Only 6 Lawyers Attended My Seminar! 4 Happy Lessons

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Only 6 Lawyers Attended My Seminar! 4 Happy Lessons By Vik RajanBack in October 2014, I presented a seminar series for the Metropolitan Black Bar Association (MBBA). While only 6 lawyers attended the 1st workshop, there were at least 4 happy lessons for me to learn, and perhaps for others to follow.

The series was modeled after the ones I presented at the NYC Bar Association in the Spring:

  • Workshop 1: Hands-On Blogging
  • Workshop 2: Hands-On LinkedIn
  • Workshop 3: Hands-On Newsletters

Attorneys entered the workshop with their laptops, and left the room with a fully-functional blog, live on the Internet, adherent to attorney advertising rules and codes of ethics. It was pretty powerful.

I repeated the workshop again for the NYC Bar Association in October, November and December. But when I presented the same seminar to the MBBA, only 6 lawyers attended.

After starting later than I wanted (hoping that more people would show up to drown out any crickets), I wanted to make the best of a situation. I realized it wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. Here are 4 lessons I learned:

Happy Lesson #1: Charge a fee to keep registrants invested.

The MBBA didn’t charge for these workshops. While the NYC Bar Association only charged a nominal $35 per session: It was just enough where, if you’d already paid the fee (and lunch was included), you’re more likely to show up. Even charging $15 or $20 – vs. charging nothing – will keep the commitment level up.

Happy Lesson #2: A 1:6 ratio is better than a 1:1 ratio.

I’m willing to spend 90 minutes with any potential client who’s interested in what I have to say and what I have to offer. If that person wants me to coach him through launching a blog, I don’t have a problem with doing that favor, even if the only thing that comes from it is building goodwill. Because I would spend this amount of time with one prospective client, here I felt an opportunity of doing “1 on 6” instead of just 1 on 1.

The 3-parts of the “Hands-On” series are the 3 main components of the phoneBlogger.net setup process. If this person realizes & recognizes that blogging will be difficult for them to maintain & sustain on their own, then perhaps phoneBlogger.net is a viable alternative.

Happy Lesson #3: Less is more.

In hands-on workshops, I want to be able to interact & have an impact on each participant. The workshops aren’t meant to be a pontification from the podium. Having only a half-dozen folks in the room allowed me to spend quality time with each person and really make sure they got it. To have that positive impact & influence on each participant – from a word-of-mouth marketing standpoint – is important to me.

Happy Lesson #4: Mine the relationships in the room.

Always ask for feedback by asking attendees to complete a form. It’s beneficial to hear comments that offer suggestions to improve. I also ask for a testimonial that I can use in marketing materials. It also helps set up future speaking engagements:

Each attendee belongs to at least one other organization – geographic, ethnic, cultural, a women’s group, etc. I asked attendees – using the Feedback Form – if they belong to organizations that’d be open to inviting me to present. From that perspective, I can book a gig from a gig. You can immediately see the exponential potential.

In these ways, the right 6 people were in the room: If I only had an impact on 1 person… well, I’m not a fan of that cliche: I want to impact every person in the room, and encourage a ripple effect (through paper handouts & website links like BlogBrainstormer.com). Many returned for the following sessions, adding to the crowd.

Have you ever had a presentation go bust on you? How did you handle it? Any of these lessons help?
Vikram Rajan, Co-Founder of phoneBlogger.net

 

Vikram Rajan
Telephone: (516) 642-4100
Email: Vik@phoneBlogger.net
Website: phoneBlogger.net

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2 Responses to Only 6 Lawyers Attended My Seminar! 4 Happy Lessons

  • avatar
    Virginia Colin says:

    One November weekend mediators in my group offered free mediation sessions, 2 hours per ex-couple, to plan holiday schedules for kids or address other concerns. Not charging non-refundable deposits was quite a mistake. Everyone got too busy or had other problems and canceled.

  • avatar
    Vickie Adams says:

    I like the idea of the feedback form. I use a workshop evaluation form for attendees but I’ve never thought to using it to ask about speaking opportunities for affiliated groups

    Good thought

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