At Foundr, we currently run two live, weekly webinars—one on how to gain 500,000 followers on Instagram, and another on how to find a mentor. Between the two, we generate hundreds of thousands in revenue per month, and help thousands of entrepreneurs reach their goals and take their businesses to the next level.
Today, webinar marketing is one of the most powerful tools in any marketer’s arsenal. Webinars are so effective because:
- They’re the closest thing to being in-person.
- You can rapidly develop a high degree of trust and rapport.
- You can cover every single step of the sales process.
- Audiences get fully involved, unlike reading an article or watching a replay.
- It’s affordable and very scalable—you can literally present to thousands of potential customers at any time.
The best thing about webinars is that pretty much anyone can do it. Because they’re so personal and engaging, even the worst salesperson on the worst webinar can make a sale just by following a very simple framework. I am certain of this because the very first webinar I ever did, I didn’t even have a product! All I had was a WP OptinJam 2.0 Review checkout link for $250 and no idea what I was doing. I had 10 people on the call, had spent $0 on marketing and I was panicking and painfully awkward when it came to the actual sell. But I pushed through it, made the offer, and someone gave me $250 on the spot, even without a product.
In that instant I was forever sold on the power of webinars. Not just for info-products and scammy internet marketers, but I would learn to see it as a powerful way to scale any presentation for consultants, service professionals, SAAS companies and more. Even dentists, plastic surgeons and real estate agents have been using the technology to connect with their customers at scale.
In this post, I’m going to fully break down a tried-and-true framework that Foundr uses to generate hundreds of thousands of dollars per month using webinars. Here we go!
Types of webinars that sell
Before you go off and start blasting your emailing list and getting people to register for your webinar, let’s first figure out what type of webinar you want to do. There are three major types of webinars: the Masterclass, the Demo, and the Sketch Pack Mega Bundle Review.
Great content marketing relies on giving value, solving problems and helping your audience in a meaningful way. A webinar is no different, in fact it’s even more powerful than the written word alone.
While our webinar sales framework is applicable to every one of these webinar types and each webinar is equally powerful, each one has it’s own distinct pros and cons. Your job is to figure out which one works best for your product and your audience.
The best way to figure out what type of webinar sales framework works best for you is to look at what your potential customer’s problems, fears, and concerns are. You need to be acutely aware of their pain points and what’s holding them back. Your webinar should be addressing, at the very least, one of these concerns and in great detail.
Here are some of the main options: http://bit.ly/2wAb23I
Masterclass webinars are probably the type you’re most familiar with. These webinars are the most common among online marketers, because of their straightforward nature and flexibility in terms of what you’re able to teach.
If you could run an in-person workshop, or teach people through some common problems, a masterclass format will work for you. A masterclass should be broken down into some major lessons (ideally three to five), based on their current pain points and action steps they can take to achieve their desired outcome. Simply put, it should be able to take them from where they are now (current state) to where they want to be (desired state).
With our Instagram Domination webinar, for example, we know that a major pain point of our audience is that they want to grow their number of followers. That’s why our webinar is centered around five actionable tips that they can immediately apply after the webinar is over.
Here’s a screenshot from one of Mention’s masterclass webinars.
Mention often hosts masterclasses with guest speakers. In their masterclass with Neil Patel, they specifically addressed a concern their audience was having with growing a brand online.
Venngage does excellent tutorials and webinars for potential and new customers.
A demo webinar is essentially a walkthrough or tutorial of your product and its features. The goal of this webinar is to teach your audience how to use your product to its fullest, and showcase how they can use it to achieve their goals. And yes, you need to be constantly educating them about how your product solves their pain points and takes them from their current state, to their desired state.
If your audience’s main pain point is that they’re not sure how to work your product to begin with, you need to host a demo webinar. You’ll find many SaaS companies like Import.io or Venngage will host a demo webinar precisely because their customers usually won’t instinctively understand how to use their services. The best way to host a demo webinar is to address the specific problems and difficulties people are having with your product. This really serves to overcome objections and remove any fear from the customer’s mind, as well as excite them about the potential of the product or how they could best benefit from using it.
It should still take them through a sales process and show them how your product or service can solve their problems, people always need to know “what’s in it for them”, otherwise it’s just another demo. Get specific, show them the kind of results they will get if they use your product.
The main benefit of a demo webinar is that you can guarantee everyone who attends your webinar is a warm lead, because you know they’re interested in learning more about your product. Your main task as the host is to walk them through your product, and overcome any objections that are stopping them from purchasing.
