EDITOR�S NOTE: Like never
before, our country has an information glut with far too much
material to absorb on new technology, personal achievements,
business education, keeping abreast of change. The solution is
intensive seminars of one or more days where an attendee can get
more useful information than in a college course. Millions pay high
fees to attend. They constantly search for new seminars to expand
their horizons. Can you profit by this exploding interest?
In this series of
informative articles, consultant Rene Gnam takes you through the
basics of entering the high-pay world of seminaring.
A foremost direct
response advertising consultant, Rene Gnam presents over 50
seminars a year and creates the advertising for many seminar
sponsors. From his Florida office, he directs seminar marketing
around the world and is deemed an expert on scientific analysis and
projection of results. He has written two advertising books, several
portfolios, recorded his techniques on audio cassettes, and recently
presented 12 television programs on direct response advertising.
It's time to consider how
we might make a profit in seminaring, so let's consider our Front
End and our Back End.
Your front end profit is
determined by this formula: R - (A + F) = GP - O = NP.
It translates: Revenues
received, minus Advertising promotion and Fulfillment expenses,
equals Gross Profit, minus Overhead, equals Net Profit.
R is the sum total of net
fees you get after deducting refunds or other considerations (like
A includes outside
consultants or creative services, ad costs in publications,
mailings, press releases.
F is tricky. It includes a
wide variety of costs: air and ground travel, tips, porters, hotels,
meeting room rentals, handouts at the seminars, audio-visual
expenses, meals, outside entertainment, laundry (hundreds a month
for regular speakers), coffee and other refreshment breaks,
GP really isn't Profit
until you deduct O, your operating costs, seminar development costs,
taxes and overhead. Then, you'll have your NP, net profit.
This is the best part.
You are best advised to
shoot for back end profits unless you have the most unique course in
your field. Truly unique seminars can be immensely profitable by
themselves. But most seminar presenters make the most money on the
You can afford a loss on
your seminars if you also sell books, tapes, consulting, creative
work, management manuals, or other seminars.
Who do you sell them to?
The same people who attended the seminar. Yes, they'll buy almost
the same thing twice, or even three times. It's a matter of
repackaging yourself. Now, you are a speaker, now an author, now a
recording artist, now a corporate trainer, now a consultant...always
on the same topic promoted for the seminar.
Once you've run a few
seminars, carefully plan a speaking fee schedule. So much for
luncheons, so much for half-day presentations, and so on. Many of
the people who pay you to go to your seminars will turn around and
pay you again to present the same or similar material to other
Lehtomaa went to my recent Atlanta seminar, then hired me to
present new courses for Kentucky Educational Television.
Dunbar attended a Los Angeles seminar and then hired me to do the
same program in Indianapolis for Baldwin-United Corporation.
Blue Cross, Better Homes & Gardens, and many others including
universities, have hired me directly from "auditing" my
seminar programs. These are the best back end situations because
they, in turn, lead to other revenues.
Don't scoff at the
consulting fees. One attendee from Vancouver gave me over $120,000
for two years of part-time work. (At the same time, I continued
running my seminars and earning fees for other work.) Others have
regularly retained my services on tape. Yes, you can provide
consultation on cassettes and get paid handsomely. How you price
your services depends on the markets you reach.
When you reach the top of
your field in speaking, you know it because there are no more hours
left for revenue generation. That's when you clone yourself:
- Hire outside speakers
and train them to present your material,
- Rewrite the seminar
program into a manual or book and sell it at great profits,
- Produce audio
cassettes and/or videotapes for more bucks from the same
- Do all three above
points and then start developing a new seminar so you can
repeat the profit process.
But be careful. Success
from seminaring is addictive and leads to being a workaholic. In
fact, you can't be a success at it unless you continually review and
refine your material, update and upgrade it, be willing to repackage
presentations, and stand the guff from the occasional disgruntled
Now consider the mental and
monetary rewards. Your head naturally and correctly swells when you
realize that only one person in 3,000 asked for a refund. (I've had
one in 10,500.) It's an ego trip, yes. But you're also teaching and
No. If you are a cover
girl, so much the better. But people are paying for your mind and
your communication ability. You don't have to be a movie star.
Consider a dynamic lady
we'll call Mary. She's reasonably attractive, but she'll tell you
she's no model. Colorado Mary is too short, too wide, too too! But
the minute she has an audience, you see her sparkle. She speaks for
three different sponsors, several times a month, getting front end
and back end profits, and she built a 15,000 square foot building to
house her business which grows monthly from back end orders she gets
from her seminar attendees.
Mary's audiences are 75%
male. It's her subject and her ability to present knowledge that
You can be a Mary.
I�ll discuss how to
launch your own seminar in the next article.