I love January. And I hate it.
It’s all about possibilities and new dawns. The gym is filled to capacity. Reading lists are compiled, books purchased. Entrepreneurs vow to make progress in their businesses, scheduling time for things like content creation and learning new marketing skills — like webinar marketing.
This is the year, we say to ourselves. And it is. Or it can be.
Unless it isn’t.
Come February and March, not everyone has stuck to their resolutions. The gym is empty again. Unread books gather dust on bedside tables. Independent business people — especially our favorite kind, the coaches, trainers, and online teachers — are no closer to success than they were when the ball dropped in Times Square.
By the wayside lie the fallen.
At least I don’t have to wait for the treadmill.
January’s promise withers and dies, to be reborn next January in the form of more unfulfilled resolutions. Why? Because to really achieve a goal, most people need more than just commitment or intention.
They need investment.
It’s a simple matter of stakes. If you don’t invest anything into your growth, you don’t lose anything if you fail. It’s an established psychological principle that people are more unwilling to lose something they have than they are willing to gain something they don’t have. We are naturally more averse to loss than attracted to gain.
In other words, we’re far more likely to succeed when we have something to lose.
That’s what an investment is: skin in the game. Money on the table. If you just “commit” to doing something, you may or may not. But if you commit something tangible, usually money, to a goal, you are infinitely more likely to follow through.
If we’re serious about growth, we have to invest.
If you’re reading this blog, you know that webinars are a wise investment in your business. But to get the best return on that investment, you have to invest in something else: yourself. You have to commit something to developing your webinar marketing skill set.
Here are 3 specific ways to spend your time and money strategically, so that you actually change, grow, and succeed with webinars:
Public Speaking Training
Webinars work so well because they showcase the person as well as the product. In the case of coaches and trainers, the person basically is the product. But even if you sell something physical, like clothing or sports equipment, the power of you as a webinar marketing asset is impossible to overstate.
But you have to be able to communicate well.
Unlike blogs or books, communicating on a webinar means public speaking, which doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Actually, I don’t think it comes natural to most people. It certainly didn’t come natural to me.
Even after years of teaching, my ability to make a group of people feel inspired to take action was missing something...until I found Michael Port.
Let me be absolutely clear: this is not some affiliate post. I gain nothing by recommending a specific public speaking course, and if you find another one you like, have at it. But for me, Michael and his partner Amy’s Heroic Public Speaking program made a world of difference. As a regular conference speaker and podcast and webinar host, I talk a great game thanks largely to the Ports.
If you invest in a great public speaking program or coach, it will have a profound effect on your webinars, and your ability to trigger action — like purchases — in your attendees.
Webinar Marketing Automation Training
Like so many other marketing strategies, webinar automation seems like something you can just do. Record a webinar, make sure there’s an offer in there, and release it out into the Internet. Even better, just use an old recording of a live webinar you did previously. Surely, the leads and sales will roll in as you carry on with other activities. Right?
No. Not right.
If you’re a regular reader and tired of me beating this point to its brutal death, I apologize. But it needs saying — like blogging, or creating email campaigns, or any other tactic in your marketing arsenal, you have to learn how to automate effectively. And that may require a little education.
Full disclosure: this is the part where I do gain something if you take my recommendation. You can take our 30 Day Automated Webinar Challenge, where we walk you through the whole process of creating, promoting, and converting with pre-recorded webinars that are specifically built for automated, passive lead and sales generation.
Of course, you don’t have to take our course. In fact, in a blog post like this I’d normally invite you to check out other high-quality automation training and choose the one that speaks to you. But as far as I can tell, no one else is offering comprehensive training specifically for automation. Lynda.com (now LinkedIn Learning), which I frequently recommend for online skill-building, has general webinar marketing courses, but none of them focus on this particular strategy.
I will never stop saying this: books offer the single best ROI of any professional development tool. You just can’t beat ‘em. For usually less than (and sometimes far less than) $20, a great book can have as huge an impact on you as any course or product.
There aren’t many great books about webinar marketing, though. And before you ask...my plate’s a little full right now. Maybe I’ll consider a book after we launch WebinarNinja 6.
That said, I’ve read two books that can definitely make you a better webinar...er. The first comes from my aforementioned personal favorite public speaking guru, Michael Port. In his book Steal the Show, Port draws on his training and experience as an actor to help the reader overcome natural shyness.
A webinar is a kind of performance, so using acting techniques to nail it for your audience is a pretty logical application. There’s also a great Steal the Show podcast, where Port features experts discussing various speaking/marketing/performing goals for presenters of all kinds.
The second book is one I reviewed last year on our podcast, The $100 MBA Show. Phil Jones’ Exactly What to Say offers exactly what the title promises: specific phrases that — once mastered and put into context — break down people’s natural barriers and make them receptive to your message.
There it is, fellow entrepreneurs. If you promised yourself 2020 would be a year of action, these are three great places to start. And by “start,” I don’t just mean planning or making moves. I mean truly betting on your potential by opening your wallet and having the courage to invest in your own success.
With a few bucks and a little faith in yourself, 2020 can be a year of results.