#40c-On dealing with business crisis

"I'm still throwin' the HEAT!" Kenny Powers, Flama Blanca

 

By Kathy Korman Frey 

So, here’s where the last post ended:  In the copy room at Funger 315 I realize my Powerpoint presentation displays as Gobbledygook,  I have no workbooks (“printer warming up”), there’s a lobby full of attendees downstairs, and I have two minutes until I’m supposed to begin speaking.

Oh, yeah, and a bunch of the folks in the audience are social media folks.

This failure is about to go viral.

8. 58 am With the Gobbeldygook presentation pulled up on the screen in the copy room, I text downstairs to my team and said,

My txt: “Does the PPT look normal?”  

Team txt: “It looks fine!”  

Whew.

8.58 am I can wait no longer. 

 My txt: “Someone needs to come up here to wait for the workbooks with the security guard.”  

I figure I’ll  give the intro, and pray the workbooks are printed and brought down as I’m talking. If  they don’t print, I seriously don’t know what I’ll do. Oh wait, I know:

Shirley MacLaine Freaks Out in "Terms of Endearment"

8:59 am I walk out of  Funger 315 and head downstairs to the lecture hall. The printer hadn’t even started, but Sis U must go on.

9.01 am When I step into the lecture hall, everyone is seated. Their backs are to me, and I see what they are viewing at the front of the room on the large screen. The WRONG presentation.  It’s dated June 2010.  So when my team was texting about the presentation that “looks great”…it was not the right presentation. I am not quite sure how this happened, and, at this point I don’t care. Action mode continues.  

9.01 and 30 seconds: I go over to the camera guy, “How much additional time do you need to set up?” I ask. A delicious five minutes of time. I feel like a character in a video game (sound effects) “By stapling papers in the hallway earlier, YOU earned FIVE bonus points to cash in with the CAMERA MAN!” (Sound effects)

9.02 am I make an announcement in my calm Stepford voice,

Me: “Welcome to Sis U! We need about five extra minutes while the camera finishes setting up, so please, relax, chat, and here’s a little music for you!” (Smile, hiding inner panic, of what I will find on that Powerpoint). 

9.03 am  From the podium control panel, I blank out the LCD, and look for the USB drive in the computer menu. It’s not there. The USB with my presentation is not showng up. I remove the USB from one socket (or whatever you call these things) and plac it into another. Bingo. It shows up. 

9.03 am and 15 seconds. I hold my breath and double-click the document to open it. Will it be Gobbletygook? One of my adorable team members tries to ask me something and I respond in my robot voice, “Can’t talk. Crisis mode.”

9.03 am and 30 seconds. Cha ching! The presentation comes up and the fonts are readable. I quickly page through the presentation, all okay. They are not perfect, but they are readable.

9.07 am I fire back up the LCD screen, look at the camera man – who gives me the thumbs up – and turnoff the music.

9.08 am

Me: “Welcome to Sis U! Today, you are participating in a pilot where you will engage in exercises, learning never-before shared.  Our goal is to produce measurable results for your career in three hours.”

I know I can handle it from here if my team walks in with those workbooks. I keep on with the intro.

9.18 am My team walks in with the workbooks. (dot, dot, smileyface)

I breathe a sigh of relief. A big one.

So – fast foward: Ultimately, Sis U was a success and exceeded my and my team’s expectations in terms of results (measurable results). Here is a fantastic write up from WUSA Community Content Producer Leigh MacDonald (@NiceShuzNoDrama) and LiveYourTalk.com’s @JillFoster

But in those moments, where I was one step away from severe failure, I was not confident about success. And afterwards, my knee-jerk reaction to chaos or disappointment is always to say, “How can I prevent this from happening again in the future?”

1. You can’t. One viewpoint is that I CAN’T prevent all crises in my life and work. They ARE going to happen. Accepting myself as an imperfect person, who cannot manage everything into perfection like a cyborg, is a big part of my learning here. I just breathe into it, feel happy it turned out okay, and know that I can survive this…and probably other things that will surface in the future.

