Hosting events is a great strategy to acquire leads for your service-based businesses, and also one of the most exciting! It’s a great way to meet potential clients face-to-face, get them interested in your offerings, and are also just plain fun! But as much fun as they may be, it’s important to utilize specific strategies to make the most out of your lead gen event.
In this how-to guide, we’ll go over the best tactics and strategies that you can use to source tons of new clients just by hosting lead-gen events.
Tactic 1: Deliver the Value
While hosting an event just for the sake of hosting might be a good time, that’s not why we’re here. We want to source qualified leads, and we want to source as many as possible. These events aren’t going to be free either, so we better make the most out of them.
The best way to make this event a valuable lead gen activity is to make it valuable for the people you want at your event. Pretty straightforward, right?
Use this event to teach your potential customer something that:
- Is something they want to learn or will grow their business
- Is in your field of expertise
- They won’t have to learn if they pay you to do it
If one of these doesn’t match, events might not be the strategy for you, or you might not be targeting the right customer. You should focus on teaching your audience strategies to solve a problem that they have… That, of course, could also be solved by them either purchasing your product or paying you to do it for them.
*Don’t go overboard here. If you’re not teaching anyone anything that’s actually valuable and you spend the whole time trying to sell, sell, sell, you probably won’t have a very happy crowd… Unhappy crowds generally don’t turn into qualified leads.*
When deciding what your event should be about or what you should be teaching, it helps to remember the result that a qualified lead should receive from attending the event. If you executed the event correctly, qualified leads should be walking out of your event with something like this in mind:
“(Host’s Name) really knows what they’re talking about. Learning so much about _____ is really going to help me do ______ better than I could before…
… However, no matter how much I learn about _____, I would probably be better off just paying for (your product/service).
Tactic 2: Get the Word Out:
Now that you know what your event is going to be about, it’s time to get the word out!
But before you start sharing, you need to have a way to register!
By creating an Eventbrite account, you can allow people to reserve (or purchase) tickets to your event, and even remind them about it using Eventbrite’s integration with Respond Flow. You can set up an automated, personalized message to be sent thanking the lead for reserving a ticket, and send them a reminder text the day of the event with the location.
Now that my shameless plug is over, let’s get back to the good stuff.
To help you get the word out, utilize outbound tactics to help share your event with the relevant audience. Share your event on social media, send out email and text blasts, print a few flyers, but make sure to ask others to share it too!
By asking others to share I don’t mean ask them to “Like and Share this post to help me get the word out” when you post on social media… Ask them personally! Send out a mass text or email to your contact lists and ask them to share your event with others they know that could get value out of attending.
…Okay, one more shameless plug. You can also share your Eventbrite link in your automated “Thank you for registering” text, and ask them to text it to someone who should join them at the event!
Tactic 3: The Fortune Is In the Follow-Up
No matter how awesome your event was, how brilliant you were, or how valuable the knowledge was that you gave, you won’t see anywhere near the lead gen results you’re hoping for if you don’t follow up with attendees.
Make sure to reach out to each and every one of your attendees personally, ask them what they thought of the event and if it was helpful for their business. DON’T ask them if they want to buy right away. Make sure they know that you care about them first before you go in for the hard sell.
However, if you want to simplify the follow-up process, you can use the contact list that you generated from Eventbrite (and of course integrated into Respond Flow) to automate the follow-up in a direct, yet personal manner. Okay, I promise I’m done now.
It’s important to remember that as much as you want to make the event a closing machine, your customers will appreciate the knowledge that you share a lot more than the thing you’re selling. While it’s important to work the product in, try and do it naturally. Or, you can make it as obvious as possible by saying shameless plug… like this guide. But again, like everything else, make sure you know your audience!