Webinars are one of the most engaging and personal types of content, and they can help your firm get great leads and build your email list. Different from seminars, which usually happen face-to-face, webinars are conducted online. This means you are able to attract a regional or even global audience.
It doesn’t matter if your law firm is based in Illinois or Nebraska, using webinars allows you to be location-neutral and connect with people from all over the world.
Think about what potential clients are looking for when reaching out to a law firm to do their initial research.
They want a forward-thinking firm that’s happy to provide information and guidance. Some firms like to offer free consultations to discuss issues in a broad sense, but this costs your lawyers time. How much is their time worth? Moreover, if 10 people contact you about the same issue, you need to have the same conversation 10 times. This is more time that could be spent doing other (billable) things.
The benefit of using a webinar is that while you can offer it for and/or distribute it to those 10 people, you only need to do the work once. The webinar allows you to connect directly with your target audience, and if they find value in it, they’re likely to share it with their own network, again broadening your reach.
Webinars give you authority and competitive edge
Webinars help you establish yourself as an authority and give you and your law firm a professional competitive edge.
It’s a much easier sell to encourage someone to attend an event online or watch your free replay than to get them to spend time and money to attend your seminar in person.
Doing webinars shows your audience you care about the level of service you want to provide. Many aspects of the law are confusing for those who aren’t in the industry or have never studied it. Webinars are a great way to help them understand specific concepts. You can use webinars to become seen as an authority. If you specialize in corporate law, for example, you could update people once a month or once a quarter with any new changes they should know about.
Repurpose your current content
You probably already have a supply of content you can repurpose in a webinar format. If you already have blog posts or other content that generates buzz for your business, you could repurpose that content as a webinar. This way, you’re not actually creating any new content, you’re simply using the content you do have in a new format.
If you do use webinars as an occasion to produce new content, you can then create blog posts from the webinar material to boost your SEO. Normally, videos hosted on your page are unlikely to gain enough exposure or traction on search engines unless you create a page for each webinar that can attract links.
Before you launch your webinar
Before you launch your webinar, plan out the content you want to produce and when you plan to launch the webinar. Here is a basic webinar planning checklist to take you from idea to post-webinar.
- Set up a kickoff meeting with your team (the speakers/tech person).
- Set the event date.
- Create an invitation email.
- Find the right audience (such as start-ups).
- Consider partnering with a larger company in your niche.
- Create a PowerPoint deck and rehearse your webinar talk out loud at least three to five times.
- Begin registration and track sign-ups.
- Hold a dress rehearsal with your team.
- Hold the live event and record it for future replays.
- Review the relevant metrics.
- Begin lead nurturing with the people who attended the webinar.
It’s also useful to plan your webinar to make sure it provides enough value for your audience. If they find it boring, they can “leave” it at any time. Choose your topic with your audience in mind. You might choose to talk about a specific legal issue or one that seems topical and timely in the current climate.
Once you’ve decided on the topic, do some research to add to your existing expertise on that topic. You may find it’s an added benefit to write a supporting blog post about your webinar topic — there’s the SEO bonus of having the blog post drive traffic to your webinar sign-up page. Consider using paid ads on relevant media to get extra eyeballs.
When planning your webinar, remember that you won’t be marketing it to “everyone.” You might decide to market to other lawyers or to your prospective clients. Whomever you choose, make sure the content you put together is targeted for them.
Creating your webinar
When you’ve planned the content and topic of your webinar, it’s time to put it together with one of the different webinar software options available.
One of the most popular is gotowebinar. Pricing starts at $89 a month for 100 participants and $199 allows up to 500 participants. The cost goes up significantly to hundreds of dollars a month if you anticipate having a very large audience. However, the amount of business you will get if you have over 500 participants in a webinar will far surpass the cost. You can adjust your plan up or down depending on how many people actually register for the webinar, so you can start small and build.
If your webinars prove popular, you can scale up the efforts by making use of one of GoToWebinar’s premium plans. You can also use the software to look at your analytics to see what you need to improve for the next webinar.
Creating your webinar presentation slide deck
PowerPoint or Apple’s Keynote are tools you can use to create a visual presentation for your webinar. If you want to make your life easier when developing the content for the webinar deck, base it on a numbered list, like “top 10 myths about creating a business trust and how to properly protect your assets.” Knowing that you will cover exactly 10 items helps you focus your efforts and get the project done much more quickly. Structuring your program around a numbered list means your webinar attendees will also have a better sense of where they are in the program while listening to you present.
As with any visual presentation, don’t put too much information on each slide. Stick to one main point per slide, and make it easy for your audience to follow along.
Photos with a headline or a few small bullet points here and there can work well. Personally, I tend to use lots of slides to illustrate my points and keep me on track. Some people like Seth Godin and Malcolm Gladwell can speak with a couple slides or no slides at all, but I will leave that up to people with perfect memories and no ADD.
Some speaking experts will mock you if you have a slide a minute for a presentation. However, especially for a webinar, you will need to test having more information than normal because you will not have the back and forth that you would with an in-person audience, and it’s important to keep things moving along quickly.
The goal is to leave people with a clear message. Keep bringing people home to one single key point that they just might remember forever.
Promoting your legal webinar
While you don’t need to rent a venue to hold your webinar, you still need to come up with a promotion strategy. If you already have an email list, use that to notify subscribers of your upcoming webinar and include a link where they can register. Remember to also send a reminder email a day or two before for anyone who might have forgotten. GoToWebinar automates this, but having a webinar and sharing it is a great sales outreach tactic.
For example, the firm Norton Rose Fulbright uses their webinar page on their website to let visitors know about upcoming webinars.
One of the easiest ways to get a lot of people attending your webinar is to promote it and present it with a partner organization that is larger than your firm. You may partner with a leading national magazine, another industry media outlet, or your local Chamber of Commerce.
When you get in front of someone else’s audience in addition to your own, you will have an easier time getting enough people to make it worth running the webinar.
If you’re looking for a way to stay memorable, you should definitely start planning your first webinar.
By creating a webinar, you’re able to provide multiple people with immense value as they need it. You can position yourself as an authority within your own specialized legal niche and use your webinar to get referral clients.
The benefit of using a webinar as part of your law firm’s marketing arsenal is that it’s cost-effective and a better alternative to one-on-one consultations, which can often take up hours of your valuable time.
So why not create your first webinar to get yourself and your firm noticed and further establish yourself as an expert in your field? Better yet, partner with an association or influencer and offer the webinar together to get in front of their audience. You just might find that their email list starts to migrate into yours.