Webinars in the Information Marketing Mix? 11 Steps to Doing Them RIGHT
If you’re in the business of selling information products, you should PROBABLY be doing webinars. I can think of VERY few instances where anyone in the information marketing field should NOT be.
First, let me tell you what I do. Then I’ll give you some suggestions for how to do your own . . . more effectively.
I’ve been doing webinars for my JV Partners for over a year now. I do them ALMOST every Wednesday from 1-2 PST, 4-5 EST.(To sign up, click HERE). In addition to my JV partners, I invite anyone else who has an interest in selling info products to attend as well. In my case, the webinars are free.
My JV partners are other information marketers with whom I have a vested interest in their success. They are in a number of different and unrelated fields. I work with them to maximize their revenue and success selling various types of information.
Every week I get on the phone and give my Partners and other attendees the latest ideas to help improve their results when selling info products. I use the partner sites as examples and answer questions PRIMARILY from them.
1. Ask Yourself if the Webinar Format Makes Sense?
Although MOST people who are in the info marketing business should be doing webinars, some should NOT be. if there is very little that you do that requires demonstration, then webinars probably aren’t for you. But that would be a VERY small percentage of the market.
If you’re dealing with technophobes you should probably not being doing them. OR, if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t present themselves well, then take a pass on doing webinars.
If you don’t find yourself relating to the two paragraphs above, then webinars are for you.
2. Figure out What Revenue Model You’ll Pursue
This is a CRITICAL element to decide before you start. How is this venture going to make you money? In my case, I offer the webinars for FREE. Since I take a “long view” of my marketing efforts, I see this as having a couple of long term benefits.
First, it gives me more relevant content on my site. Google likes relevant content. And, although they aren’t currently indexing video content, it won’t be long until they are able to take the audio track (from a video) and search for keywords. It doesn’t hurt to title your webinars in a manner that helps your SEO rankings either.
Secondly, these webinars help to further establish my credentials as an expert in the information marketing field. Doing so will make it much more likely that people will buy my products, attend my paid events and get involved in one of my coaching groups (Speaking, Publishing).
3. Decide on a Webinar Provider
There are a number of Webinar service providers. I have a number of different ones that I can use. You can get hooked up with CoolVideoTool.com or CoolWebinarTool.com. Both of them have a webinar component. It’s also a lot cheaper than GoToMeeting.
Although the other options are cheaper, I’m currently using GoToMeeting. I’m waiting for some of the kinks to be worked out with the other two providers. I suggest you check into all of them before making a decision for yourself.
4. Determine Your Frequency
Figure out how often you’re going to do your webinars. The three most common frequencies are weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. This decision should be based on two factors. How much time you have AND how often there are changes and new developments in your field.
If you’re in a field like I am, things change rapidly. It makes sense for me to do my webinars on a weekly basis. Combine this with the fact that I financially benefit from the success of my partners and it’s no-brainer for me to do them weekly.
5. Decide on a Time of Day/Day of the Week
You will NOT be able to make everyone happy. There will always be folks who will tell you that the time and day you picked doesn’t work for them. So be it. That being said, you need to ask yourself some key questions to make the right selection.
Is your target audience self employed or do they work for others? If they are working a traditional 9 to 5 job, you don’t want to do your webinars during those times. You should also consider doing them on weekends if most of your potential attendees work for others.
6. Do Them Regularly
IF you decide to do them, do them on a REGULAR basis. It doesn’t matter what your frequency is, but stick to it. I HATE it when I have to cancel one of my events. It always makes me feel like I’m disappointing someone. In many cases, they have already registered and have PLANNED their schedule around my event. For some of them, it may be their FIRST exposure to me and my expertise. Being a “NO-SHOW” at your own event will make you look bad.
7. Have a Format
Whatever format you decide on using, stick to it. If you get people attending your webinars, they will appreciate consistency in this area. When I do mine, I will ask any of the JV partners in attendance to report on their progress since we last met.
After that I’ll answer any questions that they might have. I also have a segment where I share some of the important concepts I’ve learned over the past week. I end each webinar by asking if there are any questions from the partners or members of the audience.
8. Start and End on Time
If you say you’ll start at 4PM, then START at that time. There may be folks who show up late, but you don’t want to penalize the people who made the effort to get there at the ACTUAL start time. People who show up late will learn that you’re not one of “those” presenters. The next time, they will be there on time knowing that you’ll start when you said you would.
I also end each of my webinars in just under an hour. I think that once or twice I may have gone 2 minutes long. Just as you should start on time, make sure you end on time as well. You are not the only thing on their schedule.
9. NO FLUFF PLEASE
I can’t tell you the number of webinars I’ve attended that are 90% fluff. I’ve found that most fluff comes in two varieties. First, is where it takes 20 minutes for the host to get things started. My time is valuable. So is yours and so is your customers’. Don’t disappoint them with a lot of drivel before you get going. They could care less about various kinds of personal nonsense you feel the need to brag about.
The other form of fluff is even more vile. It’s the sales pitch disguised as a content-packed webinar. You’ve all seen this ACT before. it involves making you think the host and his/her guest is discussing HOW to do something when all they are doing it trying to whet your appetite to later sell you something. An infomercial in disguise.
Do things this way and you’ll find your numbers will go WAY down.
10. Make Replays Available
I record my webinars on my MacBook Pro using Screenflow. When I’m done, I save it as a quicktime file. I used to have my webmaster Stanley upload the file to my Amazon S3 account.
If you don’t know what an Amazon S3 account is, don’t freak out. It’s basically a PAID version of YouTube. People can come watch your videos but you have to pay for the bandwith. Amazon charges a laughable fee for this service. If you end up paying a lot of money it means that a LOT of people are watching. Let this be your biggest problem.
Why not just use YouTube? Good question. For SEO purposes, that’s what I’m doing these days. Now that YouTube has lifted the maximum time requirements, it’s easy to do and makes sense.
11. Promote them in Every Way You Can
Once you decide all the other matters that comes before this point, you’re ready to start promoting your webinars. Turn on every means of marketing and promotion that you can to get people to sign up. That means regular reminders to people in your Twitter and Facebook accounts. It will also mean a “blast” to your email list. I that promoting the event about 24 hours in advance is the way to go.
Should You Interview Outside Experts?
Some people do webinars where they interview experts. Not a bad idea IF you are a skilled interviewer. Be honest. Assess your skills. Ask others for HONEST feedback. If you’re not particularly good as an interviewer, then have someone else do it for you.
Or, take a trip over to ExpertInterviewer.com and LEARN how to do it yourself.
It makes sense for virtually anyone who markets and sells info products to do webinars. They are a great way to teach people just about anything. You can not only TELL, but you can SHOW.