Teleclasses: Your Story is Your Best Asset Small business champion & New York Times bestselling author Tory Johnson shares the Spark & Hustle to Help You Achieve Your Dreams. You know my fired-to-hired story. What you may not know is that pretty much anytime I speak to a group of people about job- searching or career advancement, I share it. Why? Because it resonates with anyone who has ever worked in corporate America. Many have received a pink slip, some fear a layoff and everyone knows someone who’s been fired. Your story doesn’t have to be as dramatic as mine to make it part of your sales process. But you should take time to answer the question of why you do what you do. Maybe you’re like me: you had a passion for a specific niche and a burning desire for financial independence. Use your story to convince your prospect that buying from you is the best option and that you Serve&Sell T eleclasses, phone based seminars, and webinars, web-based seminars, are phenomenal free ways to market your products, services, brand or message. It may be how you came to know me. I’ve offered teleclasses to my email subscribers and social media followers for years. But it wasn’t until about three years ago that I realized the income potential. I had just announced that I planned to host my very first three-day Spark & Hustle retreat in Dallas. I decided to host a free (free for me to offer and free for anyone to dial-in to listen) teleseminar to drum up interest in the program. I promoted it a week in advance—twice to my email database and three times each on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Some women shared the invitation with friends and followers. During the twenty-minute call, I gave some of my best small business advice. I spoke quickly, covered material that I knew would interest many listeners and mentioned just once that I’d be hosting an upcoming retreat in Dallas. More than five hundred women phoned in to the class and about thirty of them asked for additional information on the retreat. Within twenty-four hours, four women paid the $4,995 fee to register. Two days later, two more women signed up. That one twenty-minute call generated $29,970 in revenue— and I didn’t have to leave home or spend a dollar on advertising. You can accomplish the same results for your business. One week prior to the call, announce your teleclass by email to your subscriber list and include details on the specific topics you’ll cover. Share the invitation on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Ask ten people (not four, not seven—go for ten) to promote the call to their email subscribers, as well. A short lead time—about one week—is better than announcing your call too far in advance. This way people are excited and don’t forget. To receive the dial-in number, ask each person to send an email to a designated address such as rsvp@ yourwebsite.com. This allows you to gauge in real time how many people are interested, capture names and email addresses of those who want to call in, and provide an automated response with the dial-in number and participant passcode. That is one less detail for you to manage manually. (I use FreeConferencing.com.) Ignore the standard hour-long tele- This is excerpted from the new book, Spark & Hustle: Launch & Grow Your Small Business Now. class format and go for one that requires a shorter time commitment from your guests. Since I’m trained to jam a lot of information into threeminute TV segments, I can pack quite a punch in a twenty-minute call, which is my preferred call length. You’ll get better attendance and stronger results if you respect everyone’s time. Give your best content on the call. Hold nothing back. Never be afraid that you’re giving too much. When you give away your best content—in a speech, consultation or teleclass—most people won’t walk away thinking, “Great! I’ll never need that woman again.” Instead, they’re impressed by your expertise, intrigued by the depth of your knowledge, and they think, “If that’s what she’s giving away for free, imagine how great her paid content or consulting must be.” That leads prospects to buy from you or hire you. Assume for a moment that you’re attending a teleclass presented by an attorney, detailing the specific steps to safeguarding assets for your loved ones through estate planning. If the lawyer offers her very best advice, she isn’t worried that everyone will hang up assuming they can do it themselves. She knows that she’s likely to generate are the Real Deal. Keep this in perspective. Don’t share your story hoping to convert pity to cash: this is a chance to let others know who you are and what makes you tick. It’s about leveraging the challenges, experiences and circumstances that have shaped who you are and how you’re able to best serve others today. It infuses your business with an authenticity that will draw people in and effectively carve out a space for you. Take a moment to consider your own path and how you got to where you are right now. How does your core story intersect with the work you do for clients? Write it down and review it to get comfortable making a natural connection. new clients because they’re impressed by her expertise and her willingness to share it in layman’s terms. By wowing prospects, she earns their trust and ultimately their business. This works for a product business, too. If you sell accessories for fashion lovers, your complimentary teleclass may focus on the hottest style trends for the season. Women dial in to hear your ten top tips on how to update their look to be on trend without breaking the budget. As a thank you for participating, you can offer a limited time discount to shop your new collection or you can invite listeners to contact you for a personal showing. Finally, never view, present or execute teleclasses as sales presentations. This is a service that keeps you connected to your audience. With mine, I offer a very brief introduction and then get down to business quickly. My introduction includes a reference to something happening today so it’s clear to listeners that they’re on a live call, not something that was prerecorded months ago. For example, “Hey everyone, it’s Tory Johnson. Thanks so much for dialing in this afternoon. Not sure about where you are, but it’s a pretty miserable day weatherwise here in New York City, which is why I’m happy to be indoors on this call with you. Grab a pad and pen because I’m going to dive right in with the eight marketing ideas that I promised we’d cover on this call.” Expect to generate some business from the teleclass. Focus on serving a wide audience who may not buy from you today but will appreciate your information and stick with you for the long haul. If you’d like to hear my teleclasses, you’re welcome to listen to any of my recordings at Sparkandhustle. com. They may inspire ideas for your own calls. ■ Tory Johnson is wild about small business success, rooted in being unexpectedly fired from a job she loved. The permanent scar from that pink slip led Tory to shift from employee to entrepreneur and she’s since built two multimillion-dollar businesses: Women For Hire and Spark & Hustle. She is also a weekly contributor on Good Morning America, New York Times bestselling author, contributing editor to SUCCESS magazine and a popular speaker and consultant. Connect at Facebook.com/ Tory and Twitter.com/ToryJohnson. For more information, visit www.sparkandhustle.com. This is excerpted from the new book, Spark & Hustle: Launch & Grow Your Small Business Now.