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Running a webinar is easy and a great way to get member involvement, have fun, and make money thorugh your network. I have attempted several methods of generating revenue through my network and running webinars (Online Seminars) has proven to be one of the most effective. Below are the steps I took to conduct a webinar:

1. What do your members want?
Focusing the webinar on a "hot" topic is key to the success of your webinar. Find out what your members want most by conducting a survey using a service like Survey Monkey (it is free and easy). You can also get ideas from looking at popular forum discussions, or, a special interest group that generates a lot of activity.

2. Find the expert on the subject.
Finding the expert on the subject you choose will get your members excited about the event and give them confidence that it is worth the money. The expert could be a well-known author, a professor, or blogger. They could even be a member of your network!

3. Choose a Webinar Service.
The webinar service is where you schedule and conduct your webinar. Out of all the options, GoToWebinar is the easiest, most reliable and affordable. Two others are Webex and DimDim. Webex was waaayyy too expensive and DimDim did not offer great tech support.

4. Eventbrite.
Collecting payments via Eventbrite is easy and free to setup. They take a minimal % of ticket sales, so they only make money when you make money. Eventbrite also allows you to integrate the ticket forms into your website for a seamless, branded experience.

5. Promote. Promote. Promote.
The success of your webinar hangs on the hinges of how well you promote the event. Just creating an event page on your network is not enough. If you build it, they will not come until you invite them. Share your event with your members on a progressive basis. Start promoting the event at least a month in advance and remind your members at two weeks, then one week, then one day... you get the idea. Send out a press release. Create an affiliate program (again via Eventbrite) and ask people to help spread the word via blogging, facebook, and twitter.

6. Prepare for Game Day.
GoToWebinar has a feature that allows you to practice your webinar before the actual day. It is a good idea to go through a practice run before the actual event.

7. Have Fun!

I hope you find this helpful. Please feel free to share your experiences with conducting webinars in the comments below.

Thanks!

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Comments

  • A quick question...
    With gotowebinar, do they provide a code of some sort to put back on your Ning site? Or did you your viewers had to all watch from an off-network page? Because I'm looking for a webinar hosting that will let me have it on my site
  • Wonderful information, looking forward to part 2.
  • Some additional thoughts on planning successful webinars:
    http://www.socialbrite.org/2010/08/09/10-steps-for-planning-a-succe...
  • Hey Scott,
    That sounds like a great idea! I'll have to look into exppos2...

    Thanks for sharing!
  • NC for Hire
    Sounds great Andrew!
  • All good ideas and very useful information! Thanks
  • I totally agree. I actually use exppos2 to host an entire virtual conference for my site once a year as well. It's a bit pricey, but the user experience is way better than any webinar software I've seen. I make a profit and my members love it.
  • Hey Jen,

    Thanks for the comment! I would be happy to answer those questions... in Part 2.

    ; )
  • NC for Hire
    Hi Andrew,

    Nice share, and a great idea. Would you mind sharing a few of the details like:
    1. What type of Webinar did you find successful?
    2. What are the most attendees you've ever had join one, and the least?
    3. In your experience, how long do most Webinars last?
    4. Of course, I would love to know what you would suggest to charge. Is there an acceptable Industry Standard, depending on topic and level of expertise?

    If you don't have time or feel inclined to answer these specifics, I will truly understand.

    Thanks for this great share!
    Best Regards,
    Jen
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