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Experienced seminar promoters know that the number of registrations that come in each day generally increases as the seminar draws closer. While you might receive only one registration per day four weeks before your seminar, you could see 20 registrations per day the last week before your event.

The reason for this trend, by and large, is prospects' procrastination. Like you, your prospective seminar attendees are busy. They might be interested in attending your event, but if there is no compelling reason to sign up in the moment, they will put your promotions aside (or print a copy of your web page) for later review. After all, they have fires to put out right now, and your seminar does not take place for weeks.

Here are three ways to overcome your prospects' natural tendency to put off making a decision about whether to attend your seminar:

1. Use deadlines. The starting date of your seminar is a prime example of the motivational power provided by deadlines. As the seminar gets closer, registrations increase because prospects are finally getting around to reviewing your promotions and making a decision. They finally sit down to review your materials because they know they have to. If they do not, they will miss your event, plain and simple. A common, proven way to use deadlines is to offer a tuition discount for early bird registrants. If you do not want to offer a discount, try offering one or more additional bonuses instead. For example, give early registrants a copy of your latest book or access to a monthly coaching group that you run.

2. Increase the frequency of your communication around deadlines. Don't set a deadline and then forget to remind prospects about them. Remember, your prospects are busy. They probably are not writing notes in their calendars to jog their memory, so it is up to you to prod them into action. Increasing the frequency and quantity of your promotions right before a deadline raises awareness that something urgent is happening. As much as we like to think that our prospects eagerly read every word of every promotion, the reality is that most of our promotions end up unread in the trash. Sending a few more messages before a deadline increases the chances that prospects will read your messages ("Hmmm, why does Jenny keep emailing me. Maybe I should read this email...."). Each reminder also becomes an opportunity to give a prospect the final nudge he or she needs to take action.

3. Make courtesy calls. I learned early in my seminar marketing career that some prospects are so busy that they will never get around to reviewing promotional materials. Courtesy calls can be an effective way to support these clients, who otherwise might miss important deadlines or perhaps miss your event altogether. If you are lucky enough to get your prospects on the phone, be prepared to take the registration. Improving your marketing copy and making irresistible offers will increase the number of prospects who will sign up for your seminar right away. But a certain portion of your audience will always procrastinate. Use these three ideas to gently move them toward making the decision to register for your seminar.

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Prospects often dismiss upcoming events with “I already know that” or “I don’t need to know that” … when the truth is that they desperately need the training and simply haven’t realized it yet. Seeking input from prospective seminar attendees can provide valuable insight into how they view their challenges, as well as their need – or lack thereof – for your training.

When you know that prospects would benefit from attending your seminar, but they don’t agree that they need the training, you have a few options.

The first approach is to shift your focus and promote a seminar that prospects say they want. In some cases, this makes sense. Continuing to promote a program that customers don’t want is a frustrating, expensive, time-consuming process that will produce a small return on your investment. You’ll make more money by delivering the seminars your customers say they want to buy.

However, in some cases, you know that they must have the information in the program you are trying to promote. They simply don't know it yet - they don't know what they don't know. Successfully delivering a different seminar may be impossible without the training you provide in your first program.

For example, perhaps students must have a basic-level training program – which they say they don’t want or need – before they can take the advanced programs, which are the seminars your audience wants. In this case, you will want to implement one of the two remaining strategies.

The second approach is to change your positioning. Customer surveys can help you understand how your prospects think about their problems. Take a fresh look at your seminar promotions – is there some way to describe your content and the benefits of attending in a way that fits the way your audience thinks about the topic?

For example, perhaps you stress that your sales seminar will help attendees be more comfortable when closing sales. Customer research may reveal that prospects aren’t concerned about closing; they are more focused with learning cost-effective ways to generate qualified leads. Since that is also a topic covered in your seminar, change your marketing copy to more strongly emphasize this benefit.

A final approach is to meet prospects where they are … and then educate them. Use your marketing materials to show that you understand their frustrations and goals. Then show them how the content you offer in your seminar – although it may not appear at first glance to be what they need – will help them achieve their goals. Use examples whenever possible to illustrate the points you are trying to make.

For example, imagine that you offer a seminar teaching clients how to increase their profitability. You may find that a portion of your audience views their problem as a need to increase revenue. For this group, you need to show why focusing on profitability is more essential to overall success, which you could do effectively by using numbers and real-life examples from your customer files.

As the expert, you can see the big picture of what your client need to learn to achieve their goals. Use customer research to find ways to better connect and communicate with them, so you can develop the marketing message needed to establish your seminar as the solution to their top-of-mind problems.

