Rooted In Revenue

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Event Marketing Budgets & Digital Marketing

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Every year businesses determine what their marketing, sales, sponsorship, advertising, social,etc, etc line items will be in the budget.

If you are an entrepreneur and not doing this I would highly recommend you find a money manager and start doing this.

What many businesses forget to think about (or it's an afterthought) is events.

Events are magic.

Alright, maybe that's not the best selling point for me to give to justify adding events into your annual budget. Let's look at every major consumer brand in the US. Every single one of them does events. They spend hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars to get eyeballs on their brand and samples of products in consumer hands.

The #1 reason to do events is visibility and brand awareness.

These brands look for an ROI, but do you know that it's not always a cash/revenue ROI that they want to see?

They want to see impressions. How many people saw our product and within that there are calculations to figure out the reach of what one individual consumer is actually worth in impressions. It's a complicated math game.

So, if these brands think it's important why don't you?

You don't have to spend hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. Let's start small.

You are an entrepreneur and have a service that you offer (coaching, tech, social media, etc). You can invite 5-20 people to an event and charge then $0-300.

This event can be held in your living room, an art gallery, a golf club or resort, a gorgeous meeting space in a local hotel. Heck, even the library. These spaces will cost you anywhere from $0-$1500.

Your invite your guests to come to a local half day or one day event to learn from you on a specific area of your service.

You show up and deliver an abundance of value and they walk away feeling like they just won the lottery. What really happened here?

You just made an impression. Hundreds of them.

If you delivered tons of value...

  1. They are going to see you in a different light. They will see you as the expert.
  2. They will tell their friends and business associates about you.
  3. They will share your info on social media.
  4. They may hire you for your expertise.

An event like this doesn't require

  1. A lot of planning
  2. An event planner
  3. A large budget

Let's simplify this even more.

Invite 5 of your closest business associates to a 2 hour session for free or for a very low price to give you feedback on a presentation that you have been working on. Ask for feedback and referrals. Let them know up front that you'll be asking for feedback and referrals, so that they come prepared.

Do this. Experiment. Get out of your comfort zone.

The do it again with a larger crowd. Invite your 5 friends back and ask them to bring one person with them the next time.

Each time you do this you begin to get more comfortable and confident in your content and the service that you offer. Talking about what you do will feel less and less salesy.

Create monthly or bi-monthly events. All low cost. All local. Create a routine and become familiar to your local community. Once the word gets out that your are offering high value information in your events you will attract your target audience and before you know it, you will need to create a bigger event at a larger venue.

If you start out small like this you can create a line item for events of $10,000 or less and create something impactful in your first year.

If you want to create larger events, I recommend that you start planning and budgeting 12-18 months out. If you know your event is going to cost $30,000 then every month you start tucking away and saving money that is specifically earmarked for your event.

This process makes it easier to pay deposits when they are due. Rather than stressing about how to come up with the money, you know you already have it in your event budget and can comfortably right that check or put down that credit card for the deposits.

What I see happen all the time is business owners decide they want to create an event, then they realize the cost and they either scramble to find the money causing way more stress than needed or they toss their dreams aside and forget it OR they try to create a Ritz Carlton event on a Motel 6 budge….. ON THEIR OWN….and fail miserably, swearing off events for the unforeseeable future BECAUSE events don't work!

Events work, but just like everything else in your business you need to have a budget and a strategy.

If you run a marketing agency, especially a digital marketing agency and don’t have an event arm in your business strategy you are doing your clients a disservice.

Hold up, don’t be mad. I’m trying to help you out here. There is so much focus on the digital side and you are working SO diligently for your clients. It’s an uphill climb to get visibility, to get their product or service out, to get engaging customers. I know your struggle. We live in a very loud world where everyone is trying to get everyone else’s attention.

How do you stand out in the chaos?

This well known but underutilized tool called events.

If you showed up with an event strategy for your clients that pulled their customers into a face to face, hands on experience you’ve just changed the game. You’ve now opened up another marketing channel that probably was not in use… WOMM. Word of Mouth Marketing. WOMM is a powerful marketing tool. It is not dead. It is alive and well. Look at every movie you’ve watched and who have you told about it? What about that bad customer service or the great sales on shoes? You’ve called your friends, told your co-workers, cousins, bosses, nanny, neighbor, everyone and shared an experience that you had with a brand, company, movie, etc.

