5 Minute Guide to Running a Successful Webinar
Running a successful webinar can mean big things for your business. A webinar audience is a captive audience that actually wants to hear what you have to say, and that means that they will be paying attention and asking questions, and will be much more willing to spend money or get involved in the opportunity that you are presenting.
But you need to put on a good webinar in order to get that audience and this guide will help you. From the equipment needed to how to get the audience to return for future webinars, this five-minute guide is here to show you exactly how to run a great webinar.
Let’s talk about the software that you will need. If you choose the right platform, that will be pretty much the only major piece of software involved. However, there are a couple of minor programs that you might want as well.
Platform: The platform is the software (often web-based) that the entire webinar runs on. Usually, you pay a monthly membership to belong to a specific webinar company and have free reign to use their software with the maximum number of people based upon the price that you pay. This software can report statistics, record your webinar, include a chat room and much more. The software may work with peripherals like webcams and audio devices as well as with social media like Facebook and Twitter.
Other Software: You may also need other software to present your webinar. For example, you might need some sort of slideshow program such as PowerPoint, which will allow you to present your slides. Depending upon what you plan to share on your computer screen you may need other programs as well.
When it comes to hardware, there are some things that you will definitely need, but the good news is, you probably already have them. The most important thing about the hardware is that you want them to be high-quality and perform professionally. We will explore that more specifically as we discuss each type of hardware that you need.
Computer: You need to have a really good, high-speed computer to run your webinar. You don’t want to be talking about important concepts and your shared screen freezes because you have too many processes going and your CPU can’t handle it. You want to make sure that your computer has multiple cores and plenty of RAM.
Internet Connection: You need a wired internet connection to run a webinar. WiFi connections are not that stable and you don’t want your attendees to have come to see you and then miss stuff because the connection keeps dropping.
Webcam: You also need a high-quality webcam such as an HD webcam. You may already have one on your laptop but you can pick up an HD webcam that plugs into a USB port for about $50 at any electronics or big box department store.
Microphone: Finally, you want to have a good microphone that allows people to hear what you are saying perfectly even after traveling through the internet, via the software platform you have chosen and through their computer speakers or headset.
Headset: Speaking of headsets, you are going to need a pair of headphones if you are using a microphone, otherwise, you will create feedback that is going to be heard by the attendees of your webinar.
Types of Webinars to Host
There are several different types of webinars out there that you can host, and choosing the right one means that you will have much more success when it comes to connecting with your audience. Here are the three basic types of webinars:
Educational: The first type of webinar is educational. In this style of presentation, you simply give people information without any sort of agenda behind it.
Promotion: In a promotional webinar, you are usually trying to promote something that benefits you financially. For example, if you are giving a presentation on how to set up a Shopify store, and you use your own as an example throughout the presentation, there is a good chance some of those people will either buy or share the link to your store.
Direct Sales: Finally, the third type of webinar is the direct sales webinar. This is where you are selling something to those attending, and you make no bones about it. They know they are there to be pitched and you spend the webinar doing just that.
Choosing Your Topic
Next, you will need to choose your topic. If you are thinking about a webinar, then odds are pretty good that you already have something to promote or make money on. But how can you take that product or service and turn it into something that people actually want to learn about?
You may not be able to attract many people with a direct sales approach, even if you do have an amazing product. However, if you can choose something that you have done and teach other people how to do it, you have a good webinar topic. For example, suppose that you have set up a successful niche blog. You can teach other people how to do it and then monetize it using some of the methods below.
Your topic should be something that you are intimately familiar with and can easily answer questions about, as well as do a full presentation. Remember, you want to be considered an expert in the field that you are presenting in, or else people will not trust you enough to follow your advice or to buy from you. Find something related to what you already do and can speak on for at least an hour.
Tips for Becoming a Good Presenter
So, you want to become a great webinar presenter but you aren’t very good in front of the camera or at the podium in front of an audience. Don’t worry, there have been many people throughout history who lacked the skills to do public speaking or teaching and then were able to learn them so successfully that they become some of the top speakers in this country.
