how to create a fundraiser passion squared

How To Create A Fundraiser + Give Back

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead

Like many of you, my heart has been breaking since the news of Hurricane Harvey began rolling in. The images of so much suffering, pain, helplessness and loss. Images that most likely will stay with us forever.

But here is what I know to be true. There is way more good in our world than we realize. And it’s in times like this that we get to see it more than ever. Let us all remember that next time we feel like giving up on humanity.

Since I have been getting so many questions about how to create a fundraiser to help, I decided to create this blog, in hopes that it will give you some framework to create your event.

How To Set Up and Host A Fundraiser

Step 1- Purpose
Choose a cause/s to support and how you will support them. This can range from raising money through service and product sales, to tip collection or collecting items needed for a specific cause. Be sure to do your research on the cause as many are skeptical of charities focus and intentions.

Step 2- Enlist 
Enlist local businesses and community members to get their support. This can be asking for a location host, a refreshment donation, products, supplies and help getting the word out which will be a BIG part of a successful event

Step 3- Budget/Goal
Create some type of budget for the event and a goal of how much you want to raise or how many items you want to collect

Step 4- Communications + Social Media 
Gather all the details; cause, location, date, time, how to RSVP, contact info, etc. and create a graphic and share that with the group who has agreed to support promoting the event. For free events Eventbrite is a good tool to use to get an idea of how much interest there is.

Tap into the power of social media, as we have been reminded of this past week, it has the power to do many things, including saving lives. Use local hashtags and tag local businesses. This can create energy and discovery around your event. Be sure that everyone involved is using the hashtags.

Step 5- Responsibilities
Determine what you will need for the event including supplies, support staff, communications, marketing, payment processing, information on the causes, refreshment delivery, set up, clean up, etc. and who will be responsible. Make a list, and communicate!

Step 6- Delivering The Donation 
Determine how you will deliver the donations. This is really important when it comes to collecting items, think shipping, shipping costs, etc. If it is a monetary donation, decide the date the donation will be made and who will be making it

Step 7- Thanking Your Supporters 
Post event, tally up your donations and create a graphic/thank you’s to share your gratitude with all involved with your fundraiser and how they made a difference

Step 8- Gratitude
Be grateful AF that you have the means and desire to make a difference + have fun!

A big shout out to Sara, @prettycutanddry who lit this fire for us and to @cooperativesalon for creating space for us in So Cal to do something awesome for the people in need. I am so grateful to be part of a community that has such a passion for lifting up those around us.

Love + Gratitude-
Nina

If you are still looking for ways to support the victims of Hurricane Harvey, here are some causes I have researched and support.

And if you are feeling depressed and overwhelmed by all of this tragedy, click here to read a message I shared about that on Instagram.

How A barista made my day Passion Squared blog

How A Barista Made My Day

“Customer service is not a department, it’s everyone’s job.” Unknown

A barista at Starbucks made my day.

How?
She surprised and delighted me. She did something unexpected.

What did she do?
She offered me a free beverage.

Well that seems like no big deal.
It was a big deal.

Why?
Because it was simple, unexpected and it made me feel valued and happy.

My loves, at the end of the day, all of the marketing programs, fancy Instagram posts, Workshops and Classes don’t matter if we do not remember what matters most, a happy client.

Now, I know what you may be thinking. “Nina, we cannot give stuff away”. I get it, but that’s not the point. I am a regular customer who came in to purchase a pound of espresso, which I do about every 10 days. She did not know me. She did not need to. She just felt like and had the autonomy to do something special.

And that is all.

Surprise. Delight. And make me feel valued and happy. Be a day maker. And give your team permission to be one too.

And if you do, your clients may be inspired to share their experience with their friends. And on Yelp. And even, in a blog post like I did.

Love + Awesomeness-
Nina

PS: A big shout out to the Starbucks on Flower + 9th in DTLA. You made my day. Thank you.

3 Ways To Lose A Client Passion Squared blog

3 Ways To Lose An Awesome Client

We see our customers as invited guests to a party, and we are the hosts. It’s our job every day to make every important aspect of the customer experience a little bit better. ~ Jeff Bezos, Amazon 

We often hear talk about how to keep a client, but today, I am reminding you of how to lose one.

Why? Because sadly, I am seeing more and more the most simple things being overlooked when engaging with a business that I felt inspired to share this reminder with you.

First off, why do we lose clients? Several ways. It all comes down to broken promises, over time, which leads to diminishing trust, which ultimately makes a client decide to choose to go elsewhere.

Recently, I visited a service establishment that pretty much violated most of the reasons clients don’t stay. As I walked in, I was greeted, so yay! But from there, it all went downhill. For some context, there were 6 team members and 2 clients in the business when I arrived. They asked me sit down and wait for my service but never told me where to sit. Once I figured out for myself where to sit, I began to cough. And cough some more. Then some more. For over one minute, I coughed. Yet, it was not until over a minute of coughing that someone decided it was a good time to offer me a beverage.

When I sat for my experience, I was never offered another beverage, even though there were still only 2 clients in the business with idle team members watching TV and staring down at their phones. Really?

