By Gregory A. Kompes
Teleconferencing, also known as phone conferencing, is when two or more people share a phone line so that everyone can speak to each other. This method of communication is a valuable tool for allowing people to share their knowledge, experience, and expertise with others. For example, Q&A sessions -- where a call moderator or listeners ask an expert questions -- are frequently used in teleconferences.
Teleconferences help build expert status. You can also use them to increase your earnings. Following are a few examples and ideas about how to get started using teleconferencing to your advantage.
The SpeakerNet News teleconference series is one example of teleconferencing success. Every month this organization holds a teleconference with an expert. They charge a fee for people to listen in on the call and they also record the teleconference and make the call available for sale after the event. SpeakerNet News has been conducting teleconferences for years and has built up a library of expert interviews that can be purchased at any time.
Ready to lead your first teleconference? There are dozens of companies that offer free teleconference lines. Two of my favorites are FreeConferenceCall.com and BizConf.com. These companies don't charge any fees beyond normal long distance charges for their services. To create a free account, visit their website and sign up. With your account, you'll be given a dedicated phone number and two sets of call-in instructions, one for the moderator line and one for the participant line. Both of these companies allow you to record your teleconference and download the saved call electronically. This lets you begin building a library of calls and making them available via podcast and MP3 downloads from your website.
Next, find an expert to interview on a topic related to your niche and develop a set of questions to ask. As with many interviews, it's a good idea to give the questions to your expert in advance. This is especially important for a teleconference because you want the expert you're interviewing to be as prepared as possible. If your call-in audience is only a few callers, you may be able to open up the call to a Q&A session. With more participants, a better plan is to have registered call listeners e-mail their questions for the expert in advance so you can include them in your list.
To set up your call, select a date and time and market the teleconference event. If you've chosen one of the companies mentioned earlier, you'll have a dedicated phone line, so there's no scheduling with the teleconference company. When people sign up to participate, just give them the participant phone number and password. Finally, hold the event and record the call. Remember to download the recorded call to your computer before recording a new call. These services only allow you to save one call at a time on their system.
One of the keys to freelance success is building a series of multiple income streams. Teleconferencing is an excellent way to supplement your bottom line by providing a series of quality products for people in your niche market.
Gregory A. Kompes, The Writerpreneur, is an Internet self-promotion expert. Gregory is the author of the bestselling 50 Fabulous Gay-Friendly Places to Live and the Writer's eBook Series that includes Endorsement Quest, Should You Write an eBook, and Your Online Media Kit. He is co-founder of the Patchwork Path anthology series, Presenters & Programs, the Writer's Pen & Grill, and Laudably Tarnished: A Poetry Workshop. Gregory is editor of The Fabulist Flash, an informative newsletter for writers, and the award winning Eighteen Questions, a Q&A series that collects and shares the experiences of published authors.