Boost sales, launch brand new lines, build connections in addition to gain exposure — all by your laptop or smartphone.
6 min read
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What empowers an aspiring entrepreneur to become a leader? Experience, understanding in addition to knowledge of business foundations in addition to practices are essential. Even so, there’s no way to overstate the impact an entrepreneur’s network of like-minded peers, mentors in addition to customers can have on the big picture in addition to the modest details, too.
No surprise, then, of which creating yourself available in addition to visible can be one of the best ways to connect with leaders. You can leverage your time at conferences in addition to networking events, or you can reach out directly via email, messaging apps in addition to a personal phone call.
yet how do you go by striking up a conversation to building a relationship without wasting anyone’s time — including your own? Over a recent two-week span, I organized an online event of which enabled me to connect with more than 100 business leaders in addition to draw nearly 6,000 participants.
Never hosted an online event? No problem. These strategies can help you across a variety of business-need categories:
- If you’re beginning your entrepreneurial journey, you might seek mentorship, feedback or validation to help “presell” an idea.
- If you’re working to take your company to higher level, you may need promotional partnerships, brand new clients or publicity.
You can follow a few key steps to launch a successful experience around your idea, with little to no budget.
1. Define a topic.
Your event’s topic should be relevant to your industry, category or interest group. of which’s the no-brainer. A carefully designed event will build lasting relationships with leaders in your space. of which also can help grow an audience of people who can provide feedback on your ideas, buy your products in addition to refer you to different leads.
The potential can be huge, so of which’s crucial to make sure the subject will resonate with your target participants. Because my focus can be on providing entrepreneurs with resources to help them bootstrap their ventures, I launched the Bootstrapping Summit.
First, though, I needed to learn whether such an event would certainly find its mark. I floated the idea by emailing a sample group of subscribers by my larger newsletter list in addition to asking for their feedback. If you don’t have a newsletter or customer base, post your idea in online communities in addition to groups. This specific can be also a great way to build a group of ambassadors who can help you promote the event when of which’s live.
2. List 100 potential speakers.
Once you define the topic, your search for speakers becomes straightforward. Google search in addition to tools such as Buzzsumo in addition to SparkToro can help you create a list of top influencers within a few hours. Speed up the process even more by identifying the Top 5 podcasts in your industry, then use keywords inside search box to narrow the list of guests. Anyone who’s been invited to the best podcasts should be regarded as a credible voice in your market.
3. Reach out for an interview.
Experts like to be treated like experts. For the Bootstrapping Summit, I made my pitch to 250 successful entrepreneurs, in addition to 163 of them answered. I aimed for 100 speakers, yet your goal might be much different.
Timing in addition to relevance are two key factors to influencers’ willingness to respond in addition to be part of any event. If you scoured top podcasts to generate your list of potential speakers, you can review the most recent interviews in addition to reach out having a note about the episode. Demonstrate your genuine interest by including a few follow-up questions of which expand on the previous segment in addition to preview the expertise you wish they’ll share at your event. You’ll elicit far more responses by recent podcast interviewees than those whose episodes published a year ago.
Podcasts aren’t your only channel for free resources. You can search for recent articles, YouTube videos or speaking engagements in addition to follow the same type. To locate email addresses, consider a tool such as Voila Norbert.
4. Ask them to promote the event.
Getting industry leaders to dedicate 30 or 45 minutes for your online event can be only one part of the success equation. The most effective way to spread awareness in addition to drive registrations can be to provide each of your experts having a compelling reason to become your advocate.
There’s no one-approach-fits-all answer to convince influencers to promote your event to their audiences. There are some best practices, however. First, inquire about their needs in addition to short-term objectives. Spend some time thinking about their goals in addition to then propose meaningful ways you could help. Offer them something of value.
As I prepared for the Bootstrapping Summit, I asked one of these simple questions: “What’s your short-term goal?” I learned some speakers were looking for ambassadors to help market their own upcoming launches, so I proposed to be one. different speakers were looking for referrals, so I made sure I connected them with the right people. I discovered of which most speakers were happy to share “just because” — in addition to because being part of a closed group of experts brings big branding value.
5. Recruit promotional partners.
Before pitching my event to potential partner companies such as RightMessage, ClickMeter, Rebrandly, Zenkit, Bubble in addition to FreeeUp, I was careful to recruit enough known speakers to grab their attention. I asked each promo partner to email the company’s membership list about the event. My 14 partners brought me nearly 2,000 additional participants I likely wouldn’t have reached otherwise.
6. Be different.
To differentiate your event, you might prepare in addition to share supplemental material, create extra lessons, link to discounts by promotional partner companies or offer an hour of your time to a few winners randomly selected by the participant group.
I set apart my Bootstrapping Summit by organizing six, one-hour, live Q&A sessions with selected speakers. Participants had the chance to ask questions in real time — getting valuable input by leaders who typically charge $500 an hour.
Entrepreneurs often spend too much time trying to solve the wrong problem. Learning by the best while building longlasting relationships can be the best way to shortcut your path to success in addition to cultivate a community of people to share feedback in addition to invest in your products in addition to services.