1/ Look to your own Circle of Contacts.
Make a list of 100 people who could help you out. Rank them in broad divisions – Top 10, Top 25 & then the rest. Suitable targets are – work colleagues, friends, family, community. At some point in the first couple of months of the year make sure you contact each and every one and let them know what you are up to. What work area are you chasing, what markets you would like to break into etc. It’s surprising who will come up with connections to put you into new companies etc.
For your Top 10 or 25, call them directly. For the others write a letter. While this letter can be a “form letter” in some regards, make sure a significant part of it is written for that person specifically.
2/Get their Card.
I don’t know how many business cards I’ve handed out over the years to people who said they were really interested in using me for an event, but no contact was ever made. Get their card. Make it a habit, create a script to ask for it and follow up. Don’t leave it up to them to make the contact.
3/ Build a Prospect List Hotel by Hotel
When you are first starting out on your journey to be an MC you may think that every company or organisation could use your services. There are plenty who will, but there are also many who would never hold a suitable event or require an MC.
A lot of ideas and prospects can be found by cruising into any fancy hotel or events center you see and start looking around. Check out the “What’s On Today” board. Firstly you will see the types of companies and organisations that hold functions. Some industries get together a lot, for training, celebrating and socialising. Some don’t. Once you have figured that out, it saves a lot of time and wasted effort in your marketing efforts. Then you will also get a feel for the individual companies that do it. Do they have trade displays with the event, do they have a gala dinner, etc. You don’t need to talk to anyone at the time, just be confident, do it all the time you are near a suitable venue and you will start building a great target list.
4/ Your Colleagues
This is a bit different to the Circle of Contacts list, but seriously consider who you will be referring work to this year. Most established MC’s have a small list of people they will refer clients to at the drop of a hat and expect nothing in return from them by way of commission etc. If you start sending work to them they will do the same for you. Contact those people early in the year as well, inform them of plans and focus area and wish them well for the coming year.
5/ The 3rd Year Return
It’s always nice to be invited back to the same company or event in a following year. But sometimes you need to prompt this along a bit and wait a little longer. A terrific technique is to follow up with the Testimonial you received at the previous event. Even if you are not aiming to come back the following year, if you did a good job most people would seriously consider rehiring after a one year gap.
Now, sometimes the person who booked you may have moved on, but target the new person in the same role the old one had. It might be Marketing, Human Services or Communications Manager. The previous testimonial gives you a great way in and to connect with them. You can also suggest that a/ you have significantly different material for the event, b/ with staff turnover etc, a significant number of staff would be seeing you for the first time and c/ you already have an understanding of the company and it’s people. LinkedIn can be a great way to track changes in key contacts. And if your old contact has moved on, this is also a great “in” into a new company. Once again LinkedIn makes this easy.
6/ Bonus Tip!
These 5 Actions will grow your business.
One last tip. Have a look at this page – FREE DOWNLOADS . It lists the contents of the Bonus pack hundreds of people have grabbed recently to help them become better MC’s and grow their business.