Small Business Owners: Reach & Attract Pre-Qualified Prospects with Teleclasses
You are probably already using a variety of the tools in your marketing toolbox – a website with fresh content, regular emails campaigns, strategic media placements, quality networking. But have you considered the underutilized marketing goldmine of a teleseminar?
These education sessions are an inexpensive and easy option to reach large audiences right over the telephone. Only you will know for sure if this tactic has a place in your marketing plan. But as with every element of your plan, you must first determine the goal in measureable terms.
Do you want:
• more visibility for you or your business?
• more newsletter subscribers or twitter followers?
• quality and strategic joint ventures?
• more subscribers to a longer and paid series of classes?
• MORE EARNED OR PASSIVE INCOME?
Once your purpose is clear, you can then consider format and venue. Do you want full interaction with your participants, or would you prefer limited interruptions? Will the list of participants be available to all callers, or will they remain anonymous? Because your teleseminar will technically be held in cyberspace, venue refers more to delivery options. Teleseminars are hosted over the phone; the education leader has a main call-in number and participants each call from their respective location. To include multi-media, such as a PowerPoint presentation or streaming video, a wealth of web technology is available to convert your teleseminar into a webinar or webcast.
With a clear end-goal in mind, next outline your key message and all supporting messages. Be careful about making your teleseminar too much of a sales pitch. You should certainly give your company name prominent mention throughout the call, but you risk alienating participants if there isn’t any perceived value they can immediately take away. You don’t want to “give away the farm”, but strike an appropriate balance to show you know the subject matter. It also never hurts to hint that you have lots of other good information up your sleeve, to entice attendees to join you again.
Aside from the pure educational value you will provide participants with your content, there are many other benefits inherent for participants to join a teleseminar. Be sure to mention these when marketing your session to participants:
• Convenience – participants can join in from anywhere, no travel time or commuting required. No need for meeting space or a conference room, attendees can join right from their desks.
• Cost effectiveness – a flat fee pays for unlimited attendees at one location
• Interaction – participants help create the class with their questions
• Recall – attendees can obtain a recorded version of the teleseminar to review information any time
• Sustainability – sessions are inherently “green”!
Attendees aren’t the only ones on the receiving end of a long list of benefits. Teleseminars may be an even bigger bang for the buck for hosts than attendees, given all these reasons:
• Visibility – unlimited geographic bounds means you can reach a wide audience, even go global
• Longevity – taped audio/video of your session will have an afterlife
• Outreach – use participant sign-in info to build your email list
• Credibility – as a host you get name recognition and can earn expert status
• Practice – if you get nervous in front of a “live” crowd, this can help ease the anxiety
• Compilation – edit together a series of seminars to write a book
• Sales – create products to sell online, create products or packages of products for back of the room sales
• Upselling – an initial free/low-cost intro session can be followed by a more substantial series
• Visibility – in addition to exposure to attendees, you can increase search engine rankings if you decide to post your teleseminars to your site
• Status – deliver a quality teleseminar and you become the subject matter expert
• Exposure – it’s a simple way for a prospects and potential joint-venture partners to get to know you better
• Affordable – no need to travel to reach a large group, there are no printing costs, the company gains “advertising” by having its name in a variety of promotional venues
Your topic doesn’t have to be rocket science (unless of course you are a rocket scientist!) Chances are you have skills you take for granted, but are invaluable to others. Think back to learning to drive a car. It seemed overwhelming and scary at first, but once you learned the basics and got behind the wheel with a trusted instructor by your side, it just became a matter of becoming proficient. As a teleseminar leader, you are imparting advice on a topic you already know very well with an audience who wants to hear it.
If you’re still undecided about whether to host a teleseminar, here are other reasons, courtesy of my long list of LinkedIn friends and small business owner clients using teleseminars with great results:
• Webcasts held build business and provides speaking confidence in the person giving them,
• You’ll attract your target market/build a targeted mailing list
• Increased retention of training received.
• Attendees learn about a firm’s expertise firsthand.
• A teleclass is a step on your marketing funnel.
• Teleclasses ranging from freebies to various costs are all a part of “getting to know you, like you, and trust you.”
• It helps others become more comfortable using technology, opening up a new world of possibilities.
Now that you’re ready to lead your first teleseminar, be sure to read my companion article on Teleseminar Etiquette just to make sure you don’t inadvertently step on any toes during the session.
So what are you waiting for? Consider your end goal, craft a compelling session, deliver on your value proposition, and watch your business take off!
Thanks to everyone at Linkedin.com who provided me with their suggestions on how teleclasses have helped them in their business.
About the Author:
Maria Marsala, Strategic Business Advisor, Author and Speaker at Elevating Your Business, conducts highly interactive, content-rich workshop where attendees learn to increase their sales, be more productive, maximize their company’s performance, and live a high-quality life. he has been a certified teleseminar leader since 2000 and has led more than 200 sessions in that time, reaching tens of thousands of participants. For a schedule of upcoming teleseminars and workshops visit http://www.ElevatingYourBusinessU.com