The biggest opportunity for escape rooms in 2021 that YOU cannot miss out on!
Today I want to shine some light on the escape room industry by revealing what I consider to be the biggest opportunity for escape rooms this year. I know, it’s a bold statement! But bare with me.
The last 10 months have been a nightmare for sure. And in many countries it’s not set to get better for a few months longer at least. But with struggle, with pain, comes opportunities. Last year many escape rooms adapted to offering virtual and online escape rooms to try to make some money whilst their physical doors were shut closed.
But two very important statistics from 2020 has revealed an even greater opportunity that escape rooms truly cannot afford to miss.
· 2020 stat 1: Searches for “Virtual Team Building” were up 1,540%!
· 2020 stat 2: 45% of corporate teams feel “less connected” to their peers and colleagues since the pandemic started in March
So what do these stats mean, and what opportunity does it give to escape rooms?
To find out, dive into todays blog…
So what opportunity has 2020 revealed? Virtual Escape Rooms for Team Building!
Teams around the world are crying out for interaction with their colleagues and their peers. They’re stuck at home working day-after-day with next to no opportunity to socialise with their colleagues. This leaves them demotivated, inefficient and unproductive. In short, this is a costly problem for businesses — and one that escape rooms can help with!
As I mentioned, many escape rooms adopted virtual and online escape rooms in 2020. But the majority of the marketing and targeting done was towards the primary escape room audience of people looking for fun and a challenge with their friends and family.
But a whole new audience and opportunity has now been revealed, and escape rooms (yes, YOU) need to start jumping on this right away.
One of the many advantages of offering virtual and online escape rooms is you’re not restricted to advertising to people who live local — the world is literally your oyster (hardware and connection pending!).
For escape rooms who are fast, this is great. For those who are slow to the race, risk struggling to attract corporate customers. Speed is of the essence!
What steps do you need to take to get started?
Your First Steps
Well, first thing first: you need the capability to offer and run virtual/online escape rooms. If you have, great — move onto the next part.
If you haven’t, you need to. I understand it may be a big investment and seem a big risk — but those that took the risk in 2020 were able to still make money even when people couldn’t leave their homes for months.
Next, you need to get yourself on the “corporate Facebook” also known as Linkedin. I’m a big fan of Linkedin and with good reason — it’s the must be place if you’re trying to get corporate — online or otherwise — bookings.
If you’ve not created a Linkedin profile for yourself personally, and/or for your escape room business, then that is your first port of call.
The set-up process is fairly simple, and Linkedin has a handy meter to show how much progress you have to go before you have a completed profile. But there are a few essentials, in particular, you need to have in place:
For your personal profile;
· A profile picture (of you) and a cover photo which should be of your escape room, your branding, etc.
· A brief bit of text about you. This should be geared towards providing local businesses a place for their teams to be rewarded for their hard work and to also bond together
· Next, you want to change your URL — that’s right, you can customize your Linkedin profiles URL! You want to use this to maximize keywords, so include your escape rooms name in it
· Following on, enter your current position (as owner or manager of your escape room) and give a brief bit of information about the escape room — this can be taken from your website.
o BUT, the key here is to sign off with a call to action. For example…
o Visit www.bestescaperoomever.com to book your team onto a thrilling and challenging escape room experience!
· Next, you want to share some of your amazing testimonials and reviews — this can be in text form, video, or images, onto your profile.
With a personal profile created, you can create your escape rooms business profile;
· A profile picture and cover photo of your escape room and branding
· A short description in the tagline — again, something geared towards providing an experience for local businesses
So you’ve got your personal and escape room profiles in place. Now what?
This is where sadly, many fall down at, leaving their profiles inactive. But you’re not going to do that!
Before I share the main strategy, lets first talk about posts. The chances are, as an escape room, you regularly post content on other social media channels — Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
These may be promotional posts, photos of winning/losing teams, reviews, news, and more.
But you need to do the same for Linkedin, too! Sure, that will take a bit of time every day, but by posting often the strategy I’m about to share will perform even better for you.
