How to Create Demand For Your Business

Stop getting overwhelmed and living in the Feast + Famine cycle

If you missed it, I launched the Boss Lady Bash Round #5 on Friday. 

It was open for less than 12 hours. And then it sold out. Again.

True, this event was smaller. It was only 30 spots instead of the normal 40 - 45. (I've been experimenting with group size, but I also really love the more intimate events.)

But I have a feeling that it would have sold out at it's normal 45 person capacity.

(I'll tell you why in a second).

I was chatting with my brother yesterday and he asked me "Why don't you run two sessions of the same event if there's so much demand for it?"

I thought about it before I answered. And the first thing I thought was:

He's right. But that's not why it sells out.

I firmly believe that there are two reasons people love the Boss Lady Bash so much AND why it sells out time after time is this:

1 | Because I've worked really hard to create a culture of community and (for lack of a better term) fandom around the event

2 | Because it sells out.

So right now you're saying:

"So the reason that the Boss Lady Bash sells out is...because it sells out?"

Yes. As annoying as that sounds.

Let me break it down for you.

If you've ever taken an economics class, you'll know that demand and supply have an inverse relationship. So, when supply is high, demand is often low (think about Colgate toothpaste. LOTS of toothpaste to go around, no need), which means pricing needs to be low enough that people feel comfortable buying said thing.

This is why toothpaste doesn't cost $50. It costs $3.

Similarly, when supply is low, demand is usually high, assuming that you've created a product that people want.

The Boss Lady Bash is an event that has a lot of demand around it. So in order for me to create the experience I want to create, I limit my supply of it and price it accordingly.

It's why I don't run a Boss Lady Bash every month in Bozeman.

I keep demand high by running a great, slightly-more-expensive event that people LOVE.

Which means that they tell their friends, their friends want to come, and, voila! It sells out again!

If you've ever purchased a designer bag, or grew up in the 90s and had a "Tickle Me Elmo," you understand what I'm talking about.

So we're done with that piece of information.

The OTHER piece (#1 up there) that is extremely important is that I don't just sell the event...then sell it again...then sell it some more.

I create a lasting relationship with people who have attended, people who want to attend in the future, and people who don't want to go, but want to tell their friends to go.

And how do I do that?

1 | Through my Boss Lady Facebook Community.

2 | Through my daily/weekly blog posts.

3 | Through my Instagram.

4 | Through networking with people online and in-person.

Which means:

I am not simply emailing people when I have something to sell.

I'm not simply saying "Buy my thing! Buy my thing! Buy my thing!"

I'm saying "Hey girl. You look like you could use some help. How about I give you some stuff for free? And then, if you like it, maybe you'll buy from me one day. Not now. But when you've decided you like me and my stuff. And if you don't like it, no worries! I'll catch you on the flip side."

This is what we call content marketing.

And people who think that marketing is something that they want to do 1-2 hours a week and call it a day?

Need to stop thinking of that as marketing.

So how do you create demand around your business when you're either JUST starting, or you're looking to get more clients?

1 | Start giving away your best stuff, for free.

You can do this in the form of blog posts, Instagram tips, Twitter notes, comments on Facebook posts, etc.

Some people are very proprietary about their process. They say "Well, if I give them my information, then they'll have no need to hire me!"

To which I say, "Have you not heard of the internet? If someone didn't want to pay for some piece of information, they don't have to! They can Google it! But better they get the information from you and you have the chance to build a strong relationship with them than you closing yourself off to potential clients because you don't want to share how valuable you can be."

Pro Tip: Do NOT do this in the form of hourlong "Discovery Sessions." The point of giving away information is to do it on a MASS level, that everyone in your community can benefit from. Which is why free webinars, blog posts, social media posts, etc. are great ways to do this.

How do you do this?

1. Start a blog and keep up with it.

2. Write a weekly "Top 5 Tips" newsletter to your former clients and colleagues about your industry.

3. Post an image on social media with a "top tip" for success on a specific topic. 

4. Write a "Facebook PSA" with some tips that you see your ideal clients doing wrong, and how you can help them change it.

5. Post a gorgeous image of your product and tell people some creative ways your customers have framed/displayed/used your awesome product.

2 | Engage with your people

I'm going to pick on the wedding industry here for a second. This includes myself, so at one point I was (and sometimes am still) guilty of this.

Here's how lots of wedding industry business owners use the internet:

Photo on Instagram of a Gorgeous Wedding: We love our gorgeous couples! 

Facebook Post: "We were featured in this wedding magazine! Go read this article!"

Pinterest Boards: "Look at all our inspiring things!"

Listen friends, I KNOW we're all just getting comfortable promoting ourselves, but if that's ALL you're doing, you're not doing it right.

How about on that Instagram post, instead of writing "Look at this gorgeous veil!", try: 

"Tip #10 for your wedding day: If you're wearing a veil while it's windy, make sure you hire your hair stylist or a trusted friend to come help maintain it, adjust, and take it out after the ceremony. This gorgeous photo only happened because there were extra hands on deck behind the scenes."

Boom. You've created value beyond just a pretty image, and any potential couples who are following you to potentially hire you some day know that not only is your STYLE amazing, but you've got the business chops to back it up.

Social media, blogging, websites...they're a two-way street. Not just a "Look at me! Follow me! Turn on notifications for me!" mentality. Give back when you can, even if it's just a little every day.

3 | Let them know you're booked up.

A lot of business owners try to cram tons of projects into a single month.

They don't want their clients to dry up, they want to keep supply up with demand, and they want to serve everyone so that they don't disappear to someone who is available.

Here's the thing: the more in demand you are, the more people want to work with you.

We're funny humans like that. We like when things are in demand because it creates social proof around the awesomeness of that thing.

Try this: the next time a client comes your way and you don't have space for them, say "I'd love to work with you, and let's set some deadlines so you can deliver me all of your content/ideas/problems beforehand. But I won't be able to actually get started for another month."

Then, go on your website and write "Booked until May 2016. Want me to design your website? Contact now to get started in June!"

This immediately triggers a "holy cow I need to be a part of this person's life!" response. Some people may not want to wait. That's fine. You wouldn't be able to deliver them a solid project anyway if you were constantly scrambling for their content or not guiding them through the prep work up front.

PS ONLY do this if you're ACTUALLY booked up, okay? No need playing hard-to-get just to create a false sense of demand. That only makes you poor.

4 | Host things

This is one of my biggest business-building strategies. Whether it's an Instagram giveaway (which I'm actually terrible at), or a networking event (which I love!), or a free webinar (which I also love!), being the host of things automatically portrays you as a leader.

Plus, once you start showing that you're solid and committed to your business and its mission, such that you can give advice to other people, you start establishing your expertise in a way that positions you as a leader in your specific community of clients (online or otherwise).

Okay, your turn!

How have you found it the easiest to create demand around your products and services? Tell me one way you've done this below!