When it comes to marketing a business and serving your clients, webinars can be the perfect solution to achieve both goals at once.  Like with any tool, there are a lot of ways to use a webinar.  As many webinars as I have done, it occurs to me that this is not a topic I’ve explored much in my Marketing Tips of the Week.  It’s time!  If I get a lot of questions on this topic, I may even do a series, so make sure to comment or write me if there’s something you want to know.   Now, let’s start with my 5 top non-technical tips for hosting a webinar.

Start with the End in Mind

Webinars are not the end.  They are part of the journey.  A good webinar will inform and serve your audience and help you establish your authority, but it is not the finale.

Webinars are not the end. They are part of the journey. #marketing #business #smallbusiness #smallbiz #entrepreneur #webinar Click To Tweet

Yet, most of my clients who want to do webinars start out with no intention of what happens after the webinar concludes. A few get as far as the idea of thanking attendees for showing up, and the plan stops there.

Webinars are part of your marketing funnel.  Webinars are a huge opportunity for you to build momentum.  So, please have a plan for how you will redirect that momentum.  Have a call to action in mind as you prep your materials, as you prep your follow-up, and as you deliver your content. (Not sure what I mean when I talk about a funnel? Read here!)

In fact, I would suggest that you start with the end in mind.  Before you draft anything, what call to action do you plan to make?  Ultimately, all of your content has to point to that call to action, otherwise the delivery will seem disjointed.

To Charge or Not to Charge?

This is a fundamental question to consider, and I want you to think about it.  Are you selling B2B or B2C?  Can attendees get professional credit for attending the webinar?  How long a webinar will you present?  Where exactly does it sit in your funnel?

There isn’t one right answer to whether you charge or not, but you will feel the effects of the answer you choose.

If you charge for your webinar, you will likely see a drop off in registrations.  Probably a significant one.  The more you charge, the harder it will be to get people to register.  For this to work, your leads will probably need to be warm and fairly connected to you already.  The longer they have been in your funnel, the more likely they are to trust you.  They need to feel compelled enough to pay for the information you will share rather than scour the internet for free resources.

Of course, the advantage to charging for the webinar is the money you will get up front.  You will also likely see a greater rate of people who show up or actively watch the replay if they weren’t available live.

If you don’t charge for your webinar, chances are that you will be able to get a larger audience.  In fact, if you have a good marketing plan, you may get a significantly larger audience.  These people aren’t invested in you yet, but you have your entire webinar to build trust, expertise, and help them decide if they want more from you.

Plus, with all the extra registrations, hopefully you used a platform that is collecting their emails so you can provide further outreach and resources.  You might feel like you are giving too much away for free, but a percentage of these people are going to become big fans.  And if you started with the end in mind, you have something to tell your new big fans about that they can buy or opt into.

Attendance vs. Registration Numbers

You should know this up front: not everyone is going to show up.  Results will vary wildly on this.  If you have an international audience or non-local audience on different time zones, you may very well see a higher percentage of people not show up live.  Some people may not ever have been available for the timing you chose for the live presentation and always intended to watch the replay.

The moral of this story is to always record your webinar and have a replay available.

Always record your webinar and have a replay available. #moralofthestory #webinar #marketing #business #entrepreneur #smallbusiness Click To Tweet

As I said, percentages vary, but start out with the assumption that you might get 30% of the registrants to show up live.  I have gone up to 50% in my own webinars, but different circumstances and different audiences produced different results.

Factor this into your plan, and don’t let it get you down if you don’t see 100% attendance on site.  There are many ways to reach this audience and serve their needs, and you can plan for it.

Balance Content and Sales

For attendees to feel satisfied with a webinar, they ultimately need to feel that there was a good amount of information presented to them.  For you to feel satisfied with a webinar, you need to know that you created the opportunity for ongoing sales or commitments.

The trick you have when planning your material is to balance content and sales.  Both sides should get what they want.  Neither side should feel short-changed.  The right balance yields the best results.

At the end of the day, you know that there is a percentage of people – the majority – who won’t follow through on an additional call to action in the webinar.  They were perhaps never prepared to invest more than they already did.  Or they didn’t get what they were looking for.  Or they weren’t ready to commit to you more than they already had.  That’s okay.  You’re available to them, they know you’re there, and there’s no need to push.

On the flip side, there are people who got exactly what they needed.  There are people who are singing your praises and you don’t even know it.  There are people who took copious notes, worked through your exercises, and have more questions.  These are people who are ready to know how else you can help them!

Follow Up

If you are running any campaign, if you are doing any networking, if you want to build any relationship, you have to follow up.

You delivered a webinar, and that is great.  Maybe you sent them a recap, and that is great.  But what if I told you that 5-10 follow ups is the sweet spot?  Are you prepared for that?

What if I told you that I’ve had people who attended a webinar and then contacted me one year later for coaching.  ONE YEAR.  In fact, I have cases of TWO YEARS.  They weren’t ready then, but they are now.  They remembered me, because I have stayed in touch.

Be as thoughtful about your follow up plan as you are for the content development, because this part is important. (Read more about this in one of my favorite tips “The Profit is in the Follow Up”).

Be as thoughtful about your #webinar follow up plan as you are for the content development. #marketing #business #smallbusiness #entrepreneur Click To Tweet

Webinars aren’t an easy solution, but they can be a tremendously impactful solution for your business.  The five tips I list here are – I believe – core elements to running a good webinar.

There are so many facets to consider.  Do you have questions about running a webinar that you want to know more about?  Email me here or comment below to ask!