If you are a content creator, consultant, or life coach, learning how to host webinars is an imperative part of running your business and attracting new clients. This is the start of the relationship building process, the piece of content that makes someone say ‘this person really knows what they’re talking about. So it’s important to make the right impression. We’re going to help you figure out the right way to do that here.
Even if you are wondering about hosting a webinar for free, there are still some options available for you. However we do recommend keeping in mind why you are creating webinar content in the first place, which should be to attract new clients. If you are attracting paying clients you can afford to invest in webinar hosting software that brings in even more clients.
Even though we’re going to talk about free options as well as how to host webinars on zoom and other platforms, we also want to focus on very affordable options that provide the most value in ROI for your business. So fasten your seat belt and let’s get into some details of how to host webinars for your consulting or coaching business.
Let’s start off by talking about hosting a webinar for free. As mentioned above, a lot of people default to free options without thinking about their actual end goal, which should be to attract people to your products or services. It’s probably also important to distinguish a webinar from a simple video. There are obviously multiple ways to create and host videos for free, the most popular being YouTube. However, a webinar is formatting a video in a way that drives lead generation for your company.
We won’t spend a great deal talking about lead generation in this article, but if you want to dive deeper into that feel free to check out our other article on How To Get Life Coaching Clients Like Crazy. Even if you’re not a life coach it still does a great job explaining how and why webinars are amazing for generating client leads. However, very briefly, lead generation is all about building content that drives awareness for your services and enables potential clients to opt-in for a followup to learn more about actually purchasing your services.
Once you understand the value of webinars for generating revenue you can decide if going with a free option actually makes the most since for your business. One free option is hosting a webinar on YouTube. Yes, YouTube is not by default designed for webinars, but if you get creative you can make it work. You can make this work by simply setting the video to ‘unlisted’ in your video settings. Then create a sign up form on your website, or use Google Forms. Set your form to redirect to the video URL once someone registers and woolah you have a low-key webinar.
Now let’s talk about how to host a webinar on zoom for free. We’re going to go into more detail on Zoom below, but to use it as a free option you will also have to get creative. You will also have to do a bit more manual work for this to work well. You can use the same registration form mentioned above to work for Zoom. However, instead of redirecting to a URL you will just display a message after someone signs up that says something like “You’ve been registered. You’ll then have to manually email out the zoom link to everyone just before your zoom meeting.
The advantages of using Zoom is your participants get a much more interactive experience. However, your trade off is more manual work, and you actually have to be there Live for the Webinar. When using YouTube as a free option you can make it more automated, but for your participants it really doesn’t feel much like a webinar. So there are some tradeoffs to consider. You would also be limited to 40 minutes if you went with Zoom.
There are multiple other Zoom-like meeting software solutions out there like Join.me, Google Meet, and several others. You can also use Facebook Live, or other Live video services. In terms of generating new client leads, all of these will have limitations. Striking the right balance between cost, automation, and audience engagement will be different for everyone. If you are willing to invest a small amount into creating webinar content, our services here at BeFun BeKind offer most coaches and consultants exactly what they need at the right price point. That’s who we built it for!
Now let’s talk more about how to host webinars on zoom. As mentioned above you can certainly use the free version of Zoom as webinar hosting software. However it is limited a maximum of 40 minutes, after that it will kick you off. There are other limitations, but Zoom actually does have a paid version specifically focused on webinars so let’s look at that option for a second. For around $40 a month, at time of writing, you can get an actual webinar experience that will allow you to collect leads from participants.
You can use the paid version of zoom to create on-demand webinars, send email reminders, and to follow up with an offer after people attend. These are all super helpful automation features that are almost essential in running a business that depends on getting new clients. At the $40 price point you will still be limited to only 100 participants and 1GB of cloud storage.
For a lot of coaches and consultants 100 participants is plenty, but you will most likely run into issues with only 1GB of storage. If you want to do on-demand webinars, which you should, this is only about 3-4 webinars, depending on the length. You can purchase additional storage for another $40 a month. An alternative option with Zoom is to pay for a meeting plan which starts at only $15 per month. You will remove the 40 minute time restriction from the free account, but unfortunately you still don’t get many of the webinar features.
