Zoom: A Company Building Forever Transactions (and Some Tips for Distance Learning, Collaboration & Presentations) — Robbie Kellman Baxter

  • Freemium to enable behavior change. You can use Zoom for free, forever, as long as you don’t need the premium features (transcription, dedicated support) and as long as your calls aren’t too long or too large. This allows people to try the service and begin to make it a habit, before making the big decision to pay.
  • Designed for viral growth. If I am a subscriber (free or paid), I can invite you to a call, and it’s easy for you to experience the value. And once you experience it, you’re more likely to sign up yourself. In that situation, I’m the marketing channel responsible for bringing you in, even though I’m the one paying already.
  • Easy to get started. It’s very easy for you to go from signing up to using the platform-not a lot of setup is required, and it’s pretty self-explanatory. Their onboarding system gets you on a call fast, reinforces the wisdom of your decision and organically shows you how to get even more value in the future.
  1. Open Mind. This is the most important tip. It’s super disappointing (believe me, as a professional speaker who was planning to be in 8 cities next month to launch her book, I am feeling this disappointment) to go to plan B. You might be thinking “but I don’t want to learn a digital platform” or “but I am trained to present in a classroom” or “but in person collaboration is how our company innovates”. I get it. But this is a perfect time for a growth mindset. My 82 year old neighbor, who retired many years ago as the Math Department Chair at our high school, and affectionately known as “Granny Margo” by our kids, is getting a second camera for her blackboard so her tutoring clients can continue to learn from her. If she can learn, so can you!
  2. Team. Have a presenter, a tech “backup” lead, and a moderator to manage questions and chat. If you’re doing a big talk, it’s great to have more than one person managing the meeting. Consider bringing in a student to help…it might be a learning opportunity or even an internship, and in any case, it’s a great way for someone more junior to connect with you.
  3. Inclusion. Make sure all participants feel included. Welcome them by name as they join, ask participants for their thoughts (if cold calling is a fit), and use polling to get quick feedback.
  4. Breakouts. Zoom Webinar has a feature that allows you to create and program small groups in advance of your webinar. Then at the right slide, you can press a button and send all of your participants into small breakouts where they can collaborate. Then you can bring everyone back together to share out with another push of a button.
  5. Handouts. Give participants copies of the materials immediately following the event (or before if you want them to take notes as they go)
  6. Record & Transcribe. Some accounts allow you to record and transcribe meetings, which can be very helpful for people who attend to fully understand-they may want to review these assets after the initial presentation.
  7. Check In. Consider setting time an hour a day for short “check ins” with individuals or small groups, for conversation and feedback. This might be a great opportunity to get to know people in a new way. And maybe you can make time in your day by having them watch recordings of your content on their own time, and using your time together for discussion.
  8. Be Creative. You might find that for some things, a digital platform is actually a more powerful teaching tool, collaboration tool, or personal connection tool than the way you’ve “always done it”. Good luck!

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Robbie K Baxter

Robbie K Baxter

Author of THE FOREVER TRANSACTION & THE MEMBERSHIP ECONOMY; Leading expert on membership models and subscription pricing. http://www.robbiekellmanbaxter.com