Technology has sure come a long way, even in just 16 years!
The year was 1998 and I was attended an introductory class to coaching BY PHONE with many other participants on the line. I was perplexed as to how I was going to learn anything via phone. But, I first used technology (computers) in 1973 and was willing to give it a “good old girl” try.
After attending a few hundred hours of training via phone I graduated CoachU.com as a Life Coach and Certified Teleclass Leader. The technology is called a “bridge line” and the cost was $750 a year for up to 25 people listening in. That was way too much money for a new business owner to pour into one marketing strategy! So a few of us pooled our money and purchased a bridge line to produce our own teleclasses. Today, most audio only systems are offered free and can record each session, too.
In 1999, I was asked to facilitate a marketing class online where 35 other participants, from all over North Carolina, would be sitting at computers located in rural Small Business Development offices. They’d be able to view my PowerPoint presentation, ask me questions during the event, and even write questions while I was talking. I terrified and again I pushed ahead.
A month later, it took 45-minutes to set up the technology, but I was teaching a class looking like a Martian (with the headgear and technology I had to use). Today, you know these to events be webinars and the equipment you need to create one is a mic, phone, the technology (downloaded on on the Internet that produces the program), product that has access to the Internet (phone, computer, laptop, notepad, etc), and speakers!
While some webinar technology is free — free comes with a price — ads you can’t regulate. And as professional, even if you teach a free class, you don’t want someone else’s ads in on your presentations.
Today’s webinar programs are available at price points small business owner can afford. Free programs contain ads and often have technology problems. Some webinar programs you purchase will NOT allow you to download your recorded files. Instead you give out a link to their website where others can view it. Others allow you to download your files for other uses (think social media, an online client library, etc.)
Always have a written Process and Procedure for conducting webinar, teleseminars, etc. And have it approved by your Compliance Manager. (I know a few, that I’d recommend, in case you’re looking to hire someone new for your firm. Just ask me.)
The 10 Ways FA’s Might use Webinar or Teleclass Technology*
1. Hosting monthly meetings for their best clients
2. Conducting staff meetings (if your staff is on the road or you’re running a virtual office).
3. Conducting pre-client meetings
4. Conducing quarterly, mid-year, or yearly review meetings with clients who live out of your area
5. Meeting with local clients because it’s more convenient than trying to meeting in person.
6. Having the whole office sing Happy Birthday to one of your clients
7. Walking clients through your portfolio management system
8. Introduce a new staff member to your clients
9. Creating videos or training materials (of all different lengths)
10. Producing your own weekly “show”
(Let me know the way you’re using this technology, by posting it in the comment area of this blog post)
Remember, one of the perks of conducting webinars is that you can record them. This way if your clients, staff, etc. can’t view them live, you can send them a link to view them later.
*Always have a back up system to the one you’re using. I use a teleclass type system as my back up. You can find resources to more webinar and conference technology and software using Resource Links below.
Webinar Services I’m Currently Using or Testing
Below are the different services I use (some services I am an affiliate with). Each of the programs below offer a trail period which varies from 7 to 30 days.
START MEETING: Easy to use online, easy to use via Outlook or Google, my desktop or phone app. You can download the recordings your computer, edit them (or not) and upload them anywhere you want. OR you can give out the link to the event and host it on Start Meeting. Their $19.99 package allows 50 people to join the event, and they offer packages for many more attendees. People can call in. YOU as the speaker must be on your phone doing the training. You can share your screen with others and many more features. Learn more at: http://www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com/b/StartMeeting.html
MAESTRO CONFERENCE: This is a more collaborative system. You can create break out groups, just like you’d do if you were conducting a live training as well as use their service as a regular webinar. Check out Maestro Conference at : http://www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com/b/maestro.html
SKYPE: I’ve conducted small group conferences using Skype Video. However, so far, the only program I’ve found to tape them is Pamela. ($36 to $57) http://www.ElevatingYourBusiness.com/b/pamela.html
FUZE: Is an affordable program I’m about to test Fuze https://www.fuze.com/home
My colleague, Michael Hartzell, wrote an article “11 Webinar Software Options for Online Meetings or Conferences”. You can read more about his findings here.
You can find other technology, marketing, and business development resources from me at here.
Tell me how you’re using this technology to further your business growth. Comment below.:
(c) 2014 Elevating Your Business. Maria Marsala, Financial Advisor’s Business Coach