Webinars are the hot new technology for delivering your message to more people, more often and for more money – if you do them well. If you’re a speaker, trainer, consultant, coach or other thought leader, conducting effective and profitable webinars is a "must know" skill.
What's so great about webinars?
Still not convinced that webinars are useful for you? Here are 23 reasons:
- Low time overheads: You and your audience "attend" a webinar right from their desks. You're doing your normal work until the appointed time, call in for the webinar, hang up at the end, and go on with your life. There's no travel time, waiting time, time stuck in traffic, or any other wasted time.
- No geographical boundaries: You can reach the world, not just your own town, city or country.
- Build loyalty with existing clients: It's an easy, low-cost leveraged way to add value and maintain your relationship.
- Invite prospects to attend: It's a low-cost way to give them an experience of you before they "buy" you.
- Run it with small numbers: You don't have to worry about getting minimum numbers to manage venues, handouts, catering and the like.
- Run it with large numbers: Again, you don't have to worry about finding and booking a suitable venue, managing catering, allowing for parking, arranging the room, printing (or carrying!) enough handouts, and the like.
- Record it to create instant products: Many webinar services have a recording feature built in, so recording your webinar is a breeze. You can then turn that recording into a product – typically a DVD, video podcast or on-line video.
- Give people more access to you: A webinar is a low-cost way to interact with many people at the same time, while still offering great value.
- Low-cost event: Apart from the cost of your own time, a webinar is an extremely low-cost event. It's literally the cost of the webinar service, which is very cost-effective.
- Point of difference: Few infopreneurs are using them; and even fewer are using them well. You can stand out by adding them to your service mix.
- Make a difference: Because of the global possibilities, you can reach people beyond your borders. And because of the low cost, you can reach people who wouldn't be able to afford your other services.
- Do market research: Before each webinar, survey the attendees to discover their biggest questions, concerns, challenges and aspirations about your topic. This becomes invaluable market research for you, not just for the webinar itself but for your business in general.
- Test out new material: Because there's less visual focus on you than in other presentation modes, you don't have to spend as much time on stage presence. Instead, you can focus on the content, structure and flow. You can test new material and ask for feedback. You can even use copious notes, mind maps and other speaker aids, because you're presenting from the privacy of your office.
- Live access for members-only site: If you run a membership site, it's easy to lose the personal connection, which might have been the reason they signed up in the first place. One way to get back that personal connection, and still do it in a leveraged way, is through webinars.
- Provide product support: Use webinars to answer customer questions, explain how they can use the product more effectively, and get feedback for future enhancements.
- Supplement live events: Some webinars will replace live events, while others supplement them. For example, if you run a training program, it's easy to offer a follow-up webinar for participants, say, 90 days later.
- Expose your database to guest experts: You don't have to be the star of all your webinars. It's the ideal format for you to bring in a guest presenter – somebody who serves the same market, but with a different area of expertise.
- Expose joint venture partners to your database: If you have a strong database and you know somebody else with a product ideally suited for that database, bring them in as a guest on a webinar. Because of the personal interaction, this is more effective than, say, just promoting their product in your newsletter or on your Web site.
- Easy to offer as a bonus / incentive: Offer webinar "seats" to anybody for any reason – for example, as a bonus for somebody who buys a product by a certain date; or an incentive for clients to make a booking before the end of the financial year.
- Short lead time: Because the logistics of webinars are so simple, you don't have to plan them months in advance.
- Develop an on-line arm to your business: You become less committed to face-to-face presentations, giving you more opportunities for travel, leisure time and flexibility in your work flow.
- Replace high-cost face-to-face presentations in a tough economy: You can retain clients who would have otherwise cancelled bookings.
- Remain competitive: You manage the threat of other experts delivering your message to your clients over the Internet, which means you remain competitive in this "flat" world.
On a personal note, I just want to say: I love doing webinars, and they have made a significant positive difference to my business and lifestyle. Whether you're a new-ish speaker looking to establish a foothold in the market, or an "old hand" looking to cut down on travel and other expenses, I think you'll find webinars to be very powerful.
