There’s something intrinsically compelling about being able to participate in a live call with an industry expert or colleague. In a world of digital accessibility, it’s amazing that we’re able to connect with, learn from, and collaborate with mentors, instructors, and industry bigwigs— all without ever having to leave our homes.
People crave connections, so if you have a unique viewpoint, some industry expertise, and you’re open to a bit of quasi-public speaking, you have a distinct advantage to rise up over all the noise that’s present on social media today.
What’s it to you? And get to the point— how does that earn you money?
By offering free workshops and webinars. Yup. That’s right— completely free to your viewers. Webinars give people the ability to access resources and network in a way that might not otherwise be possible, and that means that you also have the ability to tap into an audience that might otherwise be unreachable.
How does offering free webinars make money?
The reason why anyone would want to offer a free webinar is simple: to share knowledge and information. In order for your webinar to be successful (and thus profitable) you need to want to share your knowledge and insights. Not only does this give you excellent karma and shows that you’re probably a decent human being who wants to share, your willingness to do that also makes it so that your audience and potential customers become endeared to you. It builds your know, like, and trust factor.
Yup. Know, like, and trust is a biggie! Think about it— It’s always a lot more agreeable giving your hard earned cash to a salesman or contractor who not only does the job, but does so in a friendly way, is knowledgable and is open about their product and service.
Webinars are about building relationships
And really, it’s not always about effective marketing. Sometimes it’s about nothing more than the satisfaction of sharing knowledge, collaborating, and connecting with your audience and your peers. This generosity of spirit usually has the benefit of opening up doors to career advancing opportunities. It’s sort of like business karma. Yes, that’s totally a thing.
I’m not saying to give the store away for free (but if that floats your boat, by all means!)— webinars and online workshops are perfect for giving your audience a free taste of your premium content and services. It’s like a totally free trial that gives them a look at how it’s like to work with your or a peek at what your product is all about. If they like what they see (and if they like you), the more likely they’ll engage with your content in the future, even if their interest doesn’t immediately convert to cash for you. Build those relationships and the benefits of doing so will come soon enough.
Two easy ways to get started with webinars
Get started without paying a cent: Google Hangouts on Air
Getting starting with hosting webinars is easier than you probably think, and if you’re just starting to dip your toes into it, here are 5 quick and easy steps to setting up your first one:
- Go to https://plus.google.com/hangouts/onair and schedule a Hangout on Air.
- That’s it! Share the link to the Hangout page, and your audience will be able to RSVP and comment right on that page.
You can take it a step further and:
- Create a static page on your site to serve as the webinar landing page for attendees.
- Copy and paste the provided embed code into your designated webinar page, and drive your audience to that link!
- Use a service like Mailchimp to collect RSVPs and manually schedule reminders and follow up emails. (By the way, if sign up for Mailchimp through this link and you’ll get $30 in FREE MonkeyRewards!)
WebinarJam Studio – Up your game with advanced features, 3rd party integrations, and sales funnels
Why would you need WebinarJam Studio?
While this isn’t going to be a full-fledged review of WebinarJam studio, I do want to impress upon you that it’s hands down, the simplest, most convenient, and most intuitive live webinar software currently available. If you’re not familiar with the product, what WebinarJam does is it’s works as a supercharged plugin, using Google Hangouts as its framework. But you don’t have to worry about any of that!
All you need to do is log into WebinarJam and make sure you have a Gmail address, and you’re good to go! WebinarJam does the rest, from collecting RSVPs to sending out reminders and follow up emails, to integration with many 3rd party apps, reporting features, and more!
Ah, and in case you’re wondering why my opinion about webinar software is legit—
In my day job as the Customer Experience Manager of a SasS startup, I get to be in charge of lots of the logistics related to our outreach and customer education efforts— that includes webinars, of course! Perhaps I’m a bit on the nerdy side (as if you didn’t already know), but there’s just something about working behind the scenes with startup operations that gets me going.
But I digress!
Why do you need WebinarJam Studio?
Simply put— it’s the best dollar for dollar value for webinar software, and when you consider how easy it is to use, the multitude of learning resources the WJ team includes with your registration, and the icing on webinar cake is that once you subscribe, your subscription pricing is locked and you will still get all the upgrades to the software at that price as long as you stay current.
I recently moved our company over from using another webinar company (I refer to them as GTW, if you’re interested in figuring that one out) to WebinarJam Studio, and not only does the switch save us a ton of money, the interface is easier for my team and for our audience. In a nutshell, WebinarJam is the prettiest and most intuitive option out there. In the month we’ve used it, we’ve found it to be as reliable, if not more so, than GTW and we stand behind our decision to have switched.
Hosting webinars is a great strategy for growing your audience and expanding your content marketing strategy. If you’re comfortable with basic HTML coding and piecing together multiple free services, the best place to start is an easy Hangout on Air, hosted directly on Google+ or embedded on a simple web page. If you’re looking for an almost ALL DONE for you solution or if you’re ready to take it to the next level with follow up, analytics, sales tools, and more, go with WebinarJam.
Sound off! Have you hosted a webinar before? Do you like attending them? What do you like and dislike about webinars?
** This blog post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase through the links included, I may make a commission. As always, any and all opinions stated are my true and honest views! **