Ever since the beginning of time, ambitious people of the world have attributed some “indescribable” secret to the success of those people with wealth. These people have spent, and will continue to spend, millions of dollars to cultivate these “secrets” within themselves.
Particularly since the early seventies, there has been a growing demand by the public to attend classes, workshops, and self-improvement seminars that will enable them to align their thinking as well as their actions, with those of people who have already achieve success.
The popularity of such best-selling how-to manuals as, Winning Is Believing… Think And Grow Rich… How To Develop A Winning Personality… Overcoming Shyness… Imagineering… New Life Options… Winning By Negotiation… Successful Visual-Verbal Communications… Conversationally Speaking… and countless others lends reinforcement to the to the “need” for self-improvement seminars.
You can promote and stage these seminars either as a generalist or as a specialist in a specific area of expertise -and attain wealth for yourself almost beyond your current imagination! The market potential has only barely been scratched, affording a real ground-floor opportunity for those with the gumption to take action.
Dale Carnegie – the author of the book, How To Win Friends and Influence People – was certainly one of the first, if not “the first” self-improvement seminar marketer/teacher. Back in the Great Depression of the thirties, he recognized this need in people to improve themselves – he worked out a deal with the local management of his home town YMCA – got the word around that he was holding classes on self-improvement – and the rest is one of the truly classic unemployed-to-multi-million-dollar success stories of our time.
A self-improvement seminar is conducted much the same as a Toastmaster’s Club meeting… It can be held just about anywhere, from the informal atmosphere of someone’s living room to the formalities of the Hilton Convention Center.
Basically, a self-improvement seminar is a gathering of people where one or more speakers talk on a specific subject. More often than not, only a certain aspect of self-improvement, such as How To Develop A Positive Mental Attitude – is the thrust of the seminar. In other words, the more successful seminars deal with “specialized areas” of self-improvement.
These speakers usually wind up their talks with audience involvement question and answer sessions. Most of them “wind down” with the speaker circulating through the audience, plus lots of opportunity for the purchase of self-help books and tapes by the people wanting on-going motivation and reinforcement relative to what they’ve just heard. Always – sometimes even as the featured subject of the seminar – there’s a great deal of motivation projected during these meetings. At the bottom line, motivation is more the purpose of these seminars than the attendees learning something they don’t already know. The favorite words of most seminar speakers are usually, “It’s the difference between having a dream and taking action – a matter of saying I can, believing it, and then doing it – because you can!”
Successful seminars are generally based upon the concept of giving you the power to believe you can. The speakers usually speak from insights and expertise gained from their own life experiences. Self-improvement seminars give the attendees the tools – and the motivation – to succeed. Thus, a well-organized and well-presented seminar that helps people up the ladder of success can’t help but succeed because we are a success-oriented society – it’s an easy sell with an income potential limited only by your ability to express yourself.
You won’t need an office to make it big with self-improvement seminars. The public doesn’t visit you – you take your programs to them. Self-improvement seminars appeal to almost everybody – from blue-collar workers to top executives.
The average cost per person to attend a seminar is very close to $300 – so your basic audience will be from the upper-income brackets – but if you handle the promotional aspects properly, you’ll pull them in from lesser income brackets as well.
Many seminar promoters employ sales teams to call upon top company executives and either get them to partially pay the cost of several employees to attend as educational or business improve ment investments – or to foot the bill for the sponsorship of a “group seminar” for all of that company’s middle management personnel. Many specialty speakers make in excess of $100,000 per year with regular motivational and/or self-improvement seminars in this fashion.
In the beginning though, you’ll get your start by staging seminars for the general public in restaurant banquet rooms, hotel ballrooms, and convention centers. These will entail advertising costs, plus the charges for the rented space, and an “on-hand” inventory of the materials you want to sell to the people who attend your seminars.
Generally, you’ll do best with an intensive radio advertising campaign during the week preceding your seminar date. In a metropolitan area of half a million population, you should probably spend a couple of thousand dollars on radio advertising, plus about half as much for flamboyant newspaper advertising. Some seminar promoters invest a quarter of their budget in newspapers, then a quarter in direct mail and/or telephone advertising, with half going into radio. Of course, the allocation of your advertising budget should be related to the previous proven pulling power of each media within that particular market. Not too much concern is given to television advertising, excepting for guest appearances of the community service talk shows.
Most promoters spend all of this effort and money to promote a series of free seminars. These free seminars usually draw huge crowds, during which special “front men” turn everybody on with super-motivational stories designed to whet the appetite of those in attendance for more. These free seminars generally last only 45-minutes to an hour, and are strictly motivational in purpose.
Each person in attendance is handed a brochure describing the up-coming “main event” as they leave these free seminars. An attempt is made to get a commitment – at least a deposit for the cost of the “real thing,” which is usually set for the week following. Those who do not commit themselves to attending the big one are then contacted by professional telephone sales people and given the complete sales presentation between the time of the free seminar and the date of the real thing, which and experienced telephone sales people – you can count on closing about 30 to 35% of those who attend your free seminars.
If you don’t have the confidence or inclination to participate – be the principal speaker – at your seminars, you can hire local sales training people, professional people from the medical specialties, local “experts” known through your area newspapers or broad cast media, and/or nationally known speakers willing to travel and operating through speakers’ bureaus. You might want to contact Burt Dubin of Personal Achievement Institute – 225 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 305 -Santa Monica, CA 90401… or Dottie Walters of The National Speakers’ Bureau – 400 W. Foothill Blvd. – Glendora, CA 91740.
Finally, a reiteration of the fact that there are literally millions of people in all parts of the country willing and able to pay you for helping them to improve themselves. You can start with meetings in your living room, or your local restaurant. All it takes is action on your part to get set up and a push from yourself to start making it happen. Best of luck and now get going with it.