Seminars provide an excellent opportunity to reach many prospects at once. The key is to create a seminar program focused on the preferences of the target market and matches your personal style. Here are some pointers:

Pick the right format: Before you plan, think about whom you are trying to target and what kind of seminars they would likely attend. Is your ideal client likely to find you through an introduction from an existing client? If so, a casual in-office “lunch and learn” seminar would be appropriate. If your ideal client is a busy professional who can’t get away from work, a seminar at the workplace would be the right choice.

Choose a niche topic: Many seminars cover a range of topics with the hope that at least one topic resonates with the audience. The problem with this is there is nothing to differentiate your seminar from those of the competition. Choosing a very specific topic attracts more qualified prospects and differentiates you and your expertise from the competition.

Find a sponsor or partner: Finding a sponsor or partner, such as an educational institution, publication or professional/community organization, gives you added credibility. Sponsors may also help promote the event, reducing the cost of direct-mail invitations. If you can’t find a sponsor, consider hosting the seminar at a location that provides legitimacy just by association, such as a room at a local university or college.

Be consistent: It is unrealistic to assume you will see results from one seminar. Plan to host live seminars throughout the year and make sure you have the budget to do so. If you have a limited budget, hosting monthly lunch and learn workshops in your office for clients, prospects and networking contacts is more fruitful than hosting one public seminar that eats up your entire budget in direct-mail costs.

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Kristen Luke is the principal of Wealth Management Marketing, a firm dedicated to providing marketing strategies and support for registered investment advisory firms. For more information, visit www.wealthmanagementmarketing.net.