This is a complete guide on how to plan, create, and run a successful webinar.
Let me be absolutely clear.
This is a total game plan. It's not a simple blog post, listicle, or collection of tips.
This guide includes all the essential information you need to plan and execute your webinar from start to finish.
Take your time, and use this to create an optimized webinar that will actually help grow your business, one chapter at a time.
Your Ingredients: The Tools You Need
Like any good recipe, this guide begins with the ingredients you need to make it all happen.
The equipment necessary to run a webinar is actually pretty simple -- you might just have everything you need already.
Let's take a look.
Your Must-Have Tools
This first list is your "must-haves." At minimum, you need the following tools to create and run a webinar.
- A computer: This can be a laptop or desktop, Mac or PC.
- A webcam: This is usually built into your laptop or desktop monitor. If you don’t have one, no worries. You can grab my favorite HD webcam, The Logitech C922X on Amazon for less than $80.
- A Webinar platform: You are free to research the options, but first and foremost, make sure you use a dedicated webinar product. Conferencing platforms like Zoom aren't optimized for marketing and sales; they're just for meetings (Nothing against Zoom. We use it for our meetings!).
Obviously, we'd love you to use WebinarNinja (you can start now with a free trial here, or join us for a live demo to see how it works), but the advice in this guide applies no matter which platform you go with.
Pretty short list, right? Got everything you need so far? Moving on...
Optional Tools (That You Probably Want)
This is a list of optional (but recommended) tools I personally use to run webinars.
1. A USB Microphone: I strongly recommend using an external microphone when running your webinars. High quality audio is essential to an effective presentation. Any external microphone is better than using the built-in microphone on your computer.
I use the Audio Technica ATR-2100 USB, but here’s a video guide to choosing the best microphone for your needs:
2. A Boom Arm: This is one of those low-cost, high-use purchases you won’t regret. A boom arm clamps to your desk so you can place your mic perfectly. This gives you maximum audio quality, totally hands free.
Not only am I one of those hyper-animated New Yorkers, I'm also Egyptian by ethnicity, so my hands are moving when I teach. There's more about this boom arm on the video up there, but you can get it on Amazon for less than $20.
3. Headphones: Headphones aren't super critical if you're running a webinar on your own. But if your webinar has a co-host, or you plan to play external videos (like a YouTube video) or audio, you'll need them. Headphones keep any external audio in your ears, rather than blasting from your computer into your mic and causing an irritating echo. The video above explains further.
4. PowerPoint, Keynote or Google Slides: If you're planning to stay off-camera during the entirety of your webinar, you’ll need presentation slides. But even if you stay on camera, slides are the best way to keep your presentation organized and engaging.
If you’re a PC lover and have Microsoft Office, you’ll probably go with PowerPoint to create your slides. If you're a Mac person, use Keynote.
If you want a free alternative to both that comes with any Gmail account, Google Slides is great! You can save your presentations in the cloud, or export them as PowerPoint files.
A note on presenting with slides: With a lot of platforms, displaying your slides works like this:
1. Open your slide presentation.
2. Use the Share Your Screen feature on your webinar software.
3. Return to your slides, go full screen, and present.
This is fine, but there's one issue: you no longer see your webinar software as you are in full screen mode with your presentation slide software. That means you won’t be able to see your chat area or engage with your audience as you present. Bummer.
Proper webinar platforms (like ours) let you upload any PowerPoint, PDF, PNG, etc. and present your slides without leaving your webinar broadcast area.
That way, you can see your chat area, questions, polls, offers, and all your layout and presentation options while presenting your slides. It's crucial to have this in order to effectively engage your audience. Simply talking over slides is, frankly, kind of a snooze.
Bored people don't buy.
See what we mean below:
To make it easier, WebinarNinja comes with presentation slide templates. Users simply add their own logo, branding, and content.
That’s it for the tools! With that sorted, let’s dive into creating your webinar!
Choosing Your Topic: Delivering Your Promise
Your webinar topic is one of the biggest factors that determine how many people register for and attend your workshop.
