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Posts Tagged ‘Webinar Smarts’

Five Ways to Use Webinars to Support Clients and Customers

 15th April 2015 by gihan

Five Ways to Use Webinars to Support Clients and CustomersThe most common use of webinars is for marketing purposes: a free webinar that attracts new potential customers to your products or services. But another very powerful use of webinars is to support existing customers and clients. Although you will generally get much smaller numbers for these webinars, you’re providing a valuable service to people who have already done business with you. And we all know it’s far easier to get more business from them than to try and convince a stranger to buy from you.

Here are five ways you can use webinars to support existing clients and customers:

  1. Reward loyal clients: If you’re looking for ways to reward your best and most loyal clients, put on a webinar just for them. For example, if you’re a financial planner, you might conduct a quarterly client-only webinar that talks about the economy. 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.
  2. Leverage access to you: Webinars allow you to reach many people at the same time, rather than having to deal with them individually. This is useful in a number of places in your business, including product training, customer support, and presentation follow-up.
  3. Offer more frequent training: Because webinars are easy and cheap to schedule and run, you can run them whenever they are needed, rather than waiting until you can get enough people together to make a training workshop feasible.
  4. Create a training library: What’s more, webinars are dead easy to record (no expensive recording equipment, no hiring trained video operators, no complex post-event editing). So in addition to running the live webinars, you can also make the recordings available for people who missed the live training sessions.
  5. Lower cost: Webinars cost less for you than bringing a group of people together at a venue, because you don’t have to pay for venues, refreshments, printing handouts, air fares, accommodation, travel costs to the venue, parking and other incidentals. But webinars also save money for the participants, because their greatest cost is the lost time for attending the event. With a webinar, they don’t have any wasted time. They are just sitting at their desks working, then they log on to the webinar for its duration, then hang up and get back to work.

If you’re not already using webinars to support your customers and clients, you’re missing the opportunity to create a deeper connection with them. And that connection leads to better connections, longer relationships and ultimately greater profit in your business.

Want to know more about webinars?

Webinars can be one of your most powerful marketing and educational tools – if you know how to run them properly.

My book "Webinar Smarts" covers nearly everything you need to know about planning, preparing, promoting and presenting powerful and profitable webinars.

If you’re interested in tapping into the power of webinars in your business, this book is for you.

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How Travel Agents Can Use Free Webinars to Build Their Business

 12th March 2015 by gihan

How Travel Agents Can Use Free Webinars to Build Their BusinessMany businesses run free webinars for marketing. You promote your webinar to as many people as possible, attract more people into your marketing funnel, conduct the webinar to promote something at the end (even if it’s just getting their e-mail address for follow-up marketing), and eventually sell them something.

Although webinars are very popular in many industries, curiously most travel agents don’t use them. And that’s a pity, because they are the ideal tool (highly visual and can be very interactive), generate leads and build loyalty, and can set you apart from others in your industry.

To get you started, here are five ways you could easily run webinars for clients and prospective clients.

1. Destination Webinar

If you have any favourite destinations you like to visit or promote, run a webinar that describes that destination. Make it 80% about the destination and only at most 20% about promoting your services.

For example, if you’re talking about Bali, you can explain the best time of the year to visit, the different parts of Bali, how to shop, scams and traps to avoid, how to respect and fit in with the culture, and so on. The idea is that you provide a valuable service (especially to people who don’t know much about the destination) and clearly demonstrate that you’re not just a booking agent, but a trusted adviser.

2. How-To Webinar

There’s so much you do in your business that you just take for granted, but your clients would love to know. Put yourself in their shoes, imagine this is their first time, and run a webinar that teaches them your “insider secrets”.

For example, cruises are fun and interesting experiences, but first-time passengers don’t know what to expect, even if they are otherwise seasoned travellers. If you promote and book a lot of cruises, a webinar about cruising would be very valuable to them. You can explain things like: what visas they need to get, how to get Internet access, whether they should buy products on board or not, how to make the most of days in port, and so on.

