Two New Genealogy Business Strategy Guides at GenBiz Solutions

 

GenBiz Solutions announces two new business strategy guides: Building Credibility as a Business Strategy and Tips for Tracking Income and Expenses.

Two New Genealogy Business Strategy Guides at GenBiz Solutions

GenBiz Solutions™ has two new business strategy guides available in November 2016: Building Credibility as a Business Strategy and Tips for Tracking Income and Expenses.

Have you been working on your business strategy and goals for 2017? Any of the informative guides at GenBiz Solutions™ can help you achieve those goals. And don’t forget, your purchase may qualify as a business expense and tax deduction for 2016!

Building Credibility as a Business Strategy

New GenBiz Solutions™ author Lori Samuelson has created the Building Credibility as a Business Strategy guide, a valuable addition to our Business topic guides covering various administrative functions of a genealogy business.

“You wouldn’t hire a physician to fix your car nor would you seek the advice of a stranger on a street corner to complete your tax return. A successful business must be built on a foundation of credibility. As the leader of your organization, you possess the power to inspire and demonstrate this vitally critical trait.”

In this four-page digital guide, you’ll learn exactly what is considered “credibility” in the business world and how to build it. Also covered is a list of “credibility busters” that can easily sink your genealogy business; you’ll learn how to identify these pitfalls and how to avoid them and even recover from them.

With the Building Credibility as a Business Strategy guide from GenBiz Solutions™, you’ll be ready to build credibility as you build your genealogy business.

Tips for Tracking Income and Expenses

New GenBiz Solutions™ author Anne Sherman has created the Tips for Tracking Income and Expenses guide, a step-by-step approach to creating a method of tracking various financial and reporting aspects of your genealogy business.

In this 9-page digital guide, you’ll learn how to construct a basic income and expense spreadsheet to track various aspects of your genealogy business including client charges, travel expenses, income, business expenses and taxes.

With the Tips for Tracking Income and Expenses strategy guide from GenBiz Solutions™, you’ll be ready to manage the day-to-day operations of your genealogy business.

Our Thank You: Save 30% on Any GenBiz Solutions Guide

As a special thank you for the support of the genealogy business community, GenBiz Solutions™ is offering 30% off any business strategy guide, even our two newest guides. To save 30% OFF your entire order! Use coupon code BIZ2016 at checkout.

©2016, copyright High-Definition Genealogy. All rights reserved.

Ready to Write? Consider Adding “Published Writer” to Your Professional Bucket List

Genealogist Mary Penner challenges her colleagues to add "published writing" as part of their genealogy business service in this post at GenBiz Solutions!

Ready to Write? Consider Adding “Published Writer” to Your Professional Bucket List

[Editor’s Note: Mary Penner is the Managing Editor for the quarterly journal of the Association of Professional Genealogists.]

Recently I gave a presentation about writing to a group of about eighty people. I asked how many of them knew how to write. Everyone raised their hands. When I asked how many of them were writers, only about five people tentatively raised their hands. Even then, their hands were just half-raised, with a little side-to-side fluttering wrist action showing they were a little iffy about calling themselves writers. What gives? You know how to write, but you’re not a writer? Are writers a special class of literate people? I don’t think so. If you know how to string words together in a comprehensible way, then you’re a writer. However, are you a published writer? That’s the distinction that seems to be the dividing line between would-be writers and writers.

Professionals in the genealogy world often add a writing component to their toolbox of services and skills. If you want to pump up your writing cred and become a published writer, look around for opportunities to write about the stuff that you know. (Genealogists, by the way, know a lot of stuff!) Genealogical researchers can turn to about a billion pieces of writing that offer all kinds of “how-to” advice on the art and science of genealogy. Okay, maybe not a billion, but there is no shortage of written advice on research tactics.

Where Can Genealogy Professionals Publish Their Writing?

