10 Ways Webinars Could Be Building Your Small Business

This is a guest post by John Jantsch – Duct Tape Marketing

iStock_000034684846_SmallSmall business owners have a lot on their plate. You know running a business is no easy feat. Because of all the time constraints being put on you, it is easy to relegate marketing to the back burner.

Sure, you write blog posts and create content whenever you get a few free hours or need a break from the business side of things. Bigger marketing tools, such as webinars, though, are for a time in the future when you’ve grown a lot and can better justify taking the time and effort necessary to host a webinar that is valuable to your customers.

If done right, however, webinars can be an integral part of your content marketing strategy for many reasons. They can also be used in multiple ways. The effort you put into a webinar can result in not only great leads, but can also be the foundation of multiple pieces of content. Here are 10 reasons to hold webinars as part of your small business marketing plan.

  1. Networking. One of the best ways webinars can help you is through networking. Unless you do all your webinars yourself, you will likely need some help. Finding someone to host a guest webinar for you is a great way to expand your network, and when you give them a little bit of publicity, they might reciprocate by asking you to help out on one of their webinars.  
  2. Contacts. Webinars is one of the best content marketing tools if you want to gather a list of potential clients. Most webinars have you sign up ahead of time. Once the viewer has registered, you have all of their contact information. So even offering a free webinar can ultimately make you money in future sales.  
  3. Prestige. Even the word webinar sounds fancy. Everybody has a blog and a Twitter handle, but not everybody offers webinars. Seeing them listed on a site or having them pull up in a Google search can add a little prestige to a website that just might make the product you are selling seem a little bit more legitimate and trustworthy.
  4. MultiPurpose. When you create a webinar, you can multi-purpose it as a blog as well. All you have to do is add a line or a paragraph about the webinar and then insert the webinar, or a link to it, in the post. That way, you get two content marketing posts for the price (and time) of one.
  5. Communication. Hosting a webinar is a great way to communicate with your target audience. Webinars are interactive, so not only do you get a list of contacts by hosting a webinar, you get to hear, and answer, real customer questions.
  6. Research. The interactive component of a webinar has another important consequence. The questions that people ask during webinars show just what their concerns are. Answering those questions during the webinar helps foster communication, but examining those questions in more depth at the end of the webinar gives you valuable research into future webinar and social media topics as well as what people are looking for in your service.
  7. Money. While a lot of people host webinars for free, you can charge for them as well. Even if only one out of four of your webinars are for profit, this is one of the only content marketing strategies that can actually make you money by their very existence.
  8. Social Media. Hosting a webinar does not have to be done strictly on top of your other social media campaigns. You can Tweet about the webinar and use your other social media outlets to promote it.
  9. Accreditation. If your webinar is geared towards professionals who need accreditation hours (e.g., lawyers), you can go through the process to set your webinars up with credits, which will make them much more likely to sit down and pay attention to what you are teaching.
  10. Repurposing. Once you have a few webinars under your belt, you can update what you already have with new information instead of starting from scratch.  

Plus, here is a bonus for you. In addition to all of the above, webinars are just a really good way to build up brand recognition.

Creating Webinars

While thinking about creating a webinar can be daunting, it does not have to be. There are many tutorials, and even webinars, that can walk you through the steps. If you just are not good with that type of thing or simply do not have time, you can still take advantage of these great marketing tools. Think about using a marketing service that could help you create them. You’ve got to spend money to make money, after all, and the small cost of marketing can make you a lot of money with the new business it will supply you.

Sign up for a free 14-day trial with AnyMeeting’s Webinar Pro and get started with your first webinar today.

Kwela Leadership and Talent Management “Winning Webinar Strategy”

 

Kwela logo

Kwela Leadership and Talent Management is a Vancouver-based consulting company that specializes in leadership development, team building, organizational development and training for businesses of all sizes.

Who is the target audience for your marketing webinars?

Both current clients and new client prospects.

What goals were are you looking to accomplish with your webinars?

The primary objective of these informational webinars is to deepen Kwela’s relationship with its current clients, in what is a strongly relationship-driven business.  A secondary objective is to engage with new prospect by providing information relevant to the services Kwela provides, without a hard sell.

