1. Charge via the Post Your Event button – EventPromote
Learn how to Set up EventPromote.
You are providing the service of promotion. People are spending their time to post their events to your site – it is the perfect time to ask them to pay for additional services to get their event seen by more people.
Some Hubs also hide the front-end posting button behind password/member protected walls and they charge an annual fee to have access to posting to their site.
Other sites allow front-end posting to be free, but charge to subscribe to a feed (saving the business from manually posting to their site).
And I’ve also seen other sites that allow both front-end posting & feeds for free – but only to current advertisers.. reducing advertising/sponsorship churn and strengthening the arrow in their advertising sales team’s quiver.
A traditional vertical array of businesses paying to be seen by your users.
Step 1: Have a signup page showing exactly how their ads will be seen
Step 2: Advertise that a spot is available
There should be a link on the ad to your advertising signup page.
Step 3: Provide a media kit
Whose your audience, what is your traffic, growth, etc. This is your opportunity to brag. If you’re just getting going, sell your vision and growth numbers.
Step 4: Include testimonials
Potential advertisers love hearing that it’s working for others.
Step 5: Give weekly or monthly stats
Advertisers need to know that their money is being well spent. Remember that their marketing budget is constantly being competed for. Send out a regular update showing them that you’re the best bet in driving their business forward.
Step 6: Provide a discounted renewal option
Reduce your churn. It is more cost effective for a customer to renew than to acquire a new one… and existing customers like to feel they’re being treated better than the average bear.
3. Google AdSense
If you have open spots you just can’t fill.. AdSense is a free, simple way to earn money by placing ads on your website. I recommend going this route as a last resort – revenue is generally slim, ads aren’t usually local, and you aren’t building any relationships with your advertisers/sponsors.
Businesses prefer to be called sponsors, partners or featured, rather than advertisers.
(the Advertiser steps above still apply)
Step 1: Get more creative in how you promote them
Step 2: Scale – Landing pages for more calendars
When speaking at the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies conference, I was poised with the remark “I can only charge $50/mo per ad on my calendar page, and I can only fit 4 ads.”
My response – “You’re making $200/mo, then have more calendars.”
Consider landing pages based on location/neighbourhood, topic, audience, etc.. each can have it’s own style and sponsorship opportunities. Use the Widget Creator to embed only those relevant events on those respective pages.
Best practices have shown that a toy store is much more likely to advertise on the Parenting calendar page, or a restaurant on their Neighbourhood calendar page.
5. Landing pages for services & venues
Business directories can rock – if you do them well.
- Keep them standardized
- Keep a clean look
- Use images/pictures
- Keep people on your site, retain the value. Only provide url links if the business has paid you for that privilege
- Have an easy signup & edit system for businesses to create their pages and make changes as needed. Automate the process
- Embed the business’ upcoming events in their landing page as an automated way to keep their page fresh
Have a general listing page (some Hubs do this for free to entice businesses to pay for a linking, individualized page)
Which links to their individualized page. Notice the beginning of the calendar embed at the bottom
6. Promotional Services
Slightly more laborious than other revenue strategies. Here’s a few ways you can promote a business or their events… though you can tie these into your EventPromote (see #1 above)
You can embed featured events either above your main calendar, on your homepage, or anywhere else you choose.
Note: putting the featured events widget on your homepage and your full calendar on another drives more value for featured events
Automate this process by using the MailChimp integration. Every Sunday, it will distribute what’s happening that week to your email list.
Other ideas to either:
- Get weekly/monthly newsletter sponsors.
- ie. What’s happening this week brought to you by….
- Only include events that are paying you, with a link to your full calendar.
- ie. Here’s the Top 10 thing happening this week <list events>. For a full listing, click here <link to calendar>.
Social Media promotion – Facebook engagements, Twitter mentions, etc.
Use your influence and other means to promote a business
7. Share on ticketing commission/fees
Earn a share of commission/fees from tickets or registration bought for events on your site.