What about the genealogy professional, though? We are a different subset of genealogists in that we are experts at our craft, but we’re also business people. Where can you write and read about our corner of the genealogy world? Easy. Pick up a copy of the journal published by the Association of Professional Genealogists (apgen.org). I am partial to this publication because I’m the Managing Editor for our journal, Association of Professional Genealogists Quarterly (APGQ).

Here is a piece of good news: at APGQ we don’t require clips of your previous published work; we do not request a résumé listing all your writing successes. We just want compelling writing on relevant topics.

What is the Nitty Gritty of Writing an Article?

How can you write for APGQ? First, you need to figure out what you want to write. The goal of APGQ is to help our members become better and more accomplished genealogy professionals. What can you share that will help us achieve that? What is your expertise in the professional world? What lessons have you learned along your professional journey? What successes or failures have you had? For more ideas, scan copies of previous journals. The past dozen years or so of our journals are on our website. You have to be a member of APG, though, to access the full copies. We also have a topical index of everything we’ve published in our journal for the past thirty-six years. Check that out at: APGQ Index 1979-2015

Once you have an idea of what you’d like to write, develop a summary and a brief outline (known in the writing world as a query) and email it to me. If it looks like a topic that will interest and help our members, then I’ll recommend that you write a draft.

Shoot for around 2,500 words, more or less. Include images that illustrate your points, and pull together a sidebar or two with pertinent bullet points or examples related to your topic. Have a buddy read it over and offer suggestions. When you are satisfied with the article, attach it as a Word document to an email and hit the send button.

If your article is accepted, it’s not over yet! Our APG team will work with you to develop your ideas and make sure your writing is clear and organized. We will also polish up the grammar, the spelling, the word choices, the sentence structure—all that stuff that your high school English teachers tried to hammer into your teenage brain. Articles are shuffled back and forth between our editing team and the writer several times in order to get the article into the best shape possible.

When the article is ready to publish, we’ll send you a check for your efforts. Yes, we pay for articles.

What are Some Tips to Remember?

Here are some final tips for writing an article for APGQ:

  • Submit a query before you write.
  • Write about what you know or what you have experienced.
  • Write about things that will help professionals be better professionals.
  • Study back issues for ideas.
  • Begin your article with a catchy introduction.
  • Include interesting and relevant high quality images with your article.
  • Contact me anytime with questions or ideas at: editor@apgen.org

Writing for APGQ will raise your professional profile. We have nearly 3,000 members around the world who devour our journal—or at least we like to think they do! Crossing that barrier from knowing how to write to being a writer is not reserved only for naturally gifted Steinbecks and Hemingways of the world. You, too, can add “published writer” to your professional bag of tricks.

 

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Mary Penner

 

About Mary Penner

Mary Penner is the Managing Editor for the quarterly journal of the Association of Professional Genealogists. She also edits the scholarly journal for the New Mexico Genealogical Society. A professional genealogist, writer, editor, and speaker, Mary has published more than 200 articles about genealogical research, and her biography of a WWII Pearl Harbor survivor and submarine sailor won first place in the New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards competition. A former high school and college English teacher, Mary enjoys helping would-be writers become published writers. Contact Mary at: editor@apgen.org, or through her website, www.marypenner.com.

 

A Guide to Exhibiting at a Genealogy Conference – Part 2: Running the Show

Jennifer Alford, owner of the genealogy business Jenealogy, provides advice on setting up an exhibitors booth at a genealogy conference

A Guide to Exhibiting at a Genealogy Conference – Part 2: Running the Show

[Editor’s Note: Jennifer Alford is the owner of Jenealogy and a partner in The In-Depth Genealogist.

In the last blog post in this series, I discussed the many decisions necessary in developing your plan to have a booth at a trade show. Not only do you need to decide if you can afford to exhibit, but you need to decide what your goal at the trade show will be! Once you have decided to make that leap, you then have the actual event to run.

