Sarah Fejfar (00:42.934)
Ashley, welcome to Greenroom Central Studios. Say hello to Linchpin Nation.
Ashley Stanford (00:55.941)
Hello, Linchpin Nation. Excited to be here. Thanks for having me, Sarah.
Sarah Fejfar (01:00.978)
I'm thrilled to have you here too, because we're going to talk today about probably the most requested topic in the space of coaching events, and that is, how do I fill a room? So tell us, what is your superpower as it relates to events?
Ashley Stanford (01:13.113)
Ashley Stanford (01:20.281)
Hmm. What is my superpower? I'd have to say I'm a bit of an old-school gamer girl at heart and Growing up we had one video game Mario Brothers my brother It's so good so once you beat the game you beat the game so in order to keep things fun my brother and I would
Sarah Fejfar (01:35.17)
I always wanted to play that game, but we didn't have it.
Ashley Stanford (01:45.477)
find new ways to play the game, new challenges, who could get the most coins, who could beat it in the least amount of time. And after doing this, I've learned it's really all about optimization. So my superpower when it comes to events, event marketing, I'd have to say is optimization. And in the context of I love when people come to me and say,
I love when they come to me before they go on sale and marketing, start marketing, but a lot of times people will come to me and say, hey, I'm on sale, it's not working, or it's working, but it could be better. I know something's off. Can you take a look? I love digging into what's going on, finding all the little tweaks and optimizations that we can make to your marketing plan and improve your overall.
return on any dollars you're putting out the door. So that's, that's me super power. I love doing that. It is still like a video game to me.
Sarah Fejfar (02:45.214)
Yes, oh, I love that.
Sarah Fejfar (02:52.082)
Okay, I love that you're relating it to a video game and that you're calling it fun because there's so many people in this space who don't think it's fun. In fact, it's probably one of the biggest stressors and perhaps even one of the biggest things that holds them back from getting started or from doing it again is because they know that they filled it the last time, but it was hard.
Ashley Stanford (03:06.139)
Ashley Stanford (03:21.124)
Sarah Fejfar (03:21.61)
or they don't know how they're going to fill it this time. And that is what you think is super fun.
Ashley Stanford (03:24.557)
Ashley Stanford (03:28.225)
Yes, putting on an event is no joke. It's a lot of work and just the execution of the event, showing up at the event, all the details that go into putting on an event is a lot of work. So I get it to have to then think about a whole marketing plan and strategy and execution of that. It can feel pretty daunting.
Sarah Fejfar (03:52.246)
Let's work a little on that phrase you just said, which was marketing plan. I like to tell my students that market, like filling an event is making a plan and working the plan consistently. Tell me how you think about creating
Ashley Stanford (03:58.854)
Sarah Fejfar (04:13.098)
a marketing plan for an event. And would you say what I said is, would you say that's true? You got to work, make a plan and work it consistently.
Ashley Stanford (04:19.213)
Oh yeah, absolutely. We're on a podcast, so trying to speak visually here without showing any graphics. But when I sit down and think about, okay, how are we going to market this event? I've got this funnel and it's kind of two sides. So on the beginning of the funnel, we're at a very awareness state. What can we do to get the word out there as early as possible? It could be...
as simple as a press release. I like to think through all of the places online. We could list the event, any kind of event directories, local bloggers, anything like that because you want to start getting like that SEO value and juice going. And then also creating a campaign that just gets people excited. So you could be running some ads that are asking people for their...
Sarah Fejfar (05:03.886)
Ashley Stanford (05:17.045)
Email and phone number generating leads. You want to create a lot of hype around the event going on sale as if it's going to sell out on opening night. So people need to make sure they put their name on the list. If they want a chance at securing tickets. So we create a really, really big FOMO campaign at that awareness state before we ever go on sale. So we really focus in on that and then really.
Sarah Fejfar (05:32.246)
such a smart strategy.
Sarah Fejfar (05:38.911)
Ashley Stanford (05:44.005)
the biggest focus and the biggest night of your sales should be the night you go on sale. So you want to really build up that list, build up that interest, get the buzz going, because if you have a strong opening night and there's a big campaign and a lot of different tactics you can do to have a really successful on sale night or day, I prefer to go on sale in the evening when people are home and had dinner already.
Sarah Fejfar (06:08.544)
Ashley Stanford (06:13.189)
But if you have a very strong on sale night, not only will that create a lot of momentum for sales for the rest of your sales cycle, talk about breathing easy for the rest of the sales cycle leading up to the event, because you are busy figuring out all the details for the event, finalizing presentations, whatever might be going on behind the scenes. The last thing you wanna be stressing about is that
Sarah Fejfar (06:13.282)
Sarah Fejfar (06:26.655)
Sarah Fejfar (06:37.806)
Ashley Stanford (06:41.865)
how am I going to get people there? So having a strong opening night is just a really great indicator of a successful event. And with a lot of the clients I work with, we have a special campaign that we will execute maybe four to six weeks leading up to us going on sale. And I know if that on sale night does not go well, we really don't have much of a shot.
