Webinars get a bad rap these days.
But really, it has nothing to do with the actual concept of a webinar.
Set free from stereotypes and preconceived notions, at their purest form, webinars are a great way to teach skills, perform demonstrations, and give presentations in a live space no matter where your audience might be.
The problem with webinars is the motivation behind the webinar.
If you’ve been in the online entrepreneurial space for a while, you’ve seen the same old thing happening over and over again.
You sign up for a webinar that sounds like a great learning opportunity, but in the end the “teaching” (said in the broadest, most non-educational way) is something only mildly helpful and then you’re stuck listening to some slimy sales pitch.
As it turns out the whