Webinars are a powerful lead generation, follow up and customer retention tool, if properly produced and managed. But, you must have a diversified strategy in place, and create events that vary by purpose and prospect.
An increasing number of your leads are likely coming from the internet, particularly as Brokers and big brands, like Century 21, are redirecting their advertising dollars online. As such, it’s safe to assume these people are comfortable communicating online.
Cost effective & affordable
Nimble and scalable
Keeps you top of mind
More personal than a newsletter
No expensive dry cleaning! (Presenting virtually, much like writing a blog post on presenting virtually, means you can do it in your bathrobe)
Webinar services can be expensive. For my consulting biz, I use DimDim.com. DimDim.com offers a free service allowing you to host a meeting for up to 20 people, and has the ability to chat live using VOIP. Check out their features here.
Develop a list of guest speakers such as loan modification experts, home stagers, tax experts, contractors or others that can provide expert information on important topics. (Yes, you are fascinating. Leveraging guest speakers unburdens you from preparing the presentation, and often those speakers will invite their database, thus expanding your reach)
Build several PowerPoint presentations you think would be interesting to various segments in your database, for example:
– Previous buyer clients: put together an area update, showing data on current neighborhood value, sales, foreclosures/short sales in the area – and explain why that’s important.
– All: Loan modification, new tax laws, determining if home enhancements will pay off.
** The professionalism of your PowerPoint is as important as the content. If you are not an expert at it, find someone that is, and have them prepare it. Here are some tips. Or, if you ask me really nicely, and since we are such good friends, I will help you. GE is known for its output of exceptional PowerPoint presentations, so I am well trained.
With your database segmented, send personalized invitations to the event. Remember SPAM laws. This is considered a mass communication, so you may want to consider a service like Constant Contact. It will automatically ensure you’re in compliance. Make certain there is a link to register for the event, or, ask them to reply.
I’ve found sending the invite within 7 days of the event works best – too far out and people lose interest. Be careful not to get too wordy or detailed – just highlight the top 4 takeaways.
Stay away from using “Free” or other words that may tend to over promise or mislead.
For a bigger lift on attendance, send reminders and follow-ups and even call registrants to remind them about the upcoming event.
DimDim will also provide a widget you can place on your website to attract people to the event.
4. Engage & Qualify
To engage registrants prior to the event, add a brief survey to the webinar invitation itself, with one or two multiple-choice questions to gauge the invitee on his or her key challenges or needs. If the attendee answers the brief questions, you know they are engaged and interested in the topic. That could make them a hotter lead.
During the webinar itself, ask participants to answer polling questions, and allow them to interact with you one on one. This keeps them engaged and feeling like a part of an event as opposed to a lecture.
Each of your events should lead to further communication. That can be a subscription to your newsletter, obtaining a copy of the presentation, etc. The offer, or suggested next steps should be how you close your webinar.
Don’t forget to follow up. Send an email to all registrants, whether they attended or not, and offer to provide the transcript and/or presentation, along with results from polls taken during the event.
Practice makes perfect
Presenting online requires a much different skill set than in person, since you don’t have the benefit of making eye contact or feeling the “vibe” of your audience. If you have never presented virtually, do some online searches for tip to killer webinar presentations, then do several practice runs with a helpful audience of friends or family for candid feedback.