Webinar Guide for small business owners
This is the age of global connectivity with unlimited access and interaction. Any place or information in the world today is just a click away. People are meeting, interacting and exchanging ideas like never before and this is all happening on the internet.
With over 2 Bn users worldwide, internet has created opportunities and expanded horizon indefinitely. What was just a remote possibility once is a certain reality now. New and novel ideas for information sharing and human interaction are being introduced every day. Old practices and ideas are being transformed to give way to amazing modifications and hybrids. One such concept is WEBINAR, an internet adaptation of the age old seminar.
What exactly is Webinar?
In the simplest possible terms, a webinar is a seminar conducted online over internet (a hybrid of “web” and “seminar”). It carried all the necessary ingredients of a seminar, only being conducted and organized online for a worldwide audience.
In wider sense, a webinar can be a seminar, lecture, presentation or a workshop transmitted over internet, utilizing video and audio conferencing softwares. A Webinar is one of the most effective mediums of human information and ideas’ sharing since it is characterized by interactive elements: the ability to forward, receive, share and discuss information on a chosen subject or range of subjects.
So! Who can hold a webinar? Is it for mega-businesses and corporations or a small business owner also have a reason to hold them as well? The answer is, anybody can do it with the right kind of purpose and approach. Here are some good reasons for a small business owner’s webinar.
5 reasons for small business owners to hold webinars
Reaching, Interacting, identifying and Engaging with target audience
These are all most vital elements for any business development. A webinar is a perfect platform for simultaneous attainment of all these objectives. An entrepreneur can allow target audience to ask questions, pose questions of their own to the participants, gain insight into the target group, get to know the audience (unlike physical meetings and events where attendees can only listen passively).
A long Term Relationship and Reach
Establishing a personalized long term relationship with the customer is a cherished goal for any business. A webinar would give you the opportunity to reach your target group long after the webinar is over (as each webinar can be watched anytime later as well). This will impart your message a long lasting and diverse reach. A well placed, SEO optimized webinar would appear prominent on Google every time someone searches on a topic related to your webinar.
Webinars offers you a great opportunity to use client interaction tools like polls, handouts, electronic flyers, chats, calls to action, PowerPoint slides or promotional/introductory videos.
It’s very economical, convenient and administratively easy
For a typical seminar, participants have to make long journeys involving travelling time and expense. Similarly the host has to make logistical and administrative arrangements. A webinar eliminates the need to travel, logistics, administrative arrangements and inconvenience. Makes it easier and cheaper for you to target your desired group with your message.
It is time Economical, Interesting and Flexible
A webinar should classically take no more than 90 minutes of time. It’s easier to maintain the interest of participants over short periods of time in an informal setting of webinar as compared to more formal seminar. Moreover, you can keep the schedule flexible for an online webinar in comparison to a physical event where last minute adjustments become impossible.
Additional Credential for Your Portfolio and Publicity
Every webinar is a great opportunity to add an additional point to your portfolio and a good way to score free publicity points with your perspective client base.
How to Plan and Hold a Webinar
It’s important to understand and follow the sequence correctly to ensure a smooth and successful webinar:
• Make your technical preparations well in time like preparing the technical format and publishing it online, sending emails to intended participants etc.
• Get participants to register for your event. A good way to do it is to set up a special email list with an associated signup form to use for registrations. You can do this very easily by using an auto-responder service like Mailchimp or Aweber. You have an automatic response option that gives your target audience the URL of the page where your webinar is embedded.
• Write a preliminary blog post to fire up your readers about your webinar topic. You can frenzy their anticipation by dropping questions in your post and offering to answer them in your upcoming webinar. Placing the webinar registration form at the bottom of your post is a smart move. You must make a point of asking people to register through your form.
• Don’t forget to email your subscriber list. Soon after announcing your webinar on your blog, start sending out a series of emails to remind people on your main list to register. The first email should go out a week before the webinar, the second one 4 days prior, and the last one on a day before the webinar.
• Choose a Webinar Topic which is irresistible for your target audience. You can pick the most suitable topic from the most popular posts or keywords which you use to draw traffic to your blog.
• A webinar is logically a combo of an introduction (about the topic), main presentation, and the question and answer session.
• Create a rough outline of the introduction, main presentation and Q&A session with titled headings, subheadings and bullet points.
• Decide the approximate length of each part to work out the number of slides you need (5 slides/minute is recommended).
• For creating slides, use only big bold headlines in the text.
• Add images to slides for extra emphasis.
• Write a script to follow up our slides logically.
• Always keep the camera to line up exactly with your eye-height to have the best video coverage.
• It is important to understand the spirit of a webinar. It is multipurpose event where immediate selling of your product or service must be kept as the last priority. The immediate purpose must be to have positive image building, interaction and understanding of your target audience (sales and profits would come subsequently as a byproduct).
• Keep your expectations real from your webinar to avoid disappointment. About 25% people will attend the event (from confirmation list). 10% may actually buy your product or service. May be less than 5% calls to action will be translated into real life events.
A 90 minute webinar should be timed something like this:
• 5 minutes for the introduction and build up
• 40 minutes for the main presentation
• 15 minutes for the Q&A
• Always end with a call to action in the last 5 minutes of main presentation. For your business webinar, suggest one or two simple actions your audience can do immediately like signing for your email listing or Facebook page.
• If your webinar is selling a product, use the last 5 minutes of main presentation to explain how your product can solve a problem you talked about (encouraging people to buy it).
Webinars are a great source and way to advertise your business, identify and interact with potential clients, spread your message, understand your target audience and subsequently to sell your product or service. It is a great tool in the hand of a small business owner which can be executed with smart preparation and skillful use of techniques.
To get more success from your first webinar, you can attend some of the most popular courses on webinar at your leisure time. Here are those:-
Flawless Webinar Hosting: Gain Confidence And Effectiveness! ($9)
How To Create & Monetize Your Webinar Mastery Course ($27)
Webinar Success: Broadcast Webinars Like A Pro (Original Price $97 but get it @$9)
The vital deciding factor about a successful webinar or otherwise is the volume of work, planning and effort pumped into the webinar. How meticulously you follow each step will ultimately translate into how successful you were in achieving your desired objectives at the end of day. A half hearted effort, a cancelled event or misdirected approach can be counterproductive in terms impressing your target audience.
Be sure of what you want and attempt it seriously once you make up your mind to use this amazing CSR tool.