WEBINAR: How to Use Webinars to Generate More Sales

Tom Treanor

Join us Wednesday, March 21st at 11 am PT for the next free webinar of our “Small Business Toolkit” webinar series, and learn how to use webinars to generate more sales for your business.

Webinars are a very important and powerful way to connect with your target market. They are also a way for your company to stand out from the competition and to build bonds with potential customers. Join Tom Treanor of Right Mix Marketing as he presents ways that webinars can generate more sales for your business.

All registrants will also receive a copy of Tom Treanor’s report, “12 Damaging Webinar Mistakes (you need to avoid).”

Only 200 spots are available – so sign up today. Make sure you log in to the webinar early – attendance is on a first-come, first –served basis.

AnyMeeting Gets a User Interface-Lift

AnyMeeting User Interface
AnyMeeting User Interface

AnyMeeting has improved its user interface to enhance your in-meeting experience.  Start or enter a meeting, and a notice will appear with details on that particular meeting, along with a handy help menu containing information relevant to your status as a meeting host or attendee.  You will also notice that the meeting control bar has moved to the top of the screen where it can be easily seen and accessed.  Everything you need to manage your in-meeting experience as a host or attendee is right in front of you.

Simply hover over an icon on the tool bar and a short description of that tool will appear below.  Click on the icon to start or stop that feature.  Hosting or attending, managing your meeting has never been easier.

How to Sell with Webinars


Money
Selling with Webinars

By Angela Stringfellow

Any way you spin it, webinars are a valuable sales tool. Simply offering a webinar can boost sales and enhance brand recognition, and there are tons of ways you can use them to convert casual interest into actual paying clients. Here are seven specific tactics for turning webinars into sales engines:

  1. Offer a free introductory webinar to a longer, paid series. Delivering a complex training module can’t be done in just one webinar, and besides, if you gave away all your trade secrets for free your business would never turn a profit. Hosting a free introduction to a paid series is a useful way to accumulate more paid subscribers, by providing just enough information to entice attendees to want more. 
  2. Give a product discount as a bonus. Host a webinar, showcase your expertise and at the end, lead into subtle sales pitch for a product and offer an exclusive discount to attendees. Nothing is a greater sales incentive than a one-time opportunity to get a great deal on a valuable product. 
  3. Follow up, follow up, follow up! Once you’ve delivered an outstanding presentation, keep the interest of your attendees through regular contact. Ask for feedback the following day, follow up with a sales pitch for one of your products or paid workshops, and continue to provide value by inviting the same group to future free programs and regular industry tips. If, after you deliver your presentation, your attendees never hear from you again, you can bet they’ll soon forget all about you. 
  4. Identify a problem and a solution. Throughout your presentation, you should be hitting on hot buttons that identify common problems or frustrations. Grab their attention by making them feel like you’re talking directly to them, describing what they thought were unique challenges. Once they’re on the hook, offer up a solution: your products or services!
  5. Build value. This is an area in which many webinar facilitators fail. You must toot your own horn… subtly. Demonstrate your excitement about sharing a tool with them that will solve their biggest problems, and make its value clear. Talk about the standard retail price of the product or service you’re pitching, how much time or money they will save (or how much more money they will make), and illustrate their cost savings for taking advantage of your one-time-only offer. 
  6. Create urgency. Of course, if you’re offering a limited-time discount, customers have an incentive to make an immediate purchase decision. Add to that momentum by talking results and conveying how much they’ll benefit by acting sooner rather than later. 
  7. Offer a free consultation. If you’re selling services, customers love free initial consultations. But place a limit on it, such as within 60 days of the webinar. This provides you with an additional, one-on-one opportunity to close the deal!
Facilitators can employ one or several of these techniques each time a webinar is offered to help drive sales. Your wealth of knowledge on the subject matter should speak for itself, but using additional sales strategies can help turn potential customers into paying customers sooner and convert undecideds into decision-makers. 

