In this post, I’m going to show you how to attract new customers and clients without paying for clicks or ads.
At our SEO Agency we call it the “Make a Kid Smile” marketing system.
Of course, putting a smile on any kid’s face is a joy in itself. However, with this system, the rewards won’t stop there. This strategy will spread your brand, get prospects to remember you, and build your client base.
Here’s what you do:
Buying a bunch of bikes might not be the starting point you expected. Don’t worry; it’s a good one.
1. Log on to Walmart.com or Amazon.com and search for “kid’s bikes.” I like to use Walmart.com because the prices are usually better and they offer free shipping standard.
2. For every size option, buy two pairs of boy’s bikes and two pairs of girl’s bikes. That’s four for 12”, 16”, 18″, 20”, and 24”. Twenty bikes total.
3. If you don’t already have a place to store the bikes, rent a small storage unit. I recommend a 5’ x 10’ unit. It shouldn’t have to break the bank, either. You can rent something that size in my community for just $60.
4. Twenty bikes is a bit too much to cram into the trunk of your Subaru. If you don’t have a way to transport them, rent a 10’ U-Haul truck. Around here, it runs $19.95 a day plus $0.79 per mile.
Once again: shouldn’t break the bank.
Now, you’ll be giving these away at a social event, which may be somewhere away from the storage site. If so, you’ll have to transport the bikes again so they can make a lot of kids smile.
You’ll probably be looking at a budget of up to $1800 USD here in the US. That may seem like a pretty penny, but believe me: if you play your cards right, you’ll get your money’s worth–and then some.
Now that you have the bikes, it’s time to plan the event.
1. As with all marketing, the first step is knowing who your target audience is. The bikes are going to kids. However, besides the kids, their parents, and your staff, who do want to show up at the event? Zero in on the crowd you’re most likely to draw prospects from and cater to their preferences.
2. Design the event to draw a healthy crowd. Food is a great way to attract folks so that a cookout might be in order. Snacks and games for kids help, too, even if they may also be getting bikes. Always ask yourself: “How can make this an event my own family would love to attend?” That’s usually the best gauge to use when weighing your options.
3. Make a list of everything. Everything. That includes where you’re storing the bikes, the order you’ll be presenting them, how many people you expect to show up, what food you’ll serve, how much of it you need, who’s in charge of cooking it, and anything else that comes to mind.
4. Always have a Plan B. Assume that whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and be prepared to change the plan if needed. Make a backup plan–then make a backup plan for that.
5. Have a clear business-related objective for holding the event. Here’s a secret: it’s not just to give bikes away. Instead, your purpose is to attract prospects to your business. What service or product would you like those prospects to notice? Bring that out front and center so you’ll have a chance to help people drawn by the incentives–food, prizes, and bikes.
6. Know your limitations, and don’t ignore them. If your budget can’t handle an expense, then cut it. If you can’t afford to give twenty bikes away, give ten. If you can’t afford to offer food and drink, opt out of that part of things. Better to keep your promises realistic than to bite off more than you can chew.
7. Create goals, and make them specific. Exactly how many new clients do you want to get? How many widgets do you want to sell? How many brochures do you want to pass out? Without setting goals, you can’t judge whether you’ve succeeded or not.
8. Give a good reason for the right people to show up, and make sure they hear it loud and clear. It’s going to be fun; kids will be getting bikes; you’ll be serving hot dogs and soda; little ones get a free shot at winning prizes from the duck pond. Be creative.
9. Find the right kids to receive the bikes. You could run contests on Facebook offering prizes to any parent who generates the most viral traffic. Many people have learned how to win stuff on Facebook. They’ll move heaven and earth to get a free bike for their darlings.
The downside is that the bikes probably wouldn’t be going to those who could use them the most. Ask your local elementary school office, food bank, or church to find kids who might not have another opportunity like this.
To strike a healthy balance, give ten away via contests and the rest to needy kids.
This one should be pretty self-explanatory. Remember:
1. Keep the page name simple and easy to remember.
2. Make critical details such as date, time, and venue readily available.
3. Design a flyer and post it on all relevant pages.
4. Create a short video telling people how their kids can qualify for the bikes. Show them how much fun the event is going to be for the whole family.
