In one of last month’s articles, ‘The LinkedIn Playbook: Engage, Connect, Convert’, I briefly wrote about why you should never try to make your sale on LinkedIn and instead should aim to convert leads to clients by inviting your connections to free events where you can pitch to them face-to-face. In this article, I’m going to be explaining why this is such an effective strategy, while offering a few pieces of advice as to what you should be offering your guests at these events.
Obviously, for some business owners, inviting your potential clients to a live event isn’t always going to be a viable possibility. If your target audience isn’t based in your local area, then trying to fill a room full of them could be tricky. However, don’t worry if this is the case. Instead of hosting a live event you can invite potential clients to a webinar. The following is a list of why both a webinar and a live event are excellent ways to get the best results for you and your business.
#1 – Proving Credibility by Providing Value
Hosting a live event or webinar is a fantastic way of enhancing your brand’s experience with potential customers. Of course, one of your objectives is to pitch to your guests, but it’s not your only one; in fact, it shouldn’t even be your number one goal! What you really want to be doing is providing your guests with genuine value. Remember that people have probably committed to attending your webinar or event because they’re interested in your product or service. More often than not, this means that they will be in contact with a number of your potential competitors, and that they’re looking for the one with the most credibility or the one that gives them the best experience. Providing top value is a perfect way of proving your credibility; but on the other hand, if you don’t put in the effort you’re in danger of damaging your reputation.
Of course, by simply going to the effort of putting together your event or webinar, you’re already proving that you’re a serious and well-organised business. However, you want your potential clients to walk away feeling wow’d. One of the best ways to do this is through your keynote speaking. Don’t just talk about your business. Use it as an opportunity to discuss topics that your potential clients are genuinely interested in. In order to do this, you’ll have to have a really good idea of your client avatar (you can find out more about building a profile of your ideal client here). Why not also get other speakers in to deliver talks on subjects that they’re experts in? The more value you’re able to provide, the more chance you have in the long run of making that vital conversion.
#2 – Creating Company
Don’t think that you have to do all the work at your event or webinar. The chances are that your list of guests are going to have a fair amount in common, so you’re offering them value by simply putting them in a room together. If you get enough of your potential clients to come, they’ll create the energy and feed off of one another. This works for you as a business owner because, at the end of the day, you’ve got to sell something. By being in the same company you’re reinforcing the fact that other people are having similar problems (that you can solve!).
Obviously, this works best at a live event but it can be effective for webinars too. Try to include a way for your online guests to see who else is watching, and maybe even a platform for them to communicate with each other via text. This way, you’re creating a channel of engagement for them as well as offering them the chance to do some networking among themselves.
Talking with guests at a live event or webinar is an invaluable way of gathering information about your ideal client. Find out what motivated them to come, what problems they’re facing in business and what solutions they’re looking for. It’s a perfect opportunity to bolster your client avatar profile.
#3 – Creature Comforts
Don’t be disheartened if you don’t convert your leads to clients during your event or webinar. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you haven’t provided them with value and left a good impression; it could simply be that it isn’t the right time. By impressing your guests you will have established enough credibility for you and your business that they’ll be sure to think of you when they start actively looking for the solutions that you’re offering. Often, by hosting great events and webinars you create a steady and consistent stream of clients who come to you.
Remember, nothing beats face-to-face contact; in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever made a big sale without first meeting the client either personally or via Skype. I wrote in a previous article that people hate being sold to on LinkedIn, but they’re not opposed to buying. When you host an event, why not invite guests for a coffee in the future to further discuss their business problems and the solutions that you offer? You can do this on Skype or Zoom if the potential client isn’t based in your local area. You can find out about the do’s and don’ts of Skype calls in my latest book, The LinkedIn Playbook.
By now it should be clear that the benefits of hosting an event or webinar far outweigh the hassles and anxieties that might come with it. Remember that doing so is not only likely to be a major immediate boost in clients for your business, but will also likely result in a steady stream of clients coming to you in the future.
I’ll be getting into this topic and many others in much more detail in the next few articles, so be sure to stay tuned in order to learn more about how you can use LinkedIn to work for you and your business.
Also, check out our FREE 4 Week Twitter marketing course below if you’re looking for help in generating great, high-quality leads on Twitter.