So, last week I wrote about our crazy project to run a $25K giveaway for 2019. It’s an all-services-included package for premier website and marketing. Check it out here.

Our parameters were simple:

  • no mailing list
  • no social equity (organic reach), and
  • a shoestring budget for boosting some ads.

It’s pretty crazy. But, I figure a ton of us small businesses face challenges like this all the time.

So I’m breaking down the goofs and glory each week, documenting the process, and making notes for what to do next time.

Anyhow, so, guess what happened?

We blew threw our goal of generating 100 leads within the first week.

And now we’re trying to figure out what happens next.

Ok, after that glory, here are some of the goofs:

  • Should we keep driving this giveaway through the internets to get more leads? Or focus on celebrating the ones who made it in?
  • Now what? How do we keep the registrants engaged?
  • Should we have started the giveaway with a more focused target audience?

Goof #1: Double the Goal, or Double Down on the Gold?

Reaching that 100 was easier than we thought.

Perhaps we should have expected that.

The amount of value that we’re giving away is pretty incredible. Like I said, it’s $25K in brand discovery, brand management, strategy sessions, and of course, premier website design up to 20 pages.

So do we keep heading out, spreading the news, and trying to fill the pot with even more leads?

What if we set a stretch goal of 200 registrants? It would be incredible to have 200+ warm leads to work with next year.

Or should we turn around and put our prime focus on celebrating the registrants of the Giveaway?

Every member is in love with the vision of a year of free marketing. Everyone has a dream. Everyone has a story.

What if we spend the next few weeks getting to know them really well? What if they became the Giveaway’s celebrities?

What if we doubled down on them, showing them that we’re in this for more than just the leads? What if we could actually convert 80% of them in 2019, and support them?

Goof #2: How do we keep the registrants engaged?

So, after brainstorming the launch and the delivery date, we realized we hadn’t brainstormed clearly enough about what happens in between.

Our first week, we went all in with sharing things like quote graphics and memes on our Facebook fan page, LinkedIn company page, and Instagram.

Not a lot of engagement. Which was to be expected. Most people didn’t even see the stuff.

But by the end of the week, the tagging and posting was beginning to pay off.

We tried reaching out to friends and family for personal referrals. I don’t always recommend that, but sometimes you get lucky.

We tried pulling together all warm/cold leads who had reached out to us in the past, and sent them an email, fishing for interest.

We tried this behind-the-scenes blog series on LinkedIn (got some awesome DM’s and comments).

Either way, we met our goal. Now what?

  • What ideas can we play with to generate buzz, engagement, discussion, and more interest?
  • How do we keep the registrants engaged over the next 3 weeks?
  • What can we send registrants that will interest them, and also interest new people checking out the giveaway?

Here are some of the results of our brainstorming sessions. We have no idea if we’ll implement them all. Either way, in the spirit of documenting, enjoy.

Check in next week to see what time and budget allowed us this time.

TO DO 1: How to Keep Growing the Outreach

There’s still tons of people out there. And in the new year, we’ve decided to knuckle down on a particular niche, the one we can serve best. Hungry, motivated home services specialists looking to win their market.

So we need to do some simple, standard outreach: cold e-mail. We’re Googling a list of roofers, plumbers, and housing contractors in the surrounding VA counties. We’re reaching out to a bunch of them with an invite to learn more about the Giveaway.

We’re also reaching out to our existing clients and sharing with them our referral program (did you know we think it’s the most creative one in the web design industry? Yep. Check it out. )

We’ll see how that goes, and how many responses we get.

TO DO 2: What content can we provide to existing registrants?

As discussed last week, we (finally!) started taking our portfolio seriously, and a bunch of our clients have been responding with great references.

So there’s a starting point for sharing content. We’ve been sharing these portfolio items once a day on our social profiles.

But we need to work on something more.

We need something that keeps the focus on the real heroes of this giveaway: you all.

All the people registering are hoping to win because they have a story. They have a dream they want to see happen.

They are facing some kind of problem that they can’t overcome, and winning $25K in marketing support would be a sheer Godsend.

We’re almost 2 weeks in, and we don’t know what any of those stories, problems, and dreams are.

How can we keep the registrants engaged?

Why can’t we pace ourselves with a bunch of exciting mini-activities to keep everyone equally excited?

This 100+ list is probably simmering with potential. I can guarantee that everyone on it is simmering with expectation.

How can we turn the spotlight away from the Enable team, and onto these wannabe winners?

We need a couple of simple ideas that last about a week each, and can keep people checking their inboxes. We need some different media types. Perhaps even some video would be a good idea.

