Hosting webinars is an amazing way to grab your audience’s attention, build your email list, and boost your reputation as an authority. But, it’s important to realize that there is a lot more to a webinar than the tech you run it on. It’s about setting goals and aligning them with your desired outcomes. It’s also about making your audience as excited about your products as you are. And it’s about delivering a memorable presentation that gets results.
Planning Your Webinar
Once you’ve determined that a webinar is right for your needs based on your goals, subject matter, and the time you’ll need to cover the topic, it’s time to start planning the webinar. Keep in mind the audience’s needs as you make your plans because most people aren’t going to sit still for more than 45 minutes to an hour.
You can do a webinar alone, but you don’t have to. You can find a couple of assistants to handle some of the more tedious things that need to be completed or the technical things you don’t know how to do. For example, if you aren’t up on the tech associated with webinars, it might be easier to find someone to help with that. If you’re not a graphic designer, hire one to create your graphics.
Develop a Topic
Whether you plan to have many speakers or just one speaker, it’s imperative that you create a focused topic. Your topic should be niched down to appeal to your audience and solve only one or two problems for them, with your CTA offering more solutions if they buy what you ask them to later.
Once you have the topic settled, it’s time to find speakers. There are virtual assistants who can help you locate them, and you can also run Facebook ads targeting the right audience to get speakers to sign up for your event. Offer them incentives to speak at your event and focus on how speaking at your event will help them.
Set Up Registration
Both speakers and attendees need a way to register for your event. This is probably done through two different systems.
The webinar solution you choose will enable your attendees to register, and you can integrate that with your autoresponder software so that they’ll get email messages from you too. The speakers may need to register a different way such as via a form, and then you can set up a private Facebook group, a Trello account, or another project management system to help keep the speakers organized and communication open.
Create Marketing Materials
Even without a set date yet, you can start working on branding and marketing materials for your event. You can fill in the date later once you finalize that. But, you’re going to need marketing materials for every type of marketing that you want to use, which may include advertising, email marketing, and social media marketing. You’ll need sales pages, landing pages, sign-up forms, and more.
Develop Visuals for Your Webinar
Even if you’re not speaking at your own webinar and instead are acting as the interviewer or emcee of the event, you need to have branding visuals on the webinar between speakers. If you ask them to send you their slide decks in advance, you can even add your branding to these. Or you can send them the graphics to add as a requirement for speaking to keep things cohesive.
Set Up Customer Service
When you host a webinar, you may inevitably have issues with technology, registration issues, and other things. It’s nice to have someone else handling those issues if possible. Either way, set up a way for people to get help before, during, and after the event. Give speakers your cell phone number so they can text you with issues if they’re having trouble getting into the webinar.
It’s very hard to both perform and read questions in the chat during the webinar. Some people are good at it but if you’re not a multitasker, it’s okay. Get someone to help moderate the questions, answer them in the text, and point out the questions to you that they feel should be answered live.
Having a troubleshooter for tech issue is also a great idea. Some software comes with free help from the platform. If that’s the case, ensure all speakers have the information about where they can get the help they need. In addition, your audience may have issues and someone should be helping them with those. This can go to customer service, but have someone who troubleshoots tech too.
Determine the Flow of Your Webinar
Now that you have almost everything set up, you need to determine how the webinar will flow based on how many speakers you have and how long the event is. If it’s just you, that’s simple – especially if it’s only one hour long. If it’s longer, you may want to set up intermission breaks between speakers.
Choose a Webinar Platform
Now that we’ve covered the things you need to set up, it will help inform which webinar platform you will use based on what technology you need. Some choices are Zoom.us, GoToWebinar.com, WebinarJam.com, and AnyMeeting.com. But there are many more to choose from. You can even use Facebook Live if you want to.
Set a Date
You can set the date at any point; in fact, it might be best to set the date as soon as you set the topic – even before you get speakers. You can build excitement as you add more speakers to your line-up and as you add more value to the webinar coming soon.
Planning your webinar should also include a practice session, whether it’s just you or several speakers. It’s important to practice ensuring that you have the timing down. You can even record your practice. It helps you get used to the technology and understand how to pace yourself better, so you don’t forget those all-important calls to action which will make your webinar more profitable.
Best Days and Times for Viewing
When you’re setting the date and time for your event, it’s important to consider your audience more than you consider your speakers or yourself in this equation. One way to do a little tease marketing and date setting is to pick three dates and times and ask your audience via a poll how they feel about the dates. Some other things to consider when it comes to the best days and times for viewing are below:
- Time Zones – You can look at your analytics to determine which time zones might work best for your audience. You can also consider choosing a time that works great in most zones in your audience’s demographics.
