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10 tips for how to launch, sell, and profit with webinars

If you're hosting a webinar, don't miss these 10 straightforward tips for recording a webinar, promoting it, engaging with your audience, and making a sale.

May 29, 2020 by Cyn Meyer

Webinars are used for teaching yoga, business strategy, bread baking, coding, crocheting, and everything in-between.

Probably the only thing a webinar doesn’t do these days is cook dinner.

That’s a great thing for people selling online courses, digital downloads, memberships, or even webinars themselves.

But it also makes getting set up and starting with webinars like trying to write your Christmas shopping list on Black Friday . . . while you’re in the store.

There’s a lot of noise, a big crowd, and an ever-mounting money vacuum.

To cut through the noise today, we’ve come up with 10 straightforward tips for rolling out a webinar and answering questions like:

  • What tools do you need to host a successful webinar?
  • What are the most common mistakes in webinars?
  • Is there a limit on what you can sell with webinars?
  • Can you turn webinars into products themselves?

There’s no time like the present to get started, so let’s dive in with one of the hardest things to get right -- your lighting and gear.

#1. Gear up with the right tools and equipment 

Our first tip is one that covers the essential setup for producing a professional-quality webinar.

As far as equipment goes, we recommend investing in gear for good lighting, a microphone, and a good webcam, to cover the basics. 

For webcams, we like anything by Logitech. Blue produces great, affordable microphones.

For lighting a desk or table setup, we like these lights by Linco. They’re reasonably priced, easy to put away when you don’t need them anymore, and provide ample illumination.

But there are cheaper light set ups available, and how much you spend on your lights doesn’t matter so much as how well you control their output.

The right lighting is the difference between seeing your facial expressions clearly and not seeing you at all. 

Take, for example, the variations between common lighting issues of being underexposed, overexposed, or too dark with a backlight that’s too strong. Here’s what I mean visually:

Pretty dramatic, right?

The same goes for being able to clearly hear you during your webinar presentation, so a trusty mic goes a long way.

For pre-recorded webinars, you’ll also need a video editing tool to help you fine-tune your final product. 

If you’re looking for free tools, try sites like Lightworks or OpenShot, which let you edit your videos post-production with a ton of features at hand.

You’ll also find tools for creating your presentation slides, like PowerPoint, Keynote, or Google Slides, useful for making your slide deck.

OK. So, once you have your gear and tools in place, you’ll need a webinar platform to host your polished presentation. For that, turn to our next tip.

#2. Choose a webinar platform built for you (and not someone else) 

If you’re wondering where to host your webinar, check out 11 of the best webinar platforms for creators and small businesses

Today’s top webinar platforms cover a range of bells and whistles that make hosting your live, automated, or hybrid webinars a breeze.

For instance, Zoom allows you to use video conferencing features, like simultaneous screen sharing, different speaker and gallery views, and virtual backgrounds. 

Using Zoom, you can host instant or scheduled webinars and engage with your attendees using whiteboarding and breakout rooms.

And as a plus, you can use it with Podia.

Podia’s webinar feature lets you host and sell your webinars that are powered by YouTube Live or Zoom. This means you can run and sell your webinars without wrestling between multiple complex platforms. 

On top of that, you can add your webinars to your storefront using a single dashboard, and even bundle your webinar offerings with your other profitable digital products for sale. Just add your webinar to your online store like you would any other digital product.

If you want to see for yourself how seamless the dashboard is, check out this no-obligation 14-day trial.

Otherwise, if you’re wondering about pricing, today’s top webinar platforms range from $15 to $399 monthly. Like with everything in your business, the key is to pick the plan and tool that works best for your specific needs.

Logistics and platforms aside, what about the presenting part of your webinar? Read on for some helpful tips.

#3. Overcome your webinar jitters and tame anxiety

Whether it’s dealing with imposter syndrome, feeling unprepared, or thinking you don’t have enough experience, having the jitters before your webinar presentation is totally natural and expected.

Seriously. Anxiety, as a whole, is a normal part of the human experience, and nearly 30% of adults experience at some point in their lives.

