Who can afford to go to a conference or workshop these days? And who has to?
Teaching an online workshop or webinar is a great way to offer your small business services in a comfortable, affordable format your clients will appreciate.
Seminars, webinars, and online workshops run the gambit from streaming videos, podcasts, PowerPoint presentations, and interactive forums. There’s software that can do anything you want, as complicated or as minimal as you desire. Universities and many teaching or service based companies have jumped on this bandwagon and now offer distance learning degrees and certificates. Students and participants can view classes from a remote location, interact with other students on message boards, watch a streaming video, upload their own videos and papers, and even take tests–all from the comfort of their home in their pj’s.
The benefits for online webinars and workshops are:
It’s a promotional tool.
You can partner with other sites and be promoted there for days and weeks prior to the event.
You can promote your webinar/workshop on forums and discussion groups–which also promotes your website in an acceptable way.
It deserves a e-release/press release, which also promotes your site and business in a reputable manner.
Others will advertise for you. Don’t forget to contact online calendar sites. You might be able to spin your helpful seminar (even consider offering it at little or no charge) so that it’s considered a community service–which means even more sites will promote it for you (as well a contacting TV or radio).
You can send out e-queries to other sites because you have a reason to–your webinar.
You get to expand your database of contacts.
All seminars have you register, which means that you can ask for pertinent information such as email address, mailing address and other information.
Webinars and online workshops don’t need to be live. In fact, if they’re text based, you can collect questions and then respond over the next 12-24 hours, which is a smart way to avoid live chat or streaming broadcast problems. Text based seminars also allow you to hold the copyright, which means you can take the information you’ve gathered and use it in future e-books, brochures, newsletters or website content.
With an investment in software and a little brainstorming, you can take your own conference and workshop notes and turn them into a dynamic webinar or online workshop that engages your current clients and reaches out to your potential target audience. And in today’s climate, online webinars and workshops allow you to offer your services to the online world.