You may have noticed a huge growth trend happening in our online and tech-savvy society.
Actually it’s been going on for years, but only in the last few has it really matured and proven to be an incredibly powerful business tool.
In fact, I used it way back in late 2010 to sell my first ever product.
You can use it to build your list, educate your customers, leverage and grow your credibility and convert more leads into sales instantly.
And it’s become so popular because we’re hungry for new ways to learn, connect and interact with each other.
Curious as to what it is I’m talking about? Or did the title to this month’s megapost give it away …just a little right?
Web-conferencing – more popularly referred to as ‘webinars’ – are all the rage these days and it’s not difficult to see why.
One of the greatest aspects of webinars is that they offer a great platform for you to share free information with your audience and connect with them on a more intimate level.
There are several ways to harness the power of webinars. They are a great medium for sales promotion and make instructional training simple and easy to follow.
With the ability to reach out in real time, your audience can ask any questions they may have and this helps to establish trust and loyalty; the fundamentals in any successful venture.
In this mega post you will learn:
Regardless of your budget or level of tech-savvy, there is a tool for you. Below are four of the most recommended webinar platforms thoroughly researched by me!. There’s one for every budget too!
Considered to be the gold standard for webinar hosting, GoToWebinar was created by Citrix and it’s my webinar platform of choice because it’s the most robust and reliable.
You simply create a new GoToWebinar account and then you get started scheduling a new webinar, including title, details and time and date and you’ll be given a registration link to share with your attendees.
GoToWebinar has the capability to customize your email templates based off your unique webinar description. From here, they will design all of your email invitations, confirmations and reminders. Want to personalize them some more? You can do that too!
You can upload your business logo and a custom image to inject some personality into your branding. This will be displayed on all webinar material
Not only do they host your registration page, but they will also send you weekly registration reports to keep you up to speed
From VoIP to toll-based phones, there are unlimited audio options available
Setting up a webinar on this platform is quite simple.. With an easy to use interface and helpful tutorials, this application is very user-friendly.
Once you’ve created your webinar, GoToWebinar gives you the ability to schedule it and create a personalized invitation and waiting room for your attendees. Since you are only able to host up to 1000 attendees, people tend to login early. The personalized waiting room is a great way to make a good impression before the webinar even begins.
- GoToWebinar has a Practice Mode so you can double check that everything looks as it should beforehand. Here you can test out the toolbar, chat box, and even set up personal webcam sharing so your attendees can see you during the presentation (this is optional).
- With functions such as real-time screen sharing and participant screen-controlling, your audience can ask participate as if they were in the same room as you.
- Functional on laptop or desktop, you can also download apps for your iPhone or android to participate in webinars. Even better, if you host a GoToMeeting, it can be run straight from your iPhone!
- It is currently only offered by a monthly or annual plan Priced at $99.00/month or $948.00/year can be a bit pricey if you don’t run webinars regularly, but you can try out the 30 day free trial and max it out!
- When you start your webinar you have to download the GoToMeeting software – which starts happening automatically, but can take some time. Plus it requires Java to be installed on your computer before you start your webinar.
To set up a webinar on this platform, just follow these 5 simple steps:
1. Login to GoToMeeting and Click on GoToWebinar second from left in the navigation
2. Click on Schedule a Webinar
3. Fill in the details including Subject and short description. Nobody will see this page unless they are taken directly to that registration URL and not via the LeadPages landing page; however they will receive a reminder email with the title so it needs to be correct.
In the description of your webinar you can also include this handy link to Time and Date’s awesome meeting calendar so they can select the time the webinar’s happening and see what time it will be in their city and country. My personal lifesaver tool!
4. Click on schedule. Then make sure that it’s the maximum of attendees (this depends on your payment plan but can be up to 1,000+) and click on ‘Direct registrations to your own landing page’.
This will be a thank you page you’ve either set up on your own website, or using LeadPages thank you pages (see section later on) for the webinar where people will be asked to add it to their calendar, take some further action like sharing it on social media.
5. Share on social media, to your email list and on your blog and website repeatedly up until the webinar (full details on how to promote your webinar further down).
