What works better: offline or online marketing? Live events – no way! I hate speaking to a crowd of people. Yellow pages have always worked great for us, so why change our strategy now? How about we stick to Facebook and Google AdWords and forget the rest?
These are questions that pop up in a lot of small business owners’ minds.
Actually they are thinking patterns. They are so ingrained in people’s belief systems and marketing agendas that it’s become hard for them to open up for new ways of driving sales and thus taking the business to the next level.
This is the fourth part of the Small Business Owners series I started recently. In the previous months, I covered the topics of social media, Facebook advertising and Amazon Kindle. Today, I’d like to shift from the online to the offline world, that is I’d like to talk to you about harnessing the power of live events.
Adding Live Events to Your Marketing Portfolio
The fear of public speaking is considered one of the biggest phobias across the world. According to the Chapman University survey on American fears, published in The Washington Post, 25,3% of Americans say they fear speaking in front of the crowd – making public speaking the number #1 phobia in the country.
By now, I can hear some of you loud and clear:
“Great Krisz, now you suggest I get up in front of some unknown people and talk about my stuff?”
Not so fast, my friends.
What I suggest is the following:
1. Allocate part of your marketing budget to running live events. You don’t have to start with a crowd of 300 people; do a live workshop with say 10-20 people.
2. Prepare yourself to talk to a crowd of people that is made up of your ideal prospects. Don’t make the mistake of talking to an unknown audience. Know the crowd. Know their problems, frustrations and pains. Know what they are looking for. This will put you in the best place possible and take out some of the fear you have for public speaking.
3. Master the topic you’re going to talk about. If you’ve been in business for some time and you’ve achieved a certain level of success, your audience will definitely want to know how you got there and more importantly, how you managed to overcome all the obstacles and roadblocks along the way to turn your business around. It’s what savvy small business owners do: they want to learn from successful peers.
How to Pick the Right Format
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.
Some of you will want to talk about best practices; others will prefer to walk the audience through a checklist that has proven to work. Some of you will focus on features, benefits and advantages of certain products; others will do live demonstrations and ask each participant to repeat the process.
Whatever topic and format you choose, make sure you follow these guidelines:
- Add massive value.
- Know what you’re talking about: make sure you have a ton of experience and a proven record.
- Answer all questions. In case you don’t know the answer to a question, you email the person the answer later on.
- Provide transcripts and other useful materials related to the topic you covered.
- Include a strong call-to-action at the end. Make a compelling offer that is hard to refuse.
The last rule on the list is critical.
You’re talking to your ideal prospects and clients.
You spent your valuable time educating them.
They spent their precious time learning from you so that they can improve their businesses and lives.
Continue to guide them through the process of implementation and beyond. Don’t let this opportunity fade away by being too scared to present an outstanding offer. Allow your audience to take you up on that offer and continue to work with you side-by-side.
Two Examples to Help You Get Started
Let’s talk practicality.
Here are two format types that I deploy when it comes to live events:
1. Facebook Advertising Workshops
Format: Live workshop
Duration: 2 hours, i.e. 30 minutes presentation and 1,5 hours Q&A
Audience: Small business owners who run Facebook ads themselves, agencies who want to take their Facebook advertising game to the next level
Level: Beginner & Intermediate
Number of attendees: 5 to 20
Locations: London (UK), Dubai (UAE), Zurich (Switzerland), Bucharest (Romania) among others
If you want to have a look at how I structured one of these workshops hop over to Eventbrite.
Please note that I also do a lot of in-house trainings that are not listed on Eventbrite.
2. Marketing Systems Master Class (MSMC)
Format: Live event
Duration: 2-day intensive seminar
Audience: Successful small business owners looking for proven ways to dramatically transform the quality of their business and to boost revenues and profits
Number of attendees: 120
Locations: London (UK), Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), Bucharest (Romania), Madrid (Spain) among others
Here’s where you can have a deeper look at the MSMC Live Event.
Use Live Events to Get In Front of a Like-Minded Community of People
I’ve been in marketing and sales for almost two decades. I’ve worked in Corporate America. I’ve worked with corporations and small business owners worldwide as a business owner myself and to this day, I don’t know of a more powerful marketing weapon that not only gets you in front of your ideal audience but more importantly, provides you with quick, valuable feedback as to what’s good and what isn’t good about your topic, presentation or products and services – than live events or workshops.
Yes, social media allows you to toot the horn and promote your business across several platforms for little to no money down.
Yes, Facebook ads are amazingly underpriced right now and are super powerful if you know what you’re doing.
Yes, Instagram influencers are a fantastic way to generate massive attention quickly.
Yes, videos and podcasts are fantastic format types and your results can go through the roof when deployed correctly.
Yes, you can sell a bunch of products via Amazon or through your own Shopify store.
However, nothing beats live events and workshops when it comes to big ticket sales.
And, by the way, who said you should do live events or workshops to exclusion?
Combine the marketing vehicles to maximize your outcomes.
Promote your live events on all relevant social platforms where your ideal audience likes to hang out. Create a compelling video or podcast about your upcoming events. Let your creative juices flow. Don’t limit yourself to one single marketing channel.
Bridging the Gap Between Offline and Online Marketing: The Power of Integration
The biggest mistake I see people make (whether small business, big business or agency) is that they fall in love with the media and have a hard time letting go of it when necessary.
“Oh, but I have so many followers on Twitter. It took me years to build my audience on Twitter and now you want me to move to Instagram or Snapchat?”
Look, it’s not about either or. It’s about using the most powerful platforms – both online and offline to grow your business.
There’s nothing more powerful than integrating offline and online marketing, yet so many small business owners prefer one channel over the other to the detriment of their turnover and profits.
Be smarter than that.
Adjust your marketing strategy and shift budgets appropriately so that you can scale your business.
Don’t get stuck in the past. Learn from the past. Keep what’s working and add new marketing vehicles as you go. Get your hands dirty, learn the ins and outs of the new network by going “all in”. Once you reached mastery, add the next one to your marketing toolkit.
Are live events part of your marketing strategy? How do you leverage them to engage with your audience?