How do you attract people to your webinars?

Kwela encourages its staff to reach out personally to each of its clients when inviting them to these information sessions.  It also promotes them via its website to attract new client prospects.

What content are you typically presenting in your marketing webinars?

Informational webinars on topics important to its clients and prospects, without any hard selling.  Past sessions include:

– Performance management best practices

– How to build a high performing team

– Selecting and hiring great talent

The sessions are generally about one hour or less with Q&A breaks at key points throughout the presentations.

What are your personal tips for conducting effective marketing webinars?

* “There is no substitute for preparation.”  Kwela distributes a “webinar best practices” guide to each of its presenters and encourages practicing in advance with presenters and an acting attendee.

* Avoid hard selling.  Kwela focuses on providing value to the audience to help build relationships and trust.

* Keep the content simple, without too much content on each slide.

* Don’t leave audience engagement and Q&A to the end of the presentation.  Take moments out within the presentation to solicit and address questions from the audience.

* Understand that your audience can get distracted, so lead with what’s in it for them, as well as with assurances that the presentation will be brief, rich, and sensitive to their time.

What has been the biggest surprise or learning you’d like to share with others?

The biggest surprise has been how challenging it can be to engage with audiences remotely versus in person.  It requires practice to overcome the limits of online versus in-person presentations.

Like their webinar strategy? Vote Now!

PROergonomics “Winning Webinar Strategy”


The mission of PROergonomics is to provide solutions to advance clients’ ergonomic strategies to help reduce injury risk and improve workplace design.

Who is the target audience for your marketing webinars?

Company HR and/or health & safety managers

What goals were are you looking to accomplish with your webinars?

“It’s a great way to drive traffic to our website, generate interest in our business, educate our clients about what we can do to help them, and it’s also a great offer on a cold call if the client isn’t interested in a meeting.  This way, we still get them connected to us so that we can open up that conversation again later.”

How do you attract people to your webinars?

The webinar events complement PROergonomics’ prospecting activities including cold calling and tradeshows.  The company also sends e-newsletters each month, which include articles about the webinar topics, and promotes upcoming and past webinars on its website.

What content are you typically presenting in your marketing webinars/

Informational topics of direct interest to HR and health & safety managers.  Titles of recent events include:

* What Makes a Product “Ergonomic”?

* Developing an Onsite Stretching Program

* Addressing the Millennial Workforce Through Ergonomics”

Content includes PowerPoint presentations as well as chat-based Q&A to engage the audience, which range in size from 30-40 people.

What are your personal tips for conducting effective marketing webinars?

* Keep presentations informational and not too “salesy.”

* Provide enough information to catch the audience’s attention and get them reflecting on the topic, but leave them wanting more, which will help drive follow-up engagement.

* Keep events to an hour or less to be respectful of the time demands of your audience.

* Ask questions of your audience, which can be managed through chat, to further engage them.

What has been the biggest surprise or learning you’d like to share with others?

The importance of making an offer to all participants – ideally one that is closely tied to the topic of your presentation, such as a 30-minute free consultation related to the topic area.  Then follow up with each participant to further drive participation in that offer.
Like their Winning Webinar Strategy? Vote Now!

Winning Webinar Strategies – Vote for your favorite

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After collecting numerous submissions for our Winning Webinar Strategies promotion, we’re excited to announce the finalists!

Thank you to everyone who submitted their webinar strategies. We’re excited to hear so many of you are producing impactful webinar programs that are making a real difference in your business and the community. Keep it up!

Now, to help us select a winner – vote for your favorite! Follow the links to review their winning webinar strategies then come back here and vote!

[yop_poll id=”1″ tr_id=””” show_results=”-1″]

 

Here are the finalists for this season’s Winning Webinar Strategies promotion:

Liz Parker, 121 Temps Winning Webinar Strategy

Check

Top webinar tips from Liz:

  • Less on the screen, just have a heading – too many points on the screen and people read rather than listen.
  • Ask a question for each screen and get feedback in the chat box
  • Start the session with some housekeeping and expectations.
  • Housekeeping, turn off all distractions (including any additional tabs or social media sites, phones and even put the dogs away.
  • Expectations – come as a student with an open mind and ask lots of questions
  • Don’t read your presentation verbatim, just make key points on a page to remind you what you want to cover.  Use lots of case studies or examples to emphasize your key points.
  • Don’t try and cover too much in one session especially if you are recording it as people won’t sit through 1 hour to try and get some nuggets of gold.”