Sarah Fejfar (07:09.938)
And you've got some numbers to back that up, right? You kind of have a target percentage of sales, like seats filled on that specific night. And if you don't get there, you know that there's something amiss, perhaps, with marketing copy or something else.
Ashley Stanford (07:17.164)
Ashley Stanford (07:27.426)
Ashley Stanford (07:30.925)
Yeah, it's gonna be pretty different for every client that I work with. And a lot of my clients, they've done this event before in a lot of different cities. Oftentimes they're traveling to different cities. So we'll also use this kind of big on sale night as an indicator to know, spend a little bit of money to dip our toes first, is this gonna be a good market?
Sarah Fejfar (07:44.191)
Ashley Stanford (07:55.789)
because in some events it really does make a difference. Sometimes that city is just not the right market. And to know on opening night and have those benchmarks predetermined and not go through the painful entire sales cycle and decide, you know what, this event's at a loss and we gotta put it on and that sucks, or, hey, we need to cancel this last minute, which is the worst thing that you wanna do. So if we know on opening night, ooh, this was a flop.
Sarah Fejfar (08:15.98)
Ashley Stanford (08:25.773)
which doesn't happen that often, but it does happen. At least we know opening night, we can refund those people. We're at a small loss. We can move on to the next city or next event or whatever.
Sarah Fejfar (08:25.89)
Sarah Fejfar (08:36.15)
And that's helpful for people who are doing podcast tours or book tours. That's a really important strategy to include.
Ashley Stanford (08:46.357)
Yes, yes, absolutely. So I mean, one of my benchmarks, again, it varies per the event per revenue goals. The type of event because a lot of times, some people don't care, they just want butts and seats, even if the tickets are $1 because they know they make a lot of money at the events. Some events make a majority of their money off the ticket sales. So there's a lot of factors at play. But one kind of general rule of thumb that I have is
That list that we build up that during that lead generation phase that we know opted in said yes I want to come to this event. Let me know when it goes on sale on Opening night we want to convert at least about 15% of the list that night if 15% of the list doesn't buy Time and time again the entire sales cycles is a struggle if 15% of the list buys Then we know
Sarah Fejfar (09:24.726)
Sarah Fejfar (09:34.082)
Ashley Stanford (09:45.709)
This is gonna go pretty smoothly and this is gonna be a pretty successful event.
Sarah Fejfar (09:50.37)
So in the digital product space, we call that a launch list. So we'll get that list together of people who have raised their hand that this is something they're interested in learning about. And that's the pool of people that we use for all of our reach outs about, perhaps it's a...
Ashley Stanford (09:56.091)
Sarah Fejfar (10:14.802)
webinar or a live training series and then make the ultimately make the offer to and so you're saying you Really love people to treat Filling an event the exact same way they're gonna create
a launch list. It's not like their entire list. It's let's do a big campaign. Let's put a runway together before our event and generate a launch list for the event. And then we can use that indicator that you mentioned of about 15% of that launch list should convert on that first day of ticket sales. And if it doesn't, then that's a really strong signal
evaluate our marketing for this event.
Ashley Stanford (11:02.325)
Yes, not even necessarily the marketing, assuming that you executed the marketing as should. A lot of times it could be a market problem like that city there's not interest or it could be just an event problem itself. Like you got to rethink your messaging or your proposition. And this is for physical events for virtual type events. The numbers are often much higher.
Sarah Fejfar (11:13.858)
Ashley Stanford (11:30.685)
in terms of getting a list to convert. But physical events, yeah, we're talking about 15% on opening night and you know, things are gonna go pretty smoothly for you.
Sarah Fejfar (11:33.419)
Sarah Fejfar (11:42.898)
I love that benchmark. So back to the whole marketing plan concept, I'm hearing you say that there are multiple tracks that you're working at the same time. So not only are you doing ads, but you're doing other things too. Tell me about kind of all the spokes to the wheel that you like to have at play when you're putting together a comprehensive marketing plan for an event.
Ashley Stanford (12:12.369)
Sure, so I would say at a tactical level, at the very least, I have some clients who are only going to do the bare minimum. And if you're an event that's been put on before and you've seen success, this usually works fine and you can get away with the bare minimum. If you're a newer event or, you know, new city, whatever the case may be, you're going to need to deploy a lot of different tactics in order to.
Sarah Fejfar (12:20.974)
Sarah Fejfar (12:26.808)
Ashley Stanford (12:41.297)
kind of build the traction you're looking for. So I'd say at the bare minimum, you're going to be running social media ads, email marketing and SMS. Those three together work really, really well. So to bare minimum, you want those included in your plan. Now, obviously to run email and SMS, you need a database of people. So if you don't have that already,
Sarah Fejfar (12:43.711)
Sarah Fejfar (12:59.297)
Sarah Fejfar (13:07.551)
Ashley Stanford (13:10.465)
Again, that's where you do kind of that lead generation or that launch campaign to build that list so that you can activate the email and SMS marketing.
