How to make your financial advisor webinar exciting – the virtual financial advisor
Keep all eyes on you with these tips.
As a Financial Advisor Coach since 2004, I’ve seen many of my clients hold seminars, yet theses days, it’s the webinar that is necessary to engage with potential clients! As part of my Virtual Financial Advisor Series, this blog post is about conducting your seminars as webinars and how to make them more exciting as a virtual financial advisor.
A webinar is one of your most powerful marketing tools as a financial advisor. It allows you to share your expertise with your audience and let them know you’re a pro.
A webinar, however, is different from in-person seminars you’ve done in the past, prior to Covid19. With webinars in our new normal, it’s much more challenging to read the room. If everyone’s webcams are off, you don’t even know whether your audience is paying attention.
Note that hosting a webinar is useless if it doesn’t excite your audience! So if you want your next financial advisor webinar to leave your audience on the edge of their seats, read this guide first.
What Is a Webinar?
A webinar, a combination of the words “web” and seminar,” is a video workshop or video lecture where you provide information of value to help your audience understand a concept or do something important.
You can use webinars to share knowledge, updates, or ideas with your audience without being in the same room.
If you run a webinar effectively, you can use it to build relationships and authority.
Webinars for Marketing
As a financial advisor, you know how important it is to turn prospects into clients. Running a webinar is one of the best ways to show your prospects your chops. Webinars are useful because:
- They work across the entire customer journey. Webinars can come in the form of panel discussions, live consultations, and more. Webinars are great for moving prospects down the sales funnel from prospect to client.
- They are highly engaging. A well-run webinar can engage attendees for up to 61 minutes.
- They generate high-quality leads. If someone attends your webinar, then that means they’re interested in what you have to say. Webinars allow you to attract the right audience for what you have to offer.
- They are location independent. You can work from anywhere, even the beach!
What Kind of Content Works for Financial Advisor Webinars?
You shouldn’t share all types of content through a webinar. Remember that first and foremost, you’re using webinars to share your knowledge as a financial advisor. You’re not using a webinar to pitch yourself to your audience.
Here are a few ideas that work well with webinars:
- A panel discussion of a timely issue in your industry
- A detailed examination of a topic from a fresh perspective
- An adaptation of a presentation from a speaking engagement
- An interview with an influential industry icon
On the other hand, you’ll want to avoid these topics for webinars:
- A minor update about your services
- A broad content webinar
- A webinar focusing on an old concept
- A sales pitch
You should also remember to meet or exceed your audience’s expectations. Don’t promote your webinar with false marketing. For example, if you say you’re going to talk about an important topic, talk about it. Don’t turn the webinar into a sales pitch halfway through.
To recap, we’ve talked about what a webinar is, how you can use webinars for marketing, and what topics work well with webinars. Let’s move on to how you can keep your audience engaged.
Interact With Your Audience Before the Webinar
It’s essential to get your audience excited even before the webinar starts. You can write blog posts promoting your webinar and ask your readers to type their questions for the webinar in the comments. Also, you can come up with a hashtag for the event and start tweeting about it.
Use Mind Mapping
By now, you should’ve gone through all the questions your audience posted before the webinar. From there, you can get an idea of what niche topic to talk about in your webinar. Next, you’ll want to plan the specific content you’ll present. A great way to brainstorm ideas is through mind mapping.
Mind mapping is a brainstorming technique that lets you capture ideas in an unstructured diagram. You then connect those ideas using lines. The point is to connect each idea to other related ideas.
You can make a jumbled draft of your mind map to keep your thoughts flowing without interruption. If you want to, you can refine your mind map and make it more presentable and cohesive. You can share your mind map with your webinar participants to give them an idea of how each idea connects to the next.
A note about Using Prepackaged Content
While it is a benefit that the content may be FINRA approved, sometimes these webinars/seminars can be somewhat dry and boring. If you are using prepackaged content, make the effort to improve the visuals to make the webinar more exciting.
Structure Your Webinar for Consistent Engagement
Webinars that are too long are dull, while webinars that are too short won’t give you enough time to talk about your topic.
