In this new economy, making sales is all about education and demonstrating value to your prospects.

5 ways to use webinars to grow your business

By showing potential clients and customers that you are the person who deserves their hard earned money, you need to demonstrate a knowledge and competency of the product or service in which you offer.

This is true for almost any type of business, whether it’s a retirement planning consultant holding workshops at a local church or a pet retailer giving aquarium set up demonstrations in their store.  The point, is that you need to offer quality information and content for free or low-cost that’s so useful and valuable people will be pre-sold to purchasing your larger products and services.

Online webinars are a great way to reach a lot of people  from outside your geographical area since they don’t have to travel.  

There are many different formats that can be used to plan a webinar.

Here are a few examples:

A training session

This webinar format is ideally suited for transferring skills and knowledge. Average running time is about one hour. You can offer downloadable handouts and exercises for your attendees complete during the training. Be sure to allow time for them to ask you questions.

A training course

This is the same as above except that you will present it as a multi-stage training course with a series of short webinars rather than a one long one. Average running time is about 20 to 30 minutes. You can also provide homework for your attendees to complete between each session.

A keynote presentation

With this format you will be doing most of the talking, and have brief Q&A session towards the end of the presentation giving your attendees a chance to interact with you. Average running time is about 45-60 minutes.

Interview an expert

This webinar format allows you to bring in other experts for your audience. Treat the webinar just like any other training webinar where you interview the guest expert while your attendees listen in on your conversation.

Coaching and mentoring

The above formats focus on webinars as being for group presentations.  But there’s no reason you can’t use them for one-on-one presentations. For instance; coaching, mentoring or consulting. With this type of webinar you’ll be asking questions and giving the client time to answer them.  And from a training perspective they’re great.  We often use online screen sharing to train our clients how to use the WordPress website we build for them.

Conclusion

Some may say the webinars are less effective than meeting in person, but in some instances the interactive discussion of a webinar group can be a much more effective method of communication. The discussion boards provided in most webinar platforms allow an open exchange of knowledge and information wherein the host and attendees can freely participate. The discussions can be maintained online and anyone can review it anytime; this allows the information to propagate in many ways that a physical meeting cannot.

Webinars are fast becoming the first choice in web conferencing. Because of their ease and affordability, businesses can hold an interactive presentation faster and more effectively than ever before.  They can take full advantage of Internet communication to build brand awareness, attract customers, sell products and more.

Special Offer

Although we’re big fans of GotoMeeting and GoToWebinar, we recently started using a very robost webinar platform called, appropriately enough, MeetCheap.  Aside from the fact that it’s only $20 a YEAR, the features are incredibly robust.  It records for later playback, allows hundreds of attendees and even has a Facebook app that allows you to have live webinars directly on Facebook!  How cool is that?  A great place to start if you’re thinking of giving webinars a try.  Check it out here.