How to host a killer webinar

A webinar being held

Webinars are a great tool for disseminating ideas and establishing yourself as a thought leader within your niche. As business expert Chris Garrett states: “The first reason to love webinars is that you get the opportunity to create a sense of event around your ideas, value and information. This attracts attention and builds traffic and positive awareness.” Anyone can do a quick Google search and find out how to host a webinar, but creating a high value, engaging webinar is certainly challenging. Here are some tips to follow to help you create a killer webinar.

Plan thoroughly
As with any kind of performance, planning is crucial. However, it is particularly crucial for when technology and large groups of people are involved! A webinar is essentially just an online conference, and there are lots of different tools to help you facilitate this, including: Google+ Hangouts, Adobe Connect, ReadyTalk and more! Make sure to inform your audience months in advance of the seminar, for example, via your newsletter or on social media. This provides the opportunity for people to send in questions so you can cater to their needs – thus creating a more high quality and personalised event.

Tell, don’t sell
If you’ve ever attended a webinar where the host was constantly trying to sell to you rather than provide value, you’ll know that it’s not a pleasant experience. It’s perfectly fine to mention a product or service which might be useful for your attendees in the right context, but the vast majority of your webinar should be dedicated to selflessly imparting value and actionable advice on your attendees. This is the difference between trying to secure sales in the short-term and trying to build a brand in the long-term – the latter is significantly preferable! If you switch people off by selling instead of delivering value in your webinar you won’t attract them to subsequent web conferences.

Bring in the experts
All the big thought leaders, influencers and niche experts you’ve come in contact with over the years may come in handy when it’s time to host a webinar. So long as the webinar is contextually relevant to the individual in question, they’re likely to want to contribute in order to leverage some of your fan base and impart their own knowledge. The more value your can deliver to your audience, the better, and bringing in external experts can be a great way to do this. Don’t worry about giving the spotlight to someone else; your attendees will be grateful to you for putting on such an awesome event!

Rehearse like crazy
Once the content for your webinar is finalised and you’ve brought in some expert speakers. Make sure you do a full rehearsal of the webinar. This is essential, not only in terms of perfecting your performance and soliciting feedback from close friends and associates, but also in terms of making sure there are no technical errors. The last thing you want is for your webinar to come to a grinding halt because you haven’t had a proper run through using the software!

Follow up with attendees
After your webinar is complete, it’s always best to follow up with attendees to solicit feedback, promote relevant products and let them know about future events. The more feedback you can get the better. Feedback helps you to create better events in the future, because after all, it’s not about how great you thought the webinar was; it’s all about how much value you delivered to your audience – their perspective is paramount.

Webinars can be a great tool for building a brand in the long-term and taking your messages to a wider audience. As with any other form of content, what you put in you get out. Endeavour to deliver as much value as possible and never reduce your audience to mere leads or potential sales. Engagement is the best philosophy when hosting a webinar.

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