Do you need more clients? One of the most overlooked ways to fill your private practice or small business with new clients is by giving free public seminars. Public seminars give you exposure, publicity and help to position you as an expert.
1. What should I speak about?
Free public seminars are a great way to highlight a niche. Offer a seminar that targets an area that you specialize in such as eating disorders, career counselling, or anger management. If you don’t specialize in any one area you might offer a seminar on general topics that may be of interest to a diverse group such as how to manage stress, work-life balance, or how to communicate effectively.
2. When should I hold the seminar?
More people will attend a seminar held at the beginning of the week than at the end of the week. Make your presentation last approximately 45 minutes and leave 15 minutes for a question and answer period.
3. Where should I hold the seminar?
Use your office if it is big enough, or the public library, a church hall, or the local school. Contact the not-for-profit associations in your community as they are always looking for speakers.
4. How can I advertise the seminar for free?
Most newspapers will allow you to place a free ad when you offer a public seminar. If you are looking for speaking engagements place an ad saying that you would welcome the opportunity to give a free seminar on (title of your seminar) to community groups and not-for-profit associations. If you you’re your own location and a date, place ads in the newspapers that service your area. Make sure you tell them the seminar is free and how long it will last. Put in your office phone number in the ad and ask people to rsvp if you are giving the seminar in your office or sponsoring it yourself, especially if you have limited seating.
5. How do I promote my practice or small business at the seminar without hard selling?
Your written introduction is a great place to start telling people who you are and about your business. Your introduction should give a quick list of your credentials and what benefits your clients receive when they engage your services. Always, always prepare a handout with a list of tips pertaining to the seminar and include your contact information. You should also hand out your business card and brochure.
Lucy MacDonald, M. Ed. is a business advisor to counselors, therapists, psychotherapists, and health care professionals. She is the creator of the R. E. A. L. Marketing system for private practitioners. Lucy is the author of How to Start and Market a Successful Private Practice and is a conference presenter. Her website and blog are at http://www.marketingyourprivatepractice.com .