MM #79: How to Design a Teleclass

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2. FEATURE: How to Design a Teleclass

A teleclass can be a very effective way to get a start with potential new clients.

And – a great way to ‘add value’ for existing clients.

In a way, it’s expensive for you to provide one on one time. By speaking to groups of people, your cost per person plummets. People can then access you at a lower price point (e.g. $75 p.m instead of $300 p.m) so you can reach a much greater market!

Or, you can ‘audition’ your services, so to speak, for 20-200 people at one time. Wouldn’t you rather do a trial session for 200 people over 1 hour, instead of 200 hours!?

Holding regular teleclasses can also help you keep your practice fresh with new ideas, and give you a solid base for generating materials to use in future gatherings – or even as stand-alone products!

Ideally, you should have an online presence in order to attract enrollees, but you can start with just a few email addresses. The investment you make in creating a website and newsletter pay dividends as they help potential clients get to know you and your business. Announce your teleclasses online, and send reminders to your newsletter subscribers.

Another tool you’ll need is a teleconference bridge. This is easier than it sounds, as there are a number of free telephone conference services available on the internet. These services allow you to schedule your call in advance and automatically email instructions to your participants. They need only to dial in and provide a pre-designated login code. Most free services will require your participants to make a long-distance call. Some offer a toll-free number for an charge of approximately $.10 per minute. One free service is

When Bigger Isn’t Better

What’s the ideal size for a teleclass? Ideally, your class should consist of at least four people – enough to generate questions and conversation. Some limit their class size to a maximum of six. This keeps the group intimate and workable. By keeping your class small, you have a better chance of getting to know the participants and their needs.

If you go above 8, your time doesn’t count as ‘coaching’ time for the International Coach Federation certification guidelines, but you get to reach many more people! So there’s a trade-off between numbers and the quality of coaching. Many of the classes I do are more like lectures. We have so many people on a given call, we often have to mute the participants because of background noise.

Note, too, that I don’t think I’ve ever charged for a teleclass. I’d like to, and soon – it’s just that I’ve used teleclasses as freebies; lead-ins to upsell to another product such as my coaching services, a partner’s products for commission, and ultimately my own products.

How many sessions should you provide in a teleclass series? Well – it could be just a one-off teleclass. Or, you could provide four, eight, or even 12 sessions, usually weekly. Multiple sessions becomes a ‘course,’ which is appealing to both the clients and often the coach. Consider offering your first class session as a freebie, so clients can “try before they buy.” If they like what they hear, it’s likely they will sign up for the rest of the course.

Teleclass Structure

Here’s a tried-and-true formula for a four-week teleclass series, whether the focus is on job search, weight loss, or relationships.

First teleclass: In your first session, begin by focusing on participants’ goals and vision. Use a conversation-starter to get things going. For example: “Do you want to be the locomotive in your life, or the caboose? Which one are you right now?” Determine where your participants are in relation to their goals, and how ready they are for change in their lives.

Second teleclass: After your participants have clearly outlined their goals, you can focus on strategies for change. What is one step each participant can take to get on the right track toward what they want? Discussing this question in a group format will generate ideas and excitement. As an added bonus, you’re creating a support structure!

Third teleclass: In the third session, it’s time to focus on action. It’s time to move up to the “locomotive,” so to speak, and leave the “caboose” behind – where it belongs. Participants can commit to one or more action steps, and prepare to share their experiences in the final teleclass.

Fourth teleclass: Wrap up the teleclass by reviewing all the previous topics (goals/vision, strategies for change, action). Allow participants to share what they’ve learned. Give them an opportunity for one-on-one coaching with you – perhaps at a special introductory rate if they are new clients. If interest is strong, you can schedule an ‘advanced’ teleclass for the group.

TIP: Have participants buddy up in pairs, so they can support each other during the week, particularly in completing action steps. I also love the idea of a discussion board online, so people can ask questions, and share what’s happening. Now you have a community!

Teleclasses are a great way to create camaraderie and generate client relationships. Customize a class for your niche – and have fun with it!
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Action: Create a teleclass

  1. Come up with a compelling topic for a teleclass. What is your niche? How can you tailor your class to your audience? What FOUR major things should participants know to be more successful in this area?
  2. Optional advanced: Schedule your class. Make a commitment!
  3. Post details at the blog.
    - and check in with your results after your class has begun.

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P.S. Got a comment on this article? Add it to the blog.

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3 Responses to “MM #79: How to Design a Teleclass”

  1. Patricia Says:

    Just gave my first – free – teleclass and plan to do so again on thurs evening. Although your suggestions arrived just after the class, I found them reassuring, as well as helpful for future classes.

    Using was SO easy! I practiced using it with a friend just to make sure it worked as I thought it would. It was wonderful, and I was even able to record the bulk of the class with ease. I highly recommend that people record each teleclass. Even if I do not decide to use the recording for other purposes, being able to hear myself give the class has really helped me with some fine-tuning for my next one.
    I am a stress reduction coach and time management consultant, so I LOVE the teleclass format. My clients appreciate not having to include travel time in their plans. And one of the networking groups I attend has already asked me to show them how it’s done, which gives me even more exposure in the group.
    So, all is well in the land of teleclasses and I highly recommend that you give it a try if you are comfortable talking to a few people at once on the telephone.
    Best wishes, Patricia Major

  2. Frank Butterfield Says:

    Thanks David!

    Your email about this was the push that I needed to finally create a teleclass. I’ve had the material for a while, I just needed to make it happen.

    Frank Butterfield

  3. ricky_powell Says:


    Very helpful article. I am hoping that one day soon, I will be able to hold a teleclass series for subscribers of my e-zine at

    Thanks again,
    Ricky Powell

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