The other day Tesla founder, Elon Musk, held the debut of his long anticipated electric…wait for it…it’s coming…semi-truck!
I mean who doesn’t remember being a kid and eagerly awaiting the latest news, catalog, comic book about semi-trucks. Oh the good old days!
But before we move on to the REAL ingenious (why does ingenious and genious mean the same thing?) strategy the Elon used that you can too, the fact of the matter is, he did debut the new semi to a packed rock-concert like stadium with thousands watching in person and millions watching online. All for a freakin’ semi-truck!
So five lines into this blog I’m going to hi-jack it and share with you the first strategy that we can take and use that Elon Musk, Steve Jobs and Warren Buffett and others have used for years is to…
Make EVERYTHING Into An Event
Apple’s past CEO, Steve Jobs, had product releases that were legendary. They caused, and the legacy still causes, people to line up for DAYS to get the latest iPhone (often which was just slightly better than the one they have). Below is a video of the release of the iPhone in 2007.
Instead of just putting his products on shelves and relying on them to sell themselves, Steve Job CREATED demand for his product which lead to higher prices, more sales, and with events like this, turned Apple into one of the largest companies on the planet.
Now you might be saying “Mike, Steve Jobs released new products that everyone wanted to see, of course that can be an event.”
Or “Mike, Elon Musk has technology that’s changing the world, of course that can be an event.”
And you wouldn’t be wrong!
Those are cool and sexy things. But aren’t there hundreds of new phones released a year? What about cars? Aren’t hundreds of those released each year?
How many phones have people camping out on the street to pay full price for them just so they can have them a day or two sooner than everyone else?
How many new cars have an 18-24 month waiting list of people to purchase at full price?
While they may seemingly have an advantage in what they sell, they’ve carefully crafted these announcements into EVENTS and given themselves a giant advantage over their competition to the point that iPhone owners wouldn’t think of owning anything else and look down on their lesser-android counter-parts. (As an sidenote I have a Samsung phone and love it…and it’s been widely reported that Samsung phone owners are better in bed…but I digress.)
Still not convinced…that’s cool…let’s take another super-sexy event! Annual shareholders meetings.
Every publicly held company has to have an annual shareholders meeting whereby executives can bore shareholders, but mostly business reporters and answer questions.
Most hold these sleep-inducing, snooze-fests in some small hotel far from anywhere, hoping that no one comes so they can just check it off their list and get back to “doing business.”
Berkshire Hathaway CEO, Warren Buffett doesn’t have annual meetings…he hosts an EVENT.
He rents out sports arenas, and holds a 3-day spectacle and sales extravaganza unlike any you’ve seen! Not only does he pack the arena with tens of thousands of people for the actual meeting, but outside the area he has a virtual trade show with all of their many companies represented doing product demonstrations, fun activities and creating awareness for their many, many brands. And…he actually SELLS stuff (no wonder this dude is RICH) and this shopping spree even makes the news!
Year’s ago as a real estate broker I worked at Koenig & Strey, a Chicago based real estate company that was acquired by Berkshire Hathaway. In short order they put their name on the door and got the word out via EVENTS like their shareholders extravaganza that they now owned this company. So if you’re a shareholder of Berkshire Hathaway are you going to use a real estate agent to sell your home who works at the company you OWN a part of, or the guy down the street who is now your competition?
The 2018 agenda for Berkshire Hathaway’s Annual Shareholder Meeting kicks off on a Friday with “Shareholder Shopping Day” then the annual “meeting” Saturday includes a movie, picnic and steak night. They close things out Sunday with a 5k race. Who does this?!? Smart, rich people…that’s who!
This isn’t a meeting…it’s an EVENT!
And if you’re going to say to me, “But Mike, everyone wants to go to annual shareholders meetings!”, then I’m afraid we need to break up now, not because I don’t like you, but because we live on different planets and I’m not into the whole long distance thing.
So as a successful entrepreneur it’s your turn to create events in your business.
Do you sell products? Than this is simple. You can you have product releases, demonstrations, online and in-person? Elite Digital Group client, Hawaiian South Shore, does daily Facebook Live Videos (note…if you want to see how to get hundreds of leads a week using the FREE tool, Facebook Live, click here.) and Instagram posts daily featuring different products to keep their list highly engaged and attract new customers.
Are you a restaurant, fitness center, childcare or education center? As a restaurant you can have special dinners with wine pairings, seasonal menu releases (even McDonalds has the Shamrock Shake and Starbucks has the Pumpkin Spice Latte that they re-re-re-release each year for a limited time).
As a fitness center you can have healthy cooking demonstrations ***NOTE I’m hungry while writing this so all of my examples may have food from here on out*** special runs or events outside the gym. Premier Performance Fitness, owned by my good friend, Aaron Manes, who “gets it”, has member events around town, holiday parties and workout days as the local parks where you use the sledding hills as your arch-nemesis.
As a preschool, child care center or educational facility you can have “parent date nights” where you take the kids for extra time so the parents can get away. You can have public park activities for the family, “Back-to-School” parties (you know that secretly the parents are already having these), movie nights etc.
BUT what about service providers and professional practices like attorneys, real estate, chiropractors, dentists, financial advisors? Well…you’re truly screwed. You’re business is probably so boring even your dog, who loves you dearly, goes to the other room as soon as you start to talk about it!
Kidding obviously! Or if it is, it’s only because you make it boring. So STOP IT!
Make it an event!!!
As a real estate broker I held monthly client happy hours where I got space at a restaurant, bought some hors d’oeuvres, and invited past clients and prospects to come after work and bring a friend.
We had billiards night at a nice, you guessed it, billards hall.
We had annual summer bbq’s with bouncy houses for the kids, and me if I’m honest.
We also had annual holiday movie events, paid for by the mortgage brokers, attorneys, and home inspectors I used. And we even had paper-shredding events each year at the office where we hired one of those crazy trucks to come and people could bring anything they wanted to shred.
None of this was related to real estate in the least! And it brought in hundreds of thousands of dollars in business each year through repeat business and referrals.
If I were in real estate now, I’d have “virtual” open houses where I’d use Facebook Live, to walk people through new homes I had for sale. (Did I mention you can use Facebook Live to get hundreds of new leads? Click here to attend.) But at that time I had “open house tours” where instead of sitting at one house for 3-4 hours hoping people came in, I invited people to a Sunday EVENT where we’d meet at one home and caravan to half dozen homes in the area over 3 hours and talk about the different shopping, schools and restaurants.
A physical therapist I know has “wellness” nights with massage therapists and nutritionists providing services to the clients. She also does daily videos with tips for athletes (she trains several olympians so she probably knows a thing or two) and boosts those to her local target market on Facebook to attract patients.
A dentist…yes a dentist…Dr. Dennis Dunne, or Eugene Oregon, has an annual patient appreciation EVENT with rides, activities, prizes, obstacle courses and dunk tank. Another dentist I know actually does videos marketing high-end electronic toothbrushes and as a high five-figure side business because he does product announcements about those, teeth whitening kits etc…and sells the products online.
So by now I think you get it. If you have competition it’s only because you’re doing the same things as your competition. When you use this Elon Musk strategy in your business you eliminate your competitors, create demand, and can raise your prices by MAKING EVERYTHING INTO AN EVENT.
But…while this strategy will undoubtedly get you more clients, more sales, more repeat business…next week you’ll discover Elon Musk Strategy #2 that’ll create raving fans and have everyone talking about you…like in a good way for once.
Until then, have an outstanding day…and comment below with what kind of EVENTS you can have in your business.