How to create your first webinar

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Oh my...for those of you who know me personally, I'm sure you never thought I would do webinars. I consider myself a pretty shy person. I don't usually like to talk in front of a big audience. In fact, I am often uncomfortable even in front of a small audience. So, you probably wonder why I keep doing webinars. The simple and most obvious reason is that webinars generate amazing results for my business. But, before I get into  my story, let's answer the question, “what is a webinar?”

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, a webinar is a live virtual event that is mostly used to share information with an audience. The information can be transmitted live to hundreds of people to their computers.

A year ago, I decided to take a  big step and conduct my first webinar. I have to admit I was so scared. I started to promote the event and as people started to subscribe, I told myself that I had no choice but to do it. However, I have to admit soon as I  started to gain  more and more subscribers, I started panicking and stopped promoting the event (anxiety was started to kick in). At that point, I had 20 people who had  signed up for my webinar and this was a big deal for me.

After a few  days of stress, the day of the live event arrived. I remember almost praying that the internet would go down so I could have a good excuse to not do this event. I was constantly thinking about the 20 PEOPLE that would  be behind their computers. One thing that I did not realize  is that not all of those 20 people would be attending the live event or even watching the replay. So off of those 20 subscribers, only 6 were present at the live event.  

After my first webinar, I was so proud of myself, not because I had a few subscribers, but because I didn't give up. I had was able to get over my fear.

Of course, when I do webinars now I have more subscribers and feel much better. But, even with  several webinars under  my belt, I always feel stressed the day of the the actual event. In those instances, I have to remember that  this is a small hour of "pain" that will give me great results to grow my business.

Why do I believe you should start using webinar?

Grow your email list: One main reason why so many online entrepreneurs use webinars is the ability to grow their email lists. People love to be part of a live event. They like to see and interact with the person behind the blog or website.

Interact and get to know your followers: Most live events will have a small Q&A at the end of the webinar. This is an excellent way to interact with your audience. Each question can help you create better blog posts and better webinars in the future.

Test the market for your next program: I love creating a webinar to test the market. Let’s say you have a great idea for a program, but you don't know if people will want to buy what you have to offer - a webinar can help you test your idea. You can also create  a webinar to  teach a concept that you plan on creating for your program. If people jump on your free offer, there’s a good chance they will want to buy your program in the future. Also, with the Q&A, you can customize your course or program to your ideal client needs.

Sell a program: Also, a webinar can be a great place to promote a course or program. I don't recommend hosting a webinar for the sole purpose of pitching your program. But, it can be a great opportunity to give a sneak peak of your program by  taking  five minutes at the end of the webinar to introduce it to your audience. This means that if your meeting attendees want even more value, you will already have a specific program ready for them.

Choose your webinar hosting

The first step to find your webinar hosting platform. There are so many different webinar providers. However, first piece of advice is to not spend a lot of money on a software. First, you don't know if you will like doing webinars. Second, spending 400$ on something you may use six times during the year can be too much, especially if you are just starting your blog/business.

An easy way to create your first webinar is through Google Hangouts. This free tool can be embedded into a page of your website. You will have to create an opt-in page so people can sign up for the event and your email provider (like Mailchimp) sends the link to the page where the event will occur.

If you want to invest in a tool or if you are not a techy person, you can use WebinarJam. I have used this platform in the past and I love it. WebinarJam is cheaper than  other providers and very easy to use. This webinar host even has beautiful optin page templates that you can customize for your event.

Before you choose your webinar hosting, make sure it offers  have an unlimited or high-limit in terms of the number of people that can attend your live event (you don't want people to not be able to attend  live). Also, if you can share your screen. This is very helpful to share slides, not only for the viewers, but also for you to share examples. Your webinar provider should offer  have the possibility of recording the webinar. Not everyone will be able to join you live and this is a great freebie you can send to your subscriber list as well.

Choose your topic and title

One problem that I see often when people do their first webinar is that their  webinar topic is way too vague. You want your webinar to help fix one specific problem. If your webinar is "Join my webinar, I will teach you how to market your business" no one will subscribe. If instead, your webinar is "5 steps to dramatically grow your email list" this is specific and in one hour you will be able to share valuable tips to help your viewers.

What is one specific topic you feel comfortable talking about for an hour and that your ideal client will love?

Choose day and time

After you choose the topic and layout the main points, it's time to choose a day and time. Be sure to  only choose a day and time that not only works well for you, but also for your ideal clients. If your ideal client is a working mom, a daytime webinar will probably not work well for her. Also, make sure you have free time before the webinar to prepare yourself and do a quick test run to check your audio, etc...

Do you want a list of all my webinar promotion and a checklist so you don't forget anything before your big day? Click on the button below to have access to my personal list.

Set up your registration page

Now, it's time to set your registration page (opt-in page) so people can subscribe to your webinar. You can use tools like Leadpages (my personal choice) or create a landing page with the Squarespace cover page feature.

If you are using Google Hangouts, you will have to set up a page on your website where the event will happen.

Set the email sequence

After you create a well-branded registration page, make sure to automate the first email. This email should be sent automatically after the person registers to your webinar. Send a link of your event, the day/time. You also want to create two reminder emails that will be sent an hour and maybe 15 minutes before the event.

Promote your webinar

Now it's time to promote the webinar. Update all your social media account bios and add a link to the webinar registration page. You can also create a new Facebook cover page with the link to the webinar. I like to create  several  tweets that I will send a few  days before the event.

Create slides and/or prep the content

I love creating slides to show examples. This also helps me to remember all my talking points  during the webinar. I personally create all my slides with a program that I have on my computer called "OpenOffice" I recommend creating more slides that you think you may need. If you are like me and when you are nervous you start talking faster, having several slides will help you.

Test, test, and test

Before the big day, test your program and do a practice from start to finish. During that practice, calculate your time so that you have a good idea how long your webinar will be.

Here is the typical format of a webinar

  • 5-10 minutes introduction at the beginning
  • 20-30 minutes of valuable content
  • 5-10 minutes to promote your program (if you choose to do so)
  • Q&A at the end

It's over send the replay

Now that your first webinar is over, you can breathe a sigh of relief and be proud of yourself. Don't forget to send a webinar replay to your subscribers.

I would love to hear from you. What's stopping you from starting your first webinar?


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Welcome, I'm Emilie Guerin. I help bloggers and online business monetize their passion using effective online marketing strategies. MORE ABOUT ME