template_nextbigopImagine it. The phone rings… and on the other end is Oprah’s assistant, a producer from Shark Tank, a buyer from Neiman Marcus or (insert your dream client here).

Are you ready? Sometimes it isn’t even the big opportunities- it’s the smaller ones that can throw you into a tailspin and emergency exercise of pulling things together. But typically there are only a handful of things that you really need to have in place that will cover you for almost anything that comes your way.

Professional head shot
Sure you have a photo of yourself that you like, but is a truly professional image? Hint: If you had to crop out your best friend or boo, it is not a professional head shot. I personally think that acquiring a great head shots is one of the best marketing investments I have made. An image taken by a professional photographer will be in focus, well lit, show off your personality and make you look your best. Hint: ask your photographer for several poses and outfits changes so you have several versatile image to use.

Business Cards
An attractive business card with up-to-date contact information is an essential- no need to make it fancy, but invest in high quality paper and printing.

Media Kit (aka Press Kit)
If you are blogger, or if your business offers a product, having a media kit is an essential promotional tool. Magazines, potential sponsors and those interested in doing business with you will want to know more about your business and usually prefer a concise document that outlines key facts about your business. Media kits are typically 1-2 standard size pages created in a PDF, other digital format or printed to mail; and are a great way to show off what you do. The media kit should include facts about your business, relevant stats, images or screen shots that represent your offerings and your bio (see below). Check out these great examples of media kits on our Pinterest board.

A bio (or biography) is a well crafted stated about you. The bio is a great way to show off your personality and play up your skills and experiences. I keep the two versions of my bio handy at all times: a short 3-5 sentence version, and a longer version, which consists of  two well crafted paragraphs. I tailor these as needed for specific opportunities, including personal information and fun facts when relevant, so readers can really get to know me.

Your website is the hub of your online presence. Your site should include attractive imagery, a concise message and your contact information. Make sure it looks good on mobile devices and on tablets, too.

Sample Kit
If you are a physical product, buyers will often want to see samples. Make sure you have your best sellers on hand, packaged and ready to mail. Pay special attention to detail and always include a price list and a personal note.

Once you have these essentials created, you’ll find you’ll be covered for every inquiry or opportunity, big or small.