Finding folks who are interested in your one-on-one services is one of the most challenging roadblocks most service providers face.
Other than cold calling (ick), what’s a coach, VA, consultant, writer, insert-your-service-here to do?
Well, a few years back, I stumbled onto one of the best ways to find new prospects that I’ve ever come across.
The Simple Strategy for Attracting 1,562 (or More!) Prospects for Your Programs, Products and Services
Every year, I’m grateful to take part in a contest with dozens of other business owners, where we raffle off one of our done-for-you service packages to a few grand prize winners.
And the beauty of this is that every single person who registers is a prime candidate for working with us one-on-one.
They may not be ready (or able) to invest at the moment, but many of them are actively searching for the particular solution offered in the contest.
And while in that case I do benefit from the collective promotional effort of the event, I’ve also hosted my own contests in the past to get a quick boost of exposure. Here’s how you too can use a similar approach and take advantage of the extraordinary reach of social media and your existing newsletter list/customer database to begin connecting with people who are interested in your services right now.
3 Steps to Creating Your Own Contest that Draws Potential Clients into Your Biz
Step 1: Decide what you’ll give away. First you need to ID the specific service, package or program you’ll give away. If you’re not sure, start by deciding exactly WHAT you want your winner(s) to accomplish with your giveaway. Will they have a plan for losing their next 20 pounds? (After which, by the way, you can offer them coaching to help them implement and stay accountable.) Will they know without a doubt what their dream job is, based on their unique talents and passions? People need to feel like they’ll accomplish something, and a specific goal makes your giveaway feel more tangible. One example from my previous contests was to raffle off a 3-page website copywriting package called Turn Website Visitors into Clients, which included access to my Instant Web Copy program, complete with web copy templates, and one-on-one consulting to ID my clients’ irresistible message that will get website visitors fired up to join their mailing list, request a consult, or invest in their solutions (depending on their unique goals). This package also included in-depth copy critiques of up to 3 completed web pages, so that the winners could use our consult and the templates to quickly write the 3 main pages on their website, then send them off to me for a final once-over before publishing.
Hot tip: Ideally, your giveaway will be one that has a high value (to therefore attract more interest) but that doesn’t take up too much of your time. You want to be of service, but a complete web design package, for instance, taking up 20-30 hours of your time, at no charge, will take away from time you might spend on paying clients and potentially burn you out. Think instead of a package that will be helpful for them without being too taxing for you. Maybe a website header design, perhaps? (Bonus: once you complete the giveaway, you can offer other services, such as logo redesign, etc.) Or, better yet, access to an information product, home study program, coaching program, etc., that has high value but doesn’t take much (if any) or your one-on-one time would be ideal.
Another hot tip: While you may be tempted to give away some hot gadget, like the newest Apple product, unless you’re in an electronics-related business, save yourself the cash. Reason being that you want to offer something that’s related to your business so that you attract folks who are prime candidates for your product/service offerings rather than folks who are just in it to win a free iPad (and who will then promptly unsubscribe from your mailing list…and growing that list is the whole point, after all :)).
What will you include in your giveaway? _________________________________________
Step 2: Give your package a juicy name. It’s not enough to just say, “Enter to win a free coaching session!” This is vague and intangible, and won’t likely get much interest (unless, of course, you’re already well known in your industry; if you’re still building up to that, you’ve gotta be more specific :)). Use your package name to help them see at a glance what they’re going to GET from their time in the coaching session with you.
Hot tip: You don’t have to get overly witty with the name, but telling folks exactly what they’ll get (especially if it’s something they really want) will go a long way to pique their interest and inspire them to sign up for your contest.
A few examples:
For a marketing coach: Give away a 90-minute coaching session called “Identify out Your 6-figure Marketing Roadmap”
For a nutrition/wellness coach: Give away a 90-minute coaching session called “Determine the 3 Must-Eat Power Foods Unique to YOUR Body Style that Will Melt Away the Excess Pounds” (Note: that’s just an example to get your wheels a-turning. I’m no nutritionist and have no idea if there really ARE power foods or if they would work in weight loss. Okay, moving on! :))
Your turn: Give your giveaway a juicy name. _______________________________________
Step 3: Create your contest opt-in page. While there are software programs out there to help you set up elaborate contests, to be honest, your best bet to get your contest up and running quickly is to create a simple yet effective opt-in page to draw prospects in. Of course, you’ll include an opt-in form that will put the folks who enter on a mailing list, from which you (or your assistant) can randomly choose the winner(s) once the contest ends.
And by the end of the event, you’ve also got a list of folks who stepped forward and said, “YES! I want your service/package/program.”
Once you’ve got your opt-in page all ready to go, you can start promoting it to your peeps on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. etc. and get the buzz rolling about your super cool new contest. 🙂
Bonus tip: Once the contest ends, reach out to the registrants with a “thanks for entering the contest” gift, such as a free teleseminar or free consultation, on a topic that’s related to your grand prize. For example, gifts for registrants of a website copywriting package might be invited to a free teleseminar about writing their home page (which then leads into a paid website copywriting workshop) or a free consultation in which you evaluate their home page content against a 10-point compelling copy checklist (and then, if their website needs a little help, offer them a service package where you will work with them to fix the problems). The point is to offer them something of value while also inviting them to take advantage of a product, service or program that will solve the challenge that brought them to you in the first place.
Now, if you’re wondering what to write on your opt-in page(s) to get folks all tingly in excitement of joining your contest, check out our Instant Opt-in Copy Templates, which comes with a fill-in-the-blank template that can be used to very quickly write opt-in pages promoting anything from contests to free teleseminars to free consultations, reports, videos, or any other gift you want to give away in exchange for a prospect’s contact info. Plus also comes with a swipe file of 19 samples to help you see the template in action and get inspiration while you create your own winning marketing campaigns. Click here to get the 4-1-1 on your Instant Opt-in Page.