Promote Your Event For Free

LizandRyan.jpg

For most women, going to the salon is a treat.  When I go my stylist, Ryan Wilson at Mercer Supply Co., and I usually end up talking Social Media strategy the whole time, which I love, because she is dream employee (and hair stylist).  She is the kind of employee all of my clients tell me they are dying to find.  My clients are always looking to hire employees that come with sales skills and/or their own clients.  I think some people are born entrepreneurs. If you currently have entrepreneurs as your employees you can spot them right away.  They are rowing the boat as hard as their owner or manager.  They insist on providing quality service and keep their schedule full by promoting themselves.  They don’t expect that responsibility to fall fully on their employer.

While getting my hair done Ryan told me about the event that her salon was having in a few weeks and she wanted to know how to get as many prospects to it as possible.  One small detail: she is not able to spend any advertising dollars to promote it.  The budget is going solely to the event.

 

Hey no problem!  That just sounds like fun to me.  If you tell me about your event,  I’ll plot your strategy.  If you watched the video I made during my last visit, you wouldn’t be able to follow my exact plan.  I didn’t record it for content.  When I went to create my original plan for the video after looking at the footage, I realized It had so much content in it that I could share with you. I used the best of what was audible. I really need to get a couple of mikes, but I thought it would be fun to share with you what planning looks like.

Let’s take her event and apply it to you, your business, or service.  This is going to work for an event, a big sale, or an online event.  First, you want to want to plan the event itself.  Consider who you are targeting.  What are you offering them that solves their problem?  In this case it is hair styling services and old fashion barber services.  The point of this event was to invite people to come discover their location and what they offer: barbering and styling services.  Also, they just want to hang out with their customers on a regular basis.

I NEED YOU TO KNOW A FEW KEYS ABOUT THIS BUSINESS. 

 

The team at Mercer Supply Co. are the coolest people to do business with ever. They have a unique selling perspective (USP), it is that there is no other old fashion barber shop that attracts hipsters, college dudes from LSU, the suits (guys and gals) from downtown Baton Rouge, and just regular socialites.  It always amazes me how they can appeal to so many demographics. I attribute that to the style of the shop, the personalities of the team, and excellent product.  As a long time actual customer, I am always completely ecstatic with the results of my services there.  The “product” itself could not be better and of course that is important part of what you are offering.  You can be great at selling, but you can’t sustain the revenue it brings if your product and customer service isn’t top notch.  It’s a major plus that everyone there speaks to me regardless of whether or not I am doing business with them in particular.  It is always a great experience.  Does your business offer a great experience?  You can’t measure that in stats but it is definitely something I consider a KPI (Key Performance Indicator) and it shows if you playing the long game.  In other words you aren’t going after just today’s sales.

So let’s talk about this “event”.

This event is a “give”.  In business whether we are posting on social media or meeting in person, we should give, give, give and then ask for the business or for your prospect to take an action (like sign up for your course, join your mailing list, or make an appointment).  So this is Mercer Supply Co. “giving” by inviting you to their event called “Barbers and Blues” .  Ryan and her team have to determine exactly what is going to happen at the event. It’s a social event: a night of fun, hanging out, free food, and discounted services.  Basically it’s a total give. A prospect could go hang out and leave without spending a penny. Once all of the details and decisions have been made then it is time to post, post, post!

HERE IS A BREAKDOWN OF HOW TO PROMOTE HER EVENT WITH NO ADVERTISING DOLLARS.

I suggested posting about it on Snapchat everyday, because they have a big Snapchat following.  Getting a nice sized Snapchat following is free.  You just need to do it often and make it entertaining. Post your Snapcode in your business and ask your clients/shoppers to use it while they are there.  Asking someone to do that is a one to one marketing action.  If they agree to do it all of their followers see the experience they post.  This costs nothing, you just need to be consistent by asking people to do it.  

Another action that works is Snapchat filters for that one event. It might cost around $30 (at the most) but the reach is exponential, unlike Facebook.  The reach will depend on how often you get people to use it. By using it yourself to video/photograph your attendees it would then be very natural to ask the people you just photographed to make their own snap and use your filter.

Making a paid ad in Facebook will cost you for every click, so you could spend as little as $5 which wouldn’t take you very far and you would probably need spend around $100 to get near the reach Snapchat offers.  Again this business has a large Snapchat following so I thought it was important to suggest those two actions.  If you aren’t on Snapchat, and you just aren’t “there” yet, it’s ok.  Stick with the platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter wherever you have your following.

Next, I talked about making a graphic to post that promotes your event.  I mentioned that you can make one or several graphics with an app on your phone called Word Swag.  You don’t have to have a graphic designer in order to make images for posting.  Now, post them everywhere all the time. Put it on Facebook then make a different one for Instagram. Share them directly with your friends or clients and ask them to share it or post about it too. Tag your friends or clients once you’ve posted it on your page. Talk about it incessantly, in person and on social media.  