BONUS Integrating your GoToWebinar with a LeadPages registration page
6. If you’re going to host your registration page through LeadPages which is way more professional than just using GoToWebinar’s link (read more on it below) then when you’re logged in, click on the sidebar to select Webinar Templates and choose the one that works best for you – e.g video page, webinar host (one or two), text based page etc.
8. Click on > Use This Template and then in the top left corner Click on > Page Name and insert a short name that allows you to know it’s for this webinar. Insert the URL end that will be added on to, then click Save.
9. Go ahead and use the sidebar to change out all details with the webinar details: Include title, countdown information based on webinar time, bullet points and an image (depending on the template). Go through each of the settings to make sure it’s all filled in as best you can.
If you don’t want a field to show then click on, example > Content Item #3 and select > Hidden and click OK.
10. Login to your email service provider like Constant Contact, Aweber or what I use, InfusionSoft and create a new email list for this webinar.
11. Go back to LeadPages and click on > Optin Form Integration and then click Reload and select your email provider then > Click on the drop down menu and select your newly created list name. This will then mean anyone who signs up through LeadPages will automatically be added to that list.
13. Once you’ve hit save, login to your WordPress dashboard where you’ll have the LeadPages Plugin installed, and click on LeadPages and > Add New and look for the registration page you’ve created on there, give it a useful URL like [yourdomainname/keyword] and hit publish!
14. IMPT: Also click on > Yes to Integrate with GoToWebinar and select the webinar you created there.
MeetingBurner is the first platform I ever used and so it holds a special place in my heart. It’s also the only of these four that still has a free (even though limited option).
It really caters to entrepreneurs who are looking for a clean, fun and easy to use interface and it’s perfect for the less tech savvy.
- MeetingBurner offers auto-replay and even better, allows you to duplicate it so you can present it again. You can even make tweaks to it if you don’t want it to be the exact same. This saves a lot of time.
- Want to run a paid webinar training? Thanks to their integration with PayPal, you can charge attendees on the registration page.
- Another great feature is that the limited range of features means faster than lightening loading speeds. Speaking of speed, as there is no software to download, you won’t have to waste your time on that either.
- We all know how useful social media is for attracting attendees. With the integration of social media sharing, you can have people sign up via their Facebook account.
It literally takes less than 10 seconds to join a webinar in progress, while the platform itself is incredibly user-friendly. It also allows you to have up to 1000 attendees.
- You can edit your webinar details easily and check through the tabs to make sure you have the headline, description and date and time right and not miss a single detail
You can have your registration page link automatically to Facebook to increase the number of people opting in
One of the most unique features is the “Meeting Thermometer”. This slider acts as a real-time user engagement tool that allows those attending to react with “Hot” or “Cold” readings at any time during the presentation so you can see how you’re performing
The free plan only lets you have 5 attendees, so it’s great when you’re just looking to test it out or when you’re not expecting a huge turnout; however this is pretty limited if you want to hold a larger webinar.
If you are looking for a platform that crafts and sends email invites, you will not find that function here. That being said, you can send out your own invitations with your email service provider and link to the direct registration page.
While their technology is always improving I’ve had several ongoing technical difficulties like the webinar not launching, the screen not sharing and even audio dropping. This is pretty typical for most webinar platforms to be honest.
This past December, a new tool hit the market; WebinarJam. Within its first three months it had sold nearly 10,000 licences because it was very well marketed and had one differentiating feature…
WebinarJam is based off Google Hangouts technics – so it’s hit on a great market need. What is great about this new platform, besides being able to host to an unlimited number of attendees, is how simple it is to use.
When you sign up, you have access to all their handy instructional videos, and it’s clear from the design that it is perfect for Internet marketers.
Your choice of several designs for the registration page that are easy to set up and use. You are also able to embed a video or design the page yourself
It offers reminder emails before the webinar date and integrates seamlessly with programs like Aweber and MailChimp
Mid-webinar functions include being able to pop up an opt-in box, attendee chat box, and being able to play pre-recorded videos live
It’s built with the newbie in mind so it’s easy to get started
It automatically publishes to YouTube and Google + and links directly to your WebinarJam webinar link
You can have unlimited viewers; however only 10 people can participate
Since this product is so new, there are a few glitches being worked out. For example, due to the Hangout technic there is a bit of a delay, which can make live interactions a bit slow.
