If you are a digital entrepreneur, you have surely heard of, or even participated in, a webinar. This tool has become increasingly popular, and since Facebook incorporated this functionality, we have had more and more people making live transmissions.
But, because it is the “marketing tool of the moment”, many entrepreneurs are creating webinars without proper planning or focus. That’s why, before we teach you how to make a live transmission, we will help you think about the objectives of your business venture and how a webinar can help you.
Webinars for new entrepreneurs: an important tool for growth
New entrepreneurs don’t usually have a very long list of leads. Therefore, all the strategies that can contribute to the growth of this list are valid assets. Webinars are one of these tools, as long as the new entrepreneur pays attention to some important details.
The main one concerns the topic of the webinar. If the entrepreneur is too specific and speaks exclusively about the product she is selling or intends on selling, it will be difficult for new leads to make a commitment to watch an ad. Even if the product has the power to transform people’s lives, at this first moment it is only another piece of advertisement.
Our tip is for you to approach broader themes that relate to your market niche. For instance: if your offer is a digital product, such as an exercise guide to lose weight, your lead-attracting webinar could talk about lifestyle, self-esteem, health, and so on.
This way, you increase the chances of arousing the interest of your audience in the transmission and get the lead you want. In the future, with these leads and a product offer at hand, you may use webinars for the other objectives below.
Webinars for entrepreneurs with a list of leads: an opportunity for new business
If you are a more experienced entrepreneur, with a list of leads to promote your offers, you will use a completely different strategy in your webinar. In this stage of the business, the entrepreneur may want to qualify her leads even more, inviting them to more specific webinars or ones made for product sales.
The more specific webinars are meant for your existing leads, but who are not yet engaged in your offer or niche. This is the chance for you to make your leads move deeper into your sales funnel. With the leads who are more engaged – this can be measured by the email opening rate, comments, time spent generating the lead, so on – are possibly ready to participate in a webinar that offers the product.
In this case, the entrepreneur should really focus on the advantages of the offer, product demonstration, and directs the leads to the sales page immediately after the end of the transmission.
Webinars for entrepreneurs with a list of leads and active sales: time to increase authority
Entrepreneurs who already have a list of qualified leads or clients may use webinars for new launches and also to retain and reinforce authority. In this case, the entrepreneurs want to be constantly present in the customer’s memory and build a stronger relationship with leads.
The main advantage of this strategy is to bring the customer closer without the intention of selling. This may seem counterproductive, since every entrepreneur wants to sell, but when the entrepreneur distances herself from a direct advertisement, she becomes a constructive and collaborative model for people, increasing the chances of conversion in the future.
Now that you know how to choose the best kind of webinar for your needs and professional moment, it’s time for us to teach you how to create a webinar that will help your business grow.
We decided that the best way to give you these tips is to divide them into three different stages: before, during and after the webinar. So, let’s move on: from this point on, we will have a complete checklist for every item.
Pre-webinar Actions: laying the groundwork
Choosing the transmission platform: as we mentioned in the beginning of this post, webinars are increasingly common, and there are many platforms you can choose to host yours. The most well-known today are Facebook itself and Google Hangouts, which are very simple to use, but are somewhat limited.
More advanced platforms such as WebinarJam may be difficult to use by beginner entrepreneurs, but they offer a wider range of options.
So, how do you choose one? Our tip is that you pay attention to four important details:
- The first one is the transmission speed. Test it with your friends and see if the platform lags.
- Then, consider practicality. Find out if your guests will have to download a program or if there are restrictions for Gmail users, for example.
- Next, think about cost-benefit. Some platforms are paid and some are available for free, the prices vary a lot from one to another, and sometimes you won’t even use what they are charging you for.
- And lastly, but most importantly, analyze if the platform offers interaction options to the guests. The main advantage of making a live transmission, instead of a sales video, is the possibility of interacting, in real-time, with your audience, so make platforms with this function your number one choice.
Rehearsing the webinar: be it in the theater, television, or a lecture, no professional starts a live event without being prepared for it. This means you should structure the whole presentation, write a script, create the slides and make sure that, when it’s time to go live, things will stick to the plan. Remember your guests have other appointments, and even if you are putting on a great live event, people don’t have a lot of free time these days. So, avoid having a presentation that lasts longer than 45 or 60 minutes.
Set a date and a time: it’s not enough if the date and time of a live event are convenient for the presenter, they should also be convenient for the audience. Therefore, make sure you check the calendar before you start promoting the webinar. Find out if there are any national or regional holidays on the day you are planning to have the webinar.
It’s also a good idea to check if there will be any major sports events – even if your audience is not made up of football fans, scheduling your webinar on the same day of the finals can seriously affect your results. After this research, you will then be able to choose a date that will considerably increase the number of viewers.
Create a squeeze page for the webinar: regardless of the focus of your webinar, if it is to capture leads or to retain customers, after all, there’s no such thing as ‘too many leads’. Unless your event is exclusive for a customer or users in a specific list, you should create a capture page to promote the official stats of the webinar, and then collect the email addresses from people who are interested in taking part.
