Author Topic: Getting Established (Part 2) - Make Others Do YOUR Advertising For YOU!  (Read 4957 times)

Offline Thomas Dorsher

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The following article is an extension of a previous article. Before reading this post, please make sure you have read the previous Part 1 article:

Sales, Marketing, can be a daunting task, especially if you are not experienced in these matters.  Perhaps you invested heavily in a game show system, foam machines for foam parties, inflatables, photo booth, uplighting, but now getting the word out that you have these add-on services can come with yet another hefty price tag...perhaps more than you can bear at the moment.  So, let's discuss how you can get other people to do your advertising for you.  Most of these solutions below come at little or no cost to you.

First, make a list of all your booking clients.  If you don't have any regular accounts, it is ok.  Make a list of all your potential booking clients.  Even better yet, make a list for both.

Next, make a list of those who will or potentially will benefit from your show.  This list should include the establishment itself (the obvious one), the attendees, the beer distributor that services the establishment, the staff, local businesses, your family, and you.  There are yet others, but let's take a serious look at these key benefactors.

1.  The establishment.  The establishment will obviously benefit from your show; especially if you offer tournament-style trivia (see related postings on the benefits of tournament trivia).  The establishment benefits from drawing a crowd that will likely increase week after week.  They sell food and drinks and they would likely stand to gain significantly with your promoted service.  What avenues are available with the establishment to get them to promote you?

A).  Does the establishment have digital/electronic signage?  Many have outdoor or window marquees that can be utilized.  The thing is YOU WRITE THE MESSAGE.  Not them.  Their focus is their establishment....yours is your service.  The message will reflect the slant.  A great message would appeal to anybody's desire for free stuff, which would be everyone.  A message could be "XYZ bar gives back.  Win free stuff with tournament trivia 6-8 Monday nights".  Keep in mind that if you don't have a regular account on a weekly basis, the tournament can be a mini tournament, where the grand finale occurs at the very end of your show and the winners of each round compete for 1 final round.

B).  The establishment has window and doors.  YOU make a simple flier with very little text.  Make the text big, bold.  Avoid a layout, text gradients, and clip art that make the ad appear cheesy or home made.  I ALWAYS consult my wife, my right-hand guy (Rob), others at DigiGames for their opinions.  This is where I have to be open minded to swallow my pride on critiques.  If you have a few $$ to have it professionally done, this would be recommended.  Remember, it would only be a 1 time expense.  Have the flier professionally done and then all you have to do is plug in the relevant information like dates, time, and location.  A local print facility would be able to put this together for you affordably.  It is always good to see a portfolio of past work to feel comfortable on their design abilities.  If you don’t have the money to have the flier made, tell your establishment that you would like to REALLY get the word out and draw a bigger crowd for them and have them pay for half the cost of the flier.  Do this with 2 establishments and you won’t have any cost at all in its development.   Use semi gloss or glossy paper, of course, as the colors and detail are much more brilliant on that kind of paper.  Once the flier is made, have the establishment put the flier EVERYWHERE!  Where is everywhere??  Everywhere!  The establishment needs to post the fliers at the bar, on bulletins, windows, doors, etc.  Don’t forget the urinal and stalls.  We guys like to read while doing our business.  How about a small folding type for each of the tables?

C).  Radio Ads.  Many establishments utilize radio advertising for promoting themselves.  Often they have contracts with stations for a specific amount of ads per month throughout the year.  Find out if they do any radio advertising and explain that it is only to their benefit to have 2 versions of their radio ad for air time.  Or better yet, explain the benefits of changing their primary ad to include the trivia nights.  I hear all the time ads on the radio for venues mentioning karaoke, DJ, and other services but I never hear the bar mention the entertainer’s company.  Very bad mistake for the entertainer to not have his name included in the radio ad.  When you negotiate a price with the venue, make sure you offer a secondary price that includes the mention of your company name in their radio ads.  This is HUGE for you!!!  Getting your company name heard by thousands of listeners repeatedly is EXACTLY what you want.  With no out of pocket money, you have created a condition that gets your name out regularly.  Granted, you might reduce your service cost for this exposure, but still it is not money out of your pocket.

D).  Sister companies.  I have often found that a venue is owned by more than one individual.  I also find that the owners of the venue own other companies.  A little research or asking questions will reveal such.  Then, make sure those sister companies are well stocked on fliers as well.

E).  Make use of existing billboards  Does the venue have a billboard along a road or highway?  Many venues do.  Drive around and make a list of venues that advertise on billboards.  Don’t forget to note hotels which generally have a lounge and entertainment.  Negotiate a small spot on their billboard.  Again, your exposure would be significant and the venue owner has much to gain by adding a small spot of their billboard to acknowledge the trivia night.

2.   The attendees.  The attendees benefit.  They are there to have a good time.  You are providing it.  How can the attendees go to work for you and advertise for you?

Why not mention "Bring your friends and family"?  Provide an incentive for attendees to bring their own friends and family to the next show.  Perhaps an attendee that brings a friend next week gets a 100 point advantage on their next round of trivia (or whatever you want to offer).  They bring 5 friends, then they get a 500 point advantage.  Or offer to buy them something from the bar.  You might come up with something more creative but you get the idea – provide an additional incentive for attendees.

