To see “behind the curtain” of Trisha Trixie is to know me. If you don’t know me, just follow me on Social Media and you soon will.
My mind is always racing. I have an overactive imagination as well as a very overactive mind. I sometimes think my brain is like a 3 year old’s brain. In the 3 year old stage, from what I can remember about my kids, 3 is that “WHY” stage. Why is the sky blue? Why is the dirt black? How do I do this or that?
Yep. That is my brain.
What you may not know until now however, is that you get to see the results of all those questions through Buffer tools.
I have the Buffer extension added to my Chrome browser and for me, it has been the best benefit in the world. Depending on what your interest is, yours too.
What I do is look up images, quotes or articles on google Search and I go through them to find the answer, image or quote I am looking for. Then, I open them in a new tab so I can read them more or find the quotes I am looking for.
All I have to do is click on the Buffer Extension and this magic thing happens. Like transforming into a new dimension, a buffer window pops up and asks me which social media account I would like to post to.
The kewl thing is if I already have certain accounts checked off, it makes the posting into my Buffer that much easier! Every now and then, I want to post something to a different account and all I have to do is select that account. Sometimes, I realize that I don’t have the accounts checked that I plan on posting to, so I open another tab with all my accounts at Buffer.com so I can check them off and then when I go back to my searching and posting, it makes it easier for me.
That is just one of my workaround skills, but it’s a good one for me. It works for me, at least. Then I can right back into #BufferMode (as I call it) and Buffering away!
I love BufferMode!
Every weekend and sometimes on Friday, if biz is a bit slower, I go into BufferMode. I sit down with a timer and a purpose. I do my searching, I Buffer or Pablo images, maybe grab something off the Buffer Mood Board and add it to my Buffer queue, schedule it or every now and then something strikes a chord in me and I just must Share IT Now, and you know what? I can do that because Buffer lets me! I LOVE THAT!
Buffer has been my automation find of the century.
I have taught many people about Buffer and how to use it to their advantage, from Realtors, to Small Businesses, to Entrepreneurs or SoloPreneuers, StartUps, Growth Hackers, to anyone who will listen!
If you ask me, Buffer is the way to go!
Until next time,
TrishaTrixie is a SoloPreneur, Empowerment Guru, Life Designer, Passive “Expertise” Income Expert, PinUp Model and Sprinkler of Fabulousness. She is the Founder of TrishaTrixie Designs, Trisha Trixie and Company, The Good of Sisterhood, Juste Etre: Just Be, Ms. Courage, and The PEP Club.Her and her newlywed spouse Ben (often known as HunEPants) live in Centennial, Colorado as new residents (transplanted from Iowa, via California, via everywhere else) and residing with them is their 3 cats, Miss Ivy, Mr. Booties, and Mr. Dude.
That is the ultimate question. Indie sites, like Etsy, Farmer’s Markets, and Vendors shows as well as many of these other small handmade businesses are great. You are making money here and there. But after talking with a mentor this week the big question loomed out there.
do I want to do my passion and potentially make no money or do I want to be in business? This is the difference i the $10/$10,000…seriously.
Making money on Etsy is fine for some. It’s $10 here or there. If you are fine with that, then great. I have no problem with that. Maybe you only desire to have a little spending money. Or maybe you just want to earn something for what you love to do.
However, if you want to play with the big kids here is a few things I learned yesterday I actually had no real awareness about til now…
Today I am doing research on Business Models. This is not a model like walking down a runway. I am talking about the Business Model for your company or Brand…aka what you are selling.
For every product you make you have to look at it as 1,000 items not one.
If Modcloth, or Rebel Circus or QVC Lori Greiner from Shark Tank Modcloth wanted to sell my product I would need to make 1,000 of the same item to be sold in their inventory. That is how it works. (Ok I kinda knew a bit about this but not as much as I learned yesterday)
Every product you decide to make you have to ask yourself if this product is worthy of 1,000 of the same item being made?
Is this product something you want known as your brand?
Is this product something you desire to make 1,000 of?
Then there are the channels….
That is where you are selling your product or item
This is all alot to take in even for me and I know there is SO much m ore I am not even touching on because well, honestly, I don’t know it all. 🙂
I found this online and really like the explanation of it so I thought I would share…
I am going to drop off this subject with this little board I saw and think this might be a good thing to find inmy notes from Leonie Dawson and Right Brain business Plan…I have something like this from them..Might be a good place to restart my engines..
