Speakers, trainers and consultants offer seminars as a way to get paid for sharing their wisdom and talents with the world. But professionals who wouldn’t consider themselves to be educators – including dentists, lawyers, chiropractors, pet shop owners, financial advisors, landscape designers, auto dealership managers, hardware store owners, etc. – can benefit from offering their own events.
- Seminars fill your marketing funnel with qualified leads. People who raise their hands by registering for an event automatically qualify themselves as good prospects for your services. Attending a seminar takes time, and prospects who find time in their busy schedules to actively seek solutions to their problems are most likely to continue taking action by making an appointment.
- You’ll find shy prospects. People who aren’t actively looking for a solution to a specific challenge are less likely to respond to a promotion that tells them to book an appointment or consultation. Offering them the chance to attend a seminar asks for a lower level of commitment; all they’re saying is “Yes, I’m interested in learning more about this topic,” not “Yes, I’m ready to tackle this challenge.”
- Seminars help lower marketing costs. Offering seminars enables you to build a house mailing list of qualified leads who have contacted you for information. Eventually, you’ll spend most of your time, energy and money marketing to this list… which will also allow you cut back on costly advertisements, mailing list rentals, radio ads, etc., if desired. In addition, the people on this list will be more likely to respond to your offers than the public in general. A greater response means a greater return on your marketing investment
- Seminars can generate publicity for your practice. This is especially the case when your seminar deals with a “hot” topic. If you can demonstrate to the media that their readers/viewers are interested in your topic and would benefit greatly by attending your event, you can get your seminar (and, as the sponsor, your business, as well) mentioned in the press. You may even find editors who are so interested in what you have to say that they’ll devote an entire article or story to your business and/or event.
- The mere act of promoting your event raises awareness of your business. We are bombarded by advertising messages. Breaking through the clutter requires repetition – lots of it. The more times your name and/or your company’s name gets in front of prospects, the more likely they are to think of your clinic when they have a problem you can solve. So even if a particular individual doesn’t respond to your promotions and attend your event, your promotions will still be helping to make your name familiar to that person.
- Seminars are an easy way to spark word-of-mouth marketing. Asking for referrals for new patients can be awkward and difficult for some professionals. But suggesting that patients and prospects let their friends, family and colleagues know about your seminar is an easier request to make. And it’s also one that’s easier to comply with.
- Speaking about a topic instantly positions you as an expert on the subject matter. Best of all, you don’t have to claim you’re an expert – instead you’re instantly perceived that way merely by being the person up in front of the room.
- Prospects view you as a trusted resource, rather than merely a technician or, worse yet, a marketer. When promoting your products or services, you have to overcome a tremendous level of cynicism on the part of your prospects. From the minute you open your mouth or they start reading your promotions, prospects are thinking “Yeah, right. Provide it to me.” They regard every statement and every claim with suspicion. Presenting a topic changes the nature of your interaction with prospects. Teachers are generally held in high regard and trusted considerably more than marketing-minded business owners. Because you’re providing valuable information that enriches the lives of your prospects, they’re more likely to view you as a trusted resource.
- Selling becomes easier. Marketing via education has long been known to be an effective way to close sales. We buy from people that we know, like and trust. Offering valuable education opportunities to potential customers gives them a way to become familiar with you and your expertise. When they are ready to take action to solve their pressing issues, you’ll be the first person who pops to mind as the expert to help solve the problem.
- Education is marketing that actually benefits the recipients. Many business owners who are uncomfortable with the marketing process (e.g., feeling that it is pushy, crass or somehow beneath them) find that education-based marketing agrees with them. Seminars give you a way to share your expertise and valuable knowledge, so that attendees can benefit from what they’ve learned, even if they aren’t ready to make an appointment with you.
If you host your seminar at your place of business, you’ll get an extra benefit – increased traffic at your store.
Presumably, you’ll be teaching a seminar that uses materials that are available for purchase at your business. After your seminar has finished, attendees will likely want to wander around to see what else your store offers. If your seminar is giving them ideas for being more creative or handy – such as a hardware store offering a seminar on do-it-yourself home repairs or a crafting store offering a seminar on designing holiday cards – they may well be fired up and ready to take on even more projects. Your store, of course, will have just what they need to make their vision a reality.