One of the easiest ways you could host a successful webinar is by inviting an expert. Having an expert take part in your webinar has a number of advantages:
- You don’t have to rely on your own expertise – your expert will be there to educate your audience.
- You’ll achieve expert status by association. Think of Oprah: She isn’t a weight loss expert, but because she has interviewed dozens of them, she is seen as a health and fitness guru in her own right (even in light of her ongoing battles with her own weight!).
- You can bring new expertise to your audience. Offering an added perspective to your audience raises your value in their eyes. You become a “connector,” someone who knows all the right people.
- You can get in front of new prospects. Many experts have audiences or lists of their own, and their “tribe” will follow them to your sphere of influence. If they like what they see, they will stay a while – and maybe even buy something!
- You can do soft-sells on affiliate products. If you are an affiliate for a book on, say, cheerleading, you can bring the author in front of your audience for a Q&A session. Then, when the author mentions her book, you provide your affiliate link and get a commission for every book your audience buys.
So what do you need to watch out for when you’re selecting an expert to interview? Here are several factors to consider before issuing an invitation:
- Are they a good fit for your audience? Don’t invite the cheerleading expert when your list consists of survivalists and expect to get a warm response.
- Are they personable and good at public speaking? Few things are more painful than listening to a poorly prepared, poorly skilled public speaker – even in an interview setting. Have a screening phone call or listen to other interviews with your prospective guest before you issue an invitation.
- Do they have something valuable to say? Make sure you’re spending your time – and your audience’s time – wisely by offering something unique, interesting, educational, or entertaining.
- Do they have a large list? This isn’t a must-have, but it definitely helps if your speaker has a large audience of his or her own and is willing to promote your webinar.
- Do they have products or services to promote? If you are hoping to earn commissions by promoting their products or services, find out how their affiliate program works, and if their products or services are right for your audience.
When you are first starting out, the top tier experts, such as those with New York Times best-selling books, those with their own talk shows, and those in the million-dollar-plus income bracket, can be hard to reach for a relative unknown. Don’t let that stop you from asking, though! You never know when someone will say “Yes,” so don’t say “No” for them.
Get in touch with them directly or through their publicist (contact information is typically available on their website). Write a polite, SHORT email saying who you are, why you think your market would be a good match for their area of expertise, when you’d like to speak with them, and how long it will take. Then tell them what’s in it for them, for example exposure to an enthusiastic new market or a share of the proceeds. Finally, send it off, and start thinking about who else you could invite if your first choice isn’t able to participate.
It’s really not a complicated process. Choose someone you would like to hear from, write them a polite note to invite them, and then move on if you don’t hear back or if they can’t help at this time. A “No” isn’t a “No” forever; it’s just a “No” for today. So keep asking others until you get a “Yes.”
If you’re ready to roll with your first webinar, I put together a short report that’s chock full of easy to follow directions in “How To Host Successful Money Making Webinars”.