2. Time management. When I first thought about this crisis, I was convinced the “answer” was time management.  Ideally, I would have done everything early, tested the PowerPoint, had the workbooks printed days before. But, in reality, I had – perhaps – one spare hour during the week. This is not to make excuses.  This was just reality. I ask you, what should I have said “no” to of the below items to give myself extra prep time? The White House Council for Women and Girls Conference, my two classes launching that week, my husband’s guys golf trip (planned to coincide with a music fest in Austin).

3. Delegation. And, of course, the zinger of all lessons for me here is “delegation.”   If I did it over again, I’d have people I trust involved earlier in the process. I cannot cap my own business by my limitations as one person. I need to EXPAND my vision of the business, and I believe that more people and partners is the way to do that.

 

Parting Thought: Is Your Business Fat or Thin?

A local business owner down here has described the “Fat / Thin” theory with business. He says, “Sometimes you business is fat. You have a surplus of staff and you are waiting for the business to support them. Then, there are the thin times. You’re spread too thin and need to hire staff and bulk up to handle what you’ve got on your plate.” This experience showed me that, despite the ultimate success of the event,  we’re in a thin time.

#40b – On dealing with business crisis.

 

Can you handle the HEAT? I'm throwin' it. Kenny Powers, Flama Blanca

 

You voted in the last post, and you’re getting what you want: THE HEAT. Below – finally- is the scoop on the behind-the-scenes crisis at #sisUdc.  I am sharing the real deal for the purposes of :

#1 Being authentic. I find it silly when people pretend everything is perfect.

#2 Learning. Crisis management is a legitimate skill. Keep it together under heat, and you just might be able to keep it together in general.

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Scenario: On October 9, 2010 I am scheduled to deliver a “groundbreaking pilot seminar” called Sisterhood University (#sisUdc) to between 50 and 80 women at the George Washington University School of Business.  This is an important part of  “my plan.”    WUSA (news station in DC) is going to be covering it. I have promised a lot to attendees.

The trouble begins at 8.21 am

8.21 am Networking is from 8.30 to 9.00. My team has been there since 7.45 am.  I run upstairs to my office to grab materials which are supposed to be waiting for me on my chair.  This is a common routine I’ve repeated with the office staff over my nine years as an adjunct at GW. I’ll send materials for class via email, the office prints them, they leave the papers on my chair. All good, right?

8.22 am I unlock the door to my office. The materials are sitting on my chair. Whew. I fan through the piles just two be sure. There are only two piles. There should be THREE piles.  The most important thing is missing: The participant workbook.  The workbooks are THE central part of the entire workshop. The are NOT THERE. A “freak out” starts to rise within me, I suppress it so I can think straight. In case this is not crystal clear, the entire anchor of Sis U – the workbook – is MISSING.

The entire anchor of Sis U – the workbook – is MISSING.

P.s. For those of you who think “Oh, just get them to write on their own paper.” This is a techy crowd. I’ve learned through experience: Laptop, yes. Paper, no.

8.23  am In a “pretending-I’m-not-frothing-at-the-mouth” frenzy, I call the senior secretary for the Department of Management. It’s the WEEKEND, but,  I am desperate. She never got the workbooks. She printed everything she got.  My document must have bounced. My first thought is “I’m an ID-iot!” How could I not have noticed this?Many reasons, as we’ll discuss.

Triage

8.24 am I shift into some strange kind of business triage mode where I start quickly prioritizing and assessing what needs to be done (all the while with a horrible nervous feeling). FIRST, I run downstairs and announce to the team:

“You are going to have to hold down the fort, there is a major problem I have to deal with upstairs. Keep your phones on.”

Lesson: A team to “hold down the fort” is key.

8.25.00 am Attendees look at me expectantly as I zoom past, grab my phone, head over to the elevator bank of Funger Hall and press the “up” button. I can’t waste any minutes saying “hi.” Attendees probably think I have some kind of social anxiety disorder or something as I run around like a weird animal afraid to make eye contact.