- Speakers – While you do want to put your audience first in the time zones, ensure that your choices of times won’t keep speakers away from your event. Most speakers do understand that you work in the time zone most of your audience resides, though.
- Dates – When you pick the date, think of the day of the week and the time of year that you’re doing the event, based on your ideal audience’s information. For example, you don’t want to pick 3 pm in any time zone on a school day if your audience is work-at-home moms.
When you choose the best time and date for your audience, you’re likely to get more live viewers than if you don’t take that into consideration. Your industry, your audience, your speakers, and the time of year are all important factors in determining a great time for your webinar.
Getting Maximum Registrations from Your Landing Page
You have about 8 seconds to interest your audience when they come to your webinar landing page. Let’s look at a few factors you should consider having on this page to grab your visitor’s attention.
- Navigation – Don’t put navigation on your landing page. You want them to be totally focused on filling out the form to sign up for the webinar rather than digging around your website. You can send them back to your blog to read more once you get them on your list.
- The Headline – When you write your headline for your webinar registration landing page, you want to make clear what the benefit is to the visitor. Your audience’s needs matter most and that’s what they want to know.
- The Copy – The writing on the landing page needs to be very clear and to the point. Explain the benefits to your audience about signing up for and attending the webinar so that they know what to expect. Let them know what they’ll learn in the webinar in a very clear way.
- Graphics – Choose graphics that help guide the eye to where you want it to go. For example, choose graphics of people that look as if they’re looking right at the places you want your audience to look.
- Branding – Including your branding on your landing page is an excellent idea. But, don’t link your logos to your website at this point, because you want to keep them from leaving the page to hunt around.
- Video – If you choose to put a video on your sales page, it’s better if you include elements of yourself talking directly to your audience. If they feel as if you’re talking to them and not at them, they’ll be more likely to finish their registration.
- Bullet Points – It’s very important to include bullet points regarding the benefits of the webinar to the audience. They’re much easier to read because they allow white space to show through; plus, people tend to scan for bullet points and bolded words.
- Bolded Text – Headlines and sub-headlines are also important to include because they break up the text and create a visual guide to the eye. In addition, many people only read the headlines and sub-headlines along with the bulleted text, and barely scan the other information.
- Buttons – Make the sign-up button very clear. This is your CTA. The button shape, size, and color are very important. Some people already know they want to sign up before they get to your landing page, so make it simple by putting more than one sign-up button: one before the fold, and one at the end of the information at least.
- The Form – Only include the information you think you must gather to serve your audience. Too much information will turn them off. Once you get them on your list, you can always gather more information later. But if you need more info to weed through people to keep your audience super-targeted, then that’s okay.
- Keep It Clean – You want the copy, images, graphics, and information on the page to be as balanced as possible, including the form. You don’t want the person’s eyes to bounce around too much but to instead focus on filling out the form and signing up for your webinar.
- Make It Responsive – What this means is that your audience may look at and sign up for your webinars and information on any device. Using software like WordPress and Leadpages.net can help you keep everything working on any device.
Your landing page is very important and the only thing stopping people from signing up for your webinar. Let’s look at some good examples of successful landing pages that follow most of these guidelines.
Examples of Successful Landing Pages
If you look at a few examples of successful landing pages, you’ll notice that they all mostly look the same. Being too creative on your landing page can be confusing. Use what is shown to work and do not try to reinvent the wheel. Keep using these types of landing pages until they don’t work.
Kissmetrics.com – This landing page is good and has all the elements mentioned above. The sign-up form is a little long, but it is possible this is their way of weeding through interested parties to ensure only their ideal audience attends the webinar or gets on the associated list.
WordStream – This is a decent landing page. The only critique is that when you land on the page, you only see the information at the top of the fold and you must scroll down to see the rest of it and sign up. Other than that, they use bullet points, branding, images, and a balanced appearance of the page to help visitors sign up.
Unbounce.com Template – This is a template but it should be shown so you can understand that you can create amazing webinar sign-up forms easily with templates. Other companies have templates that work for webinars too, like Leadpages.net, Converzly.com, ClickFunnels.com, and Instapage.com. All you do is fill in the blanks to make it your own.
Creating an amazing landing page for your webinar doesn’t have to take a long time. Use templates that have worked for others in the past and follow the guidelines, and it’ll work great for your webinar too.
How to Scale Your Attendees
As a proven marketing tactic, getting more targeted attendees for your webinar will ensure that your webinar is a success and provides not just more list members, but also more revenue. Hosting webinars will humanize your company and the more people in your audience who attend one, the better. Here are some ways that you can scale up your attendees.
