I've been a professional
speaker, writer and consultant for seven years. Even in the first
year, I was able to pay myself the equivalent to my previous full-time
salary as a magazine editor. (And you may know what journalists
make. Let's just say this is not the profession my parents encouraged me
to pursue!) Since then, my income has steadily risen in recent years to
a multiple of six or seven times that full-time salary. (And seven times
not much is ...)
So when I started subscribing to Great Speaking e-zine,
coming to your Butt Camps, investing in your Click
e-book, subscribing to
http://www.GreatInternetMarketing.com , signing up for
http://www.professionalspeaker.com etc., I wasn't struggling.
I was, as always, looking for new ways to ratchet things up a notch.
With the softening economy, my client business, too, has gotten a little
softer. The silver lining to that, of course, is that I've had more time
to develop my own stuff. Also, I had noticed that my product sales,
without my putting much effort into them, have doubled every year. Last
year they actually reached a tidy little income. So I wondered what
would happen if I actually focused on product sales this year.
In short, I've seen the past six months as an opportunity to implement
some of the info-marketing items that had been on my to-do list -- add
some fresh products to my catalogue of eight or nine titles, hold a
public seminar, test teleseminars, etc.
Here's what I did:
I took Tom's advice and
learned how to update my Website myself. That has proved invaluable in
terms of flexibility and timing. I've had a popular email
newsletter for years, but after talking to Tom, I really put a lot of
effort into building the subscription list. I'm humbled to express this
as a success to a guy with what?100 million subscribers? but I now have
6,500 or so subscribers/"believers." (Check it out:
Product development and sales
This year I have introduced several new products. In May, for example, I
introduced a new Web-writing manual in my e-mail newsletter and, without
doing anything else, brought in $3,000 in a few weeks. With sales to
clients, Back of Room sales, (BOR) etc., I expect to continue to get
paid, get paid, get paid -- the Tom Antion formula!
I also tested teleseminars for the first time this year with a partner
(an association I do a lot of work with). The first one-hour program I
presented (on "Think Like a Reader," or how to position your message in
a press release, brochure, etc.) brought in 62 listeners who paid $99 or
$199 each. After we pay the teleseminar company some small amount, the
association and I will split the profits. Plus, I got the tape. So the
next product: is a tape, workbook and special report package on the
I was nervous about the format, so I had my client "interview" me. (I
got tips on how to do it from Rebecca Morgan, who does a great job
interviewing people for her SpeakerNet News teleseminars.) I felt
comfortable that I wasn't going to have to talk nonstop until the first
invitation for questions 30 minutes in. The program was high-energy, the
attendees seemed happy, I promoted my Website and email newsletter, and
the association is ready to schedule another program.
I'm really enjoying the partnership with this association, and I think I
attracted more attendees and generated a higher fee than I would have on
my own. I also got more exposure, which has led to inquiries about
in-house programs. So for now, that partnership is working for me, and
I'm seeking other such partnerships.
In August, I'll be holding a public seminar. I've done this a couple of
times before and ended up netting little more than I would have made
presenting the program to a client. That didn't exactly encourage me to
make time to produce public seminars again! But after thinking so much
about info-marketing, I was excited to see whether I could generate
better results using some e-marketing techniques.
This time, I'm holding a two-day program instead of a one-day program,
with the idea that as long as I was going to the trouble, I might as
well charge more per person.
A more important
change: Instead of sending out a traditional four-page
brochure, I wrote a 12-page sales letter and posted it on my
(Check it out:
http://wyliecomm.com/training/masterclass.shtml .) Then I
published a short feature story in my email newsletter with some
tips, a summary of the program and a link to the sales letter.
The result: We had money
in the bank before we finished pressing "send."
I know, Tom, preaches that your email newsletter subscribers are
"your people," the ones who will buy from you, but I was still
surprised by the response. We also sent some wonderful, colorful,
printed packages to local members of three professional
associations I belong to, as well as to our house list of people
who have bought products from me -- fewer than 1,000 mailings, I
think. But the email
newsletter has out-pulled all other marketing efforts combined by
two to one.
A few other cheap, easy things I've done to promote the
Placed articles in
return for ads and buttons in other e-zines and on other Websites
E-mailed my list of
trade and association publication editors a quick announcement.
That's resulted in articles and calendar listings
communication managers I know personally a little note saying:
"Did you hear about my program? I thought some of your staff
members might be interested in attending" with a link to the url.
Made my e-mail signature
file a promotion of the event
E-mailed leaders of some
regional chapters of the professional associations I belong to,
inviting them to promote my program and offering to pay them $50
for every participant they signed up. I've gotten some very
enthusiastic partners that way! I set up Websites for them and
e-mailed them coded pdfs of the marketing tools. They're printing
the stuff out, mailing it, handing it out at meetings, making
announcements, e-mailing their members, running articles in their
newsletters, etc., etc., etc. No cost to me, unless I get a
registrant. Plus, I'm getting an implied endorsement from the
It's been four weeks
since we first started promoting, and the program is still seven
weeks away. We've already filled half the seats and have netted
three times my per-day fee. I expect to double or triple that
before the program is over -- maybe even more once BOR sales are
incorporated. My secret fantasy is that the program will sell out,
and I'll have to get a bigger room! (I sort of miss my secret
fantasies about Leonardo DiCaprio!) And there's also been a side
benefit: I've received five or six serious inquiries about
bringing the program in-house to clients, and I've already booked
one of them.
Note from Tom:
Congratulations Ann. You are a person who takes smart action and
you are realizing the powerful results. I'm proud that you are a
Butt Camp Graduate!
Wylie Communications Inc.
4618 Warwick, Ste. 7A
Kansas City, MO 64112
Wylie Communications Inc.
Training / Writing and Editing / Publication Consulting
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