I run around like a weird animal afraid to make eye contact.

8.25.30 am Over at the elevator banks, one attendee who has strayed from the crowd asks, “Can I do anything to help you?”  She must have seen my “inner freak-out” bubbling to the surface, and not been fooled by my “scurring rodent” routine.  I put on my best Stepford voice: “Thaaaakkknks hon, just have to run upstairs and deal with something real quick,” I say. HA! Understatement of the year.

8.26.00 am After much toe tapping and pacing, the elevator arrives. I hop on. I step in and press “3.” Nothing happens. “Is THIS how it’s gonna be?” I ask and look up at the florescent light grid. Sometimes, I seriously think WE are the rats in the maze for someone who is experimenting with us.

8.26.30 am I step out of the broken elevator, and press “up” again. I fear ALL the elevators are broken. A bum elevator is a known occurence from time to time in Funger Hall. I feel lame when I realize, even in my 9th year teaching here as an adjunct…I have no idea where the stairs are.  Finally, a new elevator arrives. I press “3.” The doors close. With my luck, I’m going to get stuck in the elevator. Then – at least – I’d have the perfect excuse.  Ding….ding….third floor, doors open.  NEXT, time for a serious Workbook Plan B.

Time for a serious Workbook Plan B.

Copy Room in Funger 315 “No One Gets into See the Wizard.”

8.27 am I quickly walk from the elevators over to the Funger 315 (copy room is in Funger 315). I try to open the door. LOCKED. I try another entrance. LOCKED.  I mysteriously start channeling a sailor; a sailor with very bad language.

8.28 am I call 994-1000, the main GW number, and ask for security.

  • GWU Security: “George Washington University Security.”
  • Me: “Hi, this is Professor Frey in the School of Business. I need to get into Funger 315. It’s an emergency. I ‘m supposed to speak to a group at 9. Can someone please let me in?”
  • GWU Security: “Okay, we’ll put in the request.”
  • Me: “Does that mean they’re coming now? What does that mean time-wise?”

Please Note: I am  trying to act like a normal person when – in fact – I am getting ready to pull a full-fledged Shirley MacLaine.

  • GWU Security: “It’ll be about five, ten minutes.”

At this point, the difference between five and ten minutes feels like the hugest time swing in the world.

 

Shirley MacLaine Freaks Out in "Terms of Endearment"

 

8.29 to 8.35 am I wait. It’s painful. Like root canal painful. Security still doesn’t show up. I wind up channeling the sailor with very naughty language. Again.

I wait. It’s painful. Like root canal painful.

8.35.00 am I called security again. “Oh, it’ll be about five minutes.” I totally don’t believe them, just like I don’t believe Diamond Cab when they say they’ll have a driver at my house in “about 10 minutes.” I am going to have to enact a Plan B. A very, very lame and desperate Plan B.

8.35.30 am I grab a ream of copy paper and a stapler from my office and crouch in the hall outside of Funger 315 (where the copy room is). “One, two, three, four, five, six, seven”…I am counting out – by hand – seven pieces of plain paper and stapling them together.  “This is just pathetic,” I say to myself. I watch the door to Funger 315 , crouching with paper and stapler, looking like some weird corporate cavewoman.

I am…crouching with paper and stapler, looking like some weird corporate cavewoman.

8.40.00 am Security shows up. Hallelujah!

8.40.15 am Not so hallelujah is when the guard says, “Do you have your GW ID?” Eeek! I dont’ carry anything with me on event days. Nightmare! I start fumbling with my phone, getting ready to call someone from the department to vouch for me. This person could be “my other brother Daryl” and even as I raise my phone I am highly skeptical about security buying this.

8.40.30 am In a stroke of crisis-brilliance, perhaps the ONLY brilliance of the day, I notice a photo of me on the wall…”Oh oh! This is me!” I waive him over to a display case that has all the faculty and their pictures, I point to my picture. He nods and lets me in the office. I love you Stephanie Gresham! (Who did this display board.).

