When I say “treat your business like a party” I don’t mean keg stands and balloons – though hey, that would make for an interesting client call! Rather, I mean you should act as a perfect host/hostess in regards to how you run your business.
Have Hors D’oeuvres
If you want people to join your Facebook group or opt in to your e-mail address, you need to give them some juicy, something quickly consumable but quite memorable. Don’t spend your time writing a 45 page e-book and think your list will grow to thousands overnight. Your opt-in is your chance to hook your audience and give them a small taste of what you have to offer. A great example of an opt-in that works is this Japanese salad dressing recipe booklet from Thanks for the Meal – it gives a small taste (ah-ha-ha) of what Lucy has to offer and it’s focused, but it’s not an all-out Japanese recipe book that she could instead charge for.
See what I did there? I recommended you sign up for an e-mail list that’s not my own! Bad business sense? I think not.
If I were hosting a party and someone else was being engaging, welcoming, and helping to keep the other guests entertained, would I throw her out? Certainly not! I would thank her, celebrate her, and adore her all the more for helping to keep the party going. So don’t be afraid to celebrate and recognize your “competition” – we all have different learning styles, unique ways to teach and share, and valuable services to offer, don’t fear you’ll lose business if you commend someone else.
Don’t Stand at the Door
When you’re hosting a party, do you stand at the door and as people walk in, say “Hello, thank you for coming, did you bring your checkbook?” No!!
(Err, do people even have checkbooks anymore?)
No, you welcome them into your home and allow them to mingle, drink, and be merry. The same goes for your business; if you try to sell to them right out the gate, they’re going to think you’re a terrible host and probably never come back. This means if you’re someone who jumps into a Facebook group with a program to sell or an offer for discovery calls, but you rarely (if ever) hold actual conversations with people within that group, you’re going to fail. No one wants to buy from a stranger.
Talk to your guests. Get to know them and allow them time to warm up to you and the environment you’re attempting to bring them into.
Cook What You Know
When you’re throwing a party, it’s not a great time to try out a brand new recipe or use ingredients you’re unfamiliar with; likewise, when you’re running your business, you need to focus in on what you know. While it’s important to continuously learn and expand on your expertise, you shouldn’t present yourself as an expert in business when really you just know how to market yourself really well. If you’re planning to launch a course on generating leads through Twitter and yet you only have 1,500 followers (and none of them are engaged!) people will not buy from you and will think you’re a sham. Stick to what you know you’re an expert in and use that to grow your business; don’t leave your clients with a bad taste in their mouths.
Set the Table
Give your guests room to relax, but also clue them in as to what to expect from you; if this is a sit down dinner, set the table – meaning if you want people to buy from you, make sure they know you have something to offer them.
While there are those who claim you don’t need a website to make sales online, I disagree. Not only should you have a website that details your offers, but you should always include your price. If you know me already, you know I’m not into sales – I firmly believe I’ll work with those I’m meant to work with and I don’t ever use tactics or tricks to get someone to buy from me. I lay out a nice place setting, make sure they know they’re invited, and they almost always take a seat.
Throwing a party, just as running a business, shouldn’t give you a headache or cause you to feel frazzled. It’s a time to present your passions, have fun, maybe a bit of wine, and just trust in the process. If you’re a good host…err business owner…you will most certainly have a successful time before you.