Promoting the Conference

Before you even get to the event, it is important that you promote the conference! After all, if there is not a strong showing at the event, you may not get the exposure you are hoping for your company or organization. Let your current customers, blog readers, Facebook friends, and Twitter followers know that you are going to be having a booth and that you would love to see them “in person.” Many exhibitors plan to have a sale through their website that coincides with the events at the conference. Sales offered for a limited time can be advertised at the conference and allow conference attendees to buy after the event is over. Offering discounts on subscriptions, books, memberships, and giveaways can entice people to visit your booth in the exhibit hall.

Plan Your Booth Layout

Make a plan for your booth layout next. Determine where you will place your table (or tables) and what you will put on your table. You do not want the booth to be too crammed with stuff so that visitors will feel self-conscious about looking at your offerings and interacting with you. A cluttered table can make it hard for a visitor to understand what you are selling. Take advantage of the vertical space as much as possible. Use clear signing to accentuate what you are selling.

Just because you see other groups with their table across the front of the booth does not mean you must do the same. In fact having that table across the front of the booth basically tells visitors that you don’t want them to come in. Having a more open set-up with the table off to the side or at the back of the booth space will draw people in. After all, you want to have the opportunity to talk with visitors and get to know them.

Make a sketch of the layout before you get to the exhibit hall to see what additional items you might need to purchase to supplement your layout. Brochure or book stands may make it more manageable and uncluttered. Figure out if there is a simple way to transport these items or if you could buy them the day before you set up where the conference is located. Sometimes it is more economical to purchase the shelving or stands at a local store near the conference and then ship it back home after the fact.

Staffing Your Booth

The next important task is selecting who will help with the booth. Sometimes we only have a few people who will be attending the conference who can assist with the booth. Or you may have a limited budget and cannot hire someone to work the booth. Your booth workers need to have a positive attitude, know your product, and project the image that you want for your business.

Whatever the situation, I recommend that you develop a checklist or guidelines for those who will help at the booth. The act of writing out the rules of helping at the booth will help you focus on your goals. Detail the methods of interacting with visitors and handling transactions. I would also suggest that you provide name tags or badges that make it clear who is helping at the booth. Having a professional appearance is important as each person will be representing your business or organization while in your booth. Be sure to have your booth workers dress nicely, but comfortably. Shoes make a big difference as you will probably be on your feet for most of the time.

Conference Check-In and Booth Setup

When you arrive at the venue it is important to check in with the organizers. Sometimes they have to rearrange the booth layout at the last minute and believe me, you do not want to have to move all your stuff more than once! If you can, pick up your temporary sales tax license while you are there.

Confirm with the organizers that all of the extras that you purchased are delivered to your booth. If you ordered carpet, electricity, or extra tables you will want those in the booth before you start setting up. You don’t want to move things around more than necessary. If you have a dolly it will make “move-in” much easier. Sometimes the venue will have wheeled carts that you can use, but occasionally they will charge you for their use. So be prepared if you have a lot of heavy items to move to your booth. I have even taken advantage of my suitcase on wheels in the past!

Use your booth layout design as a starting point for your setup. You may find that you need to rearrange or flip the layout depending on how your neighboring booths are setup. If there is going to be heavy traffic along where you had planned to put your table; you may want to put the table on the opposite side to make it less likely that someone could reach over without interacting with you first. Once your booth is set up, you will want to cover everything with a sheet to prevent items from walking away while you are not there.  I do not recommend leaving anything valuable at your booth when you are not there. You may think hiding things under your table is enough, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Laptops, tablets, and money are far too easy to lose.

