You can take advantage of technology to deliver educational programs around the globe. Webinars and teleseminars are events conducted online or by phone. With a teleseminar, participants dial in to a conference line to listen in on an instructional program or interview, and often participate in Q&A. With webinars, participants can view an online presentation, which can include a PowerPoint slide deck or a demonstration of some sort. With both types of events, you can extract recordings in MP3 format and sell them as digital downloads for years to come (or as long as the information is still relevant).
There are a lot of free teleseminars and webinars available online so if you want to charge for yours, make sure it is unique and has a higher perceived value than the free ones. One way to earn income from these events is to offer some kind of series, such as a four- or six-week course delivered via teleseminar or webinar.
Hay House publishing also hosts many online classes throughout the year, conducted by its expert authors. Participants typically pay from $49 to $149 for a series of teleclasses, and an exclusive forum is set up so that participants can ask questions and engage with each other. Note that forums typically work best when you have a lot of participants and can’t accommodate many live audience questions. Hay House has been around for a long time and has a large following, so often times these classes have hundreds of participants. And if you do the math, these are quite lucrative. I once paid $99 for one of their courses, which had over 300 participants—that adds up to around $30,000 in revenue generated for one four week class. Not too shabby, eh?
Another model you can develop is a self-study course, where you provide access to training lectures via MP3 recordings, webinar playback, or video modules. In a course like this, students should also receive some specific exercises and steps to follow as they work through the course.
The big kahuna of online events is an online conference, which like training classes, can be conducted via teleseminar, webinar, or video streaming. Online conferences function much like an in-person conference, without the headaches of travel and food and venue expenses.
I host an annual online conference for nonfiction authors: http://NonfictionWritersConference.com. This event is held over three days in May each year, with 15 expert speakers presenting lectures from around the globe. We conduct five sessions per day via teleseminar and attendees have the option to participate live or download recordings and transcripts. We also make handouts available via download, and offer bonuses just for signing up. This is a fun and lucrative event each year. I also enjoy the added benefit of reaching out to invite speakers. I’ve made many industry friends as a result of hosting this conference, and many also help to promote the event to their networks each year.
Whatever format you choose, online events can be effective, fun, and profitable. They are also quite cost-effective and can be turned into information products that you can continue selling long after the event is over.
If you like this blog post, you’ll love the recordings from our previous Nonfiction Writers Conference events. Check it out!