Sarah Fejfar (13:19.638)
Got it, so you're saying that in then the ad campaign, you're using that to get people to raise their hands and put themselves on the first to be notified list. And that's when you're capturing their name and their email and their cell phone number, right? Okay.
Ashley Stanford (13:32.554)
Ashley Stanford (13:39.145)
Yes. So at that kind of awareness stage where you're generating interest in the event, yes, we're running Facebook, Instagram ads to a landing page to get emails and phone numbers. And then, you know, we'll have a whole sequence of emails and texts that they get leading up to opening night, as well as retargeting ads, just making sure they are very engaged and ready for opening night. And then once you go on sale, then
Yes, you're still using those core three email SMS, Facebook, Instagram ads. We've been doing a lot of tic tac, tic tac, tic tac as well. Uh, in terms of social advertising. Um, but yes, still experimenting a lot, but definitely seeing enough to keep investing, not enough success quite yet, at least in the events realm, I can see
Sarah Fejfar (14:22.207)
Are you seeing success there?
Sarah Fejfar (14:29.998)
Ashley Stanford (14:35.577)
work really great, but sometimes events can be a little trickier. Still seeing success to invest dollars but not ready to jump ship of what we're doing with Metta. So definitely worth testing out. If you are a very large event and have the budget or whether you're a smaller event and need to get scrappy and look at guerrilla marketing, there's a lot of other different tactics that you can involve.
Sarah Fejfar (14:45.122)
Ashley Stanford (15:05.493)
And that could be just a little ramble off a little list here to inspire you, no matter where you fall in the gamut here. Um, do a lot of billboards, radio, TV. Those are obviously larger budgets. Um, one type of client that I learned so much from our circuses. They're so great at their scrappy in local marketing budget.
They do a lot of flyers like in grocery stores, which probably isn't going to be applicable to a lot of people listening to put flyers in grocery stores, but having that mindset of like, who could I team up with on a fairly free basis to get my message out there? That could be local bloggers who are usually always looking for content. Oftentimes you could do, if it's a smaller local blogger, they have a captive audience, they might do...
Sarah Fejfar (15:40.981)
Ashley Stanford (16:02.977)
Um, a low cost paid content or kind of like a trade, um, a lot of, yeah, outside of bloggers, just influencers in general. Um, one of my favorites that, um, Cir, Circulay does is they, um, have these stencils. And so when they're in a city, they just spray paint. I wouldn't say it's spray paint. I think it's like chalky. It's friendly. It washes off with the rain.
Sarah Fejfar (16:12.578)
That's a great idea.
Sarah Fejfar (16:31.342)
Ashley Stanford (16:32.313)
toxic it is, I'm sure it's fine, but they stencil information on the sidewalks. So more like guerrilla marketing like that is helpful. And again, just kind of Googling and finding all of the places you could list your event online at no cost. All of that is just like search engine optimization juice. It can help people find you obviously organic social media.
Sarah Fejfar (16:38.948)
Sarah Fejfar (16:58.324)
Ashley Stanford (17:01.509)
checking out hashtags, engaging with people, having conversations there.
There's a lot of different things that you could do, but at that core, really you want that Facebook email SMS. Um, but sometimes that's not enough. So you do have to look at other methods of marketing to really help, um, carry the sales, depending on what kind of it is.
Sarah Fejfar (17:19.863)
Sarah Fejfar (17:25.162)
Yeah, and one thing we didn't talk about yet was referral marketing. And I bring that up because. We so recently I was watching that Alex Hermosy event, the virtual event to launch his book.
And what was really interesting to me and it's what you're preaching today was that he got leads for that event from so many different places. It wasn't just ads, it wasn't just affiliates, it wasn't just like organic. It was everything working together that a little here, a little there, a little there equaled the half a million plus registrants. And so you're
Ashley Stanford (18:11.173)
Sarah Fejfar (18:13.002)
you're underlining that that's important and that's what your strategy is. But one of the big ones I want to talk about is referral marketing, where we're talking about one person telling another person. I know we can do affiliates at a wider, on a much grander scale, but on this one-to-one, tell us about how you implement that in your campaigns.
