A teleseminar is essentially a conference call held over the phone to a broad audience, while a webinar adds a visual component on the computer—usually a presentation or online demonstration of some sort. I am a fan of both options, provided they’re conducted without too much hype.
Teleseminars can be a great outlet for attracting an audience and introducing people to your services. For example, a real estate agent could conduct a teleseminar on how to become a first-time home buyer. Offer this as a free event and require registration to participate, and you can capture contact information from interested participants while providing informative content—all while demonstrating your authority in your field.
Unfortunately, teleseminars have been overused and abused online. Some marketers use them as part of their churn-and-burn strategy, offering free teleseminars with big breakthrough promises, only to avoid giving any actual real value, and then ending with a big, fat, hairy sales pitch.
I like to give people the benefit of the doubt and I love to learn something new, so over the years I’ve participated in plenty of these events, only to end up disappointed and losing all respect for the host when expectations weren’t met or an over-the-top sales pitch was given. Don’t let this happen to you! If you make a promise online, keep it—and always provide value, even if you’re asking for a sale at the end. It is perfectly acceptable to ask for a sale, and I would argue that if you actually made every minute of that call count with great information, you’d end up with more sales as a result.
Webinars can be conducted in much the same way as teleseminars. They can be quite useful for events that require a visual presentation or demonstration. One company that leverages webinars as a promotion tool is Office Depot. Their Web Café series features popular authors, speakers, and other authorities who deliver content-rich presentations. I was invited to give a presentation for this series and was impressed to learn that these sessions regularly generate thousands of sign-ups. As a featured speaker, I also heard from participants for months after my presentation, since many found the archived recording later on.
This brings up another point: You don’t have to be the host. As an authority in your field, there are many advantages to serving as a guest on other people’s teleseminars and webinars. If they already have an audience established, you can gain valuable added exposure with that audience, with very little effort on your part other than to deliver great content.
Teleseminar and Webinar Service Providers
In the next post, we’ll talk about how to host your own teleseminar.
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I have a book on this subject available at all your online book vendors: 8 Steps to Amazing Webinars.