It’s one that I made this year.
While attending coaching school, one of the many lessons I learned was to do as I tell my clients to do. My clients create systematize to improve their firms operations and marketing. They also review each planning system yearly and other systems after one year and then every 3 years for efficiency. I do the same.
This was the year I updated my own virtual workshop system. I began by looking at the various technologies I have used over the last 16 years:
- Screen sharing (like http://www.Skype.com or http://www.join.me who recently added video capacity)
- Teleconference lines with recording capability (I use http://www.freeconferencecalling.com/)
- Teleconference lines that also offer a way to have breakout sessions (just like you’d do at an in-person workshop) [affiliate link http://www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com/b/maestro.html ]
- Online meeting systems, webinar, or video platforms (I actually conducted my first webinar in 1998!)
The resources I’ve been using for years now include many new features. I found resources from companies that didn’t even exist 3 years ago.
It’s important to always keep clients in mind when upgrading any system. So, I asked my clients what technology they preferred using to attend virtual workshops and what their concerns were about each technology.
They preferred a webinar format over teleconferences because watching the workshop as well as listening to it helped them retain more information. This format also makes it easy for them to rewind and listen to areas again. If they live outside the USA, they especially liked the webinar platforms where they weren’t required to call a US-based phone number to listen to the workshop. They preferred to watch, participate, and listen to the workshop online.
Everyone also wanted the option to listen to the workshop again or to read the transcription. None had attended a teleclass where breakout sessions occurred.
Because of this feedback, I thought, “OK, I’ll go with a webinar service.”
What a friggin’ disaster!
Some participants couldn’t hear the event on their speakers. Those who had a microphone got a lot of unwanted feedback because they didn’t have a headset, too.
Many attendees didn’t pre-register or test whatever digital device they planned to use.
Most people got to the call late. Helping people with their technology problems delayed the workshop by 10 minutes.
I offered local phone numbers — even international numbers for participants to call in — but there was so much noise on the phones, I had to mute everyone. That prevented people from asking me questions. Half the participants left the call early.
After every project, I write out “Lessons Learned” http://www.marketingwithintegrity.com/are-you-tracking-your-lessons-learned/ My clients do the same, often with their team. What’s are the lessons I learned in this case?
When I included my clients in my decision-making process, I forgot that when they were new clients, they used very little technology! After all, I was the one who set up Skype for them so we could meet “hands free” for sessions. And while they have since incorporated the use of Skype in their businesses, I often push them to use more technology and social networking than most financial advisors use. I was speaking to more advanced technology users in my niche.
I’ve always advised that it’s necessary to get clients’ opinions when considering a new process for your business. But I’ve learned that it’s also important to speak to or survey others in the financial industry and conduct more research before making a big technology change in my business.
This October, when I run the “Count on Success Summit for Financial Advisors”, each of the workshops will take place via the teleconference platform. I want to conduct the program in webinar format, but a teleconference is the best platform to reliably reach and help masses of financial advisors grow their firms without experiencing any technical problems. In order to help participants who learn better with a visual component, each of the 20 speakers will provide handouts that listeners can download before the program and view as they listen in.
What about you? Have you ever made a change, thinking it would improve your business process, but it blew up in your face? What conclusions did you come to? Please share!
(c) 2015 Elevating Your Business
Photo by Boians Cho Joo Young.