In fact, video would be a great idea.

But man, we’re just so darn busy.

What could be some simple, impactful ideas? You’ve got to have a ton in the bag so that you can prioritize and pick something.

IDEA 1: ‘What’s the Dream’ Series

Every person on the list has a dream. Something they want to accomplish. Something that makes $25K look like an incredible step up.

Why don’t we email everyone and ask them what that dream is? We let them know that we’ll be sharing the best ones on our social pages, with a link to their website, or their fanpage. We can turn them into simple quote graphics, and send them to the registrants, and share on our social pages.

This seems like a wonderful opportunity to focus on the internal discussion that people are having. It also is a solid way to help people envision the future, and maybe explain how we can help them.

IDEA 2: ‘Whats Your Story’ Series

Everyone has a story, a career background, a change in lifestyle. Their business/brand also exists for a reason, and has a vision for change. Or service.

Often these businesses are founded on unique and interesting situations.

What if we threw in a mini-prize for the best story? What if we priced out a simple, single-page website that’s easy for us to deliver, and hugely valuable for a small business?

For a few hours of work, we could make someone’s season.

So this is like a mini-giveaway within the larger giveaway that people could enter.

It also provides us, the giveaway hosts, with more content to share with all registrants, and on our social accounts.

At the very least, we’re helping create more exposure for the community, and not just for ourselves. This means more engagement, more excitement, and more discussion.

We hope!

IDEA 3. Video AMAs (Ask me Anything)

Video has a massive, humanizing effect. What could be an easy win?

Well, if we launch these two previous ideas, then we have amazing content to turn into video form.

Not only could the graphics become a slideshow set to Christmas music (looking at you Biteable and Lumen5), but what about reading them aloud?

How about a team member schedules a weekly AMA on one of the social platforms, and lets registrants know about it 24hrs in advance. That way they can answer any questions people may have about the giveaway.

And if no one shows up, or if there aren’t a bunch of questions, then we can read aloud/shoutout to the best ‘What’s the Dream’ submissions. And then skim through the talking points about the Giveaway.

Easy video content, perhaps no more than a half hour. And no need to guess about what to say.

IDEA 4. Existing Blog Content

Enable has also released some amazing blog content. Plenty of walkthroughs and how-tos geared for motivated small businesses.

How about we select the top performing ones? And also make a list of the ones we believe are the most valuable.

We could drip those out as part of the campaign. Perhaps 1 a week?

IDEA 5. 10% for 10 Winners

What about setting up another mini giveaway? We could offer 10% each website package, for 10 lucky registrants.

And what if Enable donated that 10% to a local charity in their name?

Could we ask that charity to join in on the fun, share the news, and tag us too?

What if we announced the winners the week before Christmas? Certainly one way to keep people checking their inboxes.

IDEA 6. 12 Days of Christmas Graphics

What if we launched a ’12 days of Christmas celebration’ for 12 days, starting on December 12th?

( Courtesy of Canva’s Christmas graphics. )

What if every day, we start a thread on a different social network, and invite people to tag a friend to win a simple set of (unbranded) social graphics? Something like a timeline cover and quote graphic.

Just something our inhouse designers work up for the tagged friend. Could be a simple, heart warming Christmas quote, or their Bible verse.

Very ‘Christmas Spirit.’ And maybe lots of engagement ideas to get more people drawn in.

And again, it’s a simple thing for us to do, since it’s in our wheelhouse. Every day we announce yesterday’s winner, and launch the new one.

IDEA 7. Sing a Song?

This ones for the cheese factor.

Could we get the team together to sing a refrain of ‘Have a Holly Jolly Christmas,’ of ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’ for about 30 seconds?

We can then send it to all the registrants during the last week.

This could be a nice, little way to humanize the team.

Wrapping Up

So before you can do anything, you have to blue sky what’s possible.

What I love about these ideas is the possible discussion that can be generated on social media.

The focus turns away from us, and onto the registrants. They are showcased. They are the heroes.

And we all get to meet them and share in their successes.

Later on, we’ll brainstorm more concretely about what happens after the Giveaway.

  • Does it just die away?
  • What can we do to follow up about?
  • Is there any way to keep the discussion going beyond Christmas?

It seems a shame to spend all this effort creating all this amazing buzz, and then have it peter out like the Ghost of Christmas Past.

And obviously, this is a shot in the arm for our social equity. It needs to be nurtured and grown.

So, check back in next week to see what else we discover about this process, and what we end up doing about it!

Any ideas on your end? Would love to know what you’ve done, or good ideas from other Giveaways you’ve joined. :)

Come on over and join in the fun:

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