So you’re the best speaker in the world, you have the best content, and now you want to get people to come to your seminar. How do you do it?
How do you market the seminar in a way that gets it to sell out?
If you can create a great event, then you can build a huge speaking business. Speakers like Tony Robbins have built their entire empire on filling seminar rooms but how do they do it?
In this post, you’re going to learn the marketing behind putting on your event…you’re going to learn how to get people in the room.
When you think about marketing your event, you have to think ‘laterally’ …meaning… you want to make connections about what attracts people to your event in the first place.
Most speakers think in terms of ‘what websites should I post my event to?’….or….’Should I use Facebook to advertise?’
But you have to think sideways…
Let me ask you this…
Do you know what copywriting is?
Of course you do.
But do you know that copywriting is a HUGE factor in getting people to your event?
Because everything someone reads about your event needs to be so compelling that it naturally gets people to sign up.
Lets say that you want to sign up for a business event…right now. And lets say that you go to two websites that talk about their events…and here are the two headlines for the events:
1. Business leadership training
2. High growth business training: take your business from $1million to $10 million
Which one sounds better?
The second one.
Because it’s very clear on what to expect.
DO NOT SKIP THIS!!!
I know it’s tempting to say “Hurry up sexy guy and get to the ‘marketing’ part where you tell me how to get people to the event.”
But this is the marketing part.
There are sooooooo many speakers out there who just put something up on a website because they want to hurry up and get an event going on. Then they have a hard time filling the room, and they wonder why nobody attends their event.
All of the work you do before the event is the very thing that fills up the event.
I can’t stress this enough…so don’t skip this and try to get to the ‘marketing’ part because that’s the easy part.
So lets get back to it…
First thing you have to figure out is who the compelling reason why people will attend your event. What are they going to get out of it?
The headline of ‘high business growth: take your business from $1 million to $10 million’ is very clear about what you get out of it.
It’s also very clear about who should attend the event. It wants people who are already pretty successful and want to take it to the next level.
The ‘high business growth’ event is a real event by a guy named Eben Pagan who sells tickets for $10,000 and fills up the room with a lot of people. And the reason it works is because of everything he has done before putting on the event.
So your first step is to make sure the website for your event is top-notch with really good copywriting. The website copy should be so compelling that people will naturally want to sign up.
Now here’s what separates the people who fill up rooms with thousands of people versus speakers who have a hard time filling it with 50 people…
Yup…your email list.
Have you heard of CopyBlogger?
If not, it’s a website/blog where they post really great content about copywriting.
When they do an event, they send out a few emails and guess what? The event is sold out.
If you know you’re going to do seminars then you want to build your email list and more importantly, nurture that list. Keep giving them a ton of free content (good content) that makes them fall in love with you.
This will make it a lot easier for you to fill up your room.
The Traffic & Conversion Summit by Ryan Deiss is going to have about 4,000 people at the event this year (2015). And they get a lot of people registering because they have big email list.
[btw…listen to the interview I did with the woman behind the event in the PLATFORM members area. She goes everything the backend of marketing events]
But what do you do if you don’t have a big list?
It comes down to two things: Copywriting & Advertising
The copywriting is what will persuade people to sign up. The advertising is what gets you noticed.
The number one method of most people who fill up seminar rooms is direct mail.
Because now that everything is online, mail stands out.
And this is where your copywriting comes into play.
Imagine you’re a business-owner, you come home, and you get a mailing that says “Business Training Seminar” or “High business growth summit: Go from $1million to $10million” … you’re much more likely to pay attention to the second one.
Your direct mail piece has to grab their attention and achieve a specific purpose (Do you want them to read more on the website? Call a number so you can close them on the phone?)
You also have to send out more than one direct mail piece…because a lot of people procrastinate.
The second method that speakers successfully use to market their events are Facebook ads.
Facebook ads are cheaper than direct mail and it can be just as effective, if not more.
