Have you ever attended a live webinar? I’m guessing you have, they are everywhere!
Personally, I’m a huge fan! While I never really enjoyed traveling to attend in-person seminars because of expensive travel, hotels, and food, webinars are a completely different story.
All you need to pay for a webinar is the cost of “entry.” You can safely stay comfy at home and learn everything you’d get from an in-person seminar for a fraction of the cost and time investment.
If you’re a small business owner, I’m sure that the idea of putting on your own webinar has occurred to you. It’s one of the best ways to reach out to your audience, grow your reputation as an expert, and build up your library of content. The question you need to ask yourself is, should you do a live webinar? Or should you record and then post so you have an evergreen piece of content?
Well, my answer is… both!
What’s a Webinar?
When you combine the words “web” and “seminar,” guess what you get?
A webinar is basically an audio/video workshop where you speak directly to your audience about a topic. Generally, it has slides used to underline your message and provide an easy guide for your audience to follow along with as you speak.
But why hold one? Because it’s one of the best ways to build a reputation for yourself as an expert online! It can be an outstanding way to launch a new product! And if you want to springboard your customers into an online course, a webinar is the perfect gateway.
When you host a webinar about a topic, folks will automatically assume that you know what you’re talking about. I mean, otherwise, why would you be holding a webinar? Of course, this means that you need to be on your game when you’re presenting so you can live up to those expectations.
To do so, you need your entire webinar to have a professional polish. Your slides should be expertly designed, your script should sound natural, and your audio/video quality should be high-quality. On top of all that, you need to work interactivity to keep everyone engaged throughout your presentation.
What Are the Benefits of a Webinar?
What separates a webinar from YouTube videos or podcasts is the potential interactive elements. If you’re presenting a webinar live, then your attendees can participate by asking questions and engaging with you directly through chat. This makes a webinar a unique way to engage with your audience on a personal level!
A webinar is an event! It’s something that folks put into their schedule so they don’t miss it. As such, those who sign up for your webinar are pre-selecting themselves as people who are your target audience. With effective digital marketing techniques, you should be able to convert them to paying customers and send them to your website or landing pages by the end of the webinar. It’s an absolutely terrific way to generate new leads!
Another less-considered benefit of a webinar is that you will be getting your attendees’ contact information. If you’re building your email list, that kind of information is invaluable. They already attended your webinar, which means that they are interested in you, your products, or your services. That makes them ideal customers to target with email marketing, including a newsletter or an email funnel.
On top of all this, holding a webinar can give you a fantastic piece of evergreen content, but only if you do it the right way…
Let’s Talk Live vs. Evergreen
A live webinar is precisely what it sounds like: You present information to your audience LIVE through audio or video. It involves real-time, personal communication between you and your audience. As such, there are a lot of factors that you need to keep in mind.
With a live webinar, you should always have someone doing tech support behind the scenes. The last thing you want is something to go wrong with the live chat midway through the webinar. If an attendee is having trouble connecting, you can’t hold everyone else up while trying to fix their problem. But if you have someone working tech in the background, you can focus on your presentation while they take care of your audience.
You might also need to deal with some stage fright if you’re presenting live. That’s one of the reasons why you might want a well-written script in front of you at all times. It will keep you on track so you don’t forget where you are and what you’re presenting.
A live webinar also has the benefit of being an “event.” It’s a one-off. Once it’s over, it’s over. This time-sensitive component can make it much more attractive to your potential audience. They know that if they want to take advantage, they need to act NOW.
But what about an evergreen webinar?
There are also some significant drawbacks when it comes to live webinars.
As I said, things can go wrong. If you’re feeling nervous with stage fright, you might not end up doing the best job presenting your information. There can be tech issues that throw the live webinar off-track. And you could also be doing all that work for a one-off.
However, live webinars are critical for the success of your evergreen webinar funnel. Live webinars allow you to practice and perfect your messaging. It allows your audience to ask you questions in “live time” and you can adjust your webinar for conversions based on the feedback you get from your audience. Also, you want to have several live webinars under your belt, so you can pick the best recording to use for the evergreen.
Since an evergreen is a pre-recorded event that can be sent to your audience whenever they sign up, without you needing to lift a finger after the initial presentation. It’s important to keep in mind that evergreen content is an absolutely essential part of growing your business.
