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In today’s episode, I’m going to talk about two tools that I use in my business.

First up is DALL·E 3, a plugin with ChatGPT, that I’m a little obsessed with right now for creating really amazing graphics. I share how I recently used it to design a graphic to represent an upcoming retreat I’m hosting as well as some fun personal projects I used it for. 

Next up is a tool that we can not live without at Crystal Media, our project briefs. This one tool allows us to fully outline an idea or project before bringing it to the team. It helps us to stay focused and keeps the project idea in one place for everyone to review. I shared how we used it for our upcoming retreat, how I used it when creating a course, and how a retailer might use it for an upcoming promotion.  

Tune in to learn:

[00:00] Welcome

[00:58] Using DALL·E 3 to create a graphic for the Oasis of Opportunity Retreat and More!

[07:04] The power of the Project Brief

[19:01]  Check out my amazing photographer and a special offer for you!

[20:28] What’s coming next week

Mentioned in this Episode:

Tool: DALL·E 3
Tool: ChatGPT
Tool: Asana
Retreat: Oasis of Opportunity
Conference: EVOLVE

Be sure to check out Christina Gressianu. She is a Northern Colorado photographer whom I have worked with for over 15 years! She does headshots, lifestyle shots, family portraits, solo portraits, and pets. She’s also willing to travel to businesses to create your amazing branding kits. Special offer! If you work with her she’s going to give you a free wall art upgrade! So check her out!

Read the Transcript

Crystal Vilkaitis: Hello and welcome to Crystal Uncorked. In this episode, I am talking about a tool that we use at Crystal Media to keep us organized. And when we do not use this tool, the project, the launch, the thing we’re creating. Typically, there’s issues, something falls apart, it doesn’t go as smooth as it’s supposed to because we haven’t used this one thing and I’m going to share it in this episode.

Are you ready to open up and talk about all things business? I’m Crystal Vilkaitis, a curious entrepreneur who loves talking about business, especially over a glass of wine. I started Crystal Uncorked to share open and honest conversations about my journey and talk to other entrepreneurs about their experiences.

We pull back the curtain and talk about the highs and the lows. Wine isn’t required, but is recommended. This is Crystal Uncorked.

Using DALL·E 3 to create a graphic for Oasis of Opportunity Retreat

Crystal Vilkaitis: Before we dive in, you know me, I like to sometimes share things that I’m loving and things that I’m using and timely information. And I have to tell you about DALL·E 3. This is not sponsored, nothing like that. It’s just a tool that I think you really need to check out and I’ve been using it a lot more for all sorts of projects. It’s been really fun. 

So DALL·E 3 is a plugin with ChatGPT, and previous episodes. I talk about the power of AI. In fact, last week’s episode I talked about some cool stuff that we did with AI with our Santa Claus episode. I hope you watched that. And with DALL·E 3, one of the coolest things that I’ve done so far with it is I used it to create the feel and the graphic for a retreat that we have coming up in February.

We’re doing the opportunity of Oasis retreat I’ve always wanted to do this talked about on the show and I used this plug in through ChatGPT to create this AI generated image. Now, if you want to go check it out, you can go to crystalmediaco.com and then under products, just go to the retreat oasis of opportunity retreat, and that big graphic right up front is what I created using DALL·E 3. And what’s really cool about it is this event is going to be in Palm Springs. So I put that in the prompt. I basically said, create an image using DALL·E 3 that will represent a retreat. This is a transformative retreat attendees are going to get clarity on the future of their business, they’re going to understand any roadblocks that might be in their way and how to overcome those.

They’re going to learn more about AI and how to streamline their processes and be more efficient in their business. They’re going to think really big, come out with some really great ideas, know some social media tools and hacks and what’s working today, and then just have some really great connection time.

So I just did the whole like explanation of the event. So if you have any kind of event coming up a course that you’re launching an education thing that you’re launching, whatever that you need a graphic for. You could go to ChatGPT. In order to use DALL·E 3, you have to have the paid version at $20 a month.

And you could put in what is that experience? What’s the vibe? What’s the feeling? I said that it’s going to be in Palm Springs. So then it created this graphic and there were palm trees and it looked like desert and it had water with a light bulb and a compass. And I had to tweak it a little bit because I sent it to my graphic designer, Steph, and she’s like, it feels a little barren. I feel like it needs to be warmed up a little bit. And so I was like, I said that warm it up a little bit have more activities. And then it had added like, more buildings and added an eagle soaring and it was more lively. So, again like, go check that out.

I also posted this image on my, instagram account, Crystal Vilkaitis, so you could see it there too. But in seconds, it created this image for me. And so then I was like what else can I do with this thing? And I did a whole training for my insider members at crystal media, because every month I do an AI training.