What have you found to be effective in helping prospects recognize their need for your seminar? Login and share your thoughts below. ~ Jenny

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For every person who signs up for a seminar, it seems like there are at least a few more who are undecided about attending.

Some are uncertain because they have financial concerns and aren't sure they'll receive enough value for their investment. Convincing these prospects to register takes highly persuasive copy and lots of follow-up.

But other prospects are easier to reassure. Emotionally, they are sold on participating. But the logical part of their brain needs to be set at ease about committing to participation in your seminar.

To move these individuals off the fence and onto your registration list, provide answers to common questions about your event. Questions that relate to the registration fee are top priority, such as "What is your satisfaction guarantee?" "What if I have to cancel?" and "What's included in my registration fee?"

But don't overlook questions that seem to be trivial, such as "What should I wear?" "What about meals?" and "How do I get to the hotel?" The more you're able to help prospects visualize their entire seminar experience, the more at ease they'll be ... and the fewer obstacles will stand between you and another registration.

To make these details easy to find, post a list of frequently asked questions on your website or include a page of seminar details and common questions in your brochure. Sending a direct mail package? Consider including an insert with your seminar FAQs.

To register for a seminar, prospects need to be convinced that the event will deliver an experience that is worth their money, as well as their time. Each additional detail you provide about your event could make the difference in convincing a prospect that your seminar is a must-attend event.

What strategies do you find effective in motivating prospects to register? Share your ideas below! ~ Jenny


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One of the most common mistakes seminars promoters make when creating their marketing materials is ending their sales copy on a whimper. Like the salesperson who delivers a presentation and then doesn’t ask for the sale, these promotional materials present details about the course, add a note about the cost and a registration button at the end … and that’s it. If readers don’t like the price, they toss your promotions aside and you don’t hear from them again.

To increase the power of the sales presentation you delivering via your marketing copy, you must end on a strong note. Here are some tips:

 

  • Tell prospects to register. Many promoters simply present the tuition and a registration button. This approach is far too passive when relying on direct marketing. If you were sitting face to face with a prospect, you would have the opportunity to ask them for the sale. Your copy – whether written words on a screen or page, an audio message, or a video presentation you’ve posted online – must do more. It must ask prospects for the sale. Tell them … “Register Now!”
  • Ask for the sale multiple times. When selling face to face, you might be able to get away with asking for the sale only one time. When marketing, you must do so multiple times. Most of your requests will appear near the end of your sales materials. However, you can sprinkle calls to action throughout your promotions, such as after every major section of copy. Other places to include calls to action are at the top of your sales page (include a navigation link that says “register now”), at the bottom of every page on your brochure, and on the front and back of postcards.
  • Include buttons and text links. Some prospects will be more attracted to large, visually appealing graphic buttons. Others will respond to calls to action that are incorporated into your text. For example, you might end a paragraph with, “…so reserve your place today.” In this instance, the phrase “reserve your place” would be turned into a link that takes visitors to your registration page. Include both formats of closes in your seminar marketing materials.
  • Recap your seminar’s benefits. If prospects are still with you at the close of your seminar promotions, they are in a state of evaluating whether they will be able to recoup the time and money they must invest to attend your seminar. This is a prime time to focus their attention on the benefits they’ll gain by participating, especially anything that relates to their bottom line.
  • Wave the stick. Some prospects are motivated by benefits (carrots); others are motivated to take action by a desire to avoid negative consequences (sticks). To win a sale, you may find it helpful to remind prospects of what they will lose if they don’t take action. Remind them of the consequences they’ll suffer from – or the frustrations they’ll continue to struggle with – if they don’t attend your seminar.

 

Some seminar promoters end their sales copy on a whimper because they don’t like to ask for the sale. Others do so because they get tired – by the time they get to the end, they are sick and tired of writing. To counteract these tendencies, motivate yourself by focusing on how much your prospects’ lives will change if they attend your event. Then write the close of your seminar promotions first, before you get tired. By improving your close, you’ll boost your revenue … and connect more people with the valuable training they need to improve their lives.

What techniques have you found helpful when strengthening your close? Please share your thoughts below. ~ Jenny

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Competition for your prospects’ attention is fierce. Not only are other providers offering events similar to yours, potential attendees also are being tempted by webinars, teleseminars, books, audio programs and other forms of information. To win attention – and registrations – you need to make your event stand out from the crowd.

