By Colin Clerkin
On Friday (July 12th), I hosted my first live Webinar. As some people have asked me, in the run-up to this, what a webinar is, let me explain: it's a live online seminar, where you give a talk or presentation to people who have signed up from around the country (or the globe, even) to attend via their computers. You make your presentation; they can see your slides and you (via your webcam); and they can interact with you via a live online chat system ... don't you love technology!
But when I "attended" a colleague's webinar earlier this year, I was impressed by the online technology they had used - called MeetingBurner - and decided to try it out. Initially, I signed up for the Basic account - it's free and allows you to create webinars with up to 10 attendees.
And the attached video (above) of the session is the result! It's the recording of that first webinar. It shows the PowerPoint slide presentation with my voiceover as recorded live during the session. During the session, attendees could see a small video of me (live!) alongside the slides too, but this doesn't make it into the recording, which may/may not be a good thing :D!
But hey, isn't technology fun? And just consider the potential that services like MeetingBurner offers small businesses - it is really exciting, when you stop to think about it ...
Imagine ... you're a coach or therapist; you want to reach more people, demonstrate your expertise further and expand your influence. You could of course offer a "traditional" workshop or training event on a subject you're an expert in and passionate about. But the business of setting up a day's training event, with all the organisation and time commitment that requires, may feel too much, especially if you are a small operation.
However, imagine instead that you could create a series of training sessions (bite-sized chunks of 10-20 minutes, perhaps, or maybe hour-long teaching sessions) that you run as recorded webinars from the comfort of your own office. And that you could then make these recordings available for download on-demand, via your website, YouTube, or elsewhere? You could make the original event and the recording free to interested parties if you wished (it's your material, your choice), but equally exciting is that you could also choose to make these sessions available for an appropriate fee?
What might such a facility offer you? For one, it allows you to reach potential clients from further afield than your geographical limitations might place on you. Secondly, it could become an income-generator for you, where you do the work once and then allow your efforts to create an income stream even when you are not there, in person, doing the work! And thirdly, it positions you as an expert within your professional community, and this draws more and more interest in your services, thus growing your business and expanding your influence.
For myself, I see great potential in developing more of these webinars over the coming months. The experience of running my "How's Your Practice Doing?" effort (that's the one included in this blog post) was very enjoyable and I learned a lot in a short space of time! I would suggest that you do some test runs before you go "live", but I can also recommend very highly the technical support from MeetingBurner, who responded as quickly as could be expected, given the time difference (they are US-based), to any questions I had as I set things up.
So ... are you ready to broadcast your expertise more widely to grow your business? If you think that you might be, then live webinars could very well be the route you need to be considering next.
It can do no harm to have find out more, can it? So why not check it out, if you find the possibilities presented by this way of working of interest - and just to be transparent, MeetingBurner run an affiliate scheme, so if you register via this link - http://ColinClerkin.enterthemeeting.com/join - for their free service but upgrade to their paid services down the road, I will earn a referral fee - but remember, the same can happen for you, if people you tell about it decide to use it too!
Let me know when you're going live ... I'd love to come along.