Last year, Lesley Ellen Harris of SIPA member Copyrightlaws.com told me about a very successful 20-minute virtual lunchtime session they do called Zoom On In. With as many as 140 people signing up, Copyrightlaws.com has found a relatively stress-free but content-strong formula to engage more audience.
"I know these topics inside out," Harris said at the time. "So I don't have to do any research. It's around lunchtime and really short but long enough to say some useful things. I kind of challenge myself by saying that I have five things to tell you today—and then I have to get through all five things. It's fun. Sometimes [at the end], I'm like, 'Whoosh I made it!' And I can see people smiling." (On Zoom, Harris can see some attendees, and they can see her.)
I just checked Copyrightlaws.com, and happily the beat goes on for the Zoom On Ins, but now with guests! Two more sessions are scheduled—on Jan. 23 and Feb. 13—both with prominent speakers. "Yes, this is kind of a Phase 2," Harris just told me on the phone. "I'll come on to briefly introduce the speakers but then they'll take over. The 20 minutes go fast."
Harris uses the Zoom On Ins to build audience and promote their 2020 online copyright courses. She will talk about that and more successes on Thursday at 2 pm in a SIPA Webinar titled How to Develop Free Webinars (and Other Virtual Events) that Generate Qualified Leads—and Convert Them to Paying Customers. Also presenting will be Greg Hart, director of marketing, PSMJ Resources, Inc., and president of SIPA, so you should join in.
The webinar is free for SIPA members. Register here.
The Zoom On Ins have "helped us reinforce the topics that interest our small niche market, and many signed up for our free weekly copyright newsletter," Harris said. "It's another way for us to get amplified, reach beyond our own circle. Someone on the call will tell one or two staff members to sign up for the next one. To pick topics, we go to our Google Analytics and look at the top blog entries—see what's most popular. Maybe it's 'A Simple Guide to Copyright for Librarians.' We target who we know our market is. They might ask, 'Are we doing it again?' And we'll say look at our courses."
It's great to see that Harris has expanded both with guests and geography. The Feb. 23 Zoom On In will feature two UK educators who are passionate about education and gamification. For that reason, the Zoom On In will start at 10 am. For the Jan. 23 session, listeners can get 30% off an important book in the field.
Mostly, Harris does not record her Zoom On Ins, though Thursday's webinar, like all SIPA webinars, are recorded and can be accessed by members at any time. (The archives are here.) "It's more about the way it's shared, the atmosphere, not the information," Harris said last year. "There's a certain energy to do it live. And people love Zoom." She also gets a sense that people are a little tired of watching PowerPoints.
The one exception where she did record a Zoom On In occurred when a larger library entity promoted it, and 450 people registered. Zoom can usually only accept 100 for a session, but told Harris that if she did a couple things they could open it to everyone. Unfortunately, Zoom left off one key task, and many people couldn't join in. This frustrated Harris though she did take solace that email addresses were recorded..
"Our list is everything," Harris said. "So at least I did get the names and could reach out to those people and offer them articles and tell them about the courses. I find that, for me, people don't go to the recordings too much, but at least I did have it" if anyone asked for it.
Copyrightlaws.com's signature copyright certificate programs cost $1500 so Harris and her staff know that people probably won't sign up "just because they attended a 20-minute session," she said. "But they'll follow us anyhow. It reminds and encourages them to stay with us. I find that our best customers are the ones who have already taken a course or done something with us." There's also a follow-up email after each session urging people to join the weekly list or look at the courses.
If you haven't signed up yet for Thursday's webinar, now is the time! Register here.