The prospect of hosting your first webinar can be a daunting experience. If you are an internet marketer or you run your own business, then it will probably be the first time that you will connect with your customers in a virtual environment. For many, this is a big step outside of their comfort zone.


So, what do you need to know to create your first, successful webinar? Here is the ultimate to guide for newbies to successfully create their first webinar. First of all, what are the challenges in hosting a webinar?

 

The Challenges of Hosting a Webinar

You already realize that webinars are a powerful marketing tool and they can be one of the best ways to build your brand, establish your authority, and become even more successful. However, they are not without their challenges. For example, you need to decide on the following things:

  • The best platform to host your webinar
  • How to promote your webinar to reach the widest audience
  • How to speak in a way to engage your audience
  • What happens if something goes wrong

The good news is that you can plan for all eventualities and with the proper planning and strategies in place, you can host your first successful webinar.

 

Here at the top 3 basic steps you should take if you plan on hosting a webinar.

 

1. Preparation

This sounds like an obvious step, but you should start preparing for your webinar at least 8 weeks before the event. This is where you will plan out what you want to achieve with your webinar. View the preparation step as the foundation of your first successful webinar. You will need to decide on the following:

  • An engaging topic. The best kinds of topics are solutions to your audience’s problems. If you can think about what are the problems that your audience is most concerned with and then address those, you will go a long way in making sure the webinar is successful.
  • Date. Your audience and where they live can have an impact on the date and time of your webinar. If they live in different countries then you will have to consider factors like time zones and local holidays. In the US, the best time to host webinars is in the afternoon Eastern Time which is morning Pacific Time.
  • Webinar platform. For your first webinar, you will need to choose the proper platform. Many webinar platforms offer a 30 free trial. You can try free platforms like Skype and Google Hangouts, but they lack many of the technical aspects that are needed to create a successful webinar.

 

Now that you have got your basics planned and organized, you can start preparing and gathering your material. Around 4 weeks before your planned webinar, you have some more preparation to do.

  • Create a landing page. In order to make sure you generate the most leads possible for your webinar, it is essential that you have a good registration landing page. This is where attendees will register with their email address. Most webinar platforms have an integrated landing page that you can use.
  • Set up your platform. Depending on which webinar platform you use, you will have to set up the technical side for your event. You should familiarize yourself with all the technical parts of the webinar software you plan to use. You can also set up autoresponder emails.
  • Practice. There is no better preparation for your first successful webinar than proper planning for the event. Usually, each webinar platform will have a demo mode where you can rehearse how to present your material. This helps you familiarize yourself with the webinar platform to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

 

2. Promotion

The second main step in creating your first successful webinar is to promote it well. Obviously, if you are investing a lot of time and resources in your webinar, you want to reach the widest possible audience. There are many ways that you can do this:

  • Social media. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are great tools to promote your webinar to your existing contacts. You can also run an ad campaign to help you reach an even wider audience.
  • Email list. If you already have an email list, then you should definitely run an email campaign to advertise your webinar. Also, remember to send out reminder emails to those who have already registered.
  • On your website. On your website make sure and have a clear call to action for website visitors to register for the webinar. You can also write a blog article on the topics that you plan to cover.
  • Affiliates
  • Blogging

 

3. Content

If you are a newbie and you plan on creating your first webinar, then you need to follow the best practices for creating content. There are certain dos and don’ts to follow when it comes to content.
If this is your first webinar, you should break it up into 3 sections:

  1. 5-minute introduction.
  2. 25 minutes for the main presentation. This is best broken into 5-minute sections.
  3. 10 minutes for Q & A.

 

A word of warning about slides: don’t try to have too much information in them. Make them colorful and just outline the main points that you want your audience to remember.

Although planning and hosting your first webinar is a challenge, it is definitely possible for you to host a successful webinar. If you follow these 3 basic main steps, you will successfully present your first webinar of many.

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Posted by Agnes Jozwiak

Agnes is the Brand & Communication Director at ClickMeeting.

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