The coronavirus pandemic has led to a significant rise in the use of video conferencing platforms, and in particular the Zoom platform. Zoom was popular with businesses before the pandemic and it is sure to be even more popular afterwards.
More and more business owners and individuals want to know how Zoom can help them to improve and grow their businesses. In this guide you will learn exactly what Zoom is and what it has to offer, as well as how you can use it effectively in your business.
There is a bit of a learning curve with Zoom and you need to be willing to take the time to learn the most important features. You will find all of the most important setup and configuration details in this guide.
To get the most out of Zoom you need to know what features are available and how to use them. You also need to understand all of the tips and tricks that Zoom masters use to get the best results from using the Zoom platform. We will reveal all in this powerful guide.
The Zoom webinar platform offers you a great opportunity to generate more leads and sales. It is essential that you set your webinars up in the right way and provide a high value delivery so that your attendees will turn into customers. We have the best strategies for you in this guide.
Keeping your audience engaged in your Zoom events is essential. You will find a number of proven tactics in this guide to increase engagement. There are some great personal strategies you can use as well as the Zoom built-in features.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the way that businesses operate all across the world. Conventional “in person” meetings are now being replaced with safer video conferencing meetings. Zoom has become the “go to” application for video conferencing available today.
Zoom was popular before the coronavirus pandemic and now it is even more so. This cloud based application allows businesses to hold virtual meetings using video or in audio only mode like a telephone call. There is a live chat function as well. You can record your Zoom sessions which is a lot better than taking lots of notes during your meetings.
Zoom Meeting and Zoom Room
In 2019 more than 50% of Fortune 500 organizations were using Zoom. No doubt this number has increased in 2020. Have you heard people talking about a “Zoom meeting” or “Zoom room” before? There is a difference between the two.
A Zoom meeting is something that you are probably familiar with if you have used applications like Skype. You can participate in a meeting using your computer or mobile device with a camera and a microphone. It is also possible to join a Zoom meeting using a phone.
The Zoom room is different. It requires that hardware be installed in a conference room for example and then companies can use it to run a full blown meeting. There is an additional cost for the Zoom room setup and usage. Larger companies use the Zoom room feature.
The Features of Zoom
There are a number of different features available with Zoom and here are the most commonly used ones:
One to One Meetings
The user can host unlimited one to one meetings even using the free Zoom plan.
Video Conference Group Meetings
With the free Zoom plan you can host up to 100 participants on a group video conference for a maximum of 40 minutes. By choosing the large meeting plan you can host group video conferences with up to 500 participants and there are no time restrictions.
This is a very popular feature that is available with all Zoom plans. Whether you are in a one to one meeting or a large group meeting you can share your screen so that the other participants can see what you are doing.
The Zoom Plans
Whatever you want to achieve in your business there is a Zoom plan to support it. This includes the following:
• One to one meetings
• Group calls
• Training sessions
• Webinars both internal and external
• Global video meetings
Here are the Zoom plans and prices at the time of writing this guide (check for the latest offers here):
Zoom Free Plan
• Unlimited number of one to one meetings
• Group meetings with a limit of 100 participants and 40 minute limit
• HD video (720p) and HD voice
• Active speaker view
• Show up to 25 video feeds per screen
• Screen share (simultaneous)
• Virtual backgrounds
• Waiting room
• Permanent online meeting room
• Instant or scheduled meetings
• Plugins for Outlook and Chrome
• Meeting recording in video, audio and text modes
• Raise hand alert function
• Breakout room
• Apps for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and iOS
There are other features too. Zoom offer a comprehensive set of features for free which allows you to test out the application to see if it is a good fit for your business. It will be, and you should certainly take advantage of this generous plan.
Pro Plan for Small Teams $14.99 Per Month
With this plan you get all of the features included in the free plan plus:
• Ability to raise the number of participants to 500 or 1,000 (you will have to pay higher monthly charges for this)
• Meeting duration limit increased to 24 hours
• User management including adding and deleting users, role assignments and other features • Admin controls such as recording enabling or disabling, chat and notifications and encryption • Reporting which provides useful meeting metrics
• Personal meeting ID (customizable)
• Assign feature which enables you to assign the scheduling of meetings to others • 1GB of cloud recording
Some useful features here if your business outgrows the free plan.
Business Plan for Small and Medium sized Businesses $19.99 per month
With this Zoom plan you get everything in the Pro plan plus:
• Meetings up to 300 participants
• Dedicated phone support
• Admin dashboard for viewing info about usage and in meeting data
• Custom URL e.g. yourcompany.zoom.us
• On premise deployment (your private cloud for video, voice and content sharing) • Managed domains (use your business email address to add users)
• Single sign on (login using your company credentials)
• Branding (add your company branding to your customized meeting page)
• Custom emails (branded email templates for invites)
• LTI integration (great for inviting students to attend training sessions etc)
• Cloud recording transcripts (auto generated)
For $5 per month more you get a number of really useful features with this plan over the Pro plan. The branding and customization features are certainly worth it.
