Planning a live event in 2020? 

I haven’t shared live event strategies before – but actually, Team Hirsh launches live event marketing strategies on the regular!

And right now, we’re in the middle of marketing our own LIVE event (read about that below!)… 

So in this episode, I’m taking you step-by-step through my thought process, including what works + doesn’t work in the online “influencer” space right now, PLUS… 

  • This MAJOR misconception about marketing a live event
  • My 3 keys to SOLD OUT success
  • And why it’s *worth* it… (even though you likely won’t MAKE BANK)

Of course, we’ll go into detail about some of the best real-life strategies for organic + paid advertising, too!

Tune into another short + sweet “lesson in marketing,” and then head over to Instagram (@emilyhirsh) to leave your comments + questions on my latest post.

And if you want to meet me LIVE? Join Team Hirsh at our {exclusive} 2-day LIVE event in Austin, Texas, on March 26-27! EARLY BIRD TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE!

Remember this is NOT your average weekend workshop – we’re getting hands-on and in-depth with you + your brand, so you can walk away with greater clarity, complete strategy, and the breakthrough you’ve been waiting for… 

Key Points: 

[2:24] This is a major misconception about marketing live events

[3:55] Thinking about marketing to cold traffic? Think again.

[6:51] The 3 KEYS to marketing your live event… 

[9:21] Honestly, very few people make money off their live events. So, what’s the point? 

[11:30] Looking for specific live event strategies? 

[14:08] Make sure you have enough time to promote!

[15:41] Join me + my Team in Austin, TX on March 26-7 for complete clarity on your marketing strategy!

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Episode Transcripts:

Hello everyone. Welcome back to the podcast. Thanks so much for tuning in today. Today, I’m going to dive into marketing live events. I haven’t done a podcast on this before. We run a lot of traffic for different clients’ live events, and then also, we are doing our [own first] live event (so we will link to getting those tickets in the show notes, if you want to come). But, it’s March 26 and 27 here in Austin, [Texas]. It’s a very intimate, small event. We’ve capped it at 30 [reservations], so we only have a few spots left actually, because we first opened it up… it was a bonus for our IGNITE students, so we opened it up only to all of our IGNITE students, it was included. And then for the remaining seats, we opened it up to the public.

So we’ve been doing a little bit of marketing for that on our end. We obviously, also, help clients with marketing their live events, and so I figured I’d do a podcast about it, because I haven’t really talked about it before. But I get a lot of questions [about this]. And I think that a lot of people, too, who have never done a live event, they see either mentors or coaches or people they look up to doing live events, and they want to do it, and they think it’s a really good idea for their business, and they are interested in that. And so I wanted to do a podcast, kind of, about my thoughts about it and marketing it, and then also some strategies on marketing live events.

So first of all, I think that people think marketing a live event is a lot easier than it really is, and that’s one of the biggest misconceptions. And it’s funny, I actually have had conversations with Russell Brunson about this before, and he’ll tell you how hard it is to market a live event! He does a massive one, Funnel Hacking Live, every year, and he will even tell you that it’s difficult, because a live event is such a massive commitment to the person that you’re marketing to. So if you think through that, marketing a live event, you’re asking someone to not only get a ticket to a live event… which, of course, costs money… and sometimes they’re even cheap, and it’s hard to market it… but two, you’re asking them to take time, days potentially, out of their schedule… [and] three, you’re asking them to pay for travel, flight, hotel, food… [and] potentially leave their family or leave their job if they have one. Just the amount of logistics that goes into getting someone to a live event and the commitment it requires from them is so much more than, “Come watch my webinar, and buy my course,” right, “From the comfort of your home.”

And so because of that hurdle that you have to get over, it makes them much harder to market. And so oftentimes, I see people have this misconception that they can put on this live event, and they’ve never done it before and they don’t have a big audience, and it will be super successful. And that rarely works, honestly. Tough love here for you, tough truth, but that rarely works.

So when marketing a live event… this is what I always tell people, because I’ve gotten this question a dozen times at least, of, “What are your strategies for marketing a live event?” Marketing a live event is all about your warm traffic. And here’s the thing, everything you do in between the marketing of that live event… let’s say you do an annual live event… all the other marketing you do not around that live event, but leading up to it and building that warm audience, your list, the other things that you maybe sell, your audience, your warm traffic… it’s what’s going to feed the actual success of the live event.