The one-off annual fee, while not expensive, doesn’t allow for monthly flexibililty to keep using the platform or end your contract.
As the developers continue to improve you will notice more and more additions and updates making it a better product though.
Google Hangout + LeadPages
This is a new and fun way of integrating two great programs for the purpose of a webinar. Basically, what you do is broadcast your Google Hangout directly through LeadPages.
LeadPages is a landing page software that allows you to put up a landing page in as little as 5 minutes and they have created templates that specifically work with running Google Hangouts.
So all you have to do is place the code from your broadcast into the lead page. This allows it to play your broadcast live on a dedicated page. I use this for running live hangouts of my Highflyer Club missions too and having them play live in a dedicated page (like this below example)
Once you have completed your presentation, it also offers a replay right there. If someone couldn’t make it you can just share the URL of your landing page and others will be able to view the replay at their leisure (like they could above).
What’s so great about LeadPages templates is you can add a call-to-action like “buy now” or “sign up” that allows your viewer to take action during your webinar. It also allows you to create a countdown leading up to the webinar date.
LeadPages itself is priced annually (and best investment I’ve ever made frankly), and Google Hangouts is free.
10 Steps to Setting Up a Webinar with Google Hangouts + LeadPages
1. Go to Google+ and Click on Hangouts
2. Click on Start a Hangout on Air
3. Give the webinar a descriptive title and define audience. Once done, click on the Share button.
4. Click Start and copy the Video Embed code.
5. Log into LeadPages and create a New Page using the Webinar Template.
6. Change the name of the LeadPage to the keyword of your webinar.
7. To embed the video link, click on Page Content – Video
8. Paste the code from Google Hangouts. Afterwards, change the “http” to “https”
10. Click Okay and then Save
11. When you’re ready, click Start Broadcast. This will pop up a notification that says “This Hangout on Air is Live”. Now just share your screen and you are good to go.
Below are the 10 steps to running a webinar like a pro, as tested by me. Just to make your day, I’ve also included this awesome infographic that you can click to download!
- Create a landing page for webinar signups where you share the key reasons why they should attend. You can do this on WordPress, but LeadPages is really easy as they have templates.
- Link this registration form to your email provider and have them confirm that they are on your webinar list. You can also create a new name for the specific list that pertains to this webinar if you’re feeling extra organized!
- Create a welcome email to give them the key webinar details including date, time and link to turn up live. Plus, share the link to grab their free bonus i.e. a download, if this was an opt-in promise you had made.If you integrate that registration form with GoToWebinar for example, it automatically sends them a confirmation email and link too.
- Create an email autoresponder series. There’s no need to stop at just a welcome email. Follow up with a series of short but valuable emails where you can give out some more juicy tips, or share relevant resources or posts on your site. You can also ask for them to forward the email to their friends, or share with a Click to Tweet button within the email to make it easy to spread the word. Like this:
- Continue to promote your webinar like a rockstar. You can do this on social media, through your newsletter and by using Facebook targeted ads too.
- Prepare great slides and compelling points for your kick ass webinar. Your webinar slides should tell a visual story, so more pictures and less text – up to 100 slides is common. On the big day, make sure you turn up 15 minutes early to chat with people and get them all pumped up.
- Record the Webinar using your platform of choice and then upload the video (I recommend VIMEO for this, but you can use YouTube) once you’ve made any edits to it,and embed it on your replay page. Top Tip: If you use the same page URL as you sent them to register then anyone who missed the webinar and clicks on the link later will automatically see the replay. Add a countdown button for when the replay will come down to create a sense of urgency for people to watch it, and include a Call-To-Action button to your product or service offer.
- Email ALL attendees with the replay and the time limit for watching it. Include the link to your offer in this email too in case people don’t click to watch.
- Email them again a few hours before the webinar replay comes down. You can also segment people who clicked vs people who didn’t, and send those who didn’t click, more information on why they should watch the webinar.