3. Planning Webinar

If you organise or host tours, run a pre-tour planning webinar for your clients to explain how the tour works, how they need to prepare, and so on. You might be doing this anyway as an in-person meeting, but consider a webinar as well. Some people might not be able to attend the meeting in person, some prefer to participate online, and some will feel overwhelmed and will appreciate the opportunity to watch the webinar recording later.

4. Client Loyalty Webinar

From time to time, run special webinars for your clients (those who have actually booked with you). In these webinars, you can promote upcoming tours or packages, make them special offers, and generally give them something that other people don’t get. You can be more promotional in these webinars than your public webinars, because you’re talking to people who already know and trust you. In fact, they want to do business with you again, so they expect you to tell them how!

For even greater benefit, tell your clients they can invite a friend to these webinars. That way, they feel special because they invite somebody else to a “private” event, the friend gets access to something special, and you get the opportunity to pick up a new client.

5. Special Interest Webinar

Finally, consider running special-interest webinars from time to time, to test the market and do some initial market research.

For example, if you’re interested in promoting a walking tour in Tuscany, an art tour around Europe, an eco-tourism trip to Cambodia, or some other special-interest group, one way to guage interest is by running a webinar about it. Just make it an informational webinar, with a lot of time to answer questions from the audience.

This will be useful for you in a number of ways. First, it will give you an idea of how many people are even interested in the idea at all. Then, their questions will help you understand what they most want to know. And finally, the audience becomes a “warm” list of prospective clients to approach when you do decide to go ahead with the project.

How could you use these ideas in your business?

What’s stopping you from doing your own webinars? Are you worried by the technology, not sure what to say, worried about being too “sales-y”, or something else? It could be a combination of factors, but rather than letting them stop you, ask yourself how you could get past them.

If you have never done webinars before, just get started! The technology is reliable, it doesn’t cost a lot, and it’s an easy way to reach out to your network.

Want to know more about webinars?

Webinars can be one of your most powerful marketing and educational tools – if you know how to run them properly.

My book "Webinar Smarts" covers nearly everything you need to know about planning, preparing, promoting and presenting powerful and profitable webinars.

If you’re interested in tapping into the power of webinars in your business, this book is for you.

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Ten Reasons To Use Free Marketing Webinars For Your Business

 4th March 2015 by gihan

Ten Reasons To Use Free Marketing Webinars For Your BusinessMany businesses use free webinars for marketing. You promote your webinar to as many people as possible, attract more people into your marketing funnel, conduct the webinar to promote something at the end (even if it’s just getting their e-mail address for follow-up marketing), and eventually sell them something.

That’s why so many businesses see webinars as such a powerful marketing tool. But these free marketing webinars also have a number of other benefits, which you might not have considered. Here are ten benefits of running free promotional webinars.

  1. Expand market reach: Webinars give you the potential to reach the world just as easily as you can reach your local community. Some presenters are too optimistic about this potential, and get carried away with the thought they can suddenly attract attendees from far-flung corners of the Earth. Of course that isn’t the case – it takes diligent marketing to get every attendee. But it does give you the potential to reach more people.
  2. Generate more leads: Webinars are an excellent tool for exposing prospective clients to the value you offer. Because they have such a low marginal cost (in other words, it costs nothing to have another attendee on the webinar), you can run a free webinar to attract people, deliver high value, and then follow up with them later.
  3. Work at scale: You can run a webinar with groups of any size – small or large. You don’t have to book the right size venue in advance, you don’t have to print a certain number of handouts, and you don’t require minimum numbers by a certain date to confirm the venue.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Research your market: Use webinars not only to deliver material, but also to discover what material is of most interest to your market. For example, if you’re planning to launch a new product or service, conduct a free webinar beforehand, where you present something of value on this topic, but also take the opportunity to ask your audience to tell you their most pressing questions. In this way, you do your market research before you launch the service, which of course means the service will be more attractive and compelling to customers.
  7. Vertical servicing: One of the keys of successful niche marketing is to stop looking for new clients for your services, and start looking for new services for your clients. Use webinars to deliver additional value to your existing clients – either by presenting them yourself or by inviting guest experts to present for you.
  8. 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. This is an important step in the trust-building process. Unless your partners are hidden in the background and don’t need to be known by your network, people will want to know who you’re working with. They trust you, so that helps them trust your partners; but introducing the partners to them increases that trust level further.
  9. Bonus/incentive: A webinar is a low-cost high-value gift to offer as a bonus or incentive for taking action. For instance, If you’re selling directly to audiences, include a follow-up webinar in your offer, but only make it available free to people who sign up today (others have to pay extra).
  10. Reporting and analysis: Most webinar software includes tools for analysing your webinar, including audience attention, interactivity, time spent in the webinar, and so on.

