By Jennifer Gregory
Jennifer Gregory is a journalist with over 17 years professional writing experience. Jennifer blogs via Contently.com.
While businesses often use webinars primarily for finding new customers, a common mistake is not worrying about generating leads until after the webinar is over.
The key to turning a webinar into increased business is to integrate the goal of attracting new customers throughout the entire webinar process – from the first brainstorming meeting to following up with attendees afterwards.
Decide on Your Goal for the Webinar
The first step in creating a webinar that produces tangible results is to determine exactly what you want the outcome to be from the event. Do you want to sign 12 new customers? Are you looking to increase your relationships with your current clients? Or would the most profitable result for your company be to entice your existing customers to buy additional add-on products?
If you set a specific and tangible goal for the webinar to achieve then you can make each decision related to the event with that outcome in mind.
Pick a Topic that Solves a Problem
Once you have decided on your goal, have a brainstorming session for different topics that will help achieve your desired result. If you are stuck on a direction, ask some of your current customers or professional contacts for their ideas. Most people are more than happy to give you their opinion.
Wayne Turmel, president of Greatwebmeetings.com, says that it is important to focus your topics toward ways that you can help solve your client’s problems instead of simply promoting your own products. For example, instead of a webinar on the new release of your software, he recommends picking a topic such as “Three Top Problems You Have with Your Business – And How We Can Help Solve Them.”
Invite the Right People
If 100 people attend your webinar, but very few of them are the target audience, then your webinar will not achieve the goal you set.
“The trick is not to get bodies to attend, it’s to get the right bodies to attend,” says Turmel. “Target your webinar to the people who can move through your sales cycle.” He suggests partnering with associations and guest speakers to extend your professional reach.
Connect with Your Audience during the Webinar
By working to create a connection with your audience during the webinar, you will have a higher success rate of closing business from the leads. In addition to a professional presentation, provide additional content as you talk, such as anecdotes of how a technique worked in real life or a software shortcut that only insiders know about.
Monica Isabel Martinez, Director of Professional Development at the Texas Computer Education Association recommends making the webinar as interactive as possible by using surveys or having the audience create a demo during the webinar.
“Interactivity is the key to retaining the attendee’s attention, and improving content retention therefore provides more value to the attendee,” says Martinez.
After the last participant logs off the webinar, you may feel relieved that the webinar is over, but the real work is actually just beginning. Follow up with each participant to get their feedback on the webinar and talk about any business problems that your product or service can help them solve.
By keeping the goal of generating new leads and business at the forefront of your mind during each phase of the webinar, the time you spend will result in new customers for your company. And you will have a great contact list of people to invite to your next webinar.