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Educating Clients With Seminars

Like I mentioned last week in my article “How newspapers ruined digital display advertising for everyone,” our next episode of Broadsheet focuses on working with clients, including education and managing expectations.

An important section of this episode is about how to educate clients using the seminar model. We hear from Adam Lee at Ad Taxi and Kelly Homewood at Fusion Farm about how they’ve generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue from hosting free seminars in their communities.

Adam says they offer free seminars to set themselves apart from their competition. There are other people in the area that offer similar services to the Denver Post, so they use the educational aspect to differentiate themselves.

He says, “People are dying to know what they can do to differentiate themselves as a business in the digital landscape. What can we teach them that they’ve never heard before? What can we utilize in the partnership that we have with Google to help tell our clients what’s coming around the bend and how to prepare themselves as a business and to dig deeper rather than just your standard success metrics that we have in the online space?”

Fusion Farm hosts a 1.5 hour workshop series about how consumer habits are changing, the value of online and search engine usage, and how businesses need a presence online when people search for them.

Kelly says that while these seminars cost more upfront and have a higher CPM, it pays off because you’re only targeting folks who are already in the market for your product or service. The ROI is usually much higher from these seminars.

The advice Kelly and Adam both give for hosting your own seminar is that it should be educational, not promotional. They both stress the fact that they’ve learned not to push a hard close at the end.

Kelly says, “We provide some workbooks that say, ‘Here’s how you can do this yourself.’ We’re not trying to sell our services at all there. We’re trying to educate to say, ‘You really need this. Here, we’ll even give you some information to use yourself.”

Once people start to realize how digital advertising works, they’ll know they need someone to execute for them, and who better than the expert who taught them everything in the first place. The key to this is to start talking about how their own personal habits are changing  when it comes to how they go about looking for businesses and products online. If you can connect this abstract concept of digital marketing back to what they’re actually doing, you will see the lightbulb go on and they tend to get what you’re talking about.

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