There are many reasons why you might want to add webinars to your business bag of tricks:
Webinars are easy in two ways:
From a practical standpoint, offering a webinar requires only that you have a great subject, a PowerPoint presentation, and a host for the webinar. A simple Google search will yield a host of hosts who can help you put on and promote the event.
They add value: Offering a webinar, either on your own site or someone else’s, creates value for the participant. I do webinars for many companies and often they offer the webinars as a free value-added bonus to their best small business customers. It is an affordable way to create goodwill and customer loyalty, add value, and to stay top-of-mind.
They can be a nice profit center: You can make money two ways with a webinar. First, you can charge people to attend. If your topic is compelling enough, that works. Second, because webinars can be recorded, by recording yours, you are creating a product that you can sell and sell for a long time.
For instance, over at my website we offer a webinar called Marketing on a Shoestring. Although I recorded that webinar a while ago, it remains relevant and popular. (See “webinars” on the blue tabs.)
They position you as the go-to expert: If you are the presenter of the webinar, you must be an expert, right? Another option is to bring in other experts onto your site and offer their expertise to your base.
For example, I have listened to many fantastic teleseminars over at SpeakerNet News – a resource for speakers, consultants, authors, etc. They have a cadre of great speakers. Similarly, my pal Tara Reed brings in experts for her Teleseminar series, teaching artists how to make money with their art via licensing, branding, etc..
You could do the same in your industry.
They capture email: Creating your own online list is important for marketing purposes. People who sign up for your webinar are opting-in, giving you their email address, and in the process, helping you grow your list.
They engage your audience: As I am wont to say, it is not enough these days to simply have a static website. People expect more. Webinars are a cool Web 2.0 tool that engage your audience and help you forge a closer connection to your customers.