Can’t find time between clients to keep your marketing going on a regular basis? Spending all of your days working with client events – and no time lining up your next clients? It can be tough to be an entrepreneur. Especially an entrepreneur with an event planning business. You make money by satisfying your clients – which involves a lot of long hours that can negatively impact your business if you are not careful. So let me encourage you – in the midst of everything you are juggling, spend some time each week finding a way to market your business to ensure that you have an endless list of referrals – and future events.
Here are a few tips:
1. Block out time in your calendar
One of the first things I recommend is that you schedule your calendar – especially during your busy season. Find a way to spend at least 10% of your working hours on your marketing. People need to hear from you. And it’s super easy to get caught up with the one or two clients that you are working with – and forget that you need to line up clients six or seven months down the road.
There are ton of things that you can do during this time. I highly recommend you find one marketing activity that fits your business model and your personality and stick to it regularly. There are a ton of resources where you can get marketing ideas – like www.bizsugar.com or http://www.marieforleo.com/. Find something that works, talk with your business coach or mentor and get started. Even if it’s only 20 minutes a week
2. Offer referral fees – and make it clear and transparent
Do you provide referral fees? I’m sure you do. Does everyone…and I mean EVERYONE…in your network know this?
So challenge yourself – how can you share that you offer referral fees to your network? What would encourage them to recommend you more? Is it cash they want? Is it access to people in YOUR network? Is it vendor discounts or referrals?
Find something meaningful that you can share with your network. And then get to work telling them.
I recommend you include language about referrals in a few places:
- Business cards
- Your invoices – always a great place to say “super thanks” for a job well done!
Make sure people are aware of your interest to grow your network and provide the them with something of benefit – be it cash, contacts or resources. Because if you can help those in your network achieve what they are seeking – I’m confident that you’ll land more referrals in the process.
3. Recommend others
Is there a way that you can show appreciation for those that have been great to you? That’s one of the secrets to staying top of mind – and getting your own referrals.
Refer other people!
So consider this – are there vendors that you work with that you love? Something that they do that provides consistent value to your customers? Ask them how you can help them get business through referrals. Are they looking for online testimonials? Do they need a character reference when new business comes their direction? Can you be on the look-out to connect them to others in you network?
The list is endless of how you can promote your network. I encourage you to build it into your regular business practices. Set a goal – each week or each month – to give direct referrals to those in your network who do amazing work for you.
It only helps set you apart as an amazing event planner to refer to others!!
Tell me how these tips work for you. Are there others to include?