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How to Host Your Own Webinar: A Checklist for Small Businesses

By June 17, 2022No Comments

A small business webinar on a laptopAs a small business owner, you may feel like you can’t compete with large corporations. You may think that because you’re not a major player, you can’t use some of the same tactics they are. This is a common misconception.

Small businesses should have a comprehensive digital marketing strategy in the same way large companies do. In this digital age, that strategy should include hosting your own educational webinars.

Virtual events can be a great way to position your brand as a leader in your field, make connections with potential leads in your industry, and create a backlog of content that can be repurposed in the future. By using this webinar checklist to get started, you can set yourself up for success and make your business stand out from the competition.

Small Businesses Webinar Checklist

  • Choose a topic – This can be anything that is relevant to your industry or business. Will you be using slides? Will you be hosting a panel of experts? Once you have all of this figured out, it’s time to start creating your content. As with any other client interaction, remember you’re solving their problem, not selling them a product.
  • Choose a webinar platform – There are countless articles that provide pros and cons for each webinar service. Read through one of them to identify which platform would work best for your small business.
    • Pro tip: If you plan on keeping your webinar under 45 minutes, Whereby is a free video-conferencing platform that can host up to 100 participants
  • Choose a background – After identifying a location you want to present in, be sure to do a test run to check what your audience will hear and see as you present. A space with zero background noise is ideal for virtual presentations.
  • Create a landing pageLanding pages are an essential part of any digital marketing strategy. At their best, they empower your visitors to engage with your content. At their worst, they drive people away from your website and brand. Your landing page should be specifically designed for your webinar.
    • Pro tip: You don’t need to start from scratch, there are thousands of landing page templates out there that you can pull designs and formats from.

Small business webinar landing page

  • Create a registration form – Include any fields that would help you get to know your audience better. People tend to dislike lengthy registration processes, so be sure to only ask for the top-level info you especially want to know from an audience. This can include:
    • First name
    • Last name
    • Email address
    • The industry they work in
    • The size of their business
    • Area of interest – this can help you determine if they fall into a specific target audience, and it can help you target specific groups of customers with segmented campaigns in the future.
    • Q&A – having a Q&A section of your webinar can be a great opportunity to encourage audience engagement and to answer any lingering questions you may not have answered during the presentation. This can also help you get more data if you choose to personalize follow-up emails after the event.
  • Choose a date and time – Make sure to give potential attendees plenty of notice so they can clear their schedules and make time for your event. Ideally, you should schedule your webinar a minimum of 2-4 weeks in advance.
  • Choose a promotional strategy – Once you choose when and where you want to host your webinar, start promoting! Social media is a great place to start along with any email lists you already target. Be sure to include:
    • The date and time of the webinar
    • The names and details of each presenter
    • A link to the new landing page you just created
    • Information about how to access a recording of the webinar after the event
      • Recording – providing a recording of the webinar can be a great way to reach your audience no matter if they’re able to attend the event live. Many webinar management platforms give you the ability to require registration even after the event so you can still collect data from attendees even if they sign up later.
  • Get prepared – rehearse your presentation and create a set of Q&A questions your audience may want to ask you. This can also help fill gaps in the presentation and encourage audience participation if you include polls, multiple-choice, and survey questions throughout the presentation.
  • Present – The day of your webinar is finally here! Make sure to log in early and set up any equipment you’ll need. If you’re using slides, load them into the presentation software and test everything to make sure it’s working properly. Once everything is set up, it’s time to start your webinar! Introduce yourself and your topic, and then get started with your presentation.
  • Follow up – After your webinar is finished, it’s time to follow up with your audience. Reaching out to each attendee and registrant is a great way to get to know your audience and make connections with them. Having a real person follow up with these leads is also likely to impress them since it adds the small business, personalized touch.
    • Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to follow up a second time a few weeks after the webinar too! This can be a great way to remind people about your brand, the webinar recording, or any related sales or promotions you’re running in conjunction with the webinar.
  • Repurpose – All of the effort you put into creating your webinar can now be dispersed among other channels! Use your presentation slides, recording, promotional copy, and other materials to create new content. This can include things like:
    • A blog
    • A newsletter
    • Social media posts

Webinars are a great way to position your brand as a leader in your industry. They’re an essential part of any small business digital marketing strategy. By following this guide, you’ll be able to run a successful webinar that will help your small business reach new heights.

Need help getting started? Contact Sweet Rose Studios and we can walk you through each step of the webinar process.