Raina is a Skype regular for last 5 years. The difference is that, before she used this platform to make video calls and chat with friends and relatives abroad. Since the time Raina decided to start her own tax consultancy business, she uses Skype to conduct webinars and connect with remote clients and prospects. In fact her business experienced astounding growth since the day she decided to host a webinar for free!
Over past few years, webinar has emerged a powerful communication tool which is used to seamlessly connect with prospects, partners, employees, and customers. The best thing is that this entire process won’t pinch your pocket except the internet connection cost, which you must have already included in your business expenses.
But yes, to host a webinar online and make it a success, you need to equip your workspace with a few basic gadgets. Let’s check out what are they.
What Are The Basic Gadgets You Need to Host a Webinar for Free
A good quality webcam is a must to host a successful webinar. This is one investment which shouldn’t be compromised. Why? Because the participants usually prefer to see the speaker in-person. This helps build an instant connection and trust. If your webcam produces hazy or grainy picture, it won’t make a positive first impression.
Check your laptop’s webcam first. Ask your friends if the webcam is producing clean images. If not, then you need to purchase a quality webcam and connect it to your laptop or computer via the USB.
A Microphone that produces clear sound is also a mandatory requirement for webinars. Generally laptops and computers have their internal mic system. However the audio quality is often not so good. Therefore we suggest purchasing a headset microphone or a mic that can be placed on the desk.
Pick up a lightweight discreet microphone which is not so visible. Otherwise you may end up looking like a call center employee and not the webinar host!
Arrange adequate lighting to make sure your webinar attendees can see you clearly. Remember if you plan to successfully host a webinar for free proper lighting equipment is very important. Otherwise there is every chance the speaker looks washed out or completely shadowed. It might prompt the participants to leave your webinar and hit YouTube to watch better videos!
Modern laptop or computer is also needed to host a webinar successfully. Sometimes you may need multiple computers to facilitate the hosting process. This is especially needed if there are guest speakers or co-hosts, participating in the webinar. However, you can ditch the laptop for a modern smartphone too. It serves equal purpose and sometimes even more efficiently.
Now let’s discuss exactly how to host a webinar for free and make it a success without much of technical knowledge.
Why Host A Webinar For Free?
Actually there are many reasons the most important being, you can easily reach more prospects within a few minutes. As compared to other channels, webinar is the fastest route to reach your target audience and make an impact. There are free webinar software that let you host as many as 1000 people at a time, if not more.
You can host a webinar online to showcase your business and products; definitely an easy way to generate interest! Another great benefit is that you can conduct online meeting and interact with your remote employees. Webinars work great for internal presentations also if you have employees all over country.
How To Host A Webinar For Free?
Fix a Date and Time in advance
It is very important that you schedule your webinar at least a week in advance so that maximum attendees in different time zones can join. There are webinar experts who recommend schedule like Thursday 12:00PM PST/3:00pm EST. However there is no such fixed rule. A better idea is to publish the date and seek a general opinion.
Prepare The Topic Once You Decide to Host a Webinar Online
If you are planning to host a webinar for free be sure to choose a topic that informs and motivates your attendees. It is needless to say that you choose a topic which you know well and can talk about for an hour or so. Also, it is a good idea to find topics in your niche which are trending right now.
For instance, if you are a social media expert, you can host a webinar for free to talk about Instagram trends and how to get more Insta followers. Such topics are in demand nowadays and you are bound to get more candidates or participants for your free webinar. You can do a Keyword search to find out which are the topics trending at present, and what people want to know. Check out Ubersuggest for easy and effective keyword search.
Take Care Of Branding
Now that you have decided to host a webinar for free the next step is to focus on its branding. Be sure to choose a theme for the webinar, and match it with an appropriate image. Then place that image in your landing page, also add your logo to it. This way, people visiting your site will know about the webinar and also the reason why they should attend it.