Ashley Stanford (18:40.465)
Sure. So big fan of referral marketing, peer-to-peer marketing, influencer marketing, however you wanna categorize it. I have a company called Ice Cream Social, and it's essentially a widget that bolts on to any website or checkout flow, and it helps you turn your database of customers into an influencer for your brand. And how that works is, and I'm sure a lot of you have seen this on other websites before,
Sarah Fejfar (18:46.487)
Sarah Fejfar (19:03.667)
Ashley Stanford (19:10.525)
is you make a purchase for something. In this, in my particular case, it's an event. You purchase tickets to an event, you get to the confirmation page, and then Ice Cream Social will deploy. And it'll have some sort of offer for you that will say something along the lines of, hey, this event would be a lot more fun if your friends went with you. Here's your special link. Invite your friends. If you get
Sarah Fejfar (19:33.706)
Ashley Stanford (19:38.841)
Five friends to buy will refund your ticket. And so what we're doing is one, activating all of the customers to be a little influencer for you. And we're getting them to help be an influencer for you by gamifying it and giving them some sort of reward. And so depending, you know, kind of the different promotions, that's just an example of one. But let's say if you're asking someone to get five friends to buy,
Sarah Fejfar (19:41.527)
Sarah Fejfar (19:49.043)
Ashley Stanford (20:09.201)
they're not going to invite exactly five friends unless they know they can get these five friends to buy. They're often inviting eight to 12 people. So no matter what, they're bringing people back to your site and a lot of people are gonna get one friend to buy, two friends to buy, maybe even three. It's pretty rare someone's gonna reach their rewards. You're also not giving out all these refunds. However, if they do, it's definitely worth it for you because the cost to acquire that customer is much lower than a Facebook ad.
Sarah Fejfar (20:17.091)
Sarah Fejfar (20:37.215)
Ashley Stanford (20:39.342)
So there's a lot of different ways that you can really kind of leverage that, leverage your current database and get them to help you invite. And a lot of times they're often pretty willing just because they're excited.
Sarah Fejfar (20:52.818)
I love that. I know that it's often said that you can fill upwards of 30% of your event seats with just the bring a friend campaign alone. And so you're kind of taking that and putting it on steroids. And I imagine that when someone works with you to deploy something like that on their thank you page, they would get to...
Ashley Stanford (21:07.671)
Sarah Fejfar (21:22.562)
decide what that campaign, that offer looks like. If it's bring one and get this, or bring five and get this, or whatever the case may be. Okay.
Ashley Stanford (21:26.571)
Ashley Stanford (21:32.042)
Yes, it's very custom so it could be whatever you want the goal to be. One friend, three friends, five friends, ten, a ticket refund, a gift card, a free t-shirt, whatever.
Sarah Fejfar (21:35.99)
Sarah Fejfar (21:42.442)
Yeah, oh, so good. I think that's, I was just talking with a potential client last week.
Ashley Stanford (21:44.311)
Sarah Fejfar (21:53.79)
about their upcoming event and how they were doing fantastic already with getting a couple thousand registered, but they just knew, like they had this gut feeling if they implemented something in this peer-to-peer space that it would take them so much higher. And we're looking for a solution on this. I'm going to tell them about this. So, okay. So we've talked about
Ashley Stanford (22:19.368)
Sarah Fejfar (22:23.578)
marketing campaigns, how they really are. They need to be comprehensive. Let's talk about when this conversation about a marketing plan for the event is taking place. How early do you like that conversation to happen before the tickets go on sale? And then along those same lines, when do you like tickets to go on sale in advance of the event?
Ashley Stanford (22:49.585)
Sure. Absolutely want to have the conversation about building a marketing strategy as soon as possible with as much notice as possible. If it was a year in advance, that'd be great. But ideally, again, it's one of those things that depends on the kind of event, the kind of notoriety behind the event, whatever may be happening. There's a lot of different.
Sarah Fejfar (23:10.082)
Ashley Stanford (23:18.117)
use cases on timing in terms of what type of event. Ideally for me and the type of events I work with I'd like to know four or five months before we go on sale for sure or before the event and typically we'll spend you know three to four weeks creating that awareness generating leads that timing works pretty well. If I stretch it longer than that we can lose some people
Sarah Fejfar (23:32.18)
Ashley Stanford (23:47.833)
So three to four weeks works pretty good. And then a lot of times for most of the events that I work on, if we have a three month period to market before the event happens, that's ideal. Four months is great. You get a little out there, it can be a little tricky because people just aren't planning as far in advance anymore. There's just...
Sarah Fejfar (24:07.458)
Ashley Stanford (24:14.205)
so much competition in terms of people's time and attention and plans and what they're going to do. So I am finding that if you're marketing something, you know, six months out, it can get a little more difficult. And so I, if we, in some cases, I do have clients that do that, that will market a year in advance, but I'd prefer to save a bulk of the marketing budget for those last three, four months before the event.
Sarah Fejfar (24:18.315)
Sarah Fejfar (24:41.554)
Yeah, so I'm hearing about at least nine months out, we should have a conversation and get the ball rolling on building the strategy. And then I'm hearing four months out from the event, start that awareness runway gathering names and emails and SMS for people who are raising their hand that they're interested. And then
three months out going on sale. Is that about right? Okay.
Ashley Stanford (25:12.097)
Sarah Fejfar (25:15.71)
Alright, I love that. Now, what have you been seeing recently work really well that you're kind of excited about?
Ashley Stanford (25:26.145)
Yeah, let's see.
I would say one thing that's been working pretty well with a lot of my clients is something we call whitelisting. And whitelisting, I don't know if anyone's familiar with it, but essentially it's if you're working with any kind of influencer, if you have someone attending your event that has a little bit of an audience, if they're speaking at your event, some of the events I do, they have like musical artists and acts.