Enterprise Plan for larger companies $19.99 per month
With the Enterprise plan you get everything with the Business plan plus:
• 500 participant meeting limit (you can increase this to 1,000 participants with the Enterprise plus plan which will cost more)
• Unlimited cloud storage
• Dedicated customer success manager
• Executive business reviews (here you get detailed trending adoption analysis, product roadmap discussions and ROI tracking)
• Discounts for webinar and Zoom Room bundles
The Enterprise plan starts off at the same price as the Business plan which seems like a no brainer but the “add ons” are more expensive.
If you plan to use webinars in your business then Zoom has a Video Webinar plan that starts from $40 a month per host for up to 100 attendees. With this plan you have the ability to enable 100 interactive video panelists.
There are also plans for view only webinar attendees from 100 people to 10,000 people. We will discuss the possibilities with webinars later on in this guide as it is something that you should really be considering as a great sales and marketing strategy.
Zoom offers other features which we have not covered here that may be a good fit for your business. Once you start to use the Zoom application you will find that these additional features make a lot of sense and could certainly benefit your business.
When You Need To Use Zoom In Your Business
The great thing about the Zoom platform is that it suits businesses of all shapes and sizes with its comprehensive free plan up to the Enterprise plans. You can take advantage of the one to one meeting feature and then scale up from there.
These days many businesses outsource certain elements of their work. A lot of technical functions are outsourced for example, as it is a lot more cost effective than hiring a technical team. Other skills such as copywriting and content writing are commonly outsourced as well. It just makes good business sense to do this.
But one of the downsides to outsourcing is that you want to ensure that your requirements are fully understood. No matter where your freelancers are located, you can hold a Zoom meeting with them to explain exactly what you are looking for. This is a lot easier and more effective than creating long documents trying to explain every detail.
It is so easy to use Zoom and it will increase your productivity. One person businesses can grow very quickly by holding collaboration meetings using Zoom. It is also a great platform for acquiring and interacting with customers. Here are the major reasons why you need to start using Zoom in your business today:
Easy Setup and Management
A lot of business owners are put off using video and audio conferencing facilities because they fear that there is a lot of technical knowhow required to get everything setup properly. Maybe you have tried to use other applications in the past and felt that the level of technical skill required was more than you possessed or were willing to learn?
Zoom makes all of this very easy. You can set up a meeting with a single click and the controls for meetings are simple and intuitive. It is possible to use Zoom meetings without any technical knowledge whatsoever.
Communicate with your Virtual Team
When you have a virtual team scattered over the 4 corners of the world it is not always easy to make sure that everyone is up to date with the plans that you have for your business. Email is OK, but there is nothing like getting everyone together for a productive meeting.
With the Zoom free plan you can hold meetings with your team wherever they are located. With a limit of 100 participants for group calls this should be more than enough for most small businesses.
You can go for video calls or audio only calls. In some countries the Internet bandwidth is limited so video calls are not practical. Just use the audio only feature to compensate for this. Connecting with everyone in your virtual team is so easy with Zoom.
Use Zoom as your Single Communication Platform
It is much easier for your team to use a single platform for all business communications and Zoom provides you with the ability to hold one to one meetings, group meetings, webinars, chat and phone conversations.
The people behind the Zoom platform are always listening to their customers and are working on new features to meet the needs of their business customers. They want you to use their platform for all of your business needs.
Multiple ways to use the Zoom Platform
It doesn’t matter what devices you and your participants are using there is a Zoom solution for all. If you use a Windows PC, a Mac, a Linux based computer or an iOS or Android based mobile device you can use the Zoom platform.
You can use an Internet browser for Zoom calls or you can download an application for your device. This provides a great deal of freedom and versatility as there are no device restrictions for users of the platform.
Even if you go for one of the Zoom paid plans you get a lot for your money. The free plan is very generous in terms of features and functionality, but the paid plans help you to grow your business in a very cost effective way.
Ways that you can do Business using Zoom
It has never been easier to reach out to people anywhere in the world than it is today. Most people have access to a computer, a smartphone or a tablet device and a connection to the Internet now. So with the Zoom platform it is simple for you to connect with others wherever they are. This could be for a number of reasons including:
• Connecting with existing customers to discuss projects
• Connecting with potential customers to convert them
• Collaborating with employees and freelancers
• Conducting internal top level meetings
At this point you may be wondering how you can really utilize the power of the Zoom platform in your business. To give you some ideas, here are ways that businesses in specific industries are taking advantage of the Zoom platform:
The Fitness Industry
There are a number of gyms, yoga studios and other businesses providing online classes using the Zoom platform. People are willingly paying for these classes as they can tune in to them without having to leave their homes.
The Education Industry
Many smart educators are moving to an online play with their training and many are utilizing the Zoom platform for delivery. Learning via Zoom is a great way to keep children engaged for example. Parents are happy to pay subscription fees for one to one or group educational sessions via Zoom. Adults are learning new skills using the Zoom platform as well.
Innovative retailers are now providing Zoom sessions for their customers. For example there are Zoom meetings available now from stylists in certain stores to provide a more enhanced online shopping experience. The possibilities here are almost endless.
People really like live events. They are very popular on YouTube and Facebook and you can host your own private live event with your customers for example using Zoom. If you are launching a new product or service then what better way to announce it than via a Zoom group meeting for your select few customers?
