Presenting free public seminars is a time-tested way for professionals such as doctors, lawyers, dentists, accountants, real estate agents, and others to drum up business. Nothing sells like giving away knowledge for free. Not only do you gain direct exposure for your business, but you might sign up a few clients on the spot. And you shouldn’t neglect the opportunity to sell your book or CD’s at the back table. Might be enough to cover the facility rental.
There are a few things you should keep in mind to make the process run smoothly. First of all, you cannot spend the entire seminar talking about yourself or promoting your product. This will kill any chance that attendees walk out with good will toward you and, more than anything, you need good will. That is not to say you can’t plug yourself at all – you should – or will have wasted a perfect opportunity, but you have to deliver a good dose of information as well.
Many speakers are afraid to tell people how to do something, lest they decide they don’t need a professional after all. This is faulty reasoning on your part. Just because you use your experience as a lawyer to walk a person through each step along the way to preparing a will, doesn’t mean they’re all going to think, “What the heck do I need him for? I can do that.” The secret to a successful informative seminar is to take time as you go along to illustrate the dangers of trying to prepare a will yourself. Don’t forget to mention how badly they can screw it up and end up creating undue stress for their heirs. Almost any professional should be able to make the case that it is actually cheaper hire a pro, in many cases, than to attempt something yourself.
Another option in the speaking for free market is to make a presentation at an event, maybe a trade show or convention, where there are likely to be people attending who are in the market for your product or service. Take care to find out beforehand exactly how much “product pushing” the promoter allows. Some want you to keep it to a minimum and some could care less. Since they take a percentage, the more you make, the more they make.
Ultimately, the idea to keep in mind is that your free speaking endeavors should be a symbiotic relationship between you and the audience. They give of their time. You give of your knowledge. Everyone benefits.
The Speaking of Wealth Team
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