This is the ultimate guide on how to plan, create and run a successful webinar.
Let me be absolutely clear.
This isn’t some weak blog article on why webinars are powerful or some generic list post rattling off a few random webinar tips.
You don’t need more “tips”. You need a full game plan. And that’s what you’ll get with this guide.
This complete, step-by-step guide, is everything you need to know in order to run a webinar that will help grow your business.
Let’s jump right in!
Your Ingredients: The Tools You Need
Just like with your grandma’s recipe for chicken soup, we need to begin with the ingredients you’ll need to make this all happen.
The equipment you need to run a webinar is quite simple and you might just have everything you need already.
Let's take a look at what tech.
Your Must-Have Tools
This first list is your must-haves. You need these tools to create and run a webinar.
- A computer: This can be a laptop, a desktop, a 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 software: Obviously we are biased and recommend you use WebinarNinja. If you’re looking to get started with literally no pressure or risk, we offer 14-day free trial so you can put this guide into action immediately and run your first webinar on us. Having said that, this guide will still be very useful regardless of what webinar software you use.
Pretty short list, right? Got everything you need so far?
Your Optional Tools
This is a list of optional and recommended tools I personally use to run my webinars.
1. A USB Microphone: I highly recommend using an external microphone when running your webinars. High quality audio is essential to a great webinar. Any external microphone is better than using the built-in microphone on your computer. I highly recommend the Audio Technica ATR-2100 USB microphone. I use it for all my webinars and love it to bits.
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 and allows your microphone to be placed right in front of your mouth. This gives you maximum audio quality and a totally hands free experience. Not only am I one of those animated Americans (NYC born and raised), I'm also Egyptian by ethnicity, so my hands are moving when I am teaching on a webinar 🙂 You can learn more about the benefits of a boom arm in the video above. You can buy this boom arm on Amazon for less than $20.
3. Headphones: Headphones are not super critical if you are running a webinar on your own. If your webinar has a Co-Host or you will be playing external videos (like a YouTube video) or audio (like a dance track), you will need headphones. Why? Headphones keep any external audio in your ears and not blasting from your computer into your mic. This is a big no-no as it causes an echo for your audience. I recommend using any headphones you already have. You can learn more about using earphones on your webinar at the end of the video above.
4. PowerPoint, Keynote or Google Slides: If you are planning on not being on-camera during the entirety of your webinar, you’ll want to use presentation slides. Slides are great for visual cues and breaking down concepts visually.
If you’re a PC lover and have Microsoft Office, you’re probably going to want to use PowerPoint to create your presentation slides. If you are a Mac loyalist, then Keynote is your go-to presentation software.
If you want an alternative to both that is totally free with any Gmail account, Google Slides is great! You can save your presentations in the cloud or even export them as PowerPoint files if you wish.
With most webinar software, to be able to show your audience your presentation slides you need to:
1. Open your presentation slides software (PowerPoint)
2. Go to your webinar software and use the Share Your Screen feature
3. Go back to your presentation slides software, go full screen and start using your slides
This is fine and all but there is an issue- you no longer see your webinar software as you are in full screen mode with your presentation slide software. That means you often won’t be able to see your chat area and see if your audience is asking questions or reacting to your content.
The good news at WebinarNinja, we have solved this issue. With WebinarNinja, you can upload any PowerPoint, PDF or PNG file directly and present your slides without ever needing to leave your webinar broadcast area.
You can see your chat area, questions, polls, offers and all your layout and presentation options while presenting your slides.
Checkout this awesome feature in action:
If you’re not sure how to get started with creating your presentation slides, all WebinarNinja users get our presentation slide templates. We give our members the actual slides to use for any webinar- you just need to replace the logo, branding and content place holders and you’re all set.
That’s it for the tools you need to run a webinar! You really don’t need much and you probably already have most of what you need already. So with that sorted, let’s dive into creating your webinar workshop!
Choosing Your Topic: Delivering Your Promise
Your webinar topic can be one of the biggest factors to how many people register and attend your workshop.