Read the 121 Temps full webinar strategy here (then come back and vote below!)

Nic Tsangarakis, Kwela Leadership and Talent Management Winning Webinar Strategy

Top webinar tips from Nic:

  • “There is no substitute for preparation.”  Kwela distributes a “webinar best practices” guide to each of its presenters and encourages practicing in advance with presenters and an acting attendee.
  • Avoid hard selling.  Kwela focuses on providing value to the audience to help build relationships and trust.
  • Keep the content simple, without too much content on each slide.
  • Don’t leave audience engagement and Q&A to the end of the presentation.  Take moments out within the presentation to solicit and address questions from the audience.
  • Understand that your audience can get distracted, so lead with what’s in it for them, as well as with assurances that the presentation will be brief, rich, and sensitive to their time.

Read the Kwela full webinar strategy here (then come back and vote below!)

Jennifer McGillis, PROergonomics Winning Webinar Strategy

Top webinar tips from Jennifer:

  • Keep presentations informational and not too “salesy.”
  • Provide enough information to catch the audience’s attention and get them reflecting on the topic, but leave them wanting more, which will help drive follow-up engagement.
  • Keep events to an hour or less to be respectful of the time demands of your audience.
  • Ask questions of your audience, which can be managed through chat, to further engage them.

Read the PROergonomics full webinar strategy here (then come back and vote below!)

Review their programs and then tell us below which one you feel others can best learn from!

[yop_poll id=”1″ tr_id=””” show_results=”-1″]

121 Temps “Winning Webinar Strategy”

121 Temps photo121 Temps, an Australian company launched by Liz Parker in 2007, helps women who want to work from home.  They help former teachers, paralegals, project managers, salespeople, personal assistants and others re-enter the workforce by establishing and promoting work-from-home businesses.

Who is the target audience for your marketing webinars?

Women with interest in building work-from-home businesses as well as companies seeking the talents of these work-from-home professionals.

What goals were are you looking to accomplish with your webinars?

121 Temps uses webinars to attract women who are thinking about working as “virtual assistants,” to train virtual assistants and virtual receptionists, and to promote 121 Temps through thought leadership opportunities with related organizations like the Australian Businesswomens’ Network and government sponsored small business festivals.

How do you attract people to your webinars?

121 Temps uses a variety of sources to build their webinar audiences, including:

  • Joint speaking opportunities with related organizations like the Australian Businesswomens’ Network and AAVIP (Australian Association for Virtual Industry Professionals)
  • Email invitations to their contact list developed over their 9-year history
  • Outreach to people and groups via social media, especially Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter
  • Advertising on Facebook


What content are you typically presenting in your marketing webinars?

The informational sessions span a wide range of topics depending on the goal and audience, but here is one example on creating “a one-page easy plan for your business”:

https://www.anymeeting.com/WebConference-beta/RecordingDefault.aspx?c_psrid=EF51DE848347

What are your personal tips for conducting effective marketing webinars?

“5 Lessons I have learned and how I have changed my tactics over the years:

  1. Less on the screen, just have a heading – too many points on the screen and people read rather than listen.
  2. Ask a question for each screen and get feedback in the chat box
  3. Start the session with some housekeeping and expectations
    1. Housekeeping, turn off all distractions (including any additional tabs or social media sites, phones and even put the dogs away.
    2. Expectations – come as a student with an open mind and ask lots of questions
  4. Don’t read your presentation verbatim, just make key points on a page to remind you what you want to cover.  Use lots of case studies or examples to emphasize your key points.
  5. Don’t try and cover too much in one session especially if you are recording it as people won’t sit through 1 hour to try and get some nuggets of gold.”

 

What has been the biggest surprise or learning you’d like to share with others?

