Two weeks ago I wrote about collaborating to raise awareness of your market and last week, opportunities to research your market with competitors. This post looks at events, practical things to try with competitors, to raise awareness of the problem you solve.
Meetings and Conferences
To enrol people to an event, is an effective way to find and educate a market. Advertise it as a training event or opportunity to find out more about the problem and potential solutions. If you collaborate, you have a ready pool of potential trainers and speakers.
The main problem is financial and time costs. The biggest cost is promoting the event and ensuring people sign up and turn out for it. This is particularly difficult where your market isn’t aware of the problem.
Collaboration saves on costs, the reason many events fail. It’s also an opportunity to pool ideas and extend networks.
If your event aims to raise awareness, it’s not a good idea to sell direct at the event. It’s an opportunity to begin relationships that in time lead to sales. Agree to share a database of contacts or ask people who are interested to sign up with you direct.
Whilst training events bring people together while generating income, they are not always the best option. Aim for regular contact to get to know your market. Networking events allow regular attenders to build relationships over time.
Collaboration means you share leadership activities. You share the work to keep track of members, keep them informed and find speakers and activities.
It’s interesting most network meetings are generic. Is it worth trying themed networks? Could you network around marketing, building capacity, finance, financial management, sales or social media? Build a network of competitors while other businesses pass through as they seek help with your speciality.
Social media is better for raising awareness than it is for sales. When you plough your own furrow, you move people from support for your thing on social media to your email list. So, why do few businesses collaborate on social media?
For example, a Facebook Group about some problem might draw attention, especially if supported by several businesses. They each contribute from their unique perspective and encourage members of the group to contact them, join their lists or attend their meetings.
If you share a conference, network or social media point of contact, then promoting it through conventional media is possible. An article, radio or TV item that promotes the joint work may be effective.
Conventional media is time limited. This is less true of online media. So, you need something people can respond to straight away, somewhere they can go to find out more. The big advantage is you are likely to reach people who don’t access social media. Work out how to draw them into your network once they make contact.
Which leads us to the next topic. Once you raise awareness of the problem, how do you help people understand there are solutions?