- Set Attendance Goals – Know how many people that you want to attend your webinar in advance. That way you will know if the marketing you’re doing is on target during the time leading up to the webinar. If it’s not going as planned, you can tweak some of the information and start marketing more.
- Know Your Audience – It’s very important to know your audience so that you can create the right content with the right words on all your sales pages, blog posts, and all your communications with your audience.
- Choose the Right Topic – When you know your audience very well, it’s not hard to pick the right topic. The right topic is one that your audience is very interested in, that affects their lives, that will help them learn something important, and will solve the problems that keep them up at night.
- Give Them an Incentive to Attend – Talk about all the things that they’ll learn, what they’ll take away with them, and the prizes you’ll give out live (and only live). Let them know the reasons right up front why attending live is something that is good for them.
- Market Your Experts – If you have speakers attending who are experts, take the time to highlight them in blog posts, Facebook Live events, and even on your sales page under the first sign-up button. When you market your experts, people want to come. Have your experts also market the event and the sneak peeks.
- Host It at the Right Time and Day – When you know your audience, you will be able to choose the right time and date to host your webinar to ensure maximum attendance. For example, if your audience is other businesses and you’re offering business training, you’ll want to do it during business hours on a normally slow day in your industry.
- Promote, Promote, Promote – If you don’t actively work to promote your webinar, then no one will show up. Leave no stone unturned. Test Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, Google Ads, affiliate marketing, content marketing, email marketing and everything to ensure that you get a great turnout for your webinar.
- Send Reminders – When someone does sign up, their chance of attending has gone up but is still quite low. Some numbers show that less than half of registrants will ever bother showing up. You can improve this number exponentially by using your autoresponder to remind the attendees of the upcoming webinar. Don’t just say “don’t forget” – instead tell them little bits and pieces about the excitement of creating the event for them.
- Host Pre-Events – An effective way of getting your audience excited is to get them to follow you on Facebook or join your Facebook group. Then, host mini-webinars leading up to the event. If you have several speakers, you can do short 15- or 20-minute live events letting your audience get to know the speaker better.
- Don’t Advertise the Recording – If you really want people to show up for your live events, don’t tell them they’ll get access to the recording later. Giving access to the recording should be a little secret that you use later. If people ask, say something like, “We will be recording, but we don’t know if we’re going to offer it yet because you don’t know what will happen with technology, plus people watching the recording won’t feel included since only live attendees will get prizes or special offers.”
- Follow-Up – After the event, if you want people to attend future webinars that you host, send surveys, ask them what they think, and ask them about future topics. They probably will offer a lot of good insight; plus it’s a good way to keep in touch with them.
Getting more people to attend is important, but always keep in mind that you don’t want to cast your net too broadly. You still want targeted audience members to attend, so while you do want to ramp up your marketing, don’t forget who your targeted audience is.
Delivering a Memorable Presentation
Everyone is nervous before a presentation. But, some people interpret the nerves differently than others. Some like the feeling as it gives them energy in their presentation, while some feel a little panicky with all the adrenaline passing through their body. But one thing is for sure – preparation is a sure way to help the nerves and deliver a memorable presentation.
- Research Your Topic – When you know the topic, take time to conduct some new research. Even though it’s your niche, things do change sometimes and it’s important to be aware of this before any presentation about a solution you want to provide to your audience.
- Understand the Audience – Each presentation, even if it’s on the same topic as a previous one, should be adjusted according to the audience. That’s why it’s great that you can be interactive with webinar participants because you can check their mood right from the start. When you know your topic, you can adjust on the fly.
- Know Your Goals – As you prepare your talk, knowing the goal of your talk is as important as knowing the information about the topic. That way you can weave your story to support your goal while sticking to the niche.
- Know Your Time Limit – As you’re preparing the presentation, knowing the time limit will help. About 7500 words will take up an hour depending on how fast you talk. You can use this com calculator after timing how fast you talk, to see how many words you need to fill up your time and not go over.
- Write It Down – Even though you don’t want to read your speech, go ahead and write it out. Writing it out will help you research it and keep it to the right number of words for your time limit. Plus, it will keep you on track to stay on your topic.
- Create Visual Aids – Once you have created the talk, go in and figure out where you can add visual aids. This will not only help the audience remember more but will also help you remember. After all, you don’t want to read the text verbatim; instead, you want to tell the information that you know.
- Memorize It – Once you’ve written the talk, do try to memorize it. Again, you don’t have to speak it back verbatim. But if you memorize the words that you wrote, you’ll feel more confident when you get on the webinar even though you do have your notes at the ready.