This is why events are so dynamic and this is why it’s your responsibility to show your clients that value of creating live events.

If we go back to my post about having an event budget, you will see that I talk about what the major consumer brands are doing. They are actively every year putting their products in the hands of their consumers.

I hear you saying, well I don’t have a product that I can give away. I disagree. You can pull anyone in to play and test your product in your offices. Create a fun tech day and invite potential customers to come in, eat some food, learn about your services and get their hands on your product live and in person. SIMPLE.

You don’t have to pass out millions of samples, you can invite 5 to 10 local businesses in for a day or a couple of hours.

CREATE SOMETHING.

Be innovative. Your clients will appreciate that. They want that. They need that. They are hiring you to help them stand out from the noise. If you are just doing to some old offerings and programs you give to EVERY.OTHER.CLIENT. then you, my friend, are missing an amazing opportunity.

Expand your services, hire an event consultant (ahem...I’m available) and create some interesting and innovative ideas for your clients. Now YOU are standing out from the noise and are helping them do the same.

Let me say, that I see the lack of event ideas in the small, entrepreneurial marketing agency space. The big digital agencies have this down to a science. I recommend taking a page from their book and increase the offerings and calibur of your business. Watch it change your world.

John Golden, CSO Pipeliner CRM Revenue Tip: Treat Prospects Like Clients.

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Today's guest is John Golden, CSO at Pipeliner CRM. Susan asked him about his top revenue tip. He lit up and was very happy to share it. Take head you companies that offer trial subscriptions. Listen up - many logical ideas in this episode. The key to Pipeliner CRM's success has been establishing long term relationship with customers, not just win, but maintain them - especially with a subscription product. They do this through a number of methods. The strongest are:

  • Free trainings
  • Understand what are the business drivers that brought them to us in the first place.
  • Periodically re-evaluate their goals to see if they need to adjust how they use our product to best meet those goals.

What fails and has become typical throughout the software industries is to get them to take a trial and then try to sell it to them.

Why would you not start at the first encounter with a prospect? Treat prospects like they are already customers; ESPECIALLY in trial process.
Engage them with the people they are going to work with, so it's not just about their experience with the product, but the customer experience.

John Golden talks about what they need to have the answers to: How do we make the customer experience a consistently positive one from the moment they engage with the brand whether, even from the trial; and how can we guide you to trial the CRM to fit their needs, rather than just hoping they'll figure it out during the trial period.

Some of the other points covered included:

You can have a host of inconsistent experiences with a company. That's common, we always default to our worst experience.
Think of an airline trip - Great onboarding, great flight, customer service but then at the end, your bags are delayed and no one communicates why, or how long they will be. Now when someone asks you about your flight, that's the top of mind experience you mention. The 10 positive touch points were wiped out with the one negative.

There is a massive economic value to a positive consistent customer service experience.

Results?

  • They are likely to be open to giving you a review, testimonial, and ultimately, may become an advocate for your brand and customer service.
  • People remember how you made them feel.
  • Clear communication will continue to build that trust - even when you mess up.

Clear communication is critically important. Don't make promises that you are apt to keep kicking the can down the road.

John's AHA moment:
In this world of disconnected connectedness, where everyhone is trying to leverage techonlogy, treating people as people.

Check out Pipeliner CRM - it's visual because pictures speak clearer to most.
Easy to use, easy for management. Pipelinersales.com - take a trial.  Take a trial the software AND trial the company as people.

 

More tips and guides on Susan's website https://susanfinch.com/rootedtips/

Event Communication - Put your ego aside

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Communication can sometimes be the hardest part of an event. The details are manageable, but sometimes the people involved are not. You will deal with a wealth of personalities, opinions and experiences that you may not enjoy engaging with. Put your ego aside and listen first. Digest what is being said to you and then make sure that you clearly and concisely craft a response that does not incite drama.

Communication can be a challenge no matter what you are doing in life or business, but let's focus on the event application of it.

Why is communication important for an event creator, planner, founder or host?

  1. It leaves no room for questions
  2. It eliminate worry and concerns
  3. It creates an open dialogue
  4. It creates clarity

Communication these days comes in many forms; email, calls, text messages, Facebook messages, Google Hangouts, Skype, Twitter Direct Messages and even public posts on social. It's a wonder we can even keep our communication clear these days. As an event planner, I work hard to keep my communication with my clients down to just a couple of vices when it comes to communicating about an event. Typically, email is the first form of communication, then calls, text messages and somehow Facebook messages get thrown into the mix (even though I still hate Facebook). The more complex an event, the simpler your form of communication should be. There are so many elements to manage and execute on during an event, you want to make sure that your communication is clear for all parties involved.

