How One Entrepreneur Turned Her Business Around By Hosting In-Person Events (And Why You Should Too!)
Two years ago, when I launched my online business, I struggled to make consistent money. I got clients here and there and I was able to sell one or two digital products. But I was not able to get the kind of income into my business like I needed. I had set financial goals for myself and kept having to reset those goals because I wouldn’t reach them. My business was costing me way more money than I was receiving, and I got tired of paying for tons of courses, classes and various tools but not seeing the kind of results that I saw others were getting. That changed when I hosted my first event.
I had just had another month where my bank account greeting me with a lovely $0.00 and I was sick and tired of being sick and tired of not making enough money. So, I decided to get radical and think outside of the box. I had tried to host webinars that flopped because I would only get 2 people to show up. Then I tried collaborating with other online business owners and it didn’t work out the way I had expected.
One day, I decided to take my experience and create an in-person event for my business. I took the concepts of hosting a free webinar and then up-selling at the end and applied them to my event. I hosted a free class called “Your Kingdom Purpose: Do you Know Where You Fit into The Kingdom?” because at that time I was a faith based Purpose Identity Coach. I decided to market to my church and other surrounding churches and put out advertisements in the church bulletin and on Facebook. I spent about $20 in materials and supplies and I had about 30 people come to my class.
Not sure if you should be hosting in-person events in your business? Check out these five reasons why you need to start right now!
At that class I gave a ton of valuable information, provided bottled water, workbooks and a PowerPoint presentation. I was quirky and weird like I always am and though I was very nervous, I had fun. Everyone was engaged and asked lots of questions. At the end of the class, in my last few slides, I promoted part two of the class, “Master Your Purpose: Turn your Purpose and Passions into Profit.” For $45 if they purchased now and $75 if they purchased after 24 hours. I had 25 people sign up. That’s $1,125 in one day! The next class was to be held on the following Saturday. Because I had made some money at the event I spent $100 on food supplies to make a continental breakfast on a budget for my students. It was a hit! I also provided a workbook, pens and bottled water.
At that class, I promoted my course at a $397 price point and had 5 sign ups. That’s $1985! Let’s recap! I made $1,125 the Saturday before from up selling my part two event and then I made $1,985 the next Saturday. Minus $120 for food and supplies, that’s a $2,990 profit in two days! Guys! That’s the most I had ever made in a week! That was the first time I had experienced a $3k month in my business!
In person events are one of the most underestimated and underused tools in the online business world.
I had just gone from struggling to make money in my business, to hosting 2 events and making 3 THOUSAND DOLLARS! I did different variations of this with different audiences over that year, and each time I made money! In person events became the #1 income producing activity in my business at that time. Though I had a fear of public speaking, I found that hosting small events felt more like just chatting with a bunch of friends who were interested in the same things that I was interested in, rather than like a crowd waiting for me to fail or do something stupid.
After getting comfortable with masterclass and workshop type events where I was the only speaker, I decided to try my hand at seminar type events where there were multiple speakers. I also tried my hand at getting sponsorships. This opened up a new world of opportunities to me. Not only was I able to get my audience to come to my event, but the audience of the speakers were now at my event. I was able to make money with ticket sales and up selling digital products and services and was now getting paid from companies that I loved and that I thought would benefit my audience. At my last event in August of last year, I was able to get the Vice President of National Bank, the head litigator at the most prestigious law firm in the U.S Virgin Islands and an amazing consultant to speak. I was also sponsored by the bank and several other local companies.
After sharing my behind the scenes on InstaStories a few people reached out to me to help them with their in-person events but mainly, to help them get sponsors for their event. After hopping on a strategy call with a friend, she made me promise to help other entrepreneurs because she said that I created a simple path to make a profit with her event. She was able to land Canva as a sponsor for her event, using one of my pitch letter templates and is hosting her first branding event this month!
Since then I have been helping people to make money through in-person events and event sponsorships. I have used my experience with events from the private, government, church/non-profit and small business sector to help people in tons of different industries.
If you've been hesitant to venture out into doing in-person events, here are five reasons you should be doing them in your business, no matter your industry!
During my last event, I realized that showing the behind the scenes of my event planning, shopping for goodie bag items, meeting with my event team, and even behind the scenes of the event, allowed me to have content for my online platforms. Although my event was a local event, I was still able to capture the attention of my audience from all over the world. Content creation is something that so many online business owners struggle with. Hosting an in-person events allows you to effortlessly come up with content throughout the entire process.
As online entrepreneurs, it is very easy to get stuck behind the computer or phone with no outside activities. Potential customers and clients like to see that you have a thriving business. A good way to show them this is through events. Showing clips of you speaking and interacting with your audience allows them to see you in another light. They get to know you deeper and see you as an expert and authority in your market.
Hosting in person events has allowed me to build some amazing relationships with people who have attended my events, as well as with companies who have sponsored my events. Networking and relationship building is so crucial in business because it opens doors for you. I have been invited to speak at different companies and conferences because of people who I’ve met at my events.
Like I mentioned before, I struggled to make consistent income in my business. The minute I hosted my first event, I got 5 coaching clients for my course and coaching program and students for my in-person classes. Selling your services at your event is so much easier than online at times because the people you are promoting your services to have just seen you in person, speaking, laughing and being yourself. In other words, you now have a bond with them because they got to know you more. Don’t get me wrong, webinars are a tool that I still use, but there is something to be said about building an in-person relationship with your potential clients.
If you have been struggling to make money in your business for any reason. Try hosting a two part in person class or workshop. Do it as affordable as possible. Get a free venue and spend as little money as possible to see what happens. Everyone I have helped to host an in-person event has made money. You are able to make money from selling your next event, physical or digital products, booking speaking gigs and so much more! It is not as difficult as you may be thinking.
I sincerely hope that my story encourages you to include events into your business strategy. The world needs your talent, your skill, your gifts, and your purpose. Don’t spend another year wondering or waiting.
written by gabrielle leonard
Gabrielle is a Purpose and Business Strategy Coach for multi-talented and ambitious creatives. Visit her website.