job at hand.

That is why you hired an expert to help you!

Originally published August 11, 2011

Friday, February 27, 2015

Flawless Event Planning - Part 2

Here are the essentials for booksignings and other events. 

Your event is right around the corner, but what do you need to have with you?  
  • Cart/Dolly
  • Table
  • Tablecloth
  • Poster or banner stand with a simple graphic (not a wall of text)
  • Easel (if bringing poster)
  • Books (be reasonable about the quantity)
  • Book stands
  • Cash box (with a "bank" based on how much you are charging. Set price so coins aren't needed.)
  • Credit card swiping device (Square, PayPal, etc.)
  • Any other collateral items you have, such as bookmarks, postcards, brochures, press kits
  • Reseller tax permit for the state you are selling in (in a folder is fine)
  • Optional: Original illustrations
  • Optional: Photos from the book
  • Tradeshow Kit*
*Tradeshow Kit: This is the holy grail. Here’s the scoop:

The tradeshow kit is a tackle box filled to the brim with what may seem like random items. Lisa, over her 30+ years of coordination and management of tradeshows, has compiled this list of items to put into a tradeshow kit. This kit includes the Things You’ll Need, the Things You Don’t Think You'll Need, and some Things You Don’t Even Know You’ll Need! These things interchange from show to show, but rest assured this kit should stay assembled and at the ready on a shelf or in your trunk, so you can grab and go for any event, planned or spontaneous! It has saved CMI many times, and it will save you – guaranteed!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Flawless Event Planning - Part 1

Your event is coming up quickly! Are you prepared?

It’s exciting to take your book to an event where you’ll engage customers and hopefully sell them your book. You want to make sure that you have an exciting display and all of the tools necessary to do business.

What do you bring? This question has plagued authors all across the country for years. Here’s Lisa’s list from doing over 350 national, regional and local shows from budgets of $250 to $90,000.  What she learned is to be prepared for the strangest things to happen! The items you bring along, and a little advance planning can make or break your show. 

  1. Know who is attending the show and how your product benefits them.
  2. Know if your fellow exhibitors are your REAL audience 
  3. Know how you are going to follow up on your leads BEFORE you even go to the show
  4. Have your spiel memorized, practiced, honed and perfected. And don’t change it from person to person!
  5. Keep your messages simple and to the point for the audience you are seeking. Don’t try to be all things to all people.
  6. Know how long it takes you to present your book to a prospective customer. (Learn how to stop talking and let them ask a question)
  7. Know your goals
  8. Know your budget and stick to it
  9. Know who is in charge of the show itself: their phone number and name (It doesn’t hurt to bring a pack of Thank You notes and a couple of little gifts just in case.)
  10. Don’t get hung up on little annoying distractions – be prepared with a Tradeshow Kit* so you don’t have to waste time hunting down minutiae.

Part 2 - Tune in next week for the essentials in packing for your events!