Clear communication really helps to eliminate the stress, burden and annoyance of someone saying "I didn't know". Trust me on that one. Usually I am running more than one event at a time, so I am dealing with different personalities, opinions, expectations, etc, etc and I have to be able to navigate them without getting myself into trouble. We're all human, but sometimes we forget and take our frustration out on the person delivering the message not thinking about the ramifications of our form of communication, tone or words.

Let's talk about events that I have run in the past. When confirming event details with speakers, I prefer a very clear and detailed form of email that lays out all their needs, deadlines, expectations, reservations, etc. Sometimes these emails can be long, but I make sure that they are extremely clear. I even have it proof read by someone not on my team (who would know all of the details) to make sure that it makes sense to them (as someone not in the know). I make adjustments on clarity where necessary and then shoot the email out to the speakers.

Would it shock you to know that more often than not 20-30% of the responses ask questions regarding items that I clearly laid out in my email?

Probably not. It doesn't surprise me either.

We move through our days too quickly. We skim emails. We scan for what we recognize and then we shoot from the hip. We're all guilty of it. I've done it myself. Now, what if we as event planners, event creators, speakers, vendors and all other active participants slowed down for a hot minute and read through the email before jumping all over the messenger? That would be quite a novel idea.

Let's flip the script a bit. I was invited to speak at an online conference. I spoke with the host about the details and said I was definitely interested. That was the last I heard about it until about 15 days before the conference when I reached back out again to the host. I was getting ready to finalize my content and I wanted to make sure that my presentation and delivery was what they were looking for. After about 45 minutes on the phone and 20 questions from me to the host, I felt I had a good understanding of what they wanted. A week later I received a message from the host asking me when I could record. I was confused because nowhere in our previous conversations had they mentioned me recording my presentation with them. At this point I was already pre-recording my content and informed them so. They agreed to let me move forward with the pre-recorded presentation. My team finished compiling the presentation and I delivered it via email to the host. Wouldn't you know, I received an email in response that informed me that I did not use the event branded template.

Hhhmmmm.......

Again, nowhere in our conversations did a branded template ever come up. Might I remind you as well, that up until that point I had still not received any details about the event, expectations, deliverables, timing, etc. NOTHING. I even had to ask for an affiliate link after the host complained that no speakers had been promoting the event. I informed the host that I would be happy to promote it, but I never received an affiliate link as verbally promised.

I promoted the heck out the event, but I never saw the host promote the event until 4-5 days prior to it going live. Now, the day before the event I received an email geared toward participants informing them about all the good stuff happening during the live conference. It said that the speakers would be showing up live during their sessions. Guess who never received an email from the host letting her know when her session was going to be live so that she could show up and serve the audience properly. You guessed it... This girl.

Needless to say, the communication on that event is a prime example of what not to do as a host/event creator. Please take care of your speakers and communicate with them actively and often. They want to show up and do their best for you and your tribe.

I was recently chatting with another event planner and we were swapping stories as we all do about specific scenarios that we run into with clients. She shared with me that she resigned from a client because one of the major issues was communication. The client doesn’t like to repeat herself and gets upset when she has too. Understandable. Here’s the glitch. The client doesn’t give clear instructions in the first place. She’s all over the board and so when her team returns to her to get said clarification she loses it.

Events are hard enough as it is, so the client who doesn’t communicate wants, needs and desires clearly throws a monkey wrench into the whole thing.

Here’s the thing, to create something amazing and to keep the entire team, vendors and venue on task and on the same page this communication thing has to be worked out.

If someone from your team comes to you and doesn’t understand your instructions or the vendor is not clear or g-d forbid the venue is not clear; DO NOT BITE THEIR HEAD OFF. Pause. Breathe. Take responsibility. Ask them what they did not understand. Repeat what they said to you, so they know that you heard them (and didn’t lose your shit). State your instructions as clearly as you can and then ask if they understand or have any questions that you can clarify.

This is common sense, but we are not taking the time to communicate.

