16 Tips to Creating a Webinar that Rocks
By Marya Jan
Are you thinking of creating your first webinar? Or maybe you have presented a few before but they fell short of your expectations? Holding a webinar seems like a daunting job for newbies but they also present challenges for those of us who have delivered a handful.
In today’s blogpost, I’ll be talking about my top 10 tips that I have uncovered after listening to many experts, actually attending webinars and presenting my own. Let’s get started!
#1 Identify your goal
Firstly, I want you to identify the goal for your webinar. Is it to grow your email list? Is it to warm up an existing audience? Or, do you want to sell on the webinar.
For example, if you are hoping to get leads, it doesn’t matter if only a handful of people show up live. The most important metric is how many people signed up. If however, you want to make a pitch on the webinar, you will need to get as many people attending live as possible.
Identifying these objectives early on will ensure a smooth presentation, confidence in yourself and a realistic set of expectations.
#2 Identify your target audience
Like with any other piece of content, the second step would be to clearly articulate who your audience is.
If you cater to a bunch of audiences, then you would want to pick one. You can’t create a webinar and hope that it would appeal to everyone. It needs to be directed at one audience.
If you only have one set of audience then you are good to go. You could still drill down and see whether your webinar might appeal to a subset of your audience but it’s not mandatory.
#3 Create an outline
Before you start worrying about whether you need to run Facebook ads to drive traffic to your webinar, or what kind of software to use, I want you to create a basic outline for your webinar. This will help you accomplish a few things:
- You will get even clearer on your audience. You’ll get a sense of how long your presentation will be. You will be able to create the perfect title for your webinar.
- And, you will be able to write copy for your webinar registration page, any ad that you might be running and also the emails you will be sending out.
#4 Create an irresistible title
In order to promote and get attention on social media, you need to get your post noticed. And for that to happen, you need a killer title for your webinar. Here are a few tips to do just that:
- Be super specific. Generic titles will kill your webinar. Titles like 5-steps to…, 7 mistakes you are making, 9 secrets of … might seem overdone but there is a reason for that. They work.
- You could also use how to titles. As long as you are specific. So no how to be happy, how to have a fulfilling career, how to market your business, etc. These are too broad.
- For your webinar, I recommend using descriptive titles. So say exactly what the webinar will be about. Leave curiosity for the bullets in the copy.
#5 Pay attention to the webinar sign up page
There is absolutely no need to reinvent the wheel here. Nowadays, you get registration page templates with most webinar software, use those.
I personally use Leadpages with WebinarJam and this works well for me. With Leadpages, not only are the pages super easy to set up, you also get to see the pages that perform the best and make an informed choice. Their pages are a tad limited when it comes to major customization but for most people, they are great.
Just like on any sign-up page, you need an eye-catching, compelling headline. You also need to persuade people to join so list all your teaser bullets. Don’t forget to give them a clear call to action.
#6 Do your research before you commit to a platform
These are number of options available on the market. From the most expensive Go To Webinar, to ClickMeeting, to WordPress plugins that have a once-off cost of less than $100. Each software comes with their own list of features and challenges. No platform is perfect.
Do your research first. Ask friends or in the Facebook groups you hang out in. As most companies will offer a free day trial, after you have narrowed down your choices, take them up on their offer.
Another thing to keep in mind is to see whether the software uses Google Hangouts (Webinar Jam, Easy Webinar, Webinar Ignition do) as some people prefer not to use that.
#7 Work out your numbers
After the initial setup have been done, work out how many numbers you need in order to call your webinar a success.
If you are holding your webinar to grow your list, you might be more flexible. Say for instance, you want 100 people to sign up in a week, and you will be promoting mainly on social media. Even if you attract 60 people, you will still feel pretty happy because you have created a piece of content you can repurpose later.
If you are new, you gain confidence and experience every time you present live. If you plan to make an offer, you need to work out how many people you need to register to reach your sales goals. Keep in mind though, around 40% of those people will attend live, out of those people who attend live, 5-10% will buy. However, you will still send out the replay to all your registrants and gain more sales.
#8 Run Facebook ads
You might have heard that Facebook ads are a great way to build your email list and fill up your webinars. That’s true but only when you know what you are doing. I highly recommend that you invest in some sort of Facebook ads training or hire a strategy session with a Facebook expert before you begin.
