3 Tips on How Freelance Writers Can Use Webinars To Expand Their Reach
In the world of freelance writing, where competition can be fierce, it is critical to separate oneself and highlight talents, skills and abilities. Webinars are a perfect way to accomplish this, but before you wade into the world of online training, here are three tips to keep in mind.
1. Plan Out Exactly What You Want to Accomplish in the Webinar
Do you want to demonstrate a particular writing expertise? Do you wish to highlight your technical writing prowess? Do you want to market a new tool that can help people in some way? Be clear as to what you want the webinar to accomplish and how you will use the webinar to do that.
Along with the planning, as well, will go practice and lots of it.
Along with strategic planning is practical planning. How long do you wish the webinar to last? There are different schools of thought. Some would say a quick 30 minute webinar is perfect because it limits the amount of time that technical issues can happen and also allows for easy upload to online sharing sites such as YouTube.
Others would say a longer webinar makes more sense in order to demonstrate expertise thoroughly and also allow for a fair amount of time for questions. The length of the webinar will depend again on what you want to accomplish. A quick marketing webinar is remarkably different than a longer educational presentation.
Along with the planning, as well, will go practice and lots of it. Whether you gather a group of friends to do a run-through or get a group of colleagues to do a 15-20 minute question and answer period with you, you will want to practice the webinar several times. This will ensure that you are familiar with the webinar platform you are using, you are comfortable with the content, and that you work out any sound and technical issues. It also ensures that you can time the webinar so that it is in line with the amount of time you’re allotting to accomplish your goals.
2. Incorporate Social Media and other Marketing Tools to Advertise Your Webinar
You can market a webinar anywhere from a few weeks in advance to several months in advance. Depending on what kind of access you have to large audiences, you may not need as much lead time, than if you have to spend a portion of the marketing looking to partner with groups that have the customers and clients you’re seeking to attract. You’ll want to utilize social media in your marketing, and cross post between different social media platforms.
You’ll want to utilize social media in your marketing, and cross post between different social media platforms.
The key to marketing is to get the word out to groups who will want to utilize your freelance skills. So once you set the date for the webinar, be sure that you cross post the link for the webinar in other blogs that you write for, on twitter, facebook, LinkedIn, and via your email marketing lists. And if you don’t have a large email list, reach out to colleagues who will either be willing to post information about your webinar to their email lists, or help you find other groups who will be interested in spreading the word. The individuals or organizations that you reach out to for marketing purposes should be true champions.
Nothing is worse than approaching ten different groups/individuals, all of whom assure you that they will vigorously promote your webinar, only to have three people actually register for your program. The entities that you approach to help you market your webinar should be those individuals or groups that already believe in what you do, and so will have an investment in letting their constituents know about your webinar, how it will be of help to them, and assure them that it will be a terrific experience because they have experienced first-hand that you’re talented and fantastic!
Your pre-webinar marketing efforts should go right up until the day of the webinar. Send out reminder emails, keep putting links to the webinar in blog posts you write, send out reminder emails to your mailing lists, and touch-base with your champions to continue to get the word out. Cross promotion, continuous promotion, and consistent promotion are the keys to getting your webinar filled with potential clients.
3. Incorporate Post-Webinar Follow-up in Your Planning
Once the webinar has finished, there is still work to be done. Webinars routinely have a low conversion rate. So if you have 150 people registered and 50 actually attend, that may actually be a succesful attendance percentage. So what about those other 100 that didn’t show up?
If you’re recording the webinar, and hopefully you are, you can make the recording available to those that registered but did not attend. Some webinar providers like to limit the amount of time you can listen to a recording to 24 or 48 hours. Just because an individual registered but did not attend, doesn’t mean that they’re not interested in your content. If anything, they maybe more interested than individuals that attended, and will be exceedingly pleased that they have the opportunity to experience the recording.
You will want to look at the data from the webinar, which will show you how engaged individual participants were.
For individuals who were in attendance, you’ll clearly want to follow-up with them as well. This population is one that you’ll want to cultivate over the next few weeks through helpful content, information about your freelance work, examples of your writing, product, and skills.
You will want to look at the data from the webinar, which will show you how engaged individual participatants were. The data from the webinar will also indicate what similarities you can gather from your webinar participants.
A post-webinar survey would be helpful. You may find intriguing information out that will make your marketing efforts be more targeted the next time. Finally, thank all of your champions who helped get the word out and figure out ways to reward them in the future for assisting you in making your webinar a massive success!