Sarah Fejfar (25:58.977)
Ashley Stanford (25:59.233)
Or maybe you just have an influencer who's attending your event or willing to promote it for you. What a lot of these social tools now allow is something called white listing access or Facebook has changed the name, they'll call it like a paid partnership. And if you create content within this paid partnership, it allows you to essentially push a button and allow the other person to put paid dollars behind that one post.
So it kind of gives you access to that influencer's post to just put paid dollars behind it. So it's still coming from that influencer rather than you or your event, but you don't get access to put money behind everything or see their whole ad account or anything like that. And so we'll see with a lot of events that the white listing ads have a pretty high return on ad spend.
Sarah Fejfar (26:55.106)
I love that. Yeah, it's definitely something I recommend that you either ask for access to their ads account for guest speakers that you're having at your event. And if they say yes, great. But it sounds like this new way, this white listing way is probably has an even greater chance of a yes. And isn't that fabulous? Because now you get access to running ads to all of their followers.
Ashley Stanford (27:01.893)
Ashley Stanford (27:09.154)
Ashley Stanford (27:16.162)
Ashley Stanford (27:25.069)
Yeah, to their followers and a broader audience. And it just gives you kind of another profile to advertise under and see, you know, which one works better for you. And honestly, that stage, if that's something you're considering, asking for a white label or white listing access or anything like that often happens in the contract stage. So if we're working with someone who might be in an event, whether it's...
Sarah Fejfar (27:32.152)
Sarah Fejfar (27:47.202)
Ashley Stanford (27:52.885)
a musical artist, a celebrity, a speaker, we're negotiating that access at the contract level before they've even committed. And for some people that is a deal breaker. So.
Sarah Fejfar (27:56.109)
Sarah Fejfar (28:01.782)
Sarah Fejfar (28:07.093)
Okay. It's a deal breaker that they won't have them speak at their event unless they say yes to the... Okay.
Ashley Stanford (28:09.363)
Yes, right, right.
Sarah Fejfar (28:16.43)
Let's cut through it. So it's kind of like a collab post on steroids.
Ashley Stanford (28:17.835)
Ashley Stanford (28:25.769)
Exactly. Yeah. I mean, most people are always definitely very willing to do that. It's only benefits them as well because they're getting paid dollars behind their account. That isn't them, which just brings more profile views, followers, engagement to your account. So it's usually a pretty great scenario.
Sarah Fejfar (28:46.794)
Yeah, it sounds like it is. Well, I love that tip. Any others?
Ashley Stanford (28:55.225)
I would say as I've been trying to hit home making as much FOMO and buzz around going on sale as possible. A lot of times when putting on an event you want to hype up the event itself, which yes you want to do, but before you even do that you really need to hype up the fact that you're going on sale. And if you don't...
Sarah Fejfar (29:12.043)
Sarah Fejfar (29:20.598)
So this is probably a helpful distinction for the people who they want to reach a cold audience for their event. And it is a bit of a jump to go to an event, especially an in-person event. Virtual is much easier if you're cold and you've never met, I'm doing air quotes, met them before.
Ashley Stanford (29:30.033)
Ashley Stanford (29:39.953)
Ashley Stanford (29:48.398)
Sarah Fejfar (29:48.622)
And so this runway period where they're just simply raising their hand, you're then kind of turning them from cold to warm and dramatically increasing the chances of them saying yes to showing up live for you.
Ashley Stanford (30:01.155)
Ashley Stanford (30:06.677)
Yes. And honestly, getting them to buy an opening night, because again, it creates that momentum. They'll tell their friends, you can breathe a little easy. Depending on the type of event, you can cover a lot of your hard costs on that opening night and then you're not stressing. So there's a lot of benefits to having a successful on sale night. What I see a lot of events do is they just go on sale and they turn on their ads.
Sarah Fejfar (30:15.258)
Sarah Fejfar (30:29.595)
Ashley Stanford (30:35.969)
and then they ask people to buy. And the return, yeah, it's just, the return isn't gonna be as high. Like you said, it's talking to a cold audience and it's going to take a lot more dollars to warm them up and get them to purchase because the cost per acquisition to get someone to make a purchase is so much higher than getting someone to fill out a form with their name and email address. It might cost you.
Sarah Fejfar (30:37.79)
Yes, that's what I see too.
Sarah Fejfar (30:46.019)
Sarah Fejfar (30:56.843)
Sarah Fejfar (31:01.278)
Yes. So tell me...
Ashley Stanford (31:03.889)
pennies to get a lead, but it could cost you 30, 50, 100, 200 bucks to acquire a customer. So it's always better to have that runway period of acquiring leads at such a low cost or then you can warm them up and nurture them through email and SMS.
Sarah Fejfar (31:22.198)
So tell me what are the must do strategies during that runway period?