The downside is that, because of the niche nature of the topic, it’s harder to get people to register or attend in the first place. So the effort of hosting a webinar might not be worth the reward if you can’t drum up sufficient interest in your product. Consider this a great way to knock people off the fence as well as understand buyer concerns and objections. Consider segmenting your list to people with a high lead score who still haven’t purchased.
Not sure what kind of webinar to run? Then start with a live Q&A (question and answer) session. And yes, it’s as simple as it sounds. Simply jump online as the expert and be available to answer question about a specific topic. This is highly valuable to attendees because they get direct, unfiltered access to an expert to have their very specific questions answered.
This will allow you to get up and running immediately, interact with your potential customers and gain immediate insight into their core problems and concerns.
In fact, no matter what style of webinar you decide on I would highly recommend this as a fast, scalable way to speak to your audience, learn their pains, frustrations. Every marketer should do this at least once. You will learn more in one hour live with your customers than one month hiding behind your keyboard. Keep a swipe file in Google doc or text file of every single that is asked. Later you can reverse engineer that into your presentation to ensure that you are addressing key concerns and questions your customers have. Pre-empting their objections, queries and concerns will also keep them hooked and ensure they stay on the line.
A Q&A webinar is a fantastic way for you to be more transparent with potential customers and give people a sneak-peek of your product before it’s even launched.
This style of webinar is useful for service professionals. For example, many dentists and plastic surgeons, do well with these kinds of sessions. It allows them to scale and talk to hundreds of potential clients at once, who otherwise may be too embarrassed, shy, or busy to walk into their clinics and ask personal questions about the procedures. Forget the one-on-one “free” consultation, leverage your time with scale and do one-to-many.
As an added benefit, unlike the other types of webinars, you usually don’t have a set of slides or a set script you can fall back on. But if you decide take questions publicly (via the chat box or unmuting your audience), then hosting a Q&A requires extremely careful moderation and attention. Yes, trolls exist and they sometimes like to attend webinars!
They can also be very powerful for anyone looking to generate hype for an upcoming product and build a stronger rapport with their audience through being direct, authentic and available. In the lead up for the launch of his book, The Freedom Journal, John Lee Dumas held a four-hour Q&A session with the public. By doing this he was able to give his viewers insight into what was going on behind-the-scenes.
Breaking Down Webinar Sales
Before we even get into talking about sales and converting your audience into customers, I want to make an extremely important point. Your webinar must have stand-alone value as a presentation or class, it should be something that you could even potentially charge for. It can’t be some half-baked hype or incomplete advice that attendees can’t use unless they buy from you. Your presentation must have stand-alone value, otherwise people will view you as an annoying spammy marketer (which by the way, you will be).
So before you even think about selling, you need to serve first, solve problems, add value as well as demonstrate your expertise and professionalism. If you couldn’t sell your masterclass as a live event or workshop, it probably shouldn’t be a webinar. Don’t be afraid to give away some of your best knowledge.
What I am about to impart is only for you if you want to legitimately add value and serve your customers. Got it? Good! Now let’s get a little bit sexy and talk about how to make some money.
John Janstch of Duct Tape Marketing outlines the seven touchpoints of the customer experience. These touchpoints are: know, like, trust, try, buy, repeat, and refer.
The great thing about making sales over webinars is that you’re able to hit all seven points if you do it right.
The introduction is one of the most crucial parts of a webinar. This is where people are one mouse-click away from Facebook, shutting you down or switching you off. In your webinar’s intro, you’re able to establish the know and like touchpoints by introducing yourself. If you have a webcam, it might be a good idea to use it and show your audience that they’re talking to a real person. Set a strong frame, let people know what to expect. Be confident and ready to have fun. Newsflash: if you’re awkward, it will be awkward. Your audience will respond directly to your energy, attitude, and authority. So be sure to practice a great intro that reels them in.
Next up is the core part of the webinar sales process and where you get your potential customers to trust you. In order to develop trust you must give your customers something valuable. The best way to do this over a webinar is to teachthem something. Empower your audience with education, and actually help them solve a specific problem.
The great thing about webinars is the fact that the try touchpoint already comes built in. By attending your webinar, your audience is already getting a free trial and getting a taste of what you’re selling. A webinar should help your potential customer solve a single problem (serving as the trial), while unpacking a larger one (your offer).
When you get to the end of the webinar and make your offer, you’ve hit the buytouchpoint. How many people end up buying depends entirely on how well you’ve managed to build up know, like, and trust with your audience before you make the offer. And if you’ve chosen the right topic, they will be pre-qualified buyers.