It’s scary talking to that many people, especially in a live setting. We can’t wave your anxiety away, but we’ve come up with a few hacks and tricks for overcoming webinar jitters. 

The first step for conquering your webinar anxiety is to steer clear of the pitfalls of perfectionism. There’s nothing helpful that comes from all the pressure to be perfect, which comes in three perfectionist types that might sound like:

  • Self-oriented perfectionist - “I have to deliver the perfect webinar.”
  • Socially-prescribed perfectionist - “My attendees are expecting a perfect webinar.”
  • Other-oriented perfectionist - “If this webinar doesn’t run perfectly, it’ll fail me.”

Any of these thoughts would send someone into a nervous frenzy.

By taking away the unattainable expectation you have in your head, you can also remove the nerves associated with hosting the perfect webinar. 

Instead, try to replace your nerve-wracked thoughts with a positive anchor thought, which is a powerful tool that renowned speaker and talk show host, Mel Robbins, recommends as a way to prevent your limiting beliefs from growing into worry or anxiety.

By thinking of a positive outcome that makes you happy, you put your worry into context -- a context that calms your nervous system and stabilizes your brain. 

Mel’s trick is called her 5 Second Rule, which is to count backward from 5 to 1 and insert your anchor thought as soon as you catch yourself being nervous. This tool is so powerful she wrote a whole book on The 5 Second Rule.

Of course, something else that helps with overcoming jitters is being prepared -- and part of being prepared is knowing what specific missteps you need to avoid.

That’s what our next tip helps with.

#4. Sidestep common webinar mistakes

To host a webinar without a major hitch, leverage other people’s learned lessons and avoid the biggest webinar mistakes

One of the big mistakes hosts make is not promoting their webinar enough, which is something that should be done all the way up until the start time.

Why? The bulk of registrations (59%) happen less than a week before your scheduled webinar time, and 17% of registrations occur the day of.

Another too-common mistake is not including a live Q&A session at the end of your webinar. 

If you leave one out, you’ll likely disappoint most of your attendees. 92% of webinar attendees want a Q&A section. Giving them one is a no-brainer.

Thirdly, another big mistake is not presenting an engaging webinar, which could cost your audience’s interest and, ultimately, sales potential. 

One way to counter this mistake is to offer a free gift to your audience, like a helpful lead magnet. 69% of webinars offer resources to their attendees to download or engage with.

Look, a completely mistake-free webinar probably isn’t possible, but you can avoid the biggest pitfalls if you cater to your audience. 

So whether that means including a Q&A session, regularly promoting on their preferred channels, or giving them a lead magnet, give the people what they want, and you'll sidestep some of the most common problems people run into with webinars.

Using their preferred channels includes using the webinar platform they prefer, too, by the way. 

Zoom, one of the most ubiquitous platforms out there, is a solid place to start for most creators who need more than YouTube or Facebook Live can deliver, and has great tools for engaging your audience.

#5. Make use of Zoom’s audience engagement for customer research

For presenters on Zoom, there are a lot of tips and tricks you can use for hosting a successful Zoom webinar out there. One of the easiest is to leverage the features that let you actively interact and engage with your audience.

For instance, you can enable Zoom’s Q&A feature, which lets you answer questions that come up during your webinar. 

It’s worth delegating to a panelist or other host for answering questions during the presentation if you have the manpower, so you can focus on presenting the material while your webinar is in session.

You can also set up a few poll questions or a post-webinar survey to gather feedback from your attendees. 

It’s a great way to conduct customer research and find out more about your audience. 

Another option is to gather information from your attendees before your webinar by adding a custom question to your registration page. 

Zoom lets you choose from short answer, single answer, or multiple answer question types. If you gather the right type of info from your registrants, you can tailor your webinar content to address their exact needs, which ultimately spells out a higher chance of making a sale.

That’s not all Zoom can do to help your webinars, though. Its customizable fields can go a long way toward helping you build your email list, too.