Here are 7 ways you can make your event shine:

1. Highlight what is different about your event. You may review your competitors and think that there is absolutely no difference between their events and yours – for instance, if you are licensed to teach someone else’s materials.

If this is the case for you, you simply must work harder to find – or create – a unique selling proposition. For example, perhaps you specialize in serving a certain audience or a particular region of your city or state.

2. Play up your credentials. Dig deeper into your experience and background to find ways to differentiate yourself. Perhaps your educational and work experience gives you a leg up on your competitors. For example, I came to marketing via the not-for-profit world, which is not experience that many copywriters have. When promoting events to associations and other not-for-profit organizations, this is experience I play up.

You can also work to brand your events with YOU. Your events will be unique merely because you are leading them. A trainer I spoke with recently is one of only 10 people in the entire United Kingdom to deliver the training he offers. Does this make his events stand out? Absolutely.

3. Make a bolder guarantee than anyone else in your space, such as a yearlong or lifelong satisfaction guarantee.

4. Provide greater value in the forms of bonuses and extra support. This makes your seminar look like a sounder investment.

5. Ask prospects what else they would want. Then deliver it. One program I marketed became wildly successful after we guaranteed that the program would never be cancelled due to low enrollment. Prospects had lost faith in the event provider because earlier events had been cancelled. Once we delivered what they wanted, enrollment spiked.

6. Deliver implementation coaching. Supporting attendees after your event helps to ensure that they use your content and experience measurable results from their investment in your seminar. Design your own coaching program to support attendees, or contact a professional implementation coach like Rory Cohen at www.take10now.com.

7. Improve your marketing copy. The words you use to describe your seminar can make or break your promotion. They serve as your sales person. If your copy is dull – or worse yet – sounds exactly like what everyone else is saying – prospects won’t read your marketing message. Some of my clients have tripled their response rates merely by using more powerful, benefit-laden, curiosity-provoking marketing copy.

If you are too close to your business to identify what is unique about your seminar, enlist the support of other people. Ask colleagues within and outside of your industry.

Also ask customers. As potential buyers of your training, they are ideally positioned to tell you what is – and isn’t – working with your marketing.

What have you found to be helpful in getting your seminars to stand out? Please login and share your thoughts below. ~ Jenny

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An often-shared piece of marketing advice is that prospects seek pleasure instead of or to avoid pain. Applied to seminar promotion, this means that prospects will be attracted by the benefits your event offers, more so if you can show them how attending your training will help to them move away from the pain of their problems.

In most cases, it is easy to figure out what problem your seminar solves. For example, teaching someone the proper way to cold call solves the problem of not generating enough sales leads or not closing enough sales. People who are interested in quality management training typically are dealing with poor quality control or an unacceptable level of error somewhere in their production.

To effectively promote a seminar, it is important to zero in on the main problem or challenge your program solves. From there, though, expand your list of problems solved. The more closely your marketing copy matches the conversations going on in your prospects’ heads, the more likely you are to generate registrations.

Here are three ways to identify the problems your seminar solves:

1. Use common sense. What do you know of the problems your audience is dealing with? Which challenges does your seminar address? Write down as many problems as possible – even if you think they are minor.

2. Flip your benefits. Start by drafting a list of benefits that attendees get by participating in your event. Now go back through your list, one by one, and ask what would happen if your prospects don't attend and aren't able to enjoy the benefit.

3. Interview past attendees. Ask them what problems they were trying to solve when they found your seminar. Also ask them which problems they have been able to address with your training.

Once you have a list, identify which are the top two or three challenges. Emphasize these problems the most in your seminar promotions.

Then use the remainder to provide a bulleted list of problems that your seminar solves. Your list can be presented under its own subhead, such as “Do You Struggle With These Challenges?” or incorporated into your description of who should attend.

The more problems you identify, the greater the chances any single individual will read your copy and say “Hey, that’s sounds just like me.” Plus, there is always a chance that the problem you think is the most pressing for your audience is overshadowed by a different issue. By discovering what truly concerns your audience, you may stumble upon a unique selling proposition that will make your seminar stand out in your marketplace.

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One of the biggest questions facing new seminar leaders is “How much should I charge?” In most cases, the safest strategy is to set tuition for your seminars and workshops at about the same price as your competitors charge. However, you can successfully charge a higher registration fee … if you can convince prospects that what you are delivering is worth the extra investment.

