As a solopreneur or small business, if you want to grow your profits and expand your business, Webinars can become your most effective tool in today’s competitive environment. Caution! Webinars are like any other tool. When used improperly, they can cause harm and wreak havoc in your business. Used effectively, as you’ll soon discover, Webinars can transform your business and put you on the fast track to success.

Let’s take a look at how you can start using Webinars in your business and seven steps to help you avoid the usual pitfalls and risks when starting out with Webinars.

1. Clearly Define Your Goals

It sounds obvious, but you really need to think about the goal of your Webinar(s) so that you can measure your results. What is your goal?

• To acquire leads and bring in new sales?
• To educate existing customers on a new product/service?
• To obtain research or feedback on an existing offer?

If you are looking to acquire leads, there are lots of potential ways to grow them. If you’re reaching out beyond just your internal list, the name of the game is promotion.

You can promote your Webinar using press releases, banner ads, joint ventures, email marketing to rented lists, article submissions, eZine advertising, pay-per-click, and more. If you are launching a new product or seeking feedback from your existing customers, then conducting an informational Webinar and survey could be the an efficient method to fine tune your new project and get real-world feedback from those who matter most -- your customers.

2. Choose Your Provider

Do a Google search on Webinars or Web Conferencing and you’ll get back around 1,600,000 websites returned. Truth is, there are literally hundreds of companies that offer some kind of product or service for hosting Webinars. Choosing the right vendor for your specific requirements is a critical part of your success. It can often mean the difference between a winning Webinar vs. a Webinar that burns your brand, your customers, and a hole in your wallet.

For small businesses, you want a vendor who has a solid track record and offers the following:

1) Reliability and scalability – Ability to handle large groups
2) Ease of use for you and your attendees – You don’t need to be a ‘techie’ to make it work
3) Affordability – Reasonable price for the services offered

3. Having a Compelling Title and Offer

To increase your response and maximize your attendance, you must have compelling, targeted, benefit driven topic that will capture the attention of your target audience. Find out any current hot-button issues in your industry and use those in your headline or content description. What problem or issue does your product or services help your audience over come and how will attending your Webinar help them discover a solution to their problem?

Just like testing headlines when running ads, testing email subject lines is critical to gauging response for Webinars when using email marketing. If you have a known speaker or subject matter expert, whose name is recognized among your target audience, you MUST include their name in the subject line or you are missing out on leveraging their brand or celebrity power.

Test different copy and offers within your email invitation. When possible, personalize your email copy (Dear John) and write your copy as if you’re talking directly to that person one-on-one vs. a large group.

4. Make it Easy to Register

Your landing or registration page should require no more than one click to get to it. You don't want make your audience go from the email to a landing page that describes the Webinar and then have to go to another page to get to the registration form. Even worse, putting your registration page on your home page and hoping they find your link to register.

5. Maximize Your Attendance

Average attendance rates to registrations is about 40% to 60% for Webinars. Being planning your Webinar about six weeks out to ensure you have enough time to build out your marketing funnel and process for inviting attendees. About two to three weeks prior to your Webinar, send out your invites. One week prior, send a reminder and send out a final reminder the day before and possibly the day of if your event occurs later in the day.

You may want to offer an incentive to the first 50 with a free giveaway to accelerate the early sign-ups. After your Webinar, send out a thank you to those who attended with any pertinent information. For those who registered and didn’t attend, send a “sorry we missed you” email with links to the recording, and related offer.

6. WOW! Factor Presentations

Too many people starting out with Webinars repeat the same mistakes often made during in-person presentations; death by Power Point, boring presenter, little or no audience interaction, and lack of compelling offer or call to action at the conclusion.

Webinars offer you the ability to integrate multiple forms of visual media beyond Power Point such as video, (when appropriate) polling, Q&A, instant feedback tools, and more. You can share your desktop, take your audience by the hand, and browse your website for live demos, case studies, and more.

7. Follow-Up, Follow-Up, Follow-Up

After your Webinar, your prospects are in the perfect frame of mind to learn more and be receptive to another offer from you. Be sure to add links to either the main offer or other related offers and up-sells in your email. I've seen studies that show nearly 40 percent of thank-you recipients who visited a special post-Webinar thank-you page took advantage of another offer. Of course, integrating phone follow-up for higher conversion is smart if appropriate for your situation.

Most companies fail to repurpose or leverage their Webinar content for ongoing marketing and PR benefits. You put a lot of time and money into developing and delivering your Webinars, so be sure to get the most out of them.

Author's Bio: 

About the Author

Geoff Zimpfer, “The Webinar Marketing Pro” has been helping authors, speakers and small business owners put “butts in the seats” through live seminars, tele-classes, Webinars and more for over 18 years. His experience as a National Marketing Director and promoter for authors and speakers including Anthony Robbins and others give him unique insights and a successful track record of creating seminars, Webinars and events of all kinds that attract new clients, build relationships and increase sales. Get your Free eBook and Newsletter at