Seth Godin, entrepreneur and author, describes marketing as ‘influencing the actions of others’. In marketing your services, this is exactly what you want to do. Your aim is to influence or persuade others (event managers, clients) to take action (by choosing you to MC their events).
You can market yourself effectively by what you write.
Emails & Text Messages
When I launched my career as a full-time MC, I sent emails and text messages to all my contacts. This totaled over 500 people.
This is the message I sent:
I hope you’re well. This is a short note to inform you that I left ………………. on 31st January to embark on a new career in communication.
This means I am available to MC a wide range of corporate and private events. These include product launches, awards nights, conferences and fundraisers as well as wedding receptions and parties.
My new contacts are as follows:
02x xxx xxxx
I’d be happy to get a recommendation from you whenever you believe my services may be required.
Was this mass marketing campaign effective? No. Why? Most of the recipients of the message had not seen me host any event whatsoever. They had no way of assessing if I would be good enough to be hired or recommended. I failed at influencing them to take action.
Does that mean spreading the message by email or text is useless? No. What you should do is focus the message to people who are familiar with your competence as an MC. They will be easier to influence because they know you already.
I remember one of the very first events I hosted. It was organized by an aunt. She too had received my mass email but more importantly, she knew I could MC because I had hosted her fundraiser some years earlier. True, she did not pay me a fee for emceeing the new event but I was able to pick up new business from one of the guests and exchange contacts with potential clients.
A good time to send an email or text message is after you have made initial face to face contact. A short message is all you need. An example is below:
It was my pleasure to meet you at the conference hall yesterday. I hope you have a nice day.
For emails, make sure every email you send has your signature at the bottom. It makes it easy for the recipient to take action if they need to contact you. This is what my signature looks like:
Journalist | Event Host
Call/WhatsApp: +233 240 299 122 ,
Another good time for sending out emails and text messages is when you have finished hosting an event. The day after, you can send a short message thanking the event organizer or client for giving you the opportunity to work with them. This kind of ‘after sales service’ will set you apart from your competition because hardly anyone bothers to do it. You will be regarded as courteous and thoughtful. People like to work with people they like. When the services of an MC are needed, you are more likely to be chosen because of the effective marketing you did earlier.
Articles & Social Media
The printed word lends credibility and builds trust. You can increase your chances of influencing people if you write well and often.
What should you write about? You can provide tips on the do’s and don’ts of emceeing and how you overcame certain challenges in the profession (fear of public speaking, how to maintain audience interest, etc.)
Where your writing should be published? Aim for publications which will be read by your target customers (bridal magazines if you are a wedding MC, business papers if you are a corporate Master of Ceremonies).
I write a weekly column on communication and emceeing in Business & Financial Times (www.thebftonline.com). At the end of each article, I add the following signature:
The author is a journalist, event host and public speaking coach.
For more speaking tips, visit www.blog.kafuideygroup.com
To pre-order his new book on public speaking, email email@example.com
For bookings, call +233 240 299 122
The signature gives readers an opportunity to contact me and get more information. Once they have done that, I have influenced them to take action.
Apart from the newspaper, I also post articles on various social media platforms and websites:
Google + (KafuiDey)
It may seem like a lot of work updating these sites every week but it is not. You can configure your blog so that whatever you post on it is automatically posted on Facebook and Twitter.
The advantage of social media is that you can get quick feedback from readers. You can also post links to videos, pictures and sound clips and make the experience more interactive. I have received several job offers from people who initially read an article online and then contacted me. In other words, my marketing efforts influenced them to take action.