Create Social Media Hashtags For The Particular Webinar
Now that the designing and brand creation steps are complete, it’s time to promote your webinar and let more people know that you are ready to host a webinar online for free. The most successful social media promotion can happen by implementing appropriate hashtags for the specific webinar. Hashtag creation is definitely a great start as it helps people talk about your webinar on social media and spread the word effectively.
Send Out Invitations Specifying That You Are Ready To Host A Webinar For Free
You must be having an email list ready. Make the most of it. Draft a proper email and send it to your subscribers. Post webinar information on your website, blog and social media pages.
Use the hashtag that you have already created to attract more social media followers. You can personalize the invitation also by dropping a line or two on their social media pages. Feel free to get creative to draw attention. And yes, don’t forget to mention that you are going to host a webinar for free. This will boost the attendee list!
Prepare Webinar Content Carefully
Finally it all depends on what you are presenting. In fact, when you have decided to host a webinar online, the content should be in your mind from the very beginning.
After all, candidates have decided to attend your webinar because they believe it will provide some value. So, it is up to you to ensure they are not disappointed. Take time to prepare the content carefully. If needed, hire a freelance writer and graphic designer for the purpose.
Try to share valuable information and personal stories. Engage participants with attractive slides, polls, clicked images, hand-outs, videos and any other engaging content that you feel worth sharing.
If possible, try to give real proof of the results that you have achieved by implementing the strategies and formula that you are suggesting. This will help build trust among the participants. You should also encourage Q&A session at the end of the webinar to answer queries and clear doubts.
Plan A Practice Run Before You Host Webinar For Free
Scared to face so many unknown faces for the first time and that too live? A great way to handle this is to plan a practice run in advance. If there are other speakers involved, request them to attend the practice run to make sure everything goes smoothly. Also the practice run gives you confidence that the software and gadgets are working properly.
The Final Hosting Of Your Free Webinar
So, the day has finally arrived! This is the day when your long cherished dream to host a webinar for free is coming true. Now is the time to make it a success. Prepare yourself by getting up early. Check out the content, slides and the webinar hosting platform, to ensure they are all in shape and working properly. Get dressed properly for the event. A messy look is not really welcome!
Don’t start the webinar late. If you have already specified a time, stick to it. This shows you value your participants’ time! Start by providing a gist, i.e., what are the topics you and others speakers are going to talk about. Sound confident while giving the presentation and while interacting with participants. Show them that you KNOW what you are talking about!
Few Additional Tips
Don’t forget to record the webinar. Later you can share it on a video sharing platform, on your website and social media pages. Remember to send a copy of the video or a PDF file to the attendees and email recipients who couldn’t attend the webinar.
If you have already decided to host the next webinar, take the opportunity to announce it right now, once the webinar ends. And yes, once the webinar ends, don’t forget to say a word of thanks to the attendees.
Don’t forget a Follow-up After you Host a Webinar Online
I know the follow-up part is not always pleasant but still it is important. Your responsibility doesn’t end with the webinar hosting. As a part of follow-up, you can send an email/ SMS/Whatsapp, to enquire whether they liked the webinar or not, if they have any suggestion for the next seminar, whether they want you to discuss any particular topic and so on.
Often people host webinars with a specific purpose in mind maybe selling an online course, e-book, etc. If you have such a particular purpose too, the follow-up should be planned accordingly. Internet experts suggest a follow up within 24 hours. However, it’s up to you to decide when and how to do the follow up.
Act As promised
If you promised something during the webinar, for example a free course, free printable or an informative article, make sure to deliver it to those who have requested for it. A prompt action helps building trust and encourages participants to attend the next webinar.
Now that you know how to host a webinar online, it’s time to take action. Further, to remember, often webinars fail because the speaker starts promoting the product right from the word ‘Go!’ It can be disastrous, as a webinar is not a sales presentation. Rather, it is a channel to distribute information and to boost communication. So, if you host a webinar for free simply because you want to promote your product/service, then you might be disappointed! There are other ways to use live videos to promote your small biz products, but not the webinar.
So, to sum it up, host a webinar for free to create value for your prospects and they will surely come back to you for a purchase or for further communication.