Good morning and welcome to the Monday morning marketing podcast, I'm Esther. And I'm Melanie. And together, we're here to help you understand more about marketing, how it works and how you can grow your business. Today, we're going to be talking about how to make the most out of marketing yourself at an event. So, Melanie, when you go to an event, what do you hope to get out of it?
Well, primarily, connexions, business is always what we hope for. But, you know, experience has taught me that business doesn't always come out directly of meeting people offline, certainly not for the first time. But connections are an important aspect of building your business, adding to your network, not just because they may help you, but there may be a way of you helping them or people they know. So ultimately these days it would be connections. What about yourself?
Absolutely. Exactly what I was going to say. It's all about helping others so that it'll come back to you at the end of the day. So what if the people that you talk to at events might not be your ideal client, but they might know people who are in need of your services or of your products. So it's always a good idea to expand your network, get to know other people who are maybe outside of your client base so that you can grow your clients eventually. And especially here in Ireland, where word of mouth is still a, you know, an amazing part or a huge part of how we grow our businesses.
I mean, organically over here in Ireland is the only way toreally build your business. And I've found out that everybody knows everybody here and you can diss anyone here because everybody knows somebody here.
Thats so true
It's completely true across the border as well. It's kind off rightening. But on a serious note, till you develop a good relationship, when you're going to these events is to be prepared. So you need to know, first of all, where the events are, and we were talking about this just before hand before you started recording. It's important to go to out of sector events as much as it is to go to sector events purely because you don't realize how you could cross your audiences, especially if you do something that can be applied to lots of different sectors. I mean, we're quite fortunate in that you've built websites and social media, marketing and management, and we both do that as well. And we could easily do that at a fishermen's event as we could at social media marketing mode. So why not go to the fishing event? Because you'd be surprised how you could still use your abilities.
Yeah, absolutely. And especially if it's something that you're interested in, for example, every year I go to Balmoral Show, which is a huge agricultural show up here because my dad's a farmer and it's always something that's been part of my life. If there's any way that I can help the farmers through what I do, what I offer through social media, through web development, through app development, any of that, then obviously I need to be there to be able to offer my services. If they don't know who I am, they're not going to come looking for me. And that's part of what you need to do when ever you're going to go to events is research who's going to be there as well.There's a lot of events these days who will actually release a list of, if not people's names, GDPR, then definitely the sort of sectors and areas that keep those people working. So you can research about different areas that you're not offey with so that you have something to talk about whenever you're there and something to ask them questions and get to know more about their pinpoints by listening to what they have to say.
Exactly. It's better to always be the person to listen to them introduce themselves first and what matters to them first, because then you can apply your knowledge, your connections and possibly your business to your response. So I would invite if you are going to go to an event, obviously just smartly take your business card to fly as you roll up and if you're allowed, it's always handy to have your role of banner in the book because you sometimes don't find out until you get there and have a look at on the websites or wherever the event has been mentioned. So that could be on Event brite and meet in Ireland. We've got here there's bound to be meet in your country wherever you are. There's bound to be in an enterprise week or an event for women type of thing or a directory. We've got like what's what dossier here asa directory. So if you have a look at all of these free websites. And you'll find some sectors that will be directly corresponding to what you do or ones that are connected to what you do. And then when you get there, you can look att heir website, you can see what their responses are they're bound to have a stand, you can see who their media partners are, they're bound to have a stand.And if they've got stand there, they will normally list who all the stands are.So you can prepare information packs about your products. You can research who these people are before you go. You can work out the people's names. Also, you may not actually see the person that you've research, but they can say, oh, I know that call is the person who does marketing for your company. This package for him by mentioning names, it proves that you've done the hard graft, you've done the work. And that does mean, hopefully, that your information will get to the right person on the day.
Absolutely. And definitely go prepared also with your elevator pitch or a short presentation about what you do, who you are and how you can help these people. What we don't want hard sells when we're at events, we're there to network. We're there to connect with other people, were there tore new friendships. There's lots of events that Mel and I both go to where we already know half the people who are going. And that's also part of the draw.When we go to a women's inspired network event, for example, we already know a lot of the people there. We're reconnecting. We're having a laugh. We're enjoying networking outside of what we would normally talk about in our businesses. And it's important to have that social aspect of networking and marketing. Of course.
I mean, we all behave in a different way when we're online, especially for a lot of what we do, especially with women inspired would beTwitter. And all of the corresponding that we do would be on Twitter andFacebook. And we do behave completely differently when we're offline. Guard islet down. We can say and explain a lot more, people have more time to listen, frankly, so I think it's essential that as important as doing a social media and having your website and all these plans and strategies that we're going to be discussing the online stuff. Businesses won't survive without doing the offline stuff people buy from people.
Yeah, absolutely. And as Melanie mentioned earlier, a lot of the events would have sponsorships and even sponsorship opportunities for small business owners to put up their stand, put up their pop up banner, put up their information and have people come and show interest in their stand. And that's a great way of also increasing your email marketing list by getting references and business cards and asking if you can add them to the list.
GDPR, we should create a button that says GDPR.
I think we're going to need to. I mean, going to events is something that I've always enjoyed, and it's something that we have to program in to our strategies. It's something that there could be there's sometimes there are events every day of the week, especially I've noticed in September.It's always a busy month for events. January, February are also quite busy. But to just research from now, if there's an event that's going to be coming up in the next year, we've mentioned women's inspired network. It's it's always inOctober. There's also WordCamp which comes around every so often. There are also events like FedExes that could be in your local area and just find something that interests you, something that's also maybe outside your comfort area and just go to one or two a month and see how that can affect your business and grow your business. They don't have to be expensive events. We're not saying that you have to go to Social Media Marketing World in San Diego orto the Web summit in Lisbon, but figure out a budget for yourself, for your year, for your business to be able to go to events including transport, accommodation, possibly, and see just how much return and investment you can get.
Yeah, I mean, none of us have managed to get this far in business myself since 2013 and Esther since 2015 without making a few sacrifices at the beginning. You do have to do that. And even when you've been in business awhile, you tend to get complacent and you neglect the offline marketing. And it's important that you reconnect and do go back to that because you just assume people have heard of you and know you. Maybe they've heard of your reputation, but still don't actually know you. And without that personal connection, sometimes that won't go over to a sale. So by putting yourself out there and I tell you what, another really good way to market yourself an event effectively is to speak at it. And that's by far the easiest. I know you still have to probably pay for it, to speak, at the event. Sometimes you don't, but then you've got people coming to you at the end of the event. So definitely worth thinking about looking at sponsorship or offering to speak at events and making time and effort and possible financial sacrifice to make it to these events.
Yeah, definitely. And you always come away with connections and it's a great place to start with your follow ups. I have a friend, she'll be on with us sometime. And she always says the fortune's in the follow up. If you don't follow up, then you'll not close your sales, you'll not get new clients, you'll not get referrals from those people to other people as well. So any final thoughts, Melanie?
Well, I guess this time homework will be look up events effectively on social media or on a Google search or whatever search engine you use locally, look up businesses, look up your sector and also looks lightly outside of your sector always left to right from your business. Once you get there, make sure that you've done your research and found out who are the sponsor speakers and the stands that are going to be there. And you can then take a bunch of information to direct it to the people that need it. And you can then approach them directly. If they find that you're being a bit more personable and a bit more personal, that could sometimes take you over the line. And as Esther just said, make sure you follow up.
Thanks for joining us today. That was the Monday morning marketing podcast. We'll be back next week with more. Good bye