Are you hitting a nerve? Are you solving a real problem or pain point your audience is experiencing?
We need to make sure you are. That’s what this chapter is all about.
Here are 5 sure-fire strategies to ensure your topic resonates with your audience:
1. What's Your Problem?
Rule one of entrepreneurship: no matter what you sell, your job is to solve a problem. Your product, your marketing, your everything should be shaped by that. So the first step is to find out what your audience’s problems are.
Customers generally don't know exactly what they need, but everyone knows what they’re struggling with. Try asking what their “biggest challenge” is regarding your area of expertise. What’s your biggest challenge when it comes to...getting fit? Improving your golf swing? Training your parakeet? You get the idea.
As for how to ask them, you’ve got options. First, there’s the all-important resource upon which your business will always depend: your email list. Sending a direct survey (even a one-question survey) will get you the most honest and thoughtful results. Besides that, you’ve got social media. Throw the question out on Facebook, Insta, or Twitter, and you’ll get plenty of responses- especially on specific social media groups devoted to your niche.
You can also use your own website. Include in your next blog a call to action, soliciting comments on what problems your readers face. You can even use the phone! Reach out directly to specific individual users of your product, preferably the long-standing, loyal ones who you know have the most insightful feedback. We regularly sit down for video calls with our long-standing users, just to find out what they need help with.
2. Start Wide. Narrow Down
If you have some idea of what your audience is looking for, let them fine-tune it. Whether you’ve asked for suggestions or not, think of three topics that you think would be most useful and appealing to your crowd, and let them choose between them.
This takes some of the responsibility off the customer, but it’s democratic enough to give them a sense of involvement in the process. Use the same methods mentioned above: your email list, social media, or direct outreach to specific customers.
Here's a short video tutorial on using this technique, and the others discussed in this chapter:
3. Review The Reviews
Potential customers in search of solutions are sure to check out books on the topic in question. That’s where Amazon and its top-notch system of public reviews come in.
Look up the best-selling books on your area of expertise, and read the reviews. The trick is to focus on the 3-star reviews; anything higher won’t yield much by way of solvable problems, anything lower is likely to be just a pesky hater or troll.
As you read the reviews, note what it is that kept the customer from giving that extra star or two. What was the book missing? What aspect of their problem didn’t it solve? How could it have really met their needs?
However the books fall short, this will give you the information you need. Eventually, you’ll see patterns— repeated mentions of info or advice people want but aren’t getting. That’s the gap your webinar aims to fill.
Here's a snapshot of some 3-star reviews for Tim Ferriss's best-selling book The 4-Hour Workweek:
4. Run a Q&A Webinar
Sometimes, the best topic for a webinar is no topic. Rather, you can start a conversation with your audience. Do like the cool kids on Reddit, and invite your audience to ask you anything.
This obviously creates some challenges, but it’s the most interactive, engaged way for customers to get to know and trust you.
Of course, planning a Q&A webinar is both easier and more difficult, all at once. On the one hand, you really don’t have to plan it. On the other, you have to be prepared for unpredictable questions, including ones you don’t know the answer to. This is fine. All it requires is to be on top of your game, and to be open and honest.
As any teacher will tell you, “I don’t know, but I can find out for next time” is one of the smartest answers a person can give. Plus, it helps you choose the topic of your next webinar!
WebinarNinja has a dedicated Q&A area that saves every question, answer, and comment in your account for future reference. Keep an eye on these for patterns that will reveal what your audience is looking for. Take a look at a screen shot of that below.
5. Start With a Title
In webinars, as in writing, sometimes it’s best to start with a great title and go from there. Create a title that sounds irresistible, and create a webinar that fulfills its promise.
Don’t be afraid to think big and be ambitious. What title do you think members of your audience would rush to sign up for? As long as your content can deliver, the sky’s the limit.
The whole goal here is to choose a topic you can deliver on. If you title your webinar Become a World Class Tap Dancer, you’re asking for trouble. You can’t deliver on that promise in one session. But How to Select Your First Pair of Tap Dancing Shoes is realistic and attainable.
