Webinars are an easy, affordable, and powerful way for the self-employed to grow their business
Like many others in business for themselves, I enjoy listening to and watching online webinars, and I have presented more than a few over the years. Indeed, I love webinars and find them to be an easy and powerful way to both learn something new, and better, get more business.
For the uninitiated, a webinar, or web-seminar, is a visual, interactive online speech. Some webinars use slides, others use a live video stream, while others have little in the way of an online component, and as such may be better described as a teleseminar. The typical webinar lasts about an hour; for instance, the ones I do generally consist of a 45-minute presentation and 15 minutes for Q and A.
Webinars work. Want more business? Present a webinar.
6 Reasons Why a Self-Employed Person Might Want to Host a Webinar
1. They are easy: Webinars are easy in two ways:
- Offering a webinar requires only that you have a great subject, a PowerPoint presentation, and a hosting service for the webinar. A simple Google search will yield a host of hosts who can help you put on and promote the event.
- From the speaker’s perspective, a webinar is fairly easy because there is no travel involved, and as you are speaking on a phone, you can have as many notes as you like in front of you.
2. They add value: Offering a webinar, either on your own site or someone else’s, creates value for the participant. I do webinars for many companies and they frequently offer the webinars free to their best small business customers. Here at TheSelfEmployed, we will be launching a free webinar series soon. Webinars are an affordable way to create goodwill and customer loyalty, add value, and to stay top-of-mind.
3. Webinars can be a dandy profit center: You can make money two ways with a webinar. First, you can charge people to attend. If your topic is compelling enough, that works. Second, because webinars can be recorded, by recording yours, you are creating content, and a product, that you can sell and sell again for a long time.
4. Webinars position you as the go-to expert: If you are the presenter, you must be the expert, right? Right.
For example, I have listened to many fantastic teleseminars at SpeakerNetNews – a great resource for speakers, consultants, authors, etc. They have a cadre of great speakers. Similarly, my pal Tara Reed brings in experts for her Teleseminar series, teaching artists how to make money with via licensing, branding, etc..
You could do the same in your industry.
More Great Reasons to Produce a Webinar for Your Business
5. They capture email: Creating your own e-mail list is important for marketing purposes. People who sign up for your webinar are opting in, giving you their e-mail address, and in the process, helping you grow your list.
6. They engage your audience: It is not enough these days to have a static website. People expect more. Webinars are a cool Web 2.0 tool that engages your audience and helps you forge a closer connection to your customers.
Webinar Success Secrets
So, if you think you want to put on a webinar, make sure to:
Promote the heck out of it. Many more people will sign up for the webinar than will actually attend it, so promoting it will ensure that you get enough people to check in on the day of the event. Plug the webinar on your site, tweet it, and use plenty of follow up e-mails.
Have a great subject: There is no shortage of competing ideas out there. So a great topic and name is a must.
Over-prepare. Know your subject cold. Practice the presentation, and then practice some more.
Steve Strauss – Senior small business columnist at USA TODAY and author of 15 books, including The Small Business Bible, Steve is your host TheSelfEmployed.com.