Now we move onto to channels (or what I am learning about them anyway)
This is the old way
This is the new way (or so it seems to be the most)…Shop Channel sites like ones I mentioned earlier
other (What are you using that I don’t have in this list so I can update my list…please comment)
My mentor challenged me to a couple of “homework” items to make some changes to change my thinking and how I am doing business based on the answer I gave him..
I want to make $10,000, be in business and get off this presipus I am on.
I need to make it easier for my customers to buy off my website. I have a lot of people who say they love my site www.trishatrixie.com
but the feedback from my customers is they have a hard time finding out HOW to buy things and WHERE to get things, HOW to order a custom Apron or Accesorry and so forth.
So I have to fix that.
I have these channels:
Brick and Mortor Stores:
Burlesque Hall of Fame
Green Goods for the Home
then I have two channels for online stores
Goodsmiths for my Comic Creations (Actions Aprons/ Superhero Inspired pieces etc)
Square Market for everything else
(I have two because Goodsmiths does not currently have an Andoird Swipe and Square does. However I have an Itouch and am going to test out if I can use the Swipe on the Itouch and that might alleviate some things)
then I have a Fashion Question Form for them to order Custom (but yet even that form is still unclear)
However people aren’t getting it…which leads to step two
Clean out old inventory if it did not sell.
Post pictures of current inventory ON my website and lead /drive them to the online channels
Have the picture DIRECT link to the BUY page of that item (why didn’t I think of that!!!?)
Take time to focus on my Residual Income idea now that I have the time because the third challenge is gonna be the hardest for me as a designer…
DON’T CREATE/MAKE ANYTHING ELSE
so he said “Okay, don’t make anything new until something old is sold”
I can do that. 🙂
Now driving business to the page..and I learned it should be one page. This again, was a nice reinforcement as I somewhat already knew this. I used to have a apge for one thing, and then another page for another type and I had one prifle for one thing and one profile for another and so on. When I noticed Danielle La Porte and Susan Barconi Moe and many others were consolidating and turning everything to ONE palce to find it all, that’s when I started adopting this. I may have a few FB pages, but they all lead back to me.
My website it the same. I know (and listen up if you are not following this rule) that all your products should be able to be handled and found on ONE page. It is not good to have a page for one type of product and one page for another type. You WANT people to get to know YOU, your BRAND, who YOU are and to TRUST that brand. If you throw something new it, add it to your current brand under a different line. If your current brand or website does not embody that, then perhaps it is time for a change and time to rebirth your brand. Make your Business name or Brand so unique but simple no matter what you do could be under that brand. Thus why I am Trisha Trixie. Everything that I am falls under that. PinUp. Model. Fashionista. Blogger. Designer.
To some degree I am doing this, but since my shop sites are separate this has been where most of the confusion lies and why it has been an issue.
This has been a struggle for me which is why I was thinking oh I need a merchant account site or I need to pay and so on. How many of us in businesses like this think that way. But in the long run, I knwo there are workarounds and since WordPress.com offers FREE hosting, I have not wanted to go that route. I stare at pages like Shopify and groan thinking “but I like my site. Others like my site. Can’t I just make it better?”
Driving business I think is easier now that we have Social Media outlets like these…
I have seen a vast amount of upscale in sales since I have been using Twitter. But I do not have measureable goals and stats to prove that.
So that is Step Four:
Look at stats.
See what is working and what is not. Remove what is not. Make what is working better.
Hopefully, with all of this I will be able to proceed to the next level of sales. Also in cutting down what I am making perhaps it will allow me more time to work on the website idea I am doing, blog to drive more traffic, have time to write articles for magazines and start generating a different drive essentially thus again upping my sales.
as I said in the beginning. If you are fine with the way it is. Then that’s great. I enjoy designing, making creating, but I want more. Or, at least I think I do. With these tips we will see if I can do things this way. I think this will also answer my questions on Passion or Business?
I realize this means not as much creating and that is the positive sacrifice I am willing to take right now.
My desire (#CDF) in the end is to be #Profitable (ned to add) and these others listed here…
I am for the path that takes me there…
My yellow brick road is mine to color, create, sparkle and lead me to however I desire to go. It is up to me to lay each brick down the right way. Otherwise I could end up in some crazy tree land with poppies that steeer me off my path.
I will find my Oz.
One way…or another…I’m gonna find it…
Xoxo Trisha Trixie
One little tidbit I found for ya as I was looking for imags to add to this. Ways to Make Gobs of Money. Check it out.