At the end of the day you are only restricted by your imagination. Almost anything that you can do in the physical world to enhance your business you can do (and more) using the Zoom platform. It is becoming a much more acceptable way to do business these days and if you are not using these methods then you are potentially leaving money on the table.
Getting Started With Zoom
If you have never used a conferencing application like Zoom before there really is nothing to worry about. In this section we will show you how to setup your Zoom account and get started in the best way.
You will need a free Zoom account to get started so just go to Zoom.us where you can create a new account. Use a browser on your Mac, Windows PC, iOS or Android device to do this. Obviously the layouts will vary a bit if you are using a desktop or mobile device.
Signing Up for your Zoom Account
One of the great things about Zoom is that you can use it through your browser rather than downloading an application if you prefer to do this. You will be asked to make this choice and from there you will need to sign up for your account.
There is a choice of signing up using your email address or your Google or Facebook account here. After you have done this then Zoom will ask you if it is OK for them to send you “how to” guides and videos which are well worth it. If you do not want to receive these then you can set your preferences to never receive emails from Zoom or just periodically.
After this you will receive a confirmation email from Zoom which you will need to open to activate your account. Then all you need to do is to add your name to your account and come up with a strong password. There is also an option to invite your colleagues and friends to create a free Zoom account. You can skip this if you want.
Create a Test Meeting
The next step is to create a test meeting. Although this is optional we recommend that you do this. At this stage it is a good idea to grab an extension for your browser. There are extensions available for the Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox browsers at the time of writing. You can also get a plugin for Microsoft Outlook which is useful.
We recommend these plugins as you will become a regular Zoom user when you follow the advice in this guide. Then just follow the instructions to setup your Zoom test meeting. Once you have done this you will see a URL for the meeting and you will have the option to invite others to attend.
It is really important that you get the settings right for your meetings. Once in the Zoom website look for “Your Account” in the top right corner. Here you will be able to manage your profile. You can make changes to your profile including:
• Your name
• Adding your photograph
• Your default meeting ID
• Your password
• Set your time zone
Once you are done with your profile, go to “Settings”. In here you can change the default settings such as whether or not you want to enable video automatically when you, or people you have invited, join your meeting. You can also choose whether it is OK for participants to join the meeting prior to you as the host joining it.
After this you want to check the audio settings. Usually you will want to use computer audio here rather than telephone. At the time of writing Zoom has limited telephone usage with free accounts. It makes more sense to use the resources of your device for audio anyway.
The next decision you need to make concerns public and private chats. We do not recommend that you enable private chats for your meetings. You can also set different permissions for screen sharing and file transfers. Sometimes you will want to be in full control here and be the only one that can share their screen and transfer files.
If you have chosen to download the Zoom desktop app then you will see that it is pretty similar to the browser based version. The desktop app is useful if you intend to use more than one monitor for example as you can change this in the settings. You can also choose automatic full screen mode.
Scheduling and Launching a Meeting
If you currently have any scheduled meetings then you will see these in your screen. To schedule a new meeting just click on “schedule a new meeting” and a new screen will appear where you can give your meeting a name and a description if you want. Then you can set the meeting date and time.
There is a facility to setup recurring meetings with your team for example. Just tick the “recurring meeting” checkbox located under the timezone tab. You will be prompted to select the regularity of the meetings either monthly, weekly or daily. Just save everything and your meeting is ready to go.
Inviting Others to your Meeting
You have to send out invites to your meeting manually and you can do this through your email account or use calendar invites. There are links visible to your Google Calendar, Yahoo Calendar of Outlook Calendar after you have saved your meeting.
The other way to invite people is to copy the “join URL” and then a screen pops up where you can copy all of the relevant information. Just copy this to the clipboard and then create new email messages to send to the people that you want to invite and paste the details into each email. All the invited people need is the join URL, the meeting date and time and any password you have set.
It is a good idea to test the meeting features first before inviting participants. You can do this by setting up a test meeting and then selecting “Start this meeting”. There will be a prompt to join the meeting using your computer audio if you are using a desktop and you will be able to test your microphone and speakers from here. You can also choose to go “full screen”.
When you are hosting a Zoom meeting it is important that you understand the various management options that are available. In the bottom left of the menu tab you have the options to mute or un mute your microphone and start or stop your camera. You can also setup an external microphone, camera or speaker if you want to. There are options against all of these so that you can make your preferred choices.
Now you need to understand the “Manage Participants” tab. Under this tab you will see “invite” which you can use if you have forgotten to bring someone in to a meeting. After clicking on this you will see a box appear with all of the connected participants. You can mute or un-mute someone by hovering over their name.
You will see a “More” option and here you have the feature to “lock” your meeting so that nobody else can join. The default layout for a Zoom video meeting is “Active Speaker” which means that the person talking appears on a larger screen. As an alternative you can use the “gallery layout” which reveals all participants in grid format.
The “Share Screen” tab has a lot of features. If you choose “Basic” then you can share your desktop screen with others. You can also use the “whiteboard” option where you can make annotations. If you are on the move and have an iPhone you can share your screen as well.
There is also a tab for file sharing here and there are links to applications such as Google Drive, Dropbox, Box and Microsoft OneDrive. You can choose to limit participants to sharing one screen at a time or you can allow multiple screen sharing.