- Put those who didn’t click and join or buy into an autoresponder series that feeds them valuable information until the next webinar or to upsell them down the track.
You may also want to watch my popular video on 5 Steps to Running a Successful Webinar where I share even more tips.
Attracting attendees and more so having them arrive live, can be tough. Here are a few tips that will help you attract the right kind of attendee and without difficulty.
1. Don’t advertise too far in advance.
People are busy and are likely to forget if you ask them to sign up for your webinar too far in advance.
2. Prompt them to add it to their calendar.
Most email providers give you the option to integrate a button where you can add the event to your calendar.
3. Send a reminder message.
One day before the event – not earlier – and if you happen to have an outline or worksheet, now would be a great time.
4. Send two more reminders.
It may sound excessive, but people forget and they forget fast. Send a “Starting in an hour” message as well as a “Starting Now!” one
5. Ask for their phone number.
Who doesn’t love receiving a text? Grab their phone number and shoot them a text before the webinar begins.
6. Advertise on your podcast or video series
If you host your own podcast or video show or are scheduled to be featured on someone else’s beforehand, make sure to give your upcoming webinar a shout out. Just be sure that the landing page URL is easy to remember so your listeners won’t forget.
7. Make a promotional video.
If you have an avid video following or feel up to being a little creative, record a short promo video covering your webinars main points and of course, its details.
8. Pick the right day of the week.
When was the last time you felt up to do anything on a Monday? Moral of that rhetorical question is to absolutely not plan to host a webinar on that particular day. After much split testing, it turns out Tuesday through Thursday are the best days of the week to host your webinar.
9. Schedule it for the right time of day.
You’ve chosen the right date, but what about time? Based off the amount of interaction you get on your social media and website from your audience, plan your webinar accordingly.
For example, the lovely Suitcase Entrepreneur Facebook page gets a lot of interaction around 6am EST and between 12-1pm EST and again in the evening. This would be an ideal time for me to host a webinar.
10. Harness the power of your affiliates.
If you have an affiliate program then let your affiliates share your webinar! They’re already happy to sell and recommend your products, so encouraging them to promote a webinar in which you hope to make sales should be the push they need to promote for you.
Set up a new affiliate link for this webinar that means any leads who visit that page and click on the call to action button your page or on go to your sales page will receive a commission.
With so many different ways to host a webinar, which is actually best? Well I’ve been following several people who are using webinars in all sorts of different ways.
Below we’ll be diving into real-life results and case studies from those deep in the webinar trenches and getting great results, so you can learn from them too.
1. Business Republic
Omar and Nicole from Business Republic created a complete step-by-step guide on webinars, teaching everything from how to plan, promote and host.
In their DIY Webinar Guide they explain why they believe you should always be hosting a webinar on your website, rather than a platform like Google+.
The good news is you can use Google Hangouts in conjunction with LeadPages (as mentioned above) and just use the LeadPages URL to direct to a live page they host on their own servers.
But why is it better to host the webinar page on your own site?
There are countless reasons why, but having your audience register on your own site helps build your email list and your business by building rapport, trust and credibility and allows them to look at the rest of your site once there.
Another benefit of hosting on your own site is that simply by offering a webinar, people will be more likely to share their email with you because the perceived value is higher. A little give-and-take goes a long way.
Need a few more reasons why this rocks? Here’s what Omar and Nicole had to say:
“Set up Google Hangouts on your website. Trust me. You will be avoiding some major confusion and you don’t want confusion when everyone is watching. By setting up your Google Hangout on your website you don’t have to worry about:
- Where to send your audience to learn more about your webinar (and register)
- Your audience being distracted by Google+ notifications during your webinar
- Attendees leaving your webinar to check out what your site looks like
- Your attendees being reminded of the when and where of your webinar. It’s kind of hard to do that if you have no direct access to them. More about that next.
