Reprinted from The Woman's MoneyPaper

How to Turn Your Ideas Into Money

By Presenting Seminars -- Part Two

by Rene Gnam

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.

Front 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 barter services).

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, catering, shipping.

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.

Back End

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 back end.

Let's illustrate...

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 audiences.


Linda Lehtomaa went to my recent Atlanta seminar, then hired me to present new courses for Kentucky Educational Television.


Bill Dunbar attended a Los Angeles seminar and then hired me to do the same program in Indianapolis for Baldwin-United Corporation.


TWA, 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.

Big success problems

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:

  1. Hire outside speakers and train them to present your material,
  2. Rewrite the seminar program into a manual or book and sell it at great profits,
  3. Produce audio cassettes and/or videotapes for more bucks from the same material,
  4. 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 attendee.

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 helping.

Movie star looks?

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 count.

You can be a Mary.

I�ll discuss how to launch your own seminar in the next article.


Rene Gnam is an independent response marketing consultant

specializing in creative advertising techniques.

He can be reached at 813-407-8400


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Rene Gnam is a Marketing Consultant and Advertising Copywriter

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I'm usually in Florida, and here are the numbers:

FAX 813-475-4354      CELL 813-407-8400

You can reach me right now by e-mail:


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