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Why You Should Add Webinars and Online Courses to Your Business Strategy

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Remember how lost you were when you first started your business? Think about all of the things that you’ve learned, mistakes that you’ve made, and ways that you’ve improved. All of these lessons are useful tools to help build business, gain passive income, and generate a solid customer base through webinars and online courses.

Webinars and online courses are an amazing way to help others succeed while gaining some income. They also allow you to show off your expertise and create warm leads and prospective clients. Here are some reasons why you should incorporate webinars and online courses in your business strategy.

What are webinars and online courses?

Before we tell you why you should incorporate these tools into your business, you need to understand what we’re talking about.

A webinar is basically an online seminar (or a web seminar… get it?). Basically, you invite attendees to your webinar event, they register, and at a set date and time, everyone logs in to the webinar, and you give a presentation complete with slides. This allows your attendees to view your presentation from anywhere in the world, and they can ask you questions and interact as you host. 

If you’re a little camera shy, it is possible to do a pre-recorded webinar that attendees register to view at a specific time. It might feel a little bit like posting a video on YouTube, but unlike a video, a pre-recorded webinar has registered attendees which builds a warm list of potential clients and networking opportunities. However, it won’t have the discussion aspect of the live webinar, which can be beneficial.

An online course is a course that you create in a subject area of your expertise. Usually, it will include videos, literature, coursework, and any other materials needed in order for participants to hit specific learning targets.

Unlike a webinar, participants can take the online course at their leisure. This means that you can make a decent passive income stream whenever anyone registers. You can set up your online course to be as interactive as you want, whether you want to provide personal help or simply offer the course and let it be.

Online courses are a great source of passive revenue, but it typically takes quite a bit more work to put together than a webinar. Therefore, you need to make sure that there’s a market for the online course that you want to develop; you may have a passion for underwater basket weaving, but do you think that you’ll get enough of an audience to make the hours of course preparations profitable?

Both webinars and online courses allow you to provide a service to potential customers, establish your expertise in a particular field, and show part of the service or product that you can provide. Now that we’ve established what each of these are and how they are used, here’s why you should include webinars and/or online courses in your business strategy.

Cultivate warm leads and potential customers

Let’s say that you sell jewelry online. You could host a webinar teaching attendees how to do a specific technique, showing them the ins and outs while they follow along. During the webinar, they can ask you live questions, and you’ll answer them, simultaneously showing that you know what you’re talking about and helping people to perfect their hobby.

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Generate customers

by establishing yourself as an authority in your field.

Once the webinar is done, you can add a small plug to your business, encouraging them to visit your site to see some of the jewelry pieces you sell that use the technique that you just taught, or guiding them to paid online courses that you’ve developed. While your goal in this webinar is ultimately to drive customers to your site, you’re also providing a meaningful service to potential customers and building relationships. Now that the customers have seen you in action and learned something new with you, they are more likely to support your business; people like to support a person that they can see rather than an invisible entity behind the computer.

Webinars allow you to provide helpful information while subtly bringing in business. People don’t feel like they’re sitting through a sales pitch (because they aren’t) but you get to add a little pitch, anyway. It’s a win-win.

The same goes for an online course, but it looks a little different. You can offer an online course on how to make jewelry at home. The online course will be available on your site, and participants can complete the course at their leisure. Since the students will go to your site for the course, this generates traffic, boosting SEO rates. You can also use the jewelry that you sell as examples, including links to where they can buy your jewelry. The online course shouldn’t feel like a sales push, but since the ultimate goal is to sell your jewelry, you should include opportunities for your students to buy your jewelry.

Similar to the webinar, the online course provides a helpful service to your potential customers, making them more likely to buy your jewelry; they’ll want to be loyal to someone who provided something meaningful. If you work to create a relationship with your students, you’ll build customer loyalty and make them fall in love with you and your products. The biggest bonus? You can charge for a  well-designed online course, so even if it doesn’t drive students to purchase items from your site, you’ll still make money. 

With webinars and online courses, attendees and students aren’t usually looking to buy a product, but rather to learn something new. However, as you teach them about your industry, you have a chance to cultivate a powerful customer-business owner relationship that will create a loyal consumer base.

Generate passive income with online courses

Passive income is the ultimate dream for entrepreneurs. Imagine lying on a beach, sipping a mai tai, and making money while you work on your tan. It seems too good to be true.

With online courses, it’s more than possible.

If you take the time to make a strong, objective-driven, go-to course, you can charge quite a bit for enrollment fees. While it takes a lot of time and effort to put the course together and market it, once you’ve perfected your course, all you have to do is make sure that enrollment continues. You must do some maintenance, like tweaking the curriculum as necessary, but otherwise, you can maintain the same course schedule and simply answer any questions that come through.

In order to ensure that you don’t get overwhelmed, place enrollment caps; the last thing you want is a source of passive income becoming a nightmare in your email box. 

While free webinars don’t necessarily directly offer an income stream, you can drive customers to some of your passive income sources, like online courses. Here’s a fantastic video about how to do that.

Show your expertise in your field

If you’re in a service-based industry, your expertise is key to the rates that you can charge. If you prove yourself to be an expert, then people will be lining up to use your services, and you can charge appropriately.

Your work doesn’t always speak for itself; as with any job, you need to prove that you not only have what it takes to do it well, you’re better than everyone else out there. You could send cold emails, spend hours talking to potential clients about your expertise, and hope that you can answer their questions in a way that shows your qualifications. Or, you can control the conversation by hosting a webinar. 

Your webinar should be a resource that people need. How-tos are great webinar titles. For example, if you are a content strategist, you can host a webinar entitled, “How to Create Pillar Content That Makes Sales.” This will gain an audience of people who are looking to beef up their content strategy and who are looking for excellent methods. At the end of the webinar, offer your service. The webinar has showed them that you know what you’re talking about, it gave them excellent, free information, and then it gives them an opportunity to use your content strategy services so that they can implement some of the strategies that you just outlined. Beyond offering services, you can also offer paid courses or other resources so that they can create a content strategy themselves.

Whether you offer a service or a product, webinars help you to establish trust and authority with your potential customers and clients. Take advantage of the control it gives you, and use it as an opportunity to strut your stuff.

Generate email lists

In order to register for an online course or webinar, your students and attendees will need to provide their email addresses. This helps you build your email lists for networking opportunities, getting newsletter subscribers, and cultivating a list of people who are at least somewhat interested in your field of expertise.

Use these email addresses with responsibility; the quickest way to become an annoyance (and lose a potential customer) is to misuse emails and becoming spammy. Make sure that when you gain the emails, you let them know about any potential newsletters they might receive, and every email that you send should be beneficial to them. 

Here’s some good advice on how you should be using your email newsletters:

Webinars and online courses are quintessential new media marketing tools. Instead of putting out Facebook ads telling people how amazing you are, these resources allow you to show them how good you are at what you do, create relationships, and build a thriving business. If you’re not taking advantage of these tools, you’re missing out on some major income opportunities.

Meghan O'NealComment