You will learn targeting, copy and image and how to choose your ad objective. You’ll know how much to expect to pay per conversion (opt-in) and you’ll also learn how to test so you are not wasting money.
Do keep in mind that it is sometimes harder to get a cold audience (people who don’t know you yet), to sign up to a webinar with you. However there are ways to optimize your results using custom or lookalike audiences so make sure you get help.
#9 Write an autoresponder series
It’s super important that you keep in touch with people who signed up to your webinar. Especially if they are new to you.
I suggest you create an autoresponder series using your email provider.
- Welcome them and thank them for signing up.
- Send them relevant content after two days.Send them more useful content after two days.
- Send them webinar reminders 24 hours before, 15 minutes before and when you are live.
- Send them post-webinar emails (see below: follow up).
#10 Prepare your presentation
In order to deliver a stellar presentation, you must create one. And rehearse it. A lot of people just put everything on the slides and read them word to word. If you are not comfortable teaching live, this is certainly one option to consider.
I recommend keeping your slides very simple. Make one point per slide. You can use one sentence or even one per slide. Don’t be afraid to use images, statistics or quotes to support your presentation. If you are selling, use customer testimonials and social proof to make your case stronger.
#11 Get to the meat quickly
Don’t take too long to introduce yourself. For me, anything more than 3-5 minutes is too long. Do spend time telling your core story and building credibility. If you promoted to your list only, you can spend even less time here because these people know you already.
Greet and welcome people. Do the video and sound check. Set some housekeeping rules. Tell people to turn off any distractions and let them know how long the presentation would be. Tell them what’s on the agenda.
If you are planning to send them the copy of the slides, let them know in advance so they can sit back and enjoy the presentation.
#12 Get somebody to troubleshoot
With technology, you should be ready for anything. There can be technical glitches or simply some problems that you are not even aware of.
Hire somebody to sit on the live webinar with you, either for the first 30 minutes or for the whole presentation. Ask them to come online before 10-15 minutes and make sure you two are logged in on Skype to communicate with each other. Their job is to let quickly confirm when you start the broadcast that they can see you or the slides, and hear you.
If they are somebody on your team (like a virtual assistant), they can even answer basic questions on the chat that people might be asking. And send you the most pertinent, relevant questions so you don’t get distracted by chat and concentrate on the presentation.
#13 Deliver on what you promised
Start on time. If you promised a live presentation, do it live.
Don’t be like those slimy marketers who promise a live presentation but all you get is a pre-recorded one. People will feel cheated. If they took the time to show up live, do that too especially if that’s what you promised.
You also have an option to pre-record your presentation, start live, greet people, introduce yourself and then play it. It’s okay to do this when you let people know that you are playing a video but you are still online, paying attention to their questions.
#14 Be yourself
It’s okay to learn from other people and model what they do but the best thing is infuse your personality. Remember, people are showing up to learn from you. They like your style of teaching. They need you to be you.
Be authentic. Don’t be hyper if you are naturally quiet. Don’t force yourself to talk slowly if you are a fast speaker. People need to see that they too can succeed without having to change themselves.
#15 Make a smooth transition into your pitch
Most people are not used to selling on a webinar so if you aren’t feeling totally confident, you are not alone. The only way to overcome your fear is to practise. While it helps to practise (off a script) beforehand, the more you do this on live webinars, the easier it will become.
Try to ease people into your offer by letting them know in the beginning that you will an opportunity for them towards the end so they know it’s coming.
The easiest way to make a smooth transition is to give them top-notch, high quality content. The more impressed they are with your free content, the more likely they are to pay attention when you make your pitch. Good luck!
Don’t forget to offer a webinar-only bonus to incentivize people on the cal.
#16 Follow up
After your webinar is over, you still need to follow up with the people who registered but didn’t show up live.
The first thing to do is to send out a replay. And if you are selling something, you should also start an email series to convert as many people as you can. Send them more information about your product, direct them to the sales page and build confidence by sharing customer testimonials.
Build scarcity and urgency. Let them know when the special discount expires or when the early bird enrolment closes.
So there you have it. My top 16 tips to making sure your webinar is everything you imaged it to be. Let us know how you go and share your thoughts in the comments below!
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