I can hardly believe that the Be Well Fabulous Black Woman Tour has come to an end. Our time in Grand Rapids was lovely. We appreciate AT&T for planting the first seed as a presenting sponsor. We couldn’t have done it without them and the support of so many others. The energy was high. The inspiration flowed from our main stage speakers and breakout presenters. We even had women who joined us again from the Kalamazoo tour stop. Our mini dance parties were invigorating. Women loved on each other fully. We gave amazing prizes away like tickets to see Maze and Frankie Beverly thanks to Magic 104.9. And ending the day with a riverboat cruise couldn’t have been a more perfect way to celebrate this labor of love.
Let’s just say, we showed up, and showed out. My team and I have been grateful for this journey and the many lessons we learned along the way. We know for sure that we will be back in a major way in 2020.
As we gear up for what’s next, we would be remised to not share some of those lessons with you. We feel these lessons will help you on your journey, whether you’re gearing up to launch your first big event, or you want to simply expand your territory. So let’s dive in!
Lesson #1: Start Small. Anyone who knows me knows I like to go big. Have always been that way. I love the saying, ‘go big or go home’, The problem is that sometimes our work isn’t primed for going big. At least not yet :). The only risk of starting with a smaller number is selling out. If you start with a larger number it can cause you to undersell, and lose money, which we certainly don’t want for anyone.
Lesson #2: Value Alignment is Key. Make sure your potential partners align with your values or you may find yourself dealing with unnecessary bs. You can get at the heart of this by asking questions like:
-How do you feel about people?
-What change are you trying to create in the world?
-Why do you want to work with me?
-What about the work I’m doing attracts you?
The key is to get to know them. There are a lot of people who can do the work, but everyone that can is not necessarily right for you.
Lesson #3: Focus on Local. When we first started out, well before the idea of the tour came about, we invested a lot of time and money attending events all over the country. This was by design as the intention was, and still is, to build a global brand. When we decided to scale back and do the Be Well Fabulous Black Woman Tour, I had to work to legitimize our work in the communities I had already been working in for years. Even though there was an awareness about me and the work I had done for my practice, Change Agent Consulting, this work was new, and therefor I had to reestablish myself in the marketplace. If I had incorporated a more local focus when we first started, it would have made the tour that much more successful.
Lesson #4: Ambassadors are Critical. No matter how good you and your team are, if something is new in the marketplace, and if you are working in a community you don’t live in, having ‘influencers’ to speak on behalf of your work is critical. Identify these individuals early and recruit them to leverage their network on your behalf. You can provide free admission to your event, for example for their commitment, with the understanding they help you sell so many tickets.
Lesson #5: Your Partners Followers Will Not Automatically Transfer to You. We made the assumption that the people who supported our partners would automatically support us too. That if they saw they were affiliated with our work, they would get on board. We couldn’t have been more wrong. There has to be an intention and expectation outlined in your agreement detailing specifically what partners will do to leverage their network. This is more than a conversation. Both parties sign an agreement, which makes the commitment real.
There are many more lessons we learned along the way, but these are the ones we want to leave you with today. Once again, we’re coming back in March 2020, with a whole new line-up of programming. And we promise that the lessons we learned will only make our work better for you and every woman we’re privileged to serve in the future. .
Be well beauties,