Plan Your Workshop: Lessons From 20,000 Hours of Teaching
These essentials will make sure your webinar workshop will be an easily digestible learning experience for your audience -- not just a lecture.
Planning a webinar workshop can be done in less than an hour. Just whip open a DOC file and implement the techniques below.
Have a Learning Outcome
No teacher worth more than a nickel would teach a lesson without a learning outcome. For you, the learning outcome is directly related to your webinar topic.
Your learning outcome must complete this sentence: By the end of my webinar, my attendees will be able to....
What can the audience actually do after your webinar? Here are some examples:
By the end of my webinar, they will be able to play their first song on the piano.
By the end of my webinar, they will be able to deliver an elevator pitch.
By the end of my webinar, they will be able to plan their next family vacation for under $2500.
Make sure to state your learning outcome at the start of your webinar. When you recap at the end, your audience can see how you delivered on that promise .
Before & After
After you state your learning outcome, it’s important to show your attendees what life looks like with and without your solution implemented.
This indirectly shows how important the workshop is, and how much their life will improve because of it. This exercise gets them sitting up in their chairs and eager to learn.
Here’s an example: Let's say the webinar is titled Wow Your Family with a Delicious Christmas Dinner
You’ve probably watched dozens of YouTube videos and read a bunch of recipes online, but….
- You still have no set menu
- You're not sure what to buy
- You have no idea how long this dinner will take to prepare
- You're still nervous about embarrassing yourself in front of the in-laws
After this webinar you’ll...
- Have 3 different menus to choose from
- Have a set shopping list for each menu
- Know when to start prepping
- Know exactly how to cook each dish (with cheat-sheets to go along)
- Feel cool as a cucumber
The before/after is the essence of the promise.
The 5 x 3 Method
Break down your instruction into 5 steps/ tips/ strategies that move your audience toward the learning outcome. For each step/tip/strategy, provide 3 sub-steps, details, or important clarifications.
In order to actually learn any skill, you have to both comprehend and retain what you're taught.
If I comprehend something but don’t remember it, I can’t replicate it. If I recall something that I don't understand, I can't replicate it either. A skill is something you can reproduce at any time.
You want your audience to be able to DO something at the end of your webinar, remember?
Five is a magic number in teaching. It’s just plain hard to remember more than 5 steps, strategies or procedures. This is especially important with sequential steps.
Time Stamp It!
Allocate a specific amount of time for each section of your webinar workshop.
I recommend 5 minutes for your meet and greet, 30 minutes for your 5 steps, and 7 minutes to cover your sales offer. Then Q&A , for as long as it lasts.
Try to stick to your allotted time slots as much as possible.
There you have it. Your webinar workshop will be well-planned and ready for prime time. We'll polish it further in Chapter 8, but for now, it’s time to make this thing real and set a date!
Set The Date & Time For Your Webinar: Lock It In!
At this moment, you might thinking to yourself. “Whoah Omar! I’m going to set a date and time for my webinar already?”
Real talk: If you don’t set the date and time of your webinar right now, create it (explained in the next chapter) and announce it (Chapter 6), you’ll likely not run your webinar anytime soon.
Self-accountability is everything.
Two Weeks Out
If it's the first time you're delivering this webinar, you’ll need a bit of lead time to create your presentation slides and prepare for your webinar.
Give yourself no more than 2 weeks to get everything prepared. This is part of that self-accountability.
Any more than 2 weeks is too far out, and doesn't put a sufficient fire under your tuchus.
Which Day of The Week?
When choosing a date, we find Tuesday through Thursday are the best days for western countries like the US, Canada, Australia, and most of Europe. The rule of thumb is the second, third, and fourth days of the work week.
Generally, Mondays are too busy for people, and Fridays are too relaxed for learning something new.
Finding the best time for your webinar will take a bit of experimentation. Statistically in the US, the 11 am to 2 pm range has the best attendance rates. Webinars with start times in this range have an average 39% attendance rate, according to our own statistics from over 500,000 US webinars.
Attendance rates upwards of 39% is not uncommon in this time range. I personally average a 47% attendance rate with webinars in this time range.