Business on the Go: A Guide for Managing Your Business on the Road

By James, Skyscanner.net

THIS IS A SPECIAL GUEST POST BY ONE OF OUR ANYMEETING USERS. WANT TO WRITE FOR THE ANYMEETING BLOG? GET THE DETAILS.

Business never sleeps, no matter how many red eye flights you catch. Stay one step ahead even when you’re hopping from country to country by choosing the best apps and software to help you manage your business on the go.

Find your nearest WiFi spot:

The number one essential for any business traveller, keep yourself connected with the help of apps that will pinpoint the nearest WiFi locations for you.

JiWire is an excellent locator for iPhones and WiFoiFoFum is a suitable scanner for Windows phones, and if you prefer to find somewhere to sit and enjoy a connection and a coffee, the Free WiFi Cafe Spots app for most smartphones is ideal.

Stay powered up:

There’s nothing worse than flat-lining your phone or netbook battery right when you’re in the middle of complicated negotiations, and when you’re running from meeting to meeting it can sometimes seem impossible to find a powerpoint.

Luckily on-the-go recharger packs have hit the highstreet, meaning it’s easy to stash a spare one in your bag. Try the iGo Anywhere line, or the new pocket charger range from Duracell.

Keep on schedule:

Got an evening call with an investor, flights to New York to catch in the morning and three emails to reply to before end of play? Make sure you don’t miss a trick by getting used to keeping your appointments and lists online.

For a to-do list that’s always in-sync and up to date, download Toodelo, which will make sure all of your tasks are collated and up to date. Find the best free online calendar for all your appointments – there are plenty to choose from – and know you’re always on schedule.

Speak the language:

If you have to travel for business a lot you’ll know how awkward it can be to negotiate necessities when you don’t speak a word of the language. While many countries speak English, you’re sure to find yourself in a situation where knowing a few basics proves beneficial.

Download an app like World Nomads or Linguo to help you make sure you at least know the basics, whether you are trying to order a coffee to keep you going or find directions to your next meeting.

Hold your meetings anywhere:

Need to be in two places at once? Make use of free tools like AnyMeeting and hold your business meetings remotely, no matter where you are.

Host webinars and collaborative meetings for up to 200 hundred people on the go, share your screen, choose video conferencing and record your meeting for future reference all online – meaning that as long as you have your laptop and a reliable web connection, you could be working from anywhere.

8 More Tips for Effective and Engaging Webinars

Webinar

By Julie Bawden-Davis

It’s no easy feat to hold an effective webinar that keeps participants engaged and not distracted by what’s on their desks or watching the clock to see how long until it’s over. The key to a must-see and stay event is adapting your presentation to the webinar environment. These 8 tips will help you hook and keep an audience.

1. Introduce Yourself

Depending on how you set up the webinar, attendees may not see you right away or at all during the presentation. Start with a welcome slide that includes your head-shot and that of anyone assisting you. Label the photos with names and titles. Those listening will be more engaged if they can put a face to the voice.

2. Choose a Narrow Topic

It’s hard for webinar participants to get excited with an unfocused, broad topic, no matter how thoroughly you cover the subject. Attendees are much more likely to be pulled into your webinar and stay with you when the topic pinpoints a particular concern or walks them through how to accomplish a certain task.

3. Deliver Exceptional Content

Webinar organizers sometimes get so caught up in the logistics and mechanics of the webinar that they forget the importance of content. Superior graphics alone won’t keep participants engaged. Craft a presentation that persuades, inspires, educates or informs your attendees. The best way to do this is to consider that each of your viewers will ask himself or herself—what’s in it for me if I stick with this webinar? You want your attendees to obtain useful takeaways and feel satisfied that they stayed until the end.

4. Use Memorable Visuals

To keep participants engaged, introduce visually appealing graphics and photos that get your message across, including short videos. Use text-based,
bulleted materials sparingly. A static list on the page while you drone on will cause participants to lose interest.

