Grand Opening Events & Referral Marketing

New business owners face a lot of challenges. There’s developing the concept, garnering the human and financial resources to make it a reality and then actually implementing the plan. Simple, right? Oh, and then there’s ensuring that your company doesn’t fail. The odds are daunting. According to the Small Business Association, 30% of new businesses fail during the first two years of being open, 50% during the first five years and 66% during the first 10. These pessimistic facts point to the need to continually innovate and invest in your business when it is already up and running just as you did in the initial stages. But to get your business up and running in the first place, you’ll need a Grand Opening that will launch your business into orbit at a quick enough pace so that it doesn’t come crashing back down to earth!

There’s a lot of useful material online about how to create a Grand Opening event that creates the awareness and builds excitement about your business. There’s a lot to keep in mind, but when you craft your event as carefully as you have your business, it is sure to be a success.

One key goal of the Grand Opening is to build relationships, and relationships are built in-person and through networking. Successful marketing events of all types, and Grand Openings in particular, offer a way for attendees, customers and potential customers to leave their contact information. Super successful marketers go one step further and garner referrals from everyone they can since friends of attendees give your the extra edge for growing awareness and interest in your new endeavor.

BUT! The Grand Opening is not a one-and-done event. It is advantageous to consider your Grand Opening as an all-out effort lasting between 3 and 12 months. Only after going through part or all of the annual cycle will you learn the ebb and flow of the business and garner the strategic insights that will allow you to succeed in the coming years. You are also likely experience the full variety of customers and most will be new customers during that period of time. Customers who view your business as “new” are likely to be more excited about it, and you should certainly try to capitalize on that excitement by asking them to share information about your business with friends.

Therefore, it is important to ask for referrals. While some customers may share your business information through social media, why not ask them to think about 3 – 5 specific people they know that they think would like to know about you?  By using a platform like ShareSomeFriends, customers send friends a promotional message that you have crafted, taking all the effort out of the process. More important is the fact that the recipients will see a message from a trusted friend about your business and will be more likely to stop by.

Getting Grand Opening referrals, and nurturing these perspective customers will help turn your business into a success!

3 Tips to Get Massive Traction on Your LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a completely different game in 2017 then it was even a few years ago. Why? If you’ve not been using LinkedIn recently this is probably how you remember it:

  • You can only connect with people you know
  • If you connect with a stranger they shame you
  • Endorsements are the most important currency

Right? Am I exaggerating?

There were literally people that said to me: “If I don’t know you please don’t connect with me”. When I was a student this just wasn’t the place for me to meet new people. But it’s completely changed now.

Why?

1 word – content. 

Content changed the platform completely. People started sharing their work experiences, their stories, their victories and it became a more open platform. Granted, it still says “only connect with people you know” in the LinkedIn terms and conditions, but no one pays attention to that.

Here is how LinkedIn is different nowadays:

  • You can connect with ANYONE you want
  • You get views from your content, not from endorsements
  • You can build massive networks using content, native video, groups, and pods.

How does all that work?

It’s more acceptable to connect with random strangers, that’s one side of it. The other aspect is that the content that I publish gets consumed by a wide range of people – most of them are not my connections on LinkedIn

When someone likes or comments on my post then their entire network of friends can see it on their feed. 

That means you can reach tens of thousands of people in a matter of days. Here is how:

 

1. Post a ton of content

 

Content is the way to get more views on your profile, engage with people, and build an audience. I tried this strategy out on a post I wrote a few months back. It was a story of how I used a content strategy, with a link to the written article. Here is the post:

Linkedin Post Ben Kazinik

Here is the full post: https://goo.gl/edNscC

Within a week that post had over 27,000 views and 100 comments. That’s 100 people I could connect with.

Here are a few strategies that I used to make it go viral:

  • Asked for LIKES in the first few hours that the post is live.
  • Use the wave template by Josh Fechter, you can find it here.
  • Told my story in a personal way.

So let’s say you set up some content, how do you make people see it?

 

2. Interact by liking and commenting

 

When you interact with people’s content they are very likely to click on your profile and read about you. LinkedIn sees their engagement with your profile and starts to display your posts on their feed.

It’s as simple as that. 

This is especially effective on LinkedIn because most posts get 1-4 comments each, and if your comment is one of them it is very visible to the hundreds of people that see that post. Now you can click on every single person that interacts back with you and connect with them.

Wait, but how do I connect with absolute strangers?

 

3. Expand your network with LinkedHelper

 

It still seems a bit funny right? We are all so used to only connect with people we know.

Let’s go back to the basics.

Let’s take somebody who is a 2nd connection. Here is my friend Deepak Shukla, the CEO of PurrTraffic, he is a really great marketing professional, his profile looks interesting, so I want to connect with him. Just click on the connect button and you’re done.

 

Deepak Shukla - LinkedIn profile

 

Now what about 3rd connections? LinkedIn didn’t use to allow you to connect with them at all. So the strategy was to find mutual friends and start with them to get to your desired contact. This was made much simple now.

Here is Gary Vaynerchuk’s brother that runs VaynerSports. All I do is click on the 3 dots and then click connect. BOOM. Now we’re BFFs.

AJ Vaynerchuk _ LinkedIn Grow Strategies

 

What if you wanted to automate this whole process? What if you wanted to have a tool automatically connect to 50 profiles every day without you moving a finger?

I found a great tool called LinkedHelper that does exactly that. It’s a Chrome extension that plugs in to your LinkedIn page and automatically does any task for you. It can endorse all your contacts, connect to people, send message blasts, invite all your contacts to your LinkedIn group, and tons more.

Here are my favorite features: 

LinkedHelper features= EPIC

How to automatically connect with 50 people per day: 

Step 1 – Search for specific people to target using keywords or the job title like “marketing manager”, “growth hacker”, “sales manager”.

Step 2 – Create a list for your contacts

create a list in LInkedHelper

Step 3 – Conduct a search and start collecting contacts

 

After you’ve collected your contacts click on Message and write a nice message for the list. This will show up on the contact request that each person will receive from you.

LinkedHelper message box

You’re almost done. Just click on Invite and start inviting all the contacts on your list. Simple as that!

 

Recap

 

LinkedIn is like Facebook but for networking. All the recent changes they implemented – like allowing people to post content and native videos – add to your ability to interact with people and to be discovered. It is also a great place to find leads, partners, and jobs. But it’s not just about building a massive network of connections anymore. It’s about building an engaged community of followers and converting your leads.

The first thing you need to do for that is to write a lot of good content. Then, interact with others like crazy. And third, use a tool like LinkedHelper to put your growth on autopilot.

Pro tip – always send a second and third message to your new connections, and always talk to every single person no matter what. You never know where a relationship can lead you to.

That’s it!

I hope you enjoyed our tutorial and please let us know how LinkedIn has worked out for you. Have you tried any of these tactics? and what’s an awesome “win” you’ve had on the platform?

Cheers =)

Ben Kazinik is a marketing manager for ShareSomeFriends, a referral app and lead management platform. He enjoys hiking, cooking, soccer, and visiting his family around the world. Email me at – ben@sharesomefriends.com or connect on my LinkedIn.