Liz has been most surprised by how comfortable she has become presenting to large groups in a webinar environment.  “It was a bit scary at first, and it was hard to tell if the presentations were going well.”  But by changing her style and adding more questions, Liz became very comfortable.  It takes practice, though.  “It took two years” before I was completely comfortable.

Like their webinar strategy? Vote Now!

Webinar: Marketing Without Money

ICYMI: The first of our free 3-part, “Building Your Business Webinar Series” presented by AnyMeeting, Comcast Business and SCORE, “Marketing Without Money” is available as a recorded webinar.

Hear from SCORE mentors Tom Patty and John Pietro to find out how you can use million-dollar marketing ideas on a zero-dollar budget. Learn the strategies of big budget marketing to grow your small business, how to get more customers and increase your response rate without spending a dime.

Tom spent over 21 years in the advertising business and retired as President of Chiat/Day, one of the most creative ad agencies in the country. John has over 40 years’ experience in marketing, advertising and promotions. He helped create the famous “Where’s the Beef” campaign for Wendy’s.

Watch the webinar now.

Get VoIP Provider Spotlight: Q&A with AnyMeeting, The Freedom to Conferencing

Reuben Yonatan of GetVoIP interviewed AnyMeeting COO, David Gerken in this latest Provider Spotlight:

In this Provider Spotlight series, we had the opportunity to get behind the scenes footage and learn more about AnyMeeting.com – a simple, affordable, full-featured conferencing tool.

AnyMeeting enables its users to meet in real time with other users worldwide over the internet. Although AnyMeeting caters to the needs of small businesses, its services provide solutions to medium-sized businesses and larger companies as well.

Although basic in nature, AnyMeeting offers quality service with a clean interface, clear sound, and intuitive controls. A download isn’t even required to use AnyMeeting. Only a presenter wanting to share screen shots has to download the application. All other presenters and attendees can simply join in from their computers. Attendees joining through the use of a smartphone or tablet must download the app as well.

We would like to welcome David Gerken, AnyMeeting’s Chief Operations Officer, as he takes a moment to answer a few questions about the services and sheds some light on what their company has to offer.

Visit GetVoIP.com to read the full transcript.

AnyMeeting Introduces Incredibly Simple Way to Launch and Schedule Free Conference Calls

Just Add talk@anymeeting.com to Recipient List of Any Email or Calendar Invitation; No Account Needed

HUNTINGTON BEACH, CA–(Marketwired – Mar 18, 2015) –  AnyMeeting, a leading provider of web conferencing for small business, today announced the simplest way yet to schedule conference calls. Using this completely free service, anyone — including those without AnyMeeting accounts — can hold conference calls by simply adding talk@anymeeting.com to the recipient list of any email or calendar invitation. When sent, all recipients and the sender immediately receive an email from AnyMeeting with the conference call details included (read more at www.anymeeting.com/talk).

For example, if a consultant wants to schedule a phone conference with her client team, she can simply send a meeting invitation from her calendar tool of choice (e.g. Outlook, Google Calendar, etc.) and include talk@anymeeting.com among her invitees. She and all her invitees then immediately receive a follow-up email from AnyMeeting with all the conference call details. There are no additional downloads or apps to install, and an AnyMeeting account is not required.

This patent-pending method of launching and scheduling phone conferences without an existing account — extensible to online meetings as well — is available only from AnyMeeting, and is provided to everyone in the U.S.

Users can later choose to upgrade to AnyMeeting’s complete online meeting tool to enjoy its full range of online meeting features including screen sharing, video conferencing, slide sharing and more.

“As the conferencing industry matures, we’ve found that one thing customers struggle most with is scheduling and inviting others to their meetings. With talk@anymeeting.com, anyone anywhere — even those without AnyMeeting accounts — can launch and schedule phone conferences from the email and calendar tools they already use, eliminating friction,” said Costin Tuculescu, CEO and founder of AnyMeeting. “It’s another important step forward in our goal of providing the easiest, best conferencing tools for small business.”