Next we have the management of the “chat” facility. The aim of the chat feature is to allow participants to type in any questions that they have. As the host, you can control who can chat to who. You can turn off the chat function altogether or you can choose to chat just with you as the host, everybody publically or all participants publically and privately.
The next feature of interest is the “Record” function. You can choose to record the meeting and then send a copy of this to your participants via email if you want. Only the host of the meeting can record it unless you decide to give this permission to others.
The last option is the “End Meeting” tab which unsurprisingly will end the meeting. If you need to leave a meeting as the host but the meeting needs to go on then you can assign host privileges to a participant. You will first need to enable this facility in the “Meetings” tab.
• So there you have it. Follow these instructions and you will setup your Zoom account perfectly for your meetings. In the next section we will look at some great Zoom tips and tricks that you can use…
Zoom Tips & Tricks
In the last section we discussed the basic settings for a Zoom meeting and now we will take a look at some of the advanced features that you may want to use. We will cover recordings, microphone quality, virtual backgrounds, improving your appearance on camera, transcript recording, gallery view, screen sharing, white boarding and more.
Recording Zoom Meetings in Video Format
When you use Zoom for a call or meeting you can record it as a video. If you are the meeting host then you can enable the recording in your settings. You will need to ensure that you have set this up before you start the call. Once you are in your Zoom account just go to “Account Settings” and then “Meeting Settings”.
You will see a “Recording” tab and you need to click on this to setup video recording. To actually record the call you will need to choose from storing the recording locally on your computer or storing in the cloud. You will need to be on a paid plan to store in the cloud.
If you have a paid plan and want to store the video in the cloud then you will need to download the Zoom application for your Mac, Windows or Linux computer. When storing in the cloud the video file, audio file and text for chat is all recorded in the Zoom cloud.
When you begin a Zoom call there will be an option to record at the bottom of the screen (on installed Zoom applications and not available through a browser). If you do not see this option then you need to check your settings to see if you have setup recording. The videos are recorded in MP4 format.
If you are a mobile device user then you can still record Zoom meetings but you will need to be a paid subscriber as there is no option to store the recording locally. All recordings must be performed and stored in the Zoom cloud. There is a limit to how much cloud storage you get so keep an eye on this.
When you choose the option to store the recording on your computer you need to know where Zoom will save it so that you can retrieve it afterwards. There will be a “Zoom” folder on your desktop or laptop when you install the Zoom application and this folder is used to store recordings.
On a Mac the path is: /Users/User Name/Documents/Zoom
On a PC the path is: C:\Users\User Name\Zoom
An easy way to get to your local recordings is to open the Zoom app and then go to “Meetings”. You will see a “Recorded” tab here and there you will find the meetings that you recorded and you can choose to play a recording or open the file.
Virtual Backgrounds in Zoom
Don’t like the way that your room looks? Do you want to portray a more professional presence to your Zoom participants? The answer to this is to use Zoom virtual backgrounds for all of your calls. These are backdrops that include things such as ocean views, space and cityscapes.
You can basically upload anything that you want to be a virtual background for your Zoom calls. So you can create your own image and use this as the backdrop. Virtual backgrounds are available to desktop and iPhone users.
It is not difficult to setup a virtual background for your Zoom calls. If you are using a PC or a Mac then open the Zoom application and click on the “Setup” icon. You will see a side menu appear and from here you can choose “Virtual Background”.
Zoom will provide a few backgrounds that you can choose from — just select the one you want by clicking on it. If you don’t want to use these backgrounds then you can upload your own. Just click on the “+” sign and then select the image that you want to use from your desktop.
We recommend that you have your virtual background setup before you start any calls or meetings on Zoom. But if you forget, you can actually add a virtual background while a call is in progress. In the Zoom application click the arrow next to the video symbol on the left hand side and then click on “Choose a virtual background”.
Although it is possible to add a virtual background image without using a green screen you will get the best results if you use a green screen. You can add a virtual background using an iPhone as well. Just tap on the 3 dots at the bottom of the screen and then tap on the “more” option. Tap on “Virtual Background” and choose the one you want.
Look Better on Zoom Calls
You want to look the best that you can be on your Zoom calls right? Well believe it or not there is a feature within Zoom to improve your appearance called “Touch Up My Appearance”. The people at Zoom really think of everything. Most people are unhappy with the way that they look on camera so now you can improve this.
When you use Touch Up My Appearance you will apply a filter that will smooth fine lines subtly. Zoom claim that this will provide a natural improvement to your appearance. To use this wonderful feature go to “Settings” in the Zoom application and under the “Video” tab you will see a box to check next to the words “Touch Up”.
This is a really useful feature of Zoom. Let’s say that you are recording an interview with an expert in your niche that you plan to package up and either sell or provide as a valuable giveaway to encourage people to sign up for your email newsletter. Some people just prefer to read transcripts rather than watch a video or listen to an audio file. So give them everything.
You will need to go to the Zoom web portal to enable the automatic transcript feature for your recordings. Go to “My Meeting Settings” and then on to the cloud recording tab (you will need a paid subscription for transcript generation). Find the “Recording” tab and enable the feature.
In some cases you may see the option for auto transcript generation “greyed out”. This means that it will have been locked at the account or group level. To fix this you will need to contact the admin.
