Creating, Hosting + Leading a Retreat – Part 2

Okay, so let’s continue on our journey of what YOU need to know when it comes to offering up a retreat to YOUR tribe. What I know is this: Retreats CHANGE your business (and your life).

We dove deep in part 1 of our series on a few key elements to consider: dates, venue, and agenda.

Now, let’s talk about marketing. This is a HUGE area, so I’ve broken it down into website, email campaign and launching.

1. MARKETING: WEBSITE

If you learn nothing else from this series, remember this: IF YOU DON’T MARKET YOUR RETREAT, YOUR RETREAT WON’T HAPPEN. So many smart business owners are clueless about marketing. It makes me sad because it doesn’t have to be this way. Marketing isn’t hard! It’s sacred.

Here’s what you need to host your retreat from a marketing-perspective: a website (a one-page sales page will do, but you can create something more elaborate if you’d like), some flyers if you’re hosting locally, and an email campaign.

For my 1st annual Retreat for Goddesses, I invested $1500 to hire a graphic designer to create our branding and multi-page website.

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This was our first-ever logo.

I am a brand junkie and believe in the power of strong branding so this was an investment that made sense for my business.

If you are on a tighter budget, you could get away with hiring a Virtual Assistant (VA) to create a simple sales page for you with your invitation to your peeps to join you. It has to be VERY COMPELLING and your copy must be strong. If you want an example of a sales page, check out my sales page for my new VIRTUAL retreat I’m hosting. You can see the key elements to include: banner, invitation, event details, reasons to attend, photos, client testimonials/social proof, payment options, call to action).

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The logo for our 3rd annual event.

Hire a graphic designer to create a beautiful banner/logo for you that you can splash EVERYWHERE as you lead your marketing campaign. On a budget? www.elance.com or www.fiverr.com are great spots to find inexpensive talent.

You need to have a way to collect payment. Do not require people to call you or send you a check. No! We use a Merchant Bank called PowerPay in my business, but if you’re not there yet, use www.paypal.com or www.eventbrite.com to collect payment. You want your website to do EVERYTHING for you. Makes it easier for everyone.

We also include some kind of satisfaction guarantee with our events. I’m so confident attendees will go home changed, for the better, that we have a guarantee that says if by the end of the first day of the event, they don’t love the experience, they can turn in their materials to a member of event staff and ask for their money back. People love guarantees. It’s called “risk reversal.” Off this in all of your events and feature it on your website.

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2. MARKETING: EMAIL CAMPAIGN

Once you have your site up, it’s time to shift into action! Up until this point, you can be planting the seeds about your event with your clients and tribe. It’s a good idea to do some research with your community prior to booking your venue and choosing your dates about what THEY want to get out of an experience like the one you want to create.

Once you open up registration, reach out to those who expressed an interest to offer them the first chance to book their spot. I like offering early-bird pricing to give incentive to fast-action takers.

Create an email campaign to your list to spread the word. News flash: one email just won’t cut it! It has to be a multi-month effort.

In the emails, highlight the benefits of attending, answer the key questions or objections attendees have and continue believing in what you’re offering.

In every email, you must have a CALL TO ACTION. Invite them to sign up right then and there. You can offer bonuses, preferential pricing and special VIP deals that EXPIRE. People tend to delay making decisions for as long as humanly possible (even if they want to do something). You have to get in there and give them a reason to take action NOW.

2. MARKETING: LAUNCHING

For sophisticated marketers, you’ll want to create a big LAUNCH around your retreat. I’m teaching this in detail in my brand-new Business Adventure School, which I’ll tell you more about soon. Knowing how to LAUNCH has allowed me to create a 6-figure business.

Hosting a teleclass, webinar or video series leading into a teleclass/webinar would be really smart. In-person workshops or “tour stops” are really effective too. I hosted workshops at local yoga studios to promote my 2nd annual Retreat. I even rented the local Women’s Club in my hometown in Florida and ended up attracting 3 women to the Retreat for Goddesses that year to travel all the way to New York. I was thrilled!

The idea is to give people a taste of you and your teachings. Once they experience how amazing they feel in your presence, they’ll want to go deeper and commit to the offering you are inviting them to be a part of.

Like what you read here? Stay tuned for next week’s continuation of this article. And join me for my Gutsy Business, Rich Life VIRTUAL RETREAT I’ll be hosting on Tuesday, September 10. In order to host a retreat, you need to attend one first. I’d be honored if you’d join me! Reserve your spot here now.

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