Promote the webinar: it may seem obvious, but some entrepreneurs have a hard time on this stage. Remember that getting someone to really commit to an appointment at a specific time on a specific day is not an easy thing to do. The necessary effort to arouse this kind of interest in your audience is much bigger. Think of it this way: would it be easier to attract you to read this post, wherever and whenever you wish, or attract you to watch a webinar about it?
To break this barrier, you need to promote frequently and consistently. Use all the communication tools at your disposal, and in your budget. Send emails to your lists, more than once – but be careful not to SPAM. Publish a post on your blog or website, if you have one, and reinforce the promotion on your social networking sites. If you want to attract a significant number of participants, you should also consider using paid ads.
About the frequency, think about the example of major TV networks. Before a series or program is premiered, how many times is it promoted? There are many promos and ads during the week to arouse the interest of the audience, and, most importantly, to remind them of the date and time of the premiere. The same thing goes for promoting a webinar. The promotion should start 2 weeks in advance. On the day of the transmission, a reminder sent to the leads collected is also essential.
Webinar day: showtime
On the day of the live transmission, everything should be ready and it is now time to focus on the last details so that the webinar happens without any glitches. Unforeseen circumstances happen all the time, but when we are doing something live, we need to try to do everything in our power so that the risks of something going wrong are as low as possible. And it’s very simple to do so: use the checklist below and go over each and every item a few hours before the event.
Internet connection: make sure your internet connection is working at the time of the transmission. Check the speed a few minutes before you start and always have a backup plan. Even if your internet provider is the most reliable one, drops in the connection are fairly common. A good idea is to have the neighbor’s wifi password, or even an extra chip to turn on a hotspot if there is an emergency. Think about all the investment you put in, and you will know it’s not worth taking unnecessary risks.
Audio and video settings: this is another item that has to be on your checklist. Ask someone to connect to you via the transmission platform and perform a test to make sure she can see and hear you perfectly well. If something goes wrong, you will still have time to make adjustments or get another computer.
Lighting and location: during your test, stand in the same place you will be when transmitting the live event, and pay attention to details. Check the background for inappropriate objects in the frame, and if the lighting is suitable. Imagine you have recently purchased a book written by your competitor and it can be seen behind you, on a shelf? This would definitely not be good for you business.
Log out from other services: do you use Skype, Whatsapp or Facebook on your computer? At the time of the webinar, they should all be turned off. Remember that the participants can see everything on your screen. Therefore, personal messages being shown can be an embarrassing nuisance.
Send an invite to your list: don’t forget to send the link that directs the viewers to the platform, a few minutes before your webinar starts. Test the link in an incognito tab and make sure the address is correct.
Now you’ve covered every item in the checklist, it’s time to start the transmission.
Be ready: some people will probably join the virtual room a few minutes early, and it’s important you are already there. Take this opportunity to start an informal chat with them, ask them to introduce themselves in the chat, invite them to watch a video and let them know the presentation will soon begin. If your webinar is scheduled to start at 7 P.M., you can wait 5 or 10 minutes so that all the participants can join in.
Have someone to help you: you should never present a webinar 100% on your own. Even if there is no one else in the frame, it’s important to have someone to help out if necessary. This person will assist you in case something fails, or even to moderate comments and interact in the chat while you are presenting.
Pay attention to the time: make sure your presentation doesn’t end way too early or way too late. The people watching probably have other things to do after your presentation, and you don’t want them to be late.
Save some time for questions: Most likely, the audience that has seen the whole webinar will have questions by the end of the transmission. Take this opportunity to understand what the doubts, the pains and uncertainties from people are. You will learn a lot from them as well.
Finish up with your objective: during lessons and presentations, human beings tend to remember the beginning and the end of the transmission much more. Therefore, when you finish a presentation, reinforce once again what the main objective of your webinar is. If you, for instance, want people to subscribe to your channel, this is the message you should end your webinar with.
Post-webinar actions: time to build relationships
At this stage, you will have done most of the work, but you still need to perform some important tasks. Your audience is now much more engaged, or, like some entrepreneurs say, warmed up. With this in mind, don’t let them go ‘cold’ and keep your event live for more time. Some simple actions can help out:
Thank-you message: send an email thanking all the people who have dedicated time and attention to what you had to say. Show them you really value their efforts and you were truly happy with their presence. Take this opportunity to reinforce the objective of your webinar with a CTA (call-to-action), directing the user to the action.
Make the recording available: if your webinar was not something exclusive for the participants, you may consider making it available on other platforms, such as YouTube. Then, more people will be able to watch your presentation. Some entrepreneurs reprise the webinar and pretend the transmission is live. In this case, you have to be careful: make sure there is no mention of dates on your transmission or the names of people chatting.
Communicate with leads: keep in constant touch with the people who watched your webinar, invite them to new transmissions, recommend posts on your blog and keep them updated about your offer.
That’s it! Now you are 100% ready to use this popular promotion tool. Read this material more than once and write down the most important tips to create your own checklist. And did you know Hotmart also presents webinars frequently? Make sure you catch the next one! :)