5. Pay Attention to Pacing

Many online meetings make the mistake of either screeching through information so quickly that attendees have difficulty comprehending, or they repeat the same information so many times at tortoise speed that everyone but the speaker is asleep or gone by the end. Strike a balance and keep things exciting by providing just enough time in between points for attendees to take notes.

6. Involve Participants

Asking participants for their involvement during the webinar keeps their interest piqued. Starting at the beginning and throughout the online presentation, encourage interaction with attendees through on-line polls, quizzes and by opening up the floor for questions. Offer incentives for participation, such as raffle prizes.

7. Stand Up and Walk Around

If the audience sees you presenting during the webinar, rather than giving a static impression by staying seated, introduce a dynamic element by getting up and walking around like you would in a face-to-face presentation.

8. Rehearse

Practice might not make your webinar perfect, but it will make it engaging.

How do you keep your audiences interested and engaged throughout your webinars? Let us know in the comments.

10 Tips for Effective and Engaging Webinars

webinar

By Mark Di Vincenzo

Webinars, web-based seminars, have become a common way to present information. When you’re ready to host one to build your business, here are 10 tips to make sure it gives you the great results you’re expecting.

1. Define the purpose

Before you start marketing your online presentation, make sure you know why you’re doing it, what you’re trying to accomplish, and what you hope attendees will get out of it.

2. Determine who your audience will be and tailor the presentation to them

A lot of people multi-task during webinars, so do everything in your power to present information that grabs their attention and doesn’t let go. Schedule lively speakers, and make sure you have fascinating information to share.

3. Design an excellent presentation

In addition to creating a wonderful talk, spend as much as 20 hours building a simple and interesting slide deck to accompany it. Make sure they work well together.

4. Do a trial run

Well before the day of the online meeting, test the connection, computer, webcam, and headset. Every webinar platform is a little different, and this is the only way to know for sure that everything will work. While you’re at it, make sure the moderator knows his duties and can handle technical issues and problems.

5. Show up early

Give yourself plenty of time — get to the office, or wherever you’re running the webinar, at least an hour ahead of time — so you can identify problems and find someone who can take care of them.

6. Give clear instructions to the attendees

Let them know about the features like video conferencing you plan to use and how they can participate. Urge attendees who plan to ask questions to use a headset to avoid echos. (Ask the moderator to apologize, but to block audio access to anyone causing an echo.)

7. Engage participants every few minutes

With an in-person seminar, the presenter does something every 10 minutes or so to re-engage with the audience. With a webinar, since there’s no direct contact, presenters have to do it more often, to avoid losing the audience.

8. Make sure to ask specific questions

Don’t say, “Does anyone have a question?” Instead, if the webinar is about the best time to do things in the workplace, ask, “Who knows why 10 a.m. is the best time to give a presentation?” Involve your audience.

9. Conduct polls

And share the results as soon as they’re in. Polls are a great way to involve everyone in the online meeting, and they can be used to transition into or out of a topic.

10. Give something to stay front of mind

Webinar attendees want something in return for their attention and participation. So after the webinar ends, email a thank-you note to attendees, and include some tips related to the topic. Information, in the form of succinct tips, is something they can refer to and share. If there were any hyperlinks from the presentation, include them as well.

Just because the webinar ended, doesn’t mean the conversation has to as well. Send attendees a survey a day or two later. And then a week later, follow up with an email asking how they used — or plan to use — the information they received during the webinar.

A Little Known Secret to Webinar Success

secret
Want to know a secret?

By Eric Brown, BodyWorkBiz.com

THIS IS A SPECIAL GUEST POST BY ONE OF OUR ANYMEETING USERS. WANT TO WRITE FOR THE ANYMEETING BLOG? GET THE DETAILS.

I know that you’re reading this on the AnyMeeting blog, so I don’t have to tell you about all the great reasons to host webinars.

