Seminars and workshops are an excellent way to get new clients. However, they pose a new set of challenges for advisors. You have to stand out in a crowded field and convert interested students into paying clients. And if you make a mistake in front of your prospects, it will hurt your other marketing efforts. Here are four crucial mistakes advisors make in their first seminar. We’ll also provide tips on how to avoid making these mistakes yourself.
Pitching Themselves Instead of Educating
People generally come to seminars for information they can’t get elsewhere. Furthermore, you’re here to demonstrate your expertise on the issue at hand. It is a major mistake to turn an informational seminar into a sales pitch. You’ll lose people, too, if you’re constantly self-promoting. Instead, focus on teaching them something they don’t know and make them feel like they can come to you with any questions. Then they’ll be willing to pay you for your advice.
Not Giving People a Reason to Show Up
We’ve already mentioned that it can be hard to attract attendees in the crowded competition for people’s attention. In order to attract people, you need to give them a reason to show up. This can be as simple as providing snacks and drinks. This is especially true if the seminar is going to last two or three hours.
Make It Relevant
Your seminar needs to be relevant to the target audience. The classic example is discussing retirement plans with seniors. Ensure that the educational material you’re presenting to your audience is relevant to them because if it isn’t, you’ve just told them that you don’t understand their needs. You’ll just bore them if you have too much content to present in a reasonable amount of time, while a too short seminar offends the audience that took time out of their schedules to show up.
If you’re running out of ideas or struggling to answer questions, invite other speakers like accountants and attorneys. This will attract more people and legitimize the event. They may also share the cost of the event. Just don’t invite speakers who are in direct competition with you.
Failing to Create a Relationship
Know that most people aren’t going to walk past a seminar advertisement, sit down and sign up for your services. Most prospects will move through the sales funnel. Services like GQ Seminars, for instance, could help you create online lead funnels and have people sign up for your newsletter or get notifications for your upcoming seminar. They can also assist you by setting up email drips.
After the seminar, follow up with messages thanking them for attending. Try to provide incentives such as a discount on a consultation or free informational material for those who attended the seminar. Your best clients are going to be relationship-oriented, and this makes them low-maintenance.
Thinking That You’re One and Done
Your first seminar cannot be your only one. The odds are that you won’t get many attendees at your first seminar. You need to be disciplined and schedule the next ones so you can keep bringing in prospective clients. Don’t quit if you don’t find a warm welcome. Nor is the work done when the seminar is over. Don’t fail to follow up on leads. This could range from personalized emails to mailed letters. Pay attention to your conversion rate, not how many show up to events. After all, the goal of your seminar is to get clients, not fill seats.
You’re an expert in your field, but that isn’t enough to hold a successful seminar. Understand that there will be a learning curve, but you can simplify things by avoiding the worst mistakes a presenter can make.