Jennifer Tribe

Article Summary:

How can teleclasses work for you?

Teleclasses: A Key Component of Information Product Strategy

Teleclasses are one of the fastest and easiest ways to launch or build an information product program. And because they are very inexpensive to run, teleclasses can also be very lucrative.

It's easy to see why teleclasses -- classes or seminars that are offered over the phone -- are rapidly gaining in popularity with both participants and infopreneurs. Consider these benefits:

Convenience
Participants can call in from anywhere, whether that's the office, home or the beach. There are no worries about traffic or bad roads, leaving enough travel time in an already hectic schedule, or travel costs.

As the leader, the convenience factor is high for you too. You don't have to rent a room, set up a podium or presentation aids, or travel to the presentation site. You simply call in at the appointed time from wherever you happen to be.

Critical Mass
An empty room can be embarrassing at a live presentation but you need very few people on a call to make the whole event worthwhile. Even a handful of participants can create a lively discussion. And with the costs to run a teleclass so low, it generally takes just two or three participants to break even.

Spin-Off Products
One of my very favorite things about teleclasses is how easily they spin off into other information products. Record the live call and you automatically - with no extra work - have an audio tape or CD you can sell for months and years to come. You might also transcribe the call and use this written material as the basis for a special report. Offering a teleclass every month is very manageable and leaves you with at least 12 new information products at the end of the year.

To run a teleclass, you need just four things:

1. A bridge line.
Bridge line is simply the term for a phone line that will let many people call in at once. Look for a bridge line service that will let you, as the leader, mute out participants. Make sure that your bridge line provider can also record the call and deliver the resulting file in a digital format.

Renting a bridge line is quite inexpensive. Participants generally pay their own long distance charges so you just need to cover the basic cost of the line.

2. Content to discuss.
When developing content for the call, you have two basic options: do it yourself or interview a guest expert. With the first option, it will just be you leading the call and guiding the discussion with participants. You might adapt content from an existing live presentation or work up some new material. The easier option is to ask an expert in your field to join you on the call and to ask them questions. You can even ask the expert to supply the questions they want you to ask. If you go this route, you have zero content development work!

3. A way to promote the class.
You will want to promote the class to your opt-in mailing list, if you have one. Also consider personal invitations to key colleagues and clients, promoting the class on your web site, and having your guest expert promote the class to their mailing list. Remember that you only need five or six participants for a great call.

4. A way to accept registrations.
Typically, this means having an on-line shopping cart and merchant account so that you can accept payment by credit card. Anything else and you run the risk of losing registrations since many people won't take the time to print off a registration, write out a check, and walk to their mailbox. As well, you will often get a flurry of registrations in the days just before the class. Unless you offer instant registration, you'll lose these too.

As you can see, once you have your registration system in place then your future teleclasses are quick and easy to set-up. Just rent a bridge line, invite an expert to participate, let your list know about it, and you are off to the races.

Jennifer Tribe is the president of Juiced Consulting, a company that helps business owners turn their expertise into money-making information products like books, special reports, teleclasses, and audiotapes and CDs. Jennifer holds a degree in journalism and has worked extensively as a writer and editor. Her articles on information products have been published in Management Magazine, Home Business Magazine, BusinessWoman Canada, and other leading publications. Subscribe to her free e-zine, Infopreneuring Strategies, at www.juiced consulting.com.

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