Five Essential Advisor Webinars for the COVID Crisis
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Advisors are beginning to master virtual meetings, working from home and presenting online.
How can you capitalize on those skills with one-to-many online webinars?
What types of webinars should you provide during the COVID-19 crisis?
How do you draw a crowd at your events? (Hint, you don't need even a single social media follower.)
Let’s begin with the top five advisor webinars for the current COVID-19 crisis.
1. Special situation update for clients, coronavirus edition
Add a webinar to your crisis communications mix.
Client webinars are an inexpensive alternative to in-person events.
Your content can put the current crisis in historical context, share how the markets and economies have behaved following shocks and pandemics, and make the case for your investment and planning strategy.
Client webinars can be especially helpful because you can reach all your clients at once, and spouses and adult children can listen in to a live presentation or watch the recording.
2. COVID-19 resources and tips for your area – Panel webinar
If your market is local, your webinar can focus on resources and tips for area/local residents during this crisis.
Whereas your expertise may focus on the markets, the economy and navigating the different governmental support programs during the crisis, you can leverage outside speakers to round out your panel. Add someone connected with town government and regulations, and perhaps someone from the medical community.
Prompt your town paper or news website to give you free promotion in addition to promotion through the other panelists’ organizations.
You should create and manage the registration process for any panel webinar. That way you get the names and benefit from the opt-ins.
Of course, you can promote the webinar to your clients, prospects, and COIs via email, so that you gain goodwill from the event . . . even among non-attendees.
3. What the COVID-19 crisis means for your target market
Webinars are a great opportunity to narrowcast educational information to a specific market niche.
After all, everyone thinks they are special, and they will be drawn to an educational session designed just for people like them.
A client recently held a webinar on COVID-19 tips and resources for the specific profession they serve. The result: 250 registrants and over 150 attendees.
They added a couple of outside speakers to round out the non-economic and financial insights shared.
In addition, they rented an opt-in email list from a third-party who emailed their webinar invitation on their behalf to bump up registrations.
A key to driving webinar attendance: Go beyond your own email list of prospects and clients.
4. Planning and investment strategies during the crisis – Speaking engagement
Consider speaking on someone else’s webinar.
Think of it as a valuable opportunity to share your point of view on the markets, the economy, what happened during other black swan events and some of the common financial planning mistakes to avoid.
Some advisors have used the topic of investing in a crisis as the impetus to get in front of the clients of their COIs, such as accountants, insurance professionals and other complementary wealth-management professionals.
It will prove valuable to let your prospects and clients know about the event as well.
For example, share your speaking engagement in your email newsletter or on your preferred social media channels. Provide a link to the registration form for the event.
For speaking engagements (and all webinars), be absolutely sure to get a copy of the registrant list. At the end of your presentation, direct attendees to your website for more information on your practice.
Speaking engagements can also provide an opportunity to raise funds for those affected by the virus or to help those on the frontlines through a donation for attendance.
5. Financial planning 101 or other educational webinar classes
With many stuck-at-home and unable to attend outside events and classes, consider how you can fill the void.
Offer a topic such as “The Basics of Long-Term Investing” or “Financial Planning 101” for your clients’ friends and families.
You may see an opportunity to introduce new services to your clients.
If you have historically provided investment management, but now offer financial planning, you can provide free education. Then, at the end of the event, invite attendees to receive more information about your planning services.
Likewise, if you provide advanced wealth management strategies like proactive tax planning or exit planning for business owners, these would become good topics for prospects, clients, and COIs.
There you have five winning webinars for the current COVID-19 crisis.
Most advisors can’t promote to thousands of social media followers, so how do you draw a crowd to each and every one of your webinars?
Four ways to attract a big crowd to your webinars (even if you have no social media following)
1. Your medium: Email invitations drive webinar attendance
Email drives 80% of webinar attendance.
A well-crafted email invitation to your own and/or a co-sponsor’s opt-in email list is the core of your webinar marketing plan.
2. Your message: A topic that sells itself
The topic of the webinar is one that seizes the attention of your audience.
Make the topic timely and weave in the biggest benefit of the webinar.
3. Mechanics: Make it easy to register
Link email invites directly to a one-page registration form – one that summarizes the features and benefits of the webinar.
Potential registrants can enter basic information such as first name, last name, and email right there.
4. Multiply: Get in front of your target audience multiple times per event
Don’t assume one email invitation will be seen and acted on by everyone who is interested.
Most webinar participants register within 14 days of the event: Invitations seven days and 48 hours before the event are a good place to start.
Bob Hanson is coauthor of Marketing Power for Financial Advisors. Get more webinar tips at his webinar next Thursday at 4pm EDT, 5 Essential Advisor Webinars and The Secrets to Their Success.