8.42 am By this time, I have 18 minutes, a lobby full of attendees, no workbooks for the attendees, and no guarantee that I can even work the copy room stuff to make this happen. I seriously feel like my reputation is on the line here. This is a social media crowd and, if I mess up, it’s going viral. I turn on the computer outside the copy room, find the password. I look at my email to see if I can print out the workbook from the bounced email file. No such luck.  Nada.

8.43 am I open PowerPoint, and realize I am going to have to make an entirely new workbook…in 10 minutes.  I try to focus on the screen in the dark office, because it’s CLOSED for the weekend, and work fast.

8.44 am I quickly type “Section 1”  on Page 1 of the workbook. I try to add a new page.  This is PowerPoint 2007.  All the computers have been upgraded. I can’t figure out how to add a new slide.  Click, click click. Pointless. Zero idea what I’m doing. And I’m pretty techy. This is very anxiety-provoking.  It seemed like everything was working against me. I thought:

“This is TOO close.  There is a VERY good chance I am going to fall flat on my face here.”

8.47 am I try to keep my brain under control and keep forging ahead. But, apparently my mouth was still moving….

  • Me: “Oh no, oh no, oh no.”
  • Security Guard: “Is everything okay?”
  • Me: “This is PowerPoint 2007. All the terminals have been upgraded. I can’t figure out how to add a new slide.”
  • Security Guard: “Oh, I can help you. I’ve done tons of PowerPoint presentations.” (Hallelujah plays in background).
  • Me: “Seriously, I you are the best. I cannot thank you enough.”
  • Security Guard: “This is much better than a typical call of dealing with a homeless person who has wandered onto campus.”

Lesson: Hire security guards who know PowerPoint.

8.53 am I finish the seven page workbook.

8.54 am I figure out how to send the document to the printer, left staple, 80 copies.

8.55 am “The printer is warming up.”

8.55.30 am I use the “spare time” to pull up the presentation that I am giving downstairs. Since they just upgraded all the computers to PowerPoint 2007, I better just make sure.

8.55 am Gobbeldygook!  All of the letters looked like symbols. The presentation is unreadable.

8.55 am So, at this stage, I have no workbook as I’m not sure the copier will really work., my presentation is Gobbledygook, and I am supposed to start talking in five minutes downstairs to a group of women participating in the pilot – some of whom have traveled from out of state!

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Fun enough for you yet?  Stay tuned for Part II of this post to see how we successfully excavated ourselves from this mess, and pulled off this successful event. Subscribe to this blog at the right via email or Facebook. Lessons learned thus far include:

So far, here is what I’ve learned based on the above:

  • Crisis Management: Practice suppressing your inner “freak out” – it will help you some day.
  • Font-astrophe: THIS is why people say “Don’t use weird fonts.” My guess is Times New Roman serves up just fine no matter what your Microsoft office version.
  • Time management: Bad time management during the week of created this pressure cooker environment. Having all materials ready WAY ahead of time is how I normally roll. But…..there was a White House Council on Women and Girls event. I launched two classes. My husband was out of town (we have two kids that cannot be raised by wolves and require human care and feeding). Was it worth it?


#40a – Entrepreneur TMI? On dealing with business crisis.

Click for post soundtrack

In my days as an analyst in the merger and acquisition/competitive analysis industry, I would listen with utter shock as heads of major corporations would pour their “business hearts” out to my team.  Product x was lagging in sales, and consumers hated it. They asked us for help.  They were getting killed by a foreign competitor. Could we help them? We were the business therapists for corporate America. I always wondered if they spoke this way to everyone, or just a select few. Whatever the methodology, they seemed clear on one thing:  Our clients had the wisdom to realize they must confront reality, to change reality.

Confront reality, to change reality.

A lot of entrepreneurs “spin it.” You have to, for funders, clients, etc.  “How is everything?” “Oh, greeeaaat! Greeaaaat!” But, when DO we share the truth? So, when I detailed the crisis which almost de-railed #sisUdc – Sisterhood University – last weekend, my husband:

  • #1. Couldn’t believe I survived without having a nervous breakdown and
  • #2. Discouraged me from writing about it.

