Guidance. The Business of Webinars.


This not your average Module. It doesn't have to specifically relate to your book but it does relate the your book's subject matter. Let's say your book is about a Syrian family coming to Germany to escape the horrors of war in their home country. How do they fit in, learn the language and secure work? The thing is, you've written a book about something so you've researched it and you have a certain degree of expertise, which you can now share with people. You can elicit views and opinions, all of which make your product (and your next book) better. You share it as a scheduled live event and then record the video and market it as well.

Webinars show you as an authority on a certain topic. If you're a Microsoft certified pro and you've written books about that, you're a natural. But webinars are just as valid for fiction writers. You can discuss the central theme to your book and all tributaries running off it and the idea is to provide valuable insights and advice that help people, sell your book and form a close-knit community of fans who are interested in the topic and what you're doing with the topic.


Bloggers love webinars but most of them don't do it, not because they don't have the expertise and content, but because they feel it's out of reach technically and sounds way too expensive, right?


Nope. Wrong. This module is all about setting up a webinar and attracting people to it and it's as free as a bird.


If you want to rise above the mass of wannabe bloggers, running webinars is a savvy option. Here are the benefits:


You transform your ideas into events. You get the opportunity to create a sense of event around your ideas, value and information.

You forge a unique bond with your readers. Watching you on live camera is the next best thing to seeing you in person. Not only can they see you, but they can also interact with you. And in the future when they read your content, they’ll hear your voice.

You become an authority. When you appear as a presenter and give value to your readers, you create fans who respect you as an authority.

You increase your blog traffic. Online events, like webinars, are like magnets. They attract traffic and generate new subscriptions.

You can make money blogging. If you review, promote, or talk about a product as an affiliate in a webinar, you can make sales and earn income.


Topics


You know your topic. You've either lived it or researched it but you know it. How can you get people interested in what you have to say about it and help?


There are increasingly narrow windows in an average working person's day to look at daft cat videos or communicate with family or learn something, reach out for a little extracurricular inspiration.


So make it good. If it's a true passion for your participants, you can ease off the cheese a bit but generally, you'll need to keep people interested, even better, inspired.


So let's plan what it's going to be about. Starting with the script.


Scripting


There's no point telling you how to write what you've just written. But there is a point telling you how to do it properly.


As in the Movies module, plan your session. Let's say it's a 30 minute webinar. You'll need some kind of intro and then a format for the show. Yep, it's a show, just like the ones on tv, well actually more like radio but that's where it can become more creative.


You have to be believable and authoritative, sure, but give people a presentation value in keeping with the subject matter. Make it interesting.


Set out the format.


Intro to you. Who are you? What's the show called? Do a little recorded segment with video, music, titles and graphics to grab peoples attention and give a hint of what this is all about.


Intro to your subject matter. Welcome your guests (or gussets, as this text editor is intent on saying) and outline the background to the topic. Mention that you wrote about it because ....


Pre-call to action. Before you dive in, just mention one or two things that will help keep people invested in what's going on. Maybe a hint of an interesting segment later or a freebie. First 5 callers get a free ebook or similar. The lines are open as of now and we wanna hear from you.


Todays content. And we're in.


Interactive Q+A. Take calls, email and texts. Try and get the texts scrolling live on screen. Create a buzz on the topic. Start off by asking a question and counting option. And on it gores from there. Give yourself a definitive time, maybe 5-10 minutes of its buzzing but you have yo stick to the schedule as it gibes an undertone of urgency. Solve this question against the clock.

Next time...

Call to action - perhaps give some resources to charities and more information about your subject matters - and then sell your book - maybe even get participants more directly invaded. Wats the subject of your next episode. What do they6 east to talk about. And even what should your next book tackle.

Get opinion about doing a longer special episode - invite those charities, invite the expert opinion, expand the topic. If enough people say they'd particulate, why not? And the same goes for podcasting. Webinars are radio boradacts. Get your podcast set up to saysc with your webinar. If yo are doing a podcast (and why wouldn't you?) make sure the audio is spectacular.


So, that's the script done. You've planned the video, graphics, the music and the overlays.


Even before you've held your webinar, the work begins in getting the work out on social media. "Best selling author discusses war refugees and ask for help..." sort of thing.


Revisit the Marketing Module and do a webinar campaign, either as additional content to your current feed or entirely bespoke events. Follow the same route, script, blurb, keywords.


Maybe start posting a month before your broadcast, big it up, create buzz, mention the benefits of attendance, get early subscribers. Then, keep promoting after your inaugural broadcast.


Treat your forthcoming event like a mini-launch.


Get participants to register for your event. It’s a good idea to set up a special email list with a corresponding signup form to use for registrations. You can do this easily if you’re using an autoresponder service like ConvertKit or Mailchimp. You can create an automatic response that gives them the URL of the page where you’ll embed your webinar.


Write a blog post that gets readers fired up about your webinar topic. You can heighten anticipation by opening up questions in your post and promising to answer them in the upcoming webinar. Place the webinar registration form at the bottom of your post and make a point of asking people to register.


Email your subscriber list. Once you’ve announced the webinar on your blog, send out a series of emails reminding the people on your main list to register. In his ebook, The Ultimate Webinar Marketing Guide (affiliate link), Lewis Howes suggests sending out a sequence of three emails as a mini-launch. The first email could go out a week before the webinar, the second one four days prior, and the last one on the day before the webinar.

Use social media to keep the buzz going. Don’t forget to use social media to let people know about the webinar. And reach out to other bloggers to let them know about the event too.


Another fantastic way to build buzz is to write a guest post on a popular blog covering a related topic and announce your webinar in the author byline. This takes some effort and planning but could have a huge impact on the number of attendees.