Whether it’s to generate leads and build your list, promote your products or services, or sell your expertise, webinars are an effective way to connect in a personal and powerful way with a targeted audience. But sometimes the process of getting sufficient numbers of people to your broadcast can be a daunting one:

  • You may not have a large network of contacts
  • You may not have the resources to reach the people you want to connect with
  • You may be an expert in your field, but you may not be great at marketing or selling

The bottom line: You need help getting audience members in your virtual seats.

Whatever your situation may be, the easiest way to overcome those obstacles and to get the viewers you need is by partnering with an individual or organization who already has a relationship with your target audience.

You can leverage your partner’s resources in a variety of ways to ensure your success. They’ve invested a great deal of time and money to develop and build a relationship a large network of customers, members, employees or volunteers. By partnering you can leverage those existing relationships and borrow the trust and reputation your partner has with their network. You don’t have to start from scratch.

Just because you’re leveraging their resources doesn’t mean that you’re using or taking advantage of your partner. The secret to a successful partnership, also called a joint venture, is ensuring that everyone involved comes away a winner: You, your partner and their network. There has to be value for all three parties.

Let me give you an example of how this works. A number of years ago I was working at developing leads for a web-based project. To grow our list fast, I looked at partnering with a large industry association. This association had an annual conference and I knew that the number of attendees had been dropping, so I offered to help them by hosting broadcasts of some of their top speakers. These broadcasts would be offered for free to their entire membership and they would give the association members a chance to get a taste for the topics covered. It also allowed some of their top presenters to showcase their knowledge with the goal of whetting the members’ appetite for more at the live event.

I offered to take care of all the logistics with the presenters and take care of the entire production of the webinars. All the association had to do was send several emails to their members. The emails promoted this free webinar series. Members could hear and even interact with some of the top industry experts at no cost. If someone wanted to attend all they needed to do is fill out a form with their name and email address and they were immediately sent the webinar details through an autoresponder.

The results: After just four one-hour webinars I had built an email list of over 3,000 people, all of who were prime prospects for my other offerings.

I did not have to send the promotional emails. I did not have to prepare the presentations or develop educational materials. The time I invested was minimal. All it cost was a couple hundred dollars to set up a small website and a small monthly fee for an autoresponder.

Everybody walked away happy. The association got some great promotion for their convention, the presenters got wider exposure, the association members got to hear experts they would not normally have an opportunity to hear and I grew my prospect list in a really big way.

So next time you decide to offer a webinar, think about utilizing partnerships to help ensure your success. Think about the individuals or groups that already have relationships with the people you want to reach and come up with ways to partner where everyone can walk away a winner.

What organizations could you partner with for your webinar? Share your ideas in the comments.

What My First Social Media Webinar Taught Me

Computer Girl
Your first webinar can be scary, but you'll get the hang of it

By Anita Hovey, Twirp Communications

THIS IS A SPECIAL GUEST POST BY ONE OF OUR ANYMEETING USERS. WANT TO WRITE FOR THE ANYMEETING BLOG? GET THE DETAILS.


My first webinar on anymeeting.com was interesting for so many reasons, not the least of which was the fact that I was having a conversation with people I had known in cyber space for years. I offered a free webinar about Facebook features and tactics to my e-friends from the papercrafting community as a means for me to test out the anymeeting.com platform. I was scared to schedule a “real” webinar until I had done a test run and the papercrafting community has given me so much, this seemed like perfect way for me to give back a little something. Here are some observations from my first webinar.

Talking to Yourself
It’s really hard to concentrate on what you’re saying when you’re staring yourself in the face…and that face is time-lapsed just a tiny bit. Once you get moving and get on to the slidehow or screen-sharing portion of the webinar it’s much easier. At first I put the screen share up, but I quickly realized that sometimes the screen share just isn’t that interesting. You have to remember to come back to your face when there’s really nothing happening on the screen. I tried to switch back to my “talking head” during long explanations so at least the audience would have something dynamic to look at. After a little while the switching back and forth became intuitive and I learned to look at other parts of the screen when my face was on-screen.