So glad it was the last of my three sets of shows. Now this is not to say I won’t do any more because I will. However, I will be different and refined about what shows I do, how I advertise them and what I do and when. I was literally beginning to feel psychotic. I mean it. Crazed.
People trying to get in last minute, people trying to send replacements, people still badmouthing me from another show, and the race to advertise and send out press releases knowing full well that no matter what you do, some, or all of your vendors are going to be unhappy with you.
I have come to terms with a few lessons for myself and some tips for myself and others I thought might be helpful:
Do what you love.
When you stop loving it, it becomes work. I was not in love with the shows I was doing and how I was doing them so I changed the plan. Instead of going to shows, I put on shows. Then, I hated that too. So, unless it is a show I will like, no matter what, I refuse to do it.
The whole point is to stop complaining, stop griping and stop worrying, just Enjoy the Show. I apply this to my life as well as to the vendor shows. No matter what happens, I decided on this last one especially to just enjoy the show.
Make Love not War
Some of you might understand the reference. My point here is to be happy. Make friends. Make connections. Get leads. Get contacts. Get leads. Be happy about whatever outcome you get. Be Happy.
Stand Up Get Up Stand Up for your Right
Stand up at shows. If you have to get a cushioned mat or double up a towel to stand on do it. Sitting down at a show says tot he consumer “I am not engaged in your business”. Stand up, greet them, share with them a deal you are having. It makes a big difference. Also get out from behind the booth. Sit on the side or make your booth so you can be in front.
Put Down the Cellphone and No One Gets Hurt
So many times, sadly most especially NEW vendors or young vendors sit at a booth on their cell phones or smart phones. Again, if a customer walks by you and sees you on the phone, you are telling them you don’t care. Besides, not using it will save your batteries for when you need to use it to make a sale. Turn off your apps. Clear messages out. Put the phone down. If you are bored, bring things to do, or take time to talk to the vendors around you. Look at their displays. Network.
Learn from other Vendors
I have changed my booth and displays more than I can count. I do so because I learn from others by looking around at how they are displaying something ask ask them about it. If I really like it, I ask if they mind if I did something like it. Generally, most people are willing and desirous to share. This is also why it is good to put your cellphone down and engage in those around you. It will help you all be more successful.
Talk about your Brand
Develop your 3 minute spiel about your brand. Don’t make them feel like they can’t get away. Don’t talk for hours. Just give them a few tidbits. Share a deal. Answer questions. Ask them about their day, Ask them about the show. Ask them if they are looking for anything imparticular. At least , TALK. Don’t just sit there or stand there like a mouse. They don’t’ know your brand. You do.
I have devised a new plan I am going to start implementing at all my shows from now on. I am going to adhere a sticker to my card or have special cards made per show that say the name or the date of the show. Why? Because then when someone calls me and says “ I got your card somewhere.” I can ask “Does it have a sticker on it or did it come with a special card?” Then they can tell me the date or what the card said and I can start entering it into a tracking system. This way I can see these thing in my new system
Vendor Show Name
Date(s) of the Show
Estimated # of people attended (came to my booth) ( if you make a certain # of items to give as mini gifts then you know how many stopped by the booth once those are gone)
Sales per show
Referral by someone at the show?
By capturing this date, I then can tell which shows I get the most out of. I am even thinking of creating a Google Docs form that asks Show Survey. How did they hear about it? etc.
Last show I made 30 gifts. They were all gone. So I know at least 30 people came to the show. Then we had stragglers before AND after so I would say about 50 people probably stopped by. I wish it was more like 100 but hey, at least SOME people stopped in!!
Shows are for Leads, Sales are Nice
Most shows were created to get leads. Get info, get contacts. Share your brand. Get your cards out. If you get sales, that is great. It is like the dessert after a meal. This is why creating a Feedback or Survey even if only for yourself, is a good idea. Then you can see where those leads are coming from.
I hate it when others say “That show sucked, I didn’t make any money. I didn’t even get my booth rent back.” Well, honestly, how do you know that? Are you literally saying NO ONE took your card. No one will contact you for business? You didn’t book a aprty? You didn’t hand out your card? You didn’t talk to anyone? Unless you can answer those with NO’s, then you really dont know. Unless you are tracking results and you can see that nothing came in from that show. Then guess what….??? You did get SOMETHING out of it.
You got experience. You made connections. You also learned, Don’t do that show again. lol. Seriously. Or maybe you know about the location. You learned if a location of a show is good or bad.
