Hosting webinars can be very tricky and it’s actually quite easy to make mistakes. People often fall into the trap of assuming that they can spend less effort on webinars just because they don't require as much preparation as the more traditional approaches. While this statement is true in one sense, it doesn't really encompass the nature of hosting a webinar as a whole. Webinars, like any other medium or platform, have their own pitfalls and drawbacks that companies have to navigate through. While these matters may seem insignificant in the grand scheme of things due to the benefits webinars are known to provide, there are definitely a few notable mistakes that can impact your webinar negatively and others that can soil your brand name as a whole. No matter what it is, the best way to prepare yourself is to remain informed. Here are several common webinar mistakes and what you should do to avoid them:

Mistake #1: Not getting a managed webinar service

This is the most common and the most damaging mistake you could ever do in a webinar. Without a proper webinar service and platform, you’ll fail to deliver a stellar session and the audience will suffer.

How to avoid it: Get a managed webinar service for your webinar event. A managed webinar service can help you in every aspect of the webinar and lift a considerable amount of burden from you and your team. A good webinar service can take care of the registration, the emails, payment processing for paid webinars, presentation features, recording and replay, certificates, and more. One rule of thumb to consider when picking a webinar provider is to choose a platform that not only has the best features but also has the best customer and technical support. After all, a tool is only great if you are able to use it. Having people walk you through what you can do on their platform for your webinar as well as what they will do when you encounter difficulties can help you adapt quickly to using their service in the best way possible.

Mistake #2: Not doing enough marketing

Don’t be slow and neglectful when it comes to marketing your webinar. You won’t be able to gather your target audience and interest potential customers this way.

How to avoid it: Start promoting your webinar a month before the day of the event. You should also make sure to utilize effective marketing platforms to invite participants. This includes emails and social media. A proactive approach to your marketing scheme is always best. Go in with the mentality that you either haven't reached enough people or that not everyone will show. These statements are often true after all and can be the push you need to get yourself out there one more time. If you can reach even one more person that you initially wrote-off, that is one more person that you can eventually turn into a qualified lead.

Mistake #3: Not having a solid plan

Webinars don’t happen overnight. A solid plan is necessary to make sure that it succeeds and you get the results you are aiming for. 

How to avoid it: Create a plan that will help build this webinar. This can include: listing down your objectives, making a flowchart to help you visualize the event, creating a timeline to help you stay on track, assigning team members on each aspect of the webinar, creating the content and presentation, and more. Remember, a solid plan doesn't have to be theoretically perfect as long as it works. Sometimes, just having the peace of mind from knowing that you prepared as best as you could is enough to see you through to a successful event.

Mistake #4: Not practicing enough

Hosting and presenting in a webinar is not a walk in the park. While it's true you don't deal with a live audience, speaking to a virtual one presents its own fair share of challenges. Are you speaking too fast? Are you speaking too slow? Are you enunciating clearly? Is your breathing distracting? Can they tell you're nervous through your headset? These are questions you need to have answered before the day itself. To get those answers, the best thing to do is practice.

How to avoid it: Once you’ve drafted your speech and presentation, take the time to go over them and practice as if you’re presenting at the live event. Practice allows you to come up with the best way to phrase things and even allows you to get reliable feedback in advance through mock presentations. By hosting mock presentations, you can get valuable insight from valued peers that you can then use to improve your performance. This will allow you to be fully prepared and fully capable in time for the webinar.

Mistake #5: Not engaging with your audience

A detached audience can lead to an unsuccessful webinar. You need to engage with them at the session and you need to be able to catch and hold their attention all throughout the webinar. After all, your webinar is confined within the spaces of a browser or platform. There's no stopping your audience from simply clicking away and diverting their eyes elsewhere. What's worse is there's no real way to find out if they've done this or draw their attention back. The only thing you can do is draw their attention and take active measures to keep it.

How to avoid it: Make sure your presentation is clean, vibrant, and interactive. You can also make use of various presentation features to keep them engaged in the conversation, such as polls, chats, breakout rooms, and more. As much as possible, avoid motion graphics or animations. These don't always work well for everyone's phones or computers, especially when different internet capabilities are involved. A clean presentation that works is much better than a complicated one that doesn't.

Mistake #6: Giving too much hard sell approach

Your webinar should be informative, that should always be a priority. If you give your participants too much hard sell instead of providing excellent and insightful content, they may end up dissatisfied and annoyed.

How to avoid it: Create quality content regarding your chosen topic and make sure you are providing information that will help the participants. This will help establish you as a thought leader in your industry and help you and your business gain the trust of people. Always try to remain objective and pay attention to your audience's sensibilities. They're already interested in what you have to say, all you have to do is find subtle ways to say it. That way, any purchase they make is their own choice and the chances of discontent decrease.

Mistake #7: Not analyzing the data and results

After the webinar, you’ll be left with data and results that can help you see into the perspective of the buyers and help you improve your own products or services and your webinar events. 

How to avoid it: Make sure to take note of the statistics —the registrants, the final participants the views, and more, and analyze these numbers. You can even send a feedback form at the end of the webinar so participants can give their honest opinions towards the event. A good webinar platform has these functionalities built-in conveniently for you, why not use them? 

These are just some of the most common webinar mistakes one should avoid. If you’re not committed and ready for a webinar event as part of your business strategy, then you might just end up committing other mistakes.