How to get customers for your new party business
One of the biggest challenges you might face in your burgeoning party business is how to get a regular stream of steady customers. There are plenty of ways you can start this process even without outlaying too much in marketing and advertising costs. Most of the time, these methods may just require a little hustle.
Some of these may be a slow burn, but because they take little time or money, it’s definitely worth your while to make an effort. Here are 10 easy and cheap ways for you to start gaining customers.
How to get customers for your party business
This one mainly refers to Instagram. It goes without saying that having an Instagram account for your party business is an essential, non-negotiable thing. Not only is Instagram a great way to showcase your work but with clever use of hashtags you should be able to attract customers who are looking for your potential services in your local area. Try and spend a little checking what other vendors are using, but don’t be afraid to use a hashtag no-one has used every now and then. We’ve had enquiries on behalf of vendors from using very specific hashtags – because the image contained an uncommon item that not many had hash tagged in the area. For example, #ArchBackdropHireYourSuburb. Don’t forget to location tag your posts too. To back this one up, we have had many enquiries come through from potential customers using this method.
Offer discounted or no cost services to family and friends when starting
Parties are an aesthetic and visual experience. Therefore, it is essential that you have the pertinent assets to demonstrate your talents when setting up. Think of images (and video) as your digital currency. Offering your services to family and friends in exchange for photos, is a great place to start. I have followed many party businesses from inception to wild growth. Most of the businesses demonstrating great growth started out with excellent images. You might even come up with an arrangement whereby the other party pays for ingredients/petrol/props etc. I don’t suggest you make this a permanent arrangement of course! However, it is a common pathway for many party professionals.
Participate in styled shoots
This strategy may not be as easy or cheap as the others, but it’s definitely fun! In a similar vein to the above, we believe it is an excellent way to build up a portfolio of images and really show off the work you do. You could start small by offering small items to a shoot. They’re easy to find. There are many there are many popular party and event publications that run these, or other vendors continuously holding style shoots for content. These present an excellent opportunity for collaboration and networking and also give you an opportunity to push your craft to the limits and show customers what you can do. Not convinced? Read our 9 reasons why you should participate on a styled shoot for your party business. Again, you might decide to do this for one or two years when you start out.
List your business on directories – many are free or low cost
This one is simple! Google ‘party directory Australia’ and go for your life! Not all will be entirely free, however, most of the time the cost is small. Joining online directories related to the party and events industry is definitely a sound strategy for gaining new customers. Some of the benefits you might gain by engaging in this strategy includes getting a backlink to your website if you have one, but also, you may be featured on the directory‘s Instagram account which would expose your business to a larger audience in addition that that.
In terms of cost this would vary widely however you can expect to pay more for a directory that’s much more established with a wider audience and more traffic. You can read more about the benefits of party directories here.
Tag feature accounts
Again, this one is an Instagram hack, and is more of an indirect method. As a digital marketer, I really do believe it’s worth being in as many places as possible online, as I believe each serves a specific purpose. This is especially true when the effort is minimal. There are plenty of reposting or feature accounts on Instagram, and there is merit in tagging them. Have a little look on the Explore page and you’re bound to find a few. Now make some noise and tag, tag, tag your best work! These accounts love your content – you’re bound to get picked up and shared. Don’t forget to use the hashtag #confettifairfeature for a possible share from Confetti Fair!
Build a network of suppliers
Many suppliers like to have a list of recommended vendors to suggest to clients – ensure you build your network to help build a client base (and don’t forget to return the favour). Use directories, Instagram or Facebook groups to connect with local vendors!
New customer or referral discounts
If it’s a suitable option for you, offer new customers a discount – it might just be the catalyst for someone to book you. In addition, people love nothing more that recommending a great business to their friends (we can’t deny the power of word of mouth!), so why not offer a referral discount. Again, this might only be a short term offer for when starting out.
Consider good old leaflet flyers (you could offer a coupon code and distribute them to local cafes, party shops or letter box drops)
These needn’t cost a lot. Using Canva you can create your design, and do a quick and nasty print at home or Officeworks. We layout and print x4 on an A4 page then cut them. But you can do any size you like. You can also take advantage of Canva’s beautiful printing service if you would like a premium looking result.
Offer your services on a marketplace
Similar to party directories, there are a few online marketplaces specialising in parties – it’s a great place to list your services and find a high intent target market.
Consider advertising in party magazines
Magazines are still alive and well (digital and print). Advertising placements in these publications are great for awareness and branding. Many also have an engaged audience and can drill down to a specific niche. For example, Confetti Fair are soon releasing a digital magazine directory specifically for Venue Managers – who are constantly on the hunt for local party and event businesses to recommend to their customers.
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