Four days ago, I hit “send” and the manuscript was on its way. The Sponsorship Seeker’s Toolkit 4th Edition is now finished and in production. We’re looking at availability in early April.
The original plan was that it was going to be about a 20% revision, with changes focused on social media and updating case studies. But noooo, I just couldn’t help myself and the revision is more like 40-50%. The end result is a book that I believe is worthy of this great industry, but holy dooley, what a lot of work.
I’ve now written four books, plus three additional editions of one of them. Common sense would say that it would get easier, but it doesn’t – especially if you sit at the intersection of idealism, perfectionism, and being opinionated, like I do. I want my books to be dog-eared bibles – equal parts practicality and inspiration. That’s a high bar to set, and one that has been keeping me at my computer far into the night for months as I kept thinking about one more challenge to address, one more resource, one more angle…
2013 has been a crazy year. Aside from the new book, in the past twelve months, I’ve worked in 16 countries on five continents. It’s been amazing to meet and work with so many interesting people and on so many interesting challenges. I’ve also completely redesigned this website. It’s all been a lot of work – probably too much. I feel like I’ve spent my year in a schizophrenic triumvirate of international airports, the dark solitude of a writer’s “cave”, and the exuberant whirlwind of my smart, sporty, One Direction-crazy nine-year old.
2014 will mark some changes, allowing me to continue to do the work I love with a bit less jet lag and sleeping on planes:
Greater use of technology
I’m already a great proponent of Skype (and/or TinyChat) for coaching sessions and client meetings. 2014 will see the launch of my pay-per-view webinars.
With over a dozen webinars already, covering both sides of the sponsorship equation, this will be a new option for individuals and organisations to get 60-90 minute training sessions on specific topics on an as-needed basis. Yes, they’re going to be pre-recorded, but the flexibility and lack of time zone issues will still make these a good option in many circumstances. I’ll also be offering the option of packaging these with coaching sessions, adding the one-on-one assistance that a pre-recorded webinar can’t provide.
Working as an agency hired gun
Over the years, it has become clear that many sponsor-side agencies are great at working with clients and implementing leverage plans, but they are not all great at developing the over-arching, best practice strategies that drive those plans. (Note: This is not a blanket statement. Some agencies are awesome at strategy!)
Herein lies a big opportunity, because I’m a great strategist and capacity-builder, but not the least bit interested in actually doing the implementation.
I’ve already started down this track, acting as a hired gun strategist for a couple of far-flung agencies, allowing me to do the strategic work I love, while the agency continues to “own” the relationship with the client and retain all implementation work. I’m now actively seeking more credible, sponsor-side agency partners around the world. I’m interested in both ongoing, geographically exclusive relationships and occasional, one-off project work.
Offering consulting options with less travel
Typically, a big consulting job will require several trips for meetings, training, strategy sessions, and presentations in the clients’ offices. While there are some aspects of this that work much better in person, the more I use technology in my job, the more I realise that much face-to-face isn’t strictly required.
For major consulting gigs, I’m now going to be offering options that involve just as much client interaction, collaboration, and support – but with more of that taking place remotely, via Skype and other technology.
This won’t be for everyone, and I will still take clients where making multiple trips for in-person work is the most effective and appropriate option. But, for companies with a corporate culture that embraces virtual meetings and collaboration, I will be able to offer that option at a significant discount from my normal fee.
But, I’ll still be travelling!
With all of that said, I’ll still be getting on planes and seeing many of you across the course of the year.
Most of the year, I’m available for short, sharp, 1-2 day sessions only. I do have a few timeframes in 2014 where I have quite a bit of flexibility and can make myself available for more days and/or further from Sydney.
- 12-27 January
- w/c 14 April
- w/c 30 June
- w/c 22 September
These larger blocks of time tend to suit:
- Corporate clients who want training and strategy sessions across multiple brand teams.
- Industry associations and media who want to book me for multiple gigs (eg, conference keynote, workshops, media call).
- Consortiums of organisations in one location who want to divvy up my time and split the cost of the travel to get me there.
I’m looking at my calendar and simply can’t believe I’m not flying anywhere for over a month. I’m not sure what I’ll do with myself, but I’m starting with finishing and posting my huge backlog of blogs.
Then, I’m not going to work at all this weekend. Instead, I’ll be going to two Christmas parties, singing a whole bunch of songs with my band, and having a few quiet ciders to celebrate the successful end to an epic twelve months. This will be the first time in a long time that my main interaction with adult friends isn’t on Facebook!
On Monday, it will be back to my office, booking in training, strategy sessions, and consulting projects for the first half of 2014. That’s right… not on a plane, not in front of an audience, but in my office. Drop me a line. It will be a pleasure to answer my phone instead of listening to voicemails! (Picture me there =>)
Want more info?
If you’re interested in working with me in 2014, I’d love to discuss your needs and how I might be able to assist. As a starting point, you could…
- Visit the sponsorship consulting section of this website (or download the consulting brochure)
- Visit the sponsorship training section of this website (or download the training brochure)
- Check out the sponsorship coaching page
Or just drop me a line…
AU: +61 2 9559 6444
US: +1 612 326 5265 (Note: I have a US number, but I’m on Sydney-time.)
© Kim Skildum-Reid. All rights reserved. For republishing information see Blog and White Paper Reprints.