What is the single greatest dollar-per-hour task you can do in your business? For me, it's webinars.
Each week for the past year I’ve been hosting free real-estate-investing webinars on BiggerPockets. As with most anything, I was terrible at the start and feel sorry for the poor saps who had to sit through my train wrecks. However, after more than 50 webinars on dozens of topics with more than 70,000 attendees, I finally feel confident in both my ability to host and deliver an incredible and profitable webinar -- and you can do the same!
The following are seven tips that you can follow to improve your webinar game and, hopefully, your bottom line.
1. Use great webinar software and equipment.
Webinars have come a long way in the past decade, and webinar software has continually improved to meet the growing demand. Great webinar software can handle the registration, reminder emails and follow-up emails and help you put on a smooth presentation.
I’ve used both GoToWebinar and WebinarJam to run my sessions, and both have everything you’d need to run a successful webinar. Additionally, invest in a decent microphone and get yourself some blazing fast Internet so the quality is superb.
2. Deliver incredible content.
I spend a lot of time crafting a quality presentation because I want people to come back time and time again. Your webinar should be geared toward solving your customer’s problems and actually deliver on that goal.
I like to write out my outline in Evernote before I make my slides. When I’m happy with the outline, I’ll put together the slides in Keynote using one of the predefined templates offered with the software. Be sure to keep your slides simple: no more than 10 words on a slide.
Not having a script may seem daunting, but it will allow you the freedom to have a real conversation (albeit, a one-sided one) with your audience. Trust me: they’ll appreciate it.
3. Be energetic and likable.
Have you ever been to a webinar with a boring host? I have -- and I seldom stay longer than five minutes.
When putting on a webinar, get yourself energized before it begins. Go run around the block or blast some "Eye Of The Tiger" if you need to, but pump yourself up and let your personality shine through.
I like to log into my webinars a few minutes early to chat with the audience and get to know them. Some of the things I want to know are:
- Where do they live?
- What do they do?
- How experienced are they?
- Why do they want to invest in real estate?
- What are they hoping to learn in this webinar?
The more I can get to know my audience, the more comfortable I feel giving them all of my energy and enthusiasm. After all, why should I expect them to get excited about what I’m talking about if I’m not excited?
One tip that helps a lot with energy: stand up for your entire webinar. Place your laptop on a chair on your desk if you need to, but get the camera eye level with you standing up. Trust me: your audience will feel your energy and respond accordingly.
4. Send out several reminders.
People are busy, and although they may have been excited to sign up, your webinar will likely be forgotten if you don’t send out reminders. I use the following four reminders for those who subscribe to the webinar:
- When they first register, they are taken to a thank-you page where they can download a calendar invite for the webinar. I also encourage them, on this page, to put a reminder on their phones.
- Immediately after they register, I send an automated email that thanks them for signing up and reminds them to put the date in their calendars.
- Twenty-four hours before the webinar begins they get an automated email reminding them about the webinar.
- One hour before the webinar begins they get a final reminder about the webinar with a link to join.
5. Don’t be afraid to sell.
If you’ve delivered incredible content to the webinar attendees, you should not be afraid to ask for something in return. Most likely you are not doing a webinar just for good will -- you are hoping that a percentage of those attending will give you money for something you are offering. So ask them! Remember, if what you are selling will honestly help them, it would be a disservice not to encourage them to buy your product.
On the webinars I host weekly, I encourage our users to sign up for a pro membership to BiggerPockets.
6. Use deadlines.
People are funny. We fret over every little purchase and seldom make a decision until the last minute. The same is true for the people on your webinars -- they will wait until the last minute. If you don’t have a last minute, you won’t sell nearly as well, so create some urgency.
For me, I typically run the webinars on Wednesdays and offer a large discount, plus some bonuses, for anyone who signs up before Friday at midnight. I then send out several email reminders after the webinar letting them know about the pending deadline. As you would expect, a large number of the conversions happen in the final few hours of the sale.
7. Focus on your funnel.
Finally, remember that the webinar is just part of the funnel. As I talked about recently in my post here on Entrepreneur, "Double Your Revenue Using This Simple, Time-Tested Technique," optimizing every part of the funnel can create a drastic difference in your bottom line. My basic webinar funnel currently looks like this:
Visitors to website
Join my mailing list
Subscribe to my webinar
Show up to my webinar
Convert and buy our pro membership
Average lifetime value of a customer
When I want to improve my bottom line, I can increase conversions on my actual webinar performance, I can simply get more people to the sign-up page, I can get a higher percentage of those visitors to actually sign up, I can get more of those registrants to actually show up, or, best case, I can improve all parts of the funnel and enjoy the benefits of exponential growth.
Webinars can be one of the best boosts to your bottom line. As my friend Chris Guthrie from UpFuel.com often tells me, “webinars are the single greatest dollar-per-hour task I can do in my business.” I couldn’t agree more!
In addition, they are one of the greatest ways to scale your ability to help your customer learn and grow in their own lives. That’s a win-win I’ll take any day.