If your budget allows you to spend $80 per month ($40 for hosting + $40 for storage) then Zoom is a really great option. Some additional zoom webinar hosting tips are to simply use Zoom to record your webinar then use the DropBox integration to transfer and store your videos there. DropBox’s cloud storage is significantly cheaper than Zoom’s. From there you can find somewhere else to feature your webinar video. Zoom really does a great job of making recording super easy. It also integrates with so many externals apps, which is great.
There are a lot of webinar hosting software options to choose from. If you’re going to be learning how to host webinars, finding the right software platform is imperative. We’ve already talked about several of them, but let’s go into a bit more detail, and compare your options. Below is a list of some of the most popular webinar hosting options available.
As discussed, Zoom technically start at $14.99/month, but to really host webinars you will be paying $40 – $80 month for a base package. If you have the budget it’s a great choice as it integrates so well with many other apps and services.
Google Meet use to be the premium version of Google Hangouts for businesses. However, Google has since made it a free option. This is really a dedicated meeting software solution rather than a full webinar solution. We like this option because it is very simple to start using, and can host up to 150 people in a meeting. It will not integrate as well with other apps, but if you need a free meeting option that won’t cut you off at 40 minutes, this might be the way to go. Keep in mind though, you will still miss out on most dedicated webinar features.
Gotowebinar has been around a really long time, and use to be possibly the first webinar solution people thought of. The space is obviously much more crowded now, but it is still a good option. It’s a bit more expensive coming in around $59/month if you pay monthly. However, it includes on-demand webinar hosting at no additional cost, which is a big deal, and arguably the most valuable part of doing webinars. Overall it comes with several more features at the base price, but is more expensive starting out and it still won’t match Zoom with 3rd party integrations.
WebinarJam has started to gain some good exposure in recent years and offers some compelling features. It comes in at just over $40 if priced out monthly, however they currently require annual payments. The feature I most like about WebinarJam is its Panic Button feature that automatically creates a backup webinar for your room in case you are having technical difficulties. If you are doing live webinars this can be very useful. It also has automated webinar functions at every pricing plan, which is a big plus.
WebEx has a very similar feature offering and price point to Zoom. There are some areas that it shines a little brighter in though, particularly if you are looking for free webinar hosting sites, as it offers some premium features in its free tier. Its lowest paid tier starts at $15 a month, which also comes with 10GB of hosting. It is really more of a meeting platform than a webinar platform, but still deserves a mention for its feature set.
We of course have to tell you how BeFun BeKind compares to some of the others on this list. We are a very different kind of service than other webinar hosting options discussed so far. We specifically built our service for consultants, coaches, and content creators, so if you fall in that category we may be the best fit for you. A big difference is we help you with the actual content and help you learn how to host webinars that perform well.
We help with everything from assistance with deciding on topic ideas to providing a host to interview you. We can even assist you in marketing the webinar. One of the biggest advantages you will find with us is our focus on providing automated ‘ever-green’ webinars that provide a similar experience to participants as a Live webcast would. Our monthly packages start as low as $10, with automated webinars included. If you would like to give it a try you can schedule your first webinar here.
If you are wondering how to host a webinar free of any sort of paid subscriptions we are going to dive a little deeper into your options. We’ve already talked about several ways you can accomplish this, including just uploading an unlisted YouTube Video and creating a Google Form to collect registrations. However, let’s talk about a few more options you might consider if you want to know how to host webinars for free.
If you are primarily concerned with how to host live webinar options then YouTube Live and Facebook Live, as well as pretty much all the other Live social media sites, can be grouped into the same box. If you are only concerned about hosting a live webinar then these are actually pretty good options. The major downsides are that you can’t send follow up emails to the people that register, and you can’t automate this process very well.
We have also seen an uptick in requests of how to do a webinar on LinkedIn recently. The real answer is you can’t, at least not any more than you could on any other website that allows you to store video files. What you can do is promote the webinar through LinkedIn. While this wouldn’t be any different than promoting on Facebook or Instagram etc, LinkedIn might provide a better return on effort if you mainly want to reach other businesses.