5 Simple ideas to generate leads before the conference

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You know you need to participate in industry conferences. You decide which capacity for each one whether your are simply an attendee, an exhibitor, a speaker or a host of a special event at the conference such as a cocktail party or gold event. When that decision is made, the clock of effectiveness is ticking. How will you add this to your already full schedule of tasks?

I’ve done this for several clients with great success. They were shocked at how much of a difference this effort made in their HOT leads and advocates. They never realized how much money they were leaving on the table and how their half or quarter effort was really just going through the motions at these conferences and trade shows. 

We also realize it doesn’t end when you head back to the office. That’s the afterglow of the conference. We aren’t done yet. Before you get back into your routine, we’ll have continued engagement to maximize your new potential clients and advocates.

Do you have conferences coming up? Do you have enough staff to really make a grand entrance – I’m talking trumpets and rose petals. If not, you need our help. Let’s talk and see how this would look so you can plan. Try to give me more than a couple of weeks’ notice – really. Months are better! 

Do you need help determining HOW much to host, promote and how to execute it? Short handed - that's where Lany Sullivan comes in. You need to schedule some consulting time with her to determine HOW to make the most of the event. Head on back to me to help create the materials to execute the plan.

Go under the "events" category or Hosted By Lany to listem to more of her expertise.

Event Marketing Budgets & Digital Marketing

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Create an expense line in your annual budget for events.

Every year businesses determine what their marketing, sales, sponsorship, advertising, social,etc, etc line items will be in the budget.

If you are an entrepreneur and not doing this I would highly recommend you find a money manager and start doing this.

What many businesses forget to think about (or it's an afterthought) is events.

Events are magic.

Alright, maybe that's not the best selling point for me to give to justify adding events into your annual budget. Let's look at every major consumer brand in the US. Every single one of them does events. They spend hundreds of thousands and millions of dollars to get eyeballs on their brand and samples of products in consumer hands.

The #1 reason to do events is visibility and brand awareness.

These brands look for an ROI, but do you know that it's not always a cash/revenue ROI that they want to see?

They want to see impressions. How many people saw our product and within that there are calculations to figure out the reach of what one individual consumer is actually worth in impressions. It's a complicated math game.

So, if these brands think it's important why don't you?

You don't have to spend hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. Let's start small.

You are an entrepreneur and have a service that you offer (coaching, tech, social media, etc). You can invite 5-20 people to an event and charge then $0-300.

This event can be held in your living room, an art gallery, a golf club or resort, a gorgeous meeting space in a local hotel. Heck, even the library. These spaces will cost you anywhere from $0-$1500.

Your invite your guests to come to a local half day or one day event to learn from you on a specific area of your service.

You show up and deliver an abundance of value and they walk away feeling like they just won the lottery. What really happened here?

You just made an impression. Hundreds of them.

If you delivered tons of value:

  1. They are going to see you in a different light. They will see you as the expert.
  2. They will tell their friends and business associates about you.
  3. They will share your info on social media.
  4. They may hire you for your expertise.

An event like this doesn't require:

  1. A lot of planning
  2. An event planner
  3. A large budget

Let's simplify this even more.

Invite 5 of your closest business associates to a 2 hour session for free or for a very low price to give you feedback on a presentation that you have been working on. Ask for feedback and referrals. Let them know up front that you'll be asking for feedback and referrals, so that they come prepared.

Do this. Experiment. Get out of your comfort zone.

The do it again with a larger crowd. Invite your 5 friends back and ask them to bring one person with them the next time.

Each time you do this you begin to get more comfortable and confident in your content and the service that you offer. Talking about what you do will feel less and less salesy.

Create monthly or bi-monthly events. All low cost. All local. Create a routine and become familiar to your local community. Once the word gets out that your are offering high value information in your events you will attract your target audience and before you know it, you will need to create a bigger event at a larger venue.

If you start out small like this you can create a line item for events of $10,000 or less and create something impactful in your first year.

If you want to create larger events, I recommend that you start planning and budgeting 12-18 months out. If you know your event is going to cost $30,000 then every month you start tucking away and saving money that is specifically earmarked for your event.

This process makes it easier to pay deposits when they are due. Rather than stressing about how to come up with the money, you know you already have it in your event budget and can comfortably right that check or put down that credit card for the deposits.