Ways to justify a high seminar ticket prices include:

 

  1. Use case studies to demonstrate the type of results attendees can expect to produce after attending. Case studies should describe the situation your prospects were in before they attended your seminar, what they learned, and what their results were. By providing all of this information, you’ll show prospects that your seminar content addresses the very problems they are dealing with. You’ll also give prospects a mental picture of the type of success they may experience once they master what you are teaching.
  2. Use testimonials to back up your biggest claims. This builds social proof to build your credibility and appeal. Prospects who are interested in your event see what their peers have to say. If you have enough good testimonials, they’ll be reassured that they are not making a mistake. They may even begin to feel anxious that they’ll be missing out if they don’t attend.
  3. Play up your expertise to convince readers that you are the go-to guy (or gal) in this field. Let’s face it. There are more choices for education now than ever before. The bigger and better your credentials, the more you will stand out from other experts … and the more willing your prospects will be to pay top dollar for your content.
  4. Guarantee their satisfaction … or even their results. Charging top dollar for your seminar means that prospects are taking a bigger risk attending your event vs. one that is priced more affordably. Make it a no-lose proposition by guaranteeing that they’ll get their money back if dissatisfied.
  5. Give prospects a taste of what they’ll get at your seminar by offering a video clip, free teleseminars, or a free preview seminar of your event. This offers two benefits. First, they’ll be able to tell if they like your teaching style. Second, once they see how much content you give away for free, they’ll extrapolate how much you deliver in your for-fee training … and what a tremendous value it will be.
  6. Offer numerous bonuses that attendees receive when they register. The total value of these bonuses should, at a minimum, total what you are asking them to pay in tuition.
  7. Walk them step-by-step through mathematical calculations so they can see how much they’ll save or how much more money they’ll make after they attend your event. Accepting a higher price tag is easier when you can see how much faster you’ll realize a return on investment … or how much bigger that return on investment will be.

 

These techniques are useful – if not critical – when your seminar is one of the most expensive events in your industry. However, they can be used when promoting any type of event at any price. Every individual has his or her own threshold where they become nervous about spending money. Using these techniques even when promoting events that are not the highest-priced in your industry will reassure prospective attendees who have lower thresholds.

What methods do you find useful in justifying high ticket prices? Please share your thoughts below. ~ Jenny

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Want to prod more people into registering for your seminars and virtual events? One of the best strategies you can use is the principle of scarcity.

Scarcity suggests that things become more valuable and desirable when they are less available. We don't want to miss out on having something, so the more scarce the resource is, the more we want it.

To employ scarcity when promoting events:

  • Limit the quantity.
  • Impose a deadline.
  • For best results, do both.

The nice thing about events is that they have a built-in deadline - the event start date. This is why the natural registration curve for most events skyrockets in the final days and even hours before an event starts. For example, it's common to see registrations for teleseminars and webinars double (or more) in the final 24 hours.

Here are other ways you can employ scarcity in your event marketing:

  • Limit the number of spaces available.

For in-person events, this is a natural technique to use. Meeting rooms typically have a maximum capacity.

However, you might want to go one step further. Perhaps you're not going to fill the room. Instead, you're limiting the group size because a smaller group lends itself to a more intimate experience and more one-on-one interaction between you and the participants.

  • Offer a limited number of VIP experiences.

If you're hosting a large event, give a small number of participants extra-special treatment. This can include reserved seating at the front of the room, a VIP room stocked with fun snacks during breaks, a private cocktail reception, bonus resources, lunch - whatever you think would add extra value to your participants.

For even better results, limit the availability of the VIP experience with a deadline, as well.

  • Reward the "early birds."

Remember the old adage, "The early bird gets the worm"? Thank your participants for signing up early (and giving you some peace of mind) by rewarding them with a discount, post-event coaching, pre-event training, bonus resources or some other gift.

  • Leverage the hotel room block.

When you're holding your event at a hotel, you typically have to guarantee a set number of sleeping rooms. The deadline for filling these rooms is often a number of weeks before your event.

Remind prospects about the room block deadline several times. Remind them that only a certain number of hotel rooms are available at the discounted rate - and if they miss out, they'll pay a lot more for their room.

The type of "scarcity combo" that will prompt any one individual into responding will vary. Some people really want to save money. Others will be attracted to the idea of getting something special that others won't receive. For best results, use a combination of offers - and see how many registrations each one produces.

How do you employ scarcity when promoting your events? Please share your thoughts below. ~ Jenny

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Copywriting is known as "salesmanship in print." The words you use to promote your seminars and other events serve as your 24/7 sales person, whether they're used to craft a web page, email, blog post, press release, or even a video script.

The better you're able to match the words you use to the conversation already going on in your prospects' minds, the more it resonates with them. Your seminar prospects will feel like you really understand them and what challenges you're facing. And they're more likely to consider your event to be the solution they need.

