As an authority in your market, there are many ways that you can share your knowledge with the world. Whether it’s writing a book, hosting a podcast, or writing a blog about your industry, you have several pathways to choose from. One such option that’s easily overlooked is creating a webinar. Sure, the idea of a webinar may sound like a very formal, straight-laced approach, but it’s a powerful tool participants use to learn a skill or get industry insights from expert speakers, so it should definitely be something you should take a stab at.
Don’t know where to start? Worry not, as we’re going to break down how to create a webinar below.
Pick your subject and research it
It doesn’t really matter how much you know about your area of expertise, it would be silly not to research it for your webinar. If you’re an absolute authority in the subject you choose, it’s still smart to research the latest information your industry has to offer so your webinar is relevant and fresh. If you’re giving dated advice to your audience, it won’t matter how eloquently you deliver it.
A good place to start your research is with your competition and other similar webinars available online. Take notes on how they’re structured, the slides they use to illustrate points, and how you would change things if it were your own. This will help you get your wheels spinning for when it’s time to begin creating your own assets for your webinar.
This is also a good time to set a tentative date a time for your webinar. Keep it to yourself, but try to hold to it. The process of creating your content may end up taking longer than you anticipate, and it’s better to delay your webinar than go ahead with it unprepared.
Also take note of whether similar webinars are charging for access to help you decide if you plan to or not. If your competitors are requesting payment, offerings your for free or charging substantially less than them could be beneficial for you in the long run.
Determine your webinar format and tools
Once you’ve done your research on your subject and what others in the field are doing, it’s time to refocus on what you’ll be doing for your webinar. Starting with the format: Will it just be you giving a detailed presentation about a specific segment of your industry? Will it be a panel of people discussing it? Will it be live or will it be pre-recorded? These are the questions you should be asking yourself to find what you believe will be the most interesting for your audience and comfortable for yourself.
While a few types of webinar formats were mentioned above, here’s a list of options that could be right for you:
Single speaker presentation
In-depth how-to or tutorial
Industry news discussion
Don’t worry one bit if your plans deviate from a traditional webinar. As long as you’re providing valuable information to your audience in an easy (enough) to understand way, you’re doing it right.
It’s also very important to invest an ample amount of time researching the platform that you will use to host your webinar. Your needs will most likely determine the best platform to use.
If you want an all-in-one solution to handle everything for you, paid platforms like GoToWebinar or Zoom may be your best option. If you plan on offering your webinar for free to the public (even if just initially), live streaming from YouTube is a good free option.
Either way, don’t skimp on doing your research on the platform you’re going to use. Go to Google, search for “best webinar platforms” and dive in. Your own online research will prove to be the most valuable, as you know your own specific needs for your project.
Gather your equipment
At this point, you’re going to need to get the physical equipment that will be used for the webinar. And please, for the love of webinars, don’t use the webcam or microphone that’s built into your laptop.
Here’s a very basic list of the things you’re going to need to host a successful webinar:
A capable computer: While it shouldn’t be too intensive to host your own webinar, make sure that the computer you’re using can handle running multiple heavy applications at the same time. (No, having 40 browser tabs open at one time doesn’t count as a test). The last thing you need is to have your computer slow to a crawl because you’ve put it under too heavy of a load. Older computers will also likely have weaker Wi-Fi, and a solid connection is required for a live webinar.
Webcam or camera: You have some options for the cameras you use in your webinar, depending on its format. A single speaker discussion will do find with a standalone webcam — just make sure it can record or stream a minimum of 1080p HD at 30 frames per second. If you’re pre-recording your webinar, you should record it with the best quality camera you can. You won’t be relying on streaming, so there’s no excuse to use a subpar camera of any sort.
Microphone: It’s essential that your words come across clearly. Much of this will depend on how you articulate your words, but a bad microphone can make even a clear voice a muffled mess. Invest in a USB microphone that’s compatible with your webinar software. The Blue Yeti microphone is popular with podcasters and should be more than enough to make sure your voice is clear during your webinar.
Screen recording or sharing software (optional) - Depending on what platform you use to host your webinar, you might need additional software to share your screen during the session. Something as simple a Google Hangouts has this feature already included, as do other more robust webinar software.