And this one was about. DALL·E 3 and I put in do a store layout for a toy store in Colorado and it pulled in Colorado elements and it showed like this whole layout for the toy store. I asked it to create like a space display, like merchandising concept. It first created a space store, which was really neat.

And then I had to rewrite the prompt to have it be more of a display. But my thought of that was like, it could be very Instagrammable, it could be very unique, people could come into this toy store and see this awesome space themed exhibit that they could buy space games and books and toys and stuffed animals, and then also take pictures because it’s so Instagrammable, and within seconds, DALL·E 3 created that.

So then I was also like, I wonder what it could create for my personal brand. And so I plugged in, create a graphic using DALL·E 3 for Crystal. She is a business owner, loves the game Catan, loves wine, loves connecting with her friends and family. And it is a podcaster and it created such a cool graphic that kind of represents me, which I just love. 

So then I told my grandma about this when I was over there last weekend and she’s I wonder what it create for me. I’m like let’s look, we put in the color pink and roses and lighthouses and things that my grandma loves. And it created this really beautiful scene for her.

And then I did it for my dad’s wife who loves wizard of Oz and concerts. And it had this cool yellow brick road that led up to a guitar in the center because she loves concerts and. Wizard of Oz and also the Broncos and there was like Bronco logos and so cool. 

So you know, at the very least, why I talk so much about AI is it is our future. It is here. It is a game changer. It is creating so many efficiencies, allowing us to create these kinds of graphics in seconds. I never would have been able to do that before without the knowledge of using the software to create and to design. It’s incredible. And I think it’s just so important that we know about these tools.

we at least play around with them so you can understand what you can do. Otherwise you are going to get left in the dust quickly. So I don’t want that for my crystal uncorked listeners. And and just a little plug. If you want to make sure that you are staying up to date, going to my conference evolve is going to be one of the best places to help you do that.

As this is airing in December. We’re still in super early bird for tickets. So you could get a ticket for as low as $497. That’s two days, full days of education, networking, cocktail reception. Awesome education. So go to crystalmediaco.com/evolve to get your ticket. And even if it’s past December, we still have discounts leading up the longer you wait, the more expensive evolve is going to be.

I hope you attend because whoo, the things I have in store and what we’re going to be teaching and these keynote speakers are epic. 

The power of the Project Brief

Crystal Vilkaitis: Okay. Now let’s talk about the tool that we use at crystal media to keep us really organized The thing is, when you have so many different things that are, going on, no matter what kind of business you are, there are different things that you are launching that you need to be marketing that you need to follow up on.

And as many systems and processes you can have in place, the better to be more efficient to make sure that you’re not. Skipping over something to make sure that you’re really marketing something the best that you can to making sure your team is all on the same page. Everybody is rowing in the same direction.

They know where they’re going. And too often, I think small businesses just jump into the doing. Because we’re entrepreneurs, we’re doers. We just get out there. We can create shit, right? Like we just make it happen, which is a gift that we have, but without slowing down for a second and creating some systems and following a process, we can skip important things that actually can either set us up for failure or can make us spend too much time. If you take a little bit of time in the beginning to set yourself up for success, you’ll actually save time on the backend and have a more efficient launch or an event or whatever it is that you’re trying to do. 

So what we use is called a project brief. That’s what we call it.

You could call it whatever you want. And basically it’s a simple document and I’m going to give you an example of two different briefs we did for two different things that’s going on at crystal media. So the brief, what we have found is any time something new is being rolled out. For example, I just talked about the retreat we’re doing, the Oasis of Opportunity.

Before I get on the kickoff call with my team, before any other information is released. The project brief needs to happen 1st. This is the 1st step in the system in the process. So what this allows me to do is.

I follow through and I just answer all the questions that’s on the project brief to make sure I’m not missing something. And it’s going to give my team all the necessary information they need versus me sending a email being like, Hey guys, I want to do a retreat. I want it to be in Palm Springs. I want it to be in February.

Go. There’s still a lot of questions that they’re going to have, and then they might email back, and then there’s the email back and forth, and then we skip stuff, and it’s messy. Everything needs to start with a project brief. And like I said in the beginning of this episode, when we don’t do this, We will be like steps ahead.

Like we’ve created the landing page. We sent out the emails, like whatever, wherever we’re at. And we’re like, shit that, why did we totally forget to do this? Or why is so and so working on that? They shouldn’t, or why did we do this instead of that? And it always comes back because we didn’t do a project brief.

