One of the best strategies you can implement to have a successful business is attending live events, both to further your professional development and to connect with ideal prospects. Doing so will allow you to stay abreast of current trends in your industry, to connect with like minded professionals and to interact with individuals who are actively seeking the solutions you offer. With a bit of advanced planning, you can turn these events into powerful opportunities to attract new clients and/or joint venture partnerships.
As a solo business owner, you need to take the initiative to research the events that are best suited for your business. Be sure to stay connected with the organizations that support your industry and your ideal clients. Take the time to review their event outlines, speakers and guest list to determine if you should attend upcoming events. Remember, the key to finding new ideal clients is to “hang out” where they are. So if your ideal client will be at the next big industry event – you should be there too.
You’ll want to allocate funds for your continuing education on a monthly or annual basis. This should absolutely be part of your business budget! Attending events can cost $1,000, $1,500 or even $2,000 or more when you add in travel, food, lodging, and of course the cost of the event. While you will have some upfront costs to attend, if you choose the right events the return on investment will more than pay for the expenses involved. If you have the option to purchase a VIP ticket or host a book, that can increase your visibility and give you access to connect with the speakers and event coordinators.
For example, if your ideal prospect has paid the same $1,000+ to attend the event like you did, it shows that they are willing and able to invest in their business or their personal development. This is a major pre-qualifier! So if you provide a solution to a specific problem they’re facing and you showcase that value, it’s not unreasonable to assume that they would be willing and able to pay for your services as well.
Plus, when attending a live event, you get to meet your target audience in a more relaxed setting. There is a spirit of eagerness and excitement, so the foundation of your new relationship is built on this shared experience. That is very powerful — and makes it an easy “sell” when you talk about the services you provide and the problems you can solve for them because you already have that connection.
So, consider attending such events part of your overall marketing costs and a fun opportunity to get out of the office and work ON your business for a few days! Take the time now to research events, conferences and seminars for the fall or early winter. This will give you a head start on finding out where your target audience will be and give you time to budget the costs involved to attend. It will be more than worth your while to attend; you’ll learn something new and get to network with your target audience.
Have you attended any events this year? What type of opportunities developed as a result? Post your experiences on the blog and let me know how this has worked for you!