In general, you can expect about 25 percent of those who have registered to actually attend. To boost that number, send out an email just before you start the webinar to people who’ve registered.


Technology


I know it's easy to imagine that technology is so cool, pretty much anything's possible and thanks to a few providers, the usual suspects, most of it is. And it's free.


Thanks to Google Meet, it’s possible to run webinars for free. And you can accommodate up to 100 participants.


Zoom is another free webinar option. With a personal Zoom account, you can host a meeting with up to 100 participants for up to 40 minutes.


If you reach the point where you need to scale up your webinars, you can simply upgrade your Google Meet account. With G Suite Essentials (affiliate link), you’d have access to additional features for $10 per month. Alternatively, paid Zoom plans start at $14.95 per month.


But don't imagine for one minute things will necessarily go smoothly from the off. Get yourself fully familiar with the system you're using to broadcast and do lots of trial runs with friends and family until you can safely say it's second nature to you.


Creating content is much easier once you understand your webinar basics.


How to Host a Webinar Like a Pro


Here, we're going to use Google Meet.


1. Get to Grips with Google Meet


If you've ever used Google Hangouts, the learning curve for Google Meet won’t be very steep.


Here’s all you have to do to start a video meeting:


Log into Gmail.


In the sidebar, click Start a meeting.


In the Meet window, choose Join now.


That’s it.


Practice


You can only test so much in a video meeting when you’re the only attendee. So, let’s invite a friend or two.


Go back into Gmail, click Start a meeting in the sidebar, and choose Join now.


In the new window, a pop-up will appear that gives you the option to invite guests:


Click Add people and you’ll be able to invite friends to your Google Meet. Enter their email addresses (one friend to help you test is good, but two is better) and click Send email.


Once your friends have joined, test everything.


Can they hear you?


When you share your screen, can they see it? Can they see and hear any recorded video content, like your intro?


This is the time for you to test and troubleshoot everything. If something’s wrong, you want to find out now, not when you have a hundred impatient guests.


Learn How to Schedule a Video Meeting


Next, we need to practice scheduling a webinar in advance. After all, you’re not going to set everything up minutes before you go live. So, let’s go over how to schedule one.


First, go to your Google calendar.


Next, you can click the “Create” icon or the date on the calendar you’d like to hold your webinar.


In the window that appears, you can enter the title of your event, the time and date, invite guests, and more.


But most importantly for our purposes, there’s a “Add Google Meeting video conferencing” button. Be sure to click it before clicking Save.


Once you click Send, your guests will be notified.


Making sure you record your Webinar


OK. Almost there. First of all, let's make sure we record everything we're doing. Whether you're playing video and talking over that, or slides or anything else, you need to make sure you record it so you can put it on your website and and get it out to social media.


Turn on Google Drive


Because recordings are stored in Drive, you need to make sure that Drive is turned on for your users. For details, go to Turn Drive on or off for users.


Turn recording on or off for Meet


Before you begin: To apply the setting for certain users: Put their accounts in an organisational unit (to set by department) or put them in a configuration group (to set for users across or within departments).


Sign in to your Google Admin console.

Sign in using an administrator account, not your current account dom.schunker@gmail.com


From the Admin console Home page, go to Apps and then G Suite and thenGoogle Meet.


Click Meet video settings.


To apply the setting to everyone, leave the top organisational unit selected. Otherwise, select a child organisational unit or a configuration group.


Click Recording and check or uncheck the Let people record their meetings box.


Click Save. If you configured an organisational unit or group, you might be able to Inherit or Override a parent organisational unit, or Unset a group.


Changes typically take effect in minutes, but can take up to 24 hours. For details, go to How changes propagate to Google services.


Changes typically take effect in minutes, but can take up to 24 hours. For details, see How changes propagate to Google services.


Broadcasting


You will probably have heard this during your test sessions but the key factor is camera placement. The camera needs to line up exactly with your eye-height.


If the camera is below your eye height, attendees will get the feeling that you are “talking down” to them.


On the other hand, if the camera is above your eye height, attendees sense that you’re looking up to them and lack authority.


So line up the camera exactly with your eyes.


One of the advantages of systems that use Google Meet is that you can choose between appearing live on camera and showing slide presentations. This also means you don’t have to be on camera every second of the webinar.


For example, you can start live on camera, then follow on with your slide presentation and appear live on camera again for the question and answer session.


Personally, I like running the whole thing on to a video backdrop. You can used video or slides or every record a screen share session but either way, this is what will keep people invested in the show. Nice, clear visualisations to emphasise your points and


So, when the time comes, you know your script, you know what to say and when and you know how to use the system. You're ready to broadcast.


Hopefully, it will be a well-attended event and comments and people really getting involved. And your full webinar on video on Google Drive.


The Video


Make sure you top and tail your video. Get rid of all the dead bits, waiting for people to join and general fluff. Make sure the various segments lead into each other smoothly and that the show looks like a show. There shouldn't be much editing needed but just make sure it's professional and it makes its point.


The great thing about videos is that you can broadcast each episode whenever you like. You can also cut up bits a previous webinar to remind participants in a later episode or use a relevant interview more than once.


Now, continue the social media campaign you started a few weeks before broadcast and that's you done.


Comments and Responses


Based on the live or other feedback from your webinar or its video, you can plan new shows with more topics. It's a vital learning curve to see what sort of direction your topic trends into. If you pay attention and take comments on board into you future webinars, the audience will become even more invested in the idea.


Conclusion


You might think webinars are scary and costly, but thanks to free webinar tools you can run slick, successful webinars at zero cost.


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