What I see happen all the time is business owners decide they want to create an event, then they realize the cost and they either scramble to find the money causing way more stress than needed or they toss their dreams aside and forget it OR they try to create a Ritz Carlton event on a Motel 6 budge….. ON THEIR OWN….and fail miserably, swearing off events for the unforeseeable future BECAUSE events don't work!

Events work, but just like everything else in your business you need to have a budget and a strategy.

If you run a marketing agency, especially a digital marketing agency and don’t have an event arm in your business strategy you are doing your clients a disservice.

Hold up, don’t be mad. I’m trying to help you out here. There is so much focus on the digital side and you are working SO diligently for your clients. It’s an uphill climb to get visibility, to get their product or service out, to get engaging customers. I know your struggle. We live in a very loud world where everyone is trying to get everyone else’s attention.

How do you stand out in the chaos?

This well known but underutilized tool called events.

If you showed up with an event strategy for your clients that pulled their customers into a face to face, hands on experience you’ve just changed the game. You’ve now opened up another marketing channel that probably was not in use… WOMM. Word of Mouth Marketing. WOMM is a powerful marketing tool. It is not dead. It is alive and well. Look at every movie you’ve watched and who have you told about it? What about that bad customer service or the great sales on shoes? You’ve called your friends, told your co-workers, cousins, bosses, nanny, neighbor, everyone and shared an experience that you had with a brand, company, movie, etc.

This is why events are so dynamic and this is why it’s your responsibility to show your clients that value of creating live events.

If we go back to my post about having an event budget, you will see that I talk about what the major consumer brands are doing. They are actively every year putting their products in the hands of their consumers.

I hear you saying, well I don’t have a product that I can give away. I disagree. You can pull anyone in to play and test your product in your offices. Create a fun tech day and invite potential customers to come in, eat some food, learn about your services and get their hands on your product live and in person. SIMPLE.

You don’t have to pass out millions of samples, you can invite 5 to 10 local businesses in for a day or a couple of hours.

CREATE SOMETHING.

Be innovative. Your clients will appreciate that. They want that. They need that. They are hiring you to help them stand out from the noise. If you are just doing to some old offerings and programs you give to EVERY.OTHER.CLIENT. then you, my friend, are missing an amazing opportunity.

Expand your services, hire an event consultant (ahem...I’m available) and create some interesting and innovative ideas for your clients. Now YOU are standing out from the noise and are helping them do the same.

Let me say, that I see the lack of event ideas in the small, entreprenurial marketing agency space. The big digital agencies have this down to a science. I recommend taking a page from their book and increase the offerings and calibur of your business. Watch it change your world.

 

Why you need an online pressroom.

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In one of our earlier episodes we covered your online media kit where you need to have the bios, photos and logos you want others to use. This is a continuation of that topic. Your online pressroom is about credibility. When you have credibility, it adds to your authority, which adds to your trust which means more people will trust you with their business. This page should be linked from your online press kit and be maintained regularly. It can includes all types of content where you or your company was interviewed, reviewed or mentioned. This includes:

  • Radio interviews
  • Podcast interviews
  • Television interviews
  • Video interviews
  • Magazines - print and online
  • Newspapers - print and online
  • Professional organization posts
  • Complimentary posts by others about you, your product, your company
  • Reviews online
  • Testimonials

Tips to include these on your page:

Create a page with sections for the types of coverage. People that are prone to watching videos, or listening to audio files would want them all grouped.

You may list and link to the original source, but also save a copy for yourself. The reason why is sometimes these sources go away, close down or reorganize their sites. When that happens you have broken links and it can actually undo the credibility you are trying to build.

When you are including audio files, include a way for people to also embed the episode or at minimum share it. Same with video.

If you have an outstanding interview, you may want to include the transcript from it in txt or rtf format.  If you do include that as a download, be sure to BRAND it.

Magazines in print and newspaper, scan the actual article for your records and include the magazine logo, newspaper header, date, etc. Go to the online version and print to PDF for your own records and then you have back up. In your list, link to the online version as a thank you to the publication, have a link to the PDF version of the article from your scan or the version you printed to PDF online

Magazines:

Family Circle Magazine | June 1997 | (author) | “She’s Got ‘Em Covered” | PDF

Podcasts:

SLMA Radio | May 2016 | James Obermayer | Strategic Volunteering | EMBED

 

If you require permission for people to use any of the PDFs, audio or video interviews, be sure to state your policies on this page, too. Usually this statement is only needed on your Online Press Kit page.

