Basically, there are two things that must be in place before any of your offerings can be successful (read: profitable). One is that it must be designed for a target market. So, there must be a group of people who you are targeting to offer your product/program/service toward.
The other is that is must solve a problem that your target market wants solved. Sounds obvious, yes? But many times, we create what we think our target market NEEDS instead of what it WANTS. It's critical to know the difference and to use that knowledge to create your offerings.
There are many ways you can find out what it is that your target market wants most so you can create it and offer it to them. One of those ways is to hold a teleseminar that both delivers value to your participants as well as provides you with market research to use to inform your product line.
The best thing is that these types of teleseminars can be easy to fill and fun to host. Here are the steps:
1. Decide on the topic
Your best bet is to choose a topic that's broad in scope, meaning that it discusses a problem that the majority of your target market struggles with and would like help in solving. This will get you more people on the call as well as give you a more diverse group from which to learn from for your own market research purposes.
2. Use a mini-application
When people register for your teleseminar, ask them to fill out a short questionnaire. This really begins your market research because you'll be asking them what it is that they are struggling with specifically in relation to the bigger topic.
For example, if your topic is "How to Balance My Business and My Family and Still Have Time for a Great Life", one question you may ask in your questionnaire is, "What's the ONE thing you struggle with most when it comes to balancing your business and your family? Please be as specific as possible so I can give you some specific strategies to help!"
You could also ask the question in another way: "What two questions do you have that I must answer on this teleseminar for you to feel it was of value to you?" You may also want to ask where your participant is at present with regard to your topic and where they'd like to be.
Tell them you'll be answering as many questions as you can on the teleseminar itself, to engage people right from the start when they are registering for the call, as well as encourage them to show up in the first place (this is particularly helpful if this is a fre*e call).
Also, don't be shy about telling your participants that you'll be using their comments and feedback as part of growing your own business. For example, if you're writing a book and you need some more content for a certain section, hold a teleseminar on that topic and share with your teleseminar participants that they may be featured in the book if their comments, suggestions or examples are used. People will jump to sign up for your call!
3. Ask questions
At this point, you have an outline for the call itself, and now you've filled it in with more content with the answers to the questions that were submitted when people registered.
The next step is to weave those questions and answers into the conversation on the call itself, and ask if there are MORE questions or comments around them. This will give you more in-depth and insightful information for your purposes, as well as be valuable to those on the call. This is when you really want to give the space and the time for your participants to talk (count 5 Mississippi's if you have to to stop yourself from filling any silence while people are thinking).
Be sure to record the call so you can listen carefully to the conversation again and take notes about what you hear that your participants are looking for in terms of solutions to their problems.
4. Send a follow-up email
As soon as possible after the call, send a follow-up email thanking your attendees for their time and participation. Include notes from the call that you've cleaned up and converted to a neat PDF file for them as well for added value.
What you've done with this is type of 'Open House' teleseminar is invited your attendees to ask you anything they want about your area of expertise. With the information you glean, you can easily tailor your next product around the things they most want, which equals a successful offering for you!
© 2009 Alicia M Forest and Client Abundance
Alicia M Forest, MBA, Multiple Streams Queen & Coach, founder of http://www.ClientAbundance.com and creator of 21 Easy & Essential Steps to Online Success System, teaches coaches, consultants, online entrepreneurs, and self-employed professionals how to attract more clients, create profit-making products and services, make more sales, and ultimately live the life they desire and deserve. For FREE tips on how to create abundance in your business, visit http://www.ClientAbundance.com.