Webinars are excellent tools for marketing as well as building your credibility as an expert in your field.

They even make great tools for everything from education to product demos!

Whatever your content, be sure to let people know upfront. There is nothing worse than attending a Webinar only to find out it's really just a sales pitch. There are so many great tools out there that are making it easier for the technically challenged to step up and try their had at producing Webinars. Webinars come in many flavors, and they are surprisingly easy to create.

7 tips for a successful webinar:

1. Know your target audience. Your target audience will define the problem, and much of the solution. It will define how you market your webinar, what type of webinar you are going to produce, and how long your webinar can/should be. You can't overestimate the value of knowing your target audience.

2. Know why you're doing your webinar. There are three major types of webinars. There is the Sales webinar. There is the Learning Content or Training webinar. And there is the Hybrid. Each of these types inherently imposes its own style and limitations. Try to avoid mixing them up and you'll be certain to achieve your goals.

3. Spend plenty of time planning, designing and preparing your webinar. This is key. If you jump right in and start writing without laying the foundation first, it will show. It may seem to be an unnecessary and tedious task, but trust me, for every hour you spend in planning, designing and preparing your webinar, you'll increase both response and success.

4. Practice, practice, practice. Ask friends and colleagues if you can run through your webinar with them to get feedback. Remember when you go live you'll be speaking to an audience that isn't able to give you feedback. Practicing your webinar will help you to identify any weaknesses, ensure your timing is reasonable and that you have the material down pat.

5. Don't overdo your slides, less is more. Slides (such as those produced in PowerPoint or Keynote) are meant to be speaking hints and to anchor your audience's understanding. They are not meant to be notes. Turning them into notes is a quick way to make your audience go to sleep. Remember that You are the star of the webinar, not your slides.

6. Let your passion come through your voice. Remember, your audience can't see you and you can't see them. So step it up a notch and really let them hear the enthusiasm in your voice. Always stand when you are talking. Smile and walk around. Use your body to communicate – your voice will follow along.

7. Make sure you have the right microphone for the job. There are two types of microphones you can use. The first is the headphone or headset. The second is the unidirectional clip microphone. Either will work,  but if you're going to walk around, go wireless. A desktop or omnidirectional microphone won't.

Some of the great resources we have come across for Webinar distribution:

Free training videos and articles about hosting your own webinar, how webinars can benefit your business, and many other useful webinar-related tools and tips: http://www.teleseminarlive.com/teleseminararticles/

Questions To Ask When Evaluating Webinar Provider: http://www.charlwood.com/webinar_providers.html

Quick Comparison of Webinar Providers: http://webinarfaq.com/quick-comparison-of-webconferencewebinar-providers.html

How to Plan an Audience-Friendly Presentation - a very detailed article about planning the content and presentation of your webinar: http://speakingaboutpresenting.com/content/webinar-questions-answered/