#6. Tap into Zoom’s marketing tools for ultimate list-building

If you’re charging a fee for registrants to attend your webinar, there are several creative ways to sell your Zoom webinars so they stand apart. 

For one, you can customize your registration page to match your branding, including both your messaging and design. 

As far as design goes, Zoom lets you edit the theme colors to match your brand’s color palette. 

You can also update the banner and logo image to match your branding, which is something you’ll want to leverage since consistency is key when it comes to branding. 

Like, really key. Brand consistency can increase your revenue by 33%, so it’s worth aligning your design work.

From there, you can update the messaging on your registration page to entice more sales. 

For example, Zoom lets you customize your title, speaker information, and social share description, so you’ll want to take advantage of all of the editable fields and tailor it to match your brand voice and message everywhere possible.

If you’re looking for a title that will lift your conversions, try using a variation of these top headline formulas:

  • You’ll be [pain point] if you miss this webinar on [specific topic]
  • You’re running out of [pain point]! This webinar shows you how to fix it
  • The [#] best ways to get [results] without [pain point]
  • How to [accomplish result] in [short time frame]

Regardless of the headline you choose, be sure to test out variants to see which brings in the most conversions. A majority of people -- 80% of them -- read headlines, but only 20% read the rest of the content, so make your title count.

OK, but what if you’re not interested in Zoom? That’s fair, and the good news is that you don’t have to use it to sell info products with webinars.

No, the only thing that’s required to sell an info product, be it an online course or the webinar itself, is educational content.

#7. Use education to sell any info product with webinars

Wondering how to sell your info products using a webinar? In a word, teach.  

In a few more words, show off what your info product is like during your webinar.

Whether it’s an online course, masterclass, or ebook, if you’re selling an info product, you’re already well-versed in offering your audience educational content.

So, in the same way that you share educational value in your info products, do the same in your webinar. Treat your webinar as a lead magnet to build a list of leads. 20-40% of webinar attendees become qualified leads, so it’s a prime opportunity.

And if you want to build more credibility and trust among your webinar attendees, feature testimonials in your webinar that demonstrate how your customers achieve a result after partaking in your info product.

Just like posting reviews on your site boost revenue by 62% per visitor, testimonials have the same effect on your info product sales when featured in your webinar presentation.

OK. So far, we’ve covered the logistics of how to set up and host a successful webinar, but we’ve barely scratched the surface of what to host a webinar around or how to build the content.

For that, you'll want to turn to our next tip for repurposing content you (probably) already have.

#8. Convert your ebook into a profitable training or tutorial webinar

If you’ve published an ebook, you can repurpose it and convert your ebook into a profitable webinar, which can take on a variety of webinar types. 

For one, you can create an educational webinar from your ebook. The main focus of reformatting this webinar version is to turn your ebook content into a visual, educational presentation. 

These days, training is the top use case for webinars, making up 46% of webinar use cases, so moving the educational content within your ebook to a webinar is a natural fit. 

One way to do this is to comb through your ebook contents and pull out your top three most compelling lessons and feature them in a tutorial webinar format.

Another option is to feature key people within your ebook and interview them in an exclusive paid webinar. 

Treat your interviewee like a star guest and ask key questions that will provide your audience with deeper insights that expand on the points you made in your ebook.

This interview webinar format is based on Cialdini’s 6th principle of persuasion, where your audience feels like they’re part of an exclusive behind-the-scenes event, which your regular ebook readers don’t have access to.

But with or without Cialdini’s principles of persuasion, you have a variety of webinar formats to choose from for turning your ebook into a profitable webinar. Educational workshops and interview webinars are just two webinar types.

While we’re on the topic of repurposing your content, you can also turn your webinar content into a profitable online course, which is our next tip.

#9. Repackage your top-selling webinar into an online course

For creators with a webinar, there are ways to repurpose your content and turn your webinar into a profitable online course.

An effective way to repackage your webinar content is to break it down into bite-sized chunks and turn them into course modules. 

To structure your online course, stage each module into core steps for reaching an end result. Doing this helps make your audience’s goal more attainable for them.