Keep in mind that your audience’s engagement ebbs and flows throughout your webinar. Each time an interesting point grabs your viewers’ attention, you’ll find them fidgeting in their virtual seats just a few minutes after.
To keep your audience engaged, take advantage of interest points. Interest points include attention-grabbing information, jokes, provocative statements, and the like. Sprinkle in an interesting point every once in a while to keep your audience excited.
Try Different Types of Media in your Webinar
With webinars, you don’t have to stick to traditional conference calls. You’ll want to consider various types of media for your webinar. Of course, you shouldn’t use different types of media for the sake of it. Consider what form of media will engage your audience.
Do you have a short video that demonstrates your point? Does screen sharing get your point across? Will PDF handouts help your audience follow your discussion? Think about how you can supplement your webinar with other types of media.
Use Gamification To Make Your Webinar Fun
Gamification refers to applying the elements of gameplay to non-gaming activities, such as webinars. Using gamification in your webinar makes the experience fun and interactive for your participants. It also brings out the competitive side of your audience.
A simple way to gamify your webinar is to ask questions and award a prize or a shout-out for the best answer. The prize can be a short e-book you’ve written on a relevant topic.
Brainstorm a few fun question ideas and ask them in your webinar. You can ask questions as part of your icebreaker or as a fun way to refresh and re-engage your audience in the middle of the webinar.
There are a few ways you can collect responses and choose a winner. One option is to have an assistant run through all the responses and choose the best answers. However, that method could be time-consuming.
Alternatively, you can choose the winning answers randomly. Start by assigning a number to each response. Then, choose a winner using a random number generator. If the randomly selected answer isn’t great, you can always use the number generator to select a new answer.
Over-deliver To Leave a Lasting Impression
It should go without saying, but you should overdeliver on your promises. Go above and beyond their expectations by giving them something they didn’t expect.
Excellent webinars meet participants’ expectations. Great webinars exceed these expectations. Overdelivering is an easy way to elevate your webinar from good to great.
You can introduce a surprise speaker who is well-known and respected among your viewers. You can also give away free templates or related e-books. Just make sure you’re providing added value to your audience, aside from what you mentioned when you were promoting your webinar.
Interact With Your Webinar Audience
Understand that a webinar is different from a blog post. You aren’t holding a webinar only to lecture your audience. So, make use of the interactive features of webinars.
You can hold a question and answer segment that allows your audience to ask clarifying questions. If you’re using a conferencing software such as Zoom, pay close attention to Zoom’s chat function.
If you have many viewers, the chat box might get flooded with questions. It will be hard to manage the questions if you’re also the one presenting. So, you may want to ask someone to filter through all the questions during the event. Then, that person can point out to you the best questions.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to save the questions for the very end. You can also allow your audience to ask questions at the end of each segment of your presentation.
Improve Your Speaking Style
Tone fluctuation is essential for keeping your audience engaged. The more monotonous your voice is, the less engaged your audience becomes.
When you’re speaking at a webinar, all eyes (and ears) are on you. The more animated you are, the more engaged your viewers will be. Speak with a lively tone and use gestures, just as you would in a real-life seminar. Of course, you want your delivery and presentation to feel authentic, rather than forced.
If your speaking style needs some work, consider trying a trick that’s a bit out of the ordinary. Take a few minutes out of your day to read a short passage out loud. However, you need to read the passage out loud with classical music playing in the background.
Using classical music works because classical music is rigid in terms of rhythm. When you speak over classical music, your body movements and tone will naturally change to suit the style of the music you’re listening to. The rhythm of classical music just happens to be perfect for an excellent presentation.
I know, it sounds much more useful to take speaking classes than to speak with classical music in the background. But if you don’t have the time to commit to taking classes, this is the next best thing.
Webinars can be one of the most effective ways to keep your share your expertise with others. As a financial advisor, you can now hold useful and engaging webinars using the tips we’ve laid out for you.
Remember that webinars are live and interactive events. They are typically not pre-recorded. So, you’ll want to put in the time and effort into preparing to make sure your webinar can be as exciting as it can be.