It seems that if you have a successful blog these days, your audience expects that you will offer a webinar or two to expand upon your written topics. A webinar is great for getting your product, or even just a message, across to your network of followers. Now, if you are a new blogger, you probably think that hosting your own webinar is out of the realm of possibility for you. They must be too expensive or difficult to set up, right?
Well, I am here to tell you that your assumptions are wrong. Webinars are a great way to expand your influence and in today’s blogging world, they are necessary in order to keep yourself relevant. Beyond that, Webinars for beginning bloggers do not have to be overwhelming and expensive. With so many people blogging about similar topics these days, webinars are a great way to rise above the fray, allowing you to market your ideas as events and ways to forge bonds with your readers. It will help increase your blog traffic and potentially help you earn a bit of extra money if you promote, review, or talk about products within the webinars you are hosting. Most of all, you will lend a sense of credibility and authority to the topics that you post. Being in front of a camera and demonstrating your knowledge and passion to others can be far more effective than simply writing down your thoughts online.
It makes sense to be nervous, but keep a couple of things and you will find that those webinars are not as scary as you make them out to be. Just remember:
- Practice, Practice, Practice: When starting out, create a script and practice your delivery before the webinar. Have a list of what you plan to accomplish and how you want to get that list completed. Be sure guest presenters, the software you are using for the webinar, and extra materials are at your fingertips and ready to go. Prepare as if you are doing a presentation in a class you are taking- have some extra options set aside in case something goes wrong. Don’t be arrogant.
- Choose The Right Topic for your Audience: Before, I mentioned how important webinars can be to connect with your audience, but this connection will be strengthened if you pick the right topics for your presentations. Look at your most popular posts and keywords that lead readers on your blog. From there, pick ones that you think would be most effective in webinar format. Usually, webinars are a great way to delve deeper into a popular topic that you write about, expanding, explaining and opening up your time for questions. When you have some content ideas, write them down and think about how to run the webinar effectively.
- Webinar Setup (Free): Now that you have some exciting topics for discussion, I am sure you want to get started on your webinar content right away! First, however, you want to make sure you set up your webinars for success. For bloggers and small business owners just starting out, it is not advisable to shell out top dollar for software just yet. To start, consider using Google Hangouts on Air, which integrates with YouTube and allows you to stream out live on your YouTube account. To set up, you will need to connect your Gmail account with Google Plus and YouTube. Once you do so, you will download and install the Hangouts plugin for your browser. Keep in mind that if you are looking to do a webinar longer than fifteen minutes, you will need to verify your YouTube account. This involves selecting your home country and indicating you are not a robot. Once the technical aspect is set up, familiarize yourself with the Hangouts tools, learning how to upload live videos via YouTube and inviting participants to your events.
- Engagement is Key: Excellent topics are necessary, but it could be argued that delivery can make or break a webinar, no matter how interesting the topic may be. A three-act structure could keep you on topic and allow for the right amount of information and personalization. Aim for a few minutes for an introduction and personal story, the bulk of the time for the main presentation, and always leave about 10 minutes at the end for questions and comments. Make sure the end of your presentation portion has an effective message that calls your viewers to action and invites them to use the guidance you have provided them.
- Webinars: A Powerful Marketing Tool: Within your webinars, always have the option for people to sign up to your email mailing list or like your Facebook page. Use your charm and market yourself not just through your work but through your look as well. Talking live and ensuring good camera etiquette will help endear you to your followers and make them more likely to come back. Line up the camera with your eyes to ensure you are talking to your audience, not down to or up at them.
- Create Buzz: Get people to pre-register via a special email list that will send an automatic response with the URL for your webinar and send out a notification to your general subscriber list. Write a blog post indicating the topic you plan to discuss and get your readers excited about the event. Finally, use your social media skills to keep the buzz going- reach out other bloggers letting them know your plans or write a guest post with the webinar link in your author byline. Get creative with how you spread your content!
You see? Webinar creation is really a piece of cake. All it takes is a knowledge base, some preparation, and the drive to make it happen. You are now on your way to being connecting with your followers and becoming a true authority on the web. Have fun with it!