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Archive for September, 2013

Pay or No Pay Events

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

ID-10052172Events can be a great way to generate new business for trainers, consultants, and professional coaches.  However a common question comes up, “Should I charge for this event and if so how much?” From a marketing perspective the question can be broken down into a balancing act between difficulty of sign-up conversion vs. no shows.

Sign up conversion is how much resistance someone might have for registering for your event.  That can be based on several things but, generally speaking, a higher price will cause more conversion resistance.  If you find that you don’t have as many registrations as you’d like, decreasing the cost or making the event free often will serve to boost sign ups.

No shows are the amount of people that register but then do not attend the event.  A lower cost means that registrants have less invested in the event so are more likely to miss it.  If you find that you have a lot of registrations but they are not showing up then raising the price or charging for the event should increase the commitment to attend from people that sign up.

The balancing act is finding the right fee that balances the amount of registrations vs. commitment to attend.  Testing is simple but should be done gradually.  Having one event after the next with fees bouncing between free then to a higher cost and then back to a minimal cost can serve to confuse your audience.  Rather gradually experiment with cost by trying a price point for several events and then if there is an imbalance either way correcting for it.  This will also serve to ensure that there is a trend based on price and not by other factors.

As a word of caution, teaser events where only some piece of knowledge is presented with a teaser or commercial for people to buy full training is the only time free is acceptable.  If you are offering an in depth seminar or entire training curriculum at an event then there is no question that a fee should be charged. You can test for which price point is most effective but free  or cheap is off the table.

Image courtesy of renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Marketing Over-Strategizing

Friday, September 6th, 2013

If there is a number one offender on why consultant’s, trainer’s, and professional coach’s marketing campaigns don’t work it’s over-strategizing. The best plan ever conceived is worthless if it’s never put in place.  Over-strategizing revolves around one central problem, too much thinking and too little action.

Admittedly marketing consultants and contractors contribute to this problem. Talking about a great idea has more appeal than getting in the trenches and putting the plan in place.  This can get even more problematic for true consultant that will outline a plan but don’t fulfill the suggestions.  In these cases, going from plan to implementation is often challenging or never gets enacted.

Over-strategizing comes in 3 forms:

Inconsistency

Make a plan and then see it through.  Seeing it through requires a good faith effort on results.  If you put a new campaign together then you’ll likely need at minimum 3 to 6 months to gauge results.  If you keep making changes or running too many tests you’re not establishing a base line to measure effectiveness. Unless a campaign starts and causes a noticeable negative impact, a consistent approach is necessary.

Detail Over-Analysis

A strategic plan needs to identify what, to who, when, and how the marketing campaign will be rolled out.  Once that plan is set and responsibilities are assigned, don’t get bogged down in the details.  Laboring over a particular button color should not delay a launch.  Mark it as something to test once the campaign is established but don’t waste time obsessing over small details until you are ready to test.

Emulation

Copying other marketing ideas does not make a strategy.  It results in a mish-mash of ideas without the cohesive strategy to tie it all together.  Emulation also tends to lead down a path of starts and restarts.  One month the strategy copies this, the next it copies that.  Taking ideas and incorporating them into your existing strategy is beneficial, reworking what you are doing to emulate someone else, undermines a strategy.

Keep it simple. Set a plan and then put it in place.  For most web, email, and social strategies that will likely be at least 3 months to get data and trends.  Set a fixed time to discuss strategies, then don’t talk about it again and go do tactical execution.