Booth Orientation for Staff

A brief orientation with your booth workers before the exhibit hall opens can be helpful. Step through the guidelines you had developed and how to approach visitors. Have a short compelling message that you’d like them to use and have each person rehearse it. Whether it is just a question to draw people in or a quick description of your business or organization doesn’t matter. You want to be consistent with the message you use.  Be sure to discuss the importance of reading body language with your booth workers. While it’s good to encourage others to come and talk with you at your booth, you don’t want to alienate people by accosting them in the aisle. It can be considered rude or antagonistic and you don’t want to upset your fellow exhibitors by making people rush through the aisle to avoid you. Instead, teach your booth workers how to read the body language of those walking by. If someone turns toward your booth that means they are open to speaking with you. If they avoid making eye contact when you say, “Hello” it may just mean they are in a rush to get somewhere. Try not to take it personally.

Take a Break!

Hopefully you will have a number of workers at your booth to allow for frequent breaks. If not, have a “Be right back” sign with an estimated time of return. Try not to take one of these breaks during the gap between conference sessions, lunch time, or at the beginning or closing hours of the exhibit hall. Those are going to be your highest traffic times in the hall and you want someone at the booth then.

Drawings and Giveaways

Offering a drawing for a giveaway may be a simple way to entice visitors.  Many people love the chance to win a prize. Do what makes the most sense for your group. If you are going to offer a contest you probably want to have an entry require sharing their email address and agreeing to be on a mailing list. Be clear about this and people will appreciate your honesty. If you bought promotional items like a pen, highlighter, or name tag ribbon to hand out you might want to make sure the recipient has at least taken a moment to hear your spiel. Remind them that you are providing the item in the hopes that they will visit your website when they get home after the conference. People appreciate that you are trying to get your name out and that these items are not given away without a reason.

Network with Other Exhibitors

While you are primarily exhibiting at the conference in order to get to know the attendees, you should make a point to get to know your fellow exhibitors. Before going to the conference you might want to check the exhibitor list and reach out to a few that you’d like to get to know. Invite them to stop by your booth or schedule a meeting for coffee or drinks. Ask about their business and consider how you might be able to help them with your own expertise, business, or personal connections. Partnerships with other organizations can be invaluable. Introduce yourself to your neighboring booths and offer to keep an eye on their booth if they need a break. They will likely return the favor.

Don’t Forget the “After Conference” Follow-up!

Many people want to visit your website after they meet you. Make sure it’s up to date and running properly. After the conference you want to be sure and quickly follow up with those you met. Thank those who took the time to meet with you from other organizations. Thank your booth workers and other supporters who might have helped you along the way. You will also want to sit down and analyze how it went for your organization and make plans for your next trade show experience. If you can, provide feedback to the organizers of the event so that they can understand how your business or organization did during the conference. The great thing about exhibiting at trade shows is that you can try new things and perfect your approach each time. Learning to adapt your approach helps you to become better at promoting your organization and build relationships with others. It is a win-win!

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About Jennifer Alford

Jennifer Alford, PE, PTOE, is a Traffic Engineer by day and a genealogy professional and lecturer by night. Her business, Jenealogy, creates engaging family history treasures to enhance the bond between generations. Jen serves as newsletter editor for the Indiana Genealogical Society and has served in the position of associate editor of the Federation of Genealogical Society’s FORUM magazine. As a partner with The In-Depth Genealogist she is publisher of The In-Depth Genealogist’s magazine, Going In-Depth, and several books written by their contributing writers. She can be contacted at jen@jenalford.com or visit her website at http://www.jenealogy.biz or http://www.theindepthgenealogist.com

Jennifer Alford, PE, PTOE, is a Traffic Engineer by day and a genealogy professional and lecturer by night. Her business, Jenealogy, creates engaging family history treasures to enhance the bond between generations. Jen serves as newsletter editor for the Indiana Genealogical Society and has served in the position of associate editor of the Federation of Genealogical Society’s FORUM magazine. As a partner with The In-Depth Genealogist she is publisher of The In-Depth Genealogist’s magazine, Going In-Depth, and several books written by their contributing writers. She can be contacted at jen@jenalford.com or visit her website at http://www.jenealogy.biz or http://www.theindepthgenealogist.com