Periodically have someone check the links on this page to make sure everything is working. Simple things such as when a site finally gets HTTPS compliant can break a link if they haven’t handled the transition properly.

On this same page include a form for people to fill out to request and interview or speaker.

If you have people on your team that do speak regularly, you’ll want a table with a thumbnail of heir headshot, name, title, and link to their bio from your press kit page.

Set up a watch on your company name, key leadership and your product names through something easy like Google Alerts. I’m always surprised how often my non-profit, Binky Patrol, is mentioned in small community newspapers. I’d never know about more than half of the articles without Google alerts. Even small mentions can make a big impact. I think back to a tiny side column article in Family Circle in 1997 and 45 second mention on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 1996. We still have credibility because of those two small items in such a huge venue.

If you need help setting this up, please let me know. More tips can be found on my website: https://susanfinch.com/rootedtips/

Additional Ways to Generate Event Revenue

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There are more than 5 ways to make money on your event. We’ve already covered the Top 5. Below we’ve listed the additional sources

  1. Ticket Sales and Add-ons
  2. Virtual Events
  3. Paid Speakers
  4. Coaching Programs
  5. Bonus Events
  6. Live Streaming
  7. Post Event Options

Make sure you download the full Event Revenue cheat sheet to learn more about each revenue stream and begin creating a strategy to maximize your event revenue.  https://eventsbylany.com/rootedtips

Use easy URLs to track your marketing efforts for events, books, products, campaigns.

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How do you know if your marketing dollars are leading to revenue unless you can track it? Even small businesses that have one or two events a year need to be tracking how their efforts pay off. Sometimes we pay for ads in directories, sponsor events, sponsor a local team of kids, put an ad in the church bulletin, boost our listings in the Chamber of Commerce or other business organization listing. Don’t you want to know if it worked? Don’t you want to know if people not only saw the ad but clicked on it? Sometimes these sites and situations have strict guidelines as to what the links can go to. 

Sometimes you need to be able to SAY the link out loud from a stage, podium, on a podcast, over lunch - don’t make it difficult. If you know you’ll be SAYING your domain regularly or one to promote your event, make sure you get a domain that is easy to spell, remember and SAY.

How many of you have ever heard on a podcast, video or show, “How can listeners get in touch with you?” and the guest stumbles out a clumsy answer, “Go to our home page: www.mycomplexdomainspelledweirdly.com and then click in the left on the button that says, “special event”.

Here’s all that’s wrong with that:

  1. www - your domain needs to resolve with and without www.
  2. Your domain needs to automatically resolve to the SSL version of your site - you’ll need to buy an SSL certificate and set it up properly so that no matter what page people go to without https:// it will flip to https://
  3. Your domain needs to be LOGICAL and EASY to say and spell. None of this Eleet E - l - e - e - t Realty type of stuff. If the real way to spell a word is gone, think of a new domain. We can’t all have .com.
  4. Your call to action link cannot require you to then explain where they can FIND the information to click again. That final destination page needs to be the domain.

Let’s talk about resolving #4.

If you have a landing page in the middle of your website for this event or promotion, buy ANOTHER domain for THAT thing and have it redirect to THAT landing page. You will then be able to easily market and track that domain and page. If your event is Health Jamboree 2018 and you are in Portland, and your website is: HealthyChoicesWeMake.com - you want to consider these options:

  1. Create a subdirectory link: healthychoiceswemake.com/jamboree18, or just jamboree to always use the same URL year after year, but update the content.
  2. Create a SUBDOMAIN: jamboree18.healthychoiceswemake.com
  3. OR an entirely clean URL: HealthJamboreePDX2018 .com  that would redirect to either a landing page in your main site, or be a specific site JUST for this event with cross linking from your main site. So many options.

Your plan all depends on your vision for the event, Is it a one time, or the first of many recurring each year or in different regions. You’ll want to plan for this type of repetition or growth when you secure your unique domain so you can follow the pattern.  Keep in mind regional uses of abbreviations. Up in Portland Oregon, PDX is a common way to shorten Portland and surrounding areas. It’s the airport call letters. That won’t work well in Los Angeles - LAX because that’s also an abbreviation for the sport, Lacrosse. A lacrosse jamboree is way different than the topics in our health jamboree, but the search results may confuse and irritate those that click if it’s not completely clear.

