A successful webinar should achieve two things. One, it should build your brand and establish you as the go-to-expert. And two, it should be of value to your clients and prospects, inspiring them to take action. If you create webinars that your audience actually wants and needs, they can become a significant (and inexpensive) revenue driver for your accounting firm. You just need to know how to make the most of them. To help you up your webinar marketing, here is how to run an effective webinar.
This article is based upon a virtual (paid) workshop we did on how to run a lead generation webinar. Here is a snippet of the webinar below.
4 steps for running an effective webinar
For every single webinar you run, you need to have 4 steps in place to ensure that it is as successful as it can be. First, how are you going to get people to register? It’s tempting to just leave it there when you have the registrants, but that’s not enough either. You also need to think about how you get people to actually turn up on the day, how you can encourage them to stay to the end, and lastly, how you are going to persuade them to buy or take the action that you want them to.
Step 1: What am I going to do to get people to register?
The first step when thinking about how to run an effective webinar is getting people to sign up to it. If you don't do this, then you'll have little to no one to present to which means a big waste of time for you.
To get more webinar attendees, you need to have a process in place that you can follow and repeat every time you run a lead generation webinar. A process that entices your audience and maximises the likelihood of them putting their name down for it.
To get people to register for your webinar, you need to do 6 things:
- Come up with a catchy title that promises value for the attendee - if it sounds boring, people won't register. If you can include a specific pain point for your prospects in your title, you're more than halfway there. Download the exact same system we use to put together our webinar titles here in our free cheat sheet.
- Create objectives which promise value and piques interest - make sure your topic is interest, relevant, and useful for your ideal audience. Tell them what they’ll gain from attending with your objectives. Download the exact same system we use to put together our webinar objectives here in our free cheat sheet.
- Choose a time and day that is best for your ideal audience - find out when your attendees have the time/prefer to attend. On average, the most popular days for webinar attendance are Wednesday and Thursday (they pull in a combined 55% of all webinar attendees).
- Use an email marketing tool for registrations - typically, over half of webinar registrations come from people who heard about your event through email, so make it easy for people to sign up! Use tools such as ActiveCampaign or CampaignMonitor or find what works best for you.
- Market your webinar on social media - you need to be spreading the message of your webinar anywhere your target audience is. Whether it's LinkedIn, Facebook and/or Twitter, you need to get in front of the people who you want to attend.
- Run webinars little and often - you must get the balance right if you're increasing your webinar marketing. This means, running them often enough that it builds your brand and trust with your audience but not too much that it is annoying and reduces the 'perceived value' of your content.
Need more help with increasing your registrations? Read our blog which goes into this in more detail: how to get people to register for your webinar.
You can also download our step-by-step fail safe system to putting together a webinar title and synopsis which will have your ideal audience registering in their droves.
Step 2: How am I going to get people to turn up?
Once you've got the people who you want to attend to register for your webinar, the next step in the process is to get them to actually turn up.
This step is often left out of the webinar process but it is actually one of the most crucial. A surprising number of people sign up to webinars or workshops that they never attend, especially if the recording will be sent to them afterwards, so bear this in mind.
To remind (and encourage) your registrants to turn up to your webinar on the day, here are 4 things you can do:
- Don't say a recording will be available for those who don't attend - this gives people an out not to attend, so don't promise a recording. If people think they will need to attend to get your valuable content, then they will and that's what you want. You want more people there on the day so that they convert.
- Send email reminders - we are all busy, so it's not a stretch to predict that people will forget about the webinar. Schedule a couple of reminders to keep in front of them and encourage them to add it into their diary. Reminders the day before and on the morning of the webinar are crucial!
- Ring your warm prospects or clients who you want to attend - for the people who you really want to attend your webinar, follow the email up with a phone call. It's a much more personal invite and it's also much harder to turn down or not show up after a call.
- Run a webinar teaser campaign - if you can release short videos or blogs about topics which will be explored further in the full webinar, this will increase excitement and anticipation for the day. For many, this will be enough to get them to turn up.
Step 3: What am I going to do to get people to stay to the end?