Now mind you, everything turned out great (see news coverage), but it was quite the juggling act getting there.

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Me, on walk this a.m. with hubby:  “I wrote a post describing the fire-fighting I did behind the scenes before #sisUdc.”

Husband:  “Uuuuuhhhh, I wouldn’t write about that. I think you can use other examples of crisis.  So many people think you do great work. Why jeopardize that?”

Me:  “Because I go through the tough times like everyone, and have to balance a ton of stuff just like the women in the audience. It seems silly to pretend I don’t or that everything is perfect.”

Husband: “Veeeeerrryyy interesting.”

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So, I am still not sure I should “out” the series of crises that almost prevented #sisUdc from happening. Do I share what REALLY went on behind the scenes?  Please vote below.



Subscribe via email or follow us on Facebook (right column) to see if I wind up writing about this.


#26 Top 5 on How to Package Content and Be an Expert – Building a Million Dollar Business Part Time

InfoLitHead
Your brain on “little bundles”

As part of my quest to get nominated for world’s worst professor, last month I actually coached a group of students through a procedure I call “Business Stalking.” This is where you have a target (someone you want to speak with/stalk), determine where they are going to be speaking,  and then you rush the stage afterwards.  Since this time I’ve received many emails, specifically referring to “business stalking” which was probably five  minutes of a two hour talk.  And I realized, really, really clearly: It’s about packaging.

Below I list my top 5 observations about effectively packaging content based on:

  • Doing it.
  • Years of consulting and teaching to people who are/can be very picky (big organizations, 18 year-olds).
  • My background as an award-winning curriculum developer…oh…wait…okay…they are telling me the scrawled crayon star from my kids does not constitute a real “award.” Dang.

Other sources of inspiration from this post are:  Writing for Maria Shriver’s site, advice from amazing mentors, the – The Four Hour Work Week, uber-talented designerDonald Bullach who recently – kid you not – did our high school reunion memory book in what is EASILY the coolest high school reunion memory book EVER.

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What is this, where I am, who are you? If this is your first time here, this is the insider’s blog for The Hot Mommas Project. We are a women’s leadership project housed at the George Washington University School of Business in DC and have an audacious goal of becoming a million dollar venture/organization…while being led by a mom working part time. Our big thing right now is the Hot Mommas Project Case Study competition. Click here to nominate someone.  Click here for about page.

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The Top 5 of Packaging Content

1. Credibility. And you are….and you’re with? The Law of Superlatives. Right out of the gate you’ve got to answer the question, “Why should someone listen to me?” Superlatives create credibility. In this new economy crowded with messages and free agents, it is critical to make sure you are REMEMBERED. And, no, it should not be for your criminal record. Here is an example: The Hot Mommas Project (aside from being named “The Hot Mommas Project”) is “The world’s largest library of teachable role models for women and girls.”  What’s the superlative one can associate with you?  In what area are you the best, fastest, biggest, etc.?   Another angle is to crunch some numbers for the wow factor.  How many clients have you successfully placed? How many thousands of dollars worth of media impressions have you generated for your client?  When I ran a consulting firm full of the original “Hot Mommas” consultants, I advertised our 94 perent success rate in helping clients plan their annual goals in one day. The bottom line is: If you’re not special, make a placeholder and go out and find something that makes you special. Yes, you can actually do that. Specific sections of Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Work Week are very helpful on this topic.

For the ladies – special note: Superlatives may, at times, resemble bragging which can be a tricky one for women. There is a good deal of research indicating women  are not always strong self-marketers. (I teach about this in my class. Yes, it’s true and yes, it’s a big deal.)  So put on your big girl undies, move through the list below, and get pep talks from advisors and friends where you need them. Guys, you too (except the big girl undies part…not that there’s anything wrong with that).

