November '15

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November 2015 The Shop 85 magazine may be your best starting point. Remember, if you blanket the industry with your proposal, everyone will know about it. 3 LoyaLty & ReLationships Editors and writers are very loyal to builders and shops. Once you have established a good working relation- ship with a magazine or website representa- tive, maintain that relationship over time by staying in contact. There is no need to throw every project vehicle at this person, but they should always get first chance at the projects you deem worthy of publication. Once again, media representatives talk amongst each other. So, if you are shopping a project around to dozens of edi- tors and writers, you are not showing loyalty—and they will not show loyalty back to you. 4 Make it easy The easier that you can make the job of writing for the magazine and website edi- tors, the better chance you have for getting free publicity for your project vehicle. Don't simply take a ton of photos of the project vehicle. Rather, provide photos to the publications that are in chronological order, along with notes about each photo. Also, write as much of the article yourself as you can. The less work the writers need to do themselves, the better chance you have for publication. 5 BuiLd foR youR CustoMeRs Too often, small shops want to make a statement and get the attention of the industry by building a project vehicle that will help them get noticed. Unfortunately, these vehicles typically end up looking like over-the-top concept vehicles. Instead, you should only build cars for your customers, and eventually one of these vehicles will be worthy of publica- tion. Never set out to simply build a car for publication. Rather, simply run your business as you normally would, and wait for cool projects to show up. 6 foCus on youR skiLLs Only take on project vehicles that your shop has the skills for. Don't try to copy the styles and skills of other shops or famous builders. You have unique skills that can be seen in all the cars you build. Magazines want to see new and unique styles, not copies of everything else they've already published. Therefore, focus on the skills of your staff when designing a project vehicle. 7 Get Money up fRont Before embarking on a year-long project, be sure to get all of your finances and commitments secured before lifting a single tool. Many project vehicles are referred to as marketing expenses by the shops that built them. This is not because of the awesome mar- keting and branding that comes from the vehicle. Instead, it's a byproduct of not securing finances up front, and then being left with an over-budget and underfunded vehicle. The bottom line is simple: treat every car you build the same way, regardless of whether it is a normal customer project or a special vehicle project. 8 LoyaLty to suppLieRs Manufacturers and suppliers will receive dozens of requests for free parts every week. Whether from project vehicle builds for trade shows or charity car builds, vendors are overwhelmed with requests for parts sponsorships of project vehicles. And, like magazine personnel, the employees of suppliers talk with one another. Therefore, stay loyal to the sup- pliers that you have been working with, even if that means only receiving a dis- counted price on a part rather than free from another supplier. 9 QuaLity aBove aLL eLse Very often, builders trying to make a name for themselves will take on more than they should. The result is a monster project vehicle that is never completely finished. Above all else, quality of workmanship is the key to getting noticed. No matter how many bells, whistles, and tricks you may put on your project vehicle, if quality is sacrificed, both the media and suppliers will notice. 10 MaxiMize soCiaL Media The best, and easiest, way to keep others informed about your project is to utilize a variety of social media platforms. The two biggest are Face- book and Instagram. Facebook is a great way to introduce your project, thank your sponsors and post periodic milestones. Instagram should be a daily or weekly post of your project's progress. Instagram makes it very easy to show- case your supplier parts through photos, as well as update the media on your progress. When sending out your initial proposal, be sure to mention that you will be using social media for updates. 11 show youR vehiCLe When determining when and where to showcase your vehicle at events, quality is preferred over quantity. For a project vehicle to be truly special enough for publication, it should only appear at select and specific car shows. Again, this information should be

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