To do this right, you want to target people only within a 50 mile radius of the event. Why? Because most people who attend events (where they don’t know you) are local.
The people who fly out to events are almost always people who know about you in the first place. Maybe they’ve been on your list for awhile…maybe they’ve heard about you through the grapevines…in some way or another, they know who you are before you put on the event.
Think 80/20 rule.
Most people at your event will be local.
So when you do a Facebook ad campaign, target people within a 50 mile radius. Send them to your website (which has compelling copy) and keep the ad campaigns running.
The key to your Facebook ads is in the targeting.
If you’re a sales speaker who specializes in ‘car sales’ then would you rather target ‘sales people’ or ‘workers of X dealership?’ You obviously want to target the people who work at the dealerships because it’s more specific to them.
The more specific you are, the more likely you’re going to get the right people to see your event website and register.
It’s also important that you do ‘re-targeting’ because people will visit your event website, and they might have every intention of attending, but they just don’t sign up right there and then.
If you instal a Facebook re-targeting pixel on your site, then once they click on the ad and look at your site, you can now have a re-targeting campaign for them. So as they hang out on Facebook, they will see your event come up multiple times and think “Oh yea, I need to sign up.”
Your re-targeting ad should be different than your normal ad. So if your main ad says, “Million dollar summit” then your re-targeting ads can say something like, “Are you going to X summit?”
With re-targeting, think about it as a conversation. You wouldn’t say ‘hi’ all over again to a person you already said hi to. You would go on to the next part of the conversation.
That’s how your re-targeting should work.
Getting people to sign up
Just because you have your website set up for people to register, and just because they’re in your target market, it doesn’t mean they’re going to register for your event.
So what gets people to register?
A few things…
Everyone who attends an event wants to know who the speakers are. If it’s just you, they want to know who you are. If it’s multiple speakers, they want to know if there’s anyone they know.
If you see a ‘business event’ and the speakers are: Mark Cuban, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet. Versus seeing another event and the speakers are: John Doe, Jane Green, Adam Collins. Then which event are you going to attend?
Speakers have a huge influence in who attends an event…so if you can get a well known speaker at your event, you will get more people registering for it.
2. What they learn
People ultimately want to know what they’re going to get from attending the event.
If your website doesn’t have much about what they’re going to learn (the schedule, website copy, etc) then very few people will sign up because they’re not sure if they’re going to get their moneys worth.
A REALLY great example of this is from the Traffic & Conversion Summit website. They give you a full page of information on the benefits of attending and what you get out of it.
You’ve seen almost every event have ‘early bird’ rates….discounts if you register early. And it works.
To get people to register, you need to let them know that if they wait, prices will increase (and hotel rooms might be sold out…which means they have to stay at a different hotel). People who wait to sign up, always wait because you haven’t created enough urgency in their minds to do it now versus later.
So think about why someone should sign up right now instead of waiting.
4. The experience
Does your event look like something they will have a good time at?
Is it in a boring town…or is it in Las Vegas? Do people go to your website and just see pictures of everyone sitting down or do they see pictures of a room filled with thousands of balloons and everyone’s laughing (makes you wonder what they’re doing)?
If people go to your event website and they feel like they’re going to get a full-blown experience then they’re more likely to register for your event.
This is also why some speakers host events on cruise ships. Think about it…what’s better…you going to a hotel, sitting down, writing notes…or you going on a cruise ship for the event?
It’s all about the experience. If you can communicate the experience people will get at your event then you’re going to make it a lot easier to fill up the room.
Ultimately, getting people to come to your event comes down to your ability to execute.
You already know about direct mail, you already know about Facebook ads, and you know about your email list.
But how well can you execute?
How good is your direct mail piece? How targeted are your Facebook ads? Have you nurtured your email list?
To fill a room, you have to advertise. To advertise, you have to know exactly what type of people will register for your event. And to get people to register, you have to have compelling copywriting that creates a desire for them to sign up.
That’s how your market your seminar event.