Webinar, webinars... You certainly hear these words more and more often. Especially today, when, thanks to the pandemic, the activity associated with them is more noticeable.

In this article you will learn what a webinar is, why you should participate in them and what benefits you can generate by choosing to run your own webinars. However, let's start with the basics.

What is a webinar?

A webinar is a type of online meetingA training session, where a presenter (one or more) introduces a specific topic to people who have joined a meeting. It is also a form of online training that can be more or less formal. Webinars are also referred to as seminar, online conference, broadcast, live, etc...

The presenter or organiser decides each time what form the meeting will take. Will it be open to everyone or will he organize it only for a narrow group, e.g. his Clients, Subscribers, Students, etc... Will it be free or paid...

What the webinar looks like

This is most often live broadcastThe presenter can discuss a specific topic using the slides of a pre-prepared presentation. The presenter can discuss a particular topic using slides of prepared presentations, he can share his screen to show participants what is on it, he can play videos, share files, draw on a virtual whiteboard, etc...

Which tools a presenter uses during a webinar depends on the presenter and the needs of the topic discussed, and of course on the software used for the webinar.

The webinar is mostly interactive. This is its greatest strength. The presenter has the possibility of direct contact with the participants, e.g. he can ask them questions and the participants can answer them.

In the case of intimate webinars attended by e.g. a few people, communication both ways can take place in the form of audio/video chats. However, in the case of larger meetings, participants can usually hear and see the presenter, but they can also answer the presenter's questions themselves or ask their own questions via chat.

Is the webinar always conducted live?

Usually yes, but this is not the rule. Increasingly, so-called functions are being used evergreenwhich allows you to schedule a webinar and then play it online from a pre-made recording.

Replays of a webinar that was previously live can also be broadcast in this way. Unfortunately, in this case interactivity is already limited, because if something is played, participants cannot influence the course of such a webinar.

Length of the webinar

This also depends on the trainer, but to a certain extent also on the topic and the participants themselves. Usually it is an hour or a clock hour, which is largely due to the fact that it is more difficult for us to focus on the topic if the meeting lasts longer. However, this is not the rule. I myself have attended and led webinars that lasted 2-3 or even more hours - with short breaks for coffee or the toilet 🙂 I have also attended and led webinars that lasted 2-3 hours.

Often when planning a live webinar we can't quite predict how long it will actually last, especially when we also have a Q&A session planned, a block of questions and answers that in some cases can last even longer than the main presentation.

Webinar structure

The design of an online meeting is not significantly different from an offline meeting. The main difference is that neither the presenter nor the participants need to leave home. All that is needed is a computer with Internet access and in an instant we are participants in an online seminar.

Usually at the beginning of a webinar there is a moment to check the technical aspects, so the question is asked whether participants can see and hear the presenter. The transmission of audio, video and other content is uninterrupted. Then the presenter briefly introduces himself and outlines the plan and topic of the meeting. The next stage is the discussion and presentation of the topic by the presenter, and finally the already mentioned Q&A session, thanking and saying goodbye to participants.

This is a basic scheme, which can be supplemented with additional elements depending on the purpose of the meeting. In the further part of the article discussing the webinar in business we will add a few more bricks here.

Why you should participate in webinars

Webinar - Participation

The answer to this question is trivial. By taking part in webinars you expand your knowledge You can also compare your point of view with that of the speaker or other participants. Finally, if the webinar is live, you have an influence on the course of the webinar, you can ask the presenter the questions you are looking for answers to. A webinar is also an opportunity to make new friends or business contacts.

The amazing thing is that you do not have to move anywhere from your office or flat. Of course, meetings in real life, e.g. at conferences, seminars, lectures, trainings, etc... have their own unique atmosphere created by the place and the people. However, if you attended a larger conference, think about how you communicated with the presenter. Were you able to ask him your questions without any problems? Usually it is not that easy.

By attending a webinar, you don't have to travel anywhere, which saves you time and money, and the chance that you will be able to ask a question and get it answered is much higher.

