One marketing strategy that only a few practices do, yet can have some of the best results in terms of building relationships and generating qualified leads, are live events.
Live events can come in several forms:
- Online live events e.g. webinars
- Offline live events e.g. seminars, exhibitions, trade-shows
But for the purpose of this article, I’ll be talking predominantly about live seminars (although some of the points below are relevant to all).
So, what do I mean by a live seminar event?
Simply, it’s a presentation to a specific audience about a particular topic that is currently a problem/pain point for them.
The duration could be anywhere from 1 hour to 1 full day, and the audience capacity could be anywhere from 5 people to up to 100. (This is not to say that you can’t run events longer than 1 day to more than 100 people…)
At my Highly Profitable Accountant Intensive events, I prefer to limit the capacity to 30 people. I’ve found that this allows me to build stronger relationships with the attendees, tailor the content to suit specific needs and problems, and also allows for more intimate, personal discussion.
In a recent article, marketing expert and Forbes contributor, Steve Olenski, suggested that “live brand experiences are more capable of engaging audiences effectively in a big world which is full of digital, sometimes impersonal marketing.”
Bearing that in mind, here are 6 reasons why live events should be part of your practice marketing strategy:
1. You can focus on 1 to many, not just 1 to 1
One of the key benefits of live events is that they allow you to focus your efforts on to a group of people, instead of just individuals. This is a great way to start scaling up your marketing efforts without dramatically increasing the time you need to be involved.
2. It positions you as an expert
Not many accountancy practices run live events, so the ones that do will stand out from the crowd and be seen as having greater expertise. And in the minds of your prospects, if you’re running events and their current accountant isn’t, then that instantly puts you at an advantage…
3. Massive value adding opportunity
Events are probably one of the biggest value adding opportunities for your prospects before they become clients. In a blog you can share 2 or 3 useful tips, but at an event you can spend several hours adding value and also tailoring the content and making it relevant for whoever is sat in the room.
4. They help to build relationships
Running live events allow your prospects to put a ‘face to a name’ that they’ve hopefully already heard lots of good things about. Not only that, live events allow your prospects to ‘experience’ you and your practice, which is an important part in the know, like, trust process.
5. Events generate qualified leads
The goal of any live event in your marketing strategy should be to generate qualified leads. Events do just that because if somebody has given up their time to come and listen to you speak about a particular topic/problem, then chances are that they have a pain point that needs fixing.
6. They can be used multi-purpose
Although the primary aim with your live events should be to generate leads and build relationships with prospects, they can also be used multi-purpose. There’s no reason why your existing clients can’t be invited along to the events if the topic is relevant. By doing so, you can add some extra value to them, put a few extra bums on seats and also have some live testimonials in the room.
Your live events game plan
There’s no doubt that live events should be an essential part of your practices marketing strategy, so what should your next steps be?
- Content – Sit down with your team and brainstorm the content topics. Think about things that are relevant, valuable and also solve problem/pain points.
- Logistics – Decide on the location, duration and capacity of your event.
- Marketing – Create a tactical marketing plan in order to get bums on seats.
- Review – Learn, tweak and adjust to keep improving your events each time.
Who currently runs live events in their practice? What tips do you have for others about running them? And for those who don’t currently run live events, what is it that’s putting you off/stopping you?