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.
Webinars are one of the fastest-growing tools for business owners to deliver high-quality material to clients, prospective clients and their broader network. They are not just for experienced trainers, speakers and presenters – although many of these people do use them very effectively. They can be used just as well by other business owners to promote and showcase their products, deliver follow-up support and training, and build client loyalty.
If you’re interested in tapping into the power of webinars in your business, this book is for you.
My book “Webinar Smarts” covers nearly everything you need to know about planning, preparing, promoting and presenting powerful and profitable webinars. It’s an e-book, so you can order it now and be reading it in just five minutes!
This is for you if:
- You’re already delivering high-quality content to clients, and now want to extend your reach
- You and your clients are looking for ways to reduce costs during the economic downturn
- You run a membership site and want to have more personal touchpoints with members
- You would like to make money from information you’re currently giving away
- You would like to publish information quickly and effectively
- You are looking for innovative, cost-effective ways to promote your business
- You want to expand your marketing reach
Imagine having a simple checklist of all the things you have to do … how to prepare, what to send to participants before the webinar, what to put in your PowerPoint slides, what not to put in your PowerPoint slides, how to present the live webinar, how to conduct live polls during the webinar, how to record it to create an instant product, how to follow up after the webinar, and more …
That’s what this book will teach you to do.
“A thousand thanks to you, Gihan, for your incredibly helpful webinar series ‘Webinar Smarts’. I have been conducting webinars for some time now, using GoToWebinar, and didn’t know what I didn’t know! Almost more importantly, I am learning so much from your process and the ways in which you interact with and engage your webinar audience. So glad I joined you for this series – it has shortened my learning curve enormously and will save me much heartache and time!”
— Sandi Givens CSP, Educator and Author – Shattering Glass Ceilings
“Lots of great information on how to get started, conduct the webinar and how to follow up. You have set it out in a way that is easy to understand and follow. I was amazed at the amount of information you have included. Importantly, it gives me a step-by-step formula on how to conduct a webinar. It’s motivated me to start planning my first webinar. Take a bow as this is one of the most informative books written on this topic.”
— Clive Murphy, www.clivemurphy.com
What’s so great about webinars?
Webinars offer a number of benefits for your business, in a number of areas. Most businesses use webinars for marketing, delivery and support – and of course they increase productivity as well.
Many businesses use free webinars for marketing. The benefits include these:
- Expand market reach: Webinars give you the potential to reach the world just as easily as you can reach your local community.
- Generate more leads: Because they have such a low marginal cost, you can run a free webinar to attract people, deliver high value, and then follow up with them later.
- Work at scale: You can run a webinar with groups of any size – small or large.
- Create a marketing edge: Despite the increasing popularity of webinars, most business owners still aren’t using them. So they give you a competitive advantage.
- High touch for high-tech: Webinars not only allow you to leverage your time, they also give that personal touch, compared to e-mail, Twitter, e-books and other on-line services.
- Research your market: Use webinars not only to deliver material, but also to discover what material is of most interest to your market.
- Vertical servicing: Use webinars to deliver additional value to your existing clients – either by presenting them yourself or by inviting guest experts to present for you.
- Joint venture opportunities: Taking this a step further, if you’re currently involved in any joint venture partnerships, you can use a webinar to introduce your joint venture partners to your network, and vice versa.
- Bonus/incentive: A webinar is a low-cost high-value gift to offer as a bonus or incentive for taking action.
“I have been a regular attendee of Gihan’s webinars for the past two years. They are always informative, entertaining, relevant, very well researched and prepared, visually excellent and with an excellent pace throughout. As a result of what I have learned, I am now the #1 rated webinar presenter in my industry (recruitment agencies). Gihan truly ‘walks his talk’ with webinars and, in my view, has no peer in Australia as a webinar presenter.”
— Ross Clennett, www.RossClennett.com
For speakers, trainers and consultants, webinars also offer another way to deliver educational material:
- Supplementary events: If you present a keynote, training workshop or public seminar, offer a follow-up webinar a few weeks later to help people put your ideas into action. It’s easy to do, and costs very little, but demonstrates your commitment to real change.
- Testing ground: Use a webinar as a testing ground for new material.
- On-line balance: If you’re sick and tired of all the “friction” associated with presenting face to face – travel, sleeping in hotel rooms, spending time away from family and friends – webinars can help you ease into doing fewer in-person presentations.
- Down-sell option: Some clients, particularly in tough economic times, are counting every dollar. Rather than losing these clients altogether, you might be able to offer them a webinar instead of an in-person presentation, at a lower fee.