Ashley Stanford (31:31.557)
So you want to, like I said, so this whole idea for this campaign came about when talking to one of my clients and we're talking about a movie, it's called Focus. It's with Will Smith, Margot Robbie, and I won't delve too much into it if you wanna watch it, but there's a bet that Will Smith makes in the movie and...
it's a pretty outlandish bet and you just think there's no way he has a shot at winning this bet that he made with another person like a casual bet with another person and um he ends up winning this bet sorry spoiler alert it's not a spoiler alert for the whole movie just this scene but he ends up winning this bet and he won it because he spent the weeks prior
Sarah Fejfar (32:08.535)
Ashley Stanford (32:27.721)
making this bet before this bet conversation came about, essentially subliminally marketing to this guy. So he knew what this guy would pick. He made sure like he planted the idea subtly in his head with different things, images, music, things playing around him. You just have to watch it to know what you're talking about.
Sarah Fejfar (32:45.304)
Sarah Fejfar (32:50.77)
Now I have to watch it.
Ashley Stanford (32:53.385)
And so we kind of like, how could we do that with people to have a really great on sale night? And so Yes, we'll run ads saying hey we go on sale on this day this time. You don't want to mess out You'll get the best price You'll get a ticket whatever kind of FOMO messaging you're working with but you tell them in that ad we go on sale this day this time Then that drives them to a landing page
Sarah Fejfar (32:59.702)
Sarah Fejfar (33:13.539)
Ashley Stanford (33:22.277)
that has the same messaging, enter your info, because we go on sale at this day, this time, we want you to get the information. They hit submit. The confirmation page says same thing, this day, this time, mark your calendars. You know what, here's a widget, add this to your calendar. Then they add it to their calendar, and that calendar will send a hard ping to their phone on that day and that time with the link to click and buy. And then we're sending them a series of
Sarah Fejfar (33:38.262)
Ashley Stanford (33:50.097)
emails that they're getting just getting them excited about the event and why they don't want to miss out and Again, don't forget this day this time we go on sale same with SMS sending them text messages to remind them and get them excited And then showing them retargeting ads. Hey, we're glad you're on the list. Don't forget this day this time Feel free to share this post with friends if you want them to get on the list so it's really just
every avenue that we can hit them with this messaging, we do it for three to four weeks. Obviously some people might come in for a week, so they only get it for a week, but either way they're still a fresh lead and like excited and sometimes that can work in their favor too, so that's not an issue. But it's really what are all the things you could do to tell this person over and over again. You go on sale this day and this time.
Sarah Fejfar (34:31.438)
Ashley Stanford (34:44.345)
because that just puts them in this mode of like, shoot, this is important and I cannot miss this or I'm either gonna get no tickets at all or I'm gonna get a really bad deal and I want to get the best deal.
Sarah Fejfar (34:57.47)
Yeah, I love following Jesse Itzler and the 29.029 event. And they were doing that, they're doing that right now. Is that I think, see, I'm a product of their marketing. I think it's like November 2nd that their tickets go on sale. And I'm anxiously awaiting, even though this is not my year, but I'm still like.
Ashley Stanford (35:09.369)
Ashley Stanford (35:17.646)
Ashley Stanford (35:22.198)
Sarah Fejfar (35:23.582)
on pins and needles going, oh my gosh, what's going to happen on the day that they go on sale because they're doing such a good job of telling me in all these places that that's the day they go on sale and it's working. What kind of ads do you see perform the best? I'm a sucker for a good sizzle reel of a prior event being used to promote the current event, but what do you see working?
Ashley Stanford (35:27.75)
Ashley Stanford (35:36.358)
Ashley Stanford (35:53.041)
Gosh, this is probably number one question all my clients ask. And I am going to tell you, it has been different every single time. So at the very least, I want a video and I want static images. And we just A-B test all day long, every few days. Okay, this is the winner, what's next? And we continue to reinvent that after kind of seeing the data roll in. But initially, I always wanna start with
Sarah Fejfar (36:02.598)
Oh my gosh!
Sarah Fejfar (36:10.123)
Ashley Stanford (36:21.145)
Yes, some sort of sizzle reel video about what the event is, nothing too long, 30 seconds, 15 seconds max, and then your best static images that capture what the event could be.
Sarah Fejfar (36:22.498)
Sarah Fejfar (36:29.953)
Sarah Fejfar (36:36.427)
Sarah Fejfar (36:40.038)
So, go ahead.
Ashley Stanford (36:40.277)
And it is really weird. Sometimes video wins, sometimes static wins. It's always so different. So I can't say yes, video is a clear winner because that's just not the case anymore. And that's been kind of new the past four years. Back in the day when video was still a little more favored, it worked out pretty well.
Sarah Fejfar (37:02.774)
Well, I love that you have eyes on so many test cases so that you can definitively tell people, no, actually I need all the things. We're gonna test it all for your event. Shifting gears a little bit. So when people are actually buying the tickets, a lot of people who listen to this show are using Kajabi.
Ashley Stanford (37:13.261)
Yes. I'm here.
