Documenting Your Work
Now we're going to talk about documenting. And what I mean by documenting is, essentially just taking pretty pictures of what you're doing. I mean, sometimes we get so caught up in the doing of our work that we don't film it, or take really great and compelling photographs of it happening. And I think we live in a time where we almost don't want to do it. It's like we're all trying to rebel against selfies, and "Oh, can't you just eat a meal" "without taking a picture of it, Charles?" You know? I think we live in a time where it's almost taboo to be documenting everything. We feel like we look like a teenaged girl. I don't know. I feel that a little bit with my team. It almost - I think we're so tired of the grind of social media and trying to document everything in our lives that we are ... do you know what I'm saying? We're trying to rebel against that, but, now we're talking about bringing an idea to fruition. Now we're talking about winning sponsors. And what are some of the things...
I've mentioned that I've said are super important? One of them is the trouble people have visualizing what you're doing. Okay? If you have pictures, you're going to be so glad you took them. So please, I would like to emphasize this. This is like my biggest tip as we get into specifics. I don't care what your idea is, you definitely want lots of great pictures. If you are - even if you are a street artist doing murals, I'm not even talking about having a picture of the final work of art. Have a time lapse of painting this tremendous work of art. I mean, you think it's easy to paint something that's 90 feet wide, but people love watching the quick time lapse of the sun rising and setting, and you're out there just painting all day long. Same thing with installing a garden. How exciting is it for people to watch a quick time lapse with the sun rising and setting and all those wonderful little sprouts growing into a community garden? Those kinds of documents, if they're done well and they're done artistically, especially if you have friends who are photographers and filmmakers, and so on. Maybe you don't, but maybe you can establish a trade. Maybe you can go to the local film school to the university that teaches film, and there are students who want to do a short film about a project that matters. Again, what do you have to offer as leverage? You may not have any money at all; that's totally fine. You have so much more to give. There are film students who have an assignment that they have to come up with a short film by the end of the semester, right? And you have an amazing story to tell. Do it. So don't be shy to ask for help, and ask for things that you're certainly going to need. And pictures and evidence. When people tell you stories about how your idea has already affected them, you know, they say that they heard about it. You're going to start getting stories where you are touching people. Because that's why you're in this, right? Write those down, or maybe even ask if they're willing to give a testimonial, if you think that would help you. If you are in the kind of field where having testimonials, if you're starting say, a yoga studio for people who have physical ailments, and you have had some success stories. Go ahead and collect those testimonials so that other people who are suffering from similar challenges can see that this has actually helped others. That's what I mean by collecting evidence, because just you telling it, you're limited in your ability to tell it. So make sure that you're getting those stories out there and getting them documented in a beautiful way. So I just want you to feel all along that my message to you is to get it out there, to be fearless, to be confident, to be aware of what makes you special, and then to just own it. Even if it's weird, it's totally fine. You know, we have all sorts of companies who are willing to - it's almost like the weirder you are, the better. Okay? It's like the more Vaudevilley, and roller derby, and all that kinda stuff, the more cat café you are. Maybe that's cause the things I've gone to. But I truly believe that the more memorable you are, that's the word I'm going to use. I'm not going to use the word weird, you know? Your friends and your parents might be calling you weird for what you wanna do for this crazy tattoo studio you want to open, or another thing I was telling a friend about is there's a new business coming to the East side of Milwaukee that is an axe throwing bar. I don't know if you guys have heard of this, apparently it's a thing in the Midwest. I've never been to one. But they're really popular up north near the Great Lakes. It's like a bowling alley, okay? Or like a shooting range, but instead, you actually throw hatchets and you drink alcohol. I don't know if it's a great or not, but some people think that's awesome. And there's one opening near Black Cat Alley, so, I'm gonna get to visit an axe bar at some point this year. So, you know, the weirder you are - you're gonna remember I told you that story, right? After this class is over, you're gonna forget a lot of the stuff, like, "What was that analysis called?" Like you're going to forget the SWOT analysis but you're gonna remember the axe throwing bar. I mean, that's just how your brain works. So remember that the more unique you are, and the more your story sort of is out there, the more it's going to resonate with people. So just be proud of it, and realize that that has value to people that goes beyond the financial. The supporters want updates. So, that's another thing that you can kind of learn, even if you're not using one of these online platforms for crowdfunding, you can still learn a lot of lessons from crowdfunding because of the structures they've worked so hard to create. So that who idea of getting a signed CD and a poster, it's also the whole idea of getting updates, like look at that structure and mimic it, even if you're not using that platform. I'm not saying not to use the platform, like you can totally do crowdfunding, that's a very viable option for a lot of projects, but my point is - again it's all about value - even if you don't use their platform literally for crowdfunding, you can use their platform to learn stuff, and to see how that's done. And updating people is a huge part of that. And it'll send you reminders. So, you know, do that. Make sure that the people who've already come in - in fact, I would say the earlier that they come in to support your idea, think of them as pioneers. Because if it weren't for the first few people who said yes, besides your mom, of course your mom helped you out, but besides mom, the first pioneer sponsors who don't know you very well and actually said, "You know what? That sounds great." And they didn't have to hear any other name dropping to actually get behind you, treat them even better than everyone else. Give them extra benefits, make sure you praise them, advertise their brand, whatever you can do to keep them updated and to keep them feeling confident that you are grateful for what they've given and for how early they came in. That's important. You know, give people what they want.