How to make money throwing a cocktail event
Niches Be Crazy
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I suck at internet marketing

It’s true, I do.

For as much as I’ve been reading blog posts, listening to videos, and buying digital products on the subject for the last 8 months or so I SUCK AT INTERNET MARKETING.

You may have heard the term Shiny Object Syndrome boy, was I riddled with it (and I still jones for more digital products but not as bad lol).

I’ve purchased hundreds of dollars in digital products without much to show for it. I’ve tried CPA/CPC marketing, doing Fiverr gigs, email marketing combined with solo ads and I was going about it all the wrong way.

I wasn’t ready because I didn’t have a clear idea of what I wanted to do so I was looking at gimmicky crap that promised the world even if you’ve had no experience, and of course… 


I was not building something sustainable and even when something worked, (I made about $5 off of an e-book upsell from somebody joining my mostly non-buyers/unresponsive email list) I didn’t even have things set up right to track where they came from!

Basically this was me:

I suck at internet marketing dog pic

Does any of this sound familiar?

Now that I have your undivided attention let’s move on to something that actually worked for me, it’s a mix of online/offline marketing and it’s something you can test yourself without any initial cost (you’ll see what I mean).

This was fairly recent too mind you. A few months back I read a phenomenal blog post on Appsumo (a daily deals website for digitally distributed goods and online services founded by Noah Kagan) about making money throwing fun events and I flirted with the idea of doing it myself.

You can read that blog post and follow the instructions to the tee if you’ve got the stones.

Here’s how it went down for me though: I told everyone I knew I was going to throw a cocktail event (via text, call, Facebook, email, etc.) in about 2  weeks. I informed them that the event was either going to be on June 9th,  2015 or the 10th.

It would be $25/person or you could buy 3 tickets (although I didn’t really have any tickets) and get 1 free. I explained that their purchase entitled them 1 drink and 1 cocktail class. I didn?t have an exact day or a venue, but I still threw it out there.

Why not right?

This was all for shits and giggles anyway.

Okay, now Noah’s blog post talks about not worrying about the logistics too soon but I do what I want.

I went ahead and asked around about the venue and got a response (just look for bars on Yelp or just Google and pitch the idea to the manager it’s simple) from a bar called Bar Louie. I told them I’d pay them $10 a head which would equal 1 drink and 1 cocktail class. do it on Wednesday, a slower night for them.

They absolutely LOVED the idea and told me to do it on a Wednesday a slower night for them.

I suck at internet marketing - Bar Louie

Remember, it is important that you should set the event in the middle of the week so it is on a slow night (it’s easier to get a cocktail class in that way, bars are usually not as busy), it’s a win-win because you’re bringing in paying customers who are probably going to buy more drinks and food over the course of the night.

Easy, right?

Moving on.

Tell people about the event and get them to Paypal (it’s an action verb now apparently) you the money, that way your idea is validated with pre-sales.

I suck at internet marketing - Bar Louie

NOTE: Instead of marketing to complete strangers it is better to tell your friends, family or acquaintances about the event (they’ll be more likely to trust you)

I must confess. I did end up making a little site on Wix to make it easier for people to buy their tickets.

Check out my ghetto-fabulous site here or click on the pic below. I say ghetto, but hey, I’m no WordPress wiz or anything even close to that. I was proud of my work even though it took me a couple of hours, about 2 in fact.  

I suck at internet marketing - Shaken Not Stirred

I even made Facebook event page, which yielded?no one.


I thought I had 10-15 people easy.

Ego check.

Some of what I call my best friends did not even give me a yes or no.


In fact, when it was all said and done, I had 5 people total (including myself) that were actually going.

I was really butt-hurt about my friends not even giving me a response, but that?s life. When it’s all said and done, you have to think about it from an entrepreneur’s point of view.

Create, analyze results, and then adjust.

However, despite only having 4 paying customers, the event was a blast!

The bartenders were awesome.

Bar Louie is famous for their martinis and they showed us how to make 6 different types of martinis although I did not retain all the information. They told us a lot of the history on the drinks, how to shake them, how certain liquors are distilled, etc.

We were all very impressed.

Here are a few pics from the event:

When it was all said and done, I made $39 off of the $100 I received, all with no money out of my pocket.

I did end up reinvesting most of it into some more booze for my girlfriend and I though, oh well (by the way, I charged her $25 and you can too, the bar still expects their money).

If anything, this is a great way to get some free booze! I would have never, ever tried this had I not seen that blog post. I had a blast learning to make drinks and got a couple of free drinks in the process.

It was not perfect.

I didn’t even follow the idea step-by-step and frankly, I kind of half-assed it on the marketing for the last week or so.

Imagine if I’d whole-assed it?

Despite all of this, I consider it a success.

I made an independent dollar ($39 of them as a matter of fact, woo-hoo!) doing something fun at that.

Can this be scaled up? Yes, it can. So, let’s do a condensed version or the (as Reddit puts is) TL/DR version:

  1. Ask your friends, family, or co-workers if they’d be interested in a cocktail event where they’d get: 1 drink and 1 cocktail class
  2. Tell them around when it would be (you still have to work out the logistics) and tell them to Paypal (create a Paypal account if you haven’t already, it’s awesome) you the money, besides if it doesn’t work out for whatever reason you can just refund the money. Set the price at $25/head or buy 3 get one free. If people jump at that price I wouldn’t go lower than $20/head, but that’s me.
  3. Call bars (Use Yelp or Google, this is what most people use to find stuff near them) and pitch the working manager your idea, leave a voicemail if you have to, they’ll call back if interested.
  4. Create a Facebook event for your event and if you have to, create a little wix site so you can send people a link with a Paypal button.
  5. Get to the venue early and talk to the working manager and bartender, make sure you keep up with them and let them know roughly how many people you expect and go over what you expect from them.
  6. Take pictures, check in with Facebook or whatever other social media site and have a blast.

Sounds simple, no? Ok, smart guy (or gal).

2 questions:

  • What would you have done differently?
  • What other kinds of events can you create using a similar formula?

Thanks for your time guys, hasta luego.


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