Sarah Fejfar (37:30.822)
because it's my favorite thing in the world, but it's just great for course creators because you host all of your stuff and Super simple do-it-yourself Checkout pages. Do you recommend that as the avenue for selling tickets for your event? Or do you recommend something else? And if so, why?
Ashley Stanford (37:33.178)
Ashley Stanford (37:54.769)
Sure, so I have worked with content creators in the past and I agree. Love Kajabi. I think it's great. I've used it to sell products before. I haven't used it to sell tickets so I can't speak to that. They could very well have a great functionality for that. It kind of depends on your needs and you got to assess that. Like how many people are coming to your event and...
What is like your check-in process look like? Like do you have barcodes that need to be scanned? Like what is the event management aspect of it? And so I would say if you're using Kajabi, have that filter, evaluate Kajabi. If it works great for you, definitely use it because you wanna be able to stay on one tool. But if your needs are a little more complex,
Sarah Fejfar (38:32.341)
Sarah Fejfar (38:46.91)
Ashley Stanford (38:50.805)
in terms of what you're looking for in event management. I suggest TicketSocket, white label ticketing software. And the reason I would suggest that over something maybe like an Eventbrite is that white labeled aspect allows you to continue to grow your brand. No one knows that you're using it. Even the credit card processing is gonna have, you know, your name or your business on it.
Sarah Fejfar (39:10.231)
Ashley Stanford (39:19.317)
all of the branding, the entire flow. It just looks seamless as if people never leave that experience of your website. And that honestly is really great for checkout conversions. If people have to jump to a new website or a new flow with new branding, it can get confusing and it really gets confusing later down the road. If you're selling tickets far in advance and people can't find their ticket email because they can't remember what the name of the system was that you.
Sarah Fejfar (39:34.186)
Sarah Fejfar (39:46.158)
Ashley Stanford (39:48.301)
So you run into that a lot But really you just want to find a tool that allows you to keep your own branding allows you to have control of your money, so some of I Won't name any brands, but some of the other ticketing companies out there When you sell a ticket They'll actually hold on to your money so you could have a really great opening night and really thankful because that's gonna help you pay a lot of
the bills to put on the event. But if that ticketing company holds your funds, a lot of times they'll hold your funds until a certain amount of time, especially if you're a new event, they'll hold your funds a lot of times until the event ends to assure that there's not gonna be charge back. So that can be really crucial for cashflow. So that is, I would say if you're newer to putting on events, really think that through. Cashflow is gonna be really important for you.
Sarah Fejfar (40:31.046)
Sarah Fejfar (40:44.502)
Ashley Stanford (40:46.329)
And with TicketSocket, it's your own merchant processor. So as soon as someone buys a ticket, that goes directly into your bank account. You don't have to worry about somebody holding onto it and paying you out later when they've determined that your event is real, it's happening, you're not getting a lot of chargebacks, that sort of thing. So just having that full control of your brand, money and data is important.
Sarah Fejfar (41:01.719)
Sarah Fejfar (41:10.478)
So important because it's a lot of people use ticket sales as a way to drive the revenue to put down deposits with a hotel, for example, or pay guest speakers and to secure them and to have the surprise of your funds being held until after the event would be devastating.
Ashley Stanford (41:19.013)
Ashley Stanford (41:30.842)
Ashley Stanford (41:35.157)
Yes, it is. It's unfortunate. So definitely keep that in mind when you're looking around. Yes.
Sarah Fejfar (41:42.582)
That is a pro tip for sure. Thank you. So you said ticket socket, right? I love it. And I love that you said it was white label because I agree with you. It's a huge bone of contention for me when people don't, when businesses don't pay attention to ensuring that all of the pieces look and feel the same, have the same messaging and the same branding. I think that like,
That string of continuity is what creates that FOMO. Would you agree?
Ashley Stanford (42:16.737)
Yeah, I agree for sure. And it just makes you look more put together. It builds trust and trust is an important part of getting that final transaction.
Sarah Fejfar (42:28.382)
Yeah, it's professional, it looks legit. It's a big deal making a commitment to go hang out with somebody live, whether it's in person or virtual. It's a big commitment. And I think, yes.
Ashley Stanford (42:36.354)
Yeah, and it's easier than you think to get that white labeled access. It's not a big thing. It's not a big custom development. Like it's a pretty seamless thing. So it's worth, worth looking into.
Sarah Fejfar (42:52.554)
Yeah, I'm probably more applicable for those who are in the hundreds to thousands because that's when volume, I mean, if you're doing a 12 person retreat, I don't believe that you need it. But if you're doing a conference with hundreds or thousands and guest management is a thing for you and badging and all that stuff, then
Ashley Stanford (43:07.364)
Sarah Fejfar (43:19.806)
it becomes really helpful to use a more advanced protein solution like TicketSocket that you recommended.
Ashley Stanford (43:19.981)
Ashley Stanford (43:29.745)
Sarah Fejfar (43:31.034)
Okay, before we wrap up, I want to first find out if there's anything that you want to share that we haven't yet talked about.