So how do you figure out what language to use? Here are a few tips:

  • Engage with them. Talk to them on the phone or face-to-face at industry events. Engage them in an email conversation. Chat with them via social media. Notice what words they're using to describe their challenges, what they want, and what solutions they're looking for.
  • Observe them. Read their posts and comments in LinkedIn groups and on other experts' social media pages and blogs. Read articles written by associations, training companies and other leaders  who serve  them.
  • Watch other experts. Tune into your competitors' webinars and sign up for their mailing lists to see what language they're using.
  • Interview them. Ask them questions, and record their answers.

When you're conducting this research, capture the words and phrases that they're using. Note the feelings that they're expressing.

Then, when you sit down to write your copy, regurgitate the words they're already using to talk to themselves about their problems and dreams.

Do it well, and you'll get feedback like, "Your email just spoke to me" - and more registrations, of course!

One final tip: Don't be afraid to truly BE yourself when you're writing event copy. Getting your copy to match your students' internal dialogue is powerful.

But the more you shine through in your writing, the more energy your copy will have - and the more your true students will recognize you as their teacher.

What techniques do you find helpful when figuring out what to say to your prospects? Please share your thoughts below. ~ Jenny

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Many seminar leaders who promote their own events struggle with self-doubt. A lack of confidence can sabotage your results, preventing you from trumpeting the benefits of your training in your marketing copy, downplaying your credentials, or even pulling the trigger on a marketing campaign. Instead, you second-guess your decisions and get paralyzed with fear.

Here are 5 tips for getting past the fear of promoting your own events or products:

1. Ask yourself what you're really afraid of.

Are you afraid of your campaign not working and, therefore, not being able to generate the revenue you want? Are you afraid that you'll make a mistake and look foolish? Are you afraid that if your campaign doesn't work, it will prove your partner/parents/friends right when they say you shouldn't be doing this? Are you afraid that if it actually works, your life will change dramatically and you'll lose things you cherish?

"Fear" emcompasses a lot of things. Identifying and naming all of your fears transforms them from a vague, panicky feeling into something you can actually work with and address.

2. Explore your fear and make a plan.

When I get afraid, I freeze up. The fastest way out is for me to move into action by planning.

If you're afraid of not generating enough revenue with your seminars, brainstorm other ways that you could bring in cash - a Plan B, if you will.

If you're worried that a particular email campaign won't work, sketch out ideas of what else you can incorporate into your marketing mix.

If you're worried that a more successful business will destroy your family life, get clear on what you value most and what you need to have to feel connected to your family. Share your concerns with your family, and get their input about what they need from you to feel happy and cared for.

3. Keep asking “so what?” until you uncover your bedrock fears.

For example, so what if this ad doesn’t work? Well, I won’t bring in clients.

So what if I don’t bring in clients? I won't have enough money to pay my bills.

So what if I don't have enough money to pay my bills? Creditors will call, and I won't be able to feed my kids, and I might lose my house.

Continuing on this path might turn up some really big fears - like I'll end up living on the streets, completely unloved and shunned by my family, with my kids destined to a horrible life because I couldn't send them to college.

Quite often, when you follow this line of questioning you're able to see that the fear is a bit absurd and has only a teeny tiny chance of coming to fruition. You can then prove the thoughts wrong. For example, I know I won't end up homeless because I'll take action to earn money some other way if my business doesn't work out.

4. Remember that failure is just feedback.

You must have feedback if you're going to discover what works best in promoting your offer to your list. Learning what NOT to do is every bit as important as learning what you SHOULD do.

Every marketer – even the “successful” ones – fails. A lot actually. (The rule of thumb I've seen from multiple sources is that 7 out of 8 tests fail.) The faster you “fail,” the faster you figure out what actually works.

5. Be aware of what message you're putting out to the universe.

Energetically, by holding back on your campaign, you're broadcasting the message that you aren’t sure about yourself or your business.

when you catch yourself tuned into the feelings of fear, self-doubt, or any other type of contraction, shift. Think about how you'd feel if the campaign and your business were a success, and then stay in that space of expansion and excitement as much as possible.

Fear is a part of the human experience. It's how our subconscious minds try to protect us from things that are scary or potentially harmful.

To succeed in the seminar marketing industry, you must learn to take action despite your fear. Use these 5 tips to break out of your comfort zone and take the bold actions needed to promote your events.

What do you find helpful in moving through your fear? Please share your thoughts below. ~ Jenny

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