I requested a specific service be done, yet, I had to ask 3 times at which point the service provider finally heard me and did what I requested.

Upon checkout, which took WAY too long for no good reason, I was asked 3 times if I wanted a receipt. THREE times. I was never asked if I wanted to leave a tip, how my experience was, not was I asked when I wanted to pre book my next appointment. The fundamentals, forgotten or ignored.

1. Not Listening

This is the foundation of everything. Listening says so much. If we really listen, we can ensure our clients needs are being taken care of. When we listen we show we care. When we listen we deliver awesome experiences. When we deliver awesome experiences, clients are inspired to share them with their friends.

2. Not Providing An Awesome Experience

The client experience begins LONG before we walk through the door. It begins upon first contact. This could be our experience with your online platforms, how we book our appointments, how appointments are confirmed, how we are treated upon entering the business, during our service, checking out of our service, and any post service follow up. This can speak to the products you use, to the towel quality, the beverage service, the music being played, the energy in the space, and so on; experience matters.

3. Not Caring

How do we show we care? We pay attention, we listen, we respond, we engage, online and off, I can tell if you care, and I can tell if you do not. Do you care if I ever come back? If you do, one way to show me is to remind me to book my next experience before I leave. If you care about my experience as a client, you will do everything in your power to ensure my needs are being met, including offering me a beverage the first time you hear me cough. If you care, you will ask me to share my experience on Yelp. And so on, and so on, and so on.

Why does this happen?

Many reasons. Sometimes it may be lack of training, lack of systems, lack of expectations, lack of engagement in the business, a disgruntled team, lack of culture, or lack of leadership.

In this case, the owner was not present. But if leaders do their job, the owner should not have to be present for an awesome experience to be delivered consistently.

What can you do about it?

Take a good, objective look at your experience. The systems, the training, the team, the culture, your brand promise, and your ability to lead. Most likely, something is missing or broken. The good news? You can change it, if you really want to.

Start with brand purpose and promise. Are you clear and is your team clear? What do you stand for? Believe in? Who is your target client? Do you understand them and what they value? What specifically does your experience look and feel like? Is the team crystal clear on how to deliver that experience consistently and what it looks and feels like? What systems can you build to ensure the experience is delivered? How will the team be held accountable if the experience is not delivered consistently.

One last thing…

As I mentioned in the beginning, there were 2 clients in the salon and 6 service providers. What were the other 4 service providers doing? Nothing. In 2017, there is NO reason in the world to do nothing. If you want to build a clientele, the KEY word is “want”, then it’s your responsibility to build those relationships. One way to do that today is by engaging on social platforms. Create content that is of value to your client. Engage. Build relationships. Create content. Engage. Build relationships. For the one hour I was there, those 4 service providers could have done a mini photo shoot, created a video, done an Instagram or Facebook LIVE, written a blog, practiced their craft, etc.

If you don’t have the clients you dream of, the only place to look is in the mirror. Then at your phone, not to play games, but to create and share content, engage, deliver value and build relationships.

With love-
Nina

PS: Just after I finished writing this post, I saw this in my inbox from the awesome Seth Godin. Let it sink in and share it with your teams…

The best time to study for the test… is before it’s given.
The best time to campaign is before the election.
And the best time to keep a customer is before he leaves.- Seth Godin

The First Passion Squared blog March 2012 hd

5 Truths of Turning A Passion Into A Brand

Small business isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s for the brave, the patient and the persistent. It’s for the overcomer. Unknown 

Five years feels both so very long and so very short. My first and only career lasted 25 years. My life, 50 years as of this writing. But there is just something about creating a business from scratch, and reaching this milestone that is giving me all the feels, something I know all small biz owners can relate to.

How did we get here? It’s a simple story quite honestly, but far from easy. Actually, it was, and continues to be, hard AF. The obvious is passion. But, and here is a big BUT, you can be passionate as all get out, and never turn that passion into a brand. It takes more. Way more. A lot more!

Courage
This comes first cause without this; we will never start. I gave up everything. Sold everything. Sacrificed everything. Do you need to do that same? Not at all. But no matter how you slice it, you gotta dig deep for the courage to take the road less traveled. To risk everything. To walk from failure to failure with grace. Courage will keep you going when you want to quit. There are still days I want to quit. But I don’t. And you don’t have to either.

Clarity
There was never a doubt of what business we were in and why we were in it. From day ONE. Clarity allows you to make decisions, build strategies, stick to plans and most important, not become distracted by the latest, greatest fad. Know what business you are in, and more importantly, WHY you are in it. Gain a deep understanding of your purpose, promise and people. That is the foundation of an awesome brand.

Commitment
Building a brand around the social + digital web in 2012 was not the most brilliant of ideas. We were too early, like 4 years too early. But knowing that business was changing, forever, and our belief in the social + digital web as a means of empowering small business was so strong, we stayed committed. No, after no, after NO. Most people are committed only for as long as it’s easy. It’s never easy. Which is where commitment comes in. Commit. And take action. And commit again. Adjust your strategy but never your vision or purpose.