When thinking about how to run an effective webinar, it doesn't end when you've got people to register and turn up. Annoyingly, there's always a chance that some attendees will leave halfway through!
To get people to stay longer on your webinar for both their benefit and yours, you need to promise a golden nugget of value which will come later in the webinar and you need to make it easy (and fun) to watch to keep their attention.
Here are 7 things that you should do to get people to stay to the end:
- Make it highly interactive throughout but especially at the beginning - people love getting involved and it helps them focus, so how can you make the webinar interactive. Think about questions, polls, and workbooks.
- Ask the audience what they want to gain from the webinar right at the start - if you've done your research right, you should anticipate some of these answers and have content within your webinar that will answer them. Asking the question to the audience, however, engages them and gets them invested.
- Follow this question with the agenda - as we said, you should be able to anticipate people's answers to the initial question, so this should be followed by the agenda of your webinar. Your agenda should outline what will be covered and when to give your audience confidence they'll get what they want/need from the webinar.
- Start with their 'as-is' situation and show them what is 'to-be' - you should know your target audience's pain points and challenges (one of which this webinar should address), so highlight this challenge at the start of the webinar and show them what could be if they fixed it. Ideally, you should position yourself as the solution to help them get there.
- Promise value for those who stay to the end - promise something big, something that is the answer to your prospect's problems...but only if they still till the end. This is the easiest and most powerful way to get people to stay, just make sure you deliver on what you say you will.
- Think about presentation and sound - it sounds silly, but if you're in a dark room and you're talking in a monotonous voice, people aren't going to want to watch you. If you're in a well-lit room however and you're talking in an exciting tone and you're expressing yourself with body language, it will be far more pleasant to watch and listen.
- Focus on the audience and their issues and wants - no one likes to be sold to, so don't make it about you and your firm. The more you make it about them and appeal to their emotions, the more likely they will want to keep listening.
If you need more help with getting your webinar attendees to stay until the end, read the full blog here: How to get people to stay longer on your webinar
Step 4: How am I going to get people to buy?
Just because people have stayed until the end of your webinar doesn't mean they will automatically convert. You need to inspire them to take action and persuade them to want to buy whatever it is you are offering.
To do this, and to do it well, you need to understand what the buying journey is and how to use it to guide your prospects from needing a service to choosing to buy it from you.
When people sign up for a webinar, they are typically at one of these middle three stages in the buying journey:
- "I know I have some problems" - but they are not really motivated to do anything about it.
- "I've decided what I need to do about my problems" - they are looking for options to decide on the best solution.
- "I'm finding people to help me and choosing the right solution" - they have an idea of what they want and are looking for the right person to provide it.
So these are the stages that your attendees are likely to be in when they turn up at your webinar. Now, you need to think about what content you need to be producing to help them progress to the next stage in their journey.
When you plan your content for your webinars, make sure that you are targeting each stage so that you can deliver them the right type of help that they need at that time. If you do this, you can then be sure that you're pushing the right call to action and you're maximising your chances of them taking it.
To learn more about the client buying journey and how to use it to convert your prospects, read our blog: How to make more sales during your webinar.
Get the most out of your webinars
By now, you shouldn't be wondering how to run an effective webinar. You should be taking away 4 very actionable steps that you can implement to improve your webinar marketing. That's really all it takes. If you have processes in place to increase the number of registrants, you remind them to turn up, you engage with them and promise value so they stay to the end, you're already off to a good start. Follow this up with a call to action that is perfect for the stage that they are at in their journey and your webinars are going to be as successful as they can be.
If you need more help with running an effective webinar, see more here: Everything you need to learn about running a lead generation webinar.
Learn how to quickly add an extra £2k of monthly recurring income to your practice (even if you are a reluctant business developer)
Download (for free) the workshop recording of 'How to quickly add £2k of monthly recurring revenue to your practice' and you will discover:
- How to generate more income from your existing clients without putting in place a price rise
- How to get your clients to pay for more services without seen to be profiteering or ambulance chasing
- What marketing your firm can do right now which is going to cause new good clients to flock to your firm