Talking to an Invisible Audience
It’s really hard to talk to yourself for two whole hours when there are no faces looking back at you. Because this was a free webinar I opted for chat only and I didn’t enable any voice inputs. I missed the instant interaction I was used to with in-person workshops because:

  1. You can’t tell if they’re awake.
  2. You can’t tell if they’re listening.
  3. You can’t even tell if they’re still in the room!

To overcome this, when I asked a question I would simply wait for the answers to pop up in chat–it didn’t take very long–and then I would continue. At this point I would always make sure the screen was showing me reading or waiting, so the audience knew I was still there and not “timed out” or something like that.

Ummm, Errr, Ahhhh
I still say “um” a LOT. I don’t know if the participants noticed it, but I sure did. Years ago when I was on the public speaking team in high school my English teacher worked really hard to get me to the point where I didn’t do that. Now it’s back and I’m disgusted by it. I always notice it in other people, so it really bugs me when I catch myself doing it. Better preparation will prevent that next time.

Doing the Necessary
Sometimes you just have to do something…it can’t wait! I was scared to death to touch my nose when it got itchy because I didn’t want anyone thinking I was doing anything gross. You can always pull up a screen shot at that point, I guess, but I didn’t think of that in time.

Overall, my first webinar went very well. The participants learned a lot and so did I. Another win-win.

Have you given a webinar? What was your experience like? Share your thoughts in the comments.

5 Ways to Prevent Boring Webinars

Boring
Follow these tips to make sure your webinar is not a snoozer

By Angela Stringfellow

Few words in a busy professional’s world can cause such deep sighs and rolled eyes as “webinar”. The virtual meeting held via the Internet is often perceived as a schedule buster, a mundane exercise in futility, a manager’s way of keeping tabs, a corporate executive’s way of hearing his or her own voice.  It’s only mildly comforting that 200 of the company’s best are feeling the same way; each receiving the same mandatory “join” invite.

In that moment when you realize you’re not alone, you also quickly realize that a webinar of such magnitude is going to lead to either a very boring, moderator-driven call or complete chaos with participants speaking over one another, asking the same questions over and over, or providing too much information and extending the length of the call indefinitely.  Is it really necessary, and more important, is it really effective to have this kind of meeting?

Webinars are a crucial tool in the business world. They provide mass audiences with crucial and timely information in situations where emails cannot convey the importance, the urgency or sometimes even the emotion that is needed.

For many, putting together a successful, interactive online meeting is a daunting task. Here are five tips to help make your next online collaboration a success.

1. Moderator Interaction: Nothing is worse than listening to a moderator speak for two hours straight.  It is essential for a successful remote meeting to have some sort of interaction among the participants. Whether it be through instant message or verbally, ask participants questions. With larger groups it’s often difficult to see if everyone has interacted, so it’s up to the moderator to call on participants to answer questions. By keeping the participants on their toes, they’re more likely to retain the information being presented.

2. Best Practices/Questions: Allow the group to share best practices or ask questions of other group members. Often, the moderator has the expertise on the topic, but the participants are in the trenches.  For example, in a sales environment, management may know the figures, the analytics and strategies, but the sales professionals know the market and the ins and out of the field.  They are able to share best practices with one another or ask questions of their colleagues.

3. Preparation: When working with a large online group, providing the attendees with necessary documents prior to the meeting is essential, unless breaking or bad news — like corporate down-sizing or mergers — is being shared.  If it’s simply a sales plan or projections, send the slide presentation or accompanying files ahead of time.  This will help attendees come prepared, with questions already formulated, which will help with interaction.