The first thing that you should do is record yourself giving dry (with no audience) presentations to see how you can improve. You probably won’t be able to see the imperfections unless you record the webinar and view it. Remember how you felt the first time that you heard your recorded voice? The same goes for video. You will see a completely different picture when you watch yourself for the first time.
You can also take acting classes if you really want to improve your presentation. Plenty of public speakers have been able to improve their skills in this way. Acting classes give you confidence when talking in front of a group as well as help with diction, tone and various other things that affect how people perceive you.
How to Interact with your Audience
Interacting with your audience is an important part of hosting a webinar. If you just get up and talk and don’t make an effort to interact, then your attendees could just go watch videos on YouTube and get the same sort of presentation. You want to make sure that you are actually having a conversation and there are a few ways to do that.
Stop and Check Comprehension: When you stop periodically and make sure that your audience is still following you, they feel much more involved. Make sure that everyone understands what you are telling them and if a lot of people are confused then go back and present it again – because if you lose your audience they will be lost the entire rest of the presentation.
Ask Questions: Ask questions periodically, even if you aren’t looking for answers or cannot take the time to actually read or acknowledge the answers that you are getting.
Ask for Questions: You have a couple of choices. You can either ask for questions at the end of your presentation (or at any other point) in one big block of time, or you can stop periodically and ask for questions and then answer them before you continue.
Take a Poll: Ask things like “how many of you…” or “who here has…” These things make audiences feel much more involved.
Ways to Make Your Webinar More Engaging
Making your webinar more engaging means that you are able to make more of an impression with your attendees. So, how can you make your webinar more engaging? Here are some tips to help you.
- Use multimedia like slideshows, videos and more
- Ask and answer questions and the other methods for interacting with your audience above
- Have more than one person speaking for the webinar. Sometimes people will learn better from a different style of presenting
- Allow chat rooms or social media commentary so that people feel as if they are participating in the webinar
- Be engaging yourself. Throw in jokes once in a while and smile while you are giving the information
Getting People to Return for Future Webinars
You are also going to want to get people coming back for future webinars. The more people that you can convince to return for future webinars, the easier you will be able to grow your audience, which of course means that you will be able to make more money. Here are a few tips for getting people to come back.
- Make sure that you are presenting unique information that they cannot find anywhere else
- Offer gifts and incentives for them to come back (a free product or discount on admission)
- Ensure that you are engaging and entertaining
- Make sure that the information you give is something actionable – meaning they can take it and go out and do something with it that will benefit them
Methods for Monetizing Your Webinar
There are quite a few methods out there for monetizing your webinar. You will have to choose which method you prefer, based upon the niche that you are working in and what your style of webinar actually is. Here are a few ideas that will help you decide how best to monetize your webinar.
Charging money for the webinar itself is a viable strategy. For example, if you can get 50 people to attend and the price of admission is $100, you will have earned $5000 for the time and effort that you put into holding the webinar.
Sell a Product or Service
Selling a product or service that is related to your topic will definitely result in sales. For example, suppose that your webinar is on keyword research and you sell monthly access to a tool that automates keyword research. You will have lots of people signing up. You can also sell eBooks or many other items.
Sell an Opportunity
Suppose that you hold a presentation on internet marketing and you have a Clickbank product that you are trying to recruit people to sell for you. They will be making you money while earning the Clickbank commission as well.
The Final Word
As you can see, there is a lot to putting on a webinar. But you don’t have to be afraid of hosting one because with a little work and practice you can hold webinars that make you thousands of dollars in admission costs or other commissions.
If you follow these steps, you will be able to put on a webinar that people find exciting and engaging, and if you pick the right niche and the right monetization, you can capture lightning in a bottle that will result in hundreds of thousands of dollars made and fame and notoriety within your particular industry.
Follow these steps and develop your webinar. Study the platforms and decide what works best for you. Get the equipment that you need and then hammer out the niche, topic, monetization method and perfect your presentation until you are running successful webinars that people are attending by the thousands.