So for us, here’s a great example. I don’t have a massive [goal]. It’s not like I’m trying to sell thousands and thousands of tickets. But we’re pretty much just marketing to our warm audience for this live event. I’m not even trying to get into cold traffic and people who don’t know me, to get them to come to Austin for this event at the end of March, because I know that it won’t work. People need… to sometimes even just buy a course, [people] need to have multiple touch points with your brand, to build that trust. In order to get them to fly to a city, take two or three days or whatever out of their schedule, they’re going to definitely have to have multiple touch points with your brand before coming to your live event. Or maybe someone referred them. That also works, if a friend really knows you and is like, “I’m going to this live event. Will you get a ticket and come with me?” Then I can see it, for sure. But marketing a live event is about the warm traffic, and it’s about the retargeting and the multiple touch points.

So if you plan on doing a live event, the success is going to come in [the form of], “What is everything else you’re doing with your marketing, to feed that marketing for the live event?” So in the “off” time and in the time leading up to it, are you building your list? Are you putting out videos? Are you building your brand? Are you building your following? Are you building trust with people so that you have an audience to then target when it’s time to market your live event? So that’s the key to success.

The second key is the retargeting, because most likely people are going to look at event pages a couple of times before they decide to buy the ticket. So if you don’t have retargeting set up for [everyone] who’s clicked to show interest in that event page, you’re missing out on money of ticket sales. Because people who click, they’re checking it out, checking the dates out, probably thinking through in their head if they could go, checking their calendar… they’re considering it! Very few people are going to go click, see the dates, [and say,] “Sign me up, yes!” …unless you’re Russell Brunson, unless you’re a digital marketer with traffic and conversion, [unless] you have that brand name and recognition [where] people are just waiting for the release of it. If you don’t have that, people are probably going to check that page a few times, three, four, five times maybe, before they’re like, “Yeah, I want to go, and I’m convinced to do this.” And so with retargeting ads, your job is to convince them, they have to be there at this event.

So for us, we have retargeting ads, obviously, for our event, for people who have gone to the sales page, where we are talking about all the reasons why you have to be there. It’s a small, intimate event. It’s not just an event with presenters feeding you information, but we’re going to actually get marketing stuff done. We’re going to explore everything from your strategy to your messaging to the implementation. You’re going to walk away with Facebook ads built, with a funnel strategy in place, it doesn’t matter if you’re a new business, an existing business ready to scale. Team Hirsh is is flying out there to support everybody with it. It’s not just me, but we’re going to actually workshop-style, get things done. So all of those things that would excite my ideal person coming to the event, we’re sharing in retargeting ads, and we’re trying to convince people to come, and build that trust and really make it feel like, “I need to be there, because I know that that will add value to my business.” So, those are the keys to it.

Now, we can talk about some more marketing events strategies, but whenever I have this conversation with somebody, first of all, I tell them it’s very hard. It’s very hard to market a live event, that is a reality. Live events are expensive. There’s very few people who make a lot of money off their live event. They, oftentimes, will make money off of what they sell at the live event. But the actual ticket sales and production of a live event, the cost of marketing it and getting people to come, and then also putting the event on itself, is very rarely profitable, that’s the reality. But people often have offers at their live event that they sell, or pitch and sell, and that’s how they make their money. And so they need to get people there for that reason.

So first of all, [it’s] very hard to market a live event. Second of all, it’s all dependent on your warm traffic, really, truly… the data has shown me this time and time again. Your warm traffic is who’s going to come. Because of the hurdle to get somebody there, and the massive commitment it is for somebody to sign up for your live event [and] to attend, it’s crucial that they trust you already and they feel like, “I have to be there,” and they’re excited to be there. And so, the way that works is, everything you do leading up to it, before and after your live event, is what’s going to create the success of your actual live event.

And then the third [key] is retargeting. People are going to look at the sales page multiple times before deciding to come to your live event, and you need to make sure that you’re convincing, very convincing, [with] why they should be there. Do not just make it seem like another live event or another event or another mastermind or whatever. Why is it different? Why should they be there? What’s the benefit to them? What’s the benefit to their business? If they take that time out of their schedule, out of their business, from their family, and they each go and travel, and they do this event, why should they do it? How’s it going to benefit them? Look at it through that lens, because that’s how convincing you have to be to get someone to make that commitment and want to go.

