We get it.
Running a business is hard enough. Marketing and sales is hard enough. And webinars seem like…work.
You have to put together the presentation, learn how to use the software, convince people to sign up and show up, and finally pull the whole thing off. How do you know it’ll be worth the effort?
Will you get leads or sales? How can you be confident it’ll…work?
This is how. This post, I mean.
In it, I’ll tell you exactly what to do to make webinars easy. Not just easier, easy! Easy webinars are possible, with a few simple tricks that make each aspect of planning and executing your webinar a breeze.
Check out the hacks below, pick the right strategies for the goal of your webinar (sales, authority, lead generation, etc), and execute! It doesn’t get any easier.
Easy Webinar Hack #1: Open Q&A
- Market Research
- Lead Generation
- Customer Retention
I do this every month. To get ideas to improve our software, onboard new customers, and reduce cancellations, I host an Open Q&A webinar for all our clients.
The advantage? There is literally no planning involved.
If I have something to share (like a new feature), I plan to discuss it, but otherwise I just let the attendees run the show. They ask, I answer.
The Q&A is also great for lead generation!
If you’re an expert in a given field, it’s one of the best ways to establish yourself with an audience. For all the apps, quizzes, blog posts, and YouTube videos out there, nothing is more satisfying for potential leads than just asking an expert, live in real time.
It can do wonders for your authority and credibility. It’ll prove you know what you’re about, and strongly imply that your product is worth the money — because it’s made by someone who “gets it.”
Some webinar platforms (including ours) have a feature that actually lets an attendee share their own webcam and/or screen. You can counsel someone right in front of the whole audience!
If you can give an attendee even the smallest win or helpful advice during a live webinar, your credibility goes through the roof.
Pro Tip: On the Q&A webinar, invite attendees to a separate webinar on a specific topic or product. Market and sell from there.
Easy Webinar Hack #2: The 5x3 How-To
A standard (and effective) webinar marketing move is to teach a lesson that empowers people with a new skill or ability, again building your credibility and making your product more attractive.
But we’re not all teachers, right?
As a former educator and school administrator (and how-to business podcast host), I’m always on the lookout for reliable teaching shortcuts. One of my favorites is the 5x3 method.
It works like this: you package whatever ability you want to teach into a 5-step system. “5 Steps to Learn How to Meditate” or “Lower Your BMI in 5 Steps.”
It’s easy to remember, catchy, and simplified — exactly what potential customers searching for solutions want.
For each of the 5 steps, break the details of how to execute each step into 3 sub-steps. Again, it’s memorable, digestible, simplified.
Pro Tip: The 5x3 format lends itself well to downloadable handouts, like PDF infographics. Good webinar platforms include a feature to give attendees downloads as a takeaway resource.
Easy Webinar Hack #3: The TOKYO Method
As I explain in more detail in this post, the TOKYO method is an easy format for sales webinars, where the presentation is focused on your actual product or service.
This webinar is best for people who are already seriously considering buying. In other words, your most qualified leads. So all you have to do is make the case that you really do have the solution they’ve been looking for.
The TOKYO acronym stands for: Topic, Outline, Keynote, Your Engagement, and Offer. In that order, you simply:
- Come up with a webinar topic/title that promises the result your product delivers. Example: How to Learn HTML Coding in 30 Days with [Name of Course or Coaching Program]
- Outline a presentation that makes the best case for your product.
- Create a slideshow using Keynote (or PowerPoint or Google Slides, if that’s your thing), so both you and the audience can follow your outline easily.
- Use various engagement strategies to keep the webinar from being boring! Those include:
- Asking the audience questions
- Bringing audience members on stage
- Checking for comprehension “Can anyone think of a way they would apply this lesson to their situation?”
- Playing video testimonials from previous customers (or even better, bringing a customer on live to take questions)
- Present your offer. Make sure it includes a special deal for anyone who buys during the webinar.
Pro Tip: For the “Outline” step, you can modify the 5x3 method to focus on sales, either as a 5-step progression to achieving a goal with your product, or as a “5 Reasons to…” use your product.
