Although relatively few business people do these, I still think that seminars are one of the greatest marketing tools ever invented.
I mean, let’s face it, where else are you going to get a chance to talk to 30, 40, 50 or 60 people or more at one time? How else can you explain what you do to a bunch of people, have an opportunity for them to listen to what you do and become curious or interested in it?
And, how else can you do this, in many instances, at low or no cost???
Let’s talk a little bit about the idea of a seminar first, and then we’ll get to the specifics.
There are several types of seminars that you can use, which we’ll discuss briefly.
The whole concept of seminars is nothing new.
All kinds of people use seminars for all types of businesses to attract large groups of prospects at one time.
For example, weight loss companies use seminars to attract potential customers.
Some industries use seminars to attract potential employees. (Maybe that’s how you got into your field.) And so on.
I know a plumber that does seminars to teach people how to do their own plumbing repairs. Most of the people who show up are widows or single elderly women. These people generally have an interest in making repairs because they don’t have a husband to do the work.
However, after listening to the plumber speaker, most don’t really want to be bothered with doing the repairs themselves, so guess what they do?
That’s right, you guessed it. They hire the plumber that gave the seminar. This guy says that at least half of the women that show up at his seminars (which he gives for free) end up hiring him to do their plumbing repairs.
Seminars are Efficient
It should be pretty obvious to see that talking to a large group of people at one time is a very efficient use of your time.
Think about it for a minute. Which would you rather do? Spending time with one person telling them how wonderful your business is and how they should do business with you. Or, doing a seminar in front of dozens of people where you can tell your story. Which is an obviously better use of your time?
The seminar of course!
We’ve been using seminars for all kinds of purposes for years.
We still think that doing seminars is one of the most cost efficient, high success types of marketing there is, yet hardly anybody does it.
Why? I’m not sure.
First of all, some people are just totally scared to death of getting up and speaking in front a group.
Believe me, I understand. I remember having horrible stomach aches before doing my first couple of seminars.
It almost incapacitated me.
However, I still got up there and did it.
Now, if you’re totally scared to death of speaking, there are a number of things you can do to help alleviate this, such as joining Toastmasters in your area, or joining a Dale Carnegie Speaking Course.
There are all kinds of books and tapes available about speaking in front of groups.
In order to make a lot of money, you really should become good at this skill.
I have given literally hundreds and hundreds of seminars over my career and found that they’ve brought me a tremendous amount of business.
You’ll also find that after you do a couple or three of them, it’s not that big of a deal to speak in front of large groups.
I’ve spoken to groups as large as 400 or 500 people and not been any more nervous than I was when speaking to a group of 10 people.
Also, if you’re not good at doing seminars or you just won’t get up in front of the room, there’s no law that says you can’t have somebody else do the seminar with you, or for you.
For example, you can team up with an associate who isn’t afraid of getting up in front of the room, or you can work with outside professionals and do joint seminars.
Other professionals will probably be more than glad to get in front of a group of people that you put together and speak about how their particular product/service complements yours.
So don’t dismiss this idea of seminars so quickly just because you might not have the inclination or interest in getting up in front of the room yourself.
Now, let’s talk about the idea of paying for seminars.
One way, of course, is to run ads for seminars and just do public seminars that you pay for yourself.
The ad you create can be run in your local paper, in the Business Section if appropriate, in the homes magazine, or any number of places where you can test market to see if you get people to come to the seminar.
You can also test postcard mailings offering the same pitch. Here’s a sample of an ad for a seminar given by a local tropical fish expert:
Tropical Fish Expert Reveals The Little Known Secrets Of Making Big Money Raising And Selling Exotic Aquatic Life!
If you love your tropical fish as a hobby…you’ll love discovering how to turn that hobby from an expense to an income!
You may not know it, but there are literally thousands of tropical fish enthusiast’s right here in town. People who will pay real money for great looking animals, equipment, servicing, advice, and so on.
Bob Carlson, a local expert and tropical fish consultant, has so many clients, he literally cannot find the time to take care of all of them the way he should. So, he’s holding a FREE seminar, this Tuesday night at 7pm, in the Quincy’s meeting room. In this seminar, Bob will reveal:
One of the questions that comes up frequently when doing the seminar is, should you offer the FREE report first? Have the FREE report be the pitch for the seminar, or should you just advertise the seminar directly in the publications?
