This excerpt is part of Entrepreneur.com's Second-Quarter Startup Kit which explores the fundamentals of starting up in a wide range of industries.
In Start Your Own Information Marketing Business, the staff at Entrepreneur Bookstore and writer Robert Skrob explain how to start and run a successful information marketing business. In this edited excerpt, the authors explain how guest experts can help you create teleseminars your audiences will flock to.
Guest experts are a great way to get the information you need to launch your information marketing business with a teleseminar series. Guest experts bring credibility to your program. A guest expert who's been in a particular industry for a number of years has the credentials, the education and the experience you may not. Bringing in one or more guest experts makes your teleseminar series that much more desirable because the people who are deciding to come are looking at an agenda that promises expert information. Your program includes someone who has the background to deliver the promised content.
Experts also lend their authority to your program. If they're well known in an industry, and customers recognize the expert's name and know this person is well thought of, that's instant authority. You won't have to try as hard to demonstrate to your customers that you've got the experience and knowledge to help them because they'll see that your presenter is a well-respected industry authority.
Finally, using guest experts gives you the advantage of speed. Having guest experts on your teleseminars allows you to grow your program quickly because you don't have to go through as much of the learning curve. Your guest presenters are already experts on their topics, so you just need to become good at interviewing these experts and getting the information produced for your customers.
One of the quickest ways to find experts is to do a search online for the particular problems you're looking to solve and see which experts come up. Another place to look is Amazon.com to see who's written books that cover a particular topic. An author will give your program even more authority because you can show that the expert who's going to cover the topic has written a book on the subject.
Another approach to finding experts is to browse through trade journals and magazines for your industry and look for people who are submitting articles. Typically when people write articles for journals, it's because they're looking for publicity in the industry and want others to see them as an expert. Typically they have the expertise you can use and are very interested in participating as guests on a teleseminar.
Also read through the articles themselves to find people who have expertise in your topic. Perhaps there's a profile of someone who's been successful, or an article may include quotes from a couple of people. Consider those individuals as potential guests for your teleseminar series.
Guests who have respect in the industry bring respect to your program because people recognize their names and know who they are. Even if a potential customer has never heard of you before, having two or three guests in your teleseminar series who are well known in the industry gives you instant credibility and gets people who may not have been interested in the past to participate.
No matter where you find your guest experts, it's important to vet them to be sure they have the expertise you need and are able to deliver that expertise in a fun and engaging way. Your expert might be the most knowledgeable person in the world, but if he speaks too slowly and is boring to listen to, that reflects on you. Be sure to speak with them on the phone to be sure you'll be able to have an engaging and interesting discussion for your customers.
The secret to having experts eagerly participate in your teleseminar series is to build a working relationship with them first. Think of it as dating. Before someone is willing to go on a cross-country trip with you, they're going to want to go on a few dates with you. There's been some interaction, you've been around this person for a while, you feel pretty comfortable about what you're getting yourself into, and you feel like this is going to be a positive experience.
It's the same with guests in your teleseminar series. Unless someone already knows who you are, he may be reluctant about being a guest on your teleseminar because he doesn't know you, doesn't know the type of program you're going to do and doesn't know what your beliefs are. Your potential guest might fear that you're going to put him in a difficult situation in front of people he's trying to impress. So it's important to reach out to your guests and foster a relationship before inviting them to participate in your teleseminars.
One question heard often is "Why would experts want to be on a call with me? Do I need to pay them? Why would they participate?" If a guest wants to be paid, there's no reason why you can't, but generally it's not necessary. Typically guest experts are happy to participate when you approach them like this:
I recognize that our industry has this particular problem, and I've chosen to create a solution for this problem by creating a teleseminar series. My series is going to have five calls over five weeks, and it's going to deal with these five issues. I'd like to invite you to be the guest expert for this issue. During the teleseminar, I'll interview you, we'll have a discussion about the topic, and for your time, we'll feature you in the marketing as an expert. You'll be permitted to give out your contact information to the participants. It won't take a lot of your time because we're doing it on the phone. You don't have to travel anywhere, we'll have a fun conversation, and we'll be able to help a lot of people.
On that basis, most experts are happy to work with you and help you create your teleseminar series. After all, they want to be featured and be in front of people who have these types of problems. So, by presenting this opportunity, you're giving the experts something they want.