****An important note to you if you are like some of the people I meet who don’t yet fully understand how Social Media works for business:  I often hear business owners say they don’t want to post but once a day or God forbid more than once a day. For those of you that don’t know, all social media platforms now use algorithms and your posts will not be shown to every fan.  Even if each post you made did go to all of your fans or friends, if your posts are engaging, humorous, or informative your fans and friends are happy to see your posts.  You cannot over post anymore.  I’m not saying it’s not possible.  It’s just that if people don’t engage with your post then platforms like Facebook stop showing your post anyway.  Facebook and Instagram are way more concerned with turning off their users than you are, I promise.

Let’s talk Facebook.  I am a big fan of Facebook because of it’s superior targeting features. Go to your business page and make an event in Facebook.  You can share this event for free and everyone in your organization should be willing to share it on their own feed.  That is free.  If you wanted to put a few bucks to reach more of your fans, a certain demographic, or location, you could do that.  If you are willing to ask your employees, clients, shoppers, prospects, friends and family to share it you can get plenty of reach. That costs ZERO dollars.  So ask!!!  You can update the event page every time you get information that makes your sale or event even more exciting.  Ex: 1)Here is a video clip of the band playing at our event on Wednesday!!!  Can’t wait to hear them live. 2) Sombrero’s is going to be serving hot tacos, yum!  Who doesn’t love their taco’s???  You can even Facebook Live from the page before and during the event.  All free actions and each person that has indicated that they are interested or going to the event (it’s kind of like the “like” button) will be notified about each post added.  This will build excitment ensuring that people who said they were coming remember to show up.  Also for someone seeing in their feed 10 of their friends are going to this event, you are likely to get one more click that another person plans on attending.  See an example below.

 

HERE IS AN EVENT I MADE FOR ANOTHER CLIENT.  YOUR EVENT WILL SHOW UP IN THE TIMELINE DISPLAYING HOW MANY PEOPLE AND HOW MANY OF YOUR OWN FRIENDS ARE GOING.  THIS IS GREAT "SOCIAL PROOF"

Ask every person that you know or see at your office including team members, board members, customers, and clients, “Do you mind sharing our event page in Facebook or post about it on theses social media platforms?”.  This is one huge but easy action you and your company can take.  Ask you team to share your daily post as often as they are willing to. If they are willing to do it, you have more free reach!

Last but most!  Make videos!!!  Facebook gives you more reach with videos than text posts.  I believe they are doing that because they want you to make and post more videos on Facebook.  In Facebook the video comes to you.  In YouTube you have to go find it, that isn’t going to happen unless you drive traffic to it.  That’s a much more complicated group of actions not worth the effort for the result you are going for.  Look, if you don’t want make videos or posts, find someone that does in your organization, like Ryan.  In the video, notice how she saw that angle she wanted me to get on film.  I think she put it on her Instagram or Snapchat account.  She has an “eye”.  Not everyone has that gift.  Right now, I am working with an upscale food vendor and no one in his organization including him can take a decent picture.  It’s tough if you have no one with “an eye”, but chances are someone in your organization can take great pictures and/or video.  Start with someone who is willing to try.  One day I was willing to try.  From that day to today I have gotten better.  When I look back at my fist videos, I cringe.  I just keep trying and I am always looking for ways to improve.  

 

HUMOROUS MOMENT FROM THE VIDEO

Humorous moment in the Video

Humorous moment in the Video

Do not wait to start using video to demonstrate your product, service, or event!!!!  Text posts are dying on Facebook.  Videos can do so much, note to self write an article just about what videos can do for your business. I have stats to prove it!

If you have no money, you have time.  Use the time to get obsessed about what you are promoting.  When you do a great job posting content and people start engaging with it, platforms like Facebook keep showing it to more people, mostly your fans.  These are not ads I’m talking about.  It’s just a post.  Zero dollars!!!!!

When this year started, one of my goals was to make better content and reduce my ad spend budget.  I made this decision because I knew other people weren’t spending a penny on Facebook and their reach is in the millions.  Sure I could pay for it, but I wanted to push myself to create better content.  If someone can do it, I can too!  The biggest area I have been working on is video.  By the way,  I only use my iPhone.  I can’t even work iMovie on my computer.  Boom!

Use your mouth, your iphone, and be obsessed with getting the word out.  Each time you have something to promote, you will notice your reach grows, you pick up new fans, and it is shortly followed by sales.

Have questions, just ask me.  Use the form below, I would love to help.

Yours In Success,
Liz Laenger

P.S. Thanks to Dewayne Mercer, Troy Mercer, and Ryan Wilson for letting me share my experience.  I love you all.  Good Luck with your event!  I can't wait!