Create Your Webinar: Maybe The Easiest Step.
Creating a webinar can be quite straight-forward, or it can cause you to pull out your own hair.
It all depends on the software.
Don't worry; I'm not pitching.
Every webinar, regardless of platform, requires 7 elements.
The 7 Elements of Any Webinar
No matter what software you choose, you need the following in order to make a webinar effective:
1. A Registration page: This is where your audience sees your webinar title, host name, date, and time. Crucially, it's also where they give their contact info to register.
2. A Thank You page: This is the confirmation page your registrant will see to confirm they've registered.
3. A Webinar page: This is the page where registrants actually attend the webinar. This is where they watch your presentation, chat, ask questions, and click on offers.
4. A Replay page: This is the page where a recording of your webinar is offered. This is for those who registered but did not attend, or those who want to give your workshop another watch. This is optional, but statistically a significant percentage of your attendees will watch the replay -- and potentially click your sales offer.
5. Email confirmations, reminders, and follow-ups: Confirmation emails with webinar access info must be sent out automatically when people register for your webinar. Then, a series of automatic reminder emails will ensure higher attendance. Post-webinar emails must thank attendees, offer non-attendees a replay, and reiterate the sales offer.
6. A live video broadcast tool: This is how the magic happens, the actual technology that lets you you broadcast live to your audience. All broadcasting software is not created equal. Delay, and video and audio quality will vary from platform to platform. More on that later.
7. Statistics & Analytics: You must be able to track and measure how effective your webinars are. As Peter Drucker said, “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” At the very least you must measure how many people visited your registration page, how many registered, how many attended, how long they attended, and how many clicked on your offer.
Making It All Happen
Depending on what webinar software you choose, you might only get #3 and # 6 in the list above. You might need to sort out the rest by supplementing your webinar platform with other software to make it all happen. Sometimes you don't learn this until after you sign up.
Slight semi-pitch: I know this, because I used to have to combine all these different tools to run webinars that met marketing and sales goals. It was a PITA. So I built something more comprehensive, easier to use, and efficient. That's how WebinarNinja happened.
If you're interested, this video shows how the platform makes it all easier:
Once you create your webinar, grab the link to the page where your audience will register. You’ll need it for our next step…marketing your webinar.
Marketing Your Webinar: Getting More Attendees
Now that your webinar is ready to go, it’s time to get butts in those virtual seats!
Attendance is a multiplier for engagement on a webinar. The more attendees you have, the higher the rate of engagement in the chat, questions, and of course, the sales offer.
Here are 5 ways to ensure you have maximum attendance:
1. Start With Your Website
Your website is already getting organic traffic from Google searches, referrals, and even word-of-mouth. Capitalize on it by inviting your visitors to your next webinar.
Pop-ups, sidebar ads, or hyperlinks within your own blogs are all good options. Ensure that any visitor to your site is offered a chance to attend your next webinar.
Below is an example of using a header bar up top to invite visitors to a webinar.
2. Blog About It
Devote a blog post to the event itself, or to the topic itself. Use the post to articulate your unique approach to the problem you’ve identified, and build interest in your solution. Describe exactly what will happen at the webinar, bearing in mind those who’ve never attended a webinar before.
Tell them what to expect, and make them want to see it for themselves. Be excited, and let that excitement come through. Be honest and conversational in your tone, but let your professional expertise shine.
At the bottom of the post, let them know they can learn more on the topic, and ask you questions live on your next webinar. Link to your webinar registration page, and get ready to have some targeted, warm attendees.
3. Send Invitations
Fire a well-composed and exciting email to your contact list. Take this opportunity to sell people on why they should attend your webinar.
Detail the take-aways and insights they'll receive. Most of all, tell them what they will be able to do after they attend your webinar.
Make sure you include an overview of what will be covered, the registration link, and the date and time.
4. Get Social
Hop on Facebook or Twitter. Create social posts linked to your registration page, with snippets of interesting insights that preview what they'll learn.
It's important to make use of social media, but don’t rely on it!
