Now that we've successfully:
We must do the third critical step to tie the two steps together. Step three is therefore, all about bridging the gap between your goals and the available opportunities. This involves creating a crystal clear strategy for before, during and after the Online Speed Networking Event.
The most effective marketing strategies are part of an integrated process with connections to other marketing strategies. But you can get more mileage even from individual marketing activities by developing your "Before, During and After" strategy.
Top Tip: There are no hard and fast rules in strategy; even marketing strategy; that is why it is called strategy! You need to think through the different scenarios, plan a path and stick to it... There is no one size fits all strategy that you can just 'copy and paste' onto each of your events. What is true, however, is that the more you practice your strategy, the more you'll learn what works (for you) and what doesn't work (for you). This will allow you to tweak your strategy for your next Online Speed Networking Event successfully until you've got a bullet-proof strategy ;).
Before the Online Networking Event Strategy
You may want to invite a client to attend the event with you, or, where appropriate, let clients know you will be attending to find out whether there is anything you can do for them at the Online Speed Networking Event (information they might need or people they might like to connect with). Set up an event (or indicate your participation) on LinkedIn and other social media, put it in your newsletter, and/or send out notifications by 'email' and via whatsapp. It is important for your existing tribe members to be aware of your participation in events like this as it increases your online credibility and opens up new and exciting opportunities with current tribe members.
There's a million things you could do. It all depends on 1) the goals you identified for yourself before in Step 1 and 2) the available opportunities you've identified in step 2. If you've been following this blog series, you will remember that I set three goals for myself during Step 1 of this process. Let me show you now how I am going to brainstorm up a strategy in order to make them happen so that I have a definite plan of action stipulating what I need to do before, during and after the Online Speed Networking Event.
SMART Goal #1: Increase the Explore ProTech Social Media Footprint on Facebook by increasing the Explore ProTech Facebook Page likes by 150 through converting 75% of the attendees at the next Online Speed Networking Event into page likes by the end of day 3 after the Online Speed Networking event (so by 30 September 2020).
SMART Goal #1 STRATEGY
Since I've established that ALL the attendees at the Online Speed Networking Event will be either entrepreneurs or professionals in business, I don't believe any of them would not benefit from keeping an eye on the value content that we release on our facebook page on a regular basis. So here I am going to just politely request that the attendee likes our facebook page. Since one-on-one communication is way more effective and personal I will do so by reaching out to each person with a message via Swapcard before the event. That way, during the event I can just make a note to ask each attendee that I get to meet with, if they have liked our facebook page; and if not I'll drop the link right there so they can like it while we are talking :). I feel confident that this strategy will result in me reaching my goal of page likes.
What I am also going to do, is to create some goodwill in the relationships for myself, by inviting each attendee, in the same message, to send me their facebook page link so I can like them back :). Again, I feel confident that this strategy will create some goodwill for me in the relationships, and will possibly also send the message out there that I am a go-getter in business, which further improves my likeability and memorability factor.
After the session I will then include in my 'thank you' message a thank you that they've supported me by liking my Facebook page and maybe a call to let them know if they want specific content released on there they're welcome to let me know the topic and I will create that for them. Perhaps I'll even include a poll with suggested topics to encourage engagement. This should create some goodwill and could, if enough people respond, also give me a good idea of what content I could create to engage my audience.
SMART Goal #2: Increase the Explore ProTech Special Interest Online Speed Networking Email List by 225 email addresses by converting 75% of the attendees at the next Online Speed Networking event into email subscribers AND getting 50% of these subscribers to recommend ONE friend or colleague that will also be interested in signing up for the Explore ProTech Special Interest Online Speed Networking Email List by the end of day 3 after the Online Speed Networking Event (so by 30 September 2020).
SMART Goal #2 Strategy
So in order to get the additional subscribers to my email list for future email marketing campaigns I am going to include a subscription link in the message that I send out upfront. So my work before the Online Speed Networking Event includes me creating a subscription link for our Online Speed Networking Special Interest Email List using our Customer Experience Relationship Management System and then sending this out on a one-on-one basis using the messaging functionality on Swapcard. In my experience though, if you give a person more than one task to complete in a message the chances of them completing both are very limited... So I'm going to consider rather sending this second call to action in a separate message the day after the first message. I will aslo have to ensure I include a capture form to capture the referred email addresses. I can do this by customising the sign-up form created on our Customer Relationship Management System.
