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Heather Townsend

The Excedia Group


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How my online reputation was destroyed in 30 minutes


Apparently yesterday my online reputation was destroyed by someone in 30 minutes. Someone started a rumour yesterday evening on twitter that I had the audacity to ask people to pay £400 to join this webinar which will help you to gain clients using twitter. (Go on read it yourself, and I wonder whether you can spot how this misunderstanding started). Oh, and that I had destroyed my online reputation in the process. After the initial shock had subsided, I began to see the really funny side of the whole situation.

Who would pay £400 for a place on a webinar? After all does £400 for a place on a webinar, even with £160 of freebies chucked in as well, and someone who really knows her stuff, seem right?

But, then again. WHO would pay £400 for a place on a teleseminar. It makes it a darn side easier to make money if you are charging £400 per place rather than £35 a place. I then started to think about how I could charge £400 for a place on a webinar…

It all comes down to the perception of value. If my knowledge and expertise helps you to win clients worth a few thousand pounds, then £35 is a very small investment and a no brainer. However, if as a result of my knowledge and expertise you are gaining clients worth a few hundreds of thousands of pounds, then £400 is a very small investment and a definite no brainer. If I targetted this webinar at the online marketing managers for mid-sized and large law firms, then I may actually be able to charge £400 per person.

Now, value perception is a very individual thing – and your branding has got to match up to the product you are selling. Firstly, I would need to change the name. Webinar, teleseminar feels cheap and is associated with a price tag normally pitched at under £100. So I would need to make it an ‘exclusive’ invitation to a virtual masterclass session. I would need to play on the fact that only marketing managers and directors in law firms have been invited and places were limited to ten people. You know, act now or miss out…

I’ve been heavily marketing my teleseminar via twitter, which whilst working for the audience I am aiming to attract, would not be right for my ‘exclusive virtual masterclass session’. Understandably my copy would need to change. I would need to pitch the webinar as a solution for the firm’s problems rather than individual’s problems (where it is currently pitched)

Instead of marketing this ‘exclusive virtual masterclass session’ via twitter (after all most of the people I would want to attract for this teleseminar would not have a presence on twitter), I would send a piece of snail mail, individually addressed on high quality paper. To help with the follow up, I would employ the services of a telemarketer – after all with a price tag of £400 per person, I could afford to outsource the cold calls. And then finally, I would change the offer so that everyone who attended would be able to take advantage of an exclusive 50% discount on a follow up executive coaching session with me, to help them implement their learnings from the session.

Do you see how I am now managing to charge £400 for the same webinar? It’s all down to clever marketing. But how many times are we seduced by clever marketing?

But, where do you personally have an opportunity to sell your services for ten times what you are selling and marketing them for now? Where are you under-valuing your expertise and letting it go too cheaply?

So, do you think I should re-package this webinar and sell it for £400 rather than £35? Surely it is worth a punt?

Heather Townsend is the driving force behind The Efficiency Coach and a co-founder of 'the executive village'
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Heather Townsend


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