Want to know more about webinars?

Webinars can be one of your most powerful marketing and educational tools – if you know how to run them properly.

My book "Webinar Smarts" covers nearly everything you need to know about planning, preparing, promoting and presenting powerful and profitable webinars.

If you’re interested in tapping into the power of webinars in your business, this book is for you.

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Use Online Collaboration Tools to Build Synergy in Distributed Teams

 24th September 2014 by gihan

Use online collaboration tools to build synergyThere are many anecdotes about breakthroughs occurring through conversations around a water cooler, chance encounters in a hallway, and healthy banter at the office canteen. These informal moments help spark conversations and could lead to interesting ideas. At a company like Google, this is valued so highly that they design the waiting line at the canteen to be long enough to foster this sort of chance encounter!

Of course, these opportunities for synergy don’t occur in distributed teams. Leaders can try to create similar opportunities – for example, by chatting informally at the start of an online meeting or bringing teams together in person regularly. However, these manufactured interactions don’t provide the same value and can often be perceived as time-wasters.

A better solution is to build more collaboration into the team process, first during recruitment and induction, and then in ongoing activities.

This is where the right online tools – and the right features of those tools – can make or break your efforts to build synergy. In fact, according to one survey, almost 90% of leaders say collaboration software is important or even mission critical for their teams.

Here are some examples of online collaboration tools that can help your distributed teams:

  • Webinars are ideal for internal presentations, such as product education, reporting, and sharing messages throughout the organisation.
  • Use the recording feature to record webinars for future on-demand viewing. This way, you build up a collection of resources for training, induction, and ongoing reference.
  • Use microphones to allow participants to speak out loud, rather than just typing their questions in a chat room.
  • Use videoconferencing for team meeetings. Of course, you could just do teleconferencing (audio but no video), but allowing participants to see each other makes a stronger connection.
  • Use collaborative mind mapping tools for exploring ideas within the team.
  • Use a virtual whiteboard for facilitating discussion, capturing ideas, and brainstorming.

These are just a few of the online collaboration tools you can use in your teams.

There is one other point worth noting about teamwork: Virtual teams don’t suffer as much from the negative personality issues within in-person teams – for example, stereotyping, power battles, petty quarrels, and personality conflicts. This means that when they are allowed to collaborate effectively, they can produce better results with less friction.

Want to know more about webinars?

Webinars can be one of your most powerful marketing and educational tools – if you know how to run them properly.

My book "Webinar Smarts" covers nearly everything you need to know about planning, preparing, promoting and presenting powerful and profitable webinars.

If you’re interested in tapping into the power of webinars in your business, this book is for you.

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Presentation Zen 2nd Edition (including a contribution from Yours Truly)

 31st July 2013 by gihan

If you’re like many presenters, Garr Reynolds’ book “Presentation Zen” might have been your bible for presentation slide design. It’s a great book, and Garr has now released a second edition.

The new edition is about 70 pages longer, and among the additions is a section about designing slides for webinars. I was honoured that Garr invited me to write this section, and I was happy to do so.

In it, I included seven tips for being more effective and engaging in a webinar:

  1. Be relevant.
  2. Use more slides.
  3. Be elegant with your design.
  4. “Build” your slides.
  5. Get them active.
  6. Shift energy.
  7. Start before you’re ready!

If you’d like more detail, get the book! Seriously, it’s a great book for all presenters.

Here’s a video Garr created to give you an idea of what’s in the book:

Want to know more about webinars?

Webinars can be one of your most powerful marketing and educational tools – if you know how to run them properly.

My book "Webinar Smarts" covers nearly everything you need to know about planning, preparing, promoting and presenting powerful and profitable webinars.

If you’re interested in tapping into the power of webinars in your business, this book is for you.

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