My First Webinar … More fun than I thought it would be.
I’ve conducted perhaps 1,500 workshops and seminars in my career. Probably more. I love live programs; to be able to share interesting information and get immediate feedback from the audience (remind me to tell you about the time I completely froze while speaking to 1,000 executives in Chicago in 1992). But yesterday I did my first live webinar … and believe it or not, it was fun!
First, thanks to the four people who attended and thanks for staying to the very end. You were my test subjects and while I learned a great deal about how to do it even better next time … I hope you enjoyed the show and learned a bit more about the 3 massive mistakes that crush sales growth!
So here’s what I learned:
- Enrollment is hard. Seems obvious enough since I know how hard it is to get people to come to free live workshop, yet I always over estimate how many people will register. I love my program (it is awesome) and the people who have attended have given great positive feedback, yet for some reason … everyone does not rush to register. I figured on 50 RSVPs and 25 attendees but only got 8 RSVPs and 4 attendees.
- Marketing Matters. Since the workshop is about the mistakes we make when marketing and selling … it is only right that I take my own advice. The beauty of webinars is it allows us to sharpen our marketing to focus on a specific audience. We will certainly be doing that going forward. Leveraging the webinar format and marketing to attract a specific group … say small accounting firms, or kitchen remodelers, or engineering firms … etc.
- Technology is confusing. It is not quite as simple as it appears. I used Freeconferencecall.com and generally it worked as expected. I had the presentation set up on a second monitor and that is what I was sharing with the audience. On my primary monitor I had my speakers notes, the list of attendees, the chat box and the webinar controls. I did spend a few hours in the afternoon practicing with my team to make sure the microphone worked and camera angles were ok. Of course nothing is easy and right as I was beginning I managed to hit the wrong button and remove myself from the webinar. Oops! However, when I returned a few seconds later everyone was still there and we were able to begin.The other mistake was not hitting the record button. Oops again! Will have to remember that next time.
- Talking to a camera is weird. It is not the same as talking to a real audience. An audience gives you immediate feedback. You can see their expressions, nodding along, read body language, etc. When you do a webinar your audience is just names on a screen. I was thankful for questions and will remember that the next time I’m listening to a webinar. Ask a question and the speaker will be eternally grateful!The corollary to not having an audience right in front of you is that you actually can watch yourself. I found that quite distracting to see myself in the video window and had to consciously move my focus elsewhere.
- Will they drop off? I drop off of webinars when they are boring. I almost never participate in recorded webinars that pretend to be live webinars (why are you doing that … just admit it is an instructional or sales video. Who are you kidding). Well we were live and I was treating it the same as a real face to face workshop … but people can still drop off at any time. In a live setting it is really rude to just get up and walk out but the internet changes everything and the anonymity of a webinar means dropping out is just so easy to do. I admit I was always checking to see who was still on. The fact that they were asking questions and stayed to the end gave me great confidence that the program is as good as I think it is.
- Follow-up is key. As is true for all marketing, follow-up is the key to sales success. A webinar does not change that at all. We will use the same follow-up process as we do for live workshops. I know my conversion statistics for live programs (always trying to improve there too) and now we can start to see how webinars might be different.
- Can’t wait to do it again. And, I won’t have too as we’re doing it again next week! Seriously it was great fun. I am looking forward to mastering this medium and using the tool and the power of the internet to dramatically broaden our reach and exposure. Stay tuned for more information soon.
Want to see how I do next time? Join me on Thursday October 13th at 4:00pm EST. Register here and learn how you too can avoid the 3 massive mistakes that crush sales growth.