Webinar software has advanced considerably in recent years. Professionally produced online training products were once the preserve of broadcasters equipped with studio recording equipment and video production software. Today you can deliver the same kind of impact with a dedicated webinar platform — a product that is both less expensive and considerably easier to learn.
If done right, a webinar can establish your brand authority, build lasting relationships with existing customers, and generate leads. Close to nine in ten online businesses are embracing webinars for one simple reason. They work.
If you’re interested in a webinar-based job or want to acquire webcasting proficiency for your own business, your crucial starting point is developing a workflow. Of course, this begins with good quality webinar software. But then what?
In this brief article, we’ll guide you through the “then what,” focusing on five critical early steps in building your webinar workflow.
Start From A Solid Hardware Foundation
Webinars are a bandwidth and hardware intensive activity. You can have the most efficient conceptual workflow conceivable, but your content won’t coalesce without a reliable Internet connection and high-quality recording equipment. You’ll fail to deliver the professionalism a webinar requires.
If you have a limited budget, aim to tick these four boxes:
- A reliable ethernet Internet connection — avoid WiFi
- Good recording conditions, free of echo and background noise
- A mid to upper range webcam and microphone
- Basic studio lighting (preferably leaning toward a warmer and more forgiving color range)
Lock In Your Format
Live or pre-recorded? – This decision will take time, and arguably you may wish to begin thinking about this before purchasing webinar software and perfecting the technical aspects of your production. Live webinars are a significant time commitment. Perhaps this is stating the obvious, but you should only commit to a live production schedule if your time-availability permits. Live broadcasting also considerably increases your risks of technical failure.
Recorded webinars afford you the luxuries of a more controlled environment, the option of a “do-over” if you don’t hit your messaging right, and more scope to create a layered and nuanced message. It’s not dissimilar to writing an email versus speaking in text. Prepared communication can provide scalpel-like detail. Off-the-cuff delivery has more heart and can often deliver greater emotional oomph.
There is no right or wrong but choose carefully. You may eventually integrate both formats into your approach, but each requires time and practice to master. Do yourself the great favor of allowing your brain to handle one learning curve at a time.
Find Your Value Proposition
Webinars allow you to keep your audience’s nose right up against your shop window for up to an hour. You could have Asimov on your writing team, and Tarantino doing your visuals and still not get that level of engagement. Webinars are weird — and wonderful — that way.
But the element that makes that magic isn’t the technology or the medium itself, in the same way that a soapbox and a microphone don’t make a great orator. It’s up to you to deliver the added messaging juju, and for that to happen, you’ll need to understand your value proposition.
You could (and probably should) read scores of books about finding your value-add, but here’s a starting point that will work for most brands: Think about positioning your audience — not you — as the hero of your story. Be Yoda to their Luke Skywalker.
Many online businesses invest enormous time and money in trying to find the thing that makes them unique, and all they end up with is a grab bag of gimmicks that don’t resonate. By focusing on your audience as the hero on an extraordinary quest, there’s a good chance you’ll find it easier to build an authentic voice and value position from which to craft your webinar branding.
Build An Experience
So you’ve got your webinar production approach set up. It’s tempting to think the hard labor winds down at this point, but it’s here that the real work of customer relationship building begins.
Whether you’re positioning yourself for a dedicated webinar job or if this is for your own branding, it pays to get back to basics and consider the customer journey.
Ideally, your webinar content should be cozily encased in materials, touchpoints, and resources that build trust and excitement. Build a plan for employing live chat, pre-webinar waiting rooms, Q&A sessions, and post-webinar polling so that you’re delivering the total package — and a smooth experience for your audience.
Measure Your Success
Measuring how well you’re doing sounds easy and intuitive, but the heavy intellectual lifting here lies in finding success indicators that are genuinely meaningful to your business. It can require a surprising depth of introspection to arrive at the handful of indicators you’ll use to chart your trajectory. Registrations, attendance, conversion rate, chat interactions, and social media engagement are likely to be at least part of your metrics fruit salad.
How you measure beyond this starting point will depend on your business model, your product, and the values that drive you personally.
We’re all taught to think of profits as the focal point of your business landscape, but most people aren’t driven solely by financial outcomes. If something else gets you out of bed and rearing to produce content, why not build that thing into your success metrics?
Whether you want to make webinars your profession or if you’re excited about building this new medium into your own business, the starting point remains the same. Get used to the flow of turning your ideas into instructional content until what was difficult becomes trivial. Practice makes perfect.
If you are interested in even more business-related articles and information from us here at Bit Rebels, then we have a lot to choose from.