I'm the founder of a start-up called IceBreaker that throws social events in NYC. We've had an amazing turnout and our customers seem to love the events and have shown a willingness to pay for them which has validated our product. We are looking into ways to attract new customers that we're not part of our current network. Are their any tips for attracting new customers to our business?
If you haven't already have a co-host organization or have sponsor that adds to the guest list to grow both networks.
Engage a charity to co-host that would benefit in some way plus you reach their audience.
Put referral program in place - bring a friend get something in exchange.
The single best form of attracting new customers is referrals. It always has been, and it always will be. Period.
People trust referrals from friends and families more than any other form of advertising:
- 77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family. (Nielson)
- 81% of U.S. online consumers purchase decisions are influenced by their friends social media posts (Market Force)
- 49% of U.S. consumers say friends and family are their top sources of brand awareness, up from 43% in 2009. (Jack Morton)
Start with making sure you nail down product/market fit. Are a lot of people coming to your events? Are they having a good time? It sounds like yes, but if you want to be 2x sure try using something like SurveyMonkey to determine your Net Promoter Score. Follow up with each 'promoter' (an 8 or higher) and ask them to bring a friend to the next event.
If you'd like to chat more about how my company has worked with the American Marketing Association to use referrals to grow their events I'd love to schedule a call and discuss the details.
Also, consider offering a discount on multiple tickets (1 @$10, 2 @ $15, 3 @ $20) to try and get people to bring their friends. In fundraisers this is common by selling an entire table.
Hope it helps!
Hosting and marketing a social event is actually pretty similar to planning a live music event in some ways. In this case, though, the "fans" are of your company or of the venue or activity where you're hosting the event. Dig into your customer's demographics, the demographics of the venue where you'll be hosting the event, and the demographics of the people in the area of the venue. What do they like to do? Where do they hang out? Partner with one or more of those places. Seek out your audience and market to them where they are, rather than trying to attract them to you. Give me a call if you get stuck and need help, of if you just need to brainstorm ideas. I've been involved with some pretty interesting promotions for live events!