It’s something that we had to get in the habit of doing, and I don’t think that we’re 100 percent perfect at it yet, but I do feel like we’ve gotten better. And so it’s just something you have to remember. I’ve got to do this. 

To give you a couple of different examples, I’m going to give you an example for an event for the retreat, as well as an example for a digital course that I made called the Retailer’s Roadmap.

With the retreat, basically, you title it. This is just on a Google Doc. You could do a Word doc. And then we have the name. So name the project, your start date, and your launch date. Then it goes in, and this one’s a little different because it’s event based. So I started with the dates that we need to have.

What are our travel dates? What are going to be the dates of the actual retreat? Because the start date is the start date of the project. So that would be the day that I sat down and decided, okay, I want to do this. That’s the start date, but then the launch date, are we launching it right away? Are we trying to say, okay the day that I did this is October 1st and I want our launch date to be November 1st.

I want us to start sending out our emails about the retreat November 1st. Then I go into these dates of when it’s going to be happening, our travel, the actual event, team travel, things like that. Then you go into the purpose. What’s the purpose of this? Project. You have to list the purpose because it helps the team understand why the hell you’re doing this.

It gets everybody on the same page. So for me, I’m like, the goal of this retreat is to connect deeper with business owners, hold space for their transformation, give them out of the box marketing ideas, put them in a new environment to think different, get in touch with their internal knowing, find clarity on what they want.

From their business and life journal prompts, understanding AI and social media posts, 30 posts framework, and what’s working today. It’s a whole purpose of this event. And like I’ve also said on a previous episode, I also would regret not doing a retreat. I know I didn’t put that in this, like the purpose of this is Crystal wants to try doing a retreat.

No, it’s about the customer we’re serving. What’s the purpose for them? And as you could tell the purpose, it really gives clarity to my team of the content of this event and why we’re doing it. And we could even use that copy under the purpose. In ChatGPT to write sales page, copy to write emails, to write social media posts, et cetera. So the things that are in this brief can really help you with all the promo materials you need later. 

Then we talk about what the goals are. So in this, again, super. Important. So your team knows, I think that we can just build. And we’re like what do we want to achieve for this? And we might be like, Oh, it’d be great to net a hundred thousand dollars.

And we just pull random shit out of our, you know, what to try to have some goals and they’re not actually thought out. So when you sit down for this project brief, which by the way, takes anywhere from like 15 minutes to an hour, depending on how big the project is. You really are like, okay, let’s really think about what the goals are here.

And we also do best case scenario, worst case scenario. And I think that’s really good for everybody to know as well, because then we know best case. Oh, if we hit our best case scenario, we need to celebrate. Then we just have our general goals and then worst case scenario. We’ve got like some issues here.

What went wrong? Was this the wrong offering? Was this the wrong time? Was this the wrong audience? What do we, how do we just totally miss the boat here? So with our goals, with this specific retreat, we only have 12 spots. So obviously I would love to sell out, right? That’s best case scenario all 12 seats are taken, but I did say I’d like a minimum of seven or eight people to be in the room for it to be worth it for the expenses that we’re putting into this event and for us to just have some really good connection with the people in the room. So seven to eight is kind of that minimum. 12 would be awesome.

And then you give like the details of whatever it is that you’re launching here. So my team needs to know, like, how much is this going to be? Is there a payment plan? who on the team is attending? So I’ve been here, the price, the team that’s in attendance, what’s the registration deadline.

Again, keep in mind that if you fill all this stuff out once ahead of the time, like ahead of the project, even launching. You’ve hashed out all the details that the team needs. So you create ultimate efficiency and then the location. So of course I said Palm Springs, but then I gave, I would like us to find a place that’s around $350 a night because we’re covering the hotel as part of the ticket price.

So I gave my team some suggestions, like here’s the location, here’s the price. Here’s the vibe I want. You go research to find those things. The marketing message, what kinds of things do we need to make sure that we’re really calling out in our marketing? And then who are we going to launch this to?

Who’s the list, the audience. And so I listed all of our hit lists of the different people. Cause we’re not necessarily sending this to all the masses. We’re just being really strategic on who we’re sending this to first. Cause it’s super special. It’s invite only. And then we have our action items.

So as I’m filling this out, I know that I need Pauline to go research and find us a venue. I need Maddie to start doing the copy. I need Eric to know he’s gonna need to build this order form. You just start doing all the things. Who’s doing what, right? Then you take This template, like your project brief, and then you schedule a kickoff call with any people who’s on this project brief, who’s going to be a part of this project, everybody’s at the meeting.