Don’t be fooled, though, just because the webinar has ended doesn’t mean your sales process has. According to Kissmetrics, 71% of customers end their relationships with a company due to poor customer service. If you want to hit the repeat touchpoint you have to make sure your onboarding procedure is airtight.
The last touchpoint is refer, and this can happen anywhere within the webinar itself or in your follow-up sequence. In order to hit the refer touchpoint within the webinar, you can insert a call-to-action where you ask your audience to share on social media that they’ve attended your webinar. But in order for that to work, you must always make sure you’re giving away valuable information, first and foremost.
One of the best things about making sales over webinars is the fact that it’s so simple to do. That being said, you still need to make sure you have these essential tools.
Hardware-wise, you don’t actually need that much to run a successful webinar. All you need is a microphone, a stable internet connection, a slide deck, and maybe a webcam.
You don’t have to go all out when it comes to these tools. While it might help to have a lapel mic or an HD webcam, for the most part the basics are fine. When I’m doing webinars, it’s rare that I’ll use anything other than the standard Apple earbuds.
If you are going to spend any money on something, though, I’d recommend focusing most of your resources on a great-looking slide deck.
While it is entirely possible to do a presentation with something basic you’ve whipped up in Powerpoint or Keynote and get sales, you’ll find that you achieve a much higher conversion rate with a more professional looking slide deck. You want to look more like TEDx and less like a high school project.
I’d recommend checking out a service like ThemeForest and just grabbing a high-quality template off the shelf for as little as $20.
One of the first major stumbling blocks everyone hits once they have decided to run a webinar is choosing which webinar software to use. This is where things can get tricky, since there is a whole range of services and platforms out there that you can use to host your webinar. But don’t sweat the technique, we have been road testing the major options for you, here are the tools that we use at Foundr and that I’ve used myself, along with some bonus tools that you might want to consider incorporating into your webinar marketing:
GoToWebinar is the old guard, by Citrix. It’s rock solid, it works, and everyone knows it. For your bootstrapping entrepreneur, however, it can get very pricey, very quickly. You can always sign up for the one-month free trial and if you are profitable, happy days! Sign up and keep moving. While people have mixed feelings about GoToWebinar, it is the leader because it is fairly simple to operate and works well in terms of delivery. As the market leader, it also has been around for a long time and integrates fairly well with most other programs.
This is probably the simplest of all webinar presentation tools to start with. The cons are that they are not designed for the marketer with sales in mind, the basic plan will cap you at one hundred live attendees and at time of writing an entry level plan will set you back around $80USD per month.
This is bootstrappers’ paradise! Welcome to the world of free. If you know how to embed basic code and have a free G+ account, you are up and running. However, it can be less solid, with weird streaming issues, delays, and you’ll need a plugin for the chat such as Chatango. To improve the experience, Leadpages and Clickfunnels offer pre-built page templates where you can embed your video so that it looks clean and professional.
This option is ideal if you are running lean and know your way around basic code. I don’t recommend this for your first ever webinar though, trust me, you will have enough things to manage live without trying to navigate the tech at the same time.
Zoom is a beautiful and powerful new piece of video conferencing software that’s shaping up to be a GoToWebinar killer. Simple to use, flexible, and fast. Unfortunately, as a newer kid on the block, currently it doesn’t appear to integrate as readily as GoToWebinar. Still, I would be happy to be proven wrong on this or for updates to remedy that. Currently they are about 30% cheaper than GoToWebinar and definitely worth considering for something in the mid-tier price range.
Webinar Jam is perfect for online marketers—it’s the middle ground between GoToWebinar and free Hangouts, it actually hijacks Youtube streaming and adds in cool things like email autoresponders so that you can e-mail reminders and links to the webinar. They have some amazing tech that allows you to provide “buy now” buttons inside the webinar, limit your sales by time or price scarcity and they also offer easy to customise registration pages which means that you don’t have to worry about any additional tech or SAAS products. You can even integrate with SMS reminder services such as Twilio. Better still, it provides valuable statistics and insights such as calculating your value per attendee. This allows you to easily figure out marketing costs and is particularly useful if you are running Facebook ads.
The marketing side of Webinarjam is phenomenal, however, I have struggled with the screen-share functionality and the chat is a bit laggy which has made for some clunky presentations. For example I will ask a question, think that no one is answering and begin to move on, only to be hit by a flood of responses in the chatbox, throwing off the rhythm and interaction. All in all though, a great tool.