GIVE FEEDBACK/ SUGGESTIONS
AS Vendor Planners, we DO appreciate feedback. Honestly. If you are unhappy or you have ideas how to make things better, contact us, tell us. We want to know. If you don’t tell us, how can we be better?
No Gossiping or Back Talking
Please just talk to the Vendor Planner. Don’t go talking smack about them. We will hear. I also have been bad about this to other planners. In an effort to help another planner be warned from a bad vendor, I perhaps have spoke too openly about it. I am not perfect and after it was brought to my attention, I realized that sharing my thoughts openly may not be taken the right way. It could potentially make ME look bad and that is not what I want of course. I am not perfect. But I can learn.
Please use Family Emergency if it really IS a family Emergency. I had six people cancel on me last minute. Now either there was a major crisis this weekend, or some people used that as an excuse not a reason. Most vendor shows clearly state no refund. We are not going to change that because it is or isn’t a family emergency. You are a big kid. Just state. You will not be able to be there. Or tell the real reason if you must say anything. Either way you are not getting your money back, so why lie?
Check the Address BEFORE the Show
The planner should have sent out an email of all the info. The map or Google directions or the address. don’t rely on Social Media, use the info the planner sent you in the email. In a place like des moines, there is Des Moines, East Des Moines, South and West Des moines and many of the addresses sound alike.
Be on Time
If you checked the address, you shouldn’t have to worry about getting lost because you SHOULD know exactly where you are going. Thus, you should be on time. There should be a set up time (s) and you should be set up BY the time of the show. If you are gonna be late, please try to let the planner know. It is not the planners job to chase you down.
Get Confirmation, then Mark your Calendar
It is up to YOU to make sure you have been confirmed for the show and mark your calendars. Hearing “I forgot” lately however did not make me happy. The vendor could have at least tried to still attend my event.
Don’t Book too far in Advance: Replacements Not allowed
With a lot of vendors NOT allowing replacements, it is better for you to book only a month or two in advance, not a year. You will be out money and a replacement WON”T be allowed to show up.
I know that was a lot of info to digest but I didn’t want to forget to tell you things.
Please comment, send feedback or any other suggestions or questions you might have.
Many people want to know: To Market to Market, Where do I Market?
Well, here is a list of where I do some Marketing and Advertising and how to do them per their request. If you have any others to share not on this list, let me know.
Also remember many require an Actual Press Release so prepare that first. (and by the way I found out the hard way MailChimp Lists are NOTTTTTTT the way to go because then they unsubscribe AND they won’t post them or share if thye are not in Press Release format)
Remember some places require a Press Release. Prepare PR FIRST, then go down list
As a part of so many variety of ways I market myself, seek out vendors for my shows and advertise, I have had a number of people ask me for the information. This list is constantly growing and changing so in the future I will try to keep it up to date for you all but for now, I thought some of you might be interested in a sample in where I look for Vendor Shows to have a booth at, where I post about my upcoming shows and other Groups I am a part of for connections.
As a hint, if you keep in mind to search for the types of things you are selling or looking for, then you will get a great idea of groups to join and be a part of. These are only FB Groups today. I will share my Linked In and other groups I am a part of on another post.
Working with venues I have found to be of a challenging nature already. I am learning hard and fast lessons about it that I just had to share with you.
Every venue has their cost and I am learning that you get what you pay for.
Here are the first set of basics I think you have to ask yourself:
Understand first of all why you are doing this. Why are you planning your event? Why are going to go through all of this? If you understand that then it will make all the chaos afterward worth it. Fund raiser? Raise awareness? Bring talent together?
Who is going to come to these events? Who are the attendees?
Budget of the event? What are you willing to spend?
What are you trying to earn?
How to make the event different, Unique, not like all the rest, not like the others, not like the rest of your competition or the rest of the town
Who is going to be doing what? Are you doing it all? Are you going to have help? Are you delegating to others? Are you hiring out?
How are you going to promote it?
To me, these are my Make Sures: You know…make sure you….and other info…
Make sure you know what is included in the cost when looking for venues
Make sure you know if they are going to let you set up the night before
Make sure you know if even if you do get to set up the night before if your set up will be secure the night before as mine was ravaged and I had re set it back up anyway
Make sure electrical is covered in the cost and if not what is the cost per each vendor use
Check other events in the area to make sure you are not competing with other markets such as yours. This can be daunting since you could check and then right before your event someone could plan something you have no control over.
