author/source: Keisha Greaves
The month of July has been full of AMAZING opportunities to not only participate in events with my favorite organization but also to plan and roll out my own events to further promote the causes I support and spread the word about the Girls takeover!
One of those events was the Girls Night Out Fundraiser I put on in partnership with Jaclyn Zuke of Next on Scene. The event was held at our local restaurant, Papa Gayo and served as the first of many Girls Chronically Rock (GCR) pop-up shops I am planning for this summer. At the event, I was able to connect with new faces, share more about my story and the inspiration behind the GCR clothing line. It was an opportunity for me to try something new and partner with another Boston night and womanprenuer to see our dreams come to fruition, and in one night almost everyone walked away with a GCR purchase. This event was both a success and learning experience for me and I want to share a few nuggets of wisdom for my fellow womanpreneur-in-the-making GCR sisters.
I knew I wanted to fundraise and bring awareness to GCR so I kept my eyes peeled for possible connections. It was through the Boston Business Women Facebook Group that I met and connected with Jaclyn which later grew into our partnership for the event. I formed a relationship with Jaclyn after emailing her and later being featured on her podcast. After completing the show (January), we remained connected to eventually partner together. Our relationship wasn’t just business, we both genuinely cared about each other’s goals and dreams wanted to do everything we could to help one another succeed. She encouraged me to develop my brand by starting a podcast. And now, since working together on the Girls Night Out Event, we have continued to reach out and invite each other to events that can create opportunities for our businesses and network.
I challenge you to do something for your business/brand today: Find a Facebook group and be committed to showing up. Look for a local meetup or event where you can network and spread the word about your brand. Get started today!
Big Lessons Learned: Of course, every new endeavor we take on will have a learning curve. Doing my own event taught me the importance of advertising, advertising, and more advertising. Possible customers only know about what they know about. Making more of an intentional and widespread effort is key to making sure your event is getting in front of new eyes. Continue to dig into your resources and exhaust all of the free options like social media, email, and word-of-mouth before moving to paid options. I had the benefit of having a lot of family and friends involved, but there were still more people in my circle/community who I could have contacted and asked to help me out in my efforts to spread the word. Don’t be afraid to tell the people around you about what you’re doing. Let them know that they too can be a part of the movement you’re creating and get involved.
The exciting thing about my event was that almost everyone bought some GCR gear. The lesson I learned was that I could be more efficient in getting my customers the information they needed by having a pricing sheet on every display to help customers decide what they want to purchase. Give your customers all the information they will need to make a purchasing decision.
Another piece of advice is to pay attention to what products/items really sell. Whether it was my GCR hats or the tote that I’m working on, knowing what customers like is crucial to creating more products that my community loves.
Having a team of creative and innovative volunteers and paid service providers can sometimes be the difference between a seamless experience and the cloud of stress that can come with doing everything yourself.
A huge part of my event success was based on the fact that Jaclyn handled all of the event coordination and PR items, which freed me up to focus on my products and connecting with my attendees. As I think about how to level up from here, I have my sights set on doing more GCR pop-ups (in a city near you), sharing my story with more people through speaking engagements and partnering with some of my favorite organizations to help spread awareness about chronic illnesses like MD and to further promote and build the GCR community of strong, empowered and purpose-filled women.