Could you come up with a 'text invite a friend' style game?  At the start of the show, audience members text invite a guest.  First guest to arrive scores points for the invitee.

3.   Beer distributors.  The local distributors are constantly looking for ways to promote various beverages.  This is because the beverage manufacturers pay them to do just that.  Local distributors are CONSTANTLY giving out hats, t-shirts, signage, etc to venues.  Do they gain from your shows?  Absolutely!  More people drawn to a venue is more sales for the venue.  More sales from the venue means that the venue needs to order more inventory from their distributor.  Look in the phone book and write down all your local distributors.  Why not negotiate a cross promotion with them?

4.  The Staff.  Does the staff benefit?  Absolutely.  In several ways.  First, more people means more tips.  Busy nights mean more people on staff to service the crowd.  Get to know the staff at your venues.  What are their names?  Do you great them?  Small chat with them?  Show a sincere interest in them?  We all love when someone asks us our opinion on a matter.  We naturally feel GOOD.  Apply that to the staff.  Don’t just walk past them when setting up and tearing down your gear.  Always be warm and friendly them and GET TO KNOW THEM!  How can you dignify the staff?  Ask them their opinion on what they would like to see at the show, or how is the volume?  Any feedback from audience members?  Whatever you can think of.  Once you are on great terms with the staff, then ask them to go to work for you in promoting your trivia night.  Many of the staff members work other jobs.  Get them to mention you to their co-worker at their day jobs, or their friends and family.  Simply encourage them to mention ‘The other night was awesome with ABC trivia company.  It was really fun and you should come next Monday night to check it out’.  We naturally want to talk to other about things that excite us.  Face it….you yourself have done it.   Have you ever seen a mind-blowing movie that moved you to tell others about it?  Of course you have.  Now imagine if you financially benefitted by telling others about the movie?  Even greater incentive.  Well, this mind-set is what you would naturally want to encourage the staff to do….especially since they financially benefit themselves by promoting you.

5.  Local Businesses.  Local businesses are constantly looking for ways to promote their products and services.  How about an ad exchange with them?  You play a commercial during your show or add a cutout coupon to your fliers in exchange for them promoting your flier at their establishment.  A good place to start is TV and radio ads.  Note the area businesses that are advertising with these media types.  These businesses are prime targets to approach for cross promoting.  Plus they have a ready-made ad for you to use at your show.   Explain to them ‘I have a 6 month weekly run at XYZ venue.  I would like to promote you there.  Your exposure will be fantastic.’  Additionally, many DigiGames users charge $500 for a 6 month weekly run of a specific local businesses’ product or service.  With 5 businesses participating in this you can make $5000 per year.  Use the money for promoting yourself even further….perhaps your OWN highway billboard.  This is a great way to use other people’s money to promote yourself.

Is the local business in a strip mall with the venue where you are performing?  Businesses that move to a stip mall take into serious consideration other businesses in the mall.  Imagine the foot traffic a sporting goods store would have if it was in the same mall as a Wal-Mart which has HUGE foot traffic.  Businesses that share a tight geographic location with the venue have much to gain.  More people at the venue, translates to exposure to local business.  They then stand to have an advantage.  Make that work for you.  Approach them with what you are doing at XYZ venue and why not negotiate an advertising exchange?

6.  Your Family.  This is great free advertising.  Your spouse, children, aunts, uncles have coworkers, bosses, friends, etc.  Again, make a REAL list….don’t just think about the list.  Your spouse stands to benefit….especially when you bring home a nice check!  Can your spouse invite coworkers to your event?  How about that after-hours social drink with coworkers at your venue?  Can your spouse talk to her boss about the next company party?  Can your spouse talk to her boss about the next employee training session for you?  Or distribute your flier/business card at work?  Post your flier on a company billboard?  Every effort helps!  Your spouse’s coworkers have spouses that work at a job too….and thus word spreads.  Your spouse gains with inviting people for you….bigger crowd at a venue is more money for you…or at the least a very secure contract with the venue.

Do you provide your family with branded apparel?  Set them up with custom hats, t-shirt, jackets.  Now, you could simply have your company name and phone number on the apparel, but how boring!  No one will pay attention.  Come up with something more catchy.  How about 'You can push my buttons', and then a picture of a game show system with text below it 'Win free stuff.  Ask me about my trivia nights'.  Be fun and creative with this.

7.  You!  You obviously benefit.  Of course this article is primarily about getting other to advertise for you, but still some effort is needed on your part.  I look for as many one-shot solutions as much as possible.  In other words, look for ways to perform an effort only once, do it once, and let the effort do its job perpetually thereafter.  Identify them…make a list.  Use every possible free avenue available to you.  Create email databases of as many business owners in your area and send out regular newsletters.  Use Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter.  Does your vehicle reflect your trivia services?  Do you ever advertise a time and location on your vehicle where you are going to be performing next?  It’s free advertising!  Every time you drive you are making your services made known.  How about a vinyl or magnetic sign with a picture of your game show system along with large easy-to-read text?  These are great affordable one-shot solutions.

What clothes are you wearing?  Your body is free advertising.  Make the most of that.

« Last Edit: May 10, 2011, 01:09:39 AM by Thomas Dorsher »