How to Host Your First Webinar

The time has come for you to host a webinar, but you don’t have the first clue about how to get started.

In this post, I’m discussing the absolute basics for what to do and why you should do it that way. You’re going to have a great webinar, and it won’t be as hard as you first thought.


Grab my list of webinar do’s and don’ts you need to keep in mind!


 

What’s a Webinar?

Webinar is a fancy way of saying video workshop. During a webinar, you present your material to an online audience live.

There’s also an interactive component. Using a chat box, you can communicate with your audience and receive immediate feedback. It can also build a sense of community, camaraderie, and social proof.

Because a webinar can generate leads and turn leads into customers, it is an integral part of the sales process. Webinars can be used in any type of service-related business. This presentation allows prospects to familiarize themselves with your brand. It’s also a chance for you to knock down any lingering objections that are preventing your prospects from buying.

 

Start With a Plan

What do you want to accomplish from your webinar? Most webinars promote a specific product or service. So, what will your topic be?

It should be as niche as possible. For example, don’t talk about yoga in general, talk about yoga for your Ayurveda type or yoga for back pain, like Nancy Frolic does here.

Image Courtesy of Yogacara Global Yoga Teacher Training

The reason why you want to get as specific as possible is because you'll be able to have a meatier webinar. You’ll also be able to focus better when coming up with supporting subtopics, rather than providing a general overview of an extremely broad subject (that’s far too overwhelming, anyway!).

 

How long will your webinar be?

The answer varies because it depends on how much material you would like to cover. I’ve seen webinars last for 30 minutes, and others for three hours.

I’d recommend giving yourself at least one hour of content. This way, participants don't feel cheated. They’ll feel like you've given them enough content for them to make up their minds about your product or service.

 

Setting Up Your Webinar Page

I recommend using Squarespace to set up a webinar page. You can add an unlisted cover page to your website. Here’s how.

Image Courtesy of Squarespace

Here are the components you'll want to include on your webinar page:

  • The title of your webinar.

  • An attractive and compelling graphic that pulls the visitor in.

  • Three to five reasons why someone should participate in your webinar—list the benefits they’ll come away with.

  • A sign-up box that requires an email address and maybe a name.

  • The Google Hangouts video box (Once you schedule a Google Hangout, you’ll get a link so you can embed it in your webinar page on Squarespace).

  • A chat box (This is where you add interactivity. Use a free solution such as Chatango. You can also use Chatroll for a smallish fee).

 

Setting Up Your Presentation

Visuals are huge when it comes to retaining attention on webinars. No one wants to hear you go on and on without some sort of visual element to keep them engaged. That's why slideshows are an essential component found in most webinars.

Needless to say, you need to make sure that your slide game is on point.

No need to break out PowerPoint, unless you want to. If you don't have Microsoft Office, you can use Canva to design beautiful slideshow presentations. In fact, I prefer Canva because it includes 20+ presentation templates (many of which are free) that you can customize. You’ll also be able to show your presentation directly from Canva with the help of the screen share function on Google Hangouts.

Go here to start your Canva presentation.

 

Setting Up Google Hangouts

There are a ton of great options for hosting webinar, but I just love Google Hangouts, especially for beginners.

Google Hangouts is a free option that allows you to host a live private webinar and also record your webinar for later use. This feature comes in handy because it allows you to use these webinars later, as replays for those who may have missed the live webinar or as bonus content for future projects.

If you already have a Google Account, setting up a hangout is easy. Click on this link to get started.

 

Setting Up Your Email List

One of the most crucial part of a successful webinar is getting your participants to actually participate. You can set up the most flawless system. But if there's no one else who sees it, does it really make an impact?

This is why creating an email list is probably the most important step on this list.

If you've been around this blog long enough, you already know that I love ConvertKit because it is so easy to use for purposes like this. You can create a separate list in ConvertKit for your webinar participants alone. That way you're sending targeted emails send only to the people who have signed up for your webinar. Once your webinar is over, you can integrate this group from your webinar list to your main mailing list.

Not sure what emails you should send to the people on your webinar list?

I recommend sending out a whopping seven emails to your webinar participants. Let's break it down email by email.

Email #1:

This email is sent out immediately upon sign up. This is the “You're on the list!” email for the webinar. It confirms that the participant actually signed up. In this email, be sure to include the name date and location of your webinar, so people know where to be and when to be there.

It's also a good idea to include links to social media and encourage your participants to share the event with their social circle.

Email #2:

This is a reminder email that is sent out one week before the webinar. The purpose of this email is to remind your participant, and to get them hyped up and ready for to participate. If they signed up weeks or even a month ahead of time, they may have forgotten all about it.

This is also a good email to send any webinar-related worksheets that your participants may need to download and fill out prior to the actual event.

Email #3:

This is a brief email that is sent out the day before your webinar. You may also include a link to webinar-related worksheets. Think of this email as a friendly nudge or reminder.

Email #4:

One hour before your webinar starts, send out an email to remind participants that the webinar is about to start. You'll want to include the link to the webinar’s location, and any instructions participants need to follow in order to get to your webinar.

In this email you may also include a link to any worksheets.

Email #5:

Email number five is sent out right after your webinar starts. I know you may think this sounds like overkill, but a lot of people need that extra push—a lot can go on within one hour’s time. Keep this email short and sweet. It should included the link and instructions if necessary.

Email #6:

Whether you choose to send this email out two hours or 24 hours later, don't forget to send it. Fortunately, you don't have to worry about it if you scheduling it to send automatically with ConvertKit. This email will help you close the deal.

In email number six, you’ll thank the participant for joining the webinar. You'll share a link to the recorded webinar, along with any worksheet information, and—here's the most important element—your offer. You built it up in your webinar and you may have even given instructions on how to make the purchase, but here's where you put it in an actionable email.

You need to hit the notes of exclusivity and time sensitivity with your call to action. Here’s an example of what I mean:

“Sign up now for this webinar-exclusive offer. The link will expire in 24 hours.”

The important thing to remember is that you want to build on the momentum you already started in your webinar.

Email #7:

This is the last email you’ll send, and it should be sent out about a week after your webinar has concluded.

In this email, you'll provide an exclusive offer to webinar participants. The offer won't be as killer as your day-after offer, but it will still be an incentive for people who are on the fence.

Don’t Forget!

Make sure to send out an email about your upcoming webinar to everyone on your general email list, too! You want them to participate in your webinar, too.


Remember to grab my list of webinar do’s and don’ts, and prepare to rock your first webinar!


 

Final Thoughts

Hosting your first webinar is exciting, but it shouldn’t be overwhelming. My best advice is to prepare ahead of time. Create a dedicated landing page, schedule your Google Hangout, write and set those automated emails, and draft your presentation with Canva. Prepare now for a great webinar later. Good luck!

 

 

 

 

 





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