It is truly amazing how adaptable we as human beings can be when we are faced with overcoming daunting challenges and overbearing obstacles. I believe WE all have this gene within our DNA.
The human instinct to survive and thrive when subjected to overwhelming and devastating circumstances is ubiquitous.
If you read my previous post “Mysterious Hand Disorders and Reconnections: Part 1” about how my bout with focal hand dystonia and its debilitating muscular affects has changed my life and led me to Wealthy Affiliate, you also will know that my coping with the five stages of grief and loss has led me to acceptance of a new status quo.
What does this all have to do with booking a band for a wedding or a live concert venue- i.e. Kaju’s Off the Hook, NYC’s Most Exciting party band- or any other private event?
In case you still have not read or would like to re-read my first part of this article “Mysterious Hand Disorders and Reconnections Part 1,
you can read it here. https://my.wealthyaffiliate.com/jetrbby80316/blog/...
Establishing Reconnections through Reviews
Fast forward to the present day.
So now Kaju’s Off the Hook has decided to embark on a complete relaunch by broadening its marketing efforts toward booking NEW high level private events after such a very long hiatus.
As previously mentioned, over the past 13 years, Kaju’s Off the Hook has performed over 1100+ shows, including over 300 private events.
Some more good news: of those 300+ private events, we attained a high percentage back log of very satisfied customers, and within that happy customer group there is an smaller sub-group of “overjoyed” happy customers who have given us very impressive written testimonials that qualify as 5 star reviews.
Now here is the bad news. Although we accrued and stored so many great written testimonials from our past clients, back in the day for whatever reason I never marketed the band well enough consistently nor substantially leveraged these client’s testimonials by converting them into online reviews.
Save less frequent and reliable referrals from previous satisfied customers and friends, creating outstanding online REVIEWS is the most essential factor component in driving the private live entertainment business.
In order for Kaju’s Off the Hook to comeback all the way and return to its highest form of money-making potential, I realized it is absolutely imperative that we reconnect to our erstwhile “overjoyed” customers in order to find new happy paying ones.
And get them to write 5 star reviews.
I also realized that we cannot rely on SEO that drives traffic alone to our band website to drive conversions to our business. This is not the primary predetermining factor that will increase business in high ticket service industries such as ours. Nor has this ever been one through my experience.
And historically this has never proven to be a reliable factor to drive conversions.
This is, and remains to be a “touchy feely” business. Good old word of mouth, seeing the band perform live in person, handing out business cards, and direct referrals by mutual trusted sources is still the BEST way to attract and get new business in this industry.
Traffic to the website is great validation and support of the band service, but it rarely will make conversions solely by itself or of its own merit. It serves more as a “lead generator” and in a secondary capacity to provide background information of the band service, videos, recordings, performance dates, and song lists.
Therefore, the key in our business is connecting with the customer in-person to make the sale. This is first established through establishing communication by way of the contact form or by an email catcher in order to establish initial contact to make a one-on-one appointment.
Once mutual trust is established, repeat business can easily be conducted over the phone or online, but the most effective way and BEST way I’ve found over the years to create the initial relationship of mutual trust with new clients is by setting up a meeting in person.
Other than good of fashion word of mouth, what most potently drives first contact are great online band reviews.
The Online Review Process
So the tactic now is to locate and contact as many of our past "overjoyed happy customers" as possible who have given us their past written testimonials, and to receive their permission to write an online review on all the major directories most relevant to our business such as Yelp, The Knot, The Wedding Wire, Angie’s List, etc.
To accomplish this and to make the process as easy as possible for these past wonderful overjoyed clients, I will provide an online Review Request Letter to them via email which will include a friendly re-introduction, their outstanding past written testimonial, and links to the major relevant directories we seek reviews for.
Personally, I am still old school; so I would rather proceed by making the initial re-contact this way via email and via direct phone contact in order to avoid using any social media for now unless later necessary as in this manner my re-introduction will provide a greater “personal touch.”
Within the review request letter I will then instruct the client to copy and paste their past 5-star written testimonial into the “Write a Review” section of each major directory by way of the access link provided in the letter.
And of course, ask that they check off “5-star review” in the directory.
In such a competitive environment as wedding bands and live party bands for hire, I feel the most powerful, most potent, and ONLY way to attract new business is accomplished by having ONLY 5-star reviews on ALL the search engines and major directories which are most relevant and attractive to the business.
Taking the “Off the Hook” Challenge
So here is the “Off the Hook” challenge I am now faced with:
1) In order to get new happy customers. I now need to contact and isolate as many of our “overjoyed” happy customers from the distant past who have given us outstanding written testimonials and then to convince them to write a new 5-star review
2) I first need to locate all of our old overjoyed happy customer’s names, email addresses, and phone numbers
3) I next need to locate all of our old overjoyed happy customer’s past venue locations.
