Overview Of Business
If you are an educator, public speaker, industry specialist, or software salesperson, this could be your winning ticket!
Online seminars are becoming very common, with many online training sites now available. They are a perfect way to deliver a multimedia message that holds the user’s full attention until the points are clearly communicated. The monitor screen is a cold and inhuman medium, but with the new online seminar software and associated technology, we can deliver a human voice accompanied by moving images and presentation slides, thus delivering an engaging educational experience that is available to users 24/7. Some software available today requires a relatively small download in order to receive the message, and some is directly available through the browser interface.
Many meeting and event planners are turning to the Internet to research and book a speaker or trainer for their next event. For many speakers’ Web sites, it’s a great idea to have an online demo for event coordinators to sample. This lessens the associated costs and time consumed by sending out videos and brochures.
The online seminar Web site should host a comprehensive amount of information pertaining to the topics discussed in the seminars, as well as feature bios about the speakers or educators and technical support FAQ files for users to refer to if they have any questions about the associated technologies being used. There should be a clear schedule of past and upcoming seminars posted on the site. All the past seminars should be available via download for a fee to maximize revenue potential for this business.
The online seminar provides a perfect opportunity to upsell books, training kits, and in-person speaking engagements or classes, providing you with an excellent opportunity to generate additional income for your business.
You will need working knowledge of the software programs and hardware used to create the online seminar files and store them on servers, making them available for download via the Web. You will need Web publishing skills and must be able to manage the automated online payment processing function that takes place when users download a seminar.
Cost To Start This Business
Initially you will have to pay for the development, design, and hosting of your Web site, computer hardware, computer software, a printer, and a digital video camera. You will have to pay for the online seminar software. If you currently have some of these items, your initial start-up costs will be considerably lower. If you are selling books or related training materials and are considering taking online payments, you will have to pay for the development of your storefront or purchase storefront software. You will also incur all costs associated with setting up your merchant account, which enables you to take online payments. Other costs that you will incur are related to the promotion of your Web site. Estimated cost is $3,000 to $10,000 to start.
Number Of Employees Needed
Only one employee is needed to run this operation. If your service requests exceed what you can handle, you may have to hire an additional employee to handle all administrative duties associated with the daily operations of the business.
The software that was created to make online seminars possible was designed with global potential in mind. It bridges the gap between experts and the people who want to learn from these experts but cannot meet them in person. Therefore, the only barrier is language, and this can be overcome with professional translation services.
Important Business Issues To Be Addressed
The technology involved is new and still being perfected, so be careful when you choose the seminar software and hardware. Make sure you research the file types, streaming techniques, browser compatibility, and user-friendliness of the options available. In addition, keep on top of the breaking multimedia technology and change with it as it improves to maintain the long-term viability of your business. Keep your prices competitive and offer some samples for free. There already are many free seminars available on the Web today. Your pricing should reflect the nature and value of the seminars you provide.
Online Marketing Techniques
- Launch a strategic banner advertising campaign on Web sites frequented by your target market. These sites could relate to the specific industry or educational subject that your seminars target, or be targeted toward universities or meeting and event planners. These are the Web sites that your target market will visit on a regular basis.
- Develop as many links as possible from Web sites, directories, and metaindexes related to your target market. These sites should relate to the industry that you target, such as student resource sites, meeting and event planning sites, or sites dedicated to professional speakers and trainers.
- Participating in newsgroups and discussion forums related to your area of expertise would be quite effective. Provide valuable demonstrations of the power of online seminars by inviting chat room acquaintances to visit your site and test it out for free.
- Make sure you include a cleverly designed signature file in all of your postings. This will act as an advertisement for your services.
- Develop a sponsored listings campaign to bid on appropriate keyword phrases with the popular search engines.
- Participating in mailing lists related to online seminars or your area of expertise is a useful way of encouraging people to visit your site.
- You could hold a weekly or monthly contest on your Web site for products in your e-store. This creates loyalty, spurs viral marketing, and ensures repeat traffic generation.
If your primary focus is selling your online seminars via download or online seminar publishing services, you could earn additional income from banner advertising because chances are you will have a tremendous “stickiness” factor to your site, and this allows for significant banner exposure time. You could also be a useful reseller for the online seminar software product you choose and earn a commission for all the packages you sell.