And then that meeting is just going through the project brief. Then your team is going to have some questions and you’re like, Ooh, great question. And think about that. Boom. Okay. Okay. We fill it out more action items be assigned. If you have a project manager. At the end, they’re taking the action items or signing it to everybody’s Asana.

That’s what we use. Whatever project management tool you use, but make sure it’s on their calendar. They have a deadline. And then the team goes, it stream lines your efficiencies. 

So another one I did for a course, you got the name, the start date, the launch date. I’ve got the purpose. I bullet out several reasons why we’re creating this course.

I’ve got our goals, I’ve got the project details, and I also put on here questions. As I was doing this project brief, which actually, I really enjoyed this one because I was on an airplane. We were just leaving Maui. We were there for five days. It was so peaceful. It was so wonderful. So, We’re like, just relaxation, I felt rejuvenated and here I’m on the airplane with my playlist and I am just knocking out this project brief. During this brief, it made me have a lot of questions because I was updating a current course that was already created. And so I needed to know okay, what exactly am I doing? Redoing the whole thing, which I ended up doing, how are we doing this on some of the back end and the tagging?

And there’s just so many questions that I had. And so I have project details slash questions in here. Boom. Everything you can think of. I just outlined our audiences. Who are we launching this to? What is our ad budget? You notice I didn’t have that on the retreat because we are trying not to advertise this to everyone. We’re really just trying to get 12 people who we know would be a great fit. Like you have to apply to go to this event. So we’re not, we don’t have an ad budget in that. So this is, again, why I wanted to show you another example of a brief. And we have our worst case scenario, our best case scenario, the team that’s going to be involved.

And instead of just saying like me, Steph, Pauline, Maddie, I actually started mapping out like how they’re going to be involved and all the stuff I need from them, which. Is also action items and then that was it. And then we went and we did our project brief and man, that project was smooth sailing because of this thing.

So that’s all you got to do. You write down. I’m going to just say this again for you to write, take a note on a Google drive Google doc or word. You’re going to have the name of the project, your start date, your launch date, the purpose, your goals, project details, and or questions. Your audience. Your ad budget, worst case scenario, best case scenario, team involved, and or action items. 

And that’s it. So straightforward, but start every single project, event. Let’s say that you are a retailer, because we work with so many retailers at Crystal Media, and you have an event that’s going to be happening, a sale maybe for Valentine’s Day, or something really fun you’re doing for couples, or these bundle, gift baskets that you’re selling for Valentine’s Day.

Start with a project brief. Here’s the name, our 2024 Valentine’s Day extravaganza. Here’s the today’s date. This is when we’re starting. Here’s the launch date, and it’s going to go through, one week over Valentine’s day. And then you just start specking it out. That’ll take you maybe 10 to 15 minutes.

Tell your team kickoff meeting and then boom, send the troops who’s doing what. By when, and you’re going to have a much more organized marketing plan, kickoff event, anything that you’re using these briefs for.

Now I hope you take action on what you learned because I know it will save you a lot of time and hassle. Spend that little time upfront. So you create efficiency and just don’t leave things out as you’re doing your projects. 

Check out my amazing photographer and a special offer for you!

Crystal Vilkaitis: Before we conclude. I just want to give a reminder and another plug for my dear friend and my photographer, Christina Graciano. If you haven’t checked out her website, mentioned her before on the show, photoCG.co look at what she’s doing. These portraits she’s creating. These headshots that she creates. She does this whole kind of She’s obviously has a better name for it, but where she’ll go into your business and take pictures of you, your team, the team together, and then your warehouse or your shop, give the whole like experience of the business and take that and create these visuals, these beautiful visuals that really represent your brand that speak to your customer that you can use on social and your website.

That type of having Christina go to your business to do that is usually for businesses that are doing about a million in revenue or more. Otherwise, if you’re local or you’re coming to Colorado or you’re traveling and you want just a beautiful headshot or portrait boudoir, she even does she’s so incredibly talented.

And every time I post a picture of me on my social that she took, I get so many compliments, so many people love it. She’s so creative and she’s so fun to work with. So because she’s my friend, if you tell her that you came from Crystal Uncorked, she will give you a free wall art upgrade when you’re getting your prints. So check her out, photocg. co love working with her. 

What’s coming next week

Crystal Vilkaitis: And next week’s episode, we are talking about why you should not be attached to the results. I’ve been attached to the results in the past. It really set me up for failure. I really struggled in that kind of mindset. And as we’re closing out the year and we’re looking ahead to 2024, I want to make sure that you’re not attached to the results.

So we’ll break it down in the episode. I hope you tune in and if you found this episode helpful, please share it with a friend or let me know. Thanks for listening. I’ll see you on the next. See you. Bye.