- Audience interaction: Well-designed webinars can be highly interactive events – perhaps even more so than the traditional training workshop. You can run on-line polls, host a chat room, share participants’ screens, and so on – all things that increase engagement and retention.
- Reporting and analysis: Most webinar software includes tools for analysing your webinar, including audience attention, interactivity, time spent in the webinar, and so on.
- Make a difference: If you have an important message for the world, a webinar is an excellent way to deliver it.
“Gihan’s webinars are an excellent example of how good webinars should be run. He structures his presentations in a way that holds my attention and makes it easy to for me to absorb the information. I am always confident that when I participate in one of his webinars it will be an excellent investment of my time.”
— Jani Murphy, www.emailsmart.com.au
Another common use of webinars is to support existing clients and customers:
- Reward loyal clients: Webinars are a low-cost high-value way to keep in touch. You provide a valuable service (not just a “just keeping in touch” phone call, which can be an annoying intrusion more than a useful gesture) and demonstrate your on-going value to them.
- Leverage access to you: Webinars allow you to reach many people at the same time, rather than having to deal with them individually.
- Offer on-demand learning: Because webinars are easy and cheap to schedule and run, you can run them whenever they are needed, rather than waiting until the material can be covered in a formal training workshop.
- Create a training library: Run regular webinars to train your staff and support network, and make the recordings available on your intranet for people who missed the live training sessions.
“I have attended many of Gihan’s webinars, and have always found them educative, interesting, relevant and topical – with great graphics, time for questions and answers, and surveys so that attendees feel a part of the action.”
— Sharonne Phillips, www.SharonnePhillips.com
Finally, in addition to whatever other purpose they have, webinars can improve productivity:
- No wasted time: There’s no extra time getting to the venue, allowing extra time for traffic delays, including coffee breaks, and getting back to your home or office at the end of the presentation.
- Lower cost: Even leaving aside the actual out-of-pocket costs, webinars also save the hidden cost of the participants’ time.
- Create products in time: Record a webinar and you’ve got yourself an instant video product. Even if it’s not perfect in its raw form, this is easy to pass on to a technical expert for editing and polishing.
- Short lead time: Because you don’t have to worry about booking venues, travel, accommodation and other such logistics – and neither does your audience – you don’t require as much lead time to announce a webinar. You can get by with a month’s notice, and even less if you’re promoting it to people who already know and trust you.
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.
I’m an entrepreneur, business consultant, speaker, mentor and interviewer. I love writing, and I’ve published many books (Webinar Smarts is my ninth), numerous e-books and a series of audio programs.
Webinars allow me to reach a wider audience, connect in a personal way with members of my membership site, deliver my material from the comfort of my home, and even give me the freedom to travel and still run “business as usual”.
One of my clients is Citrix, the company who produces the excellent GoToWebinar software. I run webinars for them in Australia, and write special reports and e-books for them in the USA.
I was also invited by Garr Reynolds, the author of the excellent book Presentation Zen (widely considered the best book on presentation design), to be the webinar expert for the second edition of the book. Watch Garr’s short video about the book here:
I’ve made a fair share of mistakes as well. I’ve had lots of people register, and then not turn up. I’ve had my audio drop out part-way through a webinar. I’ve had a guest presenter’s audio drop out during a webinar! I’ve seen webinar slides load so slowly that the technology has messed up the flow of the presentation. I’ve been a webinar participant where I couldn’t hear anything the presenter was saying. I’ve had a webinar recording fail (luckily, I had a backup recording).
I’ve been building up to this for years:
- In 2006, I moved my business and life lock, stock and barrel to the Gold Coast for a year, so I could deliver more face-to-face presentations.
- In 2007, when I moved back to Perth, I flew to Sydney – and sometimes Melbourne – every month to deliver public seminars.
- In 2008, I switched to teleseminars for the same purpose.
- In 2009, I upgraded to webinars.
In June 2009, I even spent a month living in Prague, but still operating my business successfully – using on-line technology like Skype, webinars, conference calls and the like. I did the same in Auckland in November 2010.
I use webinars a lot now, and not just for regular educational presentations. I use them for sales presentations, preliminary and follow-up sessions for training courses, individual and group mentoring, recording podcasts, and more.
For example, I did twelve webinars in March 2010, and that’s in a month where I took a week off to do some writing! Here’s my calendar for that month, with the webinars highlighted in red:
So what I’m saying is … I’ll share my real-life experience with you. You’ll learn to avoid the mistakes I made and to apply the principles that I know work.
Which means no fluff. Just the real answers you want to know.