Easy Webinar Hack #4: Use a Slideshow
- All webinar types and goals
In this post, I explain how to put together the perfect slideshow for a webinar, incorporating the 5x3 and TOKYO methods.
I know, I know. You hear “slideshow,” you think boring high school history lecture. But that only happens if the slideshow is your presentation, rather than a map for your presentation.
If you put the work into the slides, your webinar will be smooth sailing. The slides should act as a guide, keeping your content and timing on point, and giving the audience visual touchstones to orient their attention.
Pro Tip: The fewer words on each slide, the better. Do👏Not👏Ever👏Read👏Slides👏 To👏People👏. If you do, you will lose them. And you will deserve to lose them.
Easy Webinar Hack #5: Automation
- Lead Generation
In this post, I go into serious detail on automated or “evergreen” webinars. They’re not ideal for every situation. But they’re perfect for ’round the clock lead generation, and can be excellent sales tools as well.
Automated webinars have two main advantages:
- They’re not timebound, which means you can reach way more people in various time zones and on any schedule.
- You can make them “perfect.” Edit, do multiple takes, and otherwise buff the rough edges off for a smooth, polished webinar — without the pressure of performing for a live audience.
You can make automated webinars “on demand” or scheduled. I suggest experimenting with both.
“On Demand” webinars are much more accessible, but the scheduled variety creates more commitment to actually watch. Sometimes people don’t watch “On Demand” webinars because they put it off, figuring they can always watch it later — except they don’t.
Pro Tip: Don’t package recordings of old live webinars for automation. Film something specifically for automation. Acknowledge the fact that it’s pre-recorded. And for the love of webinars, don’t lie to your audience by doing “simulated” webinars.
Easy Webinar Hack #6: The Hybrid Webinar
- All webinar types and goals
To combine (some of) the benefits of live and automated webinars, host a hybrid! You can package the instructional or promotional “meat” of your presentation into a pre-recorded video, then play it after you’ve warmed up the crowd.
After that, take questions and/or pitch your offer. It’s the best of both worlds!
Pro Tip: Use the webinar platform’s chat feature to stay engaged with the audience while the recorded portion is playing.
Easy Webinar Hack #7: The Interview
- Lead Generation
Bring your audience a well-known and/or interesting expert on a relevant topic. They’ll see it as a huge gift.
Even better, you get to share your special guest’s audience, potentially converting some of them into your own customers. That’s why it’s important to interview someone who’s in a related field, but not a direct competitor.
For example, a business coach can interview a digital marketing expert. Someone selling a fitness product can interview a nutritionist. A yoga teacher can interview a meditation specialist. You get the idea.
Pro Tip: Part of convincing someone to appear on your webinar is promising to do the heavy lifting. You’ll host the webinar, run the presentation, and come up with the questions for your guest in advance.
Make it an easy marketing opportunity for them, not a chore!
Easy Webinar Hack #8: The Platform
- All webinar types and goals
The easiest way to have the easiest webinar experience is to choose the easiest tech.
Obviously, I think the easiest platform is WebinarNinja. It’s literally why we built it (I was tired of struggling with the existing options at the time). But you’re going to do your own research and make your own decision.
To wit, I’d strongly suggest that whatever platform you use have:
- A clean, user-friendly interface (use free trials to test a few out)
- In-app CRM (Customer Relationship Management) features like automated email reminders, landing page builders, etc.,
- Solid (preferably native) integration with the CRM platforms you already use
Pro Tip: Check out this post for a breakdown of popular webinar platforms and their features.
If you want to stand out from the competition, you have to offer more than a blog, social posts, and YouTube vids. Webinars are the closest thing to an in-person experience you can give to an audience. They create one thing better than any other marketing channel can: trust.
For too long, entrepreneurs avoided webinars because they were a giant pain. But now, the technology has evolved way past that! Choose the right platform, try a few of these hacks, and watch your audience — and revenue — grow.
To see how WebinarNinja works, take a look at our demo by clicking below: