As the world shifted to virtual the past two years, the influx of online meetings has grown at an exponential rate. Whether you had meetings with your clients over Google Meet, or even had to defend them in court virtually via Zoom, platforms like these made it possible to continue practicing law in the midst of one of the worst global crises of all time.
67 percent of businesses have doubled down on webinars since the COVID-19 outbreak. 57 percent of marketers host an average of 50 webinars every year. The craziest part? Consumers are actually watching them.
Going virtual is in, and it’s changed the way we spread and send information forever.
We’re in the age of the webinar. Where are you?
Never fear — we’re here to show you how to get results while maintaining interest and engagement in this new era of virtual get-togethers.
- When and Why to Host a Webinar
- Creating Your Webinar
- Promoting Your Webinar
- Measuring Your Webinar’s Success
When and Why to Host a Webinar
By definition, a webinar is a live, virtual event that is hosted on the internet using telecommunications technology. Can be instructive or educational or a meeting that involves audio-visual communication between a speaker and attendees. “Webinar” is derived from the word “seminar.”
Webinars are typically used to share information, promote a product or service, and learn more about a firm or company all in front of an audience. Common webinar goals include solving problems, sharing your expertise, building authority in your niche, onboarding new clients, and generating new leads or contacts.
Who Is It For?
Before you can even plan your webinar, it’s important to take a long look at your ideal client. Who are they? What are their interests? What makes them want to choose your law firm over anyone else’s?
Once you have a clear picture of this person in your head, you must understand their decision-making journey. It’s no longer Googling “lawyer near me” and calling the first number that pops up; it’s now a five-step process.
In this stage, your audience does not know who you are or why they need you. In fact, they might not have a need for your legal support at all — yet.
Grabbing your ideal client’s attention as soon as possible is the main goal. In order to do this, give them something valuable that they need. Help them get to know you in the sea of other options. It’s best to provide solutions to their problems before they even happen so they associate you with helping — not selling.
Webinar hosting tips during the Awareness stage: Since this portion of their journey is largely about grabbing attention, keep your content short, sweet, and engaging.
At the Interest stage, your potential client does recognize their need to hire an attorney, but they perhaps don’t know that they need to hire you specifically.
Discerning consumers are looking to narrow down their candidates at this point, and they most likely have specific questions in mind. They will want to know why they should hire you, why they should trust you, what makes you different, and how they will know they made the right decision by choosing you.
This is when you want to establish yourself as the go-to expert in your field. You got their attention in the Awareness stage, so now they want to know that you have the chops to back up what you say. Provide logical evidence for the emotional connection that your awareness-based content focused on.
Webinar hosting tips during the Interest stage: Potential clients will have many questions at this point, so keep things specific. Answer all of their questions before they even have a chance to ask you personally. Go in-depth on specific topics they may be struggling with. Give them something useful, and they’ll remember you as the attorney who provided them free, useful content.
A potential client at the Evaluation stage is seriously considering hiring you — but they’re probably seriously considering a few other options as well. As they evaluate you as a firm, they’re looking to justify their emotional response by finding logical support.
It’s time to prove your worth.
The Evaluation stage is going to be much more “you” focused than Awareness and Interest. Remember, the potential client is seriously considering hiring you at this point. They’ve seen you around, they’ve interacted with your content, and they’ve come to regard you as a reliable expert in your field of law. But now you need to back up those feelings and prove you have the results to back it up.
Webinar hosting tips during the Evaluation stage: Spotlight some past cases, bring in an expert guest, and make sure you know what you’re doing in this stage. They have almost made their decision, so give them the final push they need to take the plunge.
Congratulations! At the Decision stage, you’ve just earned a new client. But it’s not time to slow down. They’re still afraid of making the wrong decision — especially a decision as important as choosing legal counsel. As a result, they’ll want to start gathering evidence to see if you live up to their expectations.
Remove any friction points, deliver excellent service, and reinforce their decision. Don’t let buyer’s remorse even attempt to cross their minds.
