Webinars have increased in popularity since the world has gone virtual and they’re only expected to maintain their prevalence. Many companies are now looking to create webinars to expand their reach, connect with their audience and establish themselves as industry thought leaders.
When done correctly, these virtual sessions can be just as effective and engaging as in-person meetings. To help you create an educational and helpful webinar for your business, 10 members of Young Entrepreneur Council share their best advice. Follow their recommendations as you plan your next online business event.
1. Record Your Webinar For Future Replays
Educational webinars are crucial to any business. We implemented ours in our clinic in 2020 to educate people about their condition and show them the success we are having treating it at our clinic. Most business owners don’t have time to do three to four webinars a day, so the key is to automate it. Pre-record your webinar one time and have it running 24/7. Then your future client can sign up and watch it when it is convenient for them! – Christin Hubbard, Hill Country Clinic of Chiropractic PLLC
2. Know Your Audience And Their Needs
First, know your audience. Understand their needs and wants so that you can develop content and a program targeted to what they are looking for. Your content should be unique and engaging and of the highest quality possible. Keep it simple, but make sure you provide three to five major takeaways. Attendees want plenty of opportunities to connect with the speakers, ask questions and engage and interact with each other, so find easily accessible ways to make that happen. Finally, always follow up! Send a survey or gather feedback directly from participants so you know what works or not for your next event. – Anna Anisin, Formulatedby
3. Share How People Can Solve The Problem Themselves
Nothing frustrates me more than a sales pitch at the end of a webinar after they’ve spent 45 minutes teeing up what I already know the problem is. I’m most likely not going to go do it myself; I’m still going to look for someone who can do it for me. Non-experts can easily talk about what a problem is or might be. Experts know how to solve a problem and can talk about it in a way that builds confidence with the participant. That confidence will lead to more opportunities for the company doing the webinar. – Andrew Howlett, Struck
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4. Make It Dynamic And Engaging
Don’t be boring. We have all endured interminably dull webinars. The topic seemed interesting, but the presentation and content end up working better than sleep aids. Boring webinars aren’t shared, aren’t talked about and they don’t do your brand any favors. Engaging webinars are dynamic and they involve the audience. Don’t read from a script or your slides; use an outline, but speak spontaneously. Invite questions and answer them. Make time for questions during the webinar, not just at the end. Make your slides visually appealing and informative; long lists of bullet points are not interesting. Most important: get a decent microphone. – Corey Northcutt, Northcutt Enterprise SEO
5. Immediately Engage And Incentivize Your Audience
When your audience comes on, engage with them, ask them questions about their business or situation and have them replay via the chat. We’ve been having a team member be part of the audience for our webinars in order to engage with members, answer questions, ask questions and spark conversation to up engagement. Another great strategy is to incentivize their attendance. Offer something for the people who come and stay the whole time. A special discount? An extra bonus? A cool giveaway? Offer something that’s worth something to your audience (each audience is different). No more vanilla presentations! – Codie Sanchez, Contrarian Thinking & Entourage Effect Capital
6. Aim To Add Value To Your Audience’s Lives
Know your audience. These key questions are a must-ask: Who will be attending? What challenges or problems are they facing? What are their goals? Once you understand this, it’s a lot easier to present useful knowledge that will add value to your target audience, draft a compelling, power-punching title and copy your attendees will interact with, as well as think about visual branding and, of course, what approach to adopt in showcasing your product or service offerings as add-ons. Other webinar tips and tricks include choosing a niche topic from a fresh angle, including timely, news-based issues in your industry (knowing insider industry tips are always viewed as valuable to your audience) or conducting an interview with an industry thought leader. – Chimezie Emewulu, Seamfix Limited
7. Pause For Questions Periodically
Engage with your audience throughout the entire webinar. To retain your audience, take the pulse of them periodically by pausing to see if anyone has questions or by taking an interactive poll. This helps break up the flow of them simply listening to you talk for 30 minutes straight. No matter how entertaining and valuable your content is, you will begin to lose viewers’ attention. You can even roll this action into some form of perk at the end. Anyone who submits a question or completes the polling will be eligible to win a product or special offer. – Matthew Podolsky, Florida Law Advisers, P.A.
8. Go Deep On Your Specialty
Know that general business-building advice is largely saturated. Go deep on your specialty. All entrepreneurs are great generalists with at least one area where they excel. Maybe you have a clear design vision or maybe you get nitty-gritty with the numbers in a way that other leaders don’t. Whatever your special thing is, make your webinar about that. – Tyler Bray, TK Trailer Parts
9. Plan Visuals
Many people think webinars are all about sitting in front of the camera and delivering your content verbally, but that’s not the best way to do it. Your audience will register your information better if you can incorporate visuals in different formats. This can vary from graphics, slideshows, images, flowcharts or anything that simplifies the information for your audience. However, this depends a lot on the subject of your webinar too. For example, if you’re talking about a product, instead of using graphics, you might want to demonstrate its use or method of assembly (if possible). This will make it easier for your participants to understand the product better. Making your webinar successful is all about the value it could offer to your audience. – Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
10. Accept That Things Will Go Wrong
An important lesson that I’ve learned is that things will go wrong. I have learned to accept this and even use it as a strength. Accepting that things will go wrong helps you become more adaptable. This opens up conversations and encourages dialogue. You realize that you are not the one in control, but that it is a conversation among like-minded participants. Accepting things will go wrong also prompts you to prepare. This can help you identify where problems could occur. For example, if you anticipate your audience may be difficult, you can plan to ask them to turn their video on to help get their attention. Accepting that webinars can go wrong doesn’t need to be negative. It can open exciting possibilities for creativity and dialogue. – Shu Saito, All Filters