About AnyMeeting

AnyMeeting pioneered the small business Web conferencing market in 2011 with a completely free, full-featured and easy-to-use web conferencing service tailored for small business. Since then, it has grown to more than 750,000 small business users of both its free service and low-cost “Pro” options. AnyMeeting offers a complete web conferencing and webinar service built on the company’s proven Software as a Service platform. Meeting hosts are able to invite up to 200 attendees per meeting with no time limits, and enjoy a full range of features including integrated video conferencing, phone conferencing, screen sharing, presentation sharing, recording and social media integration. For more information, please visit www.AnyMeeting.com.

 

Setting up your next conference call just got insanely easier: Introducing Talk@AnyMeeting.com

We’ve all been there: you’re checking your emails, and you’ve finally gotten some key stakeholders to agree on a time to meet and have a call.  What now?  Traditionally, you’d have to go online or through your notes, find your conference call provider, get the number and pin, copy, paste, and send it out to everyone — something requiring lots of switching between apps, services, etc.

Well, I’m very excited to announce that AnyMeeting’s putting an end to all of that.  Starting today, you only need to remember one thing — just CC: talk@anymeeting.com in your email.  Within seconds, we’ll send out YOUR conference call info to everyone on your email.  It could not be simpler.  You don’t even require an existing AnyMeeting account — anyone can use this service.

talk@anymeeting.com

To recap, setting up a conference call set up with a bunch of people now only takes three easy steps:

1) Create an email and add your recipients

2) Add talk@anymeeting.com to your email as well

3) Hit send.  You can even try it now – click here and invite someone!

Within seconds, everyone receives the invite to your conference call.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this feature — please feel free to email us at product@anymeeting.com with your thoughts.  We’ve got a lot more great productivity features like this in the works, so stay tuned!  Happy conferencing!

Building Your Business Webinar Series

am-comcast-score-webinar-imageJoin us for a free 3-part Building Your Business Webinar Series, presented by AnyMeeting, Comcast Business and SCORE, a non-profit association supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration with over 11,000 volunteers dedicated to helping small businesses launch and grow. Check out the sessions below and register today.

We look forward to seeing you there!


Part 1: Marketing Without Money
  • Tuesday, February 24, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Pacific Time
  • Guest Speakers: SCORE mentors Tom Patty and John Pietro
Join SCORE mentors Tom Patty and John Pietro to find out how you can use million-dollar marketing ideas on a zero-dollar budget. Learn the strategies of big budget marketing to grow your small business, how to get more customers and increase your response rate without spending a dime.
Tom spent over 21 years in the advertising business and retired as President of Chiat/Day, one of the most creative ad agencies in the country. John has over 40 years’ experience in marketing, advertising and promotions. He helped create the famous “Where’s the Beef” campaign for Wendy’s.
REGISTER

 

Part 2: How to Develop a Business Plan in 6 Easy Steps

  • Tuesday, March 24, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Pacific Time
  • Guest Speaker: David Albright, Small Business Mentor, SCORE
A business plan is an essential road map for business success, but few small businesses ever complete a plan due to over-complicated approaches that entail too much theory, writing and detail. This webinar will give you pragmatic, straightforward tools for setting goals, developing action plans for achieving them, measuring how you are doing on an ongoing basis and adjusting accordingly.

 

David Albright is an active SCORE mentor with extensive experience in the consumer products industry including being President of Pepperidge Farm, Inc., Godiva Chocolatier Worldwide and Glacial Confections, a start-up venture. He currently consults with venture capital firms on the food and confectionery industries.
REGISTER

 

Part 3: The Many Ways SCORE Can Help You Succeed in Business

  • Tuesday, April 21, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM Pacific Time
  • Guest Speaker: Bridget Weston Pollack, Vice President of Marketing & Communications, SCORE
SCORE is here for the life of your business. With free mentoring, training and resources for entrepreneurs and small business owners,SCORE is committed to helping you succeed – whatever your business goal! With more than 10 million people served by SCORE since its inception in 1964, SCORE works with you to provide you with customized, unbiased assistance – no matter what business stage you are at. Join this webinar to learn about the ways that SCORE can help you today.

 

Bridget Weston Pollack is the Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the SCORE Association. In this role, Bridget is responsible for all branding, marketing, PR, and communication efforts. She focuses on implementing marketing plans and strategies for the organization to facilitate the growth of SCORE’s mentoring and trainings services.
REGISTER