Webinar hosting tips during the Decision stage: This is a good opportunity to host a webinar exclusively for new clients and make the firm’s process crystal clear. Let them know that they are in good hands.
Your clients spend most of their time in the Loyalty stage. It’s about maintaining a relationship for the long term. The value you bring to their life and the experience surrounding the support you provide impacts the loyalty your clients experience.
Even after their case has concluded, continue keeping your clients engaged. Nurture lifelong relationships and prime clients to provide referrals, provide testimonials, and always come back to you if they need your services.
Webinar hosting tips during the Loyalty stage: Provide your clients with an exclusive clients-only webinar and give them the opportunity to share it with their friends and family. Most importantly, make sure to let them know you still care.
Putting the Buyers’ Journey to Use
The better you understand your ideal client, the better you can build the relationship between the two of you.
In order to move onto the planning stage of developing your webinar, you must determine which stage you need to focus on.
Do you have trouble filling the top of your pipeline of potential clients to nurture and are just looking for some exposure? Or do your potential clients get stuck just before the Decision stage, and you need to put the finishing touches on why they should hire you?
Figure out what’s most important to your law firm right now, then begin preparing for the next steps.
Creating Your Webinar
After you’ve taken the time to understand your ideal client’s decision-making journey, it’s time to create your webinar. From here, you can figure out your ultimate goal and target audience.
Choosing Your Webinar Topic
Consider the questions, challenges, and pain points of your clients at the stage you are targeting with your webinar. Some things to ask yourself:
- What am I most knowledgeable about?
- What am I most passionate about?
- What problems do my clients have in common that I can solve?
- What questions do my potential clients have before hiring me?
- What do most people not know about hiring a lawyer or going through the legal process in my niche?
Choosing Your Webinar Format
Once you feel comfortable enough to come up with a main topic for your webinar, it’s time to decide on a format. There are plenty of different options to choose from. Make sure you’re informed so you can pick the one that works best for you.
- Educational Presentation/Masterclass: One of the most common webinar formats. You are the teacher or presenter and your students are your ideal clients. This format is often supplemented with slides, infographics, and easy-to-read bullet points.
- Question & Answer: In this conversational type of presentation, we recommend soliciting questions ahead of time so you can prepare your answers. Whether you choose to do this webinar live or recorded is up to you.
- Conversational/Talk Show: Here, you can invite one or two guests to sit down with you and have a relaxed conversation on a certain relevant topic. Think of your audience as just “dropping in” to listen to what you all have to say.
- Guest Interview: Consider this as the more formal version of the former. Your guest should be a leader in the desired field, and you should have prepared questions ahead of time. In this format, you act more as a moderator than a co-host or a contributor.
- Moderated Panel Discussion: You will assemble a group of experts to discuss the topic of your webinar. It’s up to you if you’d like to be a part of the panel or be the moderator and facilitate the conversation. The important thing is to watch the time and keep everyone in check in order to maintain engagement and remain relevant.
- Interactive Workshop: This format will take a more hands-on approach for your audience. The goal is to balance instructional time with exercises so that your audience can put what they’re learning into action right away.
- Debate: We’re all familiar with debates, and this is a great way to host a webinar. It’s up to you whether or not you’d like to be involved in the debate or just remain the moderator. Either way, it’s important to stay on topic and not stray.
Whatever form you decide on, note that the average webinar viewing time is 57 minutes. When taken from a survey, however, it’s been reported that 30-45 minutes is actually the preferred length of time.
It’s always good to experiment to see what works for you, your audience, and your brand — everyone’s different!
Creating Your Webinar Outline
Even if you’re the type of person who used to hate writing outlines in English class, their importance cannot be overstated — and they matter just as much when creating your webinar. Thanks to their assistance with planning, organizing, and brainstorming, outlines are a huge asset.
The format is simple:
- Title/Introduction: Begin by immediately telling your ideal clients what they gain, use compelling action words, and always be specific. It’s important to grab their attention quickly.
