Just a few short years ago, webinars would have been impossible or prohibitively expensive. But now, they are inexpensive and even free, depending on which service you use. In addition, you’ll need a few additional tools to reach and connect with your market, especially if you plan to turn your webinars into streams of income. Here’s a rundown of some of the key tools you could use:
- A way to capture your leads. The first thing you need is a way for people to connect with you, usually a one-page website (or squeeze page) that invites visitors to provide their name and email address in exchange for access to your webinar. You need this squeeze page as it will allow you to build your list, which you can then use to send information to your subscribers, including information about any upcoming webinars. You can either set up a separate page or make the opt-in form part of an existing page. Either way, you will also need a place for potential webinar registrants to go.
- An Autoresponder system. An autoresponder is an email management system, and will quickly become an indispensable part of your online business. There are various options available such as Aweber, 1shoppingcart, or Constant Contact, or one of their branded versions. These services ensure your emails are sent and will protect you from spam complaints. Any of these autoresponder services will allow you to create lists and send them emails. You’ll be able to send them your webinar information, as well as follow up with additional information after the webinar and of course invite them to your next virtual event.
- A payment processor. If you plan to make money with your webinar, you’ll need a way to take payments. There are a number of options, from PayPal to Clickbank to a shopping cart system like 1ShoppingCart. There are several things you need to consider when choosing your best option such as whether or not you’re planning to offer affiliate commissions and what other products you want to sell. If you plan on building a business around your webinars, you may want to consider a shopping cart that allows you to integrate your autoresponder function with the payment process option. You can use PayPal as well as other merchant accounts through a shopping cart.
- A webinar service. Figure out which options you want in a webinar service provider such as the number of participants, recording capability, playback capability, reliability, and sound quality, ease of use, and availability of support services and choose accordingly. Always test any services you’re considering to make sure they meet your needs. Most offer a free trial for a period of time so you can discover how user friendly they are before your actual webinar. A few popular ones are GoToWebinar and Webex.
How about you? What other tools have you tried? I love getting feedback. Here on this blog, you’ll get commentluv. This is a plug-in that allows you to leave a link back to your own site when you leave feedback.
Until next time,