- Practice – Practicing will help a lot because you need to practice the technology, the timing, and even interacting with the audience using the tech. Getting your team, and maybe a few beta testers to help you with practice will make your presentation even more wow-worthy.
- Arrive Early – On the day of the webinar, get on the technology a little early to ensure that everything is working. Test your mic, test your sound, and test your lighting. Ensure that the place you’re going to deliver your webinar is quiet without interruptions. Hint: connect directly to your internet instead of using wireless.
- Be Authentic, Passionate and Humorous – Some of the biggest things that will impress your audience are your authenticity, passion, and humor. Not your perfect delivery. It’s not a big deal if you make mistakes and aren’t perfect; if you’re excited about the information you’re presenting, it will show through.
- Engage the Audience – One way to kill your own nerves and to get the viewers more interested, is to engage them. Ask them questions. Something like, “If anyone has experienced this, please let me know by putting a 1 into the comment box”, will go a long way to helping engage the audience.
- Provide Handouts – Even though you are conducting an online presentation with visuals, another way to get them to interact with you and to move them to specific tagged email lists is to give them a link during the start of the presentation to download your slide deck, a copy of your written talk in PDF form with spaces to take notes.
When you focus on being prepared, know who you’re talking to and what you’re talking about, and you’ve practiced, you’re going to do great. The thing is, when you focus on being who you are and not someone else, you’ll be able to wow any audience with your understanding of the topic and your knowledge of the industry.
Publicizing Your Webinar
Finally, let’s talk a little bit more about publicizing your webinar to your audience. After all, the only way you’ll get a lot of attendees is if you publicize it enough and the right way. The following is a list of tips on how to promote your webinar.
- Start Early – About six weeks in advance you’ll want to have at least a sales page, landing page, thank you page, and registration information created, so that you can start getting people to sign up as both attendees and speakers.
- Create an Amazing Landing Page – Look at successful landing pages to get good ideas for how to create yours. One way to find them is to look at the landing pages that you know your audience has used due to the fact they’ve attended or said they attended an event.
- Blog about the Webinar – Start blogging about the webinar the moment you pick the date and the topic. There are many angles you can take with the blog. You can write about your speakers, you can educate about the problem, and you can give tidbits of the information that you’ll be giving in the webinar.
- Talk about It on Social Media – Every blog should be shared on social media multiple times with a new blurb. For example, if you have written a blog post about the problem, there are likely quotes you can take out of the blog that can be used to share on social media. Instead of, “this is my new blog post” you’ll say something like, “50 % of readers suffer from depression” (assuming that is a quote from your blog post), which will get their attention.
- Send Information to Your Email List – Starting from day one, create a progressive email autoresponder series about the coming webinar. You can create a basic template and go ahead and schedule them, then go in and just edit the information to include whatever new speakers and other information you’ve added as you go through your planning steps.
- Get Your Affiliates Involved – Even though you’re having a free webinar, this is a great funnel starter for your affiliates. Give them lifetime or long-term cookies so that commissions go to them for anything purchased by the people they send to the webinar.
- Give Away Something – A freebie or lead magnet is often a great way to get people on your list so you can talk to them further about the webinar. Keep doing that as you market your webinar, even though webinars are also great lead magnet builders.
- List Your Webinar – There are listing sites like Webinar Base that allow you to list your webinar, both free and paid. Check out the service to ensure that it’s right for your audience. Not all audiences look up webinars in this way.
- Get Your Speakers Involved – If you have speakers, a great way to publicize your webinar is to start publicizing the speakers. You can do this via blog posts, Facebook Live, YouTube, and other platforms. Not only that, ask your speakers to promote the event for you too. In fact, create marketing materials for them so that all they have to do is cut and paste or let their VA do it.
- Repeat – Keep promoting. Don’t let a day pass you by without promoting your upcoming webinar. Having plenty of attendees will help make the webinar more worth it, because the more that attend, the more buzz will be created around the event.
Publicizing your webinar should start about six weeks before your webinar date and even before you’ve finished creating the materials for the webinar. As soon as you know the date of the webinar, you can start marketing it to your audience and pumping up your affiliates about it.
In this report, we’ve shown how to make your webinar wow-worthy. We’ve covered the importance of planning, learning about your audience, and how to figure out the best times and dates to perform your webinar. In addition, we’ve discussed how to make great landing pages, with examples of effective landing pages, and even how to scale your attendees.
But remember, the most important factors in hosting a wow-worthy webinar is to be yourself, to deliver a memorable presentation, and to promote your webinar like it’s your most important product or service you’ll ever offer.