Too many entrepreneurs over-focus on social media marketing, when it's just one ingredient to a smart marketing campaign. Registrations from social media are a nice bonus, but you'll get more engaged attendees from your own website traffic and email list.
5. Team Up
Team up with others in your industry. They can co-host the webinar with you, and invite their email list as well.
In exchange, you can give partners a percentage of sales made on the webinar. Alternatively, you can agree to return the favor and invite your audience to a webinar of theirs.
Analyze Your Marketing Efforts
Keep in mind that the goal with all your marketing isn’t simply to invite as many people as possible, but to target those most likely to attend, engage, and ultimately become customers.
Registration numbers can be deceiving, so reserve judgment on the impact of your marketing until you see the number of attendees as a percentage of registrants, aka your attendance rate.
Quality webinar platforms include analytics tools. Study these numbers after each webinar, and build on what works.
As your reputation for valuable presentations grows, your attendance will grow too.
Create Your Webinar Slides: Steal This Template
In this chapter, you'll learn how to use your workshop lesson plan (from chapter 3) to create your presentation slides.
Presentation slides add a level of professionalism and authority to your webinars. They keep your presentation focused , organized, and goal-oriented.
Let's dive into how they should look:
Two Important Caveats
There are two important caveats you should know before we begin:
1. Presentation slides are not a requirement. You can run a full webinar, on-camera, teaching and answering questions.
2. Your presentation slides are not your workshop script. These are visual aids that supplement and guide what you're teaching. If everything you say and do is on the slides, then why can't your attendees just read the slides on their own? There has to be more to your workshop than that.
Below is a fairly universal outline you can use. Feel free to riff on this; modify it to your needs and strengths, but keep the basic structure of introduction, promise, steps, offer, and Q&A. For more detail, check out this blog post.
Your Presentation Slide Template
Slide 1: Title
Just a simple branded slide with your webinar title, your name, and your company logo and URL.
Slide 2: Outcome
This slide states the intended learning outcome. Make sure it’s action oriented. What will attendees be able to do at the end of your webinar?
Slide 3: Before and After
In this slide, you can show in two columns what life is like now, and what will be different after the webinar. Slides 2 and 3 can be combined, if you like.
Slide 4: Workshop Overview
This is the "table of contents" that shows the audience what’s in store. If you're making a sales offer, state this up front, even though you're actually doing it after the lesson. Never ambush people with a pitch.
Slide 5: 'About Me'
Dedicate one slide to introducing yourself, with a bit of your backstory. Make sure your backstory reinforces why you are qualified to teach this workshop. Keep this short.
Slides 6-10: 5 Steps/ Strategies
These slides are the meat of your presentation. This is where you explain your 5 steps, tips or strategies.
Slide 11: Recap
In this slide, recap what attendees have learned, and what they now can do (aka the learning outcome). If applicable, this should transition smoothly into the next opportunity for attendees: your offer.
Slide 12-13: Your Offer
These slides are dedicated to your offer, If you're selling products or services on the webinar. Make sure you detail the main benefits, price, any special bonuses, and the expiration. Remember, you can always share your screen or go on camera to demo your products. Make sure to include some testimonials before or after this offer.
Pro tip: quality webinar platforms include tools to embed sales offers, integrated with your payment processor.
Slide 14: Q&A
Not to much to this one; it's just a backdrop while you interact. Consider following this with a "Thank You" slide that includes an email address for further questions, access to the replay, and access to your offer.
Running Your Webinar: Presentation, Engagement & Sales Skills
What you know is useless, if you don't know how to deliver it. How effectively you present will determine your credibility and authority in the eyes of attendees.
In this chapter we'll make sure your presentation skills are sharp, your crowd is engaged, and your reputation is solid.
You'll also learn how to turn attendees into customers, with some simple but effective sales techniques.
Let's jump in!
If you're not ready to put some effort into improving your public speaking and presentaion skills, pack it in right now. There's no way around it. That said, it doesn't have to be difficult -- even for introverts like me.
How you present is just as important as what you present.
When I was I was a school administrator, I had to observe dozens of teachers every semester. One truth was undeniable: the teacher might have a PHD in their field, but if the students had a hard time staying awake, the best content in the world was worthless.
