Webinars require a lot of pieces in order to be successful.
One of the most important is finding the right speaker.
Identifying a good webinar speaker is going to depend on a lot of factors. So, one of the first steps you are going to have to take is to ask a lot of questions. Such as:
Who is my target audience?
What is the industry challenge I want to focus on?
What speaker background and credentials will resonate with my target audience?
What kind of webinar am I running? Is it a one-on-one conversation? Or will there be multiple speakers? Is this about lead generation, or building audience trust, or both?
How much work will this be for a speaker? And am I prepared to compensate her/her for their time?
Once have answered those questions, you can start to look for a speaker(s) for your webinar.
LinkedIn is one of the best resource tools you can use to find qualified people who may be a good speaker for your upcoming Webinar. With tens of millions of professionals all over the world, LinkedIn is one of the first places you can go to find a list of candidates to speak.
However, you cannot rely only on LinkedIn profiles. A person whose background is impressive on the computer screen may not be the right kind of speaker for a webinar or for your audience. This is why it is important to first identify prospective speakers based on qualifications, and then take a few moments to speak with them – either in person or over the phone – to assess their voice, how they communicate, and the kinds of opinions they have.
For almost every industry there is a professional organization that you can reach out to. Most trade associations or industry groups have people on staff who are often quoted in industry publications and mainstream media interviews. However, sometimes people from non-profits will be uncomfortable participating in a B2B webinar for a corporation. Associations prefer not to play favorites, or participate in activities that are designed to be for the financial benefit of a corporation, and not their membership as a whole. There can be ways to structure a webinar that will appeal to an expert from an association. At the very least, they can recommend a few names for your consideration.
Social Media Influencers
Many experts in a specific field also have an active social media presence on various social networks, like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. Known as “social media influencers,” these people are constantly engaging with others online and sharing content. As with most speakers, you will have to see if they want some form of compensation. But most of the time, people who are very active in social media and in their industry are willing to speak on webinars for free – provided that their participation is not portrayed as a form of endorsement.
Please note: Speakers who work for federal, state, and local government agencies are often available to speak on webinars, but will insist that the audience understands their presence is not an endorsement. Though not always necessary, it could be a good process to tell everyone you ask to speak that you will make such an announcement. Being proactive to make a speaker feel comfortable can go a long way.
Who Are Your Most Important Prospects?
Though it may seem like an odd choice, my team and I have had great success tapping into a company’s current prospects for webinar speakers. For one Fortune 500 company, we specifically asked for a list of their enterprise targets for the year. Using that list, and reviewing our webinar topics, we were able to find speakers from those companies who were subject-matter experts. In fact, they added far more value to the webinar discussions than anyone else we would have considered. The sales team was then able to invite their points of contact for sales opportunities they were pursuing to the webinar, which had their executives speaking. The sales team was then able to say “hello” to the executives prior to the Webinar as a courtesy. This was an incredibly effective way at building a closer relationship and advancing conversations.
Conferences and Past Events
Another great way to find a potential webinar speaker is to review upcoming industry conferences, as well as past events and Webinars. Often times, these speakers make commitments months in advance – so it could be difficult to lock people down for a Webinar (unless you REALLY plan ahead). But people who speak regularly are excellent options. You know they are known in the industry (thus – recognizable to your audience), and you know they need very little preparation or management, because they are frequently sharing their insight.
If you are interested in our team helping you find speakers for your next webinar, or providing general webinar services, please contact us today at: GetStarted@YourWebinarExperts.com. You also can call at: 703-362-1586.