Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Learning Curve

I have not one, but two teleseminars scheduled for today. One is with a good friend and a great writer, Terri Gordon. It's titled: "The A.C.E. Up Your Sleeve: Getting Started in the Writing Game." The second is with Geoff Teall, hunter judge and trainer extraordinaire. It explores "Top Ten Tips for Winning in the Hunter Ring."

I am extremely grateful to both of them for allowing me to learn and to practice on them. There's nothing like jumping into the ring to learn the ropes. The cool, unexpected bonus for me is the excitement with which I'm looking forward to these calls. They are far more fun than I dreamed they would be.

In Monday night's teleseminar class, Alex Mandossian talked about having goals and taking charge. Initiative works best, he said, before you meet the challenge head-on. In other words, it's better to anticipate potential problems and take steps to solve them before the emergency arises.

Alex also mentioned the following quote from Dr. Martin Luther King:

"The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy."

I found myself thinking on that for several hours afterwards...

As a participant in the teleseminar class, I have signed up for a contest evaluating the "most improved newbie." I doubt that I'll win (I've listened to the MP3 file of the teleseminar I did with Denise. Though what she has to say is great, I say "uh" far too often to win any contest...), but felt that I might as well enter. I believe it's good to participate in a class wholeheartedly, and one should practice what one preaches.

Besides, in order to meet the deadline to enter the contest, I had to do a teleseminar before January 16. That was the impetus to doing the call on "Top Ten Questions New Puppy Owners Ask" last Wednesday. So, whether or not I move up in the ranks of the contest participants, entering has been good for me already -- I got the first one done!

In order to enter the contest, I had to write a 250 word essay on why I feel I should be considered as a winner. Writing it made me isolate and identify my reasons for taking the course. I realized that the primary reason for my involvement was my clients and not myself.

I mentioned that my clients are world-class experts in their fields (with specialties ranging from horse and dog training to publishing to neurosurgery). They have a vast knowledge base that really deserves exposure to the greatest numbers of interested people possible. I’ve written books for them. But even a bestselling book can’t compete with the power of the spoken word when it comes to immediately connecting with an audience.

I told them that I believe teleseminars will become an important component of my clients’ marketing plans. Right now, however, I’m the “teleseminar ambassador,” because my clients aren’t yet convinced of the power of the phone. That’s about to change.

I explained that my first teleseminar was on January 11, 2006. It was a learning experience designed to culminate in an information product. Because my client was skeptical about the whole process, we didn’t even allow registrants. We simply conducted a short live interview and recorded it. By the end of the day, it was available on-line for downloading – and my client had enthusiastically begun planning a series!

Finally, I told them that in the next 48 hours, I have three teleseminars scheduled with three other clients. I want to learn everything I can about the medium in order to present my clients in the best, most professional light.

It's all a part of a huge learning curve. Right now, we're working on figuring out how to have people enter their names and e-mail addresses before they download the free MP3 files. We'd like to build a database of people who have visited the site and who have evidenced an interest in what we have to say. But we don't want to scare them or make them think they've signed up for something they don't want. Right now, I'm not happy with the way the database is working, so we don't have a means of building a list of people interested in what's there. But we'll figure it out... Eventually.