Should you charge for your teleseminars? And if so, how much? That depends on your goals. If your main purpose is to promote a product or service, or to build your audience, you may decide to offer your expertise for free, thereby maximizing the number of people who participate.
 
The benefits of hosting a free teleseminar:
  • You'll get more registrations.
  • It's easier to implement. You won't have to worry about processing payments or integrating a shopping cart with your sales page or email service.
 
The drawbacks of a free teleseminar:
  • You won't make any money upfront.
  • It can be difficult to get your speakers to mention your call to their list if they won't be making any upfront money from it.
  • Sometimes, something offered for free is perceived as having a lower value than something that comes with a price tag.
 
If your main goal is revenue generation, you could charge a fee for participating in your call. Then again, you could opt for having it both ways: You could offer free participation in the initial call, and then charge for access to the recording and/or a transcript of the call. This way, you maximize the number of people you get to add to your list, but you'll also raise some revenue as you allow them to self-sort into buyers and non-buyers.
 
The benefits of hosting a paid teleseminar:
  • You'll make money with each additional person who signs up to attend.
  • Your speakers will be more likely to promote the call if they can earn a commission (i.e., if they receive a percentage, typically 50%, of any sales generated through their affiliate link).
  • Your teleseminar might be perceived as more valuable if people must pay to gain access.
     
The drawbacks of a paid teleseminar:
  • The more you charge, the fewer attendees you are likely to have.
  • Implementation is more complicated, as you'll have to set up a way to take and process payments as well as process affiliate commissions in the event that you're offering an affiliate program.
 
If you're just starting out, you may want to go with a free teleseminar. That way, you can work out the kinks, figure out the technology, and focus on learning the ropes without the added stress of dozens of people expecting a top-notch, glitch-free experience. And, of course, you can focus on the teleseminar and won't have to worry about how to set up your shoppingcart. Then, once you've figured out how everything works, you can start charging for your premium teleseminars.
 
Only you can know what will work best for your situation and your business. Take a look at the pluses and minuses of each model, and choose the one that feels right for you.
 
 

 

 
One of the easiest ways you could host a successful teleseminar is by inviting an expert. Having an expert take part in your teleseminar has a number of advantages:
 
  • You don't have to rely on your own expertise – your expert will be there to educate your audience.
  • You'll achieve expert status by association. Think of Oprah: She isn't a weight loss expert, but because she has interviewed dozens of them, she is seen as a health and fitness guru in her own right (even in light of her ongoing battles with her own weight!).
  • You can bring new expertise to your audience. Offering an added perspective to your audience raises your value in their eyes. You become a “connector,” someone who knows all the right people.
  • You can get in front of new prospects. Many experts have audiences or lists of their own, and their “tribe” will follow them to your sphere of influence. If they like what they see, they will stay a while – and maybe even buy something!
  • You can do soft-sells on affiliate products. If you are an affiliate for a book on, say, cheerleading, you can bring the author in front of your audience for a Q&A session. Then, when the author mentions her book, you provide your affiliate link and get a commission for every book your audience buys.
 
So what do you need to watch out for when you're selecting an expert to interview? Here are several factors to consider before issuing an invitation:
 
  • Are they a good fit for your audience? Don't invite the cheerleading expert when your list consists of survivalists and expect to get a warm response.
  • Are they personable and good at public speaking? Few things are more painful than listening to a poorly prepared, poorly skilled public speaker – even in an interview setting. Have a screening phone call or listen to other interviews with your prospective guest before you issue an invitation.
  • Do they have something valuable to say? Make sure you're spending your time – and your audience's time – wisely by offering something unique, interesting, educational, or entertaining.
  • Do they have a large list? This isn't a must-have, but it definitely helps if your speaker has a large audience of his or her own and is willing to promote your teleseminar.
  • Do they have products or services to promote? If you are hoping to earn commissions by promoting their products or services, find out how their affiliate program works, and if their products or services are right for your audience.
 
When you are first starting out, the top tier experts, such as those with New York Times best-selling books, those with their own talk shows, and those in the million-dollar-plus income bracket, can be hard to reach for a relative unknown. Don't let that stop you from asking, though! You never know when someone will say “Yes,” so don't say “No” for them.
 
Get in touch with them directly or through their publicist (contact information is typically available on their website). Write a polite, SHORT email saying who you are, why you think your market would be a good match for their area of expertise, when you'd like to speak with them, and how long it will take. Then tell them what's in it for them, for example exposure to an enthusiastic new market or a share of the proceeds. Finally, send it off, and start thinking about who else you could invite if your first choice isn't able to participate.
 
