How Use Webinars to Connect With Your Customers

Small business owners need to maintain an ongoing dialogue with their customers. With social media taking the world by storm, some owners have forgotten about the webinar. This is unfortunate. Webinars are one of the lowest cost content marketing tools to build authority, connect with audiences and receive real-time feedback. I’m a big fan of them.

However, there is much more to a webinar than buying a camera, dressing up dapper and setting up a live feed. You can easily end up being over solicitous or a victim of crackling audio, sleep-inducing slides, overzealous humor and other glitches that turn your entire session into a catastrophe.

The following pointers will assist you in avoiding common problems while attracting and retaining maximum attention in your next webinar:

1. Engaging visuals

If you do use slides in the webinar, make sure that the text is accompanied by visuals that portray the topic or subject at hand. This is something Apple presenters do very well on their keynote events; watch one to get an idea.

The visuals can include the agenda of the day’s session and the subjects due for coverage. For a dynamic experience, display the tools in real-time (you can perhaps share the desktop/mobile/tablet screen for a more interactive experience). Personally, I like the slides to have more photographic content rather than being copy driven.

2. Place your best foot forward

Make sure you give great content on your webinars. You want attendees to feel that they have received great input and ‘how to’s’ regardless of whether they want to continue working with you beyond the webinar. Utilize the webinar to build long term relationships because trust is built over time. Once they can see that you are an expert in your specific niche’, they will begin to develop a level of trust. And over time, they will begin to turn to you for advice. Just like a romantic relationship, jumping into the “I Love You” phase and wanting too much too soon, can end a relationship as quickly as it started. (Been there done that!)

3. Leave time for the audience

Like it or not; it’s not about you, it’s about them. Readers are going to attend your webinar if they can get something out of it, so you need to let them contribute rather than taking up the entire time of the session.

At the very least, leave 15-20 minutes for the question and answer session; keep an eye on the clock because they may not have extra time to contribute. Also, there’s no harm in trying a whole Q and A webinar.

4. Implement security

Freedom is generally accompanied by risks and webinars are no different. The face to face session with your readers puts sensitive information at risk of data breaches and hacks. Unencrypted data from the web conferencing host can also grant access to unauthorized personal info in between the session.

Use a secure web conferencing or remote support software that emphasizes security and keeps the data encrypted during the entire session.

5. Mistakes happen, move on or place an offer

Mistakes can happen on your or the audience’s part; the shared screen options don’t work, slides disappear or your co-presenter gets a hiccup. Take a few seconds to solve the issue, but upon failing, move on quickly with an apology. On my last webinar, we were scrambling because we realized the wrong slides were uploaded at the last minute. All worked out fine but just know, ‘stuff happens’, and the expert that you are just needs to roll with it. Also, don’t forget to hit record. I have my team put sticky notes on their monitor so no one forgets!

Or if it really becomes a sudden disaster, offer a promotional item through an email later and thank them for attending.

Have you ever faced issues during webinars? If yes, how did you overcome them? Feel free to leave comments.