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!
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