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11 Tips for Hosting a Successful Webinar

hosting a webinar Hosting your own webinar is a great way to generate leads and sales for your business. But there is a right way and a wrong to do it. I recently shared some lessons on what NOT to do, based on my experience as a webinar attendee. In this article, you’ll learn what you SHOULD do to ensure your audience gets value out of your presentation.

Before the Webinar:

#1 – Know your audience

Before you even set a date for the webinar, you should have in mind exactly who your target audience is for this webinar. That will determine what content you present, and how you go about marketing the event.

#2 – Set your goal

What do you want this webinar to accomplish? Do you want to generate leads? Do you want to sell a product or service? Begin with the end in mind. That will help you to format the presentation and determine the content.

#3 – Get help

If you’re a solopreneur, enlist someone to help you on the day of the webinar. You can run a webinar by yourself. I’ve done it before. But it is a lot more stressful, especially if you want to record the presentation for later viewing, and you want to take questions or run a poll during the webinar. The last time I did a webinar, I got a friend to help out, and it made the whole process go a whole lot smoother.

#4 – Prepare your presentation

If you’re going to use slides during the webinar, don’t make the mistake of cramming a lot of text on each individual slide. Use images and bullet points for best results. If your audience has to spend a lot of time reading the slide, they may tune your voice out, and miss an important point you’re making.

#5 – Test your equipment

Spend at least 30 minutes before the webinar starts making sure that everything works properly. That means making sure your computer connection is ok, the webinar software works, audio and video is ok, etc. There’s nothing worse than starting a webinar and then finding out noone can hear you, or you’re unable to record the presentation as planned.

During the Webinar:

#1 – Be punctual

Start your webinar on time and finish on time. It doesn’t matter whether 3 people have signed onto the webinar or 300, your attendees’ time is valuable. Respect that. They took time out of their busy schedule to listen to your presentation. The least you can do is start on time. When you show your audience respect, you’ll have a better chance of turning them into customers, either at the end of the webinar, or at a later date.

#2 – Don’t give away all your knowledge

If you’re presenting a free webinar, don’t make the mistake of thinking you have to share every single strategy with your audience. If you do, you run the risk of overwhelming them information or worse… making them think they can do it all and don’t need you! (This is particularly true if you’re a service provider.) Tell what they should do, but don’t necessarily show them HOW to do it. You can give away a few good tips, but don’t overdo it.

On the other hand, if you are charging for the webinar, you MUST deliver value to your audience in the form of concrete tips and strategies related to your topic. Otherwise, they will be unhappy and your reputation will suffer.

#3 – Encourage interactivity

If the webinar software allows it, encourage your audience to participate in the webinar. Conduct polls and Q&A sessions. Not only will this keep your audience engaged, it may also keep them from leaving the webinar early.

#4 – Offer an ethical “bribe”

If you plan to use the webinar to sell your audience something, or make some other kind of offer, encourage your attendees to stay until the end by offering them some sort free gift. This could be an ebook or extra tips not mentioned during the webinar that will only be available to those who stay online for the entire presentations. Before the webinar, you’ll need to set up a special landing page where the attendees can request the bonus gift. At the end of the webinar, simply reveal the URL so your dedicated viewers can take advantage of the offer.

#5 – Include a Call to Action

At the end of the webinar, you need to let your attendees know what their next step should be. Include some kind of call to action. It could be directing them to make a purchase, go to a special landing page to request more information, etc. Your attendees won’t know what to do, unless you tell them.

#6 – Follow up

After the webinar, follow up with your attendees! Send them the recorded webinar, if you had promised that beforehand. A webinar is a great way to build your list. Don’t squander this opportunity to reach out to them. You might send a survey and ask what they thought of the webinar, and see if they had any questions. Ideally, you’ll want to move them into a drip email campaign that will provide more information about your products and services.

If you need help developing an email campaign to promote your webinar, or follow up with your webinar attendees, contact Gloria for a free quote.

About the Author
Gloria Grace Rand is an award-winning SEO blogger, former writer/producer for the PBS-TV news program, “Nightly Business Report,” and the owner of Web to Wealth Marketing. As an internationally known leading expert in internet marketing, Gloria develops innovative workshops and masterminds that help creative professionals and service providers improve their online visibility and profitability. She is also a Contributing Author of three best-selling books, “Unscripted: How Entrepreneurs Leap and Find Success,” “Conceived to Lead,” and “Connect: 100+ Mind-Blowing Strategies to Use Social Media and Drive Business Growth.”

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