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Teaching….a small business marketing opportunity…………

Small business owners have a passion about their business and in most cases are willing to share their business story with anyone who will listen. Small business owners also have a fear of “cold calling” and often wait for someone to come into their place of business to tell their story.

Outside, in their community, there is a need for people to share their expertise, or their success, and yes, even their failures. Libraries, chambers of commerce, small business groups, countless civic organizations that need a speaker every week, and even community colleges are looking for someone to “teach”, share their story.

There are many benefits to the small business owner who pursues this marketing avenue:

  • We have been raised to believe that a speaker (teacher) is an expert and thus is a credible representative of his business.
  • Other people will be gathering your audience.
  • Small business owners need the experience of speaking in front of groups. It will help them in presenting their business to future clients.
  • Have someone take pictures at your presentation and use them in your marketing material (web site, brochures, flyers, etc.)
  •  Tape your presentation and upload to your website.

Preparation for teaching (telling your story) should not be a major, time consuming event.  Most business owners I meet can easily talk for an hour or more about their businesses and their expertise.

Instant gratification in the form of a sale may not occur at a presentation. The important thing is that you are seen as an expert in your field and a room full of people got to know you. Like any other marketing effort, it takes time to see results.

I prefer a series of classes on a topic. That gives me an opportunity to interact with my audience and to get to know them and their needs. Two topics that I plan to teach in the near future are “How to start a business” and the second is “taking an existing business to the next level”. I will make both of these courses four week sessions, two hours a week. I have not found a place to offer my classes, but potential people to talk to are libraries and executive suite office buildings that are renting to small businesses and have conference rooms. Since I will not be charging for my services, the owner can offer this as a benefit of having an office in the building. There is no limit on the number of places that a class can be taught; it just requires your thinking prowess.

An idea is only a “good idea” if you put it to use.                  Nick J. Petra CFP

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