There’s a good chance you know your stuff, but do you know how to deliver it?
Teaching is a skill you need to start cultivating. It took me 2 years, teaching 5 times a day, 5 days a week to be considered a decent teacher. That’s nearly 2,000 hours of teaching by the way -- and most education experts say that even that is only enough time to become proficient, not great.
This is not to intimidate you.
This is to prepare you mentally and bring your expectations into alignment with reality. No, you don't have to spend years in a classroom to deliver great webinars. But you do have to sharpen your presenting skills.
To that end, I'm going to give you a shortcut to everything I've learned about teaching and presenting. These 7 strategies will put you ahead of 95% of everyone else running webinars right now.
Strategy #1: When you teach each point in your workshop, make sure to include the following…
1. A real-life (personal if possible) example of what you're explaining.
People learn best via stories. Show them how the strategy you're teaching actually worked for you. We live in the real world, and need real life examples to see ourselves implementing new information.
2. Practical incentives.
We all work off incentives. We need a...somewhat self-rewarding reason to really hear anyone out. When we listen, we tend to subconsciously ask ourselves:
Why is this important?
Why should I listen to this?
Why should I remember this?
You need to answer those questions in your delivery.
Strategy #2 Use a visual aid.
Remember, some people are more visual learners than others. A spatial/graphic representation like a chart or graph can make a world of difference when explaining complex concepts.
Besides that, images or props keep things entertaining.
Strategy #3 Explain things in more than one way.
I often like to recap a point before I go on to the next; but when I do so, I don’t just repeat what I said the first time. I explain that point in a fresh way. Here’s an example:
1st explanation: “When shooting a free throw in basketball, always visualize the ball going through. See it go in the hoop in your head before you shoot”
2nd explanation: “So again, don’t forget to visualize. Think back and remember when you made your last free throw. Play that video in your head before shooting your free throw.”
It's a funny balancing act: repeating without being repetitive.
Strategy #4: Rehearse. Yes, rehearse. Just like a public speech.
Uncle Bob tells the same joke every Thanksgiving. As corny as it is, you still laugh, because his delivery is on point. That’s because he’s been saying the same joke every year for 40 years. He’s had a lot of rehearsal.
It’s very important to go through your entire workshop at least twice before you do it for the first time live. You need to get comfortable with how you’re going to drive home your points and transition from one point to the next. This is especially important if you're using presentation slides.
Don’t worry, you won’t have to do this every time you host a webinar, just every time you host a new webinar.
Strategy #5: Smile.
Practice going through your presentation for 10 minutes straight while maintaining a smile the entire time. I don’t expect you to smile for every second of your webinar (that would be extraordinarily creepy), but this exercise will show you how effective smiling is.
Your voice changes. Your energy changes. Your performance just improves.
Smiling conveys positivity, confidence, and an overall sense that you're happy to help your audience and want to see them win.
Strategy #6: Use your voice.
Modulating your voice is important when you’re speaking for an hour. If you're delivering every word the same way, every word seems just as unimportant as the next.
When you modulate your voice, it keeps your audience on their toes.
Rehearse 10 minutes of your workshop, being mindful of how your pitch, tone, and volume varies.
Exercise #7: Slow down. Speed up.
Practice slowing down when explaining more difficult concepts, but speed up when explaining their importance and how to apply them.
This is just another way to add variety to your delivery, and avoid sounding like this guy:
The reason webinars work so well is because they're intimate and interactive. Engagement is the secret sauce.
If an attendee is into what they’re learning, if they're fully engaged and active, their comprehension and retention rate will go through the roof. When they actually get something out of your webinars, they’ll stick around and want more.
This makes sales conversions a whole heckuva lot easier. Here are my top engagement strategies:
1. Get Personal
There's a fine line to tread here. As we mentioned in Chapter 7, it's important to establish who you are and what qualifies you to teach people anything. But you also want to share something personal, something that makes you relatable -- without blathering on about yourself.
