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Lead Gen Idea: Host Your Own Webinar to Build Your Email List

March 09 2016

webinar tablet 3Want a new way to build up your database and your reputation at the same time? Consider hosting your own webinar!

Due to their digital nature, these "web seminars" are a lot less labor intensive than the offline lead generation events that some agents host. There's no need to arrange for an event space, prepare refreshments, or (thankfully) clean up afterwards.

The purpose of these events is to stay top-of-mind with existing clients and bring in new leads by offering useful information that appeals to homeowners. You can hone the webinar's topic to focus on a particular niche that you serve, like first-time buyers or real estate investors. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • What First Time Home Buyers Should Know
  • Preparing Your Home for Sale
  • Monthly Market Update
  • Relocating to [Your Town]
  • How to Finance Your First Home (co-host with a mortgage lender)
  • Tax Tips for Homeowners (co-host with a CPA)
  • Remodeling Projects that Increase Your Home Value (co-host with a contractor)

Team Up for Success

To broaden your reach, consider co-hosting with another company that serves real estate consumers. The list above offers a few ideas, though you can also try credit unions, landscapers, and beyond.

Select a company that's willing to pull their weight when it comes to promoting the webinar. To make things run more smoothly, agree to a promotion plan ahead of time--that you'll each publish two blog posts on your respective websites, that you'll both post on social media, that you'll both send out an email blast a week before the event, etc. Having everything pre-defined plan prevents one party from feeling like the other didn't pull their weight. You don't want a feeling like that souring your relationship with them in future.

What Software Should You Use?

Now that you have a topic and plan in place, it's time to figure what platform you should host your webinar on. Look for something that handles registration for you and lets you record the event. Interactive features like polls and questions are a nice add-on for engaging attendees throughout your event.

Most webinar platforms charge a monthly fee. If you're just trying to get your toes wet, consider using Google Hangouts. You can only host up to 10 at a time, but you can stream the event to your YouTube account while it's live. Hangouts will let you automatically record and publish the event to YouTube, as well.

If you're willing to spend a little for a higher quality platform, these are solid choices:

Rehearse

Technical glitches are the bane of well run webinars. You can minimize the chances of them happening by rehearsing your webinar a few days prior to the event. Make sure that all parties involved are familiar with technology platform you've chosen and basic functions like sharing your screen, switching presenters, launching polls, etc.

You'll also want to test the webinar's flow so that it all makes sense to attendees. Do a final run-through of your slide deck and make sure that all parties are familiar with its contents. If you don't have a slide deck, you can make one easily with Canva or Haiku Deck.

During the Event

Keep attendees engaged by allowing them to ask questions and participate in polls during events. Save the questions that are most applicable to the majority of your audience to answer during a Q&A session at the end.

Create a social media hashtag that attendees can use to live tweet (or Facebook) about your event. This creates buzz and can even encourage people to join the webinar in progress. Don't forget to tweet your favorite quotes during the event; include a link that others can use to join.

Following Up

Within 24 hours, send a follow-up email with a link to the webinar recording to all registrants and attendees. Then add their contact information to your CRM's or marketing automation software's database so that you can continue to nurture them.

Don't forget to re-use and re-purpose the webinar's content, either. That's one of the best parts about hosting the event--you have a ton of content to use in the future. Write a follow-up blog or Facebook post that summarizes the event and embed the video into the post. You can also use questions asked in the webinar to write future blog posts--you already know that they're questions that your customers are asking anyway! Further down the road, try turning the presentation into an ebook, infographic, or downloadable report that you can offer to prospects.

Not sure if you're ready to take the webinar plunge? Attend a few events to get a feel for how webinars flow. You can find a list on our Webinars page.