Forbes names technology and the rise of remote coaching as the #1 trend in coaching over the next 15 years. Recorded webinars and podcasts are just two technologies that expand your reach past your local community.

Skype and phone-coaching give coaches easy access to a larger client base and more location freedom. But those are just the online equivalent of one-on-one conversations. What if the large speaking engagements that many coaches perform on a regular basis were online too? Webinars let you reach more people, faster, and build relationships with each of them just as you would in a workshop or conference.

Why webinars work for coaches

Webinars are made for presentations and seminar-like work. You might have a fairly standard presentation that you offer on a regular basis that you would like to offer to more people. Or have an idea for a great workshop but don’t have a solid, large client to host it with. Webinars are a great place to utilize these ideas and materials. Their visual components help to build trust, keep your audience focused and interested, and help you create a closer emotional connection with your clients. A webinar is a great tool for coaches looking to expand their practice. Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of a webinar and how to maximize trust, focus, interest, and emotional connection.

Instill Trust

According to the International Coaching Federation, the main obstacle in coaching as identified by coaches is the influx of untrained individuals who call themselves coaches. As such, a client’s trust in a coach is key to the coaches success. A professional slide deck can validate your process and ideas in a way that the disembodied voice of a podcast can’t, immediately building your client’s confidence in your program. While podcasts and email lists may reach more people, only about 2.5% of the audience will end up being a client. In contrast, a well planned webinar can yield significantly higher conversion rates. One example is Jenna Soard of YouCanBrand.com whose first ever webinar boasted a 16% conversion rate.

Jared Ganem has a powerful introduction to his webinar “Double your bookings” that makes use of beautiful images paired with professional layouts and design. Right off the bat, this deck helps to show potential clients that Jared has the skills and expertise to coach them.

Tip: Try balancing a consistent look to your slides with varied formatting — easy to do with Haiku Deck Themes.

Maintain Focus

Especially in corporate settings, building client buy-in is an essential of coaching. Without the supervision of an in-person seminar, webinars and podcasts must find ways to catch and hold the attention of the audience. Forgo the dense PowerPoints of corporations for a streamlined, one-idea-per-slide approach that focuses listeners on the most important points. Research shows that in doing this, your audience will stay engaged longer and retain the information better.

Jane Hewitt has a captivating deck on changing your mindset that includes interesting but not overly complicated visuals. Balancing simplicity and intrigue, her images give the audience something to explore with their eyes and connect with her talking points.

Tip: Use images that relate to the the underlying points and abstract ideas of your slide to drive your audience to make those connections.

Stimulate Interest

Interesting and engaging visuals take centerstage in webinars, drawing in your audience and directing them through your ideas. In addition to improving retention, interesting visuals make your webinar fun and helps you to move up past that 15% average conversion rate!

Cassandra O’Neill does a great job of this in her Collective Leadership deck, tying together symbolic language with visuals such as a slide about your “flourishing future” that is backed by a picture of a flower blooming in the spring.

If you can find images that also connect to your wording, audiences will enjoy the clever connections.

Build an Emotional Connection

The internet is often seen as a very impersonal place and webinars/podcasts can feel the same way. However, with captivating images, you can build an emotional bond with your audience. A wisely chosen picture can drive home the emotional importance of your talking points. This improves retention but also develops the connection you have with your clients.

Cena Block’s story on how she got into the coaching business is simple, but emotional, and she pairs it well with imagery (both from online and from her own pictures) that evokes the “I’ve been there, I get that” feeling in her audience.

Tip: Since in a webinar, you aren’t there to make the physical connection with your audience, use images of people (and sometimes your own pictures) to help them connect more to your topics.

Putting it All Together

The visual aspect of webinars helps to build trust, keep your audience focused and interested, and help you create a closer emotional connection with your clients. A webinar is a great tool for coaches looking to expand their practice. To stay notified as we go into more detail about making awesome webinars with Haiku Deck, drop me a message at emmett@haikudeck.com or visit our coaching page at haikudeck.com/coaches.