There are too many coaches.
Don’t get me wrong; it’s a good thing. It’s great that coaching is growing — for clients’ sake.
But for coaches, it presents a challenge.
With roughly 16 gazillion coaches competing for attention, a cool Instagram feed won’t cut it. You have to find a marketing channel that cuts the distance between you and your audience, quickly.
You have to get more substantive. More personal. More...proven.
Webinars fit the bill.
I know. This is the part where you say to yourself, “This guy sells webinar software. Bear that in mind.”
Yes, bear it in mind.
But weigh it against the reality of the exploding coaching industry. As I pointed out before, there’s no ceiling in sight for the growth of coaching in the next several years.
So how are you going to differentiate yourself?
The winners will be the coaches who break down the barriers between themselves and their would-be clients.
Like any industry, the coaching game will only reward those who find a way to be heard through all the noise. The ones doing something that not everyone is doing.
And as much as it pains me to say it…not everyone is doing webinars.
Webinar Stats for Businesses
A study by the Content Marketing Institute found that B2B (Business to Business) companies are catching on to webinar marketing.
Companies surveyed listed webinars as the 2nd-best performing content type for generating leads, and 3rd best for conversion.
But for B2C (Business to Consumer) companies, webinars barely crack the top 10 content types used -- despite how proven they are.
I’ve seen the numbers on webinar conversion rates — from our own user data, from competitors, and from companies who aren’t selling webinar software, just marketing consultation or CRM services.
The numbers vary, but not by much. Some stats:
- According to our user data, 35% of visitors to a webinar landing page convert to registrants.
- Between 33% (According to Deck7) and 40% (according to our data) of registrants actually attend the webinar. These numbers can go even higher when different variables are factored in, like the size of the webinar.
- A decent conversion rate on a webinar (to a sale, or trial, etc.) is around 15% — so working at the low end of estimates, 1,000 visits to a webinar landing page gets you 300 registrations, of which 100 attend, of which 15 become...yours.
Now extrapolate those numbers for a monthly, bi-monthly, or weekly webinar.
I could keep Googling my way through studies, but I don’t think I’m gonna find numbers that contradict the truth: Webinars create clients.
Be The Outlier
Do you need to blog? Of course, for brand awareness, for SEO, to articulate your message.
Do you need to have a strong email marketing campaign? Abso-friggin-lutely, if you want to get anywhere.
Should you build a strong social media presence? You’d be crazy not to.
But guess what? Everyone is doing those things.
Every coach with a pulse is Instagramming, SnapChatting, TikTokking, blogging and vlogging their way across the Internet. Making noise. Making it harder for the rest of us to be heard.
As an independent, you’d better find a game-changer.
You have to find something that is so, so rare in marketing; a unicorn, a Holy Grail that only comes along only every so often: a marketing channel that works, but hasn’t become a fad yet.
Listen, I’m all for the day webinars are the new blogs, with hundreds of millions of people scrambling to get into it. Can’t. Wait.
But for now, while it’s still (relatively) original, webinar marketing is your ticket. You can be one of the people connecting with audiences on a level that few others are.
You can be the one showing up in potential client’s living rooms, showing them who you are and earning their trust.
You can be the one people look back on in 20 years and say…"Damn, I should’ve started doing webinars back in the day,” the way we look at those early bloggers and “influencers” that everyone is trying to be now.
So make your move. Do the weird, intimidating, different thing.
If you’re reading this, and you’re an independent coach or trainer or teacher, and you really believe you can help people and that it’s worth their money, prove it.
This is your opening.
Take it before someone else does.
‘Cause if established marketing strategies are any indication, a whole lot of someone elses will, sooner or later.
Webinar Marketing and the Coaching Business Model
I explained in a recent post why webinars work generally. Short version: they build the living heck out of trust.
But for coaches specifically, that factor is worth 10x more than it is for people selling software or kitchen gadgets.
You’re selling solutions to personal problems, perceived inadequacies, flaws. You’re selling hope for positive changes that people keep close to their hearts — things people are desperate for, but often afraid to talk about, let alone place in the hands of a stranger.
You’re selling people their own dreams.
You need trust more than you need likes and shares.
If you’re in the coaching industry, you know that the greatest revenue-to-time ratio comes from the individual private clients.
Yes, courses, team coaching, and group sessions are part of the game, but the ideal scenario is that you build your authority and credibility to the point where you’re serving fewer and fewer clients for higher and higher prices.
That means personal, human-to-human connection is at a premium for you.
If we’re still focusing on the time/results ratio, think about how much personal connection you can build in an hour. Think about what you can accomplish — from a marketing perspective — in a virtual room full of people asking you questions, engaging with your demonstrations, and experiencing...y’know, you, as a person.
After all, in coaching, the person is the product.
The Coach's Webinar Marketing Playbook
It’s not hard to get started. Just do your personal brand awareness building, however you normally do it — but factor webinars in.
- Choose a type of webinar to start generating leads with:
Webinars can be live or automated. For live webinars, an "open Q&A" (what Reddit would call an "AMA/Ask Me Anything" session) is best, and easiest to prepare for. Alternatively, you can create a live webinar "lesson" on overcoming some pain point or another.
That said, if you're going with a lesson, an automated webinar is best for extending your reach and generating more leads, because people can watch them wherever, whenever.
Either way, your lead-generating webinars have to do one thing: give attendees a little “win” related to those pain points.
- Promote your webinars via social media and through registration forms on your other content
Here’s the beauty of this: you’ve already won, before the webinar even starts — because you’re growing your email contact list like crazy.
No one has to give you their email address in order to read your blog or follow you on social media. But to register for a webinar…
- Create sales webinars where you actually promote your services.
These webinars still need to address a pain point, but the “win” you’re offering as a solution is — you guessed it — your course, group coaching, or other offering. Be aware that statistically, live webinars will convert way better than automated.
- Follow up with email campaigns for registrants (who didn’t actually show up to the webinar) and attendees.
For live webinar registrants, offer a replay (a big chunk of sales conversions come from live replays). Offer a replay for all attendees as well, but for attendees who didn’t purchase, reiterate the sales offer. This is where you need your webinar software to do some list segmenting for you.
- Host regular webinars just for your clients where you have an open dialogue (we often do “Open Q&A” members-only webinars).
Use these to deepen your relationships with existing clients.
- Create a sales webinar for your top-tier, one-to-one coaching services.
Invite only established customers who’ve already purchased from you, seen the results, and are ready to take it to the next level — whatever that means for your services specifically.
Sales conversions aside, develop the relationships you form during your webinars. Follow up on how your attendees implement your solutions, and gather testimonials to use in future campaigns.
Remember one thing: sales aren’t the only goal here. You’ll get those, especially from live webinars. But just as important for you as a coach is the credibility you’re building. If you keep giving valuable, effective lessons, it will have a cumulative effect.
You can gain a ton of authority by being more than just a content producer. Become a teacher, and over time, the dozens, hundreds, thousands of people you connect with in this most personal of content formats will spread the word: you are for real.
They will know you’re for real, because they’ll have experienced you beyond the “content.”