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Webinars may be getting a bad rep lately but they are my new favorite obsession. Hosting a live training or presentation is one of the quickest ways to connect with a large group of people all at once, regardless of whether you do it in a physical location or online. They are also helpful in growing your tribe. Webinars have literally added over a hundred subscribers to my list per day, and are pretty freaking awesome to host too.
I threw my first webinar, How to Get Your First 100k Pageviews Using Pinterest in 5 Steps, with my beautiful friend Kristin from Believe in a Budget. We had over 150 people sign up the first day and had reached over 550 by the time the Big Day arrived. Neither one of us had ever hosted a webinar before and those numbers just took our breaths away!
But building a subscriber list isn't just about the numbers. You really need to connect and resonate with people in order to for them to actually stick around! What's the point in getting 50 subscribers/day if half of them unsubscribe next week?
This is where webinars really come in handy. Hosting one means that you're adding subscribers to your list and then instantly connecting with them on a personal level. They get to hear the way you talk, identify with your personality, and (hopefully!) walk away with some totally awesome knowledge. It's like having coffee with over 500 people from around the world at the same time! *I wish I could insert 629 eye-heart emojis here!*
Here are some tips for getting started:
1. Find a solution for target audience
How can you help your target audience? How can you add a little sparkle to their lives? What will they learn by attending? How will this information change their perspective on something? What makes your content stand out? Why are you an expert in this niche? Don't throw a webinar if you can't answer these questions, friend.
2. Collaborate if you’re nervous to go solo
Hosting a webinar solo can be a littttle nerve-wracking. I wholeheartedly recommend hosting your first webinar with a co-host. It gives you comfort in knowing that you're not alone and shaking with butterflies all by yourself.
3. Have a "webinar rehearsal" by yourself/with your co-host
Have a test webinar before you go live with your guests on the actual webinar date. It can help you identify any technical glitches or content issues.
When you do a "webinar rehearsal" you may notice that you need to add/remove content or that your mic isn't working properly. You don't want to experience these issues (and many more!) on the Big Day.
4. Promote, promote!
One of the perks of throwing a webinar is that you're growing your list. I certainly recommend letting your current subscribers know that it's happening but I also promote like a madwoman to gain new subscribers!
Here are some of my favorite ways to promote.
Write a blog post
- Share blog post and sign up page on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Periscope (and any other social media platforms you use!)
- Search social media platforms for users that are already discussing your webinar topic and invite them personally (I found a lot of great users on Instagram this way just by searching hashtags.)
5. Offer something in return if you don’t have a product to sell
You wouldn't let someone leave your party without a little gift bag, would you?
Make sure the webinar itself is jam-packed with actionable content but also send them home with a freebie too. This could be something as simple as a copy of your slides or a worksheet to get them started on something.
My recommended resources + software for a successful, worry-free webinar
I'm constantly testing and tweaking what I use to host my webinars. But I've got some experience under my belt now and these are the resources that have consistently had my back.
- Google Hangouts on Air: I use them for the actual streaming of the webinar.
- LeadPages: I create the signup page within LeadPages and integrate my ConvertKit form embed code so that the registrants are added to my list. I also take the video embed code from Google Hangouts on Air and insert it in a separate LeadPages webinar page. I add features like a chatbox and social sharing buttons to this page so that I can connect with the viewers and also ask them to share on social media.
- Buffer: I literally fill my queue with social media posts so that I only have to sit down once to write everything out. Getting a webinar ready means I don't have the time to be taking Twitter breaks all day!
- ConvertKit: Each registrant for the webinar is immediately added to a sequence with reminders, free downloads, and webinar links. I set it up once and ConvertKit takes care of the rest...I love you, ConvertKit.
- Blue Yeti Mic: The default mic on my mac is okay in quality but not great. This mic was recommended by the absolutely amazing Mariah Coz of Femtrepreneur and it is the bomb.
- Logitech HD Pro Webcam C920: This webcam took my video quality from amateur to professional. Highly recommend!
Like everything in blogging and business, there are pros and cons to each strategy. Though webinars have been getting a bad rep lately, not all of them are "gimmicky" or "salesy." Obviously, if someone has something they want to sell, they're going to mention it because they are running a business!
As long as you are packing a punch in the content value department, your webinars will do great. They are an awesome way to instantly connect with and share information with your readers. Community is everything and if webinars are one way to build your tribe, then you should go for it!