In a post-pandemic landscape, webinars are a cost-effective replacement for traditional networking events. They provide much needed face-to-face engagement and yield valuable content that you can easily repurpose into other forms, giving your efforts some extra mileage. Not to mention, webinars offer a powerful opportunity to build your brand, establish yourself as a leading authority in your practice area, and generate leads.
If you are a webinar novice but you want to use them to gain a competitive advantage, here are five simple practices to keep in mind.
#1: Review the attendee list in advance.
Knowing who is on the roster – and taking a moment to learn a bit about each attendee – positions you to plan for a high-value webinar. It will also help you focus your message by gaining a sense of each person’s pain points, challenges, and goals. Pinpoint what each attendee hopes to glean from the webinar and if possible, cover these issues when writing your script.
#2: Greet attendees by name.
As attendees tune into your webinar, welcome them personally to the presentation, much as you would at an in-person event. Make sure to point people to each other by referencing common threads. This makes everyone feel welcome and and cultivates a sense of community and belonging. It will also help them feel as though attending the live event is worth their time (as opposed to simply pulling up a pre-recorded version after the fact).
#3: Host a “giveaway.”
Give your attendees a reason to stay in touch with you by offering a giveaway. Consider offering them a free eBook, white paper, guide, or resource, or offer free admission to another webinar or event you are hosting. Offering your product in the middle of a webinar will not turn the entire event into an advertisement. So long as your webinar delivers what it promises and offers real value, your audience will likely be receptive to whatever you pitch. However, keep these two points in mind:
- The remainder of the webinar should still be valuable to your audience, even if they do NOT opt to take advantage of your offer; and
- Only present the offer when it makes sense. For instance, don’t hit them with it five minutes into the presentation. Provide some real value first, then make the offer.
#4: Follow up with each attendee after the event.
One of the primary reasons lawyers host webinars is to generate new interest and leads for their practices. As such, aim to continue the conversation: follow up with each attendee by way of a personalized email. Keep your tone conversational and do not attempt to solicit business. Instead, thank each person for attending, ask if they have further questions, and point them in the direction of additional (free) resources you can provide. If connecting via email makes you nervous, opt instead to connect on LinkedIn and include a personalized message.
For your internal use, create a list of those who attend your events or who have heard you speak. You never know when you may encounter them again or if they could benefit from your services in the future.
#5: Leverage your presentation.
One of the primary benefits of hosting a webinar is the ability to recycle your content. Package the webinar into an eBook, blog series, or bylined article, and offer it to your connections for free. Also, consider sharing the link to your recorded version. By giving away free information, you will build goodwill with your connections and channel authentic generosity. This will help you down the road, as people will think of you first when they encounter a real legal issue.
Leveraging the Power of A Webinar
Once you become comfortable and proficient in planning and hosting webinars, consider making them a staple of your marketing plan. However, keep in mind that quality always beats quantity: Only commit to what you can handle to make your content as valuable to your audience as possible.