The benefits of hosting or appearing on webinars in 2022
April 13, 2022
8 min read
Founder at Buildr
When it comes to digital marketing, how does a general contractor create enough buzz to attract enough attention from new would-be clients, scale their reputation, and lay the groundwork to ultimately build revenue? There are several tactics to go about doing this. As with building projects, there are many pieces that help make digital marketing a success. For some general contractors, webinars are a big piece; not foundational, but certainly an ornate wing of the manor.
You might not have watched or been a part of a webinar prior to 2020. Coming out of Covid (knocks on wood aggressively), it's very likely you've since attended anywhere between one and one-million webinars. Perhaps you wanted to fine-tune an area of your business development process or were curious how another GC ran their ship. Perhaps you were looking for the answer to a very specific problem you kept running into, ie., "how do we gain new clients in the *record scratch* new normal.
It's easy to forget when we're consuming content that we have just as much right to share what we know. It's easy to listen to experts in a certain field and forget that we're all experts depending on the topic. Regardless of who you are, rest assured you have knowledge and skills that other people desire. You can create your own webinars to help other people benefit and in the process help grow your brand and build your business.
The fact of the matter is that, at minimum, you're an expert at how your company operates. So as a business development-minded professional at a general contractor, how can webinars work for you? Let’s take a closer look at the various components that build success.
So why invest in webinar production? Many folks who work at general contractors spend long days on the job. They troubleshoot problems, deal with late material deliveries, manage their progressively Jenga-looking construction tech stack, and soothe the qualms of representatives of upset clients who are concerned about the finer details. Even with so many project-related spinning plates, it's worth it to find some time to put towards one more spinning plate: building your business and supplement your marketing strategy using webinars.
Many companies outside the construction industry see phenomenal growth when they switch from merely providing a service to providing educational value to customers, partners, and other stakeholders. Construction companies are starting to catch on (again, Covid certainly gave a push). Consider a few of the benefits that come from hosting (or co-hosting) webinars.
Webinars are fantastic tools for gaining one more precious foothold in the digital world. People from a wider area can find you, learn about your company, and learn why they should work with you. Quite often, this also helps to draw in higher valued investors who want to invest in someone they can trust through proven experience or at least solid insights into the modern world of construction and design.
SEO, blogs, your website, your LinkedIn, digital advertising... webinars are another piece of the digital puzzle that can net the audience you may not have fielded in the former tools. They can also further water the seeds that you did plant with those former tools. It's all about creating as many touch-points as you can and as many avenues that are not one to one but one to many. You can only cold call so many people in a day (another bizdev blog in the future; stay tuned!), but a webinar is only limited to whatever your current Zoom subscription allows. Where we're going, we don't need phones (just a decent WiFi connection and nothing weird in your background).
Another core benefit of webinars is that they allow you to share your mission in a way that a few words in a fancy font on your website may not be able to. For a general contractor, penning a comprehensive mission statement that is simultaneously true and original is vital. It helps to differentiate what you have to offer from your competition. At the same time, it helps others get to know a bit more about your business and your goals for the future. Prospective clients want to know that you're a good match for their own goals and missions.
It's important to note that when an individual appears on a webinar, they are the ambassador of their company. When I watch a webinar featuring someone at McCarthy, I know that that person is prepped to represent McCarthy fully. It would behoove you to keep this mind, whether you delegate a team member or personally step up to bat, er—the webcam.
There are tens of thousands of general contractors in the United States; they can easily blend into each other. Most GCs offer the same services and provide a similar end result. Yet, you know that your brand stands out. Once you define your brand, the next step is to embody and exude it. Webinars help to establish your brand simply by posturing oneself in a thought leadership position. You can communicate your message in a clear manner, providing anyone who watches with a good idea of what defines your brand. Your brand exuded in a webinar should be flush across all other channels; whether you're at a conference or someone's visiting your website, for instance.
Webinars are also useful in the brand sense because they're so interactive. Your brand is only what a few people came up with in an echo chamber; to put the brand on the line in a live setting gives instant feedback. If nobody's biting, it's time to tweak the brand. The brand feedback from your webinar audience, implicit or not, will always be a net-beneficial data point for a general contractor.
Another valuable component for general contractors is opening the door to co-marketing efforts. You can share the costs and overall process of marketing with guests who can contribute to your efforts. Guests, such as individuals from your team or even at other general contractors or industry-affiliated places, can help to extend your reach, allowing you to gain more followers. It can also help improve your brand’s image by helping to establish credibility.
Co-marketing is extremely valuable for a couple reasons. On an individual level, co-marketing can help to build a professional relationship with those that you're appearing on the webinar with. Expanding your network is always a smart thing to do, as you never know when an opportunity arises where either your company or theirs is looking to grow. Nobody ever suffered from having too many comrades. On a corporate level, co-marketing can be valuable on a widening-your-reach level, especially if you're partnering with a brand, company, or person that has a larger audience than you do.
Your website and what you say in two minutes at a conference can only do so much. Webinars can also help general contractors to establish themselves and what they have to offer to prospective clients in a meaningful way. Often, investors and owners may not have experience working directly with certain general contractors so a webinar is a nice way for them to do some reconnaissance in a non-intensive, borderline anonymous way. This is your opportunity to show them what you can do for them while also educating them about the benefits of working directly with you.
Stay tuned as we get into the nuts and bolts of the actual webinar production next time.
Seriously, you should sign up to be a construction insider. Everyone will be so jealous of you.