Book: Webinar Smarts
Would you like to successfully use webinars in your business, but you're not sure how? Or perhaps you're intimidated by the technology? The fact is, webinars can be one of your most powerful marketing and presentation tools – if you know how to run them properly. If you're a speaker, trainer, consultant, coach, thought leader or other infopreneur, you must know how to use this cutting-edge technology to deliver your material to new and existing clients.
My book "Webinar Smarts" covers nearly everything you need to know about taking your expert knowledge – the material you already deliver day in, day out – and delivering it by webinar.
Video Tutorials: Webinar Smarts
The full Webinar Smarts package includes a PDF version of the book, as well as the recording of a five-part webinar series that shows you how to plan, promote and present effective webinars:
- Module 1: Planning and Structuring Your Webinar: Benefits of webinars, different uses for webinars, how to structure your material, easy ways to get started
- Module 2: Using GoToWebinar: Scheduling a webinar, before the webinar, the crucial 5 minutes before you start, running the webinar, follow-up
- Module 3: Designing Effective Webinar Slides (Fast!): Finding free and low-cost graphics, turning ideas into pictures, fast but attractive visuals
- Module 4: Promoting Free and Paid Webinars: Setting the right price, writing a sales letter, where to promote, how often to promote
- Module 5: Engaging Your Audience: Designing slides, managing polls and Q&A, difficult situations, when technology fails
Book: Presentation Zen, by Garr Reynolds
Garr Reynolds, the author of the excellent book Presentation Zen, invited me to be the webinar expert for the second edition of the book. Watch Garr’s short video about the book here:
E-Book: Your Very First Webinar
Webinars are a wonderful medium for business owners, both for marketing and for delivering educational material. But many people are concerned about getting started – especially with doubts, concerns and even fear about using webinar technology. Even experienced workshop and seminar presenters suffer from this problem, because they find the webinar environment unfamiliar and daunting. This short Quick Start Guide will help – especially for you if you have never run a webinar before, and want it to be a stress-free experience.
Consulting Service: Webinar Assistance
Many people are uncomfortable – or at least, a bit unsure – about how to run their own webinars. This service will take the pressure off you, so you can focus on what you do best – making a fabulous presentation. I'll assist you in preparing and conducting your first webinar – before, during and after the presentation.
Online Course: Webinar Smarts
This free on-line course delivers an article about webinars every two weeks by e-mail. This course is available to everybody who buys the book, but you can also sign up for it separately.
E-Book: The Secret Formula for Webinar Presentations that Work Every Time
One of the most important factors in your webinar’s success is the work you put into designing your deck of slides. In a webinar, your slides aren’t visual aids; they are the visuals. So put more work into them than you would with an in-person presentation.
I wrote this special report for Citrix, the company who sells GoToWebinar, to help webinar presenters create better visuals.
The eGurus Community
If you're a member of the eGurus Community, there's a large section of the eGurus Vault with resources about how to plan, prepare, promote and present webinars.
Start with the slide deck on that page, which gives you an overview of the process.
If you're not an eGurus member, find out about membership at www.eGurus.info.
- There's More Than One Way to Make Money From Webinars
- Webinar technology made easy
- Seven Tips for Better Webinars
- Use Webinars to Add Value to Existing Presentations
- More of my articles about webinars at EzineArticles.com
- More articles about webinars from my blog
Webinar Recording: Seven Ideas for More Engaging Webinars
Webinars are a powerful tool for marketing, support and delivering educational material. So why are most webinars boring, ineffective and a waste of time? In this webinar, I’ll give you seven ideas and answer your questions about how to present more engaging webinars.
Watch the recording here:
Webinar Recording: Design Better Webinar Slides
Most webinar presenters don’t put enough time in designing a high-quality slide deck that’s engaging, fast-loading and on message. In this webinar, I’ll show you how to design better slides – in PowerPoint or Keynote – so you can keep your audience engaged throughout the webinar.