Is this for a BOOK? A book always needs its own website with a way to purchase EVERY format: print, ebook, kindle, itunes, etc. AND you need a form that will collect information and add them to a drip campaign regarding the book, the tour schedule, appearances, tips from the book and more. BUILD and sustain buzz.

Let’s briefly talk about squeeze pages. It’s a newish, more recent term that merely describes a VERY simple, uncluttered page to drive people to ONE specific call to action:

Register, subscribe, buy, answer a quiz, watch a video, etc. Some website themes have built in squeeze page templates. Many CRM services offer squeeze pages with unique URLs for sharing and tracking.

These same rules applies to hashtags for your initiatives, products and events. It’s OK to ride the hashtag others have used for related topics, but for your unique application and tracking purposes, be very careful and make sure it’s not already in use by a competitor, something unsavory altogether or something that is viewed with disdain by all or offends your target audience. Acronyms can be a messy place to tread.

  • A good tool is Keyhole: http://keyhole.co/ You can utilize their free trial to make sure your hashtag is safe to use.
  • Hashtracking (https://www.hashtracking.com/pricing/ ) is another service.
  • This list of 6 is somewhat misleading. They are not free, but usually have free trials: https://sproutsocial.com/insights/hashtag-analytics/
  • If you are going to use a hashtag regularly, or it is tied to a trademarked name you own, you might want to register it with Twubs: https://twubs.com/p/register-hashtag

ROOTED TIP: When you sign up for free trials, you usually have to give a credit card. Mark a LOUD reminder on your calendar for the day or two before so you END the trial and remove your card from their system if you don’t want to have it automatically charge your account.

Let’s talk about tracking.

You need to know WHO is going to your landing page, using your hashtag and from where. The easy way is to add this landing page URL, unique URL into your Google analytics. If your squeeze page is contained within your website, you’ll need to add the Google Analytics code into the page code to track it. This will also give you information as to their journey from your main site and what they did after.

Remember to add it to your Search Console, as well - be specific with the domain - https:// - if your landing page is within your main site using a subdomain or subdirectory domain/xxxx  then the existing SSL you have will most likely cover it. Confirm if you are going the subdomain route: myevent.mydomain.com Some cheap SSL certs won’t cover that. Also, if you have a payment gateway associated with the event, book, etc. can you track THAT part of it?

If this is for a unique domain, you’ll need to add tracking code into the header for all pages associated with this.  You can learn more about how to do that in this article as well as tracking hashtags in analytics using tag manager: http://www.trackify.co.nz/blog/tracking-anchor-tag-hashtag-pageviews-in-google-analytics

And:

https://webmasters.stackexchange.com/questions/113338/how-does-ga-show-an-url-with-a-hashtag

And here:

https://www.analyticsmania.com/post/single-page-web-app-with-google-tag-manager/

Get more tips on my site: https://susanfinch.com/rootedtips

Your voicemail message - your first hello, or your last.

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Ideally, no call goes to voicemail. But it happens. Ideally you are alert, 100% focused, perky, welcoming and clear to all callers that call you and answer with enthusiasm and respect. That doesn’t happen. Unless you have NO tasks, NO proposals, NO presentations, quotes, marketing timeline items you are working on, you will not be able to answer every call. If you can answer every single call to your landline, mobile and video chat requests, you need more business and someone guiding you to do more than wait by the phone. Chances are at that point, you are broke, hungry and most likely unemployed.

Voicemail, answering services, phone trees have been part of business going back to the 1920s with switchboards in big companies. You see them in old movies - the ladies in a small room with perfect make-up while on a headset plucking one cord, and taking that cord and connecting it somewhere else - the transfer. The switchboard operator was the first greeter many businesses had. From there, the calls might go to the executive assistant who will decide who gets through to the target or will be sluffed off to the “take a message” status.

Fast forward to today - the age of voice over IP - VOIP. Calls from anywhere and any device can be routed with the same flexibility - anywhere on any device, or multiple devices, this includes video calls. This has allowed us to further customize that initial journey of the first time or repeated caller. We even have the ability to block callers from specific numbers so we never know they tried to reach us. We can send them directly to voicemail with a canned text message letting them know you are unavailable at the moment and will call them back right away.

We have become our own switchboard operators and executive assistants. You would have hired a professional in the past for those positions. Back in switchboard days, you hired entry level people. Why would you do that now? There is too much competition for everyone’s business and attention. Make it count if they call you. Make them feel welcomed after they’ve bothered to click on the phone number on your website to “call 800-555-1212?”. After they’ve bothered to go to your contact page, read your overstuffed business card - another topic - and actually put the digits in their device to start a conversation with you.

