Saturday, July 24, 2010

News in a Nutshell

A big congratulations to Carie Miele for attaining leadership status in one year! The word from the office (and I quote) is that she is "indeed FABU," which, of course, we already knew. Congratulations on your 1st Anniversary with Barefoot and your promotion to Barefoot Leader, Carie!

The inside scoop from the Leaders' Call yesterday: We reviewed the new On-boarding training/info emails that will be sent to new Ambassadors. Barefoot has done a great job putting together information to welcome new ambassadors into the community and get them started on the right foot. This will make our jobs smoother as sponsors as the emails will walk them through the basics, such as how to edit your profile, and we can help with the meatier issues.

A huge kudos to Barefoot for also using these welcoming emails to encourage new Ambassadors to find a leader if they don't have one and -- if they do --to reach out to their leader for support. The launch of the on-boarding emails will also include the new "Kickstart Bonus" with a great incentive for new members to order within the first 60 days.

Fingers crossed for these to be rolled out in the next few weeks.

Team members Dawn B. and Karen D'A. are currently in the top running to win my cashmere Barefoot banner. The person with the most new team-members that have placed orders by the end of August is the winner. My best to you all!

I'll be announcing and sending out the marketing packets for our June and July team challenge winners in August. If you haven't won yet, there is still a week to go! Here are details to our current team challenge.

And lastly...we're heading out on vacation this weekend through the 28th. Until then, I hope you are all enjoying these precious days of summer!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Continuing our series of posts based on what you wanted to hear, we come to the topic of fundraising and working with schools. Fundraising is a great chance for people to invest in their values and has been an important aspect of my own Barefoot business. My sponsor, Laurie, has put together two posts that are definitely worth checking out:
Fundraiser Basics
Hosting a Fundraiser

Putting together a presentation kit is a great way to approach potential organizations. I stick mine in a basket of books for the organization to experience in their circle time/story time/classrooms for a week. I then schedule a time to pick up the books and meet with the contact person for further discussion.

This is a picture of team member Elizabeth Stegmayer's presentation kit. Try this with Barefoot's tri-pocket folder for an extra-polished presentation! Elizabeth says:

hi r,
my presentation kit for the home event ( a grandma who was elected to the school board this year and is a retired english teacher) was sent with the host in mind. she's a smart cookie and appreciates information...

i use a double pocket paper folder (staples red) with a large label on the front which announces with the barefoot logo. then i "waterfall" the contents inside, placing the largest object in pocket first and then layer in the smaller things so that you can see the titles of all the different elements.

left pocket:
then inside i place my business card on the left pocket with a copy of the winter specials flyer that i printed out. i made sure to mark the deadline for the sale. the winter catalog was on top of the sale flyer.

right pocket:
this is where i customize. i placed the "best of flyer" in first, next the new gift list, then the awards list, each folded about an inch smaller in size. this way the titles each show individually. i also placed the oprah announcement, which printed 6x6 on my computer. (in the future i may alphabetize the order of the flyers by their title)

lastly i hand write a letter to the host confirming the specifics of her party and place it in an envelope with her name which i tuck the flap into the right pocket so that it's the first thing she sees when she opens the kit.

i include the event invitations in this mailing, but have found that the kit can't handle too much more so i won't be stuffing them in the pockets.

i may shift the best of flyer to the left pocket when the sale is finished and add in the time magazine/ motherbridge press release to the right pocket. when i made the fundraiser kit i placed a letter introducing myself in the right pocket along with a mock up of the poster that i provided for the event. probably three or four items in each pocket is the max info load most people can handle. for a teacher i will also place the country of origin flyer since it's helpful with curriculum connections.

Thanks for sharing, Elizabeth! Don'cha just love our team? Questions or comments?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Finding Events

Our team-member Karen (aka Disorganized Harmony) asked:
I need to know how to find out about events before it's too late to sign up for a spot. I always seem to find out about them too late.

That's a great question, Karen, and one that we all face - sometimes more than once. I hope my experience can help you.

Two years ago our family moved to a new town and I felt like I was beginning my business all over again. Wanting to be plugged into my new community, I started by finding the city's Events Calendar on the their website. I then noticed the city had an Office of Cultural Development, brimming with information and links. I made an appointment with the Director of Cultural Development and put together a letter of introduction, a list of ways Ambassadors have introduced culture (via Barefoot Books) to children in their community, and a sampling of books that included the arts and exploring different cultures.

I'm happy to report that I walked out of the meeting with eight events and was contacted for more. Events included an ethnic fair, a celebration of African culture and an Irish sister city event. The director of cultural development was able to give me a list of contacts to whom I could send press releases and announcements. If an event came to my attention I could contact her and ask about the event coordinator, whether it would be a good fit, and turn-out in the past.

