Building an online presence is all about connections. Webcasts are one more way to reach out to clients and prospective clients.

“The more digital tools that you can incorporate the more opportunities people will have to connect with you,” says Marie Swift, president and CEO of Impact Communications Inc. in Leawood, Kan. Webcasts will give clients and centres of influence one more reason to talk about you, recommend you or send people to your website.

A webcast is an event or presentation that you can listen to or watch via the Internet. For example, you can do a PowerPoint presentation and a Q&A on RRSPs for your clients.

Here are five points to keep in mind when you want to start using webcasts to build your business:

1. Select a program
Think about the features you want to use to find the right webinar program for your business.

Consider features such as how many people you would like to have participate and whether you’d like others to have access to the screen to act as co-hosts, says Loic Jeanjean, online marketing director for Advisor Websites in Vancouver.

There are several programs on the market, says Jeanjean. The programs GoToMeeting, (, and Cisco WebEx, (, are commonly used by advisors, says Jeanjean. You can use GoToMeeting for a 30-day free trial. Afterwards pricing starts at CAN$49 per month. WebEx offers a 14-day free trial and also starts at CAN$49 per month.

2. Try it out
Make sure you’re comfortable with the webcast program by testing it out first.

Before doing a webcast with clients, go online and do a couple of practice runs with staff members, says Swift.

3. Quiet environment
Find a quiet space when producing the webcast.

The microphone picks up everything and it can be very annoying for your audience, says Jeanjean. Use a quiet, isolated place when running a webcast.

Make sure your office door is closed or use an empty boardroom if one is available.

4. Break it up
Don’t overwhelm clients with too much information during the webcast.

Advisors often make the mistake of trying to cram too much into a presentation, says Swift. Instead keep the webcast focused on a single, condensed topic. If you need more time, consider running a short series of webcasts.

Jeanjean says webcasts should be no more than 45 minutes to an hour in length.

As well, keep your audience engaged by taking a break every 10 to 12 minutes to answer questions, says Swift.

5. Keep a record
Make your website a resource for clients and prospects buy keeping copies of your webcasts.

People are busy and may not have the time to watch the webcast at the scheduled time, says Swift. Use your webcast software to record the live presentation. Build an archive of webcasts on your website that people can watch on their own time.

“Create a library of information,” she says. “A knowledge bank for people to come and access.”