Make sure you do lots of advertising and marketing to promote for your event
Make sure to post lots of signs as the establishment may not have good sign age (as my establishment did not)
Make sure to set your pricing for the vendors so that you do more than break even. Divide the cost of the event venue by the cost of the table fee you are planning on charging. Then double that fee for cost or double that by tables. If you don’t you will do a lot of work for nothing.
Make sure to plan to have food at your event. Either have food vendors or have concessions. Some venues have concessions that you can have at the events but if they don’t have such things look for vendors who sell food.
If you are not planning food like this perhaps plan on having a few people bring some pot luck items in the kitchen so people are able to eat.
Make sure to check the wifi status of the venue when you get there to scope it out. Make sure you have it. Check the strength, etc. Nowadays with everyone having swipes and squares without WIFI having these shows is useless.
Make sure to Plan out a map of your event of where each vendor is located. This helps you as well as guests know where to place people. However, for me I had people all placed and then people canceled. Then people wanted to move and I neglected to check who they wanted to move across from and found as I was walking by that they were across from their competitors. Not good.
Make sure to Remember you can only do the best you can. Don’t beat yourself up.
Consider a theme and decorations. This will help bring everything together but it is not mandatory.
Plan your event a month at least ahead of time.
Go see the venue and check everything out.
Measure the spaces fit the venue.
Make sure there is enough tables, electrical outlets etc if that is needed. I made the mistake of taking the venues word for it only to find out two days ahead that there were not and then we were scrambling.
As well, the event venue thought I would show up on day of to do everything and if I had we would NOT have had enough tables or outlets as they had ripped all the outlets out.
Try to have fun raffles. Ask vendors to donate items to the raffle but make sure they understand it is Not mandatory. It cost each vendor to do these things so it is up to them. However it helps market their brand so it benefits them in the long run.
Have entertainment or something fun going on. This makes it more fun for the vendors and the attendees.
Try Not to plan everything yourself. Sure sage words if yo can do that. However, I am one business and one person. I would love to have help and ask many people with no response. I get annoyed and irritated if I keep asking and no one is willing to help. If you can get help, that is great. If you want to plan it yourself, if you think you can do it yourself go ahead. But be-warned, it is a LOT of work. At some point you WILL need help. In the end, I had helpers with the raffles, tables, chairs, set up and take down and a few various things here and there. For the future I am trying to offer rewards to those who bring in sales for future events.
Don’t assume your guests will enjoy the event and just love how you did everything. On the flip side actually. I figured the vendors hated how I arranged it, I figured the guests didn’t arrive because I did something wrong. I figured all the opposite. But then I told myself, I did my best because I did. In the end, that is all you can do.
I found Google Docs and Google Drive and Google Forms to be the best tools to use.
I used and created a Google Form for everyone to fill out. I asked all the questions I needed and used this as my interest form AND contract. At the end they need to sign and Date it. Once they have done that it goes into a Google Database that is connected to my gmail. I set a notification that alerted me when anything was changed or updated so I could stay on top of it. This is also how I made sure I did not duplicate vendors. This went to Google Drive and saved it into a Google Spreadsheet. I created extra tabs for the three events I am hosting. I copied the information into those sheets so I knew who would be at each even and who needed tables, electrical, and who had an had not paid. I also kept track of who I had contacted, how many times and when I had given them a final warning. I highlighted their name in green and marked PAID when paid. I marked in RED once I had given final warning after three times and had not heard.
After I get their info I email them with info to my Square account info for a payment I created. They can pay me via Square and it is all secure. It send them a confirmation and then I also see it and sent them a separate confirmation. This is how I keep track.
In the Google Spreadsheet I also have separate tabs of Vendors, Venues, Performers, FB Groups I promote to, Other Places I promote to, and other leads. I can also share this with my team to help me keep track of everything.
In the end, no matter what you do, you can’t make people show up. You can be the best at advertising, marketing, and make sure everything is perfect and then the weather craps out on you and no one wants to go out or the weather is great and no one wants to shop. Either way it is up to the people. They are either going to come to your event or their not.
Do your best. Use what works for you. Enjoy it. If you hate it, I would say Event Planning is not for you. It can be stressful.It can be a delight. It can also make you want to never do it again.
My fiancée’ made me laugh this morning when he said, “Handling vendors for events is like handling kids. They either are happy or their not. You can’t please them all. You just have to do your best and someone is always going to yell that someone is touching them!” LOL
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