The 8th Annual Collin County Home and Garden Show is coming up in Allen, TX, in just a couple of days! I want to give business owners a few tips on how to generate online leads when you’re at the Home and Garden show in person. This show is a huge deal for local businesses, contractors, service industries, etc. But there’s a little tweak you can make when you’re at this show that can yield online referrals for your business as well.
1. Bring your iPad:
If you don’t have an iPad, consider getting one. The key to having your iPad with you is to make sure you have cellular service for it. You don’t want to depend on public wifi—that can really slow you down at a busy show where everyone is trying to use it at once. So make sure your iPad can use cellular data. Why bring an iPad? Two reasons:
- If someone is really interested in your products or services, rather than having them fill out a form with pen and paper, you can take them directly to your contact form on your website and get their information submitted immediately. That way you get the email with all their information and you can follow up with them accordingly. Another benefit is that this bypasses any trouble you might have when people’s handwriting isn’t so great, and you can’t read their email address when you get back to the office. So by brining your iPad, you can have people put in their information directly on your contact page, and then boom! You have a lead right there.
- Another reason is that when you have your iPad there, you can make it very easy for someone to subscribe to your email list. MailChimp has an app that makes this easy and so does Constant Contact. You can be stockpiling subscribers all weekend long at the show! This is so much better than having a piece of paper and having people write their emails down on it because think about this: Who has to manually enter in all that data? Either you do, and if you’re the business owner, who has time for that? Or maybe you have an assistant or an employee do it, but they could be doing better things with that time. If you have an app set up so that people can put in their own email address and hit “subscribe,” then boom! The work is done, and all you have to do is follow up with them through email.
2. Ask for likes and follows.
Ask people to like your Facebook page, or follow you on Twitter or Instagram. But here’s the key—and you’ve heard me say this before. Give them the selfish reason why they should do it! Don’t just say “Like us on Facebook.” Say “Like us on Facebook because we’re always giving out tips and coupons!” Whatever is appropriate for your business to offer, give the end user a selfish reason for why they should follow you in the first place.
3. Have a contest or giveaway
In exchange for liking your Facebook page or signing up for your email list, have people sign up for a drawing for a prize. This is probably my least favorite way to get leads at a show, but I know it works so I’m putting it out there. The reason I don’t like this method as much is that you may not be getting people who are interested in your products or services, so much as winning your contest. You’re still capturing information, which is good. But you may be capturing the information of people who aren’t at all interested in your services. They just want the prize you’re giving away. This is why I prefer using the first tip above. If someone puts their information into your iPad, you know they’re a qualified lead who is interested in your products or services. But you never know! You still end up with the email addresses, and you may get a sale from someone down the road.
If you’re reading this list and thinking that you don’t know how to set this up on your iPad to get subscribers, or you know that even if customers like your Facebook page it doesn’t matter much because you don’t have any content there—that’s where we can come in! We can help you with a full online marketing strategy to help you capture and follow up with people at the Home and Garden Show. Give me a call or an email and we can set up a time to chat!
I wish all of your business owners success at the Home and Garden Show! I’m going to be out there too, taking videos and pictures of clients, to use in their online marketing! And if you know of a vendor who is going to be at the Home and Garden Show, please pass along this post to them so that they can get these tips and be ready to grab those online referrals!