“Webinar?” That’s the response I got at a recent family gathering… I was telling some of the group about my business, etc. and mentioned how important our weekly webinars are. Most of them had no idea what I meant.I had to explain. If you don’t know, its an online seminar, hence “Webinar”. In my mind, a Webinar is distinguished from an online meeting in that it includes people from many different businesses, not just a group of folks from one business gathering for a demo or presentation online.
We’ve been holding one every week for over a year now with great success. I’ve been demoing software for years and I’ve learned a few things in the last year about holding webinars that were not obvious to me.
If you’re currently or planning to hold webinars to promote your business, I hope the following list of tips and suggestions is helpful.
•Practice. Do a dry run or two to be sure the audio is clear, the slides or demos work and flow smoothly.
•Set expectations up front. This is public speaking 101 but, is easy to forget… Tell them what you’re hoping to accomplish during the webinar in outline form and let them know how much time they should expect to spend.
•Don’t let any one person dominate with detailed questions. Always keep the general audience in mind and ensure that the discussion is relevant for all. An easy way to redirect in the case of the squeaky wheel is to offer to follow up after the webinar is over.Open up with introductions all around. If your group is not too large, it really helps get everyone engaged early on. The risk in a webinar is that people will be checking email, etc. and not paying attention. If you can spare the time, go down the attendee list and invite each person to introduce themselves and state why they’re attending so that you can use that feedback as a guide to what to focus on.
•Be sure you have a good strong, and short, list of “take aways” that you want each person to leave the webinar having learned. Be sure to summarize them at the end.
•Close with a compelling call to action. In some cases, its appropriate to go for the close and offer something special to those that attended and then purchase your product or service in the near term. However, often its better to invite them to simply take the next step in learning more about your company and services. Be sure its clear how they can take action, make it easy to do so, and be sure they can easily understand how they’ll benefit.
•Follow up! This is probably the most overlooked step in webinar success. Believe it or not, many companies wrap up their webinar and then turn their backs on the attendees. An easy way to engage the prospect post webinar is to call (or email) and ask for feedback. Ask for feedback about the webinar itself, not your company’s products and services. Was the subject matter valuable to them? Was there anything they would suggest be done differently in the future? These types of questions will naturally lead to the prospect opening up about their intentions regarding doing business with you.
If you’ve not done it before, jump in and try it. Webinars can be a tremendous marketing tactic and an efficient means of moving folks through your sales pipeline. If you’ve been there and done that, I hope this list will help you take a step back and refine things.Good luck!