4. Keep an Open Mind: People are going to be multitasking as the meeting is taking place.  There will be moments when information is missed.  If the moderator calls on someone who missed the question because he was attending to another matter, give that person a do-over, a mulligan.  Allow for one mulligan, one trip to Bermuda or one siesta with no questions asked.  Then, perhaps, pose the next question to that same person.

5. Follow Up: Assign someone to coordinate the questions and answers that are raised during the meeting and to get them to the participants as soon as possible.  There is nothing more frustrating that being told that the answers to the questions presented will be emailed shortly, then nothing comes.  Following through with requests and sometimes demands, will build trust among the participants and they will be more willing to participate again.

In addition, provide opportunity for feedback. Let the team members have the opportunity to share their thoughts and views on the meeting.

With the advances in today’s technologies and more and more opportunities available for remote meetings, the days of traveling to meeting centers is quickly coming to an end.  Creating a forum for meetings is essential. Creating one that fosters teamwork and interaction is paramount.

What do you do to keep your audience engaged during webinars? Let us know in the comments.

9 Tips for Better Webinars

Exciting-Webinar
Want this guy to cheer? Follow these tips for your next webinar.

By Julie Bawden-Davis

While webinars allow for some leeway in terms of formality, they’re not an invitation to ignore pleasantries. Holding a successful webinar that participants take seriously requires employing standard etiquette. For an event that leaves a positive impression, follow this step-by-step guide to good webinar practices.

1. Plan Ahead
Reserve the webinar time and date and send out invitations at least two weeks in advance. Two days before the webinar, email a reminder with the specifics: date, time, URL, pass code and audio dial-in number. Note if the participants must download specific software or use a certain browser. Include a contact phone number in case of technical difficulties.

Prevent last-minute chaos by familiarizing yourself with the webinar system well before the event. Plan to log on early the day of the webinar to make sure everything is working well.

2. Polish, Polish, Polish
In this media age, most people expect to be entertained. While it’s not necessary to have an acting background to hold a webinar, it is important to practice your presentation until it’s near perfect. Hold a mini-webinar with friends and family, and ask for feedback.

3. Start and End on Time
Even if some people are late, start on time as a courtesy to those who arrived on time. In the same respect, if your webinar is scheduled to end at 10, don’t finish at 10:15. If there is a valid reason to go slightly overtime, apologize and excuse those who need to leave before you finish.

4. Clear Up Confusion
At the start of the meeting, make sure that all participants can see the screen or slide and that the audio is working properly. Quickly review how to use features such as chat. Lay the ground rules for asking questions and completing any polls.

5. Provide a Detailed Agenda
Few have the time or patience to board a ship aimlessly headed into uncharted territory. At the beginning of the webinar, display the agenda clearly outlining the topics to be covered. Also share when you’ll hold Q&A sessions and if a recorded edition of the webinar will be available at a later date. Introduce any incentives or value-adds at this time, like raffle prizes and supporting documents.

6. Determine Who’s on First
Having multiple presenters on a webinar is fine, often preferable, but make it clear to the audience from the outset who the moderator is. Introductions should include each presenter’s name, company, affiliations and relevant background. Also display each person’s photo and bio.

7. Use Common Courtesy
The age-old rule of “do unto others … ” applies. Avoid wasting everyone’s time and making yourself look incompetent by not drawing excessive attention to technical issues that arise or commenting on personal, irrelevant topics. Make sure all background noise is muted and avoid making unnecessary noises yourself. Never eat during a webinar. If you will share your desktop, clear it of personal data prior to the event.

8. Provide Added Value Rather than Overselling
If you’re selling something during the webinar, while it’s important to share how to buy the product, it’s equally vital to focus on content so the participants find the webinar worthwhile. Announcing your availability after the webinar to answer any questions can go a long way toward reaching your sales goals.

9. Follow Up
Send an email thanking participants for attending the webinar. Attach any promised information and ask for feedback. Short surveys work well for this purpose.