Thought Leader Life with Mike Agron (@WebinarReady) #010

In this episode of Thought Leader Life, Michael and I hang out with thought leader Mike Agron. Mike is recognized as a Webinar demand generation expert and has helped many B2B sales and marketing professionals and organizations achieve success through his company, WebAttract. Webinars have been a highly effective platform for both emerging and global companies to engage future advocates as it provides opportunities to inspire attendees to take the next step, which is to actually have a conversation and avail of a service or product.

In this discussion, we learn that putting together a Webinar is not as simple as many would think. I recently collaborated with Mike on WebAttract to organize a Webinar, and describe it as something similar to planning a wedding. Mike explains that the whole planning process for a Webinar requires time because, like a wedding, it is a major life-cycle event and in many ways, your brand is on parade. You must understand what is the message; what is the value; who is the audience; what will they get out of it; how will you find that audience; and finally, when that audience shows up, if your speakers are confident enough to deliver what’s important for that audience and not necessarily make a sales pitch. This usually requires a lot of collaboration because, unlike a live, in-person event when you see the audience and get an instant feedback through their reactions or facial expressions, in a Webinar, you need to have already connected and have the confidence to inspire. So what WebAttract is doing is playing the role of a wedding planner who knows the methodologies, best practices, and metrics towards maximizing the commercial outcomes and delighting the audience before, during, and after the Webinar.

Taking off from Mike’s definition of a thought leader, Michael wanted to know what the unique things of doing Webinars are for thought leaders. A Webinar on thought leadership is organized purposely to inform and educate, and it cannot come across as a sales pitch. Thought leaders are people who can talk about general industry perspectives, trends, opportunities, and challenges. The more third party expertise you can have as part of the Webinar (besides not being part of the sponsor), the more credibility you have in connecting with the audience. And the best source for that is a thought leader.

The episode also touches on some interesting ways to engage the Webinar audience. I talk about how we used polling during our Webinar and how it helped us determine how well they did in getting the message across. According to Mike, polling measures engagement and opens an opportunity for the audience to join the conversation. You can do a first poll at the beginning of the Webinar to break the ice, and then do another poll before you end, to gauge how well you did.

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Here are a few “‘aha’ moments” from the episode. See more in the upcoming book, soon to be a part of the THiNKaha app-only book series and watch the interview below!

Two factors for a great Webinar: a demonstrable business outcome and a passionate thought leader. @WebinarReady

The invitation becomes the framework on which we create the flow of the Webinar. @WebinarReady

The market is the ultimate arbiter. @WebinarReady

Follow Mike on Twitter at @WebinarReady. Tune into Thought Leader Life every Saturday for more thought-leader goodness!