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Fee Guidelines for Delivering Webcasts

Ann Wylie

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A client has asked me to present a seminar, which would be archived as a Webcast available to employees in-house. My learning tools (usually hard copies) would be available as PDF downloads. Here are the responses to the following questions I had.

1. How do I charge for the Webcast and archive? A percentage of my speaking fee or a per-hit fee? How much in either case?

Charge a percentage of your fee, plus per registrant -- Rebecca Morgan

I would do $X (a percentage of your fee) *plus* so much per registrant (specify registrant, not attendee, as some folks won't show up). Do you ever charge by head now? How much prep will you have to do, plus delivery? Will you have to create or modify PowerPoint slides? Factor that in.

BTW, I think Webinars are way overrated, as you can accomplish the same thing in a teleseminar with much less hassle. You email participants the PDF and slides ahead of time, or they download them in advance. The company could still record you and sync your voice and the slides for future viewers.

Charge by user -- Scott Ulberg

Charge based on the number of users with access to the course. One of the opportunities a Webcast provides is re-usable training. The information you are creating for your client can be made into additional on-demand products that you can market to other clients. (Note: Scott has a list of 35 questions to ask when considering your fee: scott@UlbergGroup.com.)

Charge a per-person fee -- Rita Risser

Licensing in general is charged at a per-person fee. Figure your daily rate, plus materials, divided by the number of people you usually have in a live class, to figure a per-person rate.

Charge by hits -- Brad Snyder

If you want to charge a per-hit fee, figure the likely number of hits, and what your content will add to the value or work output of each person likely viewing your session. Let's say your technique will save the worker 120 hours per year. What is the average value of that savings? Then charge a percentage of that savings per view or "hit". The customer sees great value and you get passive income.

License the whole package -- Mitch Axelrod

License your materials to the company -- that eliminates the fear of spreading for free. Consider bundling it all together as a total package and licensing the use of the materials for the time of the relationship (one year, two years). Add something for your "development and production" of the product (or customization), charge for the total number of people you think will use it, add something for your time, add a "use fee" and bundle it all together and charge them for the whole year. Then you don't have to worry who sees it or copies it.

Keep the copyright to the program. They just paid for your product development (if it's generic and not propriety to the company). This is worth a lot to you all around, and possibly you can leverage that into other venues. I've done this -- it turns out to be a win for both parties. You might even get them to refer or endorse you to other potential clients. I did. Never know unless you ask.

Charge by value -- Brad Snyder

I think you have to consider the value of your content as you deliver it, but with the value of your time removed. In other words, how much will my client likely save by using my techniques over the next year, or how much will my clients products increase in value over the next year if they use my ideas. Then subtract out your costs of being "live" for a given number of sessions. While it's obvious that you will not have the travel expenses, remember even if you are doing a live seminar in town, you still have a certain amount of travel time and preparation time for each live event. For instance, say I charge $100 for a live event, if the event is local, I would discount that event by some amount, say to $85 because less of my time is occupied in travel.

2. Do I charge the same for the PDFs as for the hard-copy books?

Charge the same for the PDF -- Rita Makana Risser

You should definitely charge as much for a PDF as for books. You are selling your intellectual capital, not a product. Don't worry about copying. You should be so lucky that everyone wants to copy your stuff! Just put your copyright and Web address on the bottom of each page, so you increase the likelihood people who do see copies can contact you.

Discount after a certain number -- Rebecca Morgan

Yes, although you may want to offer one price for the first X copies, then a discount for the next X.

Discount the PDF -- Brad Snyder

What I've seen in the industry seems to indicate that the PDFs are less costly than printed versions. If you look at buying a $15 retail book wholesale, you'll probably pay around $8. How much of this is material and shipping costs of the book is anyone's guess, but the remainder is the "value" of the information as distributed from the publisher. Everything beyond the value of the information is the cost markup of the distribution of the information. PDFs eliminate much of this. I've seen PDF versions discounted as much as 75%. Now if the books were only offered in PDF form, you would have more latitude as to what you charge for the value of the information contained therein. People expect a discount if they are buying PDF versions, because they understand the costs they are paying for hard copy, and they know that your costs of reproduction are significantly reduced.

Remember though, by offering them as a PDF (intelligent text, not scanned image), you are on one hand saving them money on reproduction and shipping costs, and the costs of handling paper, but you are also increasing their capabilities of reducing their paper management load. The PDFs are electronically searchable and storage is minimal when compared to a scanned image document. The PDFs can be electronically managed and cataloged for rapid retrieval. This was a real selling point for me to go to a PDF subscription (that and the discount of about 25%).

3. I'm concerned about people copying and sharing the PDFs. Any thoughts on that?

Consider locking your PDFs -- Rebecca Morgan

At MacWorld, I sat in a demo featuring Adobe FrameMaker (high-end publishing software). The demo-master said in FrameMaker you can "lock" PDFs so they can only be printed once, and cannot be opened by a computer other than the one which downloaded the copy. I will check this out, as I will want to lock my PDFs in this manner at some point. You might want to check this out, too.

Tom Antion and others believe it is in their best interest for people to forward PDFs to their pals. It increases your fan base. If they like your stuff, they will sign up for your ezine and buy your products.

Consider a password-secured PDF -- Brad Snyder

A subscription service I belong to, Executive Summaries (http://www.summary.com), began offering PDF versions of their printed summaries about two years ago. The PDFs they send to me are secured by password. When they produce the PDFs, they are encoded with a password that only I know (which I provided when I signed up). In order to view the PDF Adobe Acrobat requires that I provide the password for it . Yes, I could send you the PDF via e-mail along with the password, but it does afford some level of protection by nuisance.

SpeakerNet News is produced by Rebecca Morgan and Ken Braly. It is not affiliated with the National Speakers Association. Send comments or suggestions