It's really not a complicated process. Choose someone you would like to hear from, write them a polite note to invite them, and then move on if you don't hear back or if they can't help at this time. A “No” isn't a “No” forever; it's just a “No” for today. So keep asking others until you get a “Yes.”
 

 

In order to pull off a great teleseminar, you'll need to plan for success. Sure, there are things that can go wrong, but if you plan your teleseminar well, most of them can be avoided. Let's review what you need to do to ensure your teleseminar will go as smoothly as possible:
 
  1. Choose a good topic. Choosing a topic for your teleseminar is much like choosing a topic for a blog post. You don't want something too broad, or you'll have no focus. And you don't want something too narrow, or you will run out of things to say. Instead, you want to balance your need to cover new ground with your need to keep the length and breadth of your teleseminar manageable. For your first go-round, I suggest keeping things tight and focused. You should also plan keeping your call to an hour or so. Any longer and you may burn yourself out or run into more problems than you're prepared to deal with!

    Start by brainstorming a list of possible topics for your teleseminar. When it comes to scope, ideal topics are suitable for magazine articles rather than books! In short, go through your list of topics and decide for each one whether it is so broad you'd need a book to cover it, or if you could do it justice in a magazine article. Then make a list of your top picks.

    Can't pick just one? Remember, you can always hold another teleseminar — and you should! Right now, you're just getting ready for the first one, so select a topic you feel comfortable with.
     

  2. Decide on an expert. One of the greatest advantages of teleseminars is that you don't have to be the expert; you can interview someone else with more experience. You can also hold a dialog between the two of you, or you can do the whole thing yourself. It's entirely up to you.
     
  3. Pick a day and time. Next, you need to pick a day and time. It's easy to drive yourself nuts trying to find a day and time that works for everyone in your target audience. Just realize that no matter what you do, you simply won't be able to pick a time that is convenient for everyone! Instead, pick a time that works for you, and go with it. You can always make the audio available later if you like.
     
  4. Decide on whether to charge or not. Are you planning to charge for your teleseminar? You'll want to decide upfront whether to charge or not, and what you should offer as upsells. In a later blog post, we're going to cover fee vs. no fee teleseminars in more detail.
     
That's it! These are the key decisions you need to make before you get started because they will affect a lot of your other activities. Just keep in mind that they're not necessarily either/or decisions. There are a range of options you can select, so let's discuss those in greater detail, starting with inviting an expert in our next blog article.
 

 

From the day the first caveman tried to convince his cohorts how great saber-tooth tiger tasted once it had been cooked over a fire, humans have been “selling” their ideas to each other. The practice of sharing with and educating others hasn't changed. We just have a whole lot more options when it comes to choosing the medium.
 
With the ready availability of low-cost (or no-cost) long-distance service and conference call lines, teleseminars have become increasingly popular. Instead of spending thousands of dollars traveling to give an in-person presentation, you can meet your customers and prospects right where they are, without even having to change out of your pajamas. Here's what you can do with teleseminars:
 
  • Introduce new products
  • Get known in a new market — and get to know that market in turn
  • Explain how a product or service works
  • Interview experts and share their knowledge with your audience
  • Answer questions about your area of expertise
 
In addition, teleseminars can help you do the following:
 
  • Sell more. By presenting a sales presentation over the phone, you offer much more interactivity and a stronger personal connection than you can through a website or direct mail piece.
  • Create products. The calls themselves can be turned into products or classes. You can sell access to your live events, or you can record them and sell them later as CDs or audio downloads. And that's just for starters.
  • Get to know your audience. Being able to interact with your audience in real time allows an unprecedented level of market research, right in the moment.
  • Establish yourself. If you interview experts in your area, you will quickly be seen as an expert by association.
  • Build your list. Teleseminars are popular ways to introduce yourself to a new market. It's easy to invite people to your free events — and as they sign up, they become part of your list.
  • Create trust. Trust is crucial when you want to do business online. And one of the best ways to build trust with your audience is to interact with them directly. As they hear your voice live on the call — and as they ask questions and get answers right then and there — you become "real" to them and they'll be able to bond with you. This is something that's much harder to accomplish through sales letters and emails.
 
But what about skills? Don't you have to have some kind of “chops” to host a teleseminar? Stop wondering! If you have enough experience to start a business, you have enough experience to produce and host a teleseminar. In my next blog post I'll show you how. 
 

Conducting business online has gone far from its early beginnings in the 90s and went beyond the bubble burst of the dot com crash in 2002. The basic definition of e-commerce would be buying and selling through the internet. It is a business approach and like all business oriented approaches, development and improvement is inevitable. To bring your e-commerce to the next level would be the logical thing to do.

A good e-commerce strategy involves having the elements of the internet and components of marketing to work together. Some may argue that this e-commerce thing will blow out of proportion which could result to another wave of business crashes like what happened a more than five years ago.

