Webinars That Wow
Soon after the patent for the telephone was granted, fiction writers hyped up imagined instruments like the “telectroscope,” which could transmit sound and video using electricity. Salesmen had visions of “teleporting” pictures of their wares to clients. Of course, what science fiction writers could only dream about in the late 1800s has become reality. We use this technology every day to communicate, learn and sell. However, technology is only as effective as your execution. If your face-to-face presentation is lacking, technology won’t save you. When doing a webinar, engagement is critical. If you don’t grab listeners’ interest, forget about maximizing the financial potential of this tool.
1. Why should you do a webinar?
If you’ve never done a webinar, why even entertain the idea? Because it’s an easy and low-cost way to:
• Market yourself
• Teach courses
• Reduce travel (both for you and your learners)
• Present a sales pitch
• Test material for an audience
• Produce content that can be re-purposed
2. How can you use this technology wisely?
To maximize your success, remember audience members need interaction every four minutes in an online environment. The interaction can be as simple as asking for a show of hands (a polling option available on most webinar platforms), having listeners text chat about a question, or asking them to use the whiteboard. Depending on your webinar platform, you may be able to take learners on a Web tour, where the facilitator can pull up a live website and show learners around. This might be helpful if you’re doing a sales pitch and want to compare your pricing or services to a competitor using the competitor’s website. You might also try application sharing, where the facilitator can take control of a learner’s computer, with permission, and show other learners around. If you are doing a session on effective design tools for PowerPoint® slides, you might give learners an assignment to design a slide and then share learners’ slides with the others using application sharing.
3. How can you monetize webinars?
Here’s how: Record your webinar sessions and package them as a series. If you’ve done your planning and execution well, the content in the webinar will be valuable even without the live interaction. Record it, and use clips on your website or YouTube channel as promotion. Find the right price point for your webinars, and market them to your audience. A banking association in Minneapolis offers webinars for $59 to members and $99 to non-members. If you buy the series of four webinars, the cost drops to $175 for all four. Use it as a value-add for other speaking engagements. Offer a $99 coaching webinar once a month, or add it onto a session as a way to have the content “live beyond today.”