If you’re looking for a way to get massive amounts of free exposure for your coaching business, one of the best moves you can possibly make is to get booked regularly to speak on teleclasses hosted by other people or organizations.
These days, you’d have to be living under a rock not to notice how popular teleclasses are for achieving online visibility. Barely a day goes by when I don’t receive e-mails, read Twitter posts or see Facebook announcements and invitations regarding someone’s newest teleclass offering. And despite the explosion of these events, I can’t imagine them diminishing either in number or effectiveness any time soon. If anything, this form of marketing is still in a major growth phase.
Why have teleclasses become such a popular marketing tool? Simple: they cost little or nothing to produce, can fit into a variety of schedules, allow for direct connection with potential clients during question and answer times, and can later be sold as standalone or packaged products via mp3 recordings, CDs, transcripts and so on. As a result, the people and organizations that regularly provide teleclasses want and need a steady supply of fresh speakers and topics to offer to their followers or members.
That’s where you come in. If you do your homework up front about who provides teleclasses on a regular basis, what target audiences they reach and what kinds of subjects they like to cover during teleclasses, you’ll find a host of new pathways for sharing your own messages and services at no cost to you.
Here are the steps you need to take in order to get yourself booked on other people’s teleclasses:
1. Brainstorm topics that you can knowledgeably talk about and have a level of passion for. Select one or two that you think would make the most appealing teleclasses. Not sure what to talk about? Type “teleclass” into a search engine to see what topics other speakers cover in order to get ideas of your own. Or go back and take a look at some of your more popular articles or blog posts and see which ones can be developed further.
2. Keep your internet antenna up for people who already offer teleclasses with guest speakers. You can use search engines to locate people, watch your Twitter stream to see who is promoting teleclasses (or go to http://hashtags.org and search the term “teleclass” to find the latest tweets about them), and skim your Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media pages invitations to upcoming teleclasses.
3. Note that there are now a ton of virtual professional associations that use teleclasses to attract new members. Look for the ones that do, and whose members might show the most interest in your topics. Associations exist for many professions and trades, business people and entrepreneurs, coaches and writers of all kinds, virtually every sort of hobbyist and enthusiast, and so forth.
4. Once you find people or associations you think you would like to contact with your teleclass idea, attend some of their teleclasses first to see how they go. Many of these are free to dial into, except perhaps for a long distance telephone charge. Take note of their format. Are they done as interviews or does the guest speaker give a talk, followed by a Q and A session? Does the person sponsoring or conducting the teleclass introduce the speaker with a bio, and allow the speaker to mention his or her website or other contact information? During question times, do listeners participate? Getting a feel for these things will enable you to better prepare for when your own speaking opportunities arise.
5. Send an e-mail to those people or organizations that you would like to do a teleclass with. Indicate your background, offer a couple of options for topics you could cover, and explain why you think their members or followers might benefit. Continue this step with a number of people and organizations until you have a solid number of bookings.
6. Once the teleclass is arranged, don’t just leave the promotion to the sponsor to handle. Send press releases publicizing the class, talk about it on Twitter and Facebook, mention it in your newsletter or blog and so forth. This makes the teleclass a win-win for both you and your host.
The real beauty of teleclasses that get recorded and distributed via CD or mp3 is that they have a way of immortalizing you somewhat. Someone may discover you and your services on a CD long after you gave the interview or held the class. A 30 or 60-minute talk given this year can bring you positive publicity for years to come.