Leading by Example Now That You’re Organized The Paranormal Now that you’ve put together a few people on your team, it is during the first few meetings that you can figure out what each team member’s function on the team will be. However it is highly suggested that you ask yourself first what you are A) willing to do for the team, and B) what do you bring to the team. Then start your first meeting by asking each new team member that same question. Here is where you’ll be laying out the ground work on how your paranormal team will operate. Assess what equipment the team has, and who will perform what function initially. You will also need to determine your investigating procedures will be, and lay out the groundwork during your first meeting. As well as how often you’ll be meeting. The more fundamental procedures you can establish early on, the easier it will be when you go into the field. The In the Shadows Paranormal Project team is almost constantly congratulated by the client by how professional we are and how we carry ourselves during the investigation like clockwork. It’s always great to hear that from the client, because it will allow you to have the references you’ll need to get that next case as you build your reputation. It’s now time to pick your team’s name. One that will reflect give your future team its identity. Often names involve adding their area and possibly area of specialty. A prime example would the T.A.P.S. name for The Atlantic Paranormal Society. Everyone knows the name, with much of its success launched by their television series. Although their name is highly regional, it does state that it’s most likely on the Atlantic coast. By adding ‘Paranormal Society’ at the end of it, it provided the team an open visibilty as to what they do. Yet it can also problems if you don’t have a team large enough to handle an entire region like ‘The Atlantic.’ Other teams tend to go a bit more specific as to the locality, by adding their state or metropolitan name to their identity, it could also be a county, like The Georgia, The Cobb County, The Washington DC, The Phoenix, etc. Then follow it up with names like ‘Ghost Hunters’ or ‘Paranormal Society.’ Several issues can arise with this, especially when trying to find clients...those teams within the identified area, may not be called by clients outside the area. Yet on the other hand, by being too general, it may be an area too big for yout team to want to travel great distances. Many refusing to travel more than 50 miles unless it’s a high profile case, or has publicity involved. Which isn’t really a bad thing, but does bring us back full- circle as why you’re doing this in the first place! Some teams use non-regional naming conventions like Penn State Paranormal. Comprised again, by college students that also managed to make their way into a television contract. These names implies nothing to a regional limitation, allowing them to choose more freely where they’re going to take on a case. In the Shadows Paranormal Project is different, it’s a name of a methodology and philosophy that adopts a scientific approach to paranormal investigation, research, and documentation. So it’s really more than just a name, even though several paranormal teams have adopted it all over the world...or choose to be identified as members of the In the Shadows Paranormal Project. The pages on the paranormal within the Dimension Zone are based on that philosophy. If you like to know more about that, please email contact them at ITSPP to learn more. One of the best ways to do that is to get someone on your team that understands web development and can help promoting your new paranormal team! There are lots of  hosting companies out there are more than willing to point you in the right direction, and offer free services and software to do just that. Hostmonster and GoDaddy offer free registration of websites during certain promotions. GoDaddy uses advertising on your site, if you don’t mind that. Others have affordable web hosting services with pre-built web designs and software that could have you up-and-running in no time. Many with simple point and click technology, that even the novice can set-up with little or no experience at all. Not to mention hungry technical university students that will do it for the experience and little pay...as well as maintain your site for you. Be sure to include your website information on all correspondence, that also identifies who you are, where you’re located, and your group’s mission statement. But most importantly you and your team’s email addresses and how you best can be reached. Of course there’s the greatest promotion of all…word of mouth. Tell your friends, neighbours, family, co-workers and anyone who will listen to what you’re up to. You may be surprised who’ll open up to a haunting and let you do an investigation for them. In the Shadows Paranormal Project sets and maintains high standards, as should you and your team. It not only creates a positive reputation, but guides your team in doing what’s right, because it is right. Each member for example must be respectful not only to the dead, but to the living. There’s nothing wrong with showing some personality or expressing personal views on or off-line but remember to always stay professional in your communications. There is nothing wrong with using the KISS method, by keeping it simple. You don’t need flashy uniforms or expensive apparel displaying your logo. Simple computer generated business cards can be printed at home for the whole team to hand out, and are much cheaper than using a printing service. Be sure to define and highlight your team name, email address, phone number, website and what your group does. Before performing any investigation create a specific form, or series of questions to ask your prospective clients. It could save you a lot of time by identifying who’s yanking your chain, who’s lonely and only wants someone to talk to and pay attention to them, who’s got a few colors missing from the crayon box (off-their-rocker), and who is really in need of your professional services. You can find several questionnaires that may suit your needs in the next section entitled, ‘Paranormal Teamwork. The questions are designed to give you some perspective as to why they believe their house is haunted and what they may have been experiencing. It should document the time of day, the room it took place in and any other pertinent information useful to your group. It’s also good practice to do this with one of your team mates (your case manager for example) to question each member of the house simultaneously and separately for the purpose of verifying their stories, the corroborate with your colleague and compare notes as to whether their tale sound rehearsed or worse, ad libbed. This would also be a good opportunity to use one of your audio recorders (or video) to record the interviews. Allow you to review body language, body twitches, etc. And don’t ever be afraid to just say NO. If something doesn’t feel right, it’s probably not. Or perhaps you have some strong doubts about the client’s credibility, honesty and motive for contacting you. Use your Spidey sense to make sense of what of you’re feeling. It’s wise to create a contract to protect both your and your client any misunderstandings and potential litigation’s. Getting a bond (insurance) to protect would also be a very good idea, in case something is declared missing after your team’s visit, or something valuable (like a Ming Dynasty vase) gets damaged or broken during the investigation. Create contracts for confidentiality, access to property, property damage during investigations and also a contract absolving your group of being held accountable if an entity becomes more aggressive after you leave. (Again there’s a myriad of forms and templates in the Book of Shadows section entitled, ‘Paranormal Teamwork. If you are wondering how to make money by ghost hunting then go no further. Go write a best selling novel, script a movie, or create the next ghost hunting gadget to get rich on the paranormal. Charging people who are having problems with entities is frowned upon by most teams in our profession and within this industry (if you can call it that). You can however accept donations by setting up PayPal account, which is a secure way for people to donate and place a “donate here” widget on your website. Also don’t be afraid to ask for a donation by leaving an envelope with the client in their ‘reveal’ packet defining any discoveries. You’ll be surprised how often you’ll get one! Even ask those around you if they possess cameras or equipment that they would like to donate...Again, In the Shadows has acquired a lot of great equipment this way that has not outlived its usefulness. Create a budget for your group and stick to it. Let them know how their dues are being used, and have a group meeting about the expenses incurred as a team. Travel, lodgings, and food during investigations in most cases is paid out of pocket for each member and everyone must agree and understand who and how each member will contribute to the group’s monetary needs if necessary. Choosing Your Name Marketing Your Team Creating a Team Presence The Image The Investigation Process Working Capital Taking Charge Out of the Gate
The content of this website is the copyright of World Nexus Publications © 2008-2011