Mastering the one year follow-up

Right now is a great time of year to talk about “Mastering the Follow-up” because with Christmas around the corner you’re probably turning down shows because you’re already booked. Sadly there’s no way to clone ourselves to work multiple parties at the same time, but you can take these leads and turn them into seed contacts for next year ensuring that you make as much money next year as possible. By booking parties earlier people will be able to accommodate your schedule and you’ll be able to book more shows and thus make more money.

Building your database for next year

What happens right now in your booking process when somebody contacts you for a show and you are unavailable? Do they ever hear from you again? Do you have them on Facebook, do they receive your newsletter, do you send them a postcard, do you ever call them again to remind them about your services?

These contacts should be receiving some sort of contact from you again in the future.

All of my clients and anyone who contacts me for a show are always added into my database. I use Sage by ACT! to track my shows and creating a marketing cycle with these people. Depending on your own business will determine when you want to send your information out and it will also determine what type of information you want to send out.

Any shows I was unable to book for this year will have a reminder created to follow-up with them next year (In September 2013). You can see in the screenshot that there are already 13 people who are interested in booking me for next year. Along with all of these contacts, I will also send the same marketing material to everyone who has ever booked me for a Christmas party in the past. These repeat customers will become your bread and butter year after year.

This technique should be used throughout the entire year for every market that you work. You can do the same thing with libraries, schools, festivals, and weddings— okay, maybe not weddings… But you get the idea.

Next time instead of simply turning down that booking for Timmy’s birthday party, create a reminder for 10 months later and follow up with the birthday mom finding out if she’s interested in a birthday party show this year. I will often turn down birthday party bookings if the children are all going to be under 4 year’s old, so for these shows I also create a reminder to follow up with them once the child is at least 5.

Creating a reminder literally only takes a minute or two, but it can translate into thousands of dollars for your business.

When I first started this technique I wasn’t using any fancy software at all. I simply entered the customers name and email into my computer calendar  Then a year later I could look up their email again and send them a follow-up. Do whatever works for you with your current booking process.

Database templates

In my second year of business I started using a database to make the job even easier and it was the single most valuable thing that I implemented that entire year.These people who reach out to you for information are a gold-mine for your business.

I don’t want to go into too much depth here because I want to write a longer post on the subject at some point, but using templates will make sending letter and email reminders even faster. In the database software that I use, I’m able to quickly generate a letter using their information. I click “write” then “other document” then I select the email template that I want to use and it generates the email for me. I just copy and paste this information into an email and the entire process literally takes just a couple minutes.

Make sure you master the follow-up.

How do you follow-up with your customers? Leave a reply in the comments.