One of the best ways to build visibility and establish a client pipeline for your business is to give free presentations. They can take the form of free webinars, teleclasses, speeches, and workshops that you host yourself or offer through a third party like a professional association, job search club, college, or even company.
While every opportunity to present helps spread the word about you and your services, there is something very interesting that happens when the presentation is on resume writing — the conversion from attendee to actual client is very low.
I’m sure that makes little sense. After all, you are trying to sell resume writing, you know not to give away everything you do, and are just giving them enough overview to make them realize they can’t do it themselves, right? I’m right there with you in agreement, but I’ve watched an interesting phenomena take place over two decades of presenting:
When you talk on resume writing you attract DIYers. These individuals don’t intend to use your services and will rarely be persuaded. They are there to learn how to do it themselves, upon which they will go home and well, do it themselves. While they won’t have nearly enough tools to get the job done as well as you could, they won’t book you anyway.
Can we say that this is ALWAYS true? Of course not, but I have seen it time and time again with perhaps 0-3 people inquiring about services after a resume writing presentation. (Note that the one time I was sure I was just doing the presentation as a courtesy to a chapter of the Society for Technical Communications, I ended up closing 30% of the room (or 9 clients) from one 45 minute presentation. I guess that only other writers could truly respect the need for a professional to do it for them.)
So, while we can’t say it is always true, I can tell you that when I decided to shake things up and try a different presentation other than resume writing, I turned my attendees into excited, hungry prospects who couldn’t wait to buy from me. After every session, even the 15 minute ones, I would have a line of people interested in booking consults with me (and I would convert them to resume writing clients). It’s important to realize that — this will get you your ideal clients who need resume help. You just have to trick their belief system into letting your message get through!
What was so different here?