2. Story –  “Here to There.” Make the superlative even more impressive by pairing it with your story. Robert Tuchman is a great example of this. His book agent contacts me, tells me about the $70 million dollar sports marketing company his client built, and wants to know will I review Robert’s new book Young Guns? It’s a “go” for me when I hear: 1) Robert was 25 when he started the company and 2) His first office was a one-bedroom apartment. The “here to there” quality is great on a story like Robert’s. His PR person clearly understands this. What is your “here to there” story? What constraints were you under when you built the company, product, etc.? It adds to the story, and people like stories. For instance, I built the Hot Mommas Project case library in seven months while working part-time. I am still not sure anyone actually cares about this fact, but, the idea of it is inherently appealing. America loves underdogs. America loves people who triumph in the face of adversity.

3. Organization – Make Little Bundles. We love little bundles. Not just because it is such a cute little word combo, we love it for two real reasons that will make your life easier:

a. If you have too much information – making little bundles helps you scale the informational K2 so to speak.

b. If you have very little information – making little bundles helps package what you DO have.

Examples: The Hot Mommas Project right now is SWIMMING in data. It’s too much. We have surveys, cases, more surveys. So what to do? I devise a three hour class on mentoring. I lay out the class plan, and what will be covered in each class. Next, I structure each class with intro, wrap up, lecture, and interactive exercises in each one hour module. Last, I run it by someone who gives me feedback, and helps me make it better. Then I get with a free conference call service and market it (see #4).

Note: Another good way to create little bundles is to Q&A with yourself. For instance, I might ask myself “Self, why is mentoring important?” Then, depending on how things are going, I might ask myself, “Why is mentoring particularly important for women?” Then, if I am feeling very bold, I might ask myself, ‘So, why should I care?” And so on and so forth. In general, this type of approach is helpful not just for media training, but for devising REAL PowerPoint presentations. I especially advise this approach to presentation creation if you’re a “Rambler.”

4. Market. You may be in charge of marketing. Even if you’re not, your CMO and Director of Marketing and their brother and sister and dog were probably just laid off, so it’s good to know how to market. I break this section into “Guerilla Marketing” and “Walking Upright.”

Guerilla Marketing. Here is an example of how I approached Guerilla Marketing Hot Mommas Project content this summer. Once you’ve got your little bundles, it’s time to market them. Boy, that sounds really bad.

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Guerilla Marketing Case study: Hot Mommas Project Summer Teleseminars

Courses tested: Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership I  and II, Virtual Mentoring, and “Getting to 5: How to Quantitatively Raise Your Work Life Balance Score.” Two of these generated the most interest…which do you think they were?

Guerilla Marketing Steps (post-content development): Here is the brain dump – Titling, title testing (on Twitter and site based on adjix.com clicks), post on site, blogs, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, email it to the Hot Mommas Project database, print a schedule on the back of my business cards, and post a big decal on my car [Gotcha : -) I would never put a decal on my car, only my husband deserves that type of humiliation for leaving the seat up and other atrocities]. I also posted on Teleseminar Nation, but got nothing from that.

Did you know – the SEO bonus factor? EventBrite was recommended to me by digital media firm iStrategyLabs. EventBrite has a double benefit of good SEO, so The Hot Mommas Project will be using that for event registration going forward. Press releases on 1888PressRelease.com – of which I’ve spoken in previous posts – also provide traffic. It crashed our site last year, in fact.

This process worked. So, if I wanted to “rinse repeat” and do more of it, I could. In transitioning to “Walking Upright,” I have:

  • Plans to research Alex Mandossian who I’ve heard is the teleseminar guru.
  • Plans to partner with Information Experts, and possibly Learning Tree International, to pilot their web training platform.
  • Making the content pretty, relying on the brilliant  Donald Bullach, an uber-talented designer, and ideas from  ReBrand.com. Here are some other cool web designs.
  • Begun to seek out event planners to see “how it would work” for a larger Hot Mommas Project event which – to be honest – I have zero desire to plan but everyone seems to want one.
  • Made a list of all the Guerilla Steps so my virtual assistant in India (not kidding) can help me with it.