Gallery View for 49 Participants
The default number of participants you can show on the screen at once is 25. If you want to show up to 49 participants at once then use the gallery option (this is dependent on the device that you are using).
If you are using an iOS or Android mobile device then the Zoom app is set to work in “active speaker” mode. When other participants join your meeting then in the bottom right corner you will see a video thumbnail. With a mobile device you can see the video of up to four participants at once.
When using a desktop you can see up to 49 participants at once. You must install the desktop Zoom app for Mac or Windows PC to do this. Just go to “Settings” and then click on “Video” which will bring up the video settings screen. From here you can enable the “Display up to 49 participants per screen in Gallery View” option.
Pausing a Shared Screen
This is another cool trick that you can use so that your meeting participants will not see you fumbling around with your presentation slides. You can do this both on a desktop and a smartphone device.
While you are sharing your screen you will see a “Pause Share” option that you can select so that the current screen is frozen in the meeting. This enables you to mess around in the background getting things set up as you want them. This is a great feature to use during webinar presentations which we will discuss in more detail in a later section.
Share Files and use the Whiteboard on a Mobile Device
Some people think that you can only use the Zoom whiteboard feature with a desktop computer but this is not the case. Using your smartphone you can share files directly and use the whiteboard feature during a meeting. All you need to do is use your finger on the screen to make your comments etc.
You can also make annotations using your mobile phone when you are viewing a screen that someone else has shared. At the top of the Zoom window select the “View Options” and then select “Annotate”. You will then see a toolbar that will provide your options for annotation. These include text, arrows, draw and more.
Other great Zoom Tips and Tricks
You can create breakout rooms to split your meeting up into smaller groups with Zoom. While it is possible to do this during a call, you will avoid logistical issues if you set the rooms up before you hold your meeting.
If you want to provide one on one support for a meeting participant you can do this using the “remote support” feature. This is great for group training sessions where you need to provide help to certain individuals for example.
Did you know that you can invite people to a Zoom meeting using different languages? Well you can and these languages include English, French, Russian and Spanish. The final cool trick is the “waiting room”. You can setup a waiting room for people to hang out in prior to your arrival as the host.
The Power Of Zoom Webinars
Are you using webinars to grow your business? If not then you need to read this section very carefully because you are missing out on something that can increase your revenue significantly if you do it right. The Zoom webinar platform is great and has some amazing features. So here are the main benefits of holding Zoom webinars:
1. It Enables you to Provide Value
Providing value to your existing customers and potential customers should always be your main aim. The Zoom webinar feature provides you with all of the tools that you need to do this in the best way. A webinar is unlike anything else. When you deliver webinars properly you will be able to captivate your audience for a long period of time.
Webinars are much more effective for audience engagement than lengthy videos will be no matter how well the videos are made. With a webinar the audience can interact with the host and ask questions to receive real time feedback on the subject matter.
As the host you will be able to ask your entire audience questions during the webinar. A popular thing to do is to run “mini competitions” during webinars where the winners will receive something valuable such as one of your products (or a significant discount), a prize such as an iPhone or cash which you can deliver using PayPal.
If you have not hosted a webinar before then you need to start planning your first one using Zoom right now. Webinars are one of the best marketing tools that you can use in your business and they convert really well if they are done right.
2. You will be Perceived as an Authority in your Niche
Their audiences often perceive Webinar hosts as experts. You will be showing your audience how they can achieve something for free. They may have a particular problem which you can show them how to solve. Your audience will really appreciate you for this and see you as an expert in your niche.
Just because your webinar is free to attend does not mean that people are just going to flock to it. They want to listen to you lay your expertise down for them. By giving your audience the free advice you can then lead up to selling them something that will take them to the next level in your niche.
3. Webinars are not a Hard Sell
When you use the right kind of content in your webinars you will be able to “soft sell” your audience. There is no need for any hard sell tactics. You will provide value to your audience and they will be warmed up to purchase your high ticket offer. Not everyone will make a purchase but some will, and this can mean significant income for you.
You need to create your webinar content so that it will showcase the problems that your audience are experiencing and also minimize objections while providing great value. If this sounds impossible to you then it certainly isn’t.
Your aim throughout your webinar is to teach your audience that they want what you have to offer. By initially providing them with value by solving some of their problems you will whet their appetite for the product or service that you will offer after your value presentation. Some of your audience will naturally want your product at this point so you will not have to hard sell.
4. Provide Webinars to a World Wide Audience
A webinar enables you to make your offer to people from all over the world. All they need is a device and an Internet connection to join your webinar. You will be able to communicate your message to hundreds or thousands of people at once. And you can do all of this from the comfort of your own home.
If you have a product or service that people can use anywhere in the world then you must host webinars. There is no way that you can meet face to face with all of these people unless you hold a physical event somewhere which will cost you and your audience a fortune.
5. Good Webinars Engage People
One of the best things about webinars is that they are live events. The people that you invite to your webinars know that if they want to benefit from the value that you will provide they will need to show up on time. If they are late then they might miss something really important. You can record webinars but don’t mention this when you are inviting people.