“Gihan is constantly researching and monitoring both the market and advances in technology, and his webinars introduce us to what we need to know before we realise it exists. I love the user-friendly format, topics, the regular schedule and the practical application of Gihan’s webinars which respect my time and make it easy and efficient for me to learn about topics that improve my business and my performance.”
— Dr Andrew O’Brien, www.andrewob.com
“Gihan was running webinars when most presenters were trying to work out what they were. He has been my mentor for years on all things to do with the web and leveraging my business and value…..If you want to learn how to increase the value you offer to your clients through webinars and boost your revenue and success, then hear, read, watch and experience anything that Gihan offers.”
— David Penglase, www.DavidPenglase.com
What will you learn?
Here’s a sneak peek at some of the questions that are answered in “Webinar Smarts”:
- How can you convert your existing presentation content into webinar form?
You’re already an expert – now deliver that expertise in webinar format.
- Why are webinars becoming so attractive right now?
Three key trends have turned webinars from a “nice to know” technology into a “must know” technology.
- What webinar technology works best for PC and Mac users?
Getting this right means your participants won’t waste time and get frustrated just turning up to the webinar.
- What physical equipment do you need?
More importantly, what equipment do you not need, despite so-called “experts” telling you that you need to invest in expensive equipment? This tip alone could save you hundreds of dollars immediately.
- How do you manage Q&A, polls and other interactive sessions without losing control of the webinar?
You need to be more engaging than with a captive audience in a room; but you also need to keep control so it doesn’t become a free-for-all.
- What adjustments do you need to make for a webinar audience?
Webinar audiences are different from face-to-face audiences. You don’t always have their full attention; you don’t have the advantage of the “group energy”; you won’t always have them on the call for its full duration. You can keep them engaged, but it takes different skills.
- How do you give your audiences maximum flexibility for calling in, without it costing you a fortune?
Some people want to connect by phone, but don’t want to (or can’t) make international phone calls. Others want to connect using a Web browsers. Others want to connect using Skype. By giving them as many options as possible, you increase the chance of them taking part fully.
- How do you structure your PowerPoint/Keynote slides to make them work most effectively in a webinar?
Some things that work on slides for face-to-face presentations don’t work for webinars – and vice versa. This is one of the most important things to know, because it can make the difference between a slow, sluggish presentation and a smooth, easy-flowing presentation.
- How do you deliver free promotional webinars as marketing tools for other products and services?
Don’t think of webinars as tools only for delivering content after you’ve been booked. They are also excellent marketing tools to promote other products and services.
- What else do you need before and after the webinar itself to ensure its success?
Success with webinars is much more than the time on the webinar itself. An effective lead-up and a strong follow-up will help reinforce your webinar ideas and add even more value to the event itself.
- How can you deliver a webinar without worrying about all the technology associated with it?
It can be nerve-wracking doing a webinar for the first time, trying to manage callers on the line, a slide presentation, other windows on your computer screen, messages coming in via the chat window, people raising hands to ask questions, and so on. There are some simple techniques you can use to make this process painless and effortless – when you know how.
I know that’s a lot of value, but I promise you’ll get it all … and more.
“Your webinars are polished gems; clear, concise and inspiring. Your strong visuals and approachable style make the complexities you teach easy to absorb and action. Thank you.”
— Michael Neaylon, www.mcme.com.au
“I have attended many webinars and I’m yet to find any that match Gihan’s for leading edge information and answers that really help. I’ve started running my own webinars modelled on Gihan’s presentations, which I regard as world class best practice.”
— Ann Rolfe, www.mentoring-works.com
The full Webinar Smarts book is available from the Amazon Kindle Store.
“I have watched Gihan’s webinars from my office, from home, or when I have been overseas with work. Gihan presents all material in a way that is interesting, and effectively engages his online audience on the webinar. He is an expert in his field, but knows how to relay this knowledge to answer the concerns of his clients. I am yet to leave a webinar by Gihan without a piece of advice that has assisted my own website strategy in my business.”
— Sam Maxwell, www.SamMaxwellSports.com
“I would have resisted the whole concept of webinars if it were not for Gihan. Not only does he provide powerful and effective learning during his webinars, he also understands and ‘calms down’ the technology fears. What has been a big surprise is just how effective a forum webinars are. They can have a high level of participation and informality, with a surprising level of trust and intimacy, which supports sharing and learning.”
— Jacquie Molloy, www.JacquieMolloy.com
Wishing you great success.
P.S. Don’t forget, you’re getting everything to get you started in running profitable webinars in one easy place. So if that’s what you want to do, this is the opportunity you’ve been waiting for!