Playa Del Rey, CA (PressExposure) April 15, 2009 -- Healthier Living, a company that provides guided meditation programs primarily for weight loss, has found a profitable niche in broadcasting teleseminars over the internet. Finding clients had consumed $25,000 a month in traditional print advertising for this small business operating out of Fullerton, California. Office rent, payroll, and overhead gobbled up another $25,000 to $30,000 every month. "We operated for 3 years like that," says Adoley Odunton, co-owner of the firm with her husband Jim. "We both felt we would die of heart attacks, or we'd have to let the business go under, if something didn't change."
The internet beckoned as a source of cheap advertising and promotion. Almost a year and $20,000 in web experts later, the couple learned another painful lesson. "The internet is still the Wild West, as far as advertising and finding real clients," husband Jim says. "If we hadn't gotten into it and really studied it first-hand, we'd be out of business today. Luckily, we found something called teleseminars, that has worked well for us."
Over 3 and a half years of running a traditional client center in Fullerton that operated much like a doctor's or chiropractor's office, the company acquired just over 4,000 clients. There was virtually no repeat business and customers were often reluctant to spread good word-of-mouth for the company. The lack of client referrals wasn't because the company delivered a poor service, the opposite was true. Over 70 percent of weight loss clients not only lost the weight they desired, but the weight stayed off for at least one year after their visits to Healthier Living stopped. So why wouldn't they tell anyone?
Some did and some even returned for follow up sessions, but they were few and far between. What Adoley and Jim discovered was that most people did not want to admit that they were once fat. "Almost nobody would bring up the subject, "Hey I was once a fatso, look at the pictures," Adoley says, "It was almost like admitting they were once drug addicts or drunks. And even if they were inclined to say something, nobody wanted to admit they had lost weight by using Healthier Living's type of guided meditation programs. They didn't want to admit they'd been 'brainwashed' ".
So in 3 and half years and at a cost of just over a million dollars in advertising, they had 4000 clients each costing just $250 to acquire through newspaper ads. "To cover everything, we had to charge an average of $2,500 per program just to keep the doors open," Jim admits.
Enter teleseminars - in just under 5 months from start-up the company has acquired an email list of 5,000 people. This is not the same as 4000 clients but so far just over 200 have purchased the company's downloadable products. The remarkable number is that the cost of acquiring those clients has gone from $250 each to under $10 each. Expenses have been slashed from $45,000 a month to under $2000 since the company closed down the bricks and mortar office, released the staff and moved into a home office. The potential market has expanded from a 20 mile radius of Fullerton to the entire world. "I realized that we needed to sell the information we had, not the physical presence we offered in a beautiful but expensive office setting. It was a tough decision, but one that saved us ultimately," Jim now admits, "And we can charge $200 for our programs now, not $2500. Everybody gets a better deal."