One of the many methods to grow your business and get customers is to host webinars. It’s a method that’s been tried and true for many years and it requires time and effort. Normally, webinars are hour long seminars where the host provides valuable information before pitching a product or service at the end.
The idea with a webinar is that whether people buy your offer or not, they’re walking away with some valuable information and insight in a problem that matters to them.
But as valuable as these are, these can be stressful experiences for people. Especially those who are new to talking to an audience let alone a live audience. However, there are a lot of things that you can do to ensure that your webinar comes along smoothly.
Work With A Strong Webinar Platform
When first diving into webinars you’ll find there are many platforms available for you to pick from and each one is different in their own way. In the end, you want to go with a platform that fits your needs.
The last thing you want to deal with is going onto a platform and realizing that there is a cap to how many people can attend and you’re looking to attract many people.
Broadly speaking you want to be finding a webinar service that provides the following:
Has no advertisements to disrupt webinars or the viewers attention.
Has compatibility with different screens like smartphones, and tablets.
An interface that is easy for both host and attendees to navigate.
Some strong webinar platforms to consider are Adobe Connect, AnyMeeting, and GoToWebinar.
Timing Is Everything
Like with social media posts, timing matters a lot. But when it comes to webinars not only does time matter but also the day too. Webinars are larger pieces of content and require time from your audience to sit down and watch it.
While many do re-upload the webinar at a later time, you still want many people to come to the initial webinar.
With this in mind, it’s important that you understand your demographics and know what times people are around and what day as well. After all, if they’re online already, they could tune into a webinar while they’re at it.
Research shows broadly that Wednesdays and Thursdays are the best to host webinars as Fridays and Mondays are often the days people catch up with work or finish last-minute tasks.
If you’re looking for more accuracy, I’d suggest turning to Google Analytics. Setting this up on your website can give you an idea of where most of your traffic is coming from. From there, you can determine when is the best time to host it due to time differences.
The last alternative is playing by ear and experimenting. Try hosting webinars on different dates and times and note the attendance rates. In the end you want to make sure that the time is right for you too,
Not only is the platform you’re hosting on important, you also want to make sure that your gear is good as well. You don’t need to be going out and spend several thousand for equipment, but you also don’t want to be too cheap either.
If the only microphone you have is the built-in microphones on your laptop or desktop, I’d suggest getting a proper microphone. A Blue Yeti is $130 and the quality is amazing. You might also consider investing in sound muting material that way your voice isn’t echoing either.
And if you can afford it, a good upgrade is having a spare computer and spare batteries in the event of technical difficulties.
Promote In Advance
No matter who you are, promoting your webinar in advance is important. People need to know what is going on or else they won’t show up. But promoting the webinar can be done in various ways.
One of the best methods to go about it is through social media posts. From there, you can attach links to a landing page that introduces the webinar, topic and speaker. It also notes dates and times and encourages people to sign up.
Promote that page across your social media accounts and even come up with a catchy hashtag too. Some other options is making a short video to give people an idea of what to expect or make a blog post around the subject you’re covering.
And when people do sign up for the webinar, be sure to send plenty of email reminders to people and on the day of the webinar too. You don’t need to spam them, perhaps like one every day or two and a few on the day of the webinar. On those last emails it also helps to include direct links to the event.
Engage The Audience
Getting people to attend the webinars is one of the hard parts, but the second is getting them to be engaged. Whether you’re a veteran or beginner to webinars, you will likely have a script or structure for this webinar. Rely on it.
But don’t rely on it so much that you forget to engage with your audience.
As much as people don’t mind listening in, they also want to be engaging as well. As the host, you want to facilitate that however you can.
You can do this in two ways. Either you can pause and ask for questions or comments at various points in the webinar or you could save questions until the very end and give substantially more time then.
Depending on the platform you are using, there is also polling features which you can leverage too.
Practice A Lot
Giving speeches is nerve-wracking for many of us and hosting a 30-minute to an hour-long webinar can be daunting as well. My suggestion for that is to keep practicing. Keep practicing until you reach a point where you are bored about talking about it.
Why I suggest this is that when we get nervous or stressed out in speeches, we default to our usual behaviour. If we’re not practicing enough, we let our fear and anxiety kick in and we begin stumbling over our words.
However if you practice it so much that you know what you’re going to say, your brain will go to auto-pilot and default to the hours of practice you spent on this speech. Ideally, you want to be doing this several days before the webinar.
Have A Great Webinar
Webinars are still valuable tools to consider for your business and it provides more opportunities for growth in many ways. The key is to look at your webinars and reflect on your efforts and performance and make adjustments from webinar to webinar.
Like with everything in business, these are works in process and you’re probably not going to have the greatest webinar on your first try. But taking these tips to heart will allow you to set up strong webinars now and for the future.