"What's the best way for me to promote my seminars?"

This question easily makes the top five list of challenges I hear from newer seminar promoters, as well as those who aren't satisfied with how their events are performing.

Their uncertainty is understandable. Because when you're doing your own marketing, growing a business and delivering the content, you want to make sure that every dime and every minute you invest into your promotions will pay off.

The frustrating thing, of course, is that you can't guarantee that everything you do will be a winner. Some promotions fizzle. It's the nature of the game.

When you're promoting seminars, workshops and other training events, there are some things you should do when marketing. For example, having a web page -- if not an entire web site -- devoted to your event is typically a good idea. That way, you have a marketing tool available around the clock to help prospects make the decision to attend your seminar.

Going hand in hand with the web site is email marketing (to your own opt-in list of course).

Beyond that, my rule is "if you feel inspired to try it, try it!"

If you think that knocking on doors and introducing yourself to local businesses will help, give it a shot. If you want to hang flyers on bulletin boards, it's worth a try. If listing your seminars with a event listing service strikes your fancy, sign up to get your information into their database.

Then supplement your creativity with a bit of practical planning:

1. Be sure to customize your marketing approach to best leverage the opportunity. If you're going to talk to business owners, stress how the organization will benefit by investing in training rather than talking only about how the attendee will benefit.

2. Track the source of every registration. That way, you won't have to guess which marketing tools are working for you. You'll know without a doubt whether it pays to pound the pavement while passing out flyers.

3. Use multi-channel marketing. The more ways you reach out to your audience, the more likely you are to reach a greater number of them. Plus, you'll be less affected if one tool stops working.

4. Watch ROI. You may find that all of your marketing tools are generating registrations. But filling seats is not enough. Ultimately, you need to make money from your registrations, or your business will sink.

For some seminar producers, this means that the tuition generated must outweigh the cost of generating the registrations. Other seminar providers can lose money on the seminar itself because they will make money selling products and services at the event. But ultimately, they must make money.

When working with a finite budget, watch the return on investment generated by each marketing channel. If you find that one approach costs too much in time or money, drop it and redirect your resources to another channel that is producing a better return.

Author's Bio: 

Jenny Hamby is a direct-response copywriter and Certified Guerrilla Marketer who helps consultants, speakers, and coaches to create Internet, advertising and direct-mail campaigns to boost revenue and generate qualified leads for their businesses. She is also author of How to Successfully Market Seminars and Workshops, a home-study course that shows professionals how to develop marketing plans and promotional materials to fill seminar seats. Claim your copy of her e-course, 31 Secrets to Jumpstart Your Seminar Promotions.