Unstoppable outreach strategies that cut through the noise

16
Mar

Entrepreneurs today are obsessed with leveraging the latest digital tool to grow their businesses. Sites like Product Hunt launch new applications daily. Every one with the promise to “double your revenue in a month” or reveal the latest “hack” to get more customers. This is especially true when it comes to outreach strategies. With all the automated tools, virtual assistants, and social media robots out there competition to get noticed in your outreach is more intense than ever.

Most business owners are easily distracted by the next “new” app they need to streamline operations. In addition, they miss out on a powerful offline approach that delivers incredible results and is timeless in its effects.

There’s never been a bigger variety of tools and information available to help you grow. Most digital forms of interaction are “easy”. It takes no time at all to send an email, compose a tweet or send a text. But easy isn’t always better. Many offline tactics like sending a handwritten card, shooting a personalized video, buying a good gift or having a good conversation are harder to do and riskier. A few good offline tactics can set you apart from 99% of others that opt for whatever’s easiest.

Unstoppable outreach strategies that cut through the noise Click To Tweet

The Best of Both Worlds – The Unstoppable Stage Campaign

Online and offline tactics don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, when used together, they can be incredibly powerful. Each of their strengths compliments the other.

The Unstoppable Stage Campaign is a perfect example of this synergy in action. We use this campaign to get ourselves and our clients on stages. We use a mixture of high-tech tools like Infusionsoft and ClickFunnels to help automate and manage the hundreds of campaigns. Every major step in the campaign has an offline or personal touch to it to help foster a true human connection with the people we reach out to.

Though the Unstoppable Stage Campaign is designed for event planners, you can apply these same tactics to any area of outreach for your business.

I will share a few of the signature elements of The Unstoppable Stage Campaign and highlight some key takeaways that you can use to book more stages, nurture relationships with influencers in your space and create raving fans.

When online and offline outreach tactics used together, they are incredibly powerful. Click To Tweet

The Speaker Box

The most crowded communication channel is the email inbox. The more recognized you and your brand become, the more noise will appear in your inbox. This is especially the case with meeting planners, who get bombarded by people who want to get on their stages.

The speaker box is one of the signature elements and the first point of contact in the Unstoppable Stage Campaign. We send it to meeting planners who we want to build a relationship with. It includes a few different materials to introduce who we are and what we’re about.

The least crowded channel these days is a person’s mailbox. Most people don’t expect to find anything more than their bills or the latest “money mailer.”

That’s why the speaker box is so powerful. With a well designed box and the materials inside it, we can make a much bigger impression than any email.

A speaker box can cost over $30 per box that you send. If you’re sending these boxes out at scale and without any guarantee that you’ll get on stage, the cost can add up to some scary numbers. Remember that you’re investing in more than just a stage. You’re investing in relationships, not just with the meeting planner, but with the many people you’ll potentially meet at the events you attend and speak at.

The Win-Win Script

At every interaction with our meeting planners (and everyone we work with), we focus on how we can help them achieve their goals for the event and feel like a winner. The more heroic we can make them feel, the more likely they’ll be willing to let us on their stage.

We follow “The Win-Win script” for our first call. This was developed over thousands of conversations with event planners across the world. We distilled what we learned from all those conversations into a few simple talking points. Using this script has increased our callback rate by 50%.

Some ways we make the event planner feel like a winner are:

  • Exhibiting and sponsoring – Event planners are always looking for more sponsors and exhibitors to their events. If you lead the conversation with how you can help them, they’ll be willing to help you.
  • Offering a gift to the attendees – A book is a great gift if it’s relevant to the audience. A digital book that gets distributed to the attendees of your session or the whole conference makes them look like heroes. Make sure you frame it as a “gift” for the attendees, not as a marketing tactic on your part.

Though these 2 examples are great for meeting planners, you can apply this same strategy to many other interactions and areas of your business. With a good understanding of the needs of the people you are reaching out to, you can find opportunities to make them feel like a winner.

Follow Up With A Small Gift and A Personal Note

At several points in our contact campaign we send a small gift and a personal note to the meeting planner. The notes are personalized to the planner and have a handwritten font. These cards come right after our first call or shortly after the event they were planning, as a follow up.

A nice card breaks up the chain of email communications and phone calls. It also gives them something nice to keep on their desk as a reminder of you.

While nothing beats a handwritten and thoughtful card, the service Send Out Cards is the next best thing. Send Out Cards has many different options to personalize and customize cards you send out. They even offer lots of small gifts that you can bundle in with a card and make a bigger impression.

Stand Out In The Inbox With BombBomb Video Emails

BombBomb is probably my favorite “high-tech” tool out there.  The reason I love it so much is because it creates a very personal experience.  BombBomb can email or text a video message that is personalized with your branding and your message.

When you use BombBomb an animated GIF image with the first few frames from your video email will appear in the email with a prompt to click the email to view it.

We use a video email as an immediate follow up once we send our speaker box. The video gives a brief introduction of who we are and shares how excited we are to partner with them. Here’s an example of Pete’s first email reaching out to Houston Kraft to collaborate.

Imagine how many emails the average meeting planning is getting from people who want to speak on their stages. Do you expect them to go through all that text and decide whose demo video to watch or not? They’d be spending their whole day watching demo videos!

