MARKETING AND MANAGEMENT
RUN IT LIKE A BUSINESS
This tip comes from Theresa the Historical Research Manager of Huntington Paranormal Investigations and Research. http://huntingtonparanormal.com/ Theresa has been invaluable to my old group and me when we first started out and kept giving me great advice all along the way as I ventured out to start Windy City Paranormal. Here is her "How to get started advice."
*We also have cool uniform shirts.
*Newbies are mentored and educated and treated with the same respect as oldies. New ideas are welcomed and the whole group gets to have input.
*My boss-guy has helped out other groups when they get in over their heads, like with demonic, so it's always a good idea to keep up a professional relationship with other groups. You might need their help. So don't talk trash, even if trash talk is deserved and they started it.
*No homeowner is going to hire a group that acts like middle school kids. You are not as anonymous on the web as you think...
*Don't charge for investigations.
*Most groups lose members when they realize that it's a lot of boring. Most groups dissolve because of this, too.
*Keep in mind that even the exciting cases on Ghost Hunters have more hours of boring non-action than they do of personal experiences and creepy feelings and disembodied voices. Even when you get evidence, you don't often know about it until you review it. Which can be many hours of boring as well with an occasional flicker on the camera or whisper on audio that makes you feel like you won the Whatever Bowl.. There's lots of sitting around and trying to communicate and the feeling that you are wasting your time, but you owe the client your full attention and time and a professional investigation.
*You will have more cases with no evidence than you will with evidence. You will have to review the hours of no evidence and still keep in touch with the client and present to them your (lack of) findings and do it with respect and sensitivity.
*When you get evidence, you have to know what to do with it. You can't just say, "Oh cool." and leave it at that. Which is where the education and mentoring part comes in.
*Do your homework. Link up with those in your area who are approved by the American Ghost Society, or TAPS. Go out on investigations with a credible group to learn from the veterans. And be respectful of the groups, and the clients as well.
*Getting people to commit the time to make a group work is tough. People don't understand how much back office work it takes for a group to be effective.
If you are looking for the back office paperwork to get your group started. You can go to most ghosts hunting how to books. Most have sections on the back with basic paperwork to get you started then you can expand or subtract what you do or don’t need.
I used http://insightparanormal.org/index2.htm Insight Paranormal is a TAPS family member and they have a section on paperwork to get you started just download the documents and then add or subtract what you need.
Another good site to look for starter paperwork is http://www.madisonrip.com/index.htm They have lots of downloadable stuff to help you get underway.
I hope this area of www.windycityparanormal.com helps you in anyway. And if you have any Advice to add or suggestions of good sites or other places for paperwork or if you have tips of your own e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.