Ashley Stanford (43:44.501)
Ashley Stanford (43:49.039)
I think I've laid it on pretty thick. Gotta do that lead generation, big strong opening night. That will help relieve a lot of your stress for sure.
Sarah Fejfar (43:53.406)
Sarah Fejfar (44:00.654)
It's a pro tip. The next thing that I would wanna ask you, I love to ask everybody is, what are you reading right now?
Ashley Stanford (44:11.025)
What am I reading right now?
I'm going to tell you my favorite book. I read it quite often. I would say every couple of years. So I'm kind of in that cycle right now. So it's not a new book that I've read it before. It's called The Desire Map by Danielle Laporte. I think I'm saying her name correctly. Okay, so let me tell you about this book. So essentially it's a workbook kind of.
Sarah Fejfar (44:23.243)
Sarah Fejfar (44:33.854)
Yes, I've heard her. I've heard of her.
Sarah Fejfar (44:43.743)
Ashley Stanford (44:45.165)
It is, and it takes you through this process, asks you all kinds of questions, really gets your mind thinking. And you go through this whole process, just gotta trust the process, just do it. You get to the end, and you've come up with these, what she calls core desired feelings of how you want your life to go, how you wanna feel day to day. So I like to do this book every...
or three years and I first did it many years ago, maybe 10 years ago. And once you come up with these core desired feelings of how you want to feel, it really helps you navigate and make decisions in your life so much more seamless. And I think this would still be relevant if we're not talking about events here, but just anyone listening and navigating your career because I'm
Sarah Fejfar (45:40.47)
Ashley Stanford (45:44.177)
the people listening are probably fairly entrepreneurial in nature. And we have a lot of opportunity and sometimes we're chasing certain things or maybe opportunities come in and we want to say yes because the financials there but it may not ladder up to your end goal. And one of the words that have come up for me over my period of doing
Sarah Fejfar (45:46.866)
Ashley Stanford (46:13.825)
I've noticed now that I've done this many times that word freedom has different meanings for me over the years. So like when I first started, like I wanted that financial freedom. Like I was chasing the money, trying to build my business and brand and you know, what could I do to achieve that financial freedom? And then, you know, have a couple of kids and things change. And I found I was looking for that.
Sarah Fejfar (46:19.621)
Sarah Fejfar (46:34.527)
Ashley Stanford (46:42.929)
Time freedom. Time was very important to me and needing to figure out my career that it wasn't just about the finances, it's also time. And then kind of progressing now where I've reached certain goals and have figured out how to structure my business in a way that supports me from a time aspect. I've now found that this word freedom for me is really all about opportunity. And having...
the space, the time, the, just the foundation in place to have the freedom to take on whatever opportunities that I feel are calling me right now. And so the book has just been really helpful for me in kind of guiding my life and my day to day and structuring what my day looks like.
Sarah Fejfar (47:28.078)
Ashley Stanford (47:40.173)
I'm sure many of us are working from home and so kind of figuring that out and navigating all the other things in life and remembering that there is more out there than just our work and balancing all of that. I love that book, so I strongly recommend it.
Sarah Fejfar (47:42.834)
Sarah Fejfar (47:55.67)
well, I've added it to my list of things I have to read. I was kind of paying attention to her earlier on in my entrepreneurial journey. And then I kind of stopped for whatever reason. And I feel like this is the nudge that I need to go check back in and read this one.
Ashley Stanford (47:58.137)
Ashley Stanford (48:14.105)
Yes. Yes, check it out. I think you could probably order it on Amazon. I know you can order it on our website.
Sarah Fejfar (48:22.786)
I'm an audible, obsessed person.
Ashley Stanford (48:27.333)
But you, I get that, me too, but you need the physical book. You gotta workshop it. But I gift this book all the time. And I get so many people that come back to me years later, like that book changed my life. Thank you for giving that to me. So definitely check it out.
Sarah Fejfar (48:32.13)
Oh, okay, because I have to workshop it. Okay, okay.
Sarah Fejfar (48:46.449)
Oh, that's so sweet.
What a thoughtful gift you give people. Okay, I'll link that up in the show notes. It'll also force me to go find it on Amazon. Put it in the cart. This has been so fun to chat today, Ashley. I really enjoyed it. What have you got going on right now that we should know about and where can Lynchpin Nation find you?
Ashley Stanford (48:59.848)
Ashley Stanford (49:13.814)
Sure. So you can find me at icecreamsocial.io. Very excited. We recently received an investment from NBC Comcast. So working on some cool projects with them that you can keep an eye out on. You could also find my website, ashleyklein.com to learn more.
Sarah Fejfar (49:36.17)
wonderful. Well, I'll link those up in the show notes too. Thank you so much for being here. I appreciate you.
Ashley Stanford (49:39.545)
Yeah, I appreciate you having me on. I really enjoyed our conversation.
Sarah Fejfar (49:47.338)
Me too. Take care.