Are you hitting a nerve? Are you solving a real problem or pain your audience is experiencing?
We need to make sure you are.
Here are 5 sure-fire strategies to ensure your topic resonates with your audience:
1. What's Your Problem?
The first thing to remember about entrepreneurship is that every entrepreneur has the same job: to solve a problem. Your product, your marketing, your everything should be shaped by that. So the first step is to find out what the audience’s problems are.
Customers don’t generally know exactly what they need, but everyone knows what they’re struggling with. The question “What’s your problem?” needn’t be asked in those exact words, but you can survey your audience to find out how you can help them. Try asking what their “biggest challenge” is regarding your area of expertise. What’s their biggest challenge when it comes to...getting fit? Improving their golf swing? Training their 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 or Twitter, and you’ll get plenty of responses- especially on specific Facebook 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 to offer. We ask our early adopters regularly how we can improve WebinarNinja, which is what ultimately led us to the creation of WebinarNinja 5.0.
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 them for suggestions or not, think of three topics that you figure 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.
Love learning with a quick video? Here is a short video tutorial on how to use this technique and the other four 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 about 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 is a snapshot o somef 3-star reviews on Amazon 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 the 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 that 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 webinar session. How to Select Your First Pair of Tap Dancing Shoes- Now that’s a topic you can deliver on during your webinar.
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, and not an hour long 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. The good news is, your learning outcome is directly related to your webinar topic. The only difference is, it’s action-oriented.
Your learning outcome must complete this sentence: By the end of my webinar, they 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 recite, by heart, their elevator pitch.
By the end of my webinar, they will be able to plan their next family vacation for under $2500.
Make sure you state your learning outcome at the start of your webinar. This is so when you recap at the end of your webinar, they can see how you delivered on your promise .
Before & After
After you state your learning outcome, it’s important to show them what life looks like with and without it implemented.
This indirectly shows how important the workshop is to them 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 for a webinar 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
- No idea what you need to buy
- No idea how long this dinner will take to prepare
- No clue how to do it all without embarrassing yourself in front of your in-laws
After this webinar you’ll...
- Have 3 different menus to choose from
- A set shopping list for each menu
- Know when to start prepping and still look cool as a cucumber
- Know exactly how to cook each dish (with cheat-sheets to go along)
Sign me up for that webinar!
Break down your instruction towards your learning outcome into 5 steps/ tips/ strategies or less.
In order to actually learn a skill you have to be able to do two things- You need to comprehend and retain what you were just taught.
If I just comprehend something but don’t remember how to do it, I can’t repeat it. A skill is something you can produce at anytime.
Knowledge of something without being able to implement it is basically worthless. 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 steps because you also have to remember the order they come in.
Time Stamp It!
Allocate an amount of time for each section of your webinar workshop.
Five minutes for your meet and greet, 30 minutes for your 5 steps, 7 minutes to cover your offer.
Try to stick to your allotted time slot as much as possible. And make sure you allow time for questions during your webinar.
There you have it. Your webinar workshop will be well-planned and ready to be presented with polish (more about that in Chapter 8).
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?”
Let’s get real. 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.
You need to hold yourself accountable.
Two Weeks Out
If it's the first time you are delivering this webinar, you’ll need a bit of lead time to create your presentation slides (if needed) and prepare for your webinar.
Give yourself no more than 2 weeks to get everything prepared.
Any more than 2 weeks is too far out and puts no fire under you to get ready.
What Day of The Week?
When choosing a date, we found 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 2nd, 3rd and fourth days of the work week.
Monday is usually catch-up day for the working world and Friday can often be half days to get the weekend started early.
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 these start times in this range have an average 39% attendance rate according to our own statistics of over 500,000 webinars conducted in the US in the past year.
Attendance rates upwards of 39% is not uncommon in this time range. I personally average a 47% attendance rate with my 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 you choose to use to create yours.
Every webinar requires 7 elements.
What these 7 elements are and how to create them are discussed in this chapter.