Develop content for your webinar
It’s time to start creating content for your webinar, and all of the public facing assets with it. Here are some essential pieces of content that you’ll be using in your webinar that you should create:
Script: First things first. Create a script for your entire webinar so you can keep yourself on track. It’s not imperative that you follow it word for word, but actually writing it out will help you structure how you present to your audience. Also leave some wiggle room for deviations and on-topic tangents, as your audience may appreciate these additional insights.
Slides: It wouldn’t be a webinar without some interesting slides! These include fun facts about the industry, interesting stats, and charts. How many you use is up to you, but they help hammer points home, so make sure you create them for important points you want to highlight. After you’ve created your slides, you can essentially create a storyboard - pairing them with the script so you can see how your webinar is going to be.
Marketing assets: Before you go live with your webinar, you’re going to want to promote it. This is the time to create the text for your newsletters to send to your subscribers, the graphics that go along with it, banners to put on your website, and maybe even a dedicated landing page for it as well.
At this point, you have most of the heavy work taken care of. After you’ve created all of your content for your webinar, finalize your date and time for it.
Promote your webinar
The journey of creating a webinar is a long one, but you’re so close to the finish line. After your content has been created, it’s time to start telling people about it to make them as excited for it as you are. Check out some of the ways you can spread the word about your webinar below:
Newsletters: This is a pretty easy one. If you have an existing newsletter and people have subscribed through your website, it’s now time to send them one! You could even go the extra mile and offer up some sort of incentive to your existing subscribers, like an early access pass to chat with the presenter or even a discounted price if you’re charging for it.
Update your website with banners: One of the best places to promote your webinar is going to be on your very own website, and the best part is that you can do so as much as you want. Create a banner that adorns the top of your website so your visitors will immediately be greeted with information about your upcoming event.
Create a landing page: For marketing purposes, some people create a dedicated landing page website for events they’re promoting. This provides a one-stop shop for everything someone would need to know about your webinar.
Write a blog post promoting your webinar: As an expert in your field, if you don’t have a blog covering your industry, it’s time to get one. Not only does a blog let you show off your knowledge and become an authority in your industry others can learn from, but it’s also fantastic for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Create a detailed blog post for your readers so they know what to expect for your upcoming webinar.
Share on social media: What better place to spread the word than social media? Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or something else, there are people with similar interests that will surely be excited to get details about your webinar. You could even expand your reach by throwing in a few hashtags so people that may be unfamiliar with you, but interested in your industry, can find you.
Perform a dry run
As your webinar date approaches, get prepared by rehearsing the entire webinar experience.
One of the best parts of performing a dry run is that you can catch issues that are easily fixable that may otherwise be glaring when you’re finally doing the real webinar in front of an audience.
Practice your script by saying it out loud. Several times. This will allow you to spot inconsistencies, too much time on a topic, or easier ways to present your information to your audience.
This is also a time that you should try to break your system. By that, we mean try to put your computer, software, and any other equipment through its extreme paces. This could be in the form of running all of the computer software you’ll be using on your computer at the same time, and switch between programs quickly. Open additional software and start using it to see if you can begin to see lag from your computer. Think about all of the things you may need to do with your setup and test it rigorously — more than you will likely use it during the actual webinar. Not only will this give you a working knowledge of how all of these pieces work together, but it can also give you a chance to mitigate potential issues before you even start your webinar.
If you can, get a friend or assistant to watch your entire presentation. You could even go as far as creating a private webinar with only your assistant viewing so they can take notes for you. Ultimately, there will be things that either you overlook or that only an audience member will notice.
Host your webinar
The time has finally come where all of your hard work pays off and your webinar is to go live. Remember to breathe!
Before you push the record or stream button, simply go through all of your notes, your script, and anything else that may help you get prepared. When the time comes, hit the button and break a leg.
At the end of your webinar, make sure that you plug the ways that viewers can find you. This includes your website and social media channels. When you’re finished, take a bow (maybe not a real one), and end the webinar.
Congratulations, you did it!
Wait, there’s more? You bet there is!
Now that you’ve completed your webinar, it’s time to decide what you’re going to do with it. If you’ve decided to charge for the webinar, you have little else to do but continue to promote it. However, if you’re offering it for free, be sure to post the webinar on your YouTube channel, as well as embed the video on your website.
Later on, if you begin to see enough questions about some of the topics you discussed during your webinar, you could even go as far as creating another video to answer these questions. You could even go as far as creating another live Q&A webinar for those hungry to know more.
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* Source https://www.wix.com/blog/