- Agitate Pain: What problem are you solving with your webinar? What emotions are your ideal clients feeling that has made them turn to you for support? If those viewers miss your webinar, what vital information will they miss? Why do they need to be a part of it? Show them how much they need to see what you have to say.
- Establish Credibility: Why should they trust you? Let them know by telling them who you are and what you do, and by proving to them that you’ve done this before. This could come in the form of former cases, testimonials from former clients, whatever works. Get creative! But don’t spend too much time here if the goal of your webinar is to provide value, solutions, and information. It’s about them, not about you.
- Provide Solutions: The legal industry can be confusing to those not steeped in the jargon, so use the bulk of your webinar to define phrases and terms, provide an actionable solution to the problem your audience is experiencing, and overall turn something complex into something simple.
- Finish with a Call-to-Action (CTA): Once your webinar is complete, what’s next? Be sure to give your ideal clients your contact information and maybe even leave them with a summary of everything they learned. Whether this comes in the form of a companion guide, a free consultation offer, or any other helpful source, keep them wanting more and make yourself available to give it to them. Keep the relationship moving forward!
Developing Visual Aids for Your Webinar
Once you have your outline prepared, it’s time to begin thinking about the visual elements of your webinar. About 65 percent of the population learn best through the use of visuals.
When presenting a webinar, it’s often helpful to present information with the help of visual elements such as graphs, videos, and slides. Your visual aid will be anything the audience can see that helps get your ideas across to the audience.
Remember that less is more, visuals are more user-friendly than text, and always keep it on brand.
Brand matters, so make sure your slides, infographics, and other visual aids look like they belong in the universe of your website. Remember, this is a direct representation of your law firm; if it looks sloppy, that will reflect poorly on your brand as a whole.
Presenting Your Webinar
When it comes to presenting your webinar, there are several options, each with its own advantages for different kinds of presentations. Depending on the topic of your webinar, you might choose one format over another because it’s more accessible to your audience or better suited to your chosen format.
- Slides/Voiceover: In this format, your face will be hidden and the audience will only be able to hear you while watching the slides go by.
- Slides/Presenter: Here, you can be in the presentation in a small bubble in the corner or off to the side in order to create a more personalized feel but still have slides aiding you while you speak.
- Presenter Only: If you don’t suffer from stage fright, this is the perfect option for you. This makes your webinar have more of a casual meeting feel to it, as you are speaking directly to the audience. This is often the most natural presentation style for talk show, conversational, or debate webinars.
Distributing Your Webinar
You have now:
- Identified your ideal clients and where you need to meet them on their buyer’s journey
- Chosen a topic you have expertise in
- Selected a format that works best for your chosen topic
- Developed an outline of the value you will deliver
- Nailed down your slide deck or other visual aids
It’s time to present! One final question: Do you want to perform live or record your webinar in advance? There is no right or wrong answer. Once again, it depends on what works best for you, your ideal audience, and your brand.
Hosting a Live Webinar
If you host your webinar live, it automatically has a more “event” feel to it. It has a time-based limitation which creates urgency. You have the opportunity to interact directly with your audience members in real time. With a live webinar, however, there’s more room for error. If you stumble over your words, there’s no editing it out. If you have technical difficulties, they are happening in front of a live audience.
Running a Recorded Webinar
When it comes to a recording, you can show it at a later date or use it as a bonus for clients. You have a high-quality piece of content to leverage for evergreen education and marketing purposes.
Running a “simulated live” webinar with a recording also gives you the power to control every aspect of the presentation experience. You can make edits for mistakes as necessary without the worry of everyone catching them live. There won’t be any surprises on webinar day.
Find out what works best for you and your ideal clients by trying both and comparing results.
Selecting a Webinar Platform
As for where to show your webinar, platforms such as Zoom or GoToWebinar are typically user-friendly and produce the strongest results. Other options include StealthSeminar, Cisco Webex, Wistia, as well as so many others. Try different platforms and see what works best for you and your presenting style.