The 7 Elements of Any Webianr
Every webinar needs these 7 elements:
1. A Registration page: This is where your audience sees your webinar title, host name, date and time and where they give their info to register for the webinar
2. A Thank You page: This is the confirmation page your registrant will see to confirm they have registered.
3. A Webinar page: This is the page where the registrants 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 might be considered optional if you choose not to offer a replay.
5. Email confirmations & reminders: Confirmation emails with the webinar access info need to be sent out automatically when people register for your webinar. A series of reminder emails need to be automatically sent out leading up to the webinar. Post-webinar emails thanking them for registering/ attending and any offer info, also need to be sent automatically.
6. A live video broadcast tool: This is how the magic happens. This is the actual technology to allow you to broadcast live to your audience. All broadcasting software are not created equal. Some have an up to 30-second delay or broadcast in less than HD quality. More about this later.
7. Statistics & Analytics: You need to be able to track and measure how well your webinar went. As Peter Drucker has said, “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” At the very least you need to be able to measure how many people visited your registration page, registered, attended, how long they attended for and how many clicked on your offer.
Making It All Happen
Now depending on what webinar software you choose to use, you might only get #3 and # 6. You might need to sort out the rest by piecemealing other software products with your webinar software to make this all happen. Sometimes you don't learn this until after you sign up .
How do I know? Because I used to use software that caused me to do just that. That’s of course before I created WebinarNinja. With WebinarNinja, all 7 of these vital components are included- and here’s the kicker- they are all created for you in 10 seconds flat! Seriously.
Check out this very short video showing you every aspect of your webinar is created with WebinarNinja super fast and easily:
Once you create your webinar with your webinar software grab the link to the page where your audience will registration for the webinar. 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 fill 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, with your offer.
Here are 5 way to get to ensure you have the number registrants to your webinar you are looking for:
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 our webinar.
2. Blog About It
Devote a blog post to the event 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 especially those who’ve never attended one.
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 live webinar. Link to your webinar registration page and get ready to have some seriously targeted attendees.
3. Send Invitations
Fire a well-composed and exciting email out to your entire email list. You need to take this opportunity to sell them on why they should attend your webinar.
Detail the take-aways and insights they will receive. And most of all tell them what they will be able to do after they attend the webinar.
Make sure you include an overview of what will be covered, the registration link, the date and time.
4. Get Social
Hop on Facebook or Twitter! Ask your following what they are struggling with. Let them know you are planning on doing a live webinar and crowd source what topic or pain point your audience needs addressed.
Running a simple poll on Facebook or Twitter is quite easy to test webinar topics. Get people participating even before a webinar is announced, so when it is announced, you have some cultivated interest.
Make use of social media, but don’t rely on it!
Too many entrepreneurs focus too much on social, thinking it’s going to solve all the marketing problems. Registrations from social media is the cherry on top of a sundae, not the sundae itself.
Here is an example of The Muse running a poll on Twitter to get more engagement:
5. Send Invitations
Team up with others in your industry. They can co-host the webinar with you and invite their email list as well. This commonly known as JV webinars.
In exchange you can give them 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.
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. This is often called your Show Up Rate.
Quality platforms (like WebinarNinja ) include analytics tools that can help you see exactly what percentage of your registrants actually attended your webinar. 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 will learn how to use your workshop lesson plan (chapter 3) to create a your presentation slides.
Presentation slides add a level of production quality to your webinars that communicates you and your business are legit. They also offer visuals and cues to your workshop that keep your audience fully engaged with your topic.
Let's dive into how to create an effective presentations
Two Important Caveats
There are two important caveats you should know before we begin:
1. Presentation slides are no a must. You can run a full webinar, on-camera, teaching and answering questions.
2. Your presentation slides should NOT be your workshop, word for word. These are visual aids and supplement what you are teaching. If an attendee can just take your slides and get the same value from reading then, you’re doing it wrong.
We’ve made creating your presentation slides super simple. Below is an easy to follow outline you can use. You can or remove slides to accommodate your webinar.
Your Presentation Slide Template
Slide 1: Your Title Slide
This is simply a slide with your webinar title and you name as the host.
