Webinars will undoubtedly be a great addition to your marketing arsenal.

When you think about it, it’s basically like a video on steroids. In addition to engaging your audience through a live feed, you also get to interact with them through polls, chat, and Q&A sessions.

But the best part of webinars is how accessible they are as marketing tools — even for small businesses on a shoestring budget.

Modern webinar platforms allow you to handle everything in one streamlined dashboard, from managing subscriptions to analytics.

What they can’t do, however, is magically transform you into an effective webinar host.

It doesn’t matter if you pick the most sophisticated webinar platform on the planet — you still need to learn how to host a webinar successfully by yourself.

Of course, what better way to do that than to look at the pitfalls that turn webinars into utter disasters.

In this post, we’ll talk about some of the worst possible mistakes you can do when hosting a webinar.

Let’s dive right in.

1. Not Engaging Your Audience

First of all, mistaking webinars for webcasts is a common rookie mistake.

A webinar, just like traditional seminars, allows the audience to interact with the host. On the other hand, a webcast has a one-way flow of information wherein viewers have no way to communicate back.

It’s a fundamental difference that new webinar hosts tend to overlook. As a result, they end up missing out on the huge benefits of hosting an interactive webinar.

Keep in mind that hosting a webinar is a great way to obtain valuable insights and feedback from your audience.

Having a simple Q&A session also allows you to eliminate every ounce of doubt your audience has regarding your brand. It enables you to prove your expertise and win their vote of confidence — thus, making it easier to turn them into warm leads or even paying customers.

If the thought of talking to dozens, hundreds, or thousands of viewers online sounds too intimidating, consider inviting guest presenters to host the webinar with you. These can be people from the same company or popular influencers in your niche.

Just remember to look for webinar presenters who can add value to the webinar’s theme and subject matter.

For example, if your webinar is about online marketing, you can have individual presenters for specific topics like SEO, social media, and email marketing.

Here are some of the tools that can help you find influencers for your webinar:

  • Followerwonk
  • Kred
  • BuzzSumo
  • Twtrland

2. Shying Away from Pitching Your Products & Services

While some people offer webinars on a paid subscription basis, most use them primarily for brand building and marketing purposes. Whether you like it or not, the audience is already well aware of this.

Everyone knows that you don’t put webinars just for fun. In which case, you might as well be upfront and honest about your marketing objectives.

Remember, as long as you provide value through your webinar; you have every right to endorse your products and services whenever they make sense.

For example, if you hosted a webinar on how to launch an online course from scratch, pitch your web development services only as an add-on that will help them reach their goals faster.

Whatever you do, avoid positioning your product or service as a mandatory purchase. Every bit of information in the webinar must come useful with or without your product — unless, of course, your webinar is a live product demonstration.

Just be sure to express your gratitude in case they do decide to purchase. Say something akin to: “Your purchase would really help us out and would support the creation of more webinars in the future.”