Last year I hosted my first local event since moving to Charlotte. It was a day-long training called Be Seen, all about overcoming your fear of visibility and then creating an aligned strategy to become more visible.
I rented a space that held 50 people, and it was my intention to fill the room.
But at that point I had only lived in Charlotte for a year and didn’t know many people. I knew that simply creating a campaign for Be Seen in my newsletter wasn’t going to cut it (because my newsletter community & client base is international), and that I needed to connect in with folks here in Charlotte to fill the room.
It was a situation for Soul-Centered Guerilla Marketing.
So, what is Soul-Centered Guerilla Marketing?
It’s an intense, persistent and consistent grassroots strategy for giving it “all you’ve got” in order to fill an offering or program.
I am not a big fan of working intensely, because I really believe in sustainable and energizing growth. However, every now and again, there comes a time where it’s appropriate to “go guerilla” and do whatever it takes to fill the room.
Now, just to be clear — I’m not talking about over-working or working late into the night.
Soul-Centered Guerilla Marketing isn’t about wearing you out. It’s about persistent & consistent, no-stone-unturned, grassroots outreach on all levels. (BTW — to do this requires you to stand in your value and be willing to reach out and stretch yourself.)
Here’s what I did to fill Be Seen with a waiting list in a town where I had few connections:
Step 1) 6 weeks before the event, I sent an individual email to EVERYONE I knew here in Charlotte that would be remotely interested in the training or who might know people who were interested in the training. It wasn’t that many people because I didn’t know too many folks here yet.
In that email, I invited recipients to come, and I also asked that they let anyone they know who would be perfect for Be Seen to come as well. And I created a special discounted rate for all those folks.
Step 2) After about a week, I hadn’t really heard back from anyone (it was the week between Christmas and New Years), so I wrote a follow-up email to each individual person.
And then registrations started to come in. By the beginning week of January I had 7 women registered.
Step 3) I went back to my rolodex and emailed anyone else I knew that hadn’t gotten the original email, even folks that were long shots.
Step 4) I sent a campaign out to my newsletter community.
By the end of the first week of January, we were up to 17.
Step 5) Next, I got in touch with 3 women I knew who were highly connected – and they agreed to send out emails to their entire communities on my behalf.
Step 6) I also invited everyone who was already registered to invite a friend for a discounted rate.
By the end of the second week of January we were already up to 36, and I had two weeks to go.
I was feeling pretty good because I was a newcomer in town and had attracted in a nice amount of participants, but I didn’t stop there, because I was determined to reach 50. I knew more guerilla marketing had to be done.
Step 7) Next, I went online to a website that is a community of Charlotte healing practitioners – my ideal clients. I viewed every woman who advertised on that site, and researched her website, and emailed her individually to introduce myself and make an invitation.
6 more women stepped in through those invites. I was at 42.
Step 8) Finally, I went to Facebook. I did a search on any entrepreneur that I was connected with that lived in the Charlotte area (I’m friends with nearly 5,000 folks on FB, so you can imagine, I didn’t know most of those women personally). And I sent each and every one that looked like a possible ideal client an individual message through Facebook, introducing myself and making an invitation to Be Seen.
By 10 days before the event, I was at 52 RSVPs, with a waiting list of 4, and more tried to register after that.
The day of the event, the room was packed, and I was told by a number of the women that no one ever attracts this many people to a workshop in Charlotte.
They wanted to know how I did it.
Tee hee, sometimes you just need to go guerilla!