5-reason-your-company-should-host-free-training-webinarsYou don’t have to wait until National Entrepreneur Week to harness the power of free training webinars. If your company isn’t already producing and executing these cost-effective marketing pieces, it needs to be — and fast.

Here’s a look at five reasons your company should host free training webinars, no matter what business it’s in. Which one is your favorite?

1. They’re a Lot Cheaper Than In-Person Trainings

A passable in-person training can easily cost $5,000 to execute, assuming no more than half a day in a free or low-cost venue. A convention-quality training to which prospects willingly travel easily runs several times that. The line-item expenses associated with in-person trainings are too numerous to name individually, but you can guess the big ones: ballroom space, man-hours, professional video production, refreshments. Webinars require none of those things.

2. They’re List-Building Gold

Even if your webinar fails to notch a single direct sale, you’ll come out ahead as long as you take the opportunity to snag verified contact information from your attendees. No bones about it, online training seminars are list-building gold, and your marketing team will swear they’re worth whatever financial expenses and technical headaches they incur. Just remember to email your viewers after the fact.

3. They Position Your Company As a Thought Leader

Webinars are great at convincing your prospects that you know what you’re talking about. For instance, this mortgage company’s training page clearly makes the case for its superiority in one particular corner of its niche. It’s not promising to change viewers’ worlds or revolutionize their businesses, just asking them to trust it to guide them through the mortgage industry’s treacherous waters.

4. They Get Your Name Out There (and Probably Boost Sales)

Authority is great, but visibility is even better. Well attended online training seminars kill both birds with the same stone, and probably boost sales in the process. Your seminar’s viewers are likely to spread word of your webinar (and your company) incidentally, by collectively answering dozens of what-did-you-do-today inquiries. And you can further enhance your trainings’ potency by adding social sharing and check-in capabilities, so that your viewers’ colleagues, peers and random Facebook friends just can’t help but notice what they’ve been up to.

5. They Train Your Employees, Too

Webinars are first and foremost designed to enhance your company’s authority, visibility and appeal with its core audience groups. If they drive sales directly, that’s great too. But there’s a secondary benefit to training webinars that most employers don’t think to (or perhaps don’t want to) acknowledge: they’re pretty effective at training up new, inexperienced or plain-old inattentive employees. The mere process of walking key employees through a new webinar, or tasking process owners with producing it from the ground up, is likely to improve their confidence and reinforce their competencies with little, if any, upfront investment.

There’s No Such Thing As a Free Lunch, Except…

Free online seminars and training videos aren’t totally free to produce, of course. They require an Internet connection, printed or digital visual materials, promotional efforts, your employees’ time. Most clear-eyed marketing professionals would submit that those are all small prices to pay (literally and figuratively) for all the benefits that accrue from free training webinars.

And remember: free training webinars are actually free for your clients and prospects. As in, they don’t have to pay a dime. The proverbial free lunch, if you will. That’s pretty hard for any value-minded prospect to pass up — especially when your free training webinar offers enough value to justify a fee. So, if you haven’t gotten on the online training webinar train yet, what the heck are you waiting for?