It doesn’t matter if you run a law firm, an e-commerce business, or a local restaurant. Before you can turn your prospects into paying customers, you’d need to answer this one burning that they ultimately end up asking.
Of course, that question is, “Who on earth are you?”
Sadly, in the information age, the traditional forms of marketing and advertising will no longer suffice if you want to succeed in business.
You need to adapt, get creative, and leverage channels that suit your modern audience.
More importantly, you need to utilize platforms to build and promote your personal brand in the online space.
How does this work? A typical example would be a business who launches a blog to establish their expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
Sure, blogs are definitely useful when it comes to building your brand online. But with a torrent of text-based articles published every day, you’ll need something more eye-catching and engaging.
That where webinars come in.
A Soft Introduction to Webinars
Put simply; a webinar is exactly what it sounds like — a seminar hosted on the web. They are primarily used to fuel sales or a lead generation campaign.
For some, webinars are offered as a subscription-based service, functioning as the primary means of monetization. This is normally done by online “gurus,” educational organizations, and independent e-learning brands.
Regardless of your desired outcome, webinars are powerful tools for building a solid personal brand.
If you execute everything well, it can show your audience that you know your stuff.
You can also use interactive elements to connect with your audience on a deeper level and receive valuable feedback from them in real time.
With all that being said, hosting your own webinar might sound like a monumental task, especially for small businesses and solopreneurs. However, thanks to cloud-based platforms and resources on how to learn about webinar marketing, it’s now easier than ever to pull off.
Without further ado, below are the steps on how to successfully build a solid personal brand with webinars.
1. Use Your Natural Speaking Voice
Before anything else, you need to find your authentic voice as a webinar speaker.
Remember that despite webinars containing videos, downloadables, and other interactive elements, it can still be very boring. That is, if you communicate with your audience as if you’re speaking in front of a class.
Of course, there are some cases where speaking with a formal tone makes sense. For example, you could be targeting the academic audience or covering serious socio-political issues.
But when it comes to marketing or other niche-specific topics, you can never go wrong with adding a little personality.
Don’t be afraid to go off-script and always speak as if you’re talking to a close friend.
Keep in mind that you need to win your audience’s vote of confidence. If necessary, tone your personality down a bit and maintain a professional conversation.
2. Find Topics that Resonate with Your Audience
The next step is to look for worthwhile topics to discuss in your webinar.
For the most part, this usually boils down to you being in-tune with your market. However, there are also several online research tools you can use.
A rule of thumb is to look for problems that your target audience is experiencing. You can also use tools like Google Alerts and BuzzSumo to identify the latest trends and news using relevant keywords.
To help you find suitable topics, here’s a list of the typical webinar formats you can go with:
- Case Study Webinars
If you’d like to highlight the effectiveness and key advantages of a product, you can produce a webinar that showcases its real-world performance.
- Interview Webinar
To help boost attendance, you can invite a popular influencer to speak or be interviewed at your webinar.
- Product Demonstration Webinar
The main difference between a case study and a product demonstration is that the latter doesn’t necessarily focus on actual results. Rather, it merely covers how a product can or must be used — sometimes including a few tips here and there.
- Q&A Webinar
To promote yourself as an authority in your niche, you can host a Q&A webinar where you’ll simply answer questions asked by a live audience. This requires a comprehensive webinar platform with built-in features for interactivity.
- Educational or Discussion Webinar Series
For general purposes, you can always find a broad topic and break it down into smaller subtopics or lessons. Just be sure that each broadcast stands on its own and adds to the main goal of the webinar series.
3. Sprinkle Branded Visuals
With webinars, you have every opportunity to use any form of visual content. You can present data via infographics, use stylized text for headlines, or share technical instructions with simple animations.
If you can’t afford graphic designers or animators for the visual content you need, there are several DIY tools you can utilize online.
Canva, for example, is perfect if you want infographics or data visualizations in your webinar. Animaker, on the other hand, can help you spice things up with professional-looking animations.
Just pay attention to your branding elements such as logos, fonts, and color templates. These details might seem insignificant, but if you’re consistent with them, you can make your brand more memorable and recognizable in the eyes of your audience.
4. Create Social Media Buzz
To maximize the impact of your webinars, you need to make social media an integral component of your campaign.
This can be applied in three ways. The first and more obvious way is to use existing social media channels to increase attendance.
The second way is to generate social noise during and after your webinar.
One example is to promote a branded hashtag to raise awareness for your webinar. You can also encourage existing attendees to share that hashtag for a chance to win something valuable.
Lastly, don’t forget to promote your brand’s social media presence through your webinar. A simple reminder to follow you on Twitter or like your page on Facebook works, but there are a couple of other strategies you can also try:
- If you offer subscription-based webinars, tell your attendees that social media followers get discounts.
- Broadcast your webinar on Facebook Live.
- Run a survey on social media and let followers decide your next topic.
Webinars may be a challenging new frontier for small brands, but it isn’t rocket science, either.
If you want to utilize their power for brand building, always focus on the value that your audience receives. Be the guiding hand that helps solve their problems, and you’ll be seen as the brand they can trust.