4) I next need to locate all of our old overjoyed happy customer’s outstanding written testimonials.
To complicate and add stress to this already tedious issue, most of these same “overjoyed “ happy customers are from private events and weddings we performed anywhere from 5 to 13 years ago.
Task # 1: Gathering All the Information…OMG!
My first challenge is now locating and gathering all of these happy and overjoyed customers email addresses and phone numbers.
Oh, lucky me, or shall I say, “Woe is me!”
Way back in those days, unfortunately I ran a very brick and mortar type of business; none of my records i.e. customer booking contracts, or records of customer’s events and testimonials were ever automated.
Everything was done on paper.
Since I never properly organized our client names or email addresses alphabetically or in any other order on one spreadsheet or even in one place, you can only imagine what kind of ordeal in finding all the information this is becoming!
This now requires me to rummage for many hours through mountains of paper contract agreements, old emails on different servers, a myriad of different spreadsheet and Microsoft Word files, various indexes, and even band journals and appointment books to gather all of this information.
When you’ve been around long enough and never kept records the proper way, this is the price you pay. Fortunately, I have kept all past paper contracts on file in brown boxes and not deleted any of our band emails since 2004! I am a bit of a pack rat that way. That is one trait that has served me well.
No sense crying about it. Better suck it up and get to work!
Task # 2: Organizing All the Information
After nearly 15 hours of rummaging through past paper contracts, written testimonials on paper, various spreadsheets, and through nearly 25,000 emails I now have found ALL the past information I need. Yay!
By individually inspecting every one, I have now located the best testimonials, identified them with each past client who wrote them, gathered all necessary client’s contact information, and transferred them in writing all by consolidating them onto one spreadsheet.
Task # 3: Drafting the Review Request Letter
I am now preparing to draft my official “Review Request Letter” which I will later email.
Okay, that was fast! The official Review Request Letter has now been drafted!
And after one additional hour of proof reading and corrections, the final official Review Request Letter has now been written as is in complete form.
One additional ½ hour of checking formatting changes is needed when transferring from word text file to the email. Additionally, each separate client name, past venue location, and written testimonial will need to be copied to each corresponding individual client email.
My first client email with Review Request Letter is now in the body of the email. I have further proofread one final time for errors in spelling and syntax and I am satisfied with the letter, The final product is now complete.
All looks good to send. I am now ready!
My Official “Review Request Letter”
Here is the official copy of our final “Review Request Letter” I will soon be sending all of our past overjoyed happy customers via email who provided highly favorable testimonials about us :
Dear | Insert Client Name |,
How have you been? It’s been quite a few years since your big event with Off the Hook and I'm sorry we have lost touch. Hope life is wonderful for you and yours.
Sometimes life can take us on unexpected journeys, but the beauty is that we continue to learn and love every step of the way.
We are truly honored that you chose us Off the Hook as your band of choice for your event. I still think back with fond memories to your “off the hook” wedding at | Insert Name of Venue and location | and remember how incredible that night was! The thought truly humbles me.
After a long hiatus from private events, Off the Hook has relaunched as “Kaju’s Off the Hook” and the sound and energy of the current band is better than ever. We are currently celebrating our 16th straight year performing at O’Flanagan’s!
Shortly after we performed at your incredible event, you truly honored us by writing:
| Insert written testimonial |
We'd greatly appreciate it if you'd share your above comments in a 5-star review of the band.
As part of our relaunch, we are optimizing our marketing efforts through the use of major advertising platforms and search engines such as Yelp, The Wedding Wire, and The Knot.
The key to this is having great reviews and testimonials from our satisfied customers like yourselves, which will help potential clients decide to hire us.
All we are asking you to do is to copy and paste your testimonial above as a review in Yelp, The Wedding Wire, and the The Knot.
And while you are at it don't forget to Give Us 5 Stars :-)
To become a Yelp reviewer, you can sign up here for free at https://www.yelp.com
To become a Wedding Wire reviewer, you can sign up here for free
To become a Knot reviewer, you can sign up here for free at https://www.partners.theknot.com
If you have an extra minute, and would like to know what we've been up to:
Like our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/offthehookband
Visit our new website at https://www.kajuoffthehook.com or https://www.othusa.com
All the Best,
Kaju’s Off the Hook
| insert our contact # |
| insert our email address |
Stay tuned! I will report the results of this experiment in a future blog post coming soon.
Please feel free to use this Review Request Letter as a template for your own business needs.
Once again, if you still have not read the first part of this blog post “Mysterious Hand Disorders and Reconnections, Part 1” click here on this link to read the article
Thanks for reading!