I say where I'm from, and then tell (a short version of) the story of how my business-and-life partner Nicole and I founded WebinarNinja together. The story does the double duty of establishing my credentials while sharing a peek at something human and personal.
I then ask all the attendees to share something about themselves, usually where they're from and something they hope to come away from the webinar with. I actually invite people to share these tidbits before the webinar starts, in the automated reminder emails they get leading up to the big day. That way, everyone comes primed to converse.
This sets the tone of the webinar. It says to the crowd, “This workshop is different. In this webinar, you’re not just going to watch me blab on. You're going to get involved.”
2. Start With Questions
Whatever your webinar is about, whether it’s marketing or skateboarding, ask your attendees a question about the subject at hand. Make it simple like:
“How many of you have never skateboarded before, but would love to learn without hurting yourself?”
“Who here has no idea how to get email subscribers?”
Asking questions and eliciting answers at the start gets people’s minds engaged. They start to realize the value of attending the webinar and subconsciously decide that it's worth their time.
3. Get Them Guessing
This technique is especially effective when you're using presentation slides. Don’t just reveal your info to your attendees; ask them what they think the answer is before you give it to them.
For example, you might have a slide that says, “THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE OF PHOTOGRAPHY.” Instead of revealing the next slide with what that rule is, ask your attendees to pop their guesses into the chat. Remind them now that there are no wrong answers. Give them 30 seconds or so to enter their answers.
Then, reveal your answer. You can take a minute to compare some of the answers that were given in the chat. Remember to praise any and all answers, because at the end of the day, it’s not the answers that matter. It’s the engagement.
4. Check for Comprehension
One of the most common mistakes webinar hosts make is steamrolling through their workshops without stopping to check if their attendees are on board. Are they getting it? You don’t need to go a mile a minute. Take a few breaks to check comprehension.
A good rule of thumb is to not let 10 minutes go by without checking in with your audience. A simple question or request like these can really make a huge difference:
“Does that technique I just shared with you make you feel better about starting a blog? Say YES in all caps in the chat if it does!”
“So what are some ways you could apply [whatever principle you just explained]? Type them into the chat!"
5. Get An Existing Customer Involved
A great way to get your crowd involved and asking questions, especially about your products or services, is to get an existing customer involved. Invite a customer who loves your product or services to your webinar. Have them utilize your platform's co-hosting feature.
Your star customer can share their experience using your product or service, and ask attendees to pop any questions they have into the chat or dedicated questions area. It’s funny how much more attendees open up to someone other than the expert in the room.
Remember: we live in the Social Proof era of marketing. You can never sell your product as convincingly as a happy customer can.
If sales is something you hate doing, it's time to confront that.
Indulge me for a moment and consider that you might be afraid of the unknown. You might not know what “sales” really is. There's a good chance you don’t know what an effective sales process looks like, and you might be assuming it requires skills you don't have.
Here's my complete sales process. It won't just boost your revenue; it will give you the tools to be comfortable, confident, and calm when it's selling time.
Step 1: Transparency, Transparency, Transparency
The whole point of any webinar is to build trust with your audience. We buy from those we trust.
One way to quickly build trust is to be forthright from the start, from the moment you invite your audience to your webinar.
I like to bullet point what I'll be covering during the webinar in the invitation email and social media posts. And you guessed it -- I say so if one of those bullet points is a sales offer. Expectations are key. I want to let people know as soon as possible that during may webinar, I will take a few minutes to give them a special offer.
Throughout the process, in the reminder emails and all the way up to and including the "overview" at the beginning of the webinar, I'm clear and honest about what to expect.
Every time I mention the offer, I simply mention that this offer is for those who want to take action to get started now. For those who don’t, it’s cool; they’ll still get a ton of value from the webinar.
Step 2: Workshop & Product Alignment
Your sales offer has to align with the webinar lesson. If I'm selling a photo editing app, you can be sure I’ll be teaching something useful about photo editing -- ideally, something that's even easier with my app.
Your product should be a natural continuation of the workshop experience. The next step, the next level in their progression, should include the use of your product.
