Working remotely was always the future. All of a sudden, it’s the present.
There’s an opportunity in every crisis — not to take advantage of anyone, but to finally try new ways of doing things as the old ways cease to be viable.
‘Who adapts quickest?’ is now the most important question for entrepreneurs.
Digital marketing is no longer enough. Now, it’s digital marketing, sales, everything. That’s where webinars come in.
This is a guide to doing business from home as an entrepreneur, through all stages of the Buyer’s Journey, with webinars. At each phase of the sales and marketing funnel, you can use webinars to keep your small business going growing.
Remotely Building Awareness With Webinars
Conferences aren’t an option. And the usual digital awareness campaigns aren’t enough to stand out.
If you’re trying to get the word out on your product or service, you have to give. For most people, that means content marketing: blogs, social media posts, YouTube videos, all the ways we share our expertise and passion without charging for it.
But you can stand out by offering more than just ‘content.’
Webinars — especially the live kind — are more than a resource. They offer a personal, directly valuable experience. It’s the heart of our ‘Teach, Don’t Sell' philosophy: show up, teach people how to do something, and you’ll earn their trust.
That's what makes webinars such a valuable lead magnet.
As we explained in a recent post, you can offer free webinars simply as a way to grow your email list and spread awareness. These workshops can include a sales offer, but it’s not about that. It’s about establishing yourself as a credible authority on…whatever.
This is also a smarter way to spend your advertising budget; don’t pay for ads that go right to your sales page. Pay for ads that promote a valuable workshop you’re giving away. The contacts you get by doing that are warmer, more interested, and more nurturable than casual site visitors.
Put the word out about what you’re giving away, before you start talking about what you’re selling. That will engage people. Then, give them a win with an effective — and totally remote — lesson.
You’ll make a name for yourself.
Consideration Stage Webinars
You’ve built an audience, by giving them value whether they buy anything or not. You’ve earned their trust and earned credibility in their eyes. They’re starting to think your product/service is the best solution for their pleasure and pain points.
Go deeper. Keep running helpful educational webinars with sales offers, but build on the trust you created with previous attendees. Email segmenting is handy here (our platform automatically segments all registrant contact info for this reason).
Create a targeted campaign just for previous attendees, perhaps even limited to people who’ve attended multiple webinars of yours, if applicable. This is the group of people to whom you can offer free trials, or ‘starter’ versions of your product.
They’ve taken your free advice, now ask them to invest a little something into a more complete solution. Maybe it’s a single coaching or training session. Maybe it’s a paid course.
Whatever it is, it’s proof of concept — the concept being that you’re a good investment.
Selling From Wherever With Webinars
Webinars can have incredible sales conversion rates, especially if both the platform and the presentation are conversion optimized.
We explain how to do that in depth with this post, but here are the basic rules:
- Host a live sales webinar. Live consistently nets more sales than automated or “evergreen” webinars, which are better for the awareness and consideration stages.
- Your ‘sales’ webinar is still a lesson. No one wants to sign up for a pitch, so it’s crucial to include that educational ‘how to’ element, even if it’s “How To Use [Your product].”
For example, we host regular walk-through workshops just to show people exactly how WebinarNinja works – but only because we know they’re interested in learning that.
Never, ever ambush people with a sales offer or bait them into a webinar with a false premise. If your webinar is called “How to Catch More Fish,” you better give actual instruction on how to catch more fish – even if it’s with your company’s patented super-lures.
- Engage. Don't simply lecture and present. An optimized webinar platform has smooth chat, question, polling, and other functions designed to make the webinar a multi-way conversation.
Bored people don’t learn – and they don’t buy.
- Have an exclusive offer, a special price or bonus package that isn’t available for non-registrants. This creates a little extra incentive so attendees pull the trigger then and there.
Onboard Remotely With Webinars
You didn't think sales was the final phase, right? Churn kills!
Think of the time, money, and resources you poured into acquiring your customers. If your business is losing customers at or above the rate it’s gaining them, you’re not surviving. So many entrepreneurs forget this, because our focus tends to be on getting, not keeping customers.
Webinars are your follow-through.
Regular customer-only webinars that show people how to get the most out of your product or service are essential. Depending on your product, you may have to hold people’s hands as they become proficient in using it.
Nothing breaks trust like forgetting about a contact after the sale. And nothing builds great word-of-mouth like being there for people after you already have their money.
Check out this episode of our podcast, “How to Turn Your Clients Into Your Greatest Sales Team," to see more about the growth potential of happy existing customers.
But above all, don’t lose existing customers just because they needed a little more support than you were offering.
We host regular “Ninjas Only” webinars where we invite all our users to discuss updates to the software, learn how best to use it, and just field questions from our customers.
They use our product more because we show them how, and they stick with us longer because we...y'know, give a shit about them.
Remote Work Strategies for Your Business Type
The cold reality is that some businesses are more remote-friendly than others. But all businesses have to function remotely now, on whatever level they can.
Try the webinar-based strategy that fits your business type:
This is your moment.
Millions of people are stuck at home looking for ways to take advantage of the extra time and space to learn, grow, and develop professionally and personally. This is an absolute no-brainer for coaches, trainers, and consultants of every stripe to start helping people wherever they are.
This is especially true for business coaches and consultants: entire teams are looking for ways to effectively work from home.
Best move: Contact relevant businesses in your space and offer webinar-based workshops for their employees.
SaaS (Software as a Service)
This is also your (our) moment. Use the webinar-based funneling strategy outlined in this post, and pay special attention to the “Onboard Remotely” part.
Whatever your software makes easier, there’s probably a ton of people who could use it right now. And they’ve got the time to try, learn, and apply it with your help.
Best move: Host free live demonstrations/walkthroughs of your software, targeted at the newly self- quarantined.
Just because the product is physical doesn’t mean you can’t engage your passion and expertise to gin up business by showing people how to use it.
Sell sporting goods? Host a little online clinic. Sell workout gear? Time for a webinar workout. Sell haute couture? You’re their next style coach.
Whatever you sell, there’s a right way to use it, and you can show people.
Best move: See above. Teach people how to use what you sell in a results-based lesson.
Brick & Mortars
You have it worst during this crisis, and we get that.
But all is not lost.
To make some lemonade out of this one, you have to get way more creative. In fact, you might have to literally make lemonade; restaurants and bars can host cooking and cocktail lessons. Gyms are already using social media to run workouts; why not use webinars with built-in lead nurturing and sales offer tools to leverage those workouts into ecommerce sales and membership upsells?
Dance studios, yoga studios, boxing gyms…anything you can teach IRL you can teach online, even if it’s not as effective as in-person training.
Remember, whatever you sell, your knowledge is always the heart of the product.
Best move: Host a fun workshop that shows people how to do some version of whatever they normally do at your location -- in the comfort of their own homes. Include a sales offer featuring online gift certificates people can redeem after life returns to normal.
No matter what kind of business you run, the best hope for everyone to keep moving forward is in the technology that connects us personally while separating us physically.
It’s time to get on this webinar thing, people.
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