James Carbary

Founder at Sweet Fish Media

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Webinar Advice From One of the Best in the Business

James Carbary

Founder at Sweet Fish Media

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This article is all about webinars, but if you only take one thing away, let it be this: Webinars have a clear benefit to both you, as the host, and your audience. CLICK TO TWEET Your audience gets a ton of clear information and value from your presence and guidance. At the same time, you’re giving them the chance to find out what you offer and jump on it. As long as you clearly define what that offer is, the rest falls into place. We’re going to march through a few aspects of webinars in this post. We can write with some authority because we spoke with an expert on webinars: Tim Paige, Conversion Educator at LeadPages.

He’s done over 400 webinars in the last two years. They are LeadPages’ #1 source of new customers proportionally, and their #2 source of leads proportionally out of all their tactics.

Based on Tim’s advice, let’s find out how to make a killer webinar.

Content

Maybe the most important issue as you think about running a webinar is what to talk about in the first place.

Repurposing blog content is a good way to go, but for LeadPages, with such a big, vocal customer base, they can datamine what their customers want to know pretty easily.

The interesting thing, though, is that what people are asking for the most won’t always convert the most customers. You have to strike the right balance between what your customers want to know and content that provides a clear path to them buying your stuff.

It takes a long time to figure it out. The LeadPages team has had a lot of duds. You might get good feedback vocally but see that sales numbers are low for a particular webinar. It’s still valuable content: you can categorize that webinar as good training, but not a good one for leads and sales.

Promotion

LeadPages had two big promotional goals in the beginning. One was to grow a list. The other was to get people on the webinars, knowing webinars were their primary sales tactic. They put every ounce of energy into taking someone from visitor, to on a list, to involved in a webinar.

Here are a few clear tactics they used. Adapt them to fit your own situation:

  1. When somebody opted in for anything on the LeadPages website, they were taken immediately to a thank-you page inviting them to join a webinar.
  2. The welcome email they got had two steps, and step number one was to register for this week’s webinar.
  3. LeadPages had a banner on their blog linking to the webinar.
  4. They also ran a lot of Facebook ads.

The rest of their success came organically. Tim went on a lot of podcasts and wrote a lot of guest posts to drive potential customers to his webinars.

But it all came from having a singular focus around the webinar strategy, and adapting all efforts to work within that.

Attendance Goals

For first-time webinars, attendance numbers are hard to gauge. It all has to do with the energy you put in.

If you’re spending a bunch of money on Facebook ads, just compare numbers to your expected ROI.

In terms of a percentage, you have a lot more control over the number of registrants as opposed to the number of those attending. It’s a good idea to set your numbers goal for registrants.

If you’re doing a decent job, you can expect around 20% of the people who register to show up. That’s OK. It’s nothing to get excited about, but it’s an acceptable percentage in the beginning. You can have really big success with 20%.

Scripting

If you’re not used to any kind of public speaking, it may be beneficial to script it out.

A warning, though: If you’ve ever heard somebody reading off a script who isn’t used to it, you know it sounds horrible. Script it out if you need to, but practice it a lot and memorize it. I know that’s a big time commitment, but it’s worth it.

If you do have experience, come up with a general layout. Key points you want to hit. That way you’ll know what’s coming up in the presentation.

Start out in your introduction, then lay things out in steps or sections. It’s really hard to follow 45 minutes of meandering topics. On the other hand, if your webinar is easy to follow and valuable, it’s much easier for them to buy into your offer.

Prep Time

The majority of Tim’s 400 webinars have been the same webinar repeated. We encourage you to do the same. If you find one that works and gets a good response, keep doing it.

It’s the same as when you come up with a good sales pitch: you’re going to pitch that way to as many customers as you can because you know it works.

For someone putting on a new one, it might take you a while. Tim’s advice is to watch someone who you think does great webinars, maybe one you’ve bought something from before. It’ll be like any pitch: you should be able to pick out an interior structure. Mark it down. Make it your own, but start with that same structure yourself.

Be a human, too. Make a few jokes. Show pictures that reveal you as more than a buttoned-down business person.

Is it OK to Do Automated Webinars?

Everything is OK, but at the end of the day, a live webinar will out-convert an automated one every time—usually ten or twenty to one.

The question is, do you have systems in place in an automated webinar to turn people into customers? If you do, it’s fine. But if you can find the time to do live webinars, do it.

A Few Last Pieces of Advice

  • A lot of you folks in B2B are probably objecting: you think that since you have an expensive, high-end offer, selling it on webinars doesn’t make sense. What you want the webinar to do then is to drive qualified prospects to a one-on-one call with a sales rep. That’s the goal of the webinar in your case.

Whatever your sales tactic is, sell that on your webinar.

CLICK TO TWEET

  • Try your best to interact as you go through the webinar. People are going to be asking questions: try to answer them. It shows that you’re live, it shows that you care about them, and it makes them feel like their issues are being addressed.

If LeadPages is any indication, webinars can cause your sales to blow up. Follow Tim’s advice here, and you’ll be on your way to crafting unique, valuable content that’s good for you and your customers.

Honestly, can you think of a better scenario?

This post is based on an interview with Tim Paige from LeadPages.

You can find this interview, and many more, by subscribing to the B2B Growth Show on iTunes. If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode by clicking here.

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