Whether you’re one of the many who scoff at the absurdity of the word "webinar", or you can actually say it without smirking, the truth is that the web-based seminar (that sounds so much more serious, doesn’t it?) has a lot of advantages. Whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder within a certain company or you’re out on your own trying to make it as an entrepreneur, don’t ignore the value of the webinar. Once you get over the funny name, you might find that they can really help your career.
See Also: How to Make Money From Webinars
1. You Learn New Skills (In Your Pajamas)
Behold the number one advantage of the webinar over the in-person seminar: you don’t have to go far and wide in order to take part. If the webinar is taking place on the weekend, it means you might not even have to get out of your comfy pajamas to participate. So, while you’re listening to an expert in your field pontificate on the best ways to handle this customer or that one, you can be kicked back on your couch under a warm blanket, perhaps even with a dog or cat nestled by your feet.
Oh yeah, you’ll also be gaining new skills or knowledge while you’re at it – which can definitely help you advance in your career.
2. It's a Passive Way to Spend the Workday
Unfortunately, some of the most helpful seminars will actually cost you money. But on the flip side, that means you could get your boss to pay for it. And if you convince your boss that the webinar is going to add value to your career or help you in some way, you might even be able to take part during work hours.
Know what that means? Instead of having to spend those hours schlepping and doing actual work, you’ll get to kick back and listen in while you get paid – while at the same time solidifying your reputation with the boss as someone who’s willing to go above and beyond. Win-win!
3. You Appear to Be a Go-Getter
Whether or not you’ve convinced your boss to pay for the webinar, don’t make the mistake of neglecting to tell him about it. Another benefit of taking part in webinars is the fact that you’ll appear to be a person who’s interested in advancing your career. Your boss will like the fact that you’re always seeking new information and new skills, and your coworkers will make a secret mental note that you’re a go-getter. When you have that type of reputation in the workplace, it can lead to all kinds of opportunities, such as offers to share that information you learned with coworkers (putting you in a position of authority).
4. Networking, Networking, Networking
A lot of webinars go beyond the standard, passive lecture, and invite participants to interact in some way. That can be a very good thing. Ever heard the adage that the best time to start looking for a new job is when you’ve gotten hired? It’s true. As an employee, you never know when your employer is going to downsize or otherwise throw you out on the street, so you need to always be on the hunt for that next opportunity. To that end, think of webinars as a golden opportunity to get out there and network.
Get to know the webinar presenter in some kind of personal – yet professional – way by asking questions or making a connection on LinkedIn, for example. But don’t stop there. Also, make an effort to get to know the other participants. You never know when one of them will turn you to a new job opening or introduce you to an important person in your industry.
Since they’re taking place in a virtual environment, webinars attract people from all over the place, which means they’re a wonderful way to get out of your comfort zone.
5. They Remind You of What Else Is Out There
Speaking of getting out of your comfort zone, sometimes all you need to survive the grind of your current job is the knowledge that you have options. When your boss is being an asshole or your coworkers are driving you nuts, knowing that there are other people all over the planet grinding away at a similar job can somehow make things more tolerable. When you take part in a webinar, you get to see those people, and that can help you learn to suck it up and keep grinding on. Often, the key to success in a job is simply sticking it out and continuing to try.
6. They Help Establish Your Authority
So far, we’ve covered how webinars can help the gainfully employed – but they’re just as helpful for entrepreneurs, too. Oh, and the unemployed, as well!
Entrepreneurs will get many of the same benefits as employed people, including learning new skills. But as an entrepreneur (or a soon-to-be entrepreneur), you can also use webinars as part of your marketing. It’s pretty simple: you put yourself out there as an "expert" on nearly any topic related to your business and, suddenly, all the people who take your webinar are recognizing you as an authority on the subject.
Of course, you have to give a good webinar that includes valuable information that people aren’t going to know about, and you have to be personable, organized, and even a little bit humorous. When you get all of those things right, it’s kind of like magic. When someone needs an expert in your field, they’ll suddenly turn to you. Naturally, you have to make an effort to keep your leads warm and to keep people from forgetting you, but with that, your position as an authority can really stick.
7. Your Name Comes Up in Search Results
As an entrepreneur, you probably already know that a good online presence is crucial to your success. Once you start creating webinars, you’ll have yet another way for people to find you. Try putting snippets of your old webinars on a site such as YouTube, for example, as a way to offer free information to prospects. You could also do the same thing on a podcast site – thus turning your webinar into an audio-only presentation. The more places your information comes up, the more opportunities you’ll have to market yourself to prospects.
8. You Learn What Not to Do
As an entrepreneur who’s doing webinars, don’t make the mistake of not continuing to be a webinar participant yourself. Keep attending them so you can learn the ins and outs of creating webinars, how people structure them, when they hold them, how many participants they include, how they include them and, also, what might not work well with other people’s webinars.
Inevitably, you’re going to find a webinar presenter out there who’s really terrible at the gig, and from them you can take notes about exactly what not to do. If you encounter a really bad one, you might even have some success in creating your own webinar that does the exact opposite of what that person has done.
They might have a funny name, but that doesn’t negate the fact that webinars can be a great way to up your game and to help you advance in your career. Whenever you’re participating in one, take notes and try to participate and ask as many questions as you can. They might not be a panacea for all of your work woes, but chances are you’ll get at least a few nuggets of information about what to do – or what not to do – to continue being better and better at what you do.
Can you think of any other ways webinars can help your career? Let us know in the comments section below!