What I learned from hosting my first webinar
Thank you for a great training today. I would like to sign up!
Woohoo! New client for Edit Video Calls from my webinar! So cool!
Here’s how I got here and why everyone should host a webinar.
Why I decided I should do a webinar
Kris from WebinarGrow is in my mastermind group so I’ve been hearing a ton about the benefits of a webinar.
I also helped Jacci from PodReacher punch up a recording of a live training she did that she uses as a lead magnet with some animated bumpers and music.
“What a reasonably easy thing to produce that can have tons of replay value,” I thought.
I wanted to move quickly and thought I would host it a week after having the idea, but I ended up doing it 12 days later.
On July 9th when I went live I had 112 newsletter subscribers. Today I have 179!
Just by hosting a webinar I grew my email list 38%!
I did the promotion first
I knew I had great content in my brain, but I didn’t actually put together the slides and write it until AFTER I did a week’s worth of promotion.
Here’s what I did to set it up and promote it:
The first thing I did was set up a landing page on my email service Convertkit (and upgraded to the paid account to use the webinar automation functionality. More about that debacle later…)
I called it a “Live Training” instead of a webinar because I think the word “webinar” has some negative connotations. They can be scammy, they could be presented as “live” but not ACTUALLY live, etc.
By calling it a “Live Training” I’m saying a few things:
- This is ACTUALLY LIVE
- I’m going to TEACH YOU SOMETHING instead of just pitch my thing
- It’s more actionable than a roundtable discussion or something
Kris helped me punch up the copy and make it sexier. This added a lot!
My original title was “How to become a content creation machine” which turned into:
“How coaches & consultants can create two weeks worth of content in ONE DAY.
He really stressed the idea of “make sure you choose an audience” so I settled on my “coaches and consultants” persona that I’ve been working with.
I went into Google Domains where I have all my URLs registered and set up the Custom resource record of “training” to point to my ConvertKit page.
I then shared that page in a few key places.
The most attendees came from 2 listservs I’m on: Progressive Exchange and Progressive Communicators of Washington, DC. These lists are super active and are filled with left leaning nonprofits, consultants, etc, many in my area of DC.
I’ve been reasonably active on these lists over the years and have worked with a few people and organizations on them with my traditional video production company. I see invites for webinars on this list weekly and knew that mine would be well received.
I also dropped it into a few Facebook groups I’m in (also non-profit focused) but that had less success.
And of course I promoted it to the existing 100ish people on my list, on my personal Facebook page, etc. and got a few signups that way.
My goal was 50 signups, 20 attendees, and 2 clients.
How I wrote the presentation
When you sit down and write – like ACTUALLY close your email, put your phone in the other room and write – you come up with great ideas! You get clarity on things that haven’t been super clear.
When I work on client videos one thing I always stress is “at the beginning of the video you have to identify the problem.” In the first 20-30 seconds you need that viewer nodding their head “Yes! Yes! That’s me!” If you just start the video by saying “Acme Inc is a full service blah blah..” the viewer stops watching.
So I knew I had to start the problem that I am solving!
I struggle fundamentally with this question:
“Why is video important and worth investing in?”
I literally ask myself this question everyday and try to picture myself in the shoes of my persona.
“Why would THEY pay me to make videos for them?
“Why SHOULD THEY pay me to make videos for them?
But in working on this talk, I think I figured it out. Here’s one of my opening slides:
I’m targeting coaches and consultants. These guys are professional speakers, business coaches, workshop facilitators, etc.
Their businesses are REKT in Corona-world.
They used to get business by GOING TO CONFERENCES, networking events, in-person workshops. By meeting people. By speaking on stages. By growing their network.
All that is GONE right now…
So how do these guys grow their network and stay top of mind? So when a company says “we need a strategist to fix this thing” they think of THEM?
To me, the answer is putting out MORE content - especially video - on social media, in personal emails, etc.
I’m convinced this is the next best thing to in-person meetings and I’m going hard with this message.
Create more content. Post more videos. Put yourself in a position for people to find you to grow your network.
From there I talked about my star client, Brandi Olson, and showed a video I made for her:
She’s gotten amazing results in just a month of working with me!
Then I talked about myself just a little bit:
Then I got into the meat of my presentation which was how to create authentic, valuable content from Zoom call recordings.
In total it probably took 3-4 hours to write, revise, and practice.
What went well
I thought the talk itself was great! My presentation was about 30 minutes. The 30 attendees were engaged in the chat and asked questions at the end.
I got 70 email addresses and a client out of it!
I smartly thought to record the audio separately with a shotgun mic and my Zoom H6 recorder so I could replace my Zoom-captured audio in post. This means my recording audio sounds awesome.
I got great feedback in the chat as people signed off!
What didn’t go well
I hosted my training on Zoom (of course!) and tested it out with my wife a few days before. I was mainly for the tech stuff: How’s the connection? Can you see the slides? Does the video playback work?
I talked through a few of my slides but really just thought I wrote the slides and know the material, I really don’t NEED to practice.
WRONG. SO WRONG!!
I couldn’t put sentences together while talking with her! This was a huge wakeup call.
“What if I totally suck??”
“What if people don’t hire me BECAUSE I totally suck??”
I’m a pretty confident and extroverted person, and I actually lost sleep over this…
I furiously added speaker notes to my slides up until 15 minutes before showtime.
I also figured out the optimal screen layout using my dual monitor setup.
I put the speaker notes, chat box and participant list (so I can add new attendees from the waiting room) near my webcam on my main screen, and had my slides full screen on the second display. This worked great.
“Did you send a last minute reminder to your email list?” a friend asked.
“Nah I sent that yesterday,” I said.
“You really should try to pick up a few more people on the day of…” she said.
She’s a pro so I thought “why not?”
The problem was I BROKE ALL MY CONVERTKIT AUTOMATIONS!
A week and a half out, it’s easy to set this up:
So everyone who signs up gets a welcome email with the Zoom calendar link. Then the day before I set a “Reminder about tomorrow” email. Then I was planning to send a “Starts now” email.
But what about people who sign up on the DAY OF? All of a sudden, they’re getting an email saying “Reminder about tomorrow” and it’s all messed up.
Then I accidentally triggered the “Starts now” email 3 hours early. Had to send a CORRECTION email.
It was a mess…
So I need to figure out this Convertkit automations stuff more. Will probably bug their support about it.
At the end of the day, I promoted and wrote a webinar in 12 days, beat my signup and attendance goals and got a new client!
Do a webinar!! Tell people you’re doing a webinar. Then when they sign up, you have to deliver, so go write it and make it great. Having people signed up ready to learn from you is the kick in the ass you need!
People are looking for solutions to problems. If you can’t address the problem accurately and convincingly, then you can’t have the solution.
Don’t be too sell-y about yourself or your product. Work that stuff in naturally as one solution to the problem you’ve identified. Talk about how you arrived at that solution.
Share other solutions. Talk about upmarket vs downmarket alternatives to your thing. If you have a great offer for the busy person that doesn’t have time for free SaaS options and doesn’t want to pay for custom options, then you win!
I pushed myself and got out of my comfort zone. This was a super successful exercise and I will definitely be doing more of these in the future!