I thought I’d share with you, the Insiders some things I recently learnt from hosting the free 3 hour coaching session I offered. I hope these things will help you too. This is confidential and not for sharing. I share at a far more honest level here on the Insiders because we’ve grown to know, like and trust one another. and as such hopefully by now you know my tonality and the way I communicate – with love, and passion for your success!
Firstly why the heck did a coach that can easily command £1k for a days training “give it away for a fiver?”
I have had a good year with some amazing clients who have all seen changes and benefits from their time with me and I adore working with these people, so I wanted to give something back. Rightly or wrongly I’m fiercely loyal, care deeply about small business owners and want to be there for those that can’t afford my coaching too, because I know I can make a difference. A bit soppy but yes, I just wanted to be there for you, and I just wanted to show I care and offer something that anyone could access if they were prepared to drop one coffee this week to pay for it.
So what did I learn that could help you for your next “Bums on Seats” adventure;
- This really was a one off. I was inundated with messages saying “I can’t make this one, can you send me details of the next one?” To which the reply was “Sorry no, it’s a one off.” I should have posted that information more because we so often assume that writing something once ensures it’s seen and processed. Posting on the original event page that this is a one off clearly shows that many people just didn’t read the content, so if you are hosting an event, break down the content, ensure it’s got clear headlines for each question that a potential delegate is going to ask. And repeat the key things people ask you in your online promoting.
- You charged £5 for a free event, why? I have never hosted a completely free event because people don’t value their time but they do value money. Worrying isn’t it? Although I should have charged the same as The BWN (£15) I really wanted it just to be a token of “I will ensure I turn up.” Did it work? 50% of the paid tickets turned up. I had 20 booked then 15, then 18, then 13, then 20. (All had paid for their tickets!) How many turned up? 12! So, while I sold all of the available tickets if I had over subscribed I would have filled the room still. See top tip 3.
- Professionalism is worryingly on the decline. Over the past few years of hosting events and being booked to speak, no matter what the company or organisation people are not turning up to things they’ve booked. What’s the big deal right? The big deal is that your name is on a list of attendees and when you don’t turn up people question “where are they?” For me I hear the excuses and yes kids get sick, we get sick, something urgent crops up, and I appreciate that, however if you are not sure you will make it, leave booking until the last minute. If you don’t many people (and I know this to be true because I’m told it often) say things like “If they can’t turn up to this I wonder what it would be like to work with them?” IE “Would that have this attitude to getting my work done or getting my products to me?” Professionalism and credibility is not just built with your products and services and customer service, it is built long before in the way you treat other people. On average you need to expect around 30 to 50% drop off – ie 100 guests, 30 to 50 not turning up – even if they’ve booked! (It never used to be that bad. And probably speaks loudly about time management and core values too.) So this needs to factor into your marketing and available tickets.
- Limited marketing so how did it still fill up? I added this to my Facebook professional page, posted it a couple of times and mentioned this event at 2 BWN events – who I then followed up with the link to book (because while people say they want to book and will, unless they get the reminder they possibly won’t.) If I had to oversubscribe my event (which to be fair I was not that bothered about because it was always going to be about doing the best for those in the room) I would have also;
- Added this to my website on the home page as a neat title and brief sentence with a book here button.
- Wrote a blog highlighting a case study and the damage that overwhelm and lack of confidence does to business success.
- Talked about the courses that looks at confidence and the 6 week course because they cover many elements of what we looked at and others too then ensure I had a sales funnel for delegates and those that were interested but couldn’t not attend.
- Got in the local press – Gazette.
- Sent out the info to all BWN coordinators (and relevant friends) to share at Their BWN events and to “people that could benefit.”
- Added it to all free listing sites local to the venue.
- Posted it in other local networking and women in business pages on social media.
- Set up some automated posts for LI, Twitter and Facebook along with posting to Instagram and Pinterest.
- Listened to the radio so I could phone up and comment on something relevant to mention the course.
- Found a local networking event to speak at to promote.
- Follow up sales. I should have given everyone a nice fancy flyer at the event talking about what we covered, space for them to write their notes (to encourage them to keep my name and number etc) and a call to action about The Insiders and my courses. I didn’t do this because I wanted it to only be about the delegates. And I know respect and “doing what you say you will do” means a lot. And while it won’t get the instant sales, it gets loyalty, builds trust and ensures the conversation flows for another time. Remember you can’t dictate when someone will buy however you can have a say in whom they will choose to buy from.”
- So why won’t you host this again? I won’t be hosting this again because I know my price points for every product and who every product and service is aimed at. And while I absolutely love sessions like this few people would attend if I charged the correct price of £125 without me investing in the marketing to get them there and appreciating the value of the session. (easy to do – just adjust what you say, where you say and how you say it.) and for me it’s easier to get 1 client for 3 hours who drives to my office so that I also save my energy, my time and get to work with one person who is awesome and is highly likely to work with me for a year at least. Okay not the same buzz and fun level of a group session with the clients I love the most, but in business (especially when time and health are factors) you have to consider.
- Follow up communications. If there wasn’t a mountain of work that could rival Everest I’m working on right now, I would also email all attendees and paid guests that didn’t attend to find out what they thought. Those that didn’t attend would tell me why and if there was something I could have done to prevent it and those that did what they loved, hated, want more of and how can help them get what they want. Ideally that’s 28 phone calls to be the most powerful, however you never know they may all get an email at the least.
- It’s all about the in. Events like this are supposed to be lead generators and loss leaders. And as such I should have targeted it to people that are not already actively engaged with me or Insiders to achieve this. (On this occasion this was just about giving something back). However for most business owners an event like this is about lead generation and as such you need to carefully choose and strategise where you promote, how you promote and what people you want to see turn up – ie, “What do we want them to buy after this?” You don’t have to lay on the sales at the event, however you do need to know the sales funnel you are creating here and how you will ensure you achieve it.
I hope these thoughts help you in multiple ways too and I look forward to seeing you in The Insiders, at The BWN and on my courses.