Contrast a webinar to a long video about the same subject. People know that they can pause a video and return to it (or not) whenever they want. They cannot do this with a live webinar. People know that they will miss out if they don’t attend and people do not like to miss out on things.
Webinars offer the chance for your audience to have their say using the chat function. They can ask and answer questions for example. The most successful webinars will have a questions and answers session at the end where the host will answer any questions from the audience about the product on offer etc.
6. Webinars are Great for Lead Generation
Your business always needs new leads. Most businesses do not take this as seriously as they should and fail to reach their growth goals as a result. Webinars are a very good way to generate new leads for your business. You can convert these new leads into customers very quickly with a well delivered webinar.
When a person wants to attend your webinar they will need to register for it which will require their name and email address as a minimum. By registering, people are telling you that they are interested in the subject matter of your webinar (your niche) and they want to know more about your business.
7. Build Relationships Fast with Webinars
If you want to build a relationship with a new lead then the best way to do this is to provide them with some value first. With a webinar you can teach your audience something that they didn’t know. It is best to show your audience how they can overcome a common problem in your niche such as getting traffic to their website for example.
Your offer needs to build on the value that you have already provided. So if your webinar is about ways to drive traffic to the websites of the audience then your offer could be an automated solution for this. The solution to their problem will require a lot of work and your offer reduces this significantly or eliminates it altogether.
8. Leverage the Audiences of Special Guests
One of the best webinar ideas is to invite a niche expert as a special guest. When you do this they will usually be more than happy for you to leverage their existing audience so that you can get the maximum amount of attendees to your webinar.
Of course you will need to do all of the promotional work here. Your guest will provide access to their audience usually through their email lists. You will need to write the emails promoting your webinar with your special guest.
It is a great idea to have niche influencers as special guests on your webinars because it enables you to get the word out about your business to a lot more people. The audience of your special guest will value you highly because of your association. Basically you are using the credibility of your special guest to grow your business.
9. You can attract Top Affiliates to your Webinars
Affiliate marketers promote other people’s products and services to earn commissions. There are some affiliates out there that have huge audiences of their own and you can agree a deal with these people to provide them with a generous commission on sales from your webinars.
Top affiliate marketers will want to know how well your webinar converts before they will promote it to their audience. So you need to run a couple of webinars first in order to supply these important metrics. Record your webinar and provide a replay link as well as the statistics to top affiliates in your niche.
10. Webinars can Provide a fast ROI
Webinars are a great way to speed up the sales process. Every business needs regular cash flow to grow and prosper so if you can speed up the process of converting a prospect into a customer then this is a no brainer.
Trust is essential to gain new customers and when you use webinars you can create this trust very fast. There is no need for you to setup complex sales funnels either with a webinar as you can get straight to the point with your offer once you have provided value to your audience.
Yes it will take you some time, effort and money to create a good webinar. But you are likely to get your money back and some faster with a webinar than any other sales and marketing tool.
11. Use Webinar Recordings to Generate more Sales
Not all of the people that sign up to attend your webinar will turn up. There could be many different reasons for this and it really doesn’t matter why they cannot attend. You can identify the people that didn’t attend and then send them an email with a link to the webinar replay.
If your webinar was really good with a lot of audience participation then you are likely to make more sales from people watching the replay. You are not going to sell at the same levels as the live event but it is certainly worth recording your webinars and then sending them out later to those that couldn’t attend.
Setting Up And Scheduling Zoom Webinars
One of the best things about the Zoom webinar platform is that you can scale up from a starting point of 100 participants and grow to a maximum of 10,000 participants. As the host of your Zoom webinar you will be able to share your screen for your presentation and also play videos and audio files if you need to.
There is also a built in chat function for your webinars where you can ask your audience questions and they can ask you questions. Interaction is very important for a successful webinar.
In order to use the Zoom webinar platform you will need to invest in their webinar plan. At the time of writing this guide a 100 participant webinar costs $14.99 per month and the cost will go up based on the number of participants that you want.
Use the Webinar Registration Feature
We recommend that you take advantage of a registration process for all of your webinars and Zoom will provide this. If for some reason you do not want your audience to register first then you can disable this so that they just click on the URL that you provide to join the webinar.
With the webinar registration process you have two methods available to approve people:
1. You can manually approve webinar registrants — as the host you can decide who can attend your webinar and who can’t. Those approved will receive an email with the joining instructions.
2. You can choose the automatic approval option — here everyone that registers for your webinar will be automatically approved and receive a joining instructions email.
Registration Process Customization
We will assume that you will want attendees to register for your webinars prior to attending. It really is the best way to go. The people that you invite to your webinar will need to complete a form which will ask them to provide their name and email address and any other information that you require.
Using the Zoom webinar platform you will be able to import all of your registrants with a CSV file. So if you have an existing email list of leads you can create a CSV file from this and then automatically import them as attendees for your webinar.
You have full control over the registration page for your webinar. You can add your logo for branding, customize the theme of the page, add your own description so that those invited understand what they will gain from attending and notify about special guests etc.
The emails used in the registration process are also customizable. You decide what goes in these emails and which emails you want Zoom to send out for you. It is also possible for you to use a number of different URL’s so that you can track where your attendees are located.
