Webinars – Worth It or Not?

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WebinarsI have to admit I am a webinar “junkie”.  Depending on the subject line of an email inviting me to sign-up, to finding out about one on Social Media platforms to just loving the content some Leaders in their industry provide, I usually sign up for 2 or 3 a week.

From an attendee point of view, I love learning and look for pertinent tips, valuable information on new software and platforms, learn new strategies in marketing and learning new “how to’s”.   Occasionally, I buy the product or service if it is valuable to me and my business.

This year, webinars are all “the thing”.  The experts say…

  • You can build your email list when gathering attendee’s information
  • You can build your reputation from exhibiting your skills.
  • You can sell products (i.e. training programs, software) or services (i.e. coaching, memberships)

BUT, if the content in your webinar is not planned out and executed well, your results may be far below your expectations!

One of the webinars I attended, I will never forget.  The presenter was offering tips on how to improve your LinkedIn account to be a lead generator and at the end of the webinar he was pitching his course which was VERY expensive.  What stood out to me (as a Virtual Assistant) was his advice to attendees “to go find a Virtual Assistant for $3.00 an hour for about 150 hrs for the year” and get them to implement all the steps it would take to make their LinkedIn bring in thousands of dollars.  He mentioned it not once but many times throughout the webinar.  I can say from experience, you have to be very lucky to get an experienced and knowledgeable VA with top notch skills to accept $3.00 an hour.  So I was thinking, if he was misleading his audience with that advice, how accurate and reliable would his course be?  Not to worry…he only pursued his expertise on Linkedin for about a year and then moved on to the next best great thing!

If you are “the presenter”, here are several tips to help you have a very successful webinar.  As an attendee at many, I find these tips will make your event professional and effective.

  1. Have a marketing strategy and marketing funnel, as this is your first step to creating a webinar for the product or service you are trying to sell.
  2. Get the word out!  Post it in Social Media, email invites to your “list”, ask colleagues to “share” it.
  3. Make sure the sign-up process is easy and that all your systems work, ie. the participants receive their email confirmation quickly and add pertinent information like an easy one click to add the event to their calendar (so they don’t forget it).  If you are using a webinar platform that allows the event to be recorded, DO IT.  Many attendees may not be able to attend the event, and greatly appreciate a REPLAY email be sent so they can view it at a time convenient to their schedule.  You can lose a lot of prospects if you don’t have a replay.
  4. Send 1 or at the most 2 email reminders (possibly the day before the event and then on the day of the event.  Don’t fill in the participants Inbox unnecessarily.
  5. NEVER do an “off the cuff” presentation.  Plan it out with pertinent visual slides and, if applicable, shared screen demonstrations.  It is imperative that you keep on time with a period at the end of the presentation for answering questions.  Respect your participants’ time and keep on topic.
  6. Back up your information with statistics in graphs to illustrate “proof”.
  7. Add a story or case study to the presentation to “make it real” and participants can relate to.
  8. Have a copy of the powerpoint presentation that attendees can download at the beginning of the presentation, allowing them to write notes as the event progresses.
  9. If you are offering a discount for them buying immediately, it may be effective if you only give the discount to “live” attendees BUT many participants may want to ponder before their purchase and you may lose the sale if you only offer to those on the live webinar.
  10. There are ethics in doing business online just like everywhere else.  Don’t make big promises you aren’t sure you can keep, make sure you have a support system in place to provide customer service to your buyers and, above all, respect your clients/customers.

For future webinar presenters:  I recently attended Steve Dotto’s Webinarpalooza where he took on the complicated task of inviting us to one platform and continued asking us to jump over to other platforms where he gave us details, pricing and the pros and cons of each platform.  You can find a recording of this event here:  https://dottotechu.thinkific.com/courses/webinar-palooza.

As a webinar attendee, please feel free to comment on what you like about webinars and what you don’t.

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