I ran a women’s circle over the weekend that didn’t sell out.
I’m normalising that this happens sometimes!
Not everyone can make the exact date and time you set, babysitters aren’t available, people get sick.
Guess what? I loved yesterday’s circle of 7 women and we had a fabulous time.
As I have shared before, small does not equal bad.
I recently had another facilitator ask me how she could promote her new circles.
Here are some ideas I wanted to share with you too…
- Attend local community events yourself. Book tickets to other people’s offerings. This is not an easy fix that will see instant results in your circle attendence and it’s not designed to be. If you want to see your circles supported, why aren’t you supporting others? Get to know other women in business in your local area. Attend their yoga or dance class. Make an effort and go to their circles. Book in for a consultation. Shop at their store.
- Connect with other local business owners and service providers online. Follow them. Share their stuff on instagram. Send them encouraging DMs. Without expectations but because their offerings are aligned. Because you want to uplift others. I’ve always shared other women’s work and this sets a tone of generosity and has led to collaborations and mutual support.
- Collect email addresses (with consent) and promote to previous circle attendees, via email. Wow them with the circle experience and they will come back for more. Return bookings are easier than new ones because they already know what to expect. Segmented emails will get opened over mass ones that aren’t relevant – and it’s more direct than the noise on social media.
- Don’t forget to tell women about the next circle at the end of the current one. Offer a discount code for a return booking. For regular attendees who attend every circle, give them a free ticket sporadically. Show them you appreciate them!
- Run a bring a friend deal. Women spreading your message for you, is the most powerful form of advertising. Provide 2 for 1 deals.
- Share about your circle on instagram more than once. Yes, you’re going to have to promote yourself much more than you are comfortable with. Try a combination of Stories, Carousel Posts, and Reels. Share testimonials. Be cringe (it’s not actually cringe). People need to see your event many times. I can’t tell you how often someone has said “I forgot you were having this circle, thanks for reminding me!” Hashtag your circle with relevant tags – #ulladullacircle #ulladullawomen #southcoastnsw #southcoastwomenscircle Reframe selling as a service. If you don’t let women know about your circles, how will they benefit from them? (Hint, they won’t)
- Email local doulas, midwives, women’s health physios, women’s mental, allied and natural health practitioners and tell them you are starting women or mothers circles. If their clients have ever mentioned they are isolated, looking for likeminded women, trying to find their village – could they recommend your work?
- Test and tweak your copy and ad. How are you describing your women’s circle? Does it reflect you? Does it make sense? What images are you using? Does it feel warm and inviting? Would someone feel okay rocking up alone? Attending a women’s circle can be intimidating. I know some women who have waited 12 months, watching my events before building up the courage to come. How are you anticipating the nerves?
- If you have your own website, focus on using keywords (location, women’s circle, the themes you talk about, rituals and activities you do) all throughout the ad to help with google searches and SEO. My circle is in Milton, NSW but I call them Milton/Ulladulla Women’s Circles to capture more of the region.
- If you don’t have a website/booking system, consider using eventbrite rather than just selling via social media. People search eventbrite for local events and yours will show up in searches. Having an easy and secure payment processing system is also super important. If they don’t know you, they aren’t going to send you money to your bank account.
- Create an event on Facebook. I don’t regularly use my business Facebook, except to make events. These show up in local searches and are easier to share.
- Share your circles in relevant Facebook groups (check advertising policies first). For example, we had a Wollongong region homebirth group and every Monday evening there was an advertising hour. I had women book my pregnancy circle through there.
- Put a small budget into meta advertising on Facebook and Instagram. You can get specific and target with location and interests and get more eyes on your event. I ran an ad for two days and had 1500 views from women outside of my immediate instagram network, new bookings came through.
- If you are hiring a venue, ask if they will share your circle on their social media and newsletter. Likewise, share your venues events. Show that you care about the relationship. Be the support you want to see.
- Put up flyers on community noticeboards in health food shops, cafes, wellness centres. Actual real life places. Also means you can have a chat with the owner and develop a connection. If you want your women’s circles to be a part of community building, you’ve got to be part of it too!