One of the best ways to promote your local business is to set up a promotional booth at a local street fair. But how exactly do you turn those street fair attendees into paying customers. Keep reading to find out. In this post I’m going to share with you my list of 7 do’s and don’ts when it comes to marketing your business at a street fair.
Don’t pursue “exposure”
If all you’re going to do at the street fair is to hand out flyers to give your business some exposure then you might as well stay home. Why ? Because exposure is a game for big businesses. What small businesses like ours need are actual paying customers. And the best way to get paying customers is to generate good leads.
Do collect leads
Your number one goal at this street fair should be to collect as many leads as possible by giving something away for free. For each league make sure you get their full name, phone number, and email address.
Don’t give away
we made this mistake the first year we opened urban martial arts. We spent a few hundred dollars printing up tote bags with our logo on it and we gave them away in exchange for contact information. Now we ended up with a big list of leads which is good. But when we followed up what we realized is that a lot of them had zero interest in martial arts classes. All they wanted was a free bag.
Do give away trials
Now forgive me for being blunt but giving away pens and notebooks things like that, all you’re going to be doing is attracting freeloaders. So if you want to attract leads that will turn into actual paying customers you should instead give away a free trial of your product or service.
If you own a dance school give away a free week of dance classes. If you own a restaurant give away a free appetizer with the purchase of an entree. Just make sure that they can only receive the offer if they exchange their contact information with you.
Don’t just stay at your booth
Don’t make the mistake of sitting at your booth and waiting for people to come to you.
Do walk around the entire street fair
Make sure you always have at least two people working the street fair. So while the other person stays at the table you should walk around the entire street fair with a clipboard in hand collecting leaves. It’s really simple just go up to people and introduce yourself let them know what you’re giving away that day and if they’re interested, jot down their contact information on your clipboard. You can easily double or even triple the number of leads you collect if you do it this way.
Don’t pursue anyone with a pulse
Remember that your goal isn’t to collect as many names, phone numbers, and emails as possible. Your goal is to generate leads that will convert into actual paying customers. So be picky. Don’t just go after anyone with a pulse.
Do segment your leads right away
As you collect people’s contact information, jump down a few notes to yourself. If you spoke to someone who seemed especially eager put a star next to their name so you remember to call them first. If you met someone who seemed like they would be a nightmare customer, why go through the hassle of dealing with someone you’re going to hate. The earlier you can start qualifying your prospects the better results you’ll get when you start doing your follow-up.
Don’t be a wallflower
if you want to market your local business successfully at a street fair you have to make yourself stand out.
Do attract attention to yourself
There are lots of tricks you can use to make people notice your booth at a street fair. Play loud music, have a prize wheel, hire someone to dress like a mascot. Remember the more attention you can draw to your booth, the more leads you’re likely to collect.
Don’t be a stranger
make it obvious which business you’re representing. Nobody should be guessing what company you might be with.
Do promote your brand
Everything you bring to the street fair should have your logo plastered all over it. Wear t-shirts that have your logo and your url big and bold. Bring a banner that’s got a huge logo. And if you can afford it, buy a custom pop-up tent that has your logo and url printed on it. People should be able to tell from even half a block away exactly who you are and what you do.
Don’t let your leads gather dust
What’s worse than collecting no leads at a street fair? Collecting lots of them but never contacting anyone. Trust me I fall into that trap before. More recently than I’d like to admit actually and I really regret it. So learn from my mistakes.
Do follow up promptly and persistently
The longer you wait to call a lead, the less likely they will be to remember you. And the less likely they will be to actually come and try your product or service. So make it a priority to call everyone the very next day. If you don’t get through keep trying that person every other day up to three times. After that invite them to join your mailing list. That way you can passively reach out to them using your email newsletter.