Webinars (and workshops!) can be a great way to reach a large group of current/potential customers or clients at one time. But hosting your own webinar can be intimidating or even downright overwhelming. I have personally used sites like GoToMeeting.com with tremendous success in various aspects of my own business. So, I thought that I would share a few tips to improve your own webinars or workshops:
(1) Prepare in Advance
Your webinar is a direct reflection of your skills as a professional or business owner. So, with that in mind, you definitely want your webinar to come across as professional as possible. To make sure that it runs smoothly, it is essential that you plan out all aspects of your webinar way in advance of the actual event date. Technology can be unpredictable, so I always do at least one practice run with the technology ahead of time to work out the bugs and make sure that I know what I am doing. I even go as far as to have a back-up “Plan B” in case things go awry on the day of the event. In terms of content, I outline everything that I want to talk about, but I don’t write it out completely, to leave space for flexibility and personalization. I also make lists of everything that I need to have with me, so that I’m not panicked during my webinar presentation or scrambling a few minutes beforehand to get that essential item. Preparing ahead of time will not only ensure a more successful webinar, but it will help put your mind at ease, so that you will be less nervous as well.
(2) Tune into WIIFM
Everyone’s favorite radio station is WIIFM (What’s In It For Me), so make sure that your webinar really delivers on this key point. In terms of content, you want to make it as fun and entertaining as possible, while still delivering your message. I always like to include some type of “first-to-know” information, as well as an “exclusive” offer of some kind that is available only to attendees, so that there is a tangible “WIIFM” reason for clients/customers to attend. There is so much competition for attention and time, so do whatever you can to make your webinar worth the investment. Great content is super important, but if you don’t have some other reason for people to attend, they will go elsewhere to seek out that content. And once they’re there, you have to keep them engaged; otherwise, they will find other ways to entertain themselves. I like to use interaction, such as having periodic opinion polls, where attendees can give their feedback in real time and see the results immediately. Remember, the webinar is not an infomercial for your business or services, so avoid the hard sell and focus on what your customers/clients want. Do a great job and your business will automatically improve.
(3) Stay Connected
One of the biggest benefits that you derive from hosting your own webinar is direct access to your potential/current customers and clients, so make the most of that! Send reminders to those that have signed up several days prior to your webinar and give them thorough instructions on how to participate, along with contact information in case they have any issues. I even alert them the day of the event again, to ensure that I have the most participation possible. It is also essential to follow-up with your attendees after the fact and include some kind of call to action, so that you can continue your relationship after the webinar ends. I also like to ask for feedback, so that I can see what aspects worked and what didn’t work. This allows me to tweak future webinars and continuously improve them.
These are just a few ways that you can improve and get the most out of hosting your own webinars. What other tips do you have? Please share them below.
Carol Roth is a national media personality, ‘recovering’ investment banker, investor, speaker and author of the New York Times bestselling book, The Entrepreneur Equation. She is currently an on-air contributor for the national cable television station CNBC, the pre-eminent name in business news, and the host and co-producer of The Noon Show, a current events talk show on WGN Radio, one of the top stations in the country. Carol multimedia commentary covers business and the economy, current events, politics and pop culture topics.
Carol has helped her clients complete more than $2 billion in capital raising and M&A transactions. She is a Top 100 Small Business Influencer (2011 &2012) and has her own action figure.