With so many plus points working in its favour, webinars can be a powerful tool for growing your business. BUT a massive challenge with webinars has always been the fact that it is so easy for those in your audience to zone out (or start multitasking!) in the middle of one.
Here are a few proven tips and tricks from some of the best in the business that you can use to prepare fantastic webinars to fuel your business:
Define Your Webinar Goals, Objectives & Audience
Don’t go into your webinar with a long list of ideas and discussion points to cover during your session. Going too broad almost guarantees that you will lose your audience at various points particularly if they decide what you’re talking about isn’t relevant to them personally. So, ask yourself: Do you want to build your email list? Teach a new skill? Promote your latest product? Reach a new audience? What are the big picture objectives that your webinar promises to deliver? What is the point of your webinar?
You should also define very clearly who you’re speaking to. Ask yourself who your audience is – what their desires, fears, and needs are. Determining your goals, objectives and exactly who you are speaking to will go a long way to the development of your content and meeting your audience at their point of need.
Use the Right Tools
There are a lot of different platforms out there that you can use to host a webinar. Find your preferred system by knowing what type of experience you want to give your audience. If you want to do a live demo, then you’ll want a platform that offers screen sharing. And no matter what, you’ll want to make sure you get a recording of your webinar because there are lots of ways to repurpose your webinar into other content.
You may also want to use a project planning tool to keep you on track with the planning. Webinars do require a little more up-front than other types of content, but when planned properly, they’re well worth the extra time investment. Use Trello or another project management tool to manage your timelines and to-do lists.
Shout it From the Rooftops
Once you’re sure about the date, give your audience lots of heads-up about your upcoming webinar! The sooner you start mentioning your webinar, the sooner people will start registering. Use social media to spread the word so that your event can be shared, and mention exclusive previews and even freebies to those who register early. Drumming up excitement tells people that you have something good to offer. Depending on the goal of your webinar, you may want to consider partnering up with another business to have them share your webinar with their audiences too.
Hold Your Questions
If it seems like your audience drops off the call just as you’re about to make an offer, you’re not imagining things. Many people attend webinars for the “lesson”, with no thought to buy, and will leave the minute it’s clear the training is over.
You can curb that with one simple trick: hold the questions until after your offer. Or, consider giving your offer halfway through the presentation. By breaking up the training with an offer in the middle, you’re more likely to hold your audience’s attention for the duration of the event.
Host a Contest
Need a way to drum up more interest in your webinar? Have a contest where the person to refer the most people to your webinar wins a prize! You can also use the contest strategy during your webinar. Much like holding questions until after the offer, the same effect can be had by hosting a contest in which the winner is not announced until the end of the webinar. Alternately, you could offer a prize to the first viewer to answer a question correctly—the question, of course, is based on the content of the webinar.
Turn the Tables
Don’t let your audience just sit and passively watch. Instead, get them talking.
Most webinar platforms have some kind of chat or question feature, so make use of it by chatting them up. At the beginning of the event, be sure to ask them to let you know if they can hear you and see your slides… ask everyone to call out where they are dialling in from. Throughout the call, as you make a point or reveal a great tip, ask for their acknowledgement. Not only will this keep them interested and listening, but it will also help them learn how the chat function works, so when it’s time for Q & A, they don’t have any trouble.
Tell a Story
Everyone loves a great story, and if you’ve got one, now is the time to tell it. Whether it’s the time you nearly got arrested in college, or how you had to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a month after your car died, if you can link your story to your webinar message, it’s a good candidate.
Stories create a personal connection and will help make your webinar more memorable. Just remember to practice telling it first, because if you’re not a natural-born storyteller (many of us are not) then it can quickly backfire.
Following these tips will help you differentiate yourself. So many webinars drone on for too long, but not yours! Knowing what you want your webinar to achieve and engaging your audience along the way will make your first – and every – webinar a success.