Step 3: Show, don’t sell
When you go shopping for a car, why do you think the salesman always wants you to go for a test drive? It’s because one of the best sales tools is an experience with the product.
They want you to feel what it’s like to own the car. How does it feel to walk up to it and unlock it? What’s it like to be behind the wheel? As you take it for a spin, you can’t help but compare it to your current car.
The moral of the story? Let a demo do the selling for you.
Show your audience the inside of your course and everything it includes. Show them your physical product up close on camera and all its interesting quirks. Make a webinar your own personal home shopping network.
Step 4: State The Offer Plainly
When it’s time to reveal the actual offer, don't be breathless about it. The value should speak mostly for itself.
Just state the offer like you are reading the back of a cereal box.
“When you join my Hamster Breeding Academy today you’ll get:
- 32 detailed video lessons in full HD
- Access to my Private Hamster Breeding Facebook group
- My Hamster Breading Handbook
- My 4-part Hamster Vaccination course
- 12 weeks of direct email access to me
You can get this complete package to start breeding your own hamsters right now for only $495.”
Just the facts.
I also recommend showing attendees the ROI (Return On Investment) of the purchase price, i.e. why it's worth it in plain numbers. Using the offer example above, one could say:
“The average hamster is sold at 12 weeks for $1,500. And each hamster has about 6 little hamlets per litter. So you’ll make 12 times the amount you paid for this course on your first litter”
The audience can easily see that for the price, it's a no-brainer. As I like to remind people, consumers only buy when the perceived value far outweighs the actual cost.
This applies even if your product or service is not an investment per se. I'm happy to pay $12 for Netflix, because the alternative of a cable subscription is more than twice as much.
And just in case you were wondering -- no, I do not sell a hamster-breeding course. I never mix business with hamsters.
Step 5: Risk Removal
When you're selling, always have a way to reduce or remove risk from the equation.
This can be a money-back guarantee, or what we do at WebinarNinja: a 14-day free trial.
What this does is tell the potential customer, "This purchase is a not high-stakes situation." If for any reason, the product is not a good fit, they can get a refund, or in the case of a trial, cancel before they're even charged."
This gives people very little reason not to buy, if they're even remotely curious about your product.
Providing current / past customer testimonials also reduces risk in the minds of potential customers, so a few of those can go a long way.
Step 6: 2-Step Urgency
We all need a reason to act. That’s why the holidays are such a busy time for shopping. There is a clear deadline, a day when I need to take action by….or everyone I care about will hate me.
Urgency is real. So make sure your customers have a reason to buy now and in the near future. I call this approach "2-Step Urgency."
Offer #1: If you buy today before the end of this webinar, you'll get these 3 great bonuses PLUS this awesome extra thing.
Offer #2: If you buy in the next 48 hours, you'll get these 3 great bonuses with your purchase.
This lets you net the sales from both the seriously ready, and those who just need a little time to sleep on it. But it puts a firm deadline on both.
Step 7: Post Webinar Follow-Up
After your webinar is over, make sure to reiterate your offer to registrants (those who attended and those who did not) with a follow up email.
Automated, easily customizable follow up emails are a standard feature for any good webinar software.
How To Get Started With Webinars Now: Got Five Minutes?
You’ve made it to the end of this epic guide! You must be serious about getting started with webinars.
The good news is, getting started couldn’t be easier. You can run your very first webinar tomorrow if you like. Seriously.
My advice: get your first webinar under your belt, asap. Actually doing one lets you see for yourself that webinars are really not that intimidating.
Let's do it!
Getting Started Today
There's no time like the present. Let's capitalize on everything you just learned.
Here's your move: start with an open Q&A webinar.
This is the easiest to prepare for, and it'll get you in front of your webcam working through your initial willies. You need nothing but your experience and expertise. Plus, it'll knock the urge to be too scripted and lecturly right out of you.
Make it low-pressure. 30 minutes of open Q&A is all you need to get the first one done, get comfortable, and do some helpful market research in the process.
And remember, if you decide to try WebinarNinja, your first couple weeks of webinars are on us. Start your free trial here, or register for our next live demo below.