There are also ways you can automate and mass post across multiple social medias — Tools such as Hootsuite allow this and have free and paid solutions. It may well be worth looking into such a tool to save you time.
Now the moment you’ve been waiting for! The strategy.
At the start of the blog I mentioned how this can be used to target businesses literally anywhere. But to start with, let’s focus on businesses local to you. These are more likely to recognise and trust you and your escape room, and so will be easier to get bookings for. Eventually you can increase your targeting much further afield.
Right now, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses within 25km of your escape room — and most are on Linkedin! Their employees will use Linkedin, and their marketing and sales team will use it too!
The strategy you’re going to use is to go after each of these local businesses, connect with them, and invite them to book with you. Simple, right?
Step 1: Searching Local Businesses
First, you need to be able to find these local businesses. Sure, you may know of many already and can manually search for them. But what about all those you don’t know of? How can you find them on Linkedin?
Start by searching local businesses you know of, and connecting with them. Once connected, they’ll become a 1st connection — akin to having a friend of Facebook. And like Facebook does, Linkedin will suggest other profiles which are connected to your 1st connections — these are 2nd connections.
The more you connect with, the more suggestions you get, and your circle of connections increases. BUT, for now, only connect with those you know and those who know you!
Now it’s time to find all of the other local businesses…
Linkedin offers premium services such as Sales Navigator, which can make finding people and businesses on Linkedin a doddle. But you don’t need to use that, you can find them for free!
To start with, go to https://www.linkedin.com/search/results/people/
From here, click All Filters and you’ll see a range of searching options. If you do not have at least several dozen 1st connections from local businesses already, go back and do that first.
Then, select the 2nd Connections filter on your search page. Next, enter the Location of your escape room — the town or city. Lastly, enter a profile Title such as Owner or Manager. You want to connect and message (I’ll get onto that soon) those in businesses who have the authority to suggest and arrange an escape room for their business.
Then, click Apply. Hundreds, if not thousands, will show up, and you’ll have the option to Connect with a large number of them. To maximize your results, try varying Titles in the search option!
Connecting & Messaging
So you know how to find local businesses, but now what? You want to connect with them and message them!
Firstly, when you’ve done your search, you can click to Connect to invite that person to connect. As part of that, you can attach a brief message. Connection invitations are much more likely to be accepted if:
-They contain a message
-AND, the message is personalized — i.e. starts with Hi Name
With each connection request you send, you want to send a message like this:
Hi Name — Is your team in need of some team-building from the safety of their own home? At Best Escape Room Ever, we provide exactly that with our exclusive virtual and online escape rooms! For more information, visit www.bestescaperoomever.com or message me 😊
Short and simple. But don’t expect 100% of all requests to be accepted — in fact, taking into account the inactivity of some users, how busy they are, and that not everybody will be interested, let’s safely assume 1/3 will accept.
As they’re now connected to you, they’ll start to see your regular postings, which will help build up a great impression of your escape room.
But the strategy doesn’t end there. Oh no!
You’re going to message them again.
Hi Name — Thank you for connecting! At Best Escape Room Ever we’ve been running exclusive virtual and online escape rooms for local businesses just like yours. They’re perfect for teams who are struggling to connect with each other whilst working from home. If you’d like to learn more, visit www.bestescaperoomever.com or message me 😊
This is very similar to your initial connection message, and it’s important to have that consistency of message. Remember who you’re speaking to — businesses. Not stag or hen parties, or families and groups of friends.
When you receive a response, follow up with whatever they reply and work towards arranging a booking. There are too many eventualities, so how you respond is up to you and what message you receive.
And there we go, the biggest opportunity for escape rooms in 2021 — and a great strategy to maximise bookings from it. Stay tuned for future posts where I delve further into this opportunity and share other strategies to get you bookings.
That’s all for now. I really hope you’ve found todays blog post informative and useful.
Before I go, on a personal note I wish you all and your loved ones all the best in the coming days and weeks.