Another question we get asked a lot pertaining to live webinars is “what is the best time to host a webinar”. The answer will vary widely depending on your audience. If it is a webinar targeting other businesses then some time during the work day is likely to work better. If it is more personal in nature, like a wellness webinar, then after work may be the best fit. We have found that Tuesday and Thursday around the lunch hour or around 7:00 in the evening works better for us. Although, the best thing to do is simply try a few different times to see what works best for you.
Since we’ve already covered Google Meet and Zoom, I’ll just reiterate that they both do a good job of providing ways to engage with your audience, if you have a small audience. For both platforms you will find the free version is really just virtual meeting software. If you are willing to only do real-time webinars, they can certainly be made to work.
Vimeo is an alternative to YouTube for video hosting. While their paid plans have a lot of great features, the free plan is a little limited, but for some it might be the right fit. The main advantage of going with Vimeo is you have a little more control over the display settings of the video player. Even with the free version, Vimeo’s branding is slightly more subtle than YouTube’s. You will be pretty limited on how many videos you can upload without moving up to a paid version. All the other advantages would be exactly the same as previously mentioned with YouTube.
Wistia may be a name you don’t recognize, although it has recently benefited from more brand awareness. It is another video hosting solution that could be made to work as a webinar. The main difference here is it allows you to own your subscriber data. This is something you would never get with YouTube. This reason alone makes it an intriguing option. As with all the other video hosting options, it is not a proper webinar hosting platform, but could be made to work. The free version of Wistia also limits how many videos you can upload.
Although finding the right hosting solution is important, some of you might be thinking, “how can I record a webinar for free”. So we thought it would be handy to talk just about recording for a bit. Conveniently, many of the options we’ve already talked about also provide recording software you can use. Zoom for example, offers a great recording solution with features like automatically adjusting your volume, and many others features that make recording easier.
Most devices also have a built in video recorder you can use. If you are using a Mac, Quicktime is a free and easy way to record your webinar. Don’t dismiss recording from your phone either, as most phones have pretty decent recording potential with their native camera app. However, remember to make sure your phone is turned horizontally when recording. While vertical video might work well for publishing to your social stories, it is not the way to go for recording a webinar.
One recording aspect that many people may need help with is a webinar hosting script to read from while recording. Talking extemporaneously at length can be a tough skill to master, and memorizing a lot of content could be very time consuming. Using a digital teleprompter can be just the right solution. While there are many paid options out there, one free options is CuePrompter. While it is nothing fancy, it is a simple solution that can get the job done.
When searching for the best webinar hosting platform, the key points to consider are your budget and needed features. Another key point to mention is if you are only looking for how to host live webinar options, you will have more flexible options, especially at lower budgets. In this case, technically you just need a registration form combined with meeting software. Zoom is a good option in this case, assuming you have $15 a month to spend. If you need a free option, Google Meet might have the edge, but if you are staying under 40 min Zoom is just as good here as well.
The real power of a webinar though, is creating automated content that potential clients can engage with on demand, without using your time. In this case, for most Coaches, Consultants, and Content Creators your best option is going to be BeFun BeKind. Not only do we help you develop your webinars and decide on the right content, but you also get very premium automated features at a low price point.
BeFun BeKind Webinars specifically focus on creating automated content that your audience can register for anytime, without you having to be involved. This is great for lead generation and developing relationships with new and existing clients. We also advise and help you market your webinars. We have the ability to automatically show an Offer or any Call To Action any time during your webcasts.
Another valuable feature is we allow you to turn your current YouTube videos into actual webinar-class content. To the participants everything will feel like it is happening Live. They will even be able to ask questions, which are then emailed to you directly so you can respond. We also handle the follow up email after the Webinar, and can even create an email campaign that stretches over several weeks, all automatically. BeFun BeKind is a much more fully managed service than most other options, especially at a price point starting at $10 a month.
The bottom line is to make sure you decide on the best option for you. If you have a very large budget Zoom and WebinarJam might be good options. If you need something free, maybe try Google Meet. If you’re a Coach, Consultant, or Content Creator that wants premium features at a low price point, and like the idea of someone managing everything for you, BeFun BeKind is the right fit.
Now that you’ve learned how to host webinars, you should be all set to start getting new clients and building relationships with webinar content. If you think you’re ready to get started we can help you setup your first webinar sales funnel here.