We recently interviewed Wayne Schmidt from Addon Success who runs many successful seminars for accountants. Seminars work well by enabling you to differentiate your firm and offer new services to clients. They also provide an opportunity to demonstrate thought leadership.
Word of mouth
A quick webinar poll showed most people still use word of mouth to promote their seminars. Social media came in at number two (replacing print) followed by promotion by website. Accountants we speak with all mention the importance of word of mouth for gaining new clients; your professional reputation takes you a long way.
Begin with the end in mind
If you're familiar with 'The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People' this comes in as the 2nd habit. Be clear with what you want to achieve with your seminar. If you're looking to attract new clients you'll need to build your database - around 100 invites will generate 5 who actually show up. Webinars can be effective for providing information on a topic, but in-person seminars are the best way to generate leads. Pick a date and time, preferably without a clash with an important sporting event! Keep it to an hour, and make it happen. You'll build both your confidence and your numbers by committing to 3 or 4 events each year.
Some of the most common rookie mistakes include:
- High expectations
- Running events in the office
- Invites not mobile friendly
- Going 'narrow' with your list
There are ways to partner up with your local bank or business centre to provide a venue that is accessible and give you the opportunity to invite a wider range of people. Going 'narrow' may mean only inviting a small number of people, or only inviting your target market. Remember that word of mouth value - go 'wide' as there's little extra cost involved to cater to a larger number of people.
Website and social media
Use an event module and integrate with Eventbrite or similar to make the process for promoting your seminar as easy as possible. Or feature your webinar on your Homepage. As well as word of mouth, promote your seminar by emailing to your database or posts on your social media channels. Wayne discusses different definitions of success using stories from several accounting practices; find the best methods for your practice and define your own success.
Check out the full 32 minute webinar here>