Are you familiar with the adage – “If you build it, they will come?” If only that was all it took when building a brand.
As a small business owner, you’ve probably thought to yourself, “I’m not a saleswoman or salesman, how am I supposed to market myself or product – on top of everything else? You’re a business owner, not a salesperson—I get it. But, no sales, no business.
When building a brand and selling a product, there is more than social media blasts and coupons to reach your target audience and win loyal repeat customers. Events build brand awareness, a loyal customer base, and a dedicated community of ambassadors eager to spread your word.
The real beauty of hosting an event is that you can sell without actually selling. No pushy pitch or powerpoint needed. How, you say? Let us walk you through the advantages and some tips for throwing a client appreciation event.
What can a client appreciation event do for you?
Throwing a client appreciation event is a way to build and strengthen your relationship with your network and can be the best use of marketing dollars that you can spend.
Please keep in mind that this is not just throwing a party to throw a party. This is mistake #1. The primary goal of your client appreciation is still to generate business and get a return on your investment.
Hosting an event is an excuse to touch base, reinforce the fact you are in business, and a way to humanize your brand. A client appreciation experience strengthens your relationship with your network to encourage referrals and repeat business.
Who should you invite?
Client appreciation events are not just for past clients. The general rule of thumb is about 75% current customers, 25% prospects. Consider also your friends, family, and past co-workers. They are future clients and prime referral sources. Each of them has the ability to introduce your service to someone in their sphere. Your personal network is also the most likely to attend. Inviting them allows them to see you in a professional light. Often this is what it takes to turn them from a “friend” into a referral source.
How much should you spend?
Whatever it takes. To start, take into account – How much does each of your Customers spend on your product or service per year? How long have they been a Customer? The answers will help to determine in marketing what is called the customer lifetime value (CLV). CLV is a projection to estimate a customer’s monetary worth to a business after factoring in the value of the relationship with a customer over time.
Most importantly, remember your customer. When planning, be sure to consider their demographics, expectations, and sensitivities. As an example, customers for luxury products expect a VIP experience. Therefore, keep the event small, but high-end. Similarly, customers for more practical products may prefer a low-key barbecue versus a black-tie affair. Regardless of where your brand fits, spend the time to make sure it is a personalized experience.
Build a brand people know, like, trust and refer. Client parties will bring you business and build your brand when done correctly. The key is to not overthink it and brand them.
Need ideas? We have some out-of-the-box event ideas sure to make your current clientele happy and capture prospective clients. Reach out!
Eventfully Angela is a premier independent event management partner specializing in Corporate Events and Event Branding. Based in Charlotte, NC, Eventfully Angela fills the resource gaps of businesses both large and small, with premium and customized services. Specialties include full-service planning, sourcing and venue selection, on-site day of support, consulting and contract audits, event marketing and branding, experiential event design, and fully customized event registration websites. 704-754-2627 firstname.lastname@example.org