As author Talonya Geary publishes in her #goDo: How to Live on Purpose book, only 3 out of 100 adults write down their goals on paper. 

So, by structuring more concrete steps for your audience, you position yourself as the expert leading them to their goal. 

Basically, brainstorm ways to get your audience to their desired end result and turn those methods into course modules. Note that these should go much more in-depth than your webinar did and build on the core points.

Once you have your modules categorized, you can build an outline for your online course and fill in the details. 

If you’re looking for an online course outline structure, follow in the footsteps of successful course creator and entrepreneur, Rachel Reclam, who outlines her modules into the following sections:

  • On-camera intro
  • Getting to know your learner
  • Key point
  • In this module
  • Worksheet

From there, you can follow straightforward steps to create and record your finished online course.

Once your online course is ready to sell, you can use another webinar to sell it, which brings us neatly around to our final topic in this guide.

#10. Launch an online course with webinar marketing

Our final topic is how to use a webinar to launch your online course

If you’re wondering why we recommend using webinars for launching your online course, it’s because they work wonders for pushing people through their customer journey. 

So much so that a whopping 60% of webinars are designed to move people through their entire customer journey. 

In terms of the five stages of awareness, it’s an effective way to get people from the “really unaware” stage to the “most aware” stage.

So, an effective way to use webinars to sell your online course is to invite your email subscribers to your webinar first and then introduce them to your online course during your presentation as the solution to their problem.

When preparing your webinar presentation, be sure to use visuals, like photos, videos, illustrations, and infographics, that are consistent with your brand and messaging. 

This consistent visual content is what 65% of marketers claim to be key in communicating your brand’s story.

Then, after your presentation, continue to nurture your webinar attendees in an email sequence using a series of sales emails. Keep your webinar replays open, too, since 84% of your webinar registrants don’t watch the live presentation.

(P.S.: Need some sales email templates? We’ve got you covered.). 

A best practice to follow is what 94% of webinar hosts do and make your live events available on-demand for registrants to watch after your webinar is over.

Beyond that, the key thing with using a webinar to launch an online course is to treat it as a pivot point, but not as the end-all, be-all of your marketing. You have to keep nurturing leads after it's over.

Think of it like this:

A webinar around a product launch without a follow up is like a great first date that ghosts you.

It mostly just leaves your attendees confused about where to go next or what the path forward looks like, and that’s a no-win scenario for everyone.

Learn more about webinars and all things profitable digital products

Join a live demo to see how Podia's all-in-one-platform can help you grow your business.

The possibilities are limitless with webinars

Knowing how and when to use webinars to grow your business doesn’t have to be daunting if you take it one step at a time.

To recap the 10 main points of our webinar guide:

  • #1. Produce pro-quality webinars with the right gear and tools, including good lighting and sound equipment, and tools for creating and editing a solid webinar presentation.
  • #2. Choose from today’s top webinar platforms for a place to host your live, recorded, and hybrid webinars.
  • #3. Get rid of your webinar jitters by overcoming your tendency toward perfectionism and replacing your negative self-talk with a positive anchor thought as soon as you catch yourself slipping.
  • #4. Learn from others and avoid big webinar mistakes like lack of promotion, absence of a Q&A session, and not engaging enough with your attendees.
  • #5. Tap into the power of Zoom for customer research by leveraging the engagement tools built into the platform.
  • #6. To market your Zoom webinars, take advantage of the customizable fields on the registration page and tailor them to your brand and audience needs.
  • #7. Sell your info products with a webinar by educating your audience, providing value, and featuring testimonials in your presentation.
  • #8. Turn your ebook into a profitable webinar, which can take on a variety of formats like a workshop or interview webinar.
  • #9. Repurpose your webinar and turn it into a profitable online course by reformatting the content to fit modules and lessons.
  • #10. To use a webinar for launching your online course, invite your email list to your webinar and present a visually appealing and engaging webinar that introduces your online course. Follow up with a series of nurturing sales emails to seal the deal.  

Phew. The buffet of webinar tactics is yours for the taking. Happy selling.

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