If you are looking to start hosting webinars, but do not want to pay the high costs of using one of the mainstream webinar platforms, then you’ll be happy to know that there is a way to do it for free.
This article will guide you through everything that you need to know in order to host your very own free webinar.
Please keep in mind that a free webinar can look extremely professional, just by using the many free tools at your disposal.
This having been said, you and relax knowing that you won’t have to spend hundreds of dollars each month, in order to pay for expensive webinar software or professional tools. And the best part is that nobody will be able to tell the difference.
Also, you won’t have to go through situations in which the expensive software that you’ve been paying for crashes seconds after you’ve gone live.
If you’re skeptical, it’s ok, but give free webinars a try before deciding that it can’t be done. A growing number of people have started using free resources and software in order to host their webinars, and have been just as successful as the ones who pay hundreds of dollars per month, for the same general features.
What you will have to do, essentially, is to use the right combination of free software in order to create a webinar that looks and feels like one that cost a lot of money.
If you’ve been paying $500+ per month for webinars, then you’re probably already looking for ways to cut back on your expenses.
This article will walk you through the best strategy to set up a webinar system that:
- Is free or costs somewhere around $12 (in order to host your own free webinars you have to have a website, if not, you will have to pay a small amount of money in order to cover this base);
- Can support a virtually unlimited number of attendees, without adding anything to its cost;
- Is stable and will not crash or be difficult to integrate;
- Let’s you control all the aspects of the way your webinar works, from the way that the pages look, to its presentation;
- Won’t require attendees to download additional software in order to watch a webinar. They will be able to watch it from a live page, without having to do anything more than to start the stream;
You will need 3 tools in order to host free webinars
Contrary to popular belief, if you want to make a free webinar, you won’t have to use a huge toolbox of applications. Actually, you will only need 3, and there is a high probability that you already have and use 2 of them.
You will have to use your website in order to host your free webinar. However, if you do not have a website, then you will be able to use Squarespace (a great tool for creating websites) to make one from scratch.
Squarespace offers a lot of customization and does not require any technical skills or computer code knowledge in order to use. It’s simple, intuitive, and surprisingly cheap (about 10-12 dollars).
On the other hand, if you already have a website, you won’t have to spend any money. It doesn’t matter if you’ve created it using Squarespace or WordPress, as long as it is functional. The other two tools will work regardless of how you’ve created the website.
Squarespace is great for those who want to create their own website, but do not have the technical skills required to write lines of code. The service basically splits various page elements into blocks that you can move around. Once you mix and match the various customizable elements and create a page layout that you like, then you can publish the website. Also, if you ever get tired of the theme that you’ve built, you can always alter it.
Domain-wise, Squarespace will not force you to use the company’s domain. So you will be able to use the domain that you have, without having to use something that would refer people to their company (www.websitename.com, and not www.websitename.squarespacedomain.com).
Now, you basically have to use this tool in order to create a registration page running, and this can be done in a matter of minutes.
When designing your page, be sure to use a block called “Video” in order to be able to embed a video on the website. This is how you will add your video broadcast.
After integrating the video, you will have to use another block called “Code” in order to add code to your page. Do not worry, you won’t have to create any actual code lines, you will simply use this block in order to add a live chat section on your webinar page.
Squarespace does charge $12 per month in order to host the website, however, by paying this fee you will also have the guarantee that if anything happens, a support team will do everything possible in order to fix the problem. Furthermore, other companies that offer the same services charge a lot more and do not feature the intuitive design system provided by Squarespace. So you may want to check it out before using your own website in order to host the webinars.
This having been said, if you already have a Squarespace website, then use it. Simply insert the required blocks and redesign the layout in order to make it suit the purpose, and you will be fine.
- Youtube Live
The second tool that you will need in order to create free webinars is Youtube Live. While there are more popular webinar streaming solutions and specialized software, Youtube Live is much more stable than the official alternatives. Also, it’s completely free.
There is no reason for paying for a specialized piece of software that does its job only half of the time when there is a free alternative out there. While this tool has not been designed for this, it can easily be repurposed.
The reason why Youtube Live is so stable is the fact that it is owned and powered by Google, not by a small company. There are huge support teams constantly working in order to ensure that the service works as it should.
Setting up your live broadcast on YouTube Live isn’t difficult at all. The whole process is intuitive and there is a lot of instructional content on the internet, should you need it.
After you’ve done that, you will want to embed the video into your webinar page, through the “Video” block that was mentioned above. You will basically have to embed a code that will automatically be generated when you set up the live broadcast.
A great bonus that comes with using this tool is the fact that you can use features like screen sharing and “lower thirds” (a great banner that you can add to your video), in order to personalize the stream.
Again, YouTube Live is completely free.
- TLK.IO or Chatango
The third tool that you will have to use is meant to provide your webinars with a live chat function. There’s no doubt that having this function is essential, as it enables attendees to interact with each other, but also to reach out to you and ask their questions.
Each of these two options offer largely the same functionality, and they are completely free. However, keep in mind that each of them has their advantages and disadvantages, and you will have to choose the one that best suits your needs.
TLK.IO has a modern feel and is easy to set up, however, it is relatively difficult to moderate. It would be best to choose this one if you have a bit of experience with this type of tools.
On the other hand, Chatango is perfect for beginners. It is simple to both set up, as well as to moderate.
Both of these two live chat services will generate a code which you can then embed into the “Code” block, on your website, in order to add it to your webinar page.
Creating a Squarespace website for your webinars
Now that you know all the tools that you need, let’s talk about how they can be used together, in order to create your free webinar system.
Remember that you don’t have to have incredible technical skills in order to set everything up. The tools presented above have excellent guides that will take you through the process of creating the accounts that you need.
It may seem overwhelming at first, but, in time, it will get easier. After the first few sessions, you’ll be a pro and you’ll set up everything in a matter of minutes.
- Create the webinar pages that you need
The first thing that you have to do is to create the actual webinar pages. In order to set up your webinar system, you will need 3 pages:
- Registration Page – a place where people can go to register for the webinar;
- Thank You Page – people will be redirected here after they go through the sign-up process;
- Live Webinar Page – where people can attend your webinars, and be shown a call to action button through which to buy;
Once you get used to how creating pages on Squarespace works, you won’t have any problems making these. Also, don’t worry if you make a mistake, the beauty of this platform is the fact that you can always modify how your pages look, so experiment until you’re happy with the result.
- Creating and embedding the live chat
Next, you have to take care of another core feature of this system, the live chat.
Set up the live chat through either Chantango.com or TLK.IO, and then use the code that the platform will generate for you by embedding it into the “Code” block in your Squarespace page.
The next step is to create and then embed the live chat into the page.
- Set up YouTube Live and embed the video broadcast
This is where things tend to get a little more complicated. You have to start by creating a YouTube Live, and then embed the code that will be generated into your webinar website. Setting up the live feed isn’t extremely complicated, but it does require more attention.
Once you’re finished, your webinar is all set up. Your webinar system is good to go, and the only thing that may have spent is $12 for the Squarespace website. However, if you already have a website, then you can use it just as easily.