Opening an email to see a video of someone energized, excited and speaking directly to them goes much farther than basic text in an email. It gives people an opportunity to see who you are and get a small taste of what you might be like on their stage. This turns your first contact into your first audition.

Email with a video of you energized and excited makes a bigger impression than basic text. Click To Tweet

If you want to learn more about how to get the most from BombBomb, check out The Ultimate Guide To Video Email.

Universal Lessons From The Unstoppable Stage Campaign

We recommend a lot of different technology to support the Unstoppable Stage Campaign. At the heart of each piece of the Unstoppable Stage Campaign is a low-tech strategy that can be used beyond booking stages. We’ve only had the Unstoppable Stage Campaign in the last few years, but we’ve been using these concepts in every area of our business for many years.

Here are some of the key takeaways you can use to make all of your outreach unstoppable.

Focus On Adding Value To Them First

The strategy behind the “win-win script” stretches far beyond booking stages. Always be focused on how you can add more value to the lives of the people you interact with. Many people are so focused on whatever short-term win they’re pursuing that they rarely consider how they can add value first. This makes for awkward interactions and usually closes the door to opportunity.

Remember that even if people have something you want, there’s possibility for much more down the road if you work on developing a long term relationship. You do that by finding ways to add value and create opportunities for people you work with.

In her TED talk, Kare Anderson encourages the audience to become opportunity makers.

“When you connect with people around a shared interest and action, you’re accustomed to serendipitous things happening into the future“

Here’s the full video, it’s relatively short for a TED talk and has incredible insights for adding value in relationships.

The biggest mistake people make is asking for things too often and too early. This is what 99% of people do. They’re always looking for a way to help themselves, which ends up corroding relationships. They don’t see a friendship or even a person, they see dollar signs and a quick win.

Asking for things up front ends up killing the opportunity for a relationship before it starts.

Know What’s Happening In Their World

To find opportunities to add value to someone’s life, you need to understand what’s happening in it. If you understand their goals, events on their calendar, current problems, their hobbies or lifestyle outside of their work, you can come up unique and personalized ideas to add value and make a strong impression.

For event planners, you have a few key facts right away. You know when their event is happening and you know how stressful planning and managing an event can be (believe me, I hosted 3 last year). You can be pretty confident that in the days after their event, they feel ready to relax. So send them a gift to help them do that and congratulate them on their hard work and success.

I like to send gifts right after their event ends, anything from a snack up to a massage coupon, depending on the person. This goes a long way to build a relationship with the person and create opportunities down the road.

The Art Of Gift Giving

Giving gifts is one of the most underused and least understood tools in the “offline” tactics category. Most people avoid it because they fear their gift will come off as “tacky” or as a bribe. It’s understandable why most people have this fear, because 99% of the gift giving I see done falls into those categories. But it doesn’t have to.

A good gift is a symbol of gratitude and friendship. It’s possible to capture the attention and leave a lasting impression on key relationships in your business.

Gifts are valuable not just for the relationships you create outside of your business, but they can strengthen the bonds between you and your team. A good gift can help your team feel appreciated and is often as effective as a raise for retaining employees.

Here are a few things that make a good gift:

  • Give unconditionally – A good gift comes from true generosity with no strings attached. This can make the difference between a gift and a bribe.
  • Personalize for them not yourself – A common mistake people make when giving a gift is putting their own logo on a gift they’re giving. Would you put your own name on a wedding gift for your friend? No. Add their logo, their names and make it something they’ll be proud to share and talk about. You also need to make sure that it is something they would love, you don’t want to send steaks to a vegetarian.
  • Give spontaneously – As soon as something is anticipated, your expectations start to form and it diminishes the perceived value of the gift. Use the element of surprise for both what and when you give to make it a more delightful experience for the receiver.

If you want to learn more about the art and power of gift giving, check out Giftology by John Ruhlin.

Invest In Relationships

Outside of the Unstoppable Stage Campaign, there are a few engagement strategies that you can invest in that can provide a higher rate of return, creating stronger relationships and greater impact for your business.

One of the first tactics I used when starting Advance Your Reach was investing in high-level events and Masterminds. I still do this today.

Often the fastest way to build a relationship with an influencer is to become a customer. This shows you have respect for them and what they are doing. You’re helping them up front and showing them you’re serious about getting results. This means paying people to coach you, purchasing tickets to events and conferences to meet new people, and investing in masterminds.

It might sound crazy to invest in a $2,000 conference ticket or an $8,000 mastermind, especially when you are just getting started with your business, but I don’t see any better way to spend your dollar if it gets you in front of the right people.

I knew in the early stages of Advance Your Reach that I still had a lot to learn and would need a lot of help making my own event and the business behind it work. So I had to make a bet on myself and on my mentors, and start investing in them. I needed to surround myself with people who had mastered the skills I was developing.

Conclusion

Even if your business is run online and you have many digital products, there’s a lot to be said about the power of offline strategies to grow your business. Despite the rapid increases in technology and dozens of new high-tech tools launching each day, if you focus just on online strategy, you’re leaving money on the table.

Even if your business is run online, there’s a lot of power in offline outreach. Click To Tweet

Try to find ways to add a human touch to the outreach you are already doing. You can have the best of both worlds if you combine time-tested offline strategies with the right online tools like we do with our Unstoppable Stage Campaign.

If you want to book a stage in the next 24 hours or want more inspiration for some offline outreach tactics to set you apart, check out the Unstoppable Stage Campaign.