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My Best Practices For Using Webinars in Business

I have used webinars for several years now and I love them.  

I don’t like organizing in-person events because of all the logstics, people involved and cost. So whenever possible, we’ve scheduled webinars to showcase our products, do advanced training and offer practical content.

In fact, we built an entire training division using them. (At WebDesign.com we stream 15-20 hours of new content every month using webinars. And at iThemesTV, another 1 hour or so training a week.)

Along the way, we’ve picked up some best practices from just doing them week in and week out and seeing how others do them.

So I gathered these up and put them into a free ebook titled 15 Best Practices for Rockin’ Webinars

In this ebook, you’ll learn:

  • What is a webinar anyway
  • 6 benefits for using webinars in your business
  • How to make the most out of your webinars (and your attendees happy)
  • Recommended resources for webinars
  • How to record your webinar
  • 5 tips to remember during your webinar presentation and more

 

 

 

5 Tips to Think About While Presenting Your Webinar

We are all guilty of focusing on the pre-presentation process. Getting our topic, making our slides and then worrying about marketing and getting our webinar ready. BUT there are a few things to keep in mind when doing your presentation.

I have been sitting in many webinars lately, and it seems that no matter how prepared the presenters are they are forgetting some key components, so here are some quick tips:

  1. Speak loud. Don’t make your listeners adjust their volume. No attendee should have to stop the presentation to ask you to speak louder. So ensure that your audio is clear and loud and you’re speaking with voice.
  2. Go slowly. Do not run quickly through your slides. Some people are listening to you, others are reading, some are doing both. Make sure your attendees have ample time to see and read your slides. This also means if you’re showing something on your screen (like software overview) that you need to slow down how your mouse moves around the screen. Think slow motion mouse movements!
  3. Start on time. One thing your attendees will not forgive you for is being late. Even if it is 3 minutes. I sat through a webinar this week by a major company and they were 5 minutes late. Big mistake. My time like your audience’s time is money.
  4. Make time for Q&A. Make sure you leave ample time for questions and answers. If you have so much information then you need to make your webinar a two or three part series. Make sure your attendees have time to get their questions answered. After all, you have a captive audience.
  5. Show gratitude. Make sure you thank your attendees for taking time out of their day to listen to your presentation. There is nothing worse than a presenter for a webinar I am in to make me feel like I should be grateful they are taking time out of their day for me. It is the other way around.

Do not get too caught up in your preparation to forget these simple tips for your webinar. They may be small, but they are essential in hosting a successful webinar.

What Happens If No One Shows Up To Your Webinar

So you have planned your webinar, created your presentation, emailed your list and rehearsed your presentation. You are 100% ready to share with the world your knowledge and expertise. What happens? Your worst nightmare.

No one shows up. What do you do?

  • Don’t get discouraged — I know it is disheartening when no one attends your webinar. It’s happened to me!
  • DO THE PRESENTATION ANYWAY — Act like you are presenting to the group of people that you thought would be there. You can use your recording later. No one but you knows how many people heard it live.
  • Use the recording to get people to attend your next webinar — Post it on your blog, tweet it out and then email it to your list. It will be a perfect way to showcase your expertise and show everyone why they should be in your next webinar.

If you follow these steps your future webinars will likely have more attendees. Remember what Cory always says, “there is no such thing as an overnight success.”

Our Recommended Resources for Running Webinars

Here are the recommended resources for producing great webinars … some of these are broader than simply webinars but must-haves for making the best use of webinars today:

Books: Content Rules — this is THE definitive guide to content marketing. See the chapter on Webinars specifically but the whole book is worth 100 times its weight in gold.

Software: GoToWebinar

Video hosting: Vimeo, Viddler, Wistia — video hosting isn’t cheap, but check out these quality sources

Screen recording software: Camtasia (PC or Mac) and Screenflow (Mac)

Microphones: Blue Snowflake (very portable & good for screencasting) and Blue Yeti (big and stable)

Website hosting: HostGator — best in the business, hands down!

Email newsletter services: Aweber, MailChimp and EmailBuddy (WordPress plugin)

Essential Ingredients to Running a Website with WordPress:

  • iThemes Builder — build great WordPress websites easily
  • Backup Buddy — make sure your site has a good backup AND restore plan in place
  • Gravity Forms easily add forms to your site, from simple contact forms to advanced registration forms

6 Benefits of Doing Webinars

We’ve been doing webinars since 2008, and have seen so many amazing benefits of using webinars for our business.

Here are some of the highlight benefits of doing webinars for your business or organization:

  • Offer educational marketing — teaching is the new marketing. Sharing your experience and expertise with your followers, audience, community reaps benefits as they look to you as the trusted resources
  • Be human and give a personal touch — for a long time, we ran an online product business and therefore did not do phone support. Having regular webinars allowed our community and customers to hear us talk about what we do best. It made us human and not just a website to them.
  • Reach a worldwide audience — Webinars are cheaper than traveling and JUST as effective. As you know travel is extremely expensive and doing webinars allows us to reach global and let our customers stay in the comfort of their own homes or offices while you present your subject to them or show them a walkthrough of your products via screen sharing
  • Fill a training void — if there’s a lack of good, quality and affordable training in your niche, you can offer outstanding opportunities for your prospects and customers to learn from YOU — the expert.
  • Work smarter, not harder — you’re bound to be getting common questions that you could do a webinar, record it, and give to clients. Now you’ve multiplied your time and impact.
  • Crystalize your presentation skills — Doing webinars makes you a better presenter in-person and online. It forces you to think about your subject, organize your thoughts and then communicate it effectively to your audience.