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Walking Upright. Critically important is to have an eye on the big prize. Who goes BIG with content? How did that happen? Do you have any connection to them or people who know that model? I know from personal experiences with major business speakers that even THEY don’t always know the best model and are continually figuring it out. I’ll hear one famous speaker say “I need to get on Twitter and Facebook more” and hear another one say, “The book company is not doing a great job of making sure critical masses are at my speaking engagements” or “My PR company is not getting me the coverage I need.” So, just realize that even Goliaths struggle with it too. I am looking at the three models below in developing my “walking upright” marketing strategy.

5. Economics. This is where the walking upright crowd has it. For the economics to work with content, you must seriously have your act together. I certainly did NOT when I first started writing Hot Mommas Project cases. When we started winning awards people said, “Are you going to sell the cases like at Harvard Business School?” I tried that approach for about – ummm – 6 weeks and “threw it on the ground!”

Currently, I see three realistic economic models for expert content:

A. Publishing and Entertainment. This is what my mentor Amy Millman calls the Martha Stewart “Omnimedia Model.” It’s the job of people in publishing and entertainment to know: a. What people want and b. To give it to them. They push content out there to as many people as possible, and then sell advertising around the promise of reaching that customer base. Martha Stewart started with a magazine and worked up and out from there to the huge company Omnimedia. Magazine, show, product. What started as content has become a movement.

B. Conferences. If you’ve ever seen a top-notch event planner in action, it’s quite a sight to behold.  Business events and conferences typically get sponsors to cover the costs, and sell tickets to make a profit. Of course, it could go up or down in either direction with the sponsorship and ticket fees, but this is a good rule of thumb. Event planner calendars typically go out three or more years in advance. You’ve got to get up early in the morning if you’re going to run your own event. My personal preference is to let someone else run the event, and come in as a speaker. Look up the conferences and events in your area, contact them about speaking or being on a panel. In SXSW you can propose your own panel! In the massively walking upright category of conferences is HSM’s World Business Forum at which I was a featured blogger this past year. I am doing due diligence, behind my computer, and expect to be out from behind that computer speaking and making people less scared of women and our brains (us included!).

Note: For you perfectionists – Remember that even the pros experiment and test. Think “pilot” on TV, think “test market.” Don’t let doing things perfectly dissuade you from making progress. Even the big boys dip their toe in the water first.

3. Screwing everything up is the “Freemium” Model – Read more about that here in a  previous post. My friend in content management says, “Something for free, the rest for a fee.” This is pretty much the Freemium model.

PARTING THOUGHTS:

What is the difference between a cheesy salesman and you? Credibility. Use your brain and know your stuff.Learn and practice. Bring others into it at every step. As Hot Mommas Project case author Yana Berlin says, “A leader is nothing without her followers.”  Are your points resonating?

Not quite there yet? If you don’t have your supreme-being content yet, you can still become familiar with these guerilla tools: Twitter, Facebook, and SEO. More on press and buzz here.

The focus factor. Oh, yeah, BTW – I’m supposed to be writing a book right now. Yes. So, here is another rule of content development: FOCUS PEOPLE! I’m hoping to produce a little mini bundle like this, taking inspiration from Rohit Bhargava.

Related links:  Must-reads. Word on the street is this will change your thinking about the relevance of your voice.

Groundswell (Blog) – Winning in a World Transformed By Social Technology

33 Million People in the Room – How to Create, Influence, and Run a Successful Business with Social Networking

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#17 How to Bring Red Carpet Cache to Your Event – Media Training Part 1

rock-of-ages-opening-night-on-broadway-_-ticket1 Last night I attended the premiere of Rock of Ages on Broadway. Here is a review. It ROCKED! I was with my friend who works in the entertainment industry. In this post I share what I learned re: ins and outs of the red carpet. What does this have to do with The Hot Mommas Project and entrepreneurs , in general?  With a little organization, red carpet “cache” can be applied to any event needing to stand out from the crowd. Below are my top 5 observations about the red carpet, how it works, and ideas for applying it (entrepreneurial bootstrap style) to an event. Continue reading