5. Add a Call-to-Action to inspire people actually to show up.
WordPress Plugins are a great way to advertise an event. Here are some calendars you could add to make it easy for people to check their availability and RSVP:
1. The Events Calendar By Modern Tribe, Inc: https://wordpress.org/plugins/the-events-calendar/
2. Events Schedule WordPress Plugin: https://codecanyon.net/item/events-schedule-wordpress-plugin/14907462
3. Timetable & Event Schedule: https://motopress.com/products/timetable-event-schedule/
4. Event Calendar WD Responsive Event Calendar: https://wordpress.org/plugins/event-calendar-wd/
5. Simple Google Calendar Plugin: https://wordpress.org/plugins/google-calendar-events/
If you want people to show up to your event, you’re going to have to tell them about it. Here are some options to consider:
1. List your event on local event pages. Get it added to local event calendars both online and on traditional media. Local cable stations usually run a listing of community events within their news broadcast. Some can also provide advertising for local events–these are generally cost-effective.
You can find event pages by searching the following on Google:
• City + State inurl:events
• City + State inurl:submit-event
• City + State intitle:submit-event
• City + State intitle:submit event
2. Local businesses are often willing to contribute to help with the expenses of organizing a special event. Many companies are involved in community events and are more than willing to offer assistance, especially well-known companies. They can even deduct the amount they contribute on their tax return.
Businesses with limited resources may help in other ways, such as handing out flyers or putting up a poster. Failing that, you can at least get them to link to the new event page you just created. Not only will that bring more people to your event, but it’ll also create local links to your site–a vital SEO tactic for improving your search rankings on Google Maps.
3. Use Twitter Advanced Search to find people who live nearby and are interested in your topic. Mention them in tweets about the event or tweet to them directly with a friendly invite.
4. Post the event on Facebook and LinkedIn with the flyer from your own site’s event page. Mention any speakers or entertainers at the event, and encourage them to share it with their networks. Update the page multiple times to remind people of any registration deadlines.
5. Industry and trade associations may also promote your event if it’s relevant to their audience. Ask if they will accept, post, or support events from outside organizations. Chambers of commerce are often happy to give publicity, especially if any organizers are members themselves.
7. Let the press know. There are probably journalists who cover local events. Find them by searching for similar events in news websites. If you can get their attention, you may get a bit of press.
Your ultimate goal is to make many kids happy. If you can’t make this one happen, you may as well skip the whole shebang. Don’t worry, though; you can make it happen.
1. Set expectations as high as you reasonably can, then deliver on them. Make sure the audience has a great experience, not just a good one. See to it they get what they expected. The last thing you want is kids feeling disappointed when they leave.
2. Attitude is contagious. In large part, your guests will play off of your mood during the event. Lead by example and have a good time so they will too.
3. The general crowd reaction should be your barometer for success. Read the audience during the event. Introduce yourself, find out how people are doing, and get acquainted with them all. If things are going great, you’ll know–and if they aren’t, you’ll know that, too.
4. Don’t let anyone fool you: it isn’t just what’s inside that counts. Style matters. Look the way you want people to see you. Even if you are an accountant or lawyer, choose your most distinctive suit or tie. Guests will remember how comfortable you were in your skin, and slovenliness never inspires confidence.
You’ve bought your bikes, made your plans, and opened your metaphorical doors to the world. Don’t waste this opportunity!
- Some of your registrants may not follow you on social media yet. Use the event to encourage them to start. Never miss a chance to promote your social media accounts.
- Similarly, some may not be subscribed to your email updates yet. Link to your email signup form to grow your list and promote your email marketing campaign.
- Then, with a broader online audience after the event, it’s time to share stories, say thanks, and stay connected.
- Show your gratitude by thanking the speakers, sponsors, and attendees in follow-up tweets and posts.
- Put a few of the best photos from the event on Facebook and Google+. Be sure to tag and mention people. Show those who didn’t come what they missed out on so they’ll know to mark their calendar for the next shindig.
- In the days after the event, keep an eye open for tweets, mentions and blog posts from others. Hopefully, hashtags will make this easy. When you see any positive remarks, share them! People will take more note of praise you get from others than any you give yourself.
See? It’s simple, it’s useful, and it’ll change your business forever.
Just buy some bikes, set up an event where lucky kids can win them, offer food or other treats and incentives, market the event in every way you can, and let the prospects roll in.
The best part? It’s a fresh approach, and people love novelty. More than likely, none of your competitors have been down this road before.
Most businesses try to grow themselves on Facebook by paying for likes. That means losing too much money for too little in return.
The Make a Kid Smile system helps kids, promotes healthy families, and establishes good will in the community. It also generates local links, which improve Google Map rankings dramatically. Moreover, at the core of it all, it attracts potential customers to your business.
Now if that doesn’t just scream “dang good investment of your time and money,” I don’t know what does.