How to Create Your First Webinar
By Janice Hostager
Your First Webinar
Nervous about putting on your first webinar?
I remember learning way back in college, in my Psych 101 class, about something called “Approach-Avoidance Conflict”. That’s when a goal has qualities that make you want to approach it and other qualities that make you want to avoid it. That would be the perfect way to describe how I felt about putting on a webinar.
On the one hand, I knew webinars had tremendous potential to grow my business. But I was TERRIFIED of just about every aspect of going live online in front of people. I was afraid I would say something stupid, mess up the tech, or my worst fear of all–that nobody would come.
But honestly, none of those things happened.
Once the webinar started, it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it would be. And once I had my first webinar under my belt, I knew I could do it — and that was a HUGE confidence boost for me.
Why webinars are important
Just about any business could benefit from doing a webinar. But before you dig in, make sure you’re clear with why you want to do it. Is it to connect with your audience on a more personal level? To build authority? Sell a product? Grow your email list? Webinars can accomplish all of these things, which is why they are such a powerful tool in your marketing tool belt.
The primary thing to think about when planning a webinar is “how can I add value for my audience.” Even for a free webinar, they’re ‘paying’ by giving you their contact information, so make sure it’s customer-centric and meets their needs.
Unless you’re doing your first webinar just to build your email list, your webinar should lead to a product or service that you’re selling. Even if your product sales is down the road a bit, make sure your webinar leads into that product.
For example, if you are writing a book on a Paleo Diet plan, you could do a webinar on the dangers of processed foods or the virtues of whole grains and nuts .
“How to’s” work well for a webinar, but think outside the box. Webinars most often include slides but they don’t need to. You can certainly demonstrate how to cook or how to decorate a room. Or just be on camera or present a guest speaker.
It’s important to know that more detailed topics present better than general ones. General topics lead people in lots of different directions and have too much information to cover on a webinar. As with anything else, get a feel for what your target customer wants to know about and present it to them. Value is the key word.
No matter what type of webinar you have, make the most of the fact that it’s live interaction with your audience. So let them ask you questions and give them opportunities to interact with you throughout the event via the chat box. That makes the experience feel more personal to the viewer.
When Should You Do a Webinar?
Think of where most of your viewers will be joining you from and keep that in mind when scheduling it. If your target customer is working full time, then evenings or weekends would maybe work better. And if they’re joining you from across the world, keep time zones in mind when setting it up. You might be better off to offer two live webinars at different times.
Don’t do one if…
- If you have a very small niche audience, a webinar may not be the best way to reach them. The downside of webinars is that people need to gather together at the same time. So a small audience to start with makes that a bit more of a challenge.
- You’d have to do it all alone. Managing the tech, the material, the slides and trying to pay attention to people asking questions is a lot for one person to handle. If you’re a solopreneur, just grab a friend for a couple of hours and work out a system where they can communicate questions to you or let you know if there’s a problem with the video or audio.
- It’s Monday morning. I’m not a big fan of scheduling anything on Mondays unless it really ties into an important event.
Now let’s address the elephant in the room: fear. I know I was not alone in getting sweaty palms before my first webinar. My fears were related more to messing up or losing my place. My other fear was that nobody would tune in. Thankfully, neither of these things happened. But truth be told, I had a small crowd for my first webinar and I was pretty happy about that because it took some of the stress off.
Another big fear is the tech, and that’s where Webinar Ally really helped me out. Webinar Ally is a WordPress plug-in that has a one-time purchase price of $27. With GoToWebinar priced from $90-$300 per month, and Webinar Jam running $397 per year, purchasing it was a no-brainer.
My Easy Webinar Solution
Webinar Ally was easy to set it up and use. Nathalie Lussier (the creator) put together detailed, step-by-step videos that walked me right through the entire process. I didn’t want to get to the day of the webinar and not have it all work the way it was supposed to, so that helped tremendously. Believe me, if I can do it, so can you. We don’t grow unless we step outside of our comfort zone, right?
I’ve put together a step-by-step webinar checklist as a free download for you. It’s the list I used when setting mine up, and I think you’ll find it useful too. Just click the link below to download it.
what are some of your webinar fears? Have you tried hosting a webinar? What is your story? Share in the comments below!
Note: I am an affiliate for Webinar Ally, but I truly love it and would never endorse anything I don’t believe would help you too.