When was the last time you were on a blind date? You know, a friend sets you up, you meet that “someone” at a local coffee shop, share some conversation, and then decide to see that person again…or not.
Have you met someone online? You can go back and forth via Skype, emails, and even phone calls, but eventually you need to meet that person, right?
Marketing your products and services works the same way. There’s a dance you do with your potential clients before they decide you’re a good fit. And, for the most part, you are more successful in showing them that you’re their best choice in a face-to-face meeting.
Don’t get me wrong. Viral marketing has made it much easier for we solo-preneurs to find and connect with our ideal clients. It’s inexpensive, flexible and content can be re-purposed, or a webinar archived for future use. But – at some point the sale is tough to close without some face-time.
I wrote about the New Connection Economy and how face-to-face marketing is replacing the Internet because people are sick of that “arms-length” connection. This is great news for those of us who can’t keep up with the latest technology out there. But you can use this technology to enhance your face-to-face marketing to leverage your time and marketing budget. Here’s how.
Let’s say you have signed up to do a trade show this year. Before the show, use the Internet to create some buzz:
- Have a pre-show contest. Ask your Facebook followers to post comments, pictures or videos of the worst organized space they’ve ever seen on your Facebook page. Then, announce the winner from the booth at the show.
- Create and post videos on YouTube as a teaser on what attendees can expect to see at the booth.
- Use your social networks to poll attendees, clients, and followers on their most pressing needs and interests. This help defines your focus at the show and creates a more valuable face-to-face experience with the show attendees.
At the Show:
- Announce “Specials” exclusively to those who receive a text message or tweet from you.
- Share news of the show with both attendees and those that couldn’t be there via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media.
- Have a way of capturing email addresses. Offer a drawing for something that’s of real value to attendees — both paper and electronic registration options.
- Paper Version: attendees fill out a drawing slip and put it in a fish bowl.
- Electronic Version: attendees register by texting their registration to a video welcoming them to the drawing and wishing them well. This is an easy way to capture email addresses without attendees having to fill in a form – but remember, offer both.
After the show, electronic media can enhance your face-to-face experience with potential clients because you’re able to interact with them long after the event is over. Try this:
- Add photos of show participants to your website, tagging each attendee in the photos.
- Post a virtual demonstration of a new product you launched at the show on a special page on your website, and then share the URL with your email list that you weren’t able to connect with at the show.
- Send a follow-up email announcing the winner of the drawing and include a link to your special demonstration page mentioned above.
So there you have it. I’d love to hear what happens at your next trade show, so let me know about it and any other ideas that worked by commenting below. Inquiring minds want to know!