How to Become a Thought Leader by Hosting Webinars

If you want to gain followers, build credibility and showcase your expertise online, running regular webinars can help accomplish this – but you must be strategic about it. To be considered thought leadership, your webinars have to stand out.

Here are five tips for using webinars to build your influence, brand recognition and credibility online.

Bring other thought leaders onto your webinars.
Nothing proves your reputation as a thought leader like being seen in the presence of other thought leaders. Build connections with other people who are well regarded in your industry and invite them on to co-host or contribute to a webinar. This has the added benefit of exposing your webinar to their audience as well as your own.

Pick a topic carefully.
Research shows that people will typically only commit to one webinar a week – so make sure it’s yours. Don’t just repackage what other people are saying. Thought leadership requires original thought. Try to provide new insights or a new perspective on a “sticky” topic – one that will gain a lot of clicks and interest. Do your research and provide data-driven evidence to back it up.

Give your audience something they can use.
What knowledge can you boil down and offer to your audience immediately to get results in something they want?

Most people use webinars to delve into complex topics, but relatively few give thought to usable takeaways that will give audience members results quickly – which is something
everyone wants. Think about offering at least one usable piece of advice that audience members can put to use right away.

Stay focused.
Keep your webinars tight and focused on the topics at hand. Make an outline of the content, rehearse it, and work on your delivery. Avoid winging it. Some people can improvise successfully – and if you rehearse a lot and are really prepared, you can make it look
like you’re winging it – but as a thought leader, you need to be a little more polished than most people.

Run a technical rehearsal beforehand.
Can everyone in your webinar use the technology? Are
they comfortable turning on their webcam, muting their sound when needed, sharing their screen with the audience, and using other technical tools that are necessary to the presentation?

Theatrical productions typically do a tech rehearsal (or more than one) before a show run to make sure all the lights and other technology are in working order. This is a good idea for webinars, too.

Elevating your standing in the industry can drive business and brand recognition, and webinars can help you do that. With these tips, your webinars will be a cut above – and will hopefully help raise your profile as a thought leader in your industry.

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