Want to hear from a real expert in copywriting? Abidemi Sanusi spoke to the Pickevent blog, answering our questions regarding marketing your event, and how to handle making mistakes.
Hi Abidemi. Can you tell us a little about you and your business?
My name is Abidemi Sanusi, I am the founder and director of Ready Writer.
Ready Writer is a content and writing agency. We provide content for companies, and it helps them to increase their online visibility, gain traction for their brand and ultimately generate sales for them. The more visibility you have, the better it is for your business. We also run open courses on blogging and writing for the web, and tailored courses for businesses.
Personally, I worked in human rights for about 5 years and I’m also an author.
In my past life, I worked for the UN, the UK Cabinet Office, Direct.gov and GOV UK.
I was on the pilot editorial team for www.gov.uk, and a year or so after, they won an award. It was a really great experience.
Your background in Ready Writers incorporated copywriting. Do you have any advice for Event Organisers are struggling to write event summaries?
The most important thing is to concentrate on the value of your event for your target audience. Give them what they want to hear. It’s not just a case of saying, ‘We’re running blogging courses’, or ‘We’re running writing for the web courses’. Put yourself in the place of the target customer.
Think of the value of the event to the customer, and how it will help them solve their problems. So, for the blogging courses we run, an event summary would be: Find out how to use your blog to drive sales. And for the writing for the web course, it would be: Learn how to get to number one on Google.
It’s always about your target customer and selling the benefits of your event to them. And the benefit is what they whatever you think they will value.
Would you say that applies to everything you do in terms of marketing?
Absolutely. I had to learn that the hard way. Tailor what you have to your audience, and just be mindful of their needs.
There is one thing I must say to potential clients – and my current clients know this already, because I am always preaching it at them – ‘your website is not for you. It’s for your customers’.
We had a situation where we did some copy for a client and they came back [with complaints]. My wonderful writer said, “We’re writing for your target customers, not your peers. So, the writing has to reflect that”.
When we phrased it like that, the client got it immediately.
And they’re not the first. We get it all the time from new clients.
In sum, when it comes to marketing, keep it client-focused.
You’ve previously hosted workshops. Do you have any stories of what went wrong when you were starting out, or advice from those mistakes?
Plan, plan, plan and overplan! If it goes wrong, it is not a disaster, it’s a learning experience. The most liberating you can learn from an awful experience is to know that you’re not the first person that this has happened to, nor will you be the last.
There’ll be situations where you book the venue, and you’ve done all the marketing and promotion that you can, and still nobody turns up! In the meantime, you’ve booked the venue and you have to pay for it. It’s worthwhile, for anyone that is doing events, to remember that this happens to big companies as well, for whatever reason. They have spectacular no-shows at events, and that’s okay.
The most important thing is just taking a step back and asking yourself questions: “How can I make it better – is it the venue? Is it the date?”
Learn from it. The worst thing you can do is to say, “I’m never going to do this again.” View it as a learning experience and move on.
You can plan, plan, plan, but ultimately if it goes wrong, it’s not the end of the world. Just remember, it’s happened to you, it’s happened to millions before you, and it will happen to millions of others after you.
Try and laugh at yourself. Delegates like that. If it goes wrong – you turn up at the venue and the heating has gone off, the projector’s crap, and the place is a smelly mess – laugh about it! You can cancel the event and offer people vouchers, or offer to do training or a free speaking event at their company. The most important thing is maintaining that relationship with the people that turned up for that day.
Laugh at yourself, otherwise you’ll go barmy!
Abidemi Sanusi is the founder and director of Readywriter.co.uk. She can be found at any of the following handles.
Interviewed by Ali Coulson