You are about to create your first webinar. You will promote it widely and invite your target audience to attend. You are going to do your best to succeed. But before you start, pause for a second. If you were asked the following questions:
- Who’s your audience?
- What message do you want to convey?
- Why are you doing this?
…would you know what to answer?
Why am I supposed to answer these questions anyway, you probably think. You might also think that a powerful webinar platform, good graphic design and your own presentation skills will do the job. Your audience will be amazed by your performance. If you think so, think again.
The truth is that although these are in fact very important aspects if you want to make a good webinar, your key to success is what you actually do BEFORE you start creating it. And you shouldn’t even start designing a single presentation slide if you don’t know who is going to look at it, what message they will get and what you actually want to achieve by hosting this webinar.
In the first part of our guide to creating a successful webinar you will learn why you should answer the above-mentioned questions before you get down to work.
1. Who is your audience?
If a person comes to a car dealer to buy a comfy minivan to go on holidays with their family, it’s hardly possible they will leave driving a fancy two-seater sports car, right? Much more probable is that if they don’t find the minivan, they will leave with no car at all and go to the competition.
It‘s the same with webinars. Make sure you know as much as you can about the people you are going to invite to the one you are about to prepare:
- Who are they?
- What do they like?
- What do they dislike?
- What needs do they want to fulfil?
- What problems do they need to solve?
- How can they profit from your webinar?
The best way to learn the most about your audience is to ask them. Use social media platforms to ask them questions. Do a survey. Start a face-to-face conversation during industry events or networking sessions. Take every opportunity to get to know your future attendees’ preferences directly from them.
2. What message do you want to convey?
Define the thesis you want to base your message on. Let’s say you are about to host a webinar on public speaking. Your thesis may be that “for many beginner speakers, the fear of public speaking is due to the fact that they don’t know the basic rules of delivering a good speech”.
As soon as your main thesis has been defined, build your message around it. If you run the public speaking webinar, discuss each rule in detail and explain in what way speakers benefit from knowing it. List arguments to support your thesis. Find examples that will illustrate it. Refer to real-life stories. Keep your thesis in mind throughout the webinar and don’t let yourself depart from your main topic.
3. Why are you doing this?
Let’s be honest. You are not hosting a webinar to simply please your audience. Certainly, you want to share your knowledge and experience to let them benefit from it.
The truth is, however, that you devote your time and other resources to prepare and run it. From the business perspective it is obvious there is an aim you want to fulfil. Or, if there isn’t any, make sure you define it before you start creating your online event.
What goal can you accomplish? You may for instance want to:
- Add new contacts to your mailing list
- Reach out to new blog followers
- Encourage prospects to join your free trial period
- Sell your service or product
Having the aim clearly defined, you will be able to better prepare your message and reach out to the proper target audience.
Before you get down to creating your first webinar spend a while defining who your audience is, what you are going to tell them and what goal you want to pursue. As soon as you have those issues sorted out, you can proceed to plan your webinar. Next week we’re going to publish the second part of our guide where we explain how to plan a successful online event.