5 tools that make me a better Producer.

A reader recently emailed me and asked me if there was anything I could recommend that would help her be more effective as a Producer.

I launched into my stock answer advice of seeing more shows, meeting more people, etc.  She bounced back an email super fast and said, “No.  Is there anything SPECIFIC that helps you, on a daily basis, manage all that a Producer has to manage?”

It was a great question.  Producers by nature have to wear a few different hats . . . part accountant, part lawyer, part babysitter.  I have quite a good sized hat rack, since my company also offers services, I run a few websites, and so on. So what are the tools that help me stay on track and manage it all?

Here are five tools that I use almost every day that help me be a better Producer.

1.  SALESFORCE

Online CRMs are the wave of the present, and Salesforce is kicking the crap out of its competitors.  While getting started with Salesforce can be like putting together a jigsaw puzzle . . . blindfolded . . . once you get a few pieces in place, it’ll have you managing your databases unlike ever before.  I started with just one version of Salesforce to manage the customers of my shows, and now I have three. I manage customers, clients, investors, and more.  Check it out here, but remember, it’s not for the faint of heart.  Sign up, and if it suits you, then stick with it.

2.  TOODLEDO

Making lists makes me happy (and if you’re reading this blog, odds are that your Type A personality perked up just by reading this sentence).  A year or so ago, I spent two days finding the perfect to-do list, and Toodledo emerged victorious.  It manages my own to-dos, as well as the to-dos of my employees.  It keeps us all on the same page.  And it’s free.  (For some reason, I still love to physically check off of list, so my tip to you is create your daily to-dos with Toodledo, and then print it out each day . . . it’s just so satisfying to scratch something off, isn’t it, Type As?)

3.  BROADWAYSTARS

I’ve written about BroadwayStars.com before, but when I thought about things I use daily, I wondered, “What about things I use hourly???”).  BroadwayStars is Broadway’s online clipping service.  They just refreshed their look, and I advise all of you to take a look as well . . . daily.  No one summarizes our news better.

4.  ENTREPRENEUR MAGAZINE

Newspapers may be dead, but magazines are still holding on.  And one that you’ll see me holding on to every month is Entrepreneur.  You’ve heard me preach about how the theater needs to stay in pace with the rest of the business world? Entrepreneur is how I try and keep up and every so often, get ahead. Entrepreneur is where I learned about a little known advertising tool that no one else in the biz is using that gets our shows ahead without breaking the budget.

5.  SOMEONE TO SHOP FOR ME

I can’t stand shopping.  Walking around a mall looking for clothes makes me throw up (unless that mall has a Panda Express in it, in which case, I’m happy to throw up, because then I’ll just be hungry for Panda Express again.)  But let’s face it, Producers need a good suit every once in awhile.  I’ve got meetings with agents, investors, and other folk that require me to show that I take my business seriously.  And that’s where Brian Vincent comes in.  I met Brian after I bought a tuxedo from Saks Fifth Avenue and ripped the sleeve the very first day I wore it. Brian, and Saks, replaced it . . . for free.  And with that generous act, they had me for life.  When Brian was fitting me for my replacement tux, he brought me to the private shopping section of Saks and told me that it was his job to make sure people that were too busy (or people that threw up in department stores) still had a good suit.  So now, Brian walks around the store for me, looks for great sales, and I just show up.  How much for this super luxury service?  Not one penny. Yep, it’s free.  I just gotta shop at Saks.  Done.  They don’t have a Panda Express, but with the time I save, I could drive to Jersey to find one.

So there you have it, my searching-for-specifics reader, as well as the rest of you – five tools that help me lead a more efficient and therefore more productive producing lifestyle.

I’ve got a few more in the “Ken Recommends” section of my blog, so check those out here.

And after you check those out, share with me the things that you use everyday. I’m always looking for the next coolest thing.

And I bet one of you is using it.

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