Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, “Professional Genealogy I: Your Plan for a Genealogical Business”

“Professional Genealogy I: Your Plan for a Genealogical Business”

Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL

Recording $69.99

Many people who have been enjoying genealogy as their hobby are interested in knowing if they can make a business from their passion. Transitioning from hobbyist to professional requires a certain mindset, abilities, considerations, and business decisions. Before you jump in, take the time to make informed decisions about how you will create and operate the business, what types of clients you want to attract, how and how much to get paid, and the ethics involved in working as a genealogy professional. Learn why communicating with your clients and educating them about the research process while setting their expectations is important to your reputation, business, and for the prevention of common problems. Time management tips will be discussed.


Elissa Scalise Powell, CG, CGL, a western Pennsylvania researcher for over 25 years, is the co-director of the Genealogical Research Institute of Pittsburgh (GRIP), and Professional Genealogy Course Coordinator at the Institute of Genealogy and Historical Research (IGHR). She is the Professional Genealogy instructor for Boston University’s Genealogical Research Certificate online program. She was the course co-coordinator of the AG/CG Preparation Course at the 2013 Salt Lake Institute of Genealogy (SLIG). She is a regional and national speaker on such topics as Pennsylvania records, methodology, professional development, and society management.

She was honored in May 2010 with the NGS President’s Citation in recognition of outstanding, continuing, or unusual contributions to the field of genealogy. She was a Director for the Association of Professional Genealogists for six years; taught genealogy courses at the local community college for fourteen years; co-edited a cemetery book series and appeared on the PBS-TV show ANCESTORS2 cemetery episode and the Travel Channel’s Dead Files in “The Instigator” episode. She is Past-President and a former Trustee for the Board for Certification of Genealogists, and past Outreach Committee Chairperson. She is a past- resident of two local Pittsburgh societies and a contributing author to many publications.

Course Schedule

  • Session One: “Are You Ready for a Genealogical Business? Part One”
    • Defining Professionalism
    • Income Opportunities in the Field
    • Qualities and Skill Sets of a Professional
    • Steps for Forming a Business
  • Session Two: “Are You Ready for a Genealogical Business? Part Two”
    • Resources
    • Business Record Keeping
    • Time Management Tips
  • Session Three: “Preparing for Your Marketplace”
    • Get Paid for Your Passion: Setting Realistic Fees
    • Financial Policies
    • Marketing Strategies
  • Session Four: “Client Communications and Ethical Considerations”
    • Choosing client projects
    • Managing expectations
    • Educating the client
    • Defining limits
    • Ethical Standards