Use Seminars to Grow Your Practice
When it comes to scalable opportunities that can help you reach a large audience with the least amount of effort and cost, there is little that compares to seminars and webinars. Seminars and webinars are generally popular and give you a chance to capture potential client emails that you can then use to stay in touch with hundreds of people. Well done seminars and webinars can also help you build your mailing list very fast and effectively. In this post, we’ll focus on offline seminar strategies and how they can help you build your practice. In another post, we’ll go into details on webinars and how to be effective using them.
The question now is, how do you go about setting yourself up to organize seminars that are well attended and give you growth leverage?
Think of Tupperware parties and how they work. You find a few people you know, who also know a lot of people, and they help spread the word about your party. Sometimes, you do a joint party event with someone else that can draw a crowd and doesn’t compete directly with you.
It’s especially good when you can find connectors in the community that are excited about your practice or have had a positive life change from engaging your service. In short, leverage your friends, your community (which means it’s always good to be extensively plugged in), your referral sources, and other such networks to spread the word about your seminar. Pick a topic that will appeal to your crowd or connectors, and get ready to deliver great value.
Once you get a commitment to spread the word, give them the tools they need to help you. You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars printing mailing cards (nothing wrong with that if you know it’s what converts to attendees). You can use services such as Evite (www.evite.com) or Eventbrite (www.eventbrite.com) to publicize your event and track attendance.
Great topics relevant to your community can include topics such as how to help kids handle bullying, or activities for increasing self esteem. You can also organize events for singles to give relationship and dating advice. Get creative.
Other ways to organize seminars is to seek opportunities to be a keynote speaker for a seminar that’s related to your field. You can also volunteer your time as a speaker at fundraising seminars. You can appeal to organizers by forgoing any speaking fees.
Remember, the goal of organizing or participating in seminars is not to try to sell yourself or your practice (of course, if you’re a non-profit, feel free to share some success stories in a non-selling way). Instead, focus on giving valuable information, demonstrating your expertise, and even go further by providing free resources that participants can take home, such as an article.
This is an opportunity to get participant emails by offering to send resources you reference during the seminar to those who provide their email address. If they’ve already provided their email address when they registered for the event, let them know to expect an email with the resources you’ve mentioned in their inbox within the next few days.
If you put a little bit of thought into how to reach your community, what topics will be valuable to them, and how to provide great value, seminars can be an invaluable way to increase your mailing list and grow your client base for a long time to come.