Yes, you can just use your computer’s camera and mic for a webinar.
But no, you shouldn’t.
When you decide to make webinars part of your business strategy, go all in and do it right! While webinars are the perfect tool to build trust by being all personable and relatable, you still want to come off as professional. That means investing in the right hardware.
This. Stuff. Matters.
We always preach that a great small business — especially a coaching or training-based business — is built on trust. Consumer decisions are fundamentally emotional; even when we think we’re making a logical purchase, we’re almost always buying because of feelings. Because of impressions.
No one will see what camera you’re using, but they will see a pro, or a poseur. They won’t care what mic is in front of you, but they will hear an authority, or an amateur. Coming off as professional doesn’t just impress — it makes people feel safe with you.
Here’s what you need:
Best Mic for Webinars: The AudioTechnica ATR2100
We know microphones. As the host of over 1,400 episodes of The $100 MBA Show podcast, I’ve tried roughly 8 gagillion of them. There are more expensive microphones out there, like those from Heil, but the absolute best value out there is the good ol’ ATR.
It’s $80. You can certainly spend less, but if it’s within your budget, go get this thing.
Mics are like wine: there’s a really noticeable difference between the cheapest ones and everything else, but once you go beyond a certain price range, only the truest connoisseurs can tell one from another. The difference in sound quality between a $40 mic and the ATR is immense.
Beyond that, you’re in sommelier territory.
This is a USB mic, so you plug it right into the computer, and off you go. You will need somewhere to put it, though, so I recommend getting a cheap boom arm like this one on Amazon for about $13.
Honorable mention: The Movo M1 USB lavalier microphone is great if you want a clip-on, for that late night talk show vibe.
Best Webcam for Webinars: The Logitech Brio
Again, are there more expensive webcams out there? Goodness yes there are. You can spend 4 figures on something that would make Spielberg proud. But we’re talking value here, not price. And by that standard, nothing beats the Logitech Brio Ultra HD.
It’s about $200. Not exactly pocket change, but worth every cent.
The video quality is incredible. It has a host of bells and whistles that make automatic adjustments so the picture is always perfect, even if you know next to nothing about how it all works. I’ve got one strapped to my desktop as we speak, and I use it for all of my own webinars and content videos.Honorable Mention: The Logitech C920 comes in at about half the price, and is almost as good. If your budget is a little tighter, I’d definitely go with this.
Best Lighting for Webinars: The UBeesize 10” Ring Light
This might be the most overlooked, but totally important piece of hardware you can invest in.
Lighting makes a huge difference in how you appear on screen. If you don’t believe me, just ask any of those Instagram “influencers” I keep hearing about, or Google “before and after using ring light.” You don’t have to be a supermodel to utilize good lighting. You just have to get yourself a UBeesize.
It’s about $45 with a tripod (and a phone holder for high-grade selfies).
The UBeesize adjusts to 33 different levels and tones of light, so you can really play with it and find the perfect setting for the room you’re in, the time of day, and any other variables that can affect how you look. It swivels and tilts for the right angle, and plugs into your computer via USB.Honorable Mention: The sun, a star about 92 million miles from Hoboken, New Jersey. If you have the option, natural sunlight is actually better than anything artificial.
Every new venture has those pesky one-time costs — at least, you want them to be one-time. The best way to ensure that is to get the right gear from day one, the best you can reasonably afford. For a total budget of less than $350 (less if you go with our Honorable Mentions), you can get all the hardware you need for a truly professional webinar.
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