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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Why seminars are still one of the most efficient marketing tools you have

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In this article and the ones to follow, I am going to break down our main source for attracting prospects: seminars. If you are currently doing seminars or are thinking about implementing them, you might benefit from these key takeaways that I have learned by doing seminars since 2006. I have tested around 15 different topics for seminars and would estimate that I have spent more than $300,000 to learn what I am going to share with you.

The key to building successful seminars begins with what I mentioned in my last article: trust. Trust is established by delivering on what you promised. And in the seminar space, you must over-deliver on what I call “transferable content.” This is content that is extremely relevant and that the attendees can understand and implement the moment they leave.

This is a key element to positioning you as the trusted advisor. So whatever your topic may be, I believe you can use the following to help you create a powerful presentation that will convert into very profitable relationships. Finding the right topic is critical. In fact, I would say that the right topic/headline will contribute to 90 percent of your success, from the first meeting all the way to your prospect becoming a client.

How to find your topic

There is no shortage of potential topics for you to speak on, but how do you filter to identify what is relevant and transferable? There are a few extremely effective tactics we can use in our practices:

  1. Reflect and write down what you love talking about and teaching to your clients. Passion is powerful; we should sincerely enjoy every opportunity we have to share our knowledge with those who are seeking it.

  2. Go to your clients or a client advisor board and ask them what their friends are concerned about in their financial lives. You might be surprised to find out how many great ideas are not being used in the seminar marketplace that your clients will tell you about.

  3. Search the Internet and find the current topics your target audience wants to learn about. There are many sources, but the two I like are Facebook and Twitter, because of the analytics and real-time data.

  4. Reverse the order by doing the research and then taking a list of topics to your clients or client advisor board and asking them to rank what they believe their friends would want to learn about. You can even ask them to take a week or so. Go to these friends to find out exactly what they want to learn, and rank the topics.

As you go through this process, you must have the end in mind for your business. If you are trying to grow your assets under management or annuity production, how you title your seminar is extremely important.

Remember, you never want to deviate from what you promised the first time a prospect met you. There are many seminars out there that say they want to teach on a certain topic, but when the attendees show up, the main topic of the seminar only takes up 15 percent of the allotted time, while the rest is spent on trying to sell other products or services. I’m not saying you cannot talk about other products, but I am suggesting there is a proper way to position that, which I will discuss in more detail next month as I provide our layout for building a seminar.

Once you identify the topic you want to teach on, run it through a quick filter:

  • Does this align with my values and purpose?

  • Does this topic bring value to my target audience?

  • Is my competition talking about this? And if so:

  • What are they saying? (both good and bad)

  • How can I position differently?

  • Does this topic have the end in mind?

If your topic gets past this filter, then move into positioning it for your main topic for the seminar.

When titling your seminar, use a little secret that was taught to me that works well. Consider these titles: “Come Learn the Truth About XYZ,” “Learn How to Avoid XYZ So That You Can Gain XYZ,” “What Every Investor Should Be Aware of About XYZ.” The key to these titles is communicating “learn,” “learn how to,” or “what every investor should be aware of.”

I look forward to continuing to share different strategies that will help you grow your practice!


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