My focus in August was around marketing here at the blog and in recent weeks I've received a number of questions regarding how much time should you give to market a group program.
The first place you want to look at is "Knowing Your Client". Who are your clients? What are their needs? How much time to do they need to fit new programs into their schedules? Are they paying for it, or can it be funded out of a professional development budget (which will always require more time to get the funding organized)?
In person programs usually require more time to fill than teleseminar programs, and multi-day programs more time than 1-2 hour sessions. In fact, in recent days I have been working on setting my in-person retreat dates for spring 2008 (April). Given that these retreats are outside major urban centres, participants will need to make arrangements for accomodation and travel.
Teleseminars or telephone based group coaching programs may have a much shorter marketing timeframe (2-6 weeks), especially if you run the program regularly throughout the year as I do with my Group Coaching Essentials program.
One last tip -- spend some time creating a marketing roadmap, spelling out exactly what initiatives you are going to undertake, any costs associated, contact details and of course timeframes. Refer to your roadmap on a regular basis and track your results. Which marketing initiatives are working better? Which ones don't seem to be netting anything? Remember, marketing is about momentum and getting the word out on a consistent basis -- it takes the average consumer 7-11 exposures to a message before they will even consider purchasing.
Have a great weekend,
Jennifer Britton, PCC, CPCC, CHRP, CPT
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