Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Who's On Your Team?

As an author, you're in high demand. Your phone is ringing off the hook with offer after offer to speak, teach, or appear at high-profile venues all over the country! Okay, that's the hope for most authors, anyway. You might not be there yet, but if part of your marketing strategy is to do appearances, have speaking engagements, attend book signings, and participate in other events, you'll need a team to help.

To make events as close as possible to effortless and flawless requires the support of an effective team. You might think that paying people to help you is out of your budget, but trust me, when your schedule starts to fill up, you’ll wish you had a team to assist with the multitude of activities that come with being a popular author.

I recently attended an event where one of my clients was a workshop presenter at a 2-day event. As part of his appearance, he also had a display table with information about his book and where he signed books after his presentation. I must say that I was impressed with the efficiency of his team. There was one person responsible for the audio/visual portion of his presentation, making certain that the computer, projector, and sound worked well. He also had someone assigned to set up his display and sit at his table to answer questions about his book until he arrived for the signing. This person was also responsible for printing the correct name spelling of each customer on a sticky note and placing it on the page that the author would sign. And then there was what I call “the clean up crew” assigned to gather all of the technology, table drape, display material, and signage when the event was over. What a team, indeed!

Oh, if every author was this organized and supported all the time. I can only imagine the coordination it took to organize this event and the preparation that took place prior to the event. It was clear that this author understood the value of making a good impression from every aspect of his participation, and he knew that he, the author, should not be the one responsible for doing all of the stuff. Instead, he was the calm focus of his workshop and book signing table. He had a competent team assisting him and it seemed to make his presence at the event relaxed, enjoyable, and interactive with the audience, rather than hurried, disorganized, and confused.

So how to do you form such a team? Begin with your advocates, your employees, your family, and your friends. These are the people who want to see you succeed. Offer an incentive for their support. Something as small as a nice meal, reimbursement for gas, or a thank-you card might suffice for most people. For others, a small hourly stipend or percentage of book sales might be a more suitable compensation for their time.

To determine how many people you need at the event and what their responsibilities should be, consider your involvement in the event and what the anticipated attendance is. Depending on what you, as the author, will be doing, you might need help with any of the following (and remember, some of your team will wear multiple hats):

  • Setup/Break down: book signing or display table, signage, take-one materials, giveaways
  • Audio/Visual: computer connections, microphone and speaker clarity, troubleshooting, photography
  • Audience interaction: distributes fliers, handouts, answers questions, introduces you, collects names/business cards (better known as lead generation)
  • Handler: makes sure you are not overwhelmed by the crowd or that one person is not monopolizing your attention/time, guides you to your next location, collects correct spelling of customer names for book signing

These are just a few of the areas you might need help with at an event ... and this doesn’t even include the pre-work required to get there. So at your next event, plan to have a team—even it’s a team of one (besides yourself)—to help. You’ll be glad you did and your success at the event is almost guaranteed to be greater with help than without it.


Anita Paul, known as The Author's Midwife, coaches aspiring authors to write a phenomenal book and helps current authors use their existing books to leverage their business. She is the author of the-book Write Your Life: Create Your Ideal Life and The Book You've Been Wanting to Write, and is the creator of the Write Your Life program, through which she has created a dynamic system to Write Your Book in 90 Days or Less. She has owned The Write Image for 15 years, and has had her freelance articles featured in over 25 publications in the U.S. and Canada. Anita is also the host of "Book Your Success".
Facebook: Write Your Life Coaching Program
Twitter: @AnitaRPaul

No comments:

Post a Comment