While it is entirely possible to do a webinar by yourself, it does make a world of difference to have someone there to provide support. For the Foundr webinars, we’ll always have someone on the webinar with us helping to answer questions and deal with support issues so the presenter can focus on presenting.
oLark is a very easy-to-use customer support plugin that we have running on our sales pages. As soon as we begin the offer, our support member will be there to help smooth over issues anyone might be having. This allows you to help and capture customers information who may have trouble with a payment being processed or another last minute issue that could kill the sale. We are sure to mention that this is done by a team mebber live, otherwise people can think it is an automated pop-up. A human touch for customer service cannot be underestimated.
In order to get more people to register for your webinar, you need to have a professional and great looking registration page. Your landing page has to be clear and be able to effectively explain the who, what, when, where, and why behind your webinar.
We use Clickfunnels to create all our webinar landing pages here at Foundr. Something we like to do with our landing pages is add in a countdown timer. Not only does it give our audience a sense of urgency to register, but it also gives them a better understanding of when the next webinar starts.
Getting people to register
The first phase of generating webinar sales is to get people to register. After all, you can’t make sales if you have no one to sell to.
The most straightforward way to get someone to register for your webinar is to do an email blast. If you have an email list, you already have a crowd of people who you know are interested in who you are and what you’re doing. Turning those warms leads into sales over a webinar shouldn’t be too difficult.
However, unless you’re consistently coming up with a new product every week or month, you can’t be emailing the same people the same thing over and over again. So you need to develop other ways to get people to register for your webinar.
The next best way to get people to register is to promote it through your social media channels. For example, at Foundr we’ll often do posts for our webinars on Instagram. We’ll even change our bio link for a couple of hours in order to make the signup process easier for people.
It’s critical that you choose a great topic for your webinar. Something that is a direct and real pain point for your customers. If it’s not a compelling topic, you can expect low registration. Look for your top performing blog posts or lead magnets and the most common questions you receive from customers to figure out a red-hot topic for your webinar.
Other ways you can make sure you attract the right audience to your webinar is by making sure you place your registration page or link in related pieces of content. This can be done through simple content upgrades, like when we add in links to our Instagram webinar in our articles about Instagram.
Or when we incorporate the registration page with the thank you pages of our other lead magnets. By doing so, you know that you’re promoting your webinar to people who are definitely interested in the topic.
Bonus: Improving attendance
Getting people to register is great and all, but unfortunately, that doesn’t always mean that people will actually attend your webinar. Here’s a few tactics and tips to make sure your registrants actually show up.
The right time and day
Something you have to be conscious of when picking a time and date of your webinar is where your audience is located. Usually the best times to host a webinar are in the early morning, early afternoon, or in the evening. You want to make your webinar as easily accessible as possible, and chances are most people aren’t willing to give up work to attend your masterclass.
While Foundr is a global brand we’re actually headquartered in Melbourne, Australia. That means if we want to host a webinar at a time that’s convenient for the majority of our audience, we have to wake up at 5am to make sure the webinar is ready to run by 7am.
Another tip to keep in mind is that you should always avoid holding a webinar on the weekend. Mondays and Fridays aren’t great either because they’re usually the busiest days of someone’s schedule. Remember, you want to make your webinars as easy to attend as possible.
However, like everything in marketing, you should test, measure and respond. The best time for your webinar and audience may be totally different to ours. Do what makes sense, test a few different times and then go with what works best for you.
As soon as someone signs up to your webinar, you need to be sending them reminders. Most people are inherently quite forgetful and, depending on when they registered for your webinar, might forget completely that it even exists when the time comes.
A very easy way to work around this issue is to make sure that they receive reminders from the moment they register to just before the webinar starts. Sending two last-minute reminder emails, one the day before and another an hour before, does wonders for bumping up your attendance rate.
But make sure you don’t send out too many emails, otherwise you might just end up annoying people. Even better, use these e-mails to deliver more valuable content and effectively resell them on the reasons they should attend your presentation.
Inputting into calendar
In a world of busyness, inbox overwhelm and distraction, one of the single most important pieces of real estate you can own is a block of time in someone else’s calendar. A lot of people live and die by their schedule, so if you can lock in an “appointment” with them, they are far more likely to attend than from sending reminders alone. It even encourages them to plan around it and to treat your webinar like it’s a priority.
A very easy way to make sure people attend your webinar is to send a calendar invite in your confirmation or thank you email. Here’s an example from GoToWebinar’s automated reminders.
Alternatively, AddEvent is a simple tool that allows you to create an ‘add to calendar’ button that you can place on your confirmation or thank you page.
It’s also extremely important to be clear about the time of your event in different time zones. People often get extremely confused and this leads to inaction and missed attendance. Whilst your webinar software should display it in their local time, be sure to list your webinar time in different timezones across the world on your registration page and especially in any of your e-mail reminders.