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How to Organize a Successful & Profitable Teleclass
By Milana Leshinsky

Imagine sitting on your porch and watching your kids play in the backyard. At the same time, you are holding a telephone and talking to 20 people from other states, Canada, Australia, UK, and other places all over the world. Modern technology made this possible!

Teleclasses are a fun way to connect with other like-minded people, learn a new skill and pick up some useful information. It’s just like distant learning (or distant teaching, if you're the leader) held over the telephone. Everyone dials the same conference line (also called a bridge line), and listens to the class leader (also called an instructor).

Some teleclasses are interactive, where participants are encouraged to ask questions and share ideas. These are much more interesting and fun, since everyone can contribute to the discussion.

Conducting your own teleclass is also a great way to make money from your knowledge. If you are a coach or consultant, or know something others are willing to pay for, you can put together a profitable teleclass.

Here are the steps to organizing and conducting a successful teleclass:

1.) Decide who you'd like as your participants. If you already have a business and defined your target market, it's best to create a teleclass geared for your target audience. This strategy will allow you to reduce the time you spend preparing for and marketing your teleclass. Your idea participants must represent a specific group of people that you can easily reach.

EXAMPLES:

- recently divorced women
- parents of autistic children
- parents of college students
- couples after 50
- musicians trying to form their own band

2.) Name your teleclass. Be specific, don't make people guess what your teleclass is about. Your class title is like the headline in an ad - make it short, punchy and to the point.

EXAMPLES:

- "Sharing Custody With a Jerk"
- "Is Your Business Running You?"
- "How to Stop Your Divorce"
- "5 Steps to Making it Big in Publishing Business"

3.) Think of what else you can offer to your class participants. Whether you’re giving a fr*ee teleclass or charging for it, you need to have a back-end product or service related to the topic of the teleclass, to maximize your profit potential.

EXAMPLES:

- Teleclass name: "Rich Coach - Poor Coach" Back-end service: "12-Week Practice Building on the Internet for Coaches" program.

- Teleclass name: "How to Build Your Very First Web Site" Back-end product: "Create Your First Business Web Site in 10 days" tutorial on CD.

4.) List 5-10 points you’ll discuss. Explain each point by stating the problem and offering a solution.

EXAMPLES:

- "Finding the right realtor, the best school district and a safe neighborhood is very important to a single mother. You'll learn everything you need to know about relocating to a new town in the first half of the teleclass."

- "Sharing files between your home computers is very important when you have multiple users in the house. Discover exactly how to create a simple computer network and connecting all of your home computers together."

5.) Specify who will benefit from your teleclass the most by stating your target audience somewhere in the class description.

EXAMPLES:

- "This teleclass is perfect for the parents being stressed out over living with their college age child."

- "Business owners in their 1st year of start-up will especially find this teleclass helpful."

6.) List your credentials. What qualifies you for giving this teleclass? Did you go through the same situation a few years ago? Did you conduct an extensive research on the subject? Do you work with clients/patients who deal with the same type of problem? Include your credibility factors at the bottom of the teleclass description.

EXAMPLES:

- "About Instructor: Milana Leshinsky has built her Internet consulting business with no previous business experience and with only $50 in her pocket. She currently owns 17 successful web sites, is a full-time Internet entrepreneur, and helps her clients profit from their knowledge."

7.) Create a web page and put all of the above information online. Treat your teleclass as a product, giving it its own sales page and an order button. To learn how to make your own web page, visit http://www.firstbusinesswebsite.com and get the "Create Your First Business Web Site in 10 days" tutorial.

8.) Reserve a bridge line. There are free and paid bridge lines available, although I prefer to pay for a bridge line to insure its reliability. Some of the bridge line providers include:

- http://www.bridgerentals.com
- http://www.easyconference.com
- http://www.mrconference.com
- http://www.rentabridge.com
- http://www.telebridge.com
- http://www.teleconferenceline.com

9.) Announce your teleclass. Start with your existing mailing list and network of friends, colleagues, and business partners. Search for newsletters and web sites targeting the same audience you are, and contact their publishers. You can ask them to publish your article discussing one or more points from your teleclass, and promoting the class at the end of the article. Alternatively, you can purchase a small classified ad in their newsletter to attract participants.

10.) Follow up with all participants by sending them a complimentary report, article, tips or a tool they can use. Include a page promoting your back-end service or product inside your follow-up material.

EXAMPLES:

- "10 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Punishing Your Child"
- "Self-Assessment for New Business Owners"
- "How Computer Savvy Are You?" Quiz

If you have never been on a teleclass, visit these two web sites:

- http://www.teleclass.com
- http://www.teleclassinternational.com

You'll find classes on topics varying from parenting and relationships, to marketing, cooking and weight loss. You can also list your own teleclasses with these web sites, in addition to promoting it in other places.

When your teleclass is done, turn it into an e-book, series of lessons, or a coaching program. This is exactly what I did with my "Rich Coach - Poor Coach" teleclass. I saw the need for a much more detailed program, and developed it into a "12-Week Practice Building on the Internet for Coaches" coaching program.

You can also record your teleclasses and sell the RealAudio version on your web site for an additional source of income.

Whatever you do with your knowledge, don't waste it - share it with others who need your help, while building a long-term business.

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Copyright © 2003, Milana Leshinsky

Milana Leshinsky is the founder of ACCPOW, the Association of Coaching & Consulting Professionals on the Web. Join us to receive weekly tips, articles, resources and tele-seminars: http://www.accpow.com

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