Additional tips:
1)Write your letter based on research for your particular community. I love to use Barefoot wording as much thought has already been given to the presentation of Barefoot Books already. Study Barefoot's website content.
2)The office and title of Cultural Development may be different in your area. Check the city site or even call the mayor's office!
3)Can you make your own event? What makes your Barefoot business unique? For example, I offer teacher training sessions using our books and have presented on the history of children's literature in the US with Barefoot books as an alternative to commercialism.
4)Even if you missed the event as a vendor do attend anyway. Talk with the vendors about events that would be a good fit for you. Many place postcards at their booths to advertise where they will be next.
5)If your community offers it, sign up for emails newsletters that advertise upcoming events. Track them on your calendar.
6)One title events can be highly successful. We've had Ambassadors sell Ballet Stories or Stories from the Opera at their local theater. I sold about 30 copies of Tales from Old Ireland in 45 minutes at the sister city event.

I hope that gives you some ideas to work on. Please leave your own tips on how you find your events in the comments section!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Get SMART - Setting Goals

This is our home office. I set up partner tables (IKEA) so I can stay engaged with my children and they don't have to look at mommy's back during my Barefoot time.

Wow, your comments have given us enough to talk about for the next few weeks as we get to know eachother! So far, what we'll be looking at is:

Gaining Confidence.
Inventory and $ for start-up.
Finding out about events.
Tips on making an event successful.
Finding more hours in the day. Hmm, though 24 is all we can get, lets have a look at organizing your home and business in order to make those hours more effective.

So, where should we begin? At the end, of course! Begin at the end to determine what it is you want to achieve. This means setting goals. You'll find in the training section of My Barefoot a document called "Setting Goals." I've also included it in the "Goodies for Your Business" section at the top of the blog for your downloading pleasure.

Strategic planners in the business world have coined a mnemonic known as SMART - goals that are Specific, Measurable, Action-based, Realistic, and Time-frame or Trackable. Our friend jokingly refers to SMART as "Saving Marriages and Reducing Tears" - I like to make it SMARTER by adding Evaluate and Re-evaluate.

Now that you've downloaded and printed this've done that, right...good. Please read over the document carefully. Consider, pray, think through and discuss with your sponsor, husband, or team leader (if you like) and then write your goals down. Once this is done, find someone to be accountable to and set up an appointment -- I like doing this every two months -- to discuss where you are and where you are going.

Setting goals was instrumental in helping me achieve the success that I wanted in my business. When I began as an Ambassador (we were romantically called Stallholders back then) the earning structure was much different. My goals were to replace the income from a part-time job I had, gain enough inventory to do large events (while not using any family finances but money earned from small events), and build a team. I then had to turn these goals into SMART goals and sort-of work backward to figure out what specific steps I would need to take to reach these goals.

Having a good understanding of the Barefoot compensation plan will help you during this process. If you haven't yet, please view this video put together by Laurie M., my sponsor and your up-line, as it will give you a good, do-able starting point.

If you have questions during the goal-making process, be sure to get in touch. If it is general, leave a comment and I'll address it here. If needed, we can set up a time to discuss this in more depth via phone or email.

Everyone have a Happy Independence Day!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

$50 book give-away!

Packing up for an event.

This blog was started for you. A place to post the most frequently asked questions from our team-members, give you a behind-the-scenes look at a real Barefoot business, and offer ideas and support. As a Barefoot Leader, I often receive the Barefoot news in advance -- the news that affects our businesses -- and I want to share it with you.

If you are a team member (anywhere in my down-line) and push that button to follow this Barefoot business blog, you'll receive a chance to win $50 in Barefoot books from me. Leave a comment telling what would help make your business a success and receive another chance at winning. The give-away ends July 31st and is a random-chance drawing.

Our Current Team Challenge

You could win my cashmere Barefoot banner shown here! Children under the display table are not included.

There had been some chatter on the Barefoot forum about the improbability of winning the June challenge and laments of watching every challenge go by and nay a prize. This made me want to come up with a challenge for our team in which everyone really can win something. Even a really big something. So...

1)For the months of June and July, if you place a $100 order you will receive a packet of Barefoot marketing supplies from me. One packet per member.

2)Starting in June and running through August, the ambassador who signs on the most new team members will win my cashmere Barefoot Banner along with a table covering!

So, no matter where you are in your Barefoot business, everyone is at equal footing in these challenges and everyone really can win a prize. I hate to but I need to add the caveat that your new team members will have to place an order to count, as in previous Barefoot challenges, people were signing up their relatives in order to win the prizes. I know you will all play fair though.