Webinar in Your Business

Now let's think about what benefits you can get from running your own online meetings in the form of webinars. You may not know this yet, but think for a moment and try to answer one question. Why are so many marketers and so many companies running free webinars open to everyone? Do they have nothing to do with their free time or maybe they are bored?

Well, no. A webinar is a powerful tool to help you run your online business. Why?

By hosting a webinar you build relationships

If you've ever attended a training course or webinar on marketing, the topic of building good relationships with customers or people who don't yet know your person, products or services was certainly covered. This is the foundation for effectively generating sales.

A webinar is one tool that is great for building relationships. Imagine that your online activity is reduced to publishing content on your website or social media. People who don't know you enter, read and even if the topic interests them usually leave, forgetting about you in a short time. You are simply one of many companies that offer similar products/services and nothing has happened that makes you stand out from the crowd. You are quickly forgotten.

But if someone interested in the topic goes to your website and sees an invitation to an upcoming webinar, there's a good chance they'll sign up for one. Great, but that's not the most important thing yet. The most important thing is what will happen when they actually attend the webinar you are conducting. And what will happen?

You will no longer be an impersonal company, you will become a real flesh-and-blood personIt's a good idea to have a webinar attendee who shares their knowledge on one topic or another. Almost automatically, trust in you and your company will increase, so the likelihood that your webinar participants will choose your products/services rather than those of your competitors will also increase. Why? Because they already know you and you have earned their trust!

You are establishing yourself as an expert

In the eyes of webinar attendees, especially if you run it at a decent level of content, you become an expert in your field. This is very important in terms of increasing trust in you and your brand, and as I mentioned above trust and good relationships also means increased sales.

Promotion of products and services on a webinar

A webinar is the perfect way to showcase your products and services. In fact, a good webinar, especially if we are talking about free webinars, should consist of two parts: the content part (we discuss the topic) and the sales part (we promote our products/services).

If you run your webinars without including your own products, then while they will certainly generate some sales, they won't be as high as they could be if there is a sales part to the webinar.

You build up your contact base

Not everyone who joins a webinar will immediately become your customer, that would be too rosy. However, A webinar is a great way to build your contact list (e.g. mailing). This means that after the webinar, you are still in contact with the participants. You can invite them to the next seminar (perhaps then they will buy), you can inform them about new content published on the website, promotional actions, new products, etc... email marketing and you slowly convert webinar participants into your customers.

Break through

toniegryzie

It's not easy at first, as I know very well from my own experience, but the biggest obstacle is ourselves and our own fears, which need to be overcome. Not the hardware, not the software. It is us and our thinking!

I hosted my first webinar in 2017. Despite the fact that I had previous experience in conducting offline meetings, the webinar proved to be quite a challenge for me. The stress was indescribable. Not everything went as I planned, e.g. instead of an hour-long webinar, the meeting lasted almost four 🙂 But you know what was the most important? The most important thing was that it took place!

After the first one, it was time for the second one, which was already a bit less stressful, the third one even less and so over time I got used to it to such an extent that today conducting such a meeting no longer causes sleepless nights. However, that doesn't mean I don't get stressed 🙂 .

The more webinars you conduct, the more confident you will feel. The content of your presentations will also be more interesting and delivered in a lighter way. All this in turn will have an impact on the participants' perception of the knowledge you provide.

Break through like me and many others because A webinar is a hugely effective way of building an online business. The very site you set up though using my online courses, for example: "WordPress course", will not give you as much benefit as expanding your online activities with your own webinars.

If web-related topics are in your area of interest, you are cordially invited to my webinars. You can find a list of upcoming ones at: https://poznajwp.pl/webinary/

Summary

A webinar is a benefit to all parties. As you may have noticed, by attending a webinar you gain access to knowledge, you can develop yourself and it usually costs you nothing, apart from the time you spend at your computer.

On the other hand, if you run any kind of online business, in addition to attending webinars you can also run your own, which I am sure will sooner or later result in more clients and more income. Watch others and improve your skills.

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