Not that you need any more convincing but just in case, by setting up your webinar on your site you benefit from:
- Gaining thousands of subscribers with an on-site webinar registration process
- Automatic reminders to your audience
- A strong brand presence since you are hosting your webinar on your site
- Easily adding webinar materials and downloadables right on the webinar page
- Offering a webinar replay page on your site for those who missed it
- Much more than I can’t list here or this post would be a little too long
The Bottom Line
Setting up Google Hangouts on Google+ will drive you crazy if it hasn’t already. Everyone is confused and you don’t look your best in the process. So get the hell off Google+ and set up your webinar on your site. Want to know how? Pick up the DIY Webinar Guide.
2. Get It Done Mum
Jo Foster and Janine Ogg from Get It Done Mum have fine tuned their webinar and are now experiencing higher than ever conversion rates. In fact, they are now converting 30% of webinar attendees on a $137 web course.
Here are some tools and strategies that helped them do this:
- This ‘iteration’ thing – Creating your webinar and delivering it for the first time, then improving it based on feedback and conversions, then doing it all over and over again until you have got a killer webinar on your hands
- Getting an expert to look at your webinar and give feedback, particularly with the closing and up sell. We knew from earlier feedback that we delivered great content but we just weren’t converting the sales. We got Laura (our coach) to look over the webinar for us (I think she’s learnt the tricks of the trade from Danny Iny) and that made a HUGE difference. She helped us ‘open up the gap’ in terms of the content that would really entice our Mums to want more, then showed us how to tinker our webinar close to make the sale
- Using Lead pages as a high converting opt-in page that is really easy to use, was key for us
- GoToWebinar – for us Kiwis with dodgy internet connections this is the most reliable connection we’ve had so far (and we’ve tried a few by now!)
- The importance of getting the right attendees to your webinar – we niched down to work specifically with mumpreneurs and designed all our webinar content to cater specifically to them. This meant our content resonated hugely with the Mums on the webinar
- The importance of partnerships – find partners who are working in your niche to co-host your webinar and get yourself in front of a new audience that will be highly engaged with your content
3. Firepole Marketing
Over the last 2 years Danny has built a 7-figure business, in huge part due to perfecting the art of webinars to promote his awesome courses at Firepole Marketing.
I asked him for his specific tricks on what’s been working for him, and he generously shared them with me, and therefore you:
“Webinars represent such great opportunities for marketers that they’ve become more and more ubiquitous; everybody’s doing them, and there seems to be a new webinar that you’ve invited to every day of the week.
Which raises a new and difficult challenge: attendance.
Years ago, you could legitimately expect 50-70% of the people who register for your webinar to show up live. These days, the industry average numbers are down to about 15-20%, so you’ve got to work harder than ever to show registrants that your webinar is different, valuable, and worth their time.
Part of that comes down to just delivering a great training experience, and building a reputation on doing that – this has certainly made a difference for us, and it’s a big part of why more people attend our webinars than the webinars of most of our competitors.
At the same time, there’s also the question of availability. On the one hand, you want to give people every opportunity to hear what you have to say, but on the other hand, if you just give them a recording, most people will file it away to “watch later” – which really means never.
The solution that I’m liking the most at the moment (after having tried the gamut running from just giving away recordings to doing one-time only replays) is to make a recording available online for 72 hours after the webinar takes place, and then giving people who really want it the option of buying it for a small fee.
Of course, a prerequisite for this is that your webinar training should be good enough for people to want to pay for it; if it isn’t, then make it better!
We’ve found that this works on several levels; it communicates the true value of the training that we offer, and gives people enough time to watch at their convenience, with an option to watch it later if that’s what they prefer.”
Absolute gems from Danny, that’s why I’m thrilled he’s a guest expert on my May Mission in the Highflyer Club where he’ll reveal his exact strategy to running webinars that convert like crazy.
Here’s my challenge to you:
Alright so that was a lot to take in and I expect you to bookmark this post and come back to it time and time again.
By now though you should be much more savvy in the ways of webinars and considering all the ways in which you can use this powerful tool to build your business, grow your list and increase your credibility and that ‘personal’ interaction with your community and customers.
So now I’d like to challenge you to:
- Sign up for a webinar.
- Then write down 3 creative, marketing or technical things you noticed throughout it.
Tell me; how would you apply this to your own webinar? Share in the comment section below!