And then a few other event strategies… obviously, if you’ve done a past event, any video that you have from that event, showing the attendees having fun, showing that kind of engagement, is great for your marketing. So we don’t have that right now. I haven’t done a live event. So what we’re actually using is some of our team retreat photos, just anything showing that engagement and that excitement of being in a room with other entrepreneurs and other people, and trying to show that. But any way you can do that in your marketing works really well. One thing that works really well is showing like, as you’re leading up to the event, showing you going to the event location and getting it all set up, and talking about it to your audience and how excited you are, and the content that’s going to be there, and the content you’re preparing, and the speakers. And just continually talking about it. And then you can tie that with ad spend. But again, also [this is focused on] your warm audience. So your emails, your social media, your stories, all of that should really show and continue to make that event top of mind in your marketing, so you have that kind of behind-the-scenes connection with people.

And then also, making sure that you are very clear about… I kind of already said this, but you’re very clear about the end result that people are going to get, and you’re clear about what makes your event different. This is where I see people make mistakes is, they’re like, “It’s a health event,” or, “It’s a business event.” And they’re very vague with what the… You don’t have to give away the schedule, and you don’t have to give away exactly what’s going to happen at the event. You actually shouldn’t really do that! But you do have to give away the promises.

And so one of the first things I wrote for my event is, “The promise is you’re going to walk away with a clear understanding of your ideal customer, and if you already have one, an even clearer understanding of your strategy, of your messaging, of your Facebook ads strategy.” I have all these promises, and I gave that to my copywriting team to write the event sales page. And so the promise of what someone’s going to walk away with from the event is really important in all of your messaging… the event sales page, any of your ads, the way you talk. Remember, people don’t know… you might have in your head the idea of all the content and how awesome your event’s going to be, [but] people don’t know that. And so it’s your job to communicate why the event is so awesome, why they should care, and why they’re going to benefit from showing up there and investing time and money and going.

And the final thing is just making sure you have enough promotion time. If you have a live event in February, and you start marketing it in January, you’re not going to see a lot of success, because again, people have to make travel accommodations, childcare arrangements, arrange their schedule, their time. You can’t last minute market live events. We have clients who market them all year for their once a year live event, or six months out, or at least three months out, at least three months out. That’s kind of what we did. [And] the reason we did that is because it wasn’t just a public live event. We were keeping it open only to our IGNITE students and then opening it to the public. I could have done six months of event promotion beforehand. But just make sure you give yourself enough time to market the event so that people can think about it, think about travel arrangements, talk to their partner, all those things that humans have to do to be able to do this. Think through…

That’s why I just always come back to, marketing is the experience that you’re giving someone. Are you’re giving them enough time? Are you making it obvious enough why they need to do this and how it’s going to benefit them in their business? Are you having enough touch points to convince them, showing how awesome the event’s going to be? All of those are really great marketing strategies that really just come from thinking about… put yourself in their shoes. If you were considering coming to your event, what would you need to hear? What would you need to see? And how would you need to be communicated to in order to be convinced to do that?

So that is my strategies for marketing live events. Again, we’ll put in the show notes the link to Ignite Live, here in Austin, Texas. I am so excited for it, because I’m able to put on an event that, honestly, I don’t think anybody else really is, because I have my team. So we’re flying out my creative director, my internal strategist, our IGNITE Success Coach, [and] I’ll be there obviously, and those team members to really help the attendees. And I don’t like going to events where it’s just a bunch of information and you leave feeling like you’ve been blasted, and you’re overwhelmed. So we have it set up a little bit more workshop-style where we’re basically focused on The Hirsh Process, but first thing is, we’re going to make sure everybody has a very clear foundations set up, so their messaging, their strategy, their numbers, and then we’ll move into the strategy and actually working on some of it, and so people can get that individual feedback, so they can be like, “Here’s my funnel, what feedback do you have?” And my Team’s able to give them one-on-one feedback versus just having speakers.

We also have some really cool speakers that are coming, but it’s going to be two days jam-packed [with] implementation, “walking away understanding every piece of my marketing, my messaging, my strategy, my numbers, my goals, my targeting,” all of it. And so I’m super excited for that. I think it’s going to make a really big difference. We have a lot of our IGNITE students going, and then obviously some people who are not in IGNITE also signed up, and I think it’s going to be really fun. It’s going to be really intimate, too. We capped it at 30 [people], so that we could do that workshop one-on-one style and support from the Team.

So if you want to come to that, we’ll put the link in the show notes, Ignite Live. It is March 26 and 27 in Austin, [Texas], and I’m so excited.

Thanks so much for tuning in today, guys. I will see you all on the next episode.