Anyone who has been marketing online for any length of time has watched the transition of online events, otherwise known as webinars. They’ve become online pitch fests with little or no real value to the consumer resembling the likes of a TV infomercial. We’ve taken an online, interactive, educational tool and turned it in to how to rehash the same message over and over again for an hour and then sell something. Zzzzzzz…. This may sound like bad news but for you, the integrity driven entrepreneur, this is really good news!
When an industry takes a downhill shift it provides a stronger platform for you to dominate your niche. The more the leaders (often called gurus) and followers (the sheep) commit these crimes against marketing, the higher the platform is built for you to stand up and shine! But, as a tech savvy business owner, you already knew that.
So, with no further ado, here are my 7 vital keys to webinar success:
• Provide Value: Give them something they can walk away and use today. I don’t care what industry you’re in, there is absolutely always something you can teach your audience. A salon owner may offer a styling tip. A life coach may offer a simple, effective exercise for stress relief. Whatever your niche, there’s always something you can teach them. Make it worth their hour whether they buy from you or not.
• Create Engagement: Most webinar platforms have at least a minimal ability to induce audience engagement whether it’s the hand raise in GoToWebinar , the temperature meter in MeetingBurner, or the interactive chat box. Be careful with the latter because without proper support this can become a distraction to the presenter and leave the audience feeling unattended.
• Keep Up The Pace: An easy way to keep y our audience on the edge of their seat (and awake) is to take the time to create a proper presentation. Act as if you’re speaking from a live stage and add in the sign posting and other key elements important to public speaking. The adage, the failure to plan is a plan for failure, definitely applies here.
• Invest In The Proper Tools: You may be tempted to use the free version of a meeting platform and if that’s all you can afford for now, then that’s ok. You will however want to scale up to the paid version sooner than later. There are tools such as recording, integrated payments, branding and other monetization tools you’ll want to take advantage of that are only available with the paid version. I’ve tried several free providers and I have to say, I understand why they’re free.
• Test Test Test: We can’t avoid the occasional crash and burn of the internet or other snafu’s, that’s a given. We can however take the time to show up early and test our audio and video. Make sure everything is working and you know how the controls work. If you have guest speakers, make sure they’re ready to go and all systems are working to hand over the controls at the appropriate time. Do some practice and use the “as the attendees see your screen” function to make sure you like what you see. If you’re using a powerpoint with macros, do a run through and make sure they’re working.
• Stand and Deliver: Yes, I mean literally stand up if you need to. There are too many affordable wireless tools available to have yourself tethered to your seat if you’re a person who is a more powerful speaker when standing or even pacing a bit. If you prefer a seated position then make sure you’re comfortable enough to stay put for a good hour or so. I like using an exercise ball to sit on as it allows me to move and stay seated at the same time.
• Cut Out Distractions: We have gotten used to asking our attendees to cut out all distractions so lets do the same for ourselves. Turn off the background noise, put the dog out if you’re in a home office, turn off the pop-ups and IM’s. You don’t want everyone seeing who’s trying to Skype you, I see more orange boxes pop up on webinars than I care to mention. These are possible distractions for you and can potentially derail your flow during your presentation.
I’m not going to claim that this is the end all be all of webinar do’s and don’ts but it’s a great checklist to have as a reminder to get back to the basics and provide the best service possible to our clients. Remember, it doesn’t take all that much to shine in any industry if we show up like a professional and give our audience the best of who we are.
For some easy to implement strategies to engage your audience and make the most of your presentations join me in my upcoming webinar “Dominate Your Niche With Interactive Presentations.”
Open the blinds, let in the sunshine and stand in your power as a Tech Savvy Entrepreneur!
With Love, Respect, and Admiration,