Slide 2: Your Outcome Slide
This slide states what your intended learning outcome. Remember from chapter 3, make sure it’s action oriented. What will they be able to do at the end of your webinar.
Slide 3: Your Before and After Slide
In this slide you can show in 2 columns what life is like now and what it will be like after the webinar. This is from our Before and After strategy discussed in chapter 3.
Slide 4: Your About Me Slide
Dedicate 1 slide to introducing yourself and a bit of your backstory. Make sure your backstory reinforces why you are qualified to teach this workshop.Keep this short and sweet.
Slide 5: Your Workshop Overview Slide
This slide shows the audience what’s in store for them for the next hour or so. Remember to include in your overview if your going to be making an offer. Also include you’ll be taking questions as well.
Slides 6-10: Your 5 Steps/ Strategies Features
These slides are the meat of your presentation. This is where you explain your steps, tips or strategies.
Slide 11: Your Recap Slide
In this slide, recap what they have learned and what they now can do (learning outcome).
Slide 12-13: Your Offer Slides
These slides are dedicated to your offer, If you are going to sell your products or services on the webinar, make sure you detail the main benefits, price, any special bonuses and when the offer expires. Remember, you can alway share your screen or go on camera to demo your products.
Slide 14: Your Q&A Slide
This is a final slide is to say thank you and prompts the crowd to ask any questions they may have about the webinar workshop or offer.
You can literally take this outline and create your slides in less than 30 mins. Add your logo, branding colors and images and you are all set!
Running Your Webinar: Presentation, Engagement & Sales Skills
What you know is useless, if you don't know how to deliver it. How you present your content will have a great affect on how your attendees perceive you and your business.
In this chapter we will make sure your presentation skills are sharp so your crowd is engaged.
You'll also learn how to turn attendees into customers with some simple but effective sales techniques.
Let's jump in!
If you are not planning on improving your presentation skills so you can captivate your audience, pack it in right now. No one wants a snooze-fest.
How you present or teach is MORE important than what you present. Yes, I said more.
This doesn’t mean your content doesn’t need to be great, it just means your content has no value if don’t know how to deliver it properly. If no one is listening and comprehending, then what’s the point?
When I was I was a school administrator, I had to observe 33 teachers every semester. This truth glared in my face in every classroom evaluation. The teacher in front of me might have a PHD in their field but if the students around me had a hard time staying awake, the best content in the world would be 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.
This is not to intimidate you. This is to prepare you mentally that this is something that you need to invest the time in improving. It’s what gave me my competitive edge when it comes to my success with webinars.
But you might not have 2 years to get your teaching chops. No problem.
I am going to give you a shortcut to everything I learned in teaching and presenting. These 7 exercises will put you ahead of 95% of everyone else running webinars right now.
Exercise #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 are explaining.
We all love a good story. Break down theory into practical stories. Show them how this strategy you are teaching worked for you. We live in the real world and need real life examples to see ourselves implementing what we are learning.
2. Explain why is this point is so important and how it will help your audience.
We all work off incentives. We need a reason why.
Why is this important?
Why should I listen to this?
Why should I remember this?
You need to answer these questions in your delivery.
Exercise #2 Show a visual aid if possible.
Remember, some are more visual learners than others. An image or a graph can make a world of a difference when explaining complex concepts.
Images or props keep things entertaining. Yes, props. If you’re referencing your podcast on the webinar, show them your podcast on your phone while on camera.
Exercise #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 time I explain it: “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 time I explain (when I recap): “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.”
Sometimes people need things delivered in a different way to comprehend your message.
Exercise #4: Rehearse. Yes, rehearse. Just like a public speech.
Uncle Robert says the same joke on 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. Let’s just say, 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 are using presentation slides.
Don’t worry, you won’t have to do this every time you do a webinar, just every time you do a whole new webinar 😉
Exercise #5: Smile.
I want you to practice going through your presentation for 10 minutes straight while maintaining a smile. I don’t expect you to smile for every second of your webinar but this exercise will show you how effective smiling is.
