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Using The Power Of Webinars To Grow Your Accounting Practice

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Today, the promise of automation is everywhere. From a retailers POS to their finished financials, the promise is that accounting clerks will be swept aside like beachgoers at a party watching the Tsunami roll in. The promise is that accounting professionals will be elevated to elevated to heights never before realized by mere mortals.

All this, and more is the promise of accounting technology, as accountants rush to the store to purchase and install the latest of these marvels of modern technology in order to remain competitive.

Meanwhile, marketing continues to be a struggle for even the most savvy and energetic practitioners.

Take our friend Rick, for example. Rick is an estatablished practitioner, with over twenty years experience, yet Rick struggles with the basics of marketing. Or maybe, Lance. Lance has a successful practice, and is a leader in his niche. Yet Lance struggles to make the breakthrough to national prominence that he so desires.

I could continue, it’s the age old story of folks struggling to follow the myth of consistency while all about them, chaos rages.

The theories abound.

Accountants are too conservative to market their services. You can only get clients through referrals from satisfied clients, or professional peers. Method ‘A’ doesn’t produce results. Method ‘B’ doesn’t produce results.

One method that all accountants seem to agree on as producing results is the seminar, and its electronic twin, the webinar.

Why Webinars?

Webinars Can Help Build A Loyal Following
With the right system, you can easily collect email addresses when people register for your event and integrate your favorite email autoresponder program!

Webinars Position You As An Expert
Hosting your own event instantly gives you credibility and positions you as an expert in your field

Webinars Can Sell Without Being SALES-y!
Educate prospects on your events and they’ll be eager to buy since they’ll know, like, and trust you!

But then, the same practitioners who say it gets results, also say it takes too much work to put on a good webinar. The fear the hours of preparation, creating the collateral materials that have to be delivered, and the short shelf life of the presentation.

In order for a system to be truly automated, it needs to allow for both live and recorded webinars. It needs to be scalable, meaning it has to be able to handle from one to a gazillion attendees. It needs to have a built in messaging system for notices and reminders to webinar registrants. It needs to be able to integrate with a payment system so that hosts can offer fee based webinars and training. And, it needs to integrate with third party applications such as membership systems and autoresponders.

For independent local practitioners, probably the first consideration is cost.

One of the elephants in the room, GoToMeeting, charges $30 per month with a limit of 50 participants per webinar, without automation! Or, $50 per month, for up to 100 participants, but still without automation.

GoToMeeting’s sister service, GoToWebinar, starts at $89 per month for up to 100 participants. GoToWebinar does have the advantage of offering a limited number of automated emails to webinar registrants. If you’re willing to go to $199 per month, you can finally access their automated webinars service, and you can have up to 500 atttendees per session.

I have to tell you, I tried GoToWebinar some years ago, and was quite frustrated with the limitations that it imposed, especially when I looked at the cost of the service. I signed a one-year agreement with them but phased out my use of their service well before the year was up, as the service was unsatisfactory, and overpriced. I presume the service has improved in the past seven or eight years since I used them, but they still seem a bit overpriced.

My search took me through several other services, but I eventually settled on a telecommunications service with screensharing capability. A service called Free Conferencing. It was a bit slow at times, as their Java based coding wound up using a lot of my computer resources. But, they had one overridng thing that compensated for that, and that was the price. Free.

Somewhere around 2009, I stumbled into the idea of automated webinars and a whole new world opened up to me as I began to explore the possibilities.

What I began to look for in an automated webinar solution was the ability to create live events fast with integrated technology.

I wanted minimal complexity that would allow me to set up my first live webinar quickly and easily, and be able to run live webinars or series events to an endless audience.

Just in case I got really successful, I wanted to be able to scale up with advanced webinar funnels that leveraged both engagement and automation to acquire new customers or engage with existing ones without drowning in overwhelming complexity.

It was also very important to me to be able to engage and fulfill my existing customers and fans while using webinars to create both live and evergreen courses, or on-boarding training that provided a more engaged way of learning and teaching.

One of the first automated systems I tried was something by an internet marketer by the name of Armand Morin. I think it was called Evergreen Webinar. Well, it was early in the development of automated systems and the Evergreen Webinar was a bit clunky. I think I asked for a refund.

However, Armand is a successful internet marketer, and as time went on, he continued to refine his product, and rolled out a new product, designed as a WordPress plugin. WPWebinar is the current product, and although I don’t own a copy, Armand stands behind his work, so it is a system to consider.

The automated webinar system I settled on is Easy Webinar, by Casey Zeman. I like Casey’s implementation because he has been able to develop a system that combines the option for holding live webinars, with automated replays.

Not only does Easy Webinar include a reminder email system for webinar registrants, it integrates with almost any third party autoresponder, allowing you to send an unlimited series of promotional or followup emails.

Both of these systems boast a variety of theme templates, and both integrate with your self hosted WordPress installation. In addition, Easy Webinar has a service where they will host your webinars if you are not on a WordPress platform.

Join us here at Practice Builder Publishing and become a part of the community, whether you become a contributing author, a peer recruiter, or merely a raving devotee of the Practice Builder Publishing resources, I'll work with you personally so you can reach the goals you set.

Best to you and yours,

kirks-sig

 

Kirk

P.S. Think I'm full of B.S.? Maybe you ought to let me know what you think. Plop your comments in the section down below the related articles and let me know what you think.!

P.P.S. Got questions about products and services I talk about, the terms of service, privacy nd all that stuff related to Practice Builder Publishing? Click Here to read the fine print.


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I would love to see you add webinars to your marketing arsenal. Webinars can position you as an expert, and automated webinars provide you with an "Evergreen" source of leads.

If you are looking at economical, and powerful tools that will allow you to create and deliver your own automated webinars, then I urge you to check out either of our advertisers, Casey Zeman's EasyWebinar or Armand Morin's WPWebinar today.

If you also want to integrate your webinar system with an automated email system, advertisers who offer autoresponders as a service are AWeber and Get Response.

For a self hosted solution I recommend ARPReach. ARPReach is a self hosted application, which means you only purchase one, and you don't have those pesky monthly bills like you get with the two services I mentioned above. ARPReach is what we use here at Practice Builder Publishing, and have used since it first came out as the successor to ARP3, which we used since 2003.


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