Using the right business tools can help ensure that your online business will remain afloat. Integrating the right elements to your business strategy will reinforce your business agenda and help you reap the benefits of your business.

Now one of the tools in online business that is at your disposal is the e-commerce cart or otherwise and better known as the online shopping cart. This little business tool can transform your small business endeavor into a big online success.

An online shopping cart is a marketing tool where your customers place their shopping items and assist them in ordering the same online. It follows the concept of the real life shopping cart where you place whatever items you need and let a cashier compute the total for you. But instead of a cashier, the online shopping cart includes a component where the total of the order is computed for the customers.

There are a number of benefits of having a shopping cart integrated into your online business. The shopping cart offers a secure means for your customers to get the products they need and it offers you the same level of security to get the payment from them. It is a win-win situation which you should take full advantage of.

Without offering this level of security for online transactions, you will sure loose a lot of potential clients. By integrating a shopping cart, you will be able to expand your market base and eventually help increase your profits.

The same shopping cart technology will also help you organize your products list, will assist you in managing your business transactions and help you update your stocks and sales. The technology can even assist you in making projections which will be beneficial for you in future marketing decisions.

It can also make your life easier during tax season since sales and stock acquisitions can easily be acquired because store information is logged via the shopping cart. Indeed, acquiring a shopping cart software is a good investment and a logical move for your business.

To expand, diversify and improve your market base and services is what a good business approach should be. Whether it may be online or offline, bringing your business to a new level will bring in more benefits.

There are a number of companies that offer various kinds of e-commerce shopping carts and each can be customized to fit your needs. Do remember that this is an investment and as such is often not free. But bringing your e-commerce to the next level by means of a shopping cart will hopefully help you find the success that you dream of online. 

 

One of the most effective strategies for growing an email list is article marketing—writing and submitting articles to free content directories, blogs, ezines and websites. The potential for branding yourself, adding new subscribers and building online relationships is unlimited.
To use article marketing successfully, you must be able to write a decent article. While you don't need to be a professional writer, you do need to be able to communicate clearly, with relatively good grammar, and without tons of typographical errors. You must also be able to speak the language like a native without making simple mistakes in word usage that serve only to drive readers away.

If you're unable to write reasonably well, hire someone. Because of all the competition online, writers are affordable for anyone who is serious about Internet marketing. And they're worth their rate three times over if they increase your mailing list and make you look good.

For the best article marketing results, write articles that your niche audience wants to read. Choose a topic that your ideal customer might read, and write for her. In other words, if you sell gardening supplies, it's best to write about gardening! While you may enjoy writing about scuba diving, scuba divers aren't the most likely people to buy your products, so write to those who are.

Never write a sales letter and call it an article! Not only will you annoy readers, but you can get your article—and potentially yourself—banned from article directories, especially the best ones.

Instead, write a good, solid, informative article filled lots of beefy information that your readers want, then use your resource box at the end to sell yourself. Include a link to your mailing list sign-up page, tell them what they get free for joining, and make it sound good. Don't add a bunch of hype, just the benefits and what you have to offer.

If your article contains quality content that the reader enjoyed, you'll gain a ton of new subscribers for every new article you publish.

Once you have your article in-hand, having proofread and polished it until it shines, begin to submit it to the most popular article directories online. You can also contact the publishers of large ezines in your niche, or blogs that reach your target audience, and let them know you have a new article they may want to publish.

Some of the more popular online article submission sites are:

  • ezinearticles.com
  • ladypens.com
  • freeaffiliatearticles.com
  • webarticles.com
After your submission options have been exhausted, begin your next article immediately and keep the process going. Stay within your niche topic, and you'll attract untold numbers of subscribers.
Sometimes, a blogger or ezine publisher will ask you to write an original article, for free. If the audience is a good fit with your target market and the opportunity will build your credibility, it may be well worth the effort.
In fact, many article marketers form partnerships with blogs and publishers of large ezines just so they can reach those audiences free, on a regular basis. You might want to consider doing the same.

If you're afraid you'll run out of ideas, don't be. The topics within any niche that you could write about are endless, so when you think you have nothing else to say, spend some time brainstorming, or surfing your competitor's site to find new article ideas. There are plenty around, which you'll see when you start to look.

If you're still intimidated by the process, there are plenty of resources to help you. Services like articlemarketer.com and isnare.com will submit your articles for you, while easyarticlemarketing.com is a step-by-step course for creating and submitting articles to grow your list.

Using article marketing is a simple, yet highly effective way to grow your mailing list. Just keep doing it… write, polish, submit, repeat… and before long, you'll begin to see dramatic increases in the number of subscribers you've added to your list.