Guest Blog: How to Organize an Online Education Event for Potential Clients

This special blog post was provided by our good friend, Dan Brian. Dan is the founder of Marketing for Justice, an online education company that hosts digital marketing workshops for legal marketers. He is also the Director of Digital Marketing for a mid-size personal injury law firm in North Carolina.

Online educational events like webinars are great opportunities to generate leads, connect with potential clients, and position your law firm as a thought leader. 

But in the COVID era especially, everyone has webinar fatigue. How can your law firm organize a “webinar” … that doesn’t actually feel like a webinar? 

Marketing for Justice hosts “online workshops” for legal marketers (often featuring expert marketers at Spotlight Branding). Here are 5 tips and tricks for hosting a “non-webinar-y” online education event for potential clients:

  1. Don’t Call It a Webinar

Sometimes it’s not what you say but how you say it. By calling an online education event a “webinar,” you automatically lump yourself in with the 99% of brands that do them badly. What distinguishes your online event from the 10 others your potential client’s been invited to this week? By “rebranding” your webinar as a “workshop,” “summit,” or something similar, you’ll immediately have differentiated your offering from everyone else’s at absolutely no cost. 

  1. Make It Conversational

Of course, if you’re not going to call it a webinar, it better not be a webinar. The #1 best way to do this is to make your online education event conversational. We do this a couple of different ways in our own online workshops, including by:

  • Opening each online education event with a “breakout” session — use your platform’s breakout room feature (if available) to let small groups of participants mix and mingle at the outset of the event. We always encourage folks to introduce themselves and their firms, and share an insight or experience related to the topic at hand. 
  • Encouraging questions and comments… anytime — if you wait until the end to allow questions, you’ll get 3 or 5… maybe. By letting attendees jump in with questions anytime, you’ll spark new insights from the speaker and keep things interesting and engaging.
  • Pausing throughout for open discussion — build in designated time for open discussion and generate conversation with a prompt or question. 
  1. Choose the Right Platform

Hosting a successful online education event is practically impossible without the right platform. At Marketing for Justice, we use Zoom — not the webinar product, but the regular ‘ol video conference platform. We cap attendees at 100 and allow everyone to enable their video and unmute themselves when they want to jump in with a question. We actually encourage people to interrupt and ask questions. But you can only do that with the right platform. It doesn’t have to be Zoom — but choose a platform that allows you to maximize engagement and direct participation.

  1. Take Notes

Nope, note-taking is not just for event attendees. Keep track of individual participants’ questions and interests and follow up with them via email immediately after the online education event. Potential clients will be amazed that you remembered them and there’s no better way to start a meaningful conversation — that may eventually turn into a signed retainer or referral.

  1. Don’t Sell. Ever.

At Marketing for Justice, we have a strict policy against selling during our online workshops. Except for a less-than-one-minute segment at the VERY end (after Q&A), we just don’t do it — and we don’t allow guest speakers to push their services, either. This is in stark contrast to 99% of traditional webinars, which might as well be called infomercials. Save the sales pitch for afterward, ideally via one-on-one follow-up. 

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Spotlight Branding

Spotlight Branding is an internet marketing and branding firm for lawyers. Our goal is to help our clients create an online presence that positions them as a credible expert in their field, keeps them connected with their network in order to stay top of mind and increase referrals, and to become more visible online so prospects can find them!

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