Earlier this year I went to a large event for entrepreneurs. In these three day event we could attend lectures and workshops. There were plenty of opportunities to catch up on trends, fine tune our skills and networking.

One lecture caught my attention: Social Meaning, 12 steps to profit. It had my eye because which entrepreneur can’t use shortcuts or tips to improve his/her profits? The second thing that got me to sit down and listen was the approach this guy promoted: strategic networking where giving before asking was the pillar to increased profits.

Here in the Netherlands, the “give before you ask to your network” is a new trend. But it isn’t for me. I was curious to learn what experience this guy had rolling out the giving-before-asking and avoid the usual suckers that take without ever giving back.

With the lecture we got a book where the 12 steps were explained in detail and an invite to attend an in-depth workshop on a later date at a discounted price. Discounts make the hearts of the Dutch race faster, and almost everybody gladly handed over his/her email and phone number for further details and info.

Till now, the marketing strategy this guy is rolling out is working: he gives a lecture, as thanks we get a book for free and an invite. In exchange we provide our contact details. He’s got our attention, our emails, and our intention to spend money on his products.

Not bad for a 15 minutes lecture, repeated 4 more times each day, during three days. Each session seated 25 people and other 15 standing. Mind you, that is approx. 160 email addresses of committed people in one day. Over 450 emails after the three days. Really good numbers. This dude was sitting on a gold mine.

And then the lack of planning raised its ugly head.

Shortly after (in May), I got a call from his team telling me that the workshop was being rescheduled, because the original date was during the school spring-break. Over the phone they gave a new date in September and promised an email with the updated info.

In that email, we got a third new date, as the one proposed over the phone coincided with the date the King announces the budget plan for 2015, a breath-holding moment for everybody here.

And then total silence till September when the time came we had to pay our registration. The emailing resumed and with it the news of a different location.

I was determined to attend the workshop, but all the changes, the lack of planning and more so, the lack of communication in the four months leading to the workshop killed my excitement.

Unexpected happenings during the planning of an event are part of the formula. But we can always compensate the disturbance and continue to nurture the excitement and fulfill expectations of our (potential) clients.

This dude has a leakage in his marketing strategy that is causing him to miss profits and is really easy to fix. It’s called follow-up  marketing.

Here the two steps to start solving it:

  • After collecting emails, add these to a mailing list. MailChimp for instance allows emailing people without double opt-in. Aweber doesn’t. (There are ways to work around this, which I’ll leave for another post). Or they could have also created an opt-in for people to fill while queuing to grab a copy of the book. Bottom line here is to have the emails compiled in a list.
  • Now that they have a list, create a follow-up series of automated emails. These can be about the book, tips, cases, asking feedback, offerings, and in this fashion stay up front in our attention while providing value and occasionally selling his services. The objective is that of keeping the conversation going.

No rocket science here.

Instead the guy went into hiding.

Profit opportunities are sometimes so blatant in front of our eyes that we fail to see them. A mindset of “service, service, service” will help you to create or uncover opportunities to increase profit, that don’t cost you a lot and do pay off.

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