Hosting your first webinar? 7 step to prepare
Wahoo, webinar time!
Congrats on taking the leap into webinar land gal! It's no secret that webinars do take a good bit of planning and tech setup (which I'll help you with in this post), but they pay off as they're an opportunity for amazing engagement with your audience!
Crowdcast is my new webinar platform of choice, so some of the advice in this post will be specific if you're using Crowdcast.
Here's everything you need to prep for your first webinar:
What to prepare for your first webinar:
We'll start with the obvious, you need to have some fab content to deliver to your audience!
If you're exceptionally great at just chatting up a storm to yourself naturally (you are after all sitting in a room talking to a screen) then you could go the method of just talking wth your attendees, face-to-screen, no presentation style.
For this method, you'll likely want to write up some quick guidelines for what you'll be covering and have that on your screen or printed on a piece of paper so you don't forget what your next speaking point is is!
Prepare: An outline of your speaking points
If your content is best shared by showing examples, diagrams, charts, etc., a slideshow presentation might be handy. A slideshow presentation webinar is also useful if you're not so comfortable with your face being full-screen for an hour or more.
For this method you'll want to prep some slides, though don't get too wild now, they should only have bullet points basically to remind you what to talk about, similar to the guidelines of the above option as opposed to full paragraphs that you read off and bore people to death with.
Prepare: A slideshow presentation with bullet points, not full paragraphs plus any useful diagrams or images
If you'd like to give some sort of tech tutorial on your webinar, then do a run through before to get an idea for length of time it takes to explain everything and to ensure there's no funny surprises in the tech you're using. A written/printed outline of what you're covering to have beside your computer and follow might be handy too.
Prepare: Run through the tech tutorial once before and write out a basic outline
2. Check your internet speed is up to snuff
This one is kinda important. If your internet isn't fast enough, trying to host your first webinar will definitely be a stressful experience. Ensure you're ready to host your webinar in the first place by testing your internet speed. Crowdcast gives super clear details on how fast it needs to be here, plus a link to where you can test your speed.
If it doesn't meet the requirements, be sure to call up your internet provider to have it sped up.
3. A list of welcome + housekeeping items
For your first webinar it's nerve wracking to hit the 'go live' button, so make the first few mins of your first webinar easier by writing yourself a quick checklist of the things to cover before you even get into the content itself.
You'll want to:
Welcome your audience & ask where they're joining you from
Show them around your webinar platform, point out the chat, the area for asking questions, the Call To Action button, etc.
If you decide to create a freebie for your webinar, remind attendees to click on your CTA to download the thing if they haven't already
Let everyone know how you'll take question, either throughout from the chat or at the end from the questions area)
Any other important house keeping items relevant to your topic/business
4. Set up your event in Crowdcast
With Crowdcast you just set up the event, and don't need to worry about creating a registration page, thank you page, etc. Crowdcast does it for you. So just create your event, grab the link and get sharing that thing around!
5. Write & schedule your webinar invite emails
To make your life easier on webinar week, write out the content for the email you'll send to your list inviting them to your webinar. You'll want to be sure to include the following in your email:
I'm assuming your webinar solves some kind of pain point, so first define the pain point and let your list know you created the webinar to help exactly those people who were in X situation
"I’ve never built a website before. Really, I’m just starting out and this is all new to me." "Well perfect, this class was designed exactly for you!"
Title of webinar
Time & place (online!)
Specific takeaways of what they'll learn if they attend
A list of 'this webinar is for you ifs ...'
Let them know if there will be a replay or not
Let them know if there's any specific reason they should really show up live, if there is one
6. Write a condensed version of invites for social media
On social media, we tend to keep things a bit quicker and more to the point than on emails, so take the copy you wrote for invite emails, and tweak it ever so slightly to use it on social media too. Basically, two birds with one stone! Don't re-write completely new copy, just use what you've already written but make a condensed version.
7. Turn your site into 'webinar mode'
Whats webinar mode you ask? It's when you make changes to your site to make it super clear and obvious you have an event coming up! Here's a few places on your site to tweak on webinar week:
Add a button to your navigation with 'free class,' 'free webinar,' something along those lines. Have the button link to your registration page on Crowdcast
Add an 'announcement bar' in Squarespace. Give a quick 1 sentence to notify of your upcoming webinar
Change your home page banner to announce the webinar
Add a pop-up with a webinar invite
Best of luck with the webinar gal!