Had I heard him right?
We were at an industry lunch and the cavernous room was loud so it’s possible. The event professional next to me had said that he told prospective clients who wanted to know more about him to simply look at his Instagram page.
Yet he was perplexed. After all that “hard” work, why wasn’t he being considered for larger budget jobs? “After all, everything they need to know is there.” Hmmmm.
He then asked the waiter for some butter without realizing it was right in front of him. I passed it to him and thought — we are easily distracted. We miss things.
Leaving it up to the client to rummage around on his page was leaving a lot to chance. What he needed was a strategy that was based on something more than hoping the client would look and more important, see the benefits of hiring him.
Through lunch we continued to kick around some ideas of how he could create more experiences that supported clients through their hiring journey.
We talked about some online and offline marketing ideas he might do that didn’t require the client to be the proactive party. Could he…
- Create a mini-magazine using tools such as Canva or Issuu or even hiring a graphic designer, that showcases his high-end work?
- Could he invite certain clients to the set up of one of his events?
- Maybe he could do a series of dinner parties and invite prospective clients?
- What about a heartfelt newsletter to his community?
He nodded his head, but I could tell he thought all of those ideas were a lot of work. I left him with his dessert and his thoughts about why his “fit-it-and-forget-it” Instagram strategy didn’t work.
We all want our businesses to grow, but they can’t do that if we keep doing the same things.
To be honest with you, there isn’t anything wrong with marketing solely through Instagram, provided it has all the bread crumbs for people to follow where you want them to go. Instagram offers branded highlight covers, Instagram Stories and IGTV and even live experiences that allow you to engage with people. And yes, it also means putting a paid ad strategy in place.
The downside is this is way more work than you thought!
And it relies on hoping the client is even there in the first place.
But I think the REAL reason that event pro isn’t getting larger budgets is that he’s forgotten what he’s selling.
He’s not selling pretty pictures. He’s selling support, service and peace of mind. And he let the client down on all three counts right from the words “Check out my Instagram account.”
By starting a relationship with a possible client by offering an open-ended invitation to visit our Instagram page, we are essentially HOPING that person will go and take a look. We are HOPING that the person will see all our hard work and understand that we truly can do anything they need.
Take “hope” out of the equation by taking the client by the hand and offering support, service and peace of mind from the very beginning. Give them an idea of who you are with what we can call “peak marketing experiences.” Those efforts that nurture, that show you have done your research, that are personalized, refreshing and different, steeped in your brand and created from love for what you do. And yes, it will mean a little more work, but that client is worth it, and so are you.