Consistency
Once you have committed, now comes the even harder part, consistency. And I do not mean consistency as in never changing, boring, status quo stuff, nope. I mean consistency of purpose, vision, message, voice, of focus, of story and of simply showing up every damn day. A big part of our success has been simply; consistency.

Community
Without relationships and a tribe, we got nothing. From community comes clients, from clients comes revenue, and from revenue comes the ability to create more value for your community. Simple in theory, but not easy in execution. Building relationships takes time, and good intentions. If you think you are going to make something and all of a sudden the world is going to start calling you, it just ain’t so.

You see, I didn’t just fall into creating brands and businesses. Nope, I had a long, awesome, and very successful career as a leader, marketer and educator. I spent over two decades creating stuff for others, but I had never, created something of my own.

But on March 26th, 2012, I finally hit the LIVE button; on our website, newsletter and social pages. OMG! I totally wanted to throw up. You feel me?

Passion Squared began with a vision of empowerment and engagement. Myself, and my former biz partner saw something that we believed could “change everything” for creative small businesses. But nobody would listen. We had some pretty turbulent times, and every day came with at least one WTF moment, well, actually, a ton of them.

Early on, my biz partner decided to move on, and I was left with what to do next. I began again, from zero, about 1-½ years in. Throwing in the towel was on my mind, almost on the daily. But how could I throw away something I believed in so deeply? How could I throw away the idea of waking up each day empowering the people I loved? I just couldn’t.

Pushing my ego aside, I got back to work. And worked, and worked, and created, and showed up, and delivered value, and built relationships, and community and… finally, one day, it all clicked (pun intended, kinda).

Here is what the first few years of Passion Squared looked like;
Daily blogs
Daily newsletters
Daily Facebook engaging
Daily Instagram engaging
Monthly webinars
Weekly vlogs
Online Courses

This was my strategy. I did not create an Internet marketing funnel. I did not take any Internet marketing courses, I did not need to. If I knew nothing else, I knew how to build a brand, a community and how to market. It’s what I did my entire career and quite successfully. But, what I also did was stay true to my purpose, and promise, and that was infusing personal development into everything I did. Every course I created. Every piece of content. As one thing I know for sure, MOST of what gets in the way of creative small biz owners after all the stuff, is confidence. And that is an inside job. It requires self awareness, therapy, losing the notion of perfectionism, setting healthy boundaries, prossessing traumas, and dropping the co-dependency bullshit.

As community builded, I built more online courses and offered one on one coaching. I created more products and services that I knew would add value to my community. I wrote a book, and sold lots of them, and helped a lot of people in doing so. I created A School, by far the most awesome service I ever created, and to this day, my greatest pride and joy. As our A School Members remind me on the daily WHY I started and WHY I stay.

I got into a ton of debt, took side jobs as needed, and even worked a few hours a week for $15/hour, after making millions as a big executive. And I did all this for two reasons; to save my life, and to live my purpose by empowering the people I love.

You see, I never, ever thought I would leave my career. I had not planned on it, not ever. Money has never had much value to me, so I did not have a nest egg significant enough to last me the early years of not generating revenue. But I persisted. And never gave up.

And here we are. This is not a unique story. This is all of our stories. And this is mine. Today, I can breathe. I can wake up each day knowing I have one job, and that is to help people by empowering you to create your own kind of awesome.

To our beloved tribe, thank you for 5 awesome years of passion + awesome. And while this is a milestone that I am proud AF of, we still have so much work to do! Heeeere weeeee go!

Love + Awesomeness-

Nina

PS: We made a little love note for you to say thank you. For reals. Watch it. THANK YOU!

 

Passion Squared Blog- Independence

Are We Really Independent?

“The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”  Coco Chanel

As I sit here on the day before Independence Day, I have been reflecting on my journey and what freedom looks like and feels like for me. You see, we all have different ways we define independence and freedom. And for me, it comes back to empowerment.

Now, lets first begin with the textbook definition of independence: according to Merriam Webster it means… “freedom from outside control or support : the state of being independent”

Here’s the thing. If we are in business, we thrive on “outside control or support” so are we really independent? I say kinda, but not really.

I say we are more interdependent. As we need each other. As opposed to dependent, like, I cannot exist without you.

OK, so I’m getting a little deep into semantics, so lets go back to empowerment.

Empowerment to me means…
Thinking for ourselves
Finding our voice
Wisdom to make decisions that feel good
Courage to set healthy boundaries
Confidence in knowing what is good for us
Embracing our whole, imperfections and all
Owning our story and being proud of it
Self awareness and all that comes with it
Lighting the path for others
Being strong enough to ask for help
Standing up for what we believe in
Challenging the status quo
Not living by society’s standards
Taking the road less traveled
Owning our choices

And I could go on and on. So on this Independence Day, I sit in gratitude for the choices I have made, all the good ones, and all the not so good ones, knowing that I am the creator of my journey and because of all those decisions I have the honor of helping pave the way for the people I love. That is true independence to me.

What does independence mean to you? Create some space today and reflect.

Love + Awesomeness-
Nina