Because they aren’t presented live, you can take out all of the “x-factors” that could throw you off. You can edit your webinar until you are happy with it!
Having an evergreen webinar also opens up the possibility for international exposure. When you are doing a live webinar, you have a set time, and many people in your target audience on the other side of the country might be in bed by then (or have other plans). But with an evergreen webinar, they can watch it whenever they feel like it.
Unfortunately, there are some downsides as well. There is obviously a complete lack of audience engagement, as it’s pre-recorded. Although there is functionality you can incorporate to make your recorded webinar, seem more live (such as an instant chat function that your virtual assistant could take care of for you!) You also need to consider that your audience may lack urgency to watch the webinar, as it’s not being held at a specific time.
What Format Should Be Webinar Take?
Personally, I don’t think you should need to choose.
The beauty of presenting a live webinar is that, with some post-production, it can become an excellent evergreen webinar you can use as a lead magnet or other piece of content.
Imagine spending countless hours on a webinar, getting a fantastic reception from your audience, and then being able to use it to get more followers in the future. Once recorded, you can do just about anything with those snippets! If you want to update your CTA at the end of the evergreen webinar, you only need someone to edit in your new audio/slides. If you wish to repurpose it, you could slice up the presentation and put up select pieces of it on YouTube! The sky’s the limit!
It’s important to remember that not every one of your live webinars will be a knock-out-of-the-park. Practice makes perfect, and if you’ve never done a webinar before, your first few will likely feel a little shaky.
That’s why I highly suggest that you start with live webinars, record several of them before you have a great one that you can share indefinitely. But once you get the hang of it, you should be able to turn every one of your live webinars into evergreen content!
What Do I Need to Record?
To get started on your webinar journey, you do need a few essentials.
First, your hardware. While some folks use their AirPods or other Bluetooth headsets to record themselves, I believe that investing in a decent microphone is a smart way to boost your production quality. This does not need to be super expensive. I recommend taking a look at the Blue Yeti mics. They are affordable and deliver excellent quality audio through USB, so no need for special equipment. You’ll also need an amazing web camera and possibly a ring light to brighten you up!
In terms of software, I’m a big fan of Demio. It’s a terrific online platform that offers HD streaming video with no downloads needed. Attendees can watch your webinar through their browser. It integrates with several marketing tools like MailChimp and Zapier and allows for automatic webinar recording. That means you can use it for both live and evergreen webinars!
So, What Did We Learn?
Let’s review what we learned:
- Webinars are seminars, but online! What a concept! In this day and age, everyone is doing them, you should too!
- It is one of the best ways to build your reputation as an expert online!
- For a webinar to really “land,” it needs a professional polish so make sure your script and slides are amazing.
- It is a great way to generate new leads.
- Using a webinar, you can collect the contact info of people already interested in you and your services.
- A live webinar is an event, but can be tricky to pull off so make sure you have the right support to have yours go off without a hitch!
- An evergreen webinar can be polished to a shine, but lacks that “special something” of a live event.
- You can repurpose parts of an evergreen webinar for YouTube or lead magnets.
- You should always use a decent microphone and webcam when recording your webinar audio.
- Demio is a fantastic service to present and record podcasts. I love it for both live and evergreen webinars.
There is an awful lot of work that needs to be done to get a webinar off the ground. From copywriting to graphic design to the behind-the-scenes tech, it can help to have a step-by-step checklist to guide you through. That’s what you’ll find in my free Ultimate Step-by-Step Webinar Checklist for Your Virtual Assistant. With it, you and your virtual assistant can be sure that you won’t miss a single step in preparing for your webinar!
And if you’d like some help preparing your webinar, check out The Ultimate Webinar Launch Planner Workbook. This workbook walks you through everything you need to launch a success webinar! Of course, please feel free to contact me here for a free consultation. I’ve worked with dozens of clients to create outstanding webinars that grew their online profiles, and I would love to do the same with you! Let’s fill your webinars with tons of potential customers!
Links For This Episode:
- Ultimate Step-by-Step Webinar Checklist for Your Virtual Assistant
- The Ultimate Webinar Launch Planner Workbook
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