Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Webinars

Six or seven years ago I offered free family law consultations over the internet. I had an account with GoToMeeting.com. The guest would log in to the presentation via GoToMeeting so that he or she could watch the Powerpoint slide show that I had created. At the same time the guests would call in to a conference call phone number provided by GoToMeeting. Then I could interact in real time with the guests over the phone.

I advertised these webinars aggressively on our website. I spent A LOT of time creating a very informative Powerpoint show. And, the webinar was free. There was only one problem. No one showed up! That's not true. In the six months that I offered the consultations I had four guests. None of them ended up hiring me. I pulled the plug on the project. The first reason being the lack of an audience. The second reason was the high cost of the GoToMeeting subscription. Something like $495 per year at the time.

One of the problems could have been the newness of the idea. I believe I was the first family law lawyer in the country at that time to offer live consultations over the internet. GoToMeeting was a brand new technology, and consumers may not have been comfortable with it. Plus, there was no actual face time. Skype didn't have video yet, nor did GoToMeeting. I think the fact that the viewers could not see my face compromised the effectiveness of the experience.

Time passes, and technology improves. In a recent blog article Larry Bodine reintroduces the idea of webinars as a lawyer marketing tool. According to Bodine, "More law firms are offering Web seminars as a way to reach a large number of people because no one – neither the presenters nor the attendees – is required to travel to see the program." He offers seven reasons why webinars are good:
  1. You'll get new files from clients without needing to leave the office.
  2. Prospective clients -- whom you could not otherwise reach -- will call you after they have seen your slides and heard you speak.
  3. Eliminate the expense and hassle of travel.
  4. Save your valuable time. You will focus on your presentation, not the room setup.
  5. You'll expand your geographic footprint and reach clients and potential clients across a wide area.
  6. Online seminars position you as being tech-savvy.
  7. You'll get a list of email addresses, mailing addresses and phone numbers of all the attendees for follow-up contact.
It is an interesting read, and a fresh look at a not new technique. Please click here to read Larry's original article.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information of Harding & Associates Family Law

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