A webinar is an effective — and interactive — way to build your credibility and launch your advisory expertise in the digital sphere.

According to Ellie Mirman, head of small and mid-size business marketing at Hubspot, a marketing software company based in Cambridge, Mass., webinars have multiple positive spinoffs for financial advisors. These benefits include new ways to increase your leads, improve client retention and position you as an expert.

Even more important, you don’t have to be a technical wizard to get your webinar off the ground.

{C} “One of the things about webinars,” Mirman says, “is there is much that you can do with just a little bit of practice in order to dive in and share your expertise and knowledge.”

Mirman offers the following suggestions to help you get your webinar off the ground:

> Pick a topic, any topic
It might sound overly simple, but the key to doing an engaging webinar is to answer a common question that your audience will be interested in.

Typically, Mirman says, the best place to start is with questions that are often posed to you, perhaps daily, by your clients or team members.

> Find a reliable software platform
After choosing a topic, getting the proper technical help is often seen as the biggest obstacle for webinar newbies. There are many companies offering webinar services, and your main concern should be that you don’t go overboard by paying for advanced services you won’t really need.

Ensure that whomever you choose to work with offers basic registration, hosting and reporting services.

As a rule of thumb, Mirman recommends, you should be able to share your desktop, show slides and link to the web. As well, consider incorporating some interactive elements, like polls or a Q&A to ensure your audience stays engaged.

> Develop good content
Next, focus on developing interesting and engaging content. This need not be a daunting task. You likely already have much of the information in other presentations or technical documents you have prepared in the past.

All you need to do is refocus them in a way that an audience can find engaging. For tips on developing engaging content, take a second look at: http://www.investmentexecutive.com/-/four-steps-to-engaging-presentations

> Time to promote
You don’t need to hire Don King to promote your webinar; your software platform provider should supply you with a registration page that you can use to market your online event and send helpful reminders to registrants.

How you choose to market your main event depends on you and your audience. You can post information about your webinar on your website, your blog or your preferred social media platform. Or you might send an email to your list of contacts.

“Then,” Mirman says, “you can just dive in.”

This is the first article in a series on how to develop your own webinar. Next: How to practice for your first foray into the world of webinars.