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4 golden opportunities to connect with your webinar audience you might be missing

4 golden opportunities to connect with your webinar audience you might be missing

Webinars are powerful list-builders and sales tools, absolutely. But there’s another aspect to live webinars that I didn’t expect when I first started doing them: they connect you with your audience in a new, very tangible way.

Think about it — there are very few other opportunities in your business when a non-client will give you their (mostly) undivided attention for an hour, right?

So we need to make the most of this HUGE opportunity — by providing really useful content and by maximizing the opportunities the audience has to interact with you.

The Q&A period at the end is a great way to connect with your webinar audience but it’s not the only way.

4 opportunities to connect you might be missing:

1) Get to know your audience better before the webinar

After they sign-up, in your pre-webinar confirmation email, ask your audience a question or two to get to know them better and put together the best webinar content possible.

Some questions you might ask:

  • What exactly are you hoping to learn from my webinar?
  • What are you struggling with most about [insert webinar topic]?
  • What specific question(s) do you have about [insert webinar topic]?
  • What do you do / what business are you in? (if you want to know more about the makeup of your audience) 

2) Say hello! at the beginning of the webinar

Open up your webinar meeting room or start your livestream 15 minutes early. People will show up before the start time and as they do, ask them to say hello in the chat area and share where they are tuning in from. Read their responses out loud (“Hello Jackie from Bordeaux” etc.) — this creates a real feeling of connection, both for you as a presenter (since you can’t actually *see your audience) and for the attendees. (Hat tip to Lewis Howes for this great advice!)

3) Plan audience participation throughout the webinar

Once you’ve written your presentation outline, go back through and see where you might add a few participation pauses. This could mean asking your audience to reflect and answer a question, share their personal experience, come up with an example, write down the first thing that comes to mind — really anything that is going to help them connect the material to their own life or business.

This works best when the participation is interactive: ask them to share their answers in the chat area and read some out loud like you did before the webinar. But even if this isn’t possible with your webinar set up, these kind of pauses will help your audience to remember and integrate your material better because it takes them from passive listening to active participation.

4) Offer 15min pitch-free mini sessions after the webinar

Nothing beats actual 1-to-1 connection for getting to know someone. Which is why I LOVE to offer all my webinar attendees the opportunity to book a 15 minute, pitch-free mini session after the webinar to get help with 1 problem or question related to the webinar topic. You’d be surprised how connected you can feel to someone after just 15 minutes (especially when you are only focused on being of service to them).

With the right structure and follow-up, these sessions are amazing for turning passive followers into fans and fans into clients! (Hat tip to Kendrick Shope for teaching me the power of 15min pitch-free mini sessions and for sharing her amazing follow-up templates with my Get Your Webinar Done clients!)

(Not everyone is going to take you up on this offer but if you are worried about numbers, you can control the number of daily/weekly free sessions offered in your online scheduler or offer a limited number, first come first served.)

I’d love to hear from you

How do you connect with your webinar audience? I’d love to know what works for you or what you loved on someone else’s webinar!

If you found these suggestions helpful, I’d be so grateful if you shared this :) Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest buttons are right below.

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11 Responses to 4 golden opportunities to connect with your webinar audience you might be missing

  1. Becky January 29, 2015 at 18:01 #

    Jackie! This is FAB (and you’re a GENIUS!) I’m planning a webinar in a few weeks and I’m writing the script now. I’m going to go through and use every single one of these tips! Thank you!
    I do have one question – I use Free Conference Call (so no chat box) – do you have any tips for connecting before hand for tip #2? Maybe reading the answers to their questions from #1 and discussing them before the call?
    Thank you again for these GREAT tips. Really – these are perfect!

    • Jackie Johnstone February 3, 2015 at 14:15 #

      I’m looking forward to your next free call, Becky! With voice-only calls you do have to be a bit more creative — definitely mentioning by name anyone who got in touch before the webinar is a great idea! Also, if it’s not too many moving pieces for you to manage, you might consider starting a thread on your Facebook Page or using a #hashtag on Twitter and asking people to interact there (give them instructions in the pre-call emails).

  2. Siedah Mitchum January 29, 2015 at 18:40 #

    Awesome information here Jackie. I love it when I go on to a webinar and the host is actually interacting with us before the webinar starts. Some great gems here!

  3. Catarina January 29, 2015 at 18:47 #

    Oooh, I love #1 Jackie! Will try it next time. What do you think about post-webinar interaction? Do you think it’s a good idea to reach out to them for feedback post-webinar and/or to ask them about future topics they may be interested in? Thanks!

    • Jackie Johnstone February 3, 2015 at 14:19 #

      It’s a great idea to ask for post-webinar feedback, Catarina! Be as specific as possible with what exactly you want feedback on (people will be much more likely to respond to a direct question or two than a general “let me know how you liked it”) and if you want some insight for future webinars giving them a choice between a couple of potential topics will net you more replies than an open-ended question.

  4. Maria Arredondo January 29, 2015 at 19:52 #

    Fabulous advice Jackie!

    Just in time as I am preparing my next one and I’m pulling my hair off with all the moving parts. The Master Check list you shared is gold!! thanks!!

  5. Kathy Pine January 29, 2015 at 21:05 #

    Thank you for sharing these tips! I hadn’t thought of ANY of them myself – and I love interaction, so these are great ideas.I’m definitely going to try these out next time I run a webinar. Thank you!

  6. Mallory January 29, 2015 at 21:17 #

    Ohhh Jackie this post was great! We’re just starting to do webinars so there is still a lot to learn. Love the idea of reaching out & getting to know your audience before the webinar. Then you’re able to really speak to your audience by adding in specific examples based on their answers. Thank you!

  7. Ophélie February 1, 2015 at 18:08 #

    Hi Jackie,:-)

    Hooooo great advices, thank you, I did 3 webinars but never thought about all of those tips, beside the last one, but was afraid to have to many request… participation is important, to make sure they do not fall asleep….;-) I think before I could not have been able to manage to deal with the chat on top of all the rest, but I think next time I am going to ask for feedback after I do my little energetic process. :-)

    • Jackie Johnstone February 3, 2015 at 14:22 #

      It’s definitely another moving piece to bring the chat window into play. If you are flying solo and don’t have an assistant or producer to help monitor the comments I’d suggest just being transparent with your audience about when you are looking at the chat. Don’t try to do two things at once, just say, “I’m going to take a look at your answers / see if there are any questions in the chat right now” and then pause while you look. People completely understand.

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