Scheduling your Zoom Webinars
Scheduling a Zoom webinar is very straightforward but you will need to provide accurate information. You just need to sign in to your Zoom web portal and then click on the “Webinars” option. Here you will be able to see a list of all of the webinars that you have scheduled (if you have done this).
Look for the “Schedule a Webinar” tab and this will take you into the webinar settings screen. Here you can enter a title or topic of your webinar and then a description of the webinar beneath this. The description is optional but we recommend that you add information here as it will be displayed on your registration page.
If you have created a webinar template before then you can apply this. When you first set up a webinar you can save all of the settings in the form of a template which makes it easier for you when you want to schedule the same webinar again.
The next step is to enter the date and the time of your webinar. After that you will need to enter an estimated duration for your webinar. This is just for scheduling and you are not going to be held to this time. We recommend that you enter one hour here.
The time zone defaults to that in your profile but you can change this. For example if you live outside of the United States but most of your attendees will come from there then you can change the time zone to one that US citizens will be familiar with such as Eastern Standard Time (EST).
Next you will have the option to setup your webinar as recurring. Each Zoom webinar is assigned a unique ID and when you choose this option the same ID will be used. You will need to choose how often you want your webinar to repeat e.g. Weekly, Daily, Monthly or No Fixed Time.
There will be other options dependent on your recurring settings. For example you can configure the webinar to end after a set amount of repeats or set an exact date for the recurring to stop.
Next are the attendee registration options. You will need to decide if you want attendees to register for more than one of your recurring webinars (or all of them). Or you can force people to register for each webinar event (recommended). There is also an option for attendees to register for more than one recurring webinar event.
Video and Audio
As the host you can decide if you want your video turned on or off when you join the webinar. Even if you decide to turn this off you can start it at any time during the webinar. If you have special guests attending then you can set their video options to on or off as well. We recommend that you set this to “on” if they are going to present.
Next you can choose the audio options that you want. You can choose computer audio and telephone audio (recommended) or computer audio only or telephone audio only. You may want to set a password for the webinar which is the next option. This means that attendees will need to enter the password prior to joining the webinar.
Questions and Answers Panel
The questions and answer panel is next. You need to tell Zoom if you want a Q and A panel for your webinar which we always recommend. With this enabled you will have full control over the session as the host.
You have the option to answer a question live (by speaking the answer) or to answer through typing. It is also possible for you to dismiss certain questions if you want (you can open them up again afterwards). If you want to allow up-voting of questions and answers you can do this too.
Automatically Record your Webinar
This is something that we definitely recommend that you enable. You have the option to store the recording on your desktop or in the Zoom cloud. You can use the recording of your webinar as a “replay” to send to those that could not attend the live event.
These are the main options that you need to setup. When you are happy with everything click on “Schedule”.
Starting your Webinar
When you are ready to start your webinar you will need to log in to your Zoom portal and then click on “Webinars”. Find the webinar that you have scheduled for the current date and time and click on the “Start” button. Your webinar is now live.
Personal Strategies For Increasing Engagement On Zoom
The next two sections will help you to improve your engagement levels in Zoom meetings and webinars. In this section we will discuss what to do and what not to do on a personal basis to improve your engagement.
Position your Camera Properly
This should be obvious but it needs stating. Nobody wants to see your crotch in a Zoom meeting! It is essential that you position your camera or web cam properly so that people get the best view of you possible.
The best position for your camera is at shoulder level or face level. Don’t place your camera in a position where you have to look up or down to see it. If you have to look down into the camera you are going to look fatter than you actually are. Having to look up is just a stupid look. Just set your camera so you look forward into it.
Look at your Camera and not your Screen
To engage your audience you need to be looking directly at them. If you look at your screen then this will appear like you are disconnected from your audience. It is OK to occasionally look down at your screen to prompt yourself but don’t stare at your screen as it will make you look like you are not interested.
Test your Camera Position
The ideal position for you to appear in is the center of the screen in the top third. A lot of people make the mistake of being too low down on the screen which does not look good to the other participants. Test your camera layout before you conduct your Zoom meetings or webinars.
Use the Right Lighting
If the lighting in your room is poor then people will not be able to see your face properly. It is essential that you have lighting from the front so that your face is clear on the call. You can invest in a ring light from Amazon for less than $100 to help achieve the best lighting conditions.
Use a Virtual Background for a great Back Scene
Nobody is going to be impressed if the scene behind you on your Zoom calls is a total mess or features something inappropriate. You can overcome any mishaps in this area by using a virtual background for your meetings. If you insist in using your natural environment then make sure it is clutter free and there is nothing distracting in view.
Speak with a Smile
Have you seen yourself on camera lately? Do you have a happy smiling face or is your face very serious looking? If you have a miserable face like you have just found out you have the winning lottery numbers but forgot to buy a ticket then this will be unpleasant for your audience.
There have been a lot of studies that show that engagement levels rise dramatically when people are smiling and look happy. If this is not your natural look then practice smiling a few times before you host your next Zoom meeting!
Get rid of any Distractions
Everyone loves their pets but if your dog is prone to bark for no reason then this is going to be very distracting for your audience. This may sound brutal, but if you have young children in your home and they tend to shout and get excited then keep them away from your Zoom meetings as well.
