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
in volvement 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
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.