4 Tips for Winning Business through Webinars

kathryn by Kathryn Hawkins on March 29, 2012
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If you run a virtual company and want to reach new prospects across the country — or around the world — hosting a webinar training session is an effective way to generate qualified leads.

Webinars, which can consist of live audio, video, and slide shows, typically focus on explaining a solution to a specific business problem. Hosting a well-honed webinar can help build your brand and sell your products or services. However, if you don’t prepare carefully for your session, your webinar could do more harm than good for your business.

Here are four tips for putting together a successful online presentation:

  1. Choose a topic that will resonate with your target audience. To attract attendees, your webinar must offer value by providing useful, actionable advice (vs. focusing solely on your business). For instance, if you offer mobile web development services, don’t talk about the specific services you offer. Instead, present on a topic such as “The Key Requirements for a Mobile-Optimized Site.” If attendees are so inclined, they can use your advice to build sites on their own; in some cases, they may not have the skills to do so and are likely to consult your company for help.
  2. Promote the webinar. Begin touting your webinar via email and social media a couple of months before it’s scheduled to take place. In order to target new prospects, you may want to create targeted keyword ad campaigns for your webinar on platforms such as Google AdWords and Facebook.
  3. Learn the software. If you’ve never hosted a webinar before, take the time to familiarize yourself with the software you’ll be using. You can choose from a free platform (such as Join.me) or a premium offering (such as GoToWebinar). In any case, make sure that the product can handle what you want to do with it. Study its online training manual and learn how to use the product effectively.
  4. Practice your presentation. Once you’ve developed the slides and other materials you plan to use in your presentation, practice a few times on your own and then record a trial run. Make sure that your audio works properly and that you’ve timed the presentation in a way that makes sense. Ask business associates to watch your trial presentation and offer feedback. It’s also customary for webinars to include question-and-answer sessions, so brainstorm what kinds of questions are likely to pop up and think about how you’ll respond. Thorough preparation will help you remain cool and collected when it’s time to present your webinar.
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