Choose the quietest room in your home or office possible for your Zoom calls. You do not want your audience to hear loud traffic noise, people yelling outside, workers digging up the road and so on.
Consider yourself an Entertainer
While using Zoom to grow your business is a serious thing to do you will get a lot more from it if you consider yourself to be an entertainer. Always dress well for your Zoom meetings. Don’t wear your normal home clothes that make you look like a slob. It is your job to impress people on your Zoom calls.
Tell your Audience Who You Are
People will want to know who you are if they are on a meeting or webinar with you for the first time. So have something short and sweet prepared to highlight who you are and what you do. Don’t go overboard with this. There is nothing more boring than someone taking 10 minutes on a webinar providing the history of their life.
Use Stories to Connect with your Audience
Don’t make your webinars and meetings sound like you are reading from a script. Use prompts by all means, but don’t come across as monotone and boring. Use personal anecdotes to introduce concepts. Explain things using personal stories to get your point across. Be human at all times!
Don’t Prolong your Presentation
These days’ people have the attention span of a gnat. Studies have shown that people usually maintain their attention in blocks of 7 minutes. So prepare your presentations with this in mind. Take regular breaks and ask for interaction especially on webinars.
Use a Good Quality Camera and Microphone
Your Zoom meetings and webinars will be a disaster if you use inferior cameras and microphones. A lot of built in web cams and microphones in laptops are really poor. Test these out before you use them. If you want to grow your business using Zoom then invest in a good camera or web cam and microphone.
Increasing Zoom Engagement
Now that you have all of the personal stuff sorted out it’s time to take a look at some of the other things that you can do to increase engagement in your Zoom sessions. Engagement is everything as you never want to lose your audience.
Share and Show
If you want to explain something or show your audience how to do something then share your screen and show them. This is a great way to break up a purely video based session. Have everything prepared before your session so it is easier to share things. You do not want your audience to have to wait for web pages to load etc.
Make use of the Whiteboard
By now you will know that there is a whiteboard feature with Zoom that we encourage you to use as often as possible. Practice using the whiteboard before your meetings or webinars so you are used to it.
Use Annotation with Slides
Just putting up a bunch of slides on your Zoom call can be as boring as it gets. Enable the annotation tools so that you can highlight stuff, add notes and so on for increased engagement.
Use Breakout Rooms
If you have a large audience then you can break things up by asking them to break out into small groups to discuss ideas and concepts. Make sure that you have this enabled before you host your meeting.
Change your Virtual Backgrounds
You can change your virtual backgrounds as the host of a Zoom session at any time. So to add some entertainment value you can change your backgrounds throughout meetings. Prepare some backgrounds beforehand that will be relevant to the subject of your meeting.
Here are the 8 best practices that we strongly recommend that you follow to make Zoom part of your business growth strategy. It is certainly possible to use Zoom to grow your business and we believe that if you follow these best practices you will have the maximum chance of success.
1. Understand what Zoom offers
You need to understand and appreciate what the Zoom platform can do for your business so be sure to acquaint yourself with all of the features and functionality of the platform. Decide on what aspects of Zoom you will use initially and then how you will take advantage of other features to take your business to the next level.
2. Applying Zoom to your Business
Look critically at your business and decide how Zoom can help you with your growth plans. Think about how you can improve the collaboration with your team members using Zoom and the way that you can use it to gain leads and customers for your business.
3. Get Started with Zoom
If you don’t have a Zoom account then sign up for the free plan today. Be sure to set up your account properly and set up a test meeting so that you can become accustomed with the features offered by the platform. Learn how to manage meetings properly before you embark on any live sessions.
4. Use Zoom Features to your Advantage
Take the time out to learn the more advanced features of Zoom such as the recording of calls and meetings. Be sure to master virtual backgrounds so that you can always present yourself professionally. Use the “touch up your appearance” function to ensure that you always look your best in Zoom meetings.
5. Use Webinars in your Business
Webinars are a great sales and marketing tool that you can use to promote your products and services without any hard sell tactics. Creating an engaging webinar presentation is the key to success. Plan a series of webinars to get the word out to people all over the world about your business and the products and services that you offer.
6. Use Zoom Webinars
The Zoom webinar platform is very powerful and you should use it as a way to grow your business. You can start small with around 100 attendees and build up to larger audiences as you become more successful at running webinars. Learn all of the features of the Zoom webinar platform and decide how you can use them to grow your business.
7. Improve Engagement through your Personality
Set up your camera properly so that your audience will see your face in the right aspect. Practice looking into the camera as much as possible during meetings as this is what your audience wants. Smile and be happy when you are using Zoom. Pay attention to proper lighting and use high quality equipment. Remove all distractions.
8. Use other Tools for Increased Engagement
Use the 5 tools within Zoom to increase engagement levels. Sharing your screen to demonstrate something is something that you should do often. Use the whiteboard feature to explain concepts. Make use of the annotation tools to make points. Break large groups up into breakout rooms for brainstorming etc. Change up your virtual backgrounds in meetings.
All of the tips and tricks in this guide are proven to work and all you need to do is to follow them. Just reading this guide is not enough — you need to take action right now.
In this guide you have everything that you need to start using Zoom in your business and get the best results from it. It’s over to you now to put all that you have learned into practice.