During the event I can then ask each attendee when I see them 'face-to-face' if they have subscribed to my email list and if not, why not. I can also ask if they've referred a friend, and if not why not. I'll be sure to ask this in a non-pushy way though! The relationship is more important than immediate results! Whatever the answer I will either get results or valuable feedback which will help me streamline my strategy going forward!
After the event I will include in the thank you message a link to the special interest email list and ask them to, if they've maybe though of anyone else in the meantime that could perhaps benefit from this type of content/ events, again recommend some friends that could benefit from this type of intervention. I am happy that this action plan will effectively give me 3 chances to grow my email list; not only with the number of attendees at the event, but also with the number of referrals from attendees! To me it sounds like this strategy could really pay off in future in terms of increasing the number of people reached via email each week, thus enabling me to build relationship with a wider audience.
SMART Goal #3: Gain 150 new leads for Explore ProTech and the Explore ProTech Entrepreneurial Community by profiling 100% of the attendees and creating 4 new Special Interest Email Lists with a laser targeted focus around the interests disclosed by the attendees by the end of day 5 after the Online Speed Networking Event (so by 2 October 2020).
SMART Goal #3 Strategy
So, at this point in time, I would feel really chuffed if SMART Goal 1 & 2 is achieved. My 3rd goal is therefore more centered around doing some market research to enable me to produce content that will further engage this audience, show that I listen to my community (and potential customers) and create more goodwill, thus further building my credibility and relationship with the various attendees.
So for this goal I am going to use a Mentimeter Link that I will send out in the 'before' messages upfront to ask the attendees what their biggest stumbling blocks in business currently are. I think I'll give away something free that is linked at the end of the 'survey' in order to encourage people to answer the question. I'll leave the question open ended so that people can write as much or as little as they want.
During the event I can then ask the attendee I'm seeing at the time if they've already answered my question and if not, they can just give me their answer and I'll capture it for them. I'll keep the Mentimeter Link open on the side so I can capture answers as I go... :)
After the event I can then use Mentimeter to present the results in a Wordcloud summary, which I can email out to all participants to have a look at with a special thank you to them because they would've assisted me in doing this research. I'll also ask if they have anything further to add based on the wordcloud that they click on the Mentimeter link to capture their feedback.
This will again give me 3 chances to obtain the market research that will enable me to identify special interest email lists that these people will actually be interested in. Once I've created the lists I can then use the speed networking special interest list to include at the bottom a message about "if you are interested in these topics; please subscribe to these additional lists...". I am hoping that this approach will REALLY assist me to laser target my email campaigns so that I deliver to every single person that is subscribed only content that they WANT, because that is the only way to build relationship and relationship is the only way to create loyal, happy, satisfied customers that will support you in business and life forever!
Wow, that was a mouthful!
I didn't even realise that I had this much to say on this topic until I started writing this blog post! LOL! Anyway, I hope you found this blog post helpful and that you're atleast starting to see the potential of investing time and money in this type of Online Speed Networking Event if you're using this type of strategy to ensure you know what you want and you get what you want from every single event you attend!
Remember time is precious and time is money, so if you're going to be investing your time in ANYTHING, there always MUST BE a pay off for it... And if you're not sure what they pay off is going to be that's a signal that you need to spend a bit more time on business strategy...
Hope that makes sense and that this helped you! Do you want to share your action plan as it relates to your goals for the next Online Speed Networking Event with me? Me and the other #ProTechMentors will be more than happy to have a look at, and give feedback on your action plan if you want to pop your plan into the comments below :)
Until next time! Sending lots of love in life and especially in business your way!
Nestene Botha is a Registered Auditor, Chartered Accountant, Tax Practitioner, proud #ProTechMentor and one of the founders of Explore ProTech. The expertise she contributes to Explore ProTech spans the fields of entrepreneurship, business, training, course building, coaching, marketing, networking, writing and more. Hence why the team has dubbed her their “Chief Executive Dreamer”. She is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs find, unlock and unleash their inner value - in life and in business.
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