Promoting Your Webinar
Hooray! You officially have all the makings for your webinar.
You have something valuable to share with your ideal clients. This is your chance to get that message across to your audience.
Before you can do that, however, you need to promote your webinar. If no one tunes into what you have to say, all of this will be for naught.
Creating a Registration Page For Your Webinar
This is a page on your website with written copy, potentially visual elements, and a form for your ideal clients to sign up for your webinar.
- Your registration page should include the basics: title, date, and host of the webinar.
- Reel your ideal clients in with a compelling hook; why do they need to tune in?
- Agitate their pain and mention their problem you plan on solving.
- Don’t forget a few bullet points with key takeaways they can expect to gain.
- Most importantly: add a registration form where they can actually sign up.
Promoting Your Webinar on the Right Channels
- Social Media: Take the time to figure out where your ideal clients are spending most of their time. It could be Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or even TikTok. Create fun, punchy, and eye-catching posts to grab their attention.
- Social Ads: Organic reach doesn’t cut it anymore, which means it’s time to invest in paid advertising. Social media platforms give you a lot of targeting power. Run ads wherever your ideal clients are spending the bulk of their time.
- Email: Your ideal clients all have an email address, and email continues to be one of the highest-return marketing channels available. Sending a direct sign up invitation to your webinar to existing clients or leads in your database is one of the best ways to communicate with them. Looking to level up? Leverage automation tools to take the manual work out of your email marketing.
- Direct Mail: It’s not dead! If you have a strong local presence and have a set date for your webinar early enough in advance, direct mail could greatly benefit you. Send out cute invitations, brochures, and postcards to get the word out. Make sure your CTA is included — that means a URL or QR code to send them to the registration page.
- Other: Get creative! Take a relentless approach and don’t stop until you have a clear picture of who needs your webinar and where you need to market to reach them.
Creating a Webinar Promotion Plan
Whether your webinar is date-based or evergreen, you must have a promotion plan in place for it.
If it’s date-based, meaning your webinar will air on a certain date, schedule emails and social posts in advance. If you schedule ahead of time, you can plan everything out and execute it smoothly and evenly.
If it’s evergreen, meaning your webinar will be around forever, promotion requires a different approach. Send regular emails, make regular posts, and keep reminding your prospects and clients that this webinar is available to them whenever they wish to watch.
Placing the Finishing Touches on Your Webinar Promotion
When promoting your webinar, run a quality check before you post anything on any platform.
Make sure any promotional graphics for your webinar are eye-catching with a clear title, and the date and time are present as well as the name of the presenter.
What should you write in emails promoting your webinar?
Here are a few tried-and-true tips:
- Diagnose the problem that you plan on solving in your webinar.
- Establish authority, include a couple of key takeaways they can expect, and agitate the urgency of why they need to be involved.
- Of course, don’t forget the title, date/time, and the host.
- Include your hook right away: agitate the pain, diagnose the problem you can solve.
- Provide a solution: “Come to this webinar and this problem will disappear.”
- Create a sense of urgency: “There’s limited time, limited space, and it takes place one night only.”
- Don’t forget your call-to-action! Lead them directly to the registration page for the webinar. Make it EASY for your ideal clients to find your webinar.
Measuring Your Webinar’s Success
You did it! You created, promoted, and put on your first successful webinar. So how do you measure its success? There are many ways, depending on your goals.
Consider the following:
- The number of registrants you wanted vs. the number of registrants you got
- The number of attendees you wanted vs. the number of attendees who came
- How many on-demand views did you receive?
- Did anyone download any extra content you provided after the webinar completed?
- Did you generate any new leads?
- Were you able to book any new consultations?
- How many new clients did you receive?
Success is measured differently depending on the goals you set proactively when you set out to host a webinar. The important thing is that you continue to try new things in order to promote your brand and all that goes along with it.
We’re looking forward to our invite to your next webinar!
The post How to Host and Promote a Webinar for Your Law Firm appeared first on Crisp Video.