This is something you’re going to have to test.
One very good solution to this is using the ads to generate leads, and then, when sending out your reports, add something like this at the end of each report, giving you a double path for people to come in to see you: They can either come in to see you directly, or they can attend the seminar.
Add to the end of the letter.
…or, if you don’t have time to come in and see us right now, why not join many others and attend one of our local seminars that are explained on the attached flyer. These seminars are an excellent way to get educated and find out things you need to know before buying…or contracting for…Join us so you too, can save lots of money!
See, then you put an ad offering the seminar, which is basically no different than the ad you would use to offer the FREE report.
Use the same type of thing with the same bullet points and so forth.
Now, this flyer can be stuck in with all your reports, even though it’s really nothing more than another copy of the ad that people might have already answered.
We’ve found that this brings a lot of people into the seminars, and again, it gives you a double path of entry.
Some people are much more comfortable going to a group setting than they are meeting someone by themselves, one on one. A seminar offers them a great alternative, and it’s totally non-threatening.
Now, my favourite kinds of seminars are private seminars – those that you do for private organisations such as churches, homeowners associations, non-profit organisations etc. – where you don’t have to pay anything to get people to come, unlike the public seminars.
Here’s a sample “ad” I’ve used that acts as an insert with FREE reports offering a seminar instead of an appointment!
You can use the same kind of marketing techniques except you would advertise, let’s say, in a church bulletin, or some other not for profit group’s program. Homeowner’s associations are great to speak to. So are clients of outside professionals! And, don’t overlook local companies, or the Chamber of Commerce, or Lion’s Clubs – that sort of organisation, as well! There are just endless places you can do seminars without paying to get people there.
You would use the same ads in flyers as handouts to be placed in their publications or at their meetings or services and so forth.
Most of the time, you get the endorsement of the group; and most of the time, you get 20, 30, 40 people to show up at the seminar without having to spend a cent. Now, this is the way to do seminars!
Remember, all the stuff that you have in FREE reports can easily be adapted to seminars. And no matter what you offer, seminars are a great way to get a lot of leads all at once!
You can advertise your seminars in your monthly newsletter. And, if you have an ongoing series of seminars set up at a local hotel or your place of business, those can be things that you always stick in with all your marketing and announce everywhere.
It can be announced on your business card 1800#, 24 hour line that people call. This could be an example of the second opinion where they would push “1” if they just want to leave a message, or push “2” if they want to hear your latest seminar announcement.
And you will always be updating everybody about your upcoming seminars, where they’re located, what the topics are going be, and so forth.
The key point about seminars, like ads, is NEVER USE BORING TITLES! Don’t do an “Autumn Decorating Seminar” or “How To Buy A Car Seminar”. That’s too boring. You want to have a title like “11 WAYS TO DECORATE YOUR HOME TO LOOK LIKE A MILLIONAIRE’S MANSION, WITH LESS MONEY THAN YOU EVER DREAMED”, or “FIND OUT WHAT THE CAR DEALERS DON’T WANT YOU TO KNOW ABOUT BUYING A CAR”.
I hope I stimulated some ideas here for you to start doing seminars. There isn’t one in a thousand business owners or sales people who do seminars, and the few who do, usually don’t do a very good job or do them in a very “professional”, boring way. Personally, I tell my attendees to leave their suits and ties at home!
If you take any effort to do our kinds of seminars, you’ll find that you’ll be all alone! Nobody will be competing against you, and you’ll be in a position to talk to dozens and dozens of prospective clients/customers/patients all at once and build up a tremendous piece of business very, very quickly.
There are few things that can build businesses as fast and as cheap as seminars.
And again, if you’re afraid and don’t want to get up in front of a group by yourself, don’t ignore having somebody else get up there for or with you. So, there is no excuse not to be doing seminars.
And remember, as we say a lot, YOU CAN’T PAY BILLS WITH EXCUSES, ONLY WITH MONEY. Seminars will bring you money!
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