What are webinars? And should you be hosting them as a financial adviser?

By Helen Fisher on September 18, 2018

Attract new business with webinars.

There are so many buzzwords and phrases bandied about today that it’s easy to get overloaded. As a financial advisor who wants to find investor leads and get on with the job of helping clients, it can be draining having to keep up with the latest “you should” message from marketers and PR professionals.

However, one of the most interesting and fairly recent developments that you should be aware of is the “webinar”. It’s actually a synonym for an online seminar or internet-based conference, and so it essentially takes the form of an online meeting or presentation held in real time.

Although not really a brand-new concept, webinars have become far more prevalent and popular recently due to high-bandwidth internet connections becoming the norm. Combined with increased access via mobile devices, the idea of giving an interactive talk that is accessible and shared in real time has become something of a game changer.

Advantages that webinars offer

One of the biggest advantages that a webinar offers is the fact that you don’t have to travel anywhere to take part in them. This not only saves you time and expense but also means that if you are holding the talk yourself, then your potential audience can be located anywhere in the world.

Both presenters and “attendees” benefit from the format because holding talks, conferences and meetings in this way means that anyone can participate without leaving their workplace, home or wherever else they might be. Already successfully used in education, marketing, sales and corporate training programmes, webinars are now becoming increasingly common in the field of financial advice – this is because you can use them to create any kind of finance lead simply by using a little imagination.

Main features

The main elements that make webinars an attractive marketing and sales tool are:

  • Allows multidirectional conferencing
  • Ability to watch live presentations
  • Downloadable “catch-up” options
  • Create polls and surveys
  • Sharing the presenter’s desktop

This latter feature means that you can interact with clients or leads in an instantaneous way just as if they were sitting in front of you. Not only does this work in a one-to-one case, but it also applies to group work, which means that you can increase productivity by managing your own time in a more constructive way.

How does it work?

All webinars will basically follow the same pattern, which starts with the organiser communicating with their audience by simply sitting in front of their desktop computer, laptop or even smartphone camera. As this is a “live event”, the “attendees” will log on and see the live feed. The organiser can wait until the required number of viewers are online before getting on with the presentation or chairing the virtual meeting.

Graphs, tables and other visual content can all be used to illustrate points, and if you are the organiser, then all of this content can be shared from your device and streamed to the other participants in real time.

Why bother?

Although this might all sound very clever, you might well be thinking “why bother?” The answer to this is that you should always be looking at new ways to find financial adviser leads and convert them into clients. Generating leads comes from increasing awareness of your business and the services you offer. Building rapport is always the next crucial step, and a tried-and-tested way of doing this is to inform potential customers and educate them about what you can offer.

Improving conversion rates has to be the main concern if you are looking at ways to access new pension transfer leads or any other type of prospect. Increasing the ways that others can learn about you and your business is part and parcel of growing your marketing strategy, and it’s obvious that the ability to discuss issues, send and receive information, and have an online “face to face” capability will bring great advantages.

How to make a great webinar

It’s all well and good to be told that here’s yet another new method of attracting investing lead prospects, but that’s of little use if you don’t have a clue as to how to put it into practice. There are plenty of cost-effective and even free online solutions for hosting webinars, but that’s just the starting point. Actually creating something that people will want to be involved with is another thing entirely.

Making your webinar last an hour or less is a good tip, because people have limited attention spans and also time is a precious resource. If your webinar is too long, then people might drop out as it goes along and much of your hard work in getting them to participate in the first place will have been wasted.

Quality is, of course, a key factor in the success of your webinar, so you need to plan it out carefully and be fully prepared. Using a high-quality microphone is also a good tip because if your voice is muffled or too quiet, then you will be wasting your time and that of the participants.

There are various ways to encourage people to take an active part in your webinar. The use of polls and thought-provoking questions can work wonders, as can the use of “call to action” SEO methods. The whole point of a webinar that gives it an advantage over a standard webcast is that discussion and participation are encouraged.

Whatever you do, you should never rush through your agenda. Instead, make your plan solid enough that you know you will have enough time to cover your content and get your message across, while always leaving enough time for that all-important Q&A at the end.

Hosting a webinar as a financial adviser

The competition for a good investing lead is hotter than ever before, so having extra tools to help you is key to success. Being able to share your knowledge, experience and skills is always a good way to start building the trust that is the basis for all good working relationships in financial advice. Proficiency at hosting webinars will help you raise your profile, confidence and client awareness all in one go.

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