Now, you popular people, those with high up positions, those well-connected are most likely inundated with “strangers” calling you - sapping your time, interrupting your day. AND? Do you remember when you were hungry? Do you remember how it felt to have to make those cold calls? How it felt to reach out to someone you met briefly at some crowded event - in person or online? That is still a human. A human earning a living for their families. Give them some dignity rather than disdain.

I fully admit to being annoyed when I get an obvious boiler room call. They are spam, junk, unsolicited solicitation without any goal other than gaining access to my computer, scaring me into thinking I need their service to save me from a virus or donate to some unreputable charity. When I’ve had my coffee, and a decent night’s rest, I can stay composed, polite and quickly end the conversation without being rude.

But what about those callers we WANT calling us? We are on the other line, the call goes to voicemail, unless you have a phone tree set up with a live person answering for you as your executive assistant. You want that message to be SHORT, clean, warm, welcoming. The goal is to get them to LEAVE the message so you can call them RIGHT BACK. They don’t need you telling them what day it is, unless you are at a conference and it will affect your response time. At that point, give them another way to reach someone who can help them fast.

When was the last time you called you?

Try it. Do you like the experience? Is the message even current. Don’t you hate it when you call someone you’ve been waiting on to return from a conference, and Tuesday of the following week their message still says, “Hi, this is Heather, it’s Thursday and I’m at DreamForce through Sunday….” At that point you stop listening and most likely hangup since Heather doesn’t have her act together. First impressions, or even second chance first impressions.

Some ideas for the incoming phone call journey:

  1. A HUMAN ALWAYS ANSWERS FIRST rather than a phone tree digital switchboard.
  2. They route the call to your personal number.
  3. You see the call, you answer or…
  4. You are on the phone and it goes to voicemail or
  5. If you don’t answer will it go back to the receptionist with a different moniker so they know it’s a call that came back to them after transferring - this would be handled with more urgency than new calls coming in as they have already spent time calling you, being routed, not reached you and routed back.

Second tree option:

  1. Calls go right to phone tree.
  2. Is your last name easy to spell? How about your first name? Make sure if you have that type of “dial by name” system in place, you are in there by FIRST and LAST name.
  3. If your names are always difficult for people to spell, consider routing by department or a “say the name”. But if people can’t spell your name, they may not be able to SAY your name. Back to call journey 1.

Third tree option:

  1. All calls go directly to you - your direct line from LinkedIn, your bio on the company site.
  2. You answer with the attitude this could be “the one” - smile, welcome them, make sure you are in a place you can hear them, even if they have a heavy accent and are in their cars.

Here are some tips for recording your voicemail message:

  • Sound upbeat in your message.
  • Don’t rush
  • Avoid background noise.
  • Rehearse or write down your message before recording it.

Blitz Sales Software reminds us to:

  1. Share basic information:
  2. If you’re out of the office: - BUT change it when this isn’t true.
  3. Be courteous of your customers’ time:
  4. Give them a realistic expectation:
  5. Catch their attention:
  6. Prove your attentiveness to voicemail:

Top 5 Ways to Monetize Your Event

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When you decide to add events as a revenue stream into your business the normal thought process is to focus on ticket sales to make money.

Ticket sales are extremely important as that is your indicator for 1) How many people are attending your event and 2) Where you need to adjust your marketing efforts to increase “butts in seats”

Here are the Top 5 ways to bring in event revenue that go beyond ticket sales.

  1. Sponsors - Creating partnerships and collaborations with sponsors is one of the most profitable revenue streams for events. Find companies and brands that are in alignment with your message and who have a similar target audience.
  1. VIP/Upgrade Options - Create high end options that will provide more benefits and value to your audience.
  1. Product Sales - Upsell your attendees to your next event, your coaching products, books, masterminds and more.
  1. JV/Affiliates - The best way to sell tickets is to have a solid business partnerships with influencers who will promote your event to their audience and increase the visibility of your event.
  1. Speaker Sales Splits - Allow your speakers to sell from stage and agree to a split of their sales because you are giving them an opportunity to be in front of your audience...a new audience.

Download ALL of your Event Revenue Sources at eventsbylany.com/rootedtips