From The Quiet Entrepreneur Introvert Coach mailbox:
“From your experience of doing webinars, what tips would you give to a beginner like me? I’d like to run one, but feeling overwhelmed at the thought of it!”
Webinars enable you to get closer to your audience and to share your expertise in a more concentrated dose than through your blog. A webinar can be the equivalent of doing a talk to a networking group – but far less draining for an introvert, and to a potentially bigger audience.
When you sign up for The Quiet Entrepreneur newsletter, you’ll see my webinar on “How To Overcome The Top 5 Challenges Faced By Introverts In Business.” It’s not the first webinar I’ve ever done, but it’s definitely been the most successful to-date.
So, based on my experience, as an introvert, here are my Top 10 Tips for preparing and delivering a successful webinar.
- Find out what your audience wants to know
This might seem obvious, but it’s often overlooked. If you have some newsletter subscribers, ask them what their challenges are. Post questions in Facebook groups or on Twitter, create a survey using SurveyMonkey, and invite people to join your webinar to find out solutions to the challenges. That’s exactly what I did!
(Watch the video, above, to find out more)
- Be clear about what outcome you want to achieve with your webinar
The purpose of a webinar is to share your expertise – but what do you want to happen at the end of the webinar? Are you doing a webinar to encourage people to sign up to your newsletter, or to sell something? Webinars work equally well for both – but not at the same time!
- Think up a “must watch” title
Your first challenge will be getting people to sign up for your webinar, so you need to make it clear what the benefits of attending will be. That’s how I came up with the title “How To Overcome The Top 5 Challenges Faced By Introverts In Business” – it does what it says on the tin.
- Choose a webinar hosting or video streaming service
Are you going to be doing a straightforward webinar, with slides? Or would you prefer to do a live video stream (live stream), where you appear on camera, as though you were on TV? GoToWebinar and InstantTeleseminar are probably the most popular webinar platforms – both offer a free trial period, but you have to pay for the service after that. For my latest webinar, I used Google+ Hangouts On Air – it’s a bit fiddly to set up, but it’s free, and it can also be used as a live stream. Other live stream platforms are Ustream and Livestream.
- Have an offer ready, that you can promote during the webinar
Even if you’re not “selling” anything on your webinar, you can still make an offer – it could be a free one-to-one conversation, for example, to give you an opportunity to find out even more about your audience.
- Prepare notes, or a script
As introverts, we like to be well prepared, rather than coming up with ideas on the spot. When I’m doing a webinar, I write a script so that I know I won’t run out of things to say or have too much to say and run over the allotted time. You might be more comfortable with bullet points, but preparing ahead of time does help to reduce the collywobbles!
- Do a practice run
After all your preparations, the last thing you want is to be flummoxed by the software! When I used InstantTeleseminar or Google+ Hangouts On Air for the first time, I tried out the software a week or so in advance, so that I felt comfortable about pushing the right buttons on the night. Bear in mind, though, that technology has a habit of going in to meltdown at the worst possible moment – so expect problems, and stay calm! If necessary, you always have the option to run the webinar again.
- Don’t be afraid to show off your expertise
The whole point of doing a webinar is to show your audience what you know – so make sure that you not only share lots of useful information about the topic you’re covering, but also give them a bit of background about yourself. As introverts, we tend to overlook this step – we feel embarrassed about blowing our own trumpet. But if your experience is relevant in any way, then you absolutely must mention it.
- Have a clear “call to action”
You’ve prepared an offer, right? So now you need to make sure you mention it during the webinar, and tell people what they need to do. Get into the habit of always having an offer and always giving a call to action, whatever you do. It’s good practice both for you and for your audience – so that when it comes to actual “selling”, you’ll feel more relaxed about it, and your audience won’t think of you as being pushy. (I’ll put my hand up to this one – in my Top 5 Challenges webinar, I put so much effort into preparing the webinar, and then mumbled my call to action!)
- Make a recording
Only about 50% of the people who sign up for your webinar will actually attend the live call. Some business owners don’t make a recording, because they believe their audience will be more likely to take action if they are on the live call. But if people have signed up for your webinar, they are interested in what you have to say – and they might have a good reason for not attending live. So I like to give them the benefit of the doubt, and provide access to a recording. I have also heard business owners say that, when it comes to sales webinars, the recordings are often more effective at converting sales than the live webinar!
If you have any questions about promoting your business as an introvert, I’d love to answer them. Simply send me your question using the contact form, and I’ll write a blog post just for you!
About the author Julia Barnickle is a film maker, photographer, artist and writer, and the founder of The Quiet Entrepreneur community for introverts in business. She offers visibility coaching to raise your online profile, and helps you create videos to promote and deliver your services.