Your voice changes. Your energy changes. Your performance just straight-up improves.
Smiling conveys positivity, confidence and an overall sense you are happy to help your audience and want to see them win.
Smiling = You Care.
Exercise #6: Use your voice.
Modulating your voice is important when you’re speaking for an hour. If you are 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 you are modulating your voice.
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.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you speed up at the level of not being understood or slow down to the point they are begging for mercy.
The point is to keep them engaged by just changing the speed of your delivery. No one likes a monotone lecturer like this guy:
The reason webinars work so well is because they can be so interactive. Your attendees get quick wins and are constantly picking up what you’re putting down. 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. If they are getting something out of your webinars, they’ll stick around and they’ll want more.
This makes conversion after your product demo and offer at the end of the webinar, a whole lot easier.
Don’t worry, you don’t need to be teacher of the year to have an engaging webinar. I got you covered. Here are my quick and easy to do engagement strategies you should use on every webinar.
1. Get Personal
I start every webinar quickly sharing with my attendees where I am from and a fun fact about myself. This fun fact can be my favorite breakfast item, or where I would love to go on my next vacation, or even telling them the one song I can never get sick of.
So this sounds like this:
“Hey guys! I’m in sunny San Diego and I would love to go to The Maldives Islands.” I say it on camera and type it into the chat box as well.
I then ask all the attendees to do the same in the chat for the first few minutes of the webinar as attendees start to trickle in. I repeat these instructions a few times and type into the chat as well. In teaching, the first few minutes of any class is called 'fluff time'. How a teacher uses fluff time effectively is a sign of their abilities to make use of every minute of class time.
This allows everyone to get to know one another a bit. It also sets the tone of the webinar, it says to the crowd, “ This webinar is different. In this webinar, you’re not just going to watch me blab on. You're going to get involved.”
2. Questions at The Start
Whatever your webinar is about- whether it’s cat grooming 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 doesn't wear black anymore because their long-haired cat makes them look ridiculous?”
Asking questions and electing answers at the start gets people’s mind engaged from the get go. They start to realize the value of attending the webinar and mentally make the decision, this webinar is worth their time.
3. Get Them Guessing
This technique is especially effective when you are 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 in the chat. Remind them now that there are no wrong answers. Give them 30 seconds or so to enter their answers into the chat.
Continue with your presentation and give them the answer to that question. You can also then 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 don’t 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 the 3 rules of dressing for an interview? Type them in the chat box along with a BOOMSHAKALAKA if you are feeling adventurous.”
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 Webinar Ninja’s Share The Stage feature where they can join the webinar with their camera and mic, and have your attendees ask them questions.
Your star customer can share their experience using your product or service and ask attendees to pop any questions they want to ask them about their experience. It’s funny how much more attendees open up to someone other than the expert in the room.
This also releases any pressure for you to talk up your offer and allows your results to do the talking.
If sales is something you hate doing, and you are running webinar to get more sales, you have a problem.
Indulge me for a moment and consider that you might be afraid of the unknown. You might not know what “sales” really is. There is a good chance you don’t know what an effective sales process looks like and therefore you’re not sure what you need to do sell you product or service.
The good news is, I got your back.
Here is my complete sales process to not only make more sales on your webinars but to do it with confidence and your dignity intact:
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 get go. I mean from the moment you invite your audience to your webinar.
I like to bullet point what I will be covering during the webinar in the webinar invite email or social media post. And you guessed it, one of those bullet points is an offer.
Expectations are key. I want to let them know as soon as possible that during may webinar, I will take a few minutes to give them a special offer.
I also mention they will have the opportunity to buy my product at a deal in my reminder emails.
And again, at the start of the webinar when I am giving them the overview of the webinar workshop.
Everytime I mention the offer, I simply mention that this offer is for those who want to take action 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 Fit
When you are teaching your workshop make sure you show how you can implement your strategies with your product.
If I am selling a photo editing iPhone app, you best be sure I’ll be teaching how to frame an image properly so your editing is faster and 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 them, don’t sell them
When you go shopping for a car, why do you think the salesman always wants you to test drive the car you have your eye on. It’s because the one of the best sales tools is an experience.
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 of it? As you take it for a spin, you can’t help but compare it to your current car.
The moral of the story is, 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.
Show them. Don’t sell them.
Step 4: The Offer
When it’s time to tell your audience what they will get for how much, there’s no better way to do this then to just state it plainly, No need for hype or to be bashful about it.
Just state the offer like you are reading the back of a cereal box.
“When you join my Bengal Cat Breeding Academy today you’ll get:
- 32 detailed video lessons in full HD
- Access to my Private Cat Breading Facebook group
- My Bengal Cat Breading Handbook
- My 4-part Cat Vaccination course
- 12 weeks of direct email access to me
You can get this complete package to start breeding bengal cats for only $495.”
So you can see that this is offer is just straight to the point. And that’s how it should be. You want zero confusion about the offer- what it includes and what it costs.
I also recommend showing them the RIO on the purchase. Using the offer example above a good way to show RIO is to say:
“The average Bengal cat is sold at 12 weeks for $1,500. And each Bengal cat has about 4 kittens in its litter. So you’ll make 12 times the amount you paid for this course on your first Bengal cat litter.”
The audience can easily see that the course for $495 is a no-brainer investment given the reward they will receive by implementing it.
This applies even if your product or service is not an investment per se. I am happy to pay $12.99 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 breed Bengal cats in my free time. But I do have a Bengal cat sitting right next to me. Meet our cat, Bengalina:
Step 5: Risk Removal
Always have a way to reduce or remove risk from the equation when selling.
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 them, they can get a refund, or in the case of a trial, cancel before they are even charged.
This gives them very little reason not buy if they are 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 2-Step Urgency,
I always like to give 2 offers on a webinar.
Offer #1: If you buy today before the end of this webinar, you will receive these 3 great bonuses PLUS this awesome extra one. This offer is only for dead serious action takers.
Offer #2: If you buy in the next 48 hours, you will receive these 3 great bonuses with your purchase.
This give your audience 2 options, buy now or a bit later. Both options are a deal for the customer and are offers I can live with as a business owner.
Step 7: Post Webinar Follow-Up
After your webinar is over, make sure you reiterate your offer to your webinar registrants (those who attended and did not attend) via a follow up email.
We all have busy lives and need reminders. So be a sport and remind people of your offer and the deadline for it.
Follow-up emails are sent automatically with WebinarNinja and can be customized and edited easily.
How To Get Started With Webinars Now: Got Five Minutes?
You’ve made 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.
Your first webinar is so important to get under your belt. Doing one, allows you to see for yourself that webinars are no sweat.
In this chapter I'll show you how to easily get started right now. Let's do it!
Getting Started Today
There is no time like the present. Let's capitalize on everything you just learned.
I often recommend starting with an open Q&A webinar as your first webinar.
This is like a live group coaching session. The attendees can ask you questions in your area of expertise and you can answer them live. This is a dead easy one to run because there is no workshop or slides that need preparing.
Your first webinar doesn’t need to be too long either. It can be 30-40 minutes long.
And with our free 14-day trial at WebinarNinja your first webinar (or few) are on us!
There’s no cost to you whatsoever. If you love us, stick around. If not, you can cancel inside your account in a few clicks anytime before your trial is up. Super simple.
It's Your Turn
Wow! you made it to the end of this epic post! You must be serious about getting started with webinars.
5 years ago, I was in the same exact position as you right now. I knew I needed to do webinars to grow my business, but what put me over the edge was actually doing my first one. I'm so glad I did.
Webinars have not only helped grow my business, they've helped me nurture the customers I have and discovered what new products to create for them. Funny enough, that's how I started WebinarNinja. You can learn more about that story at the bottom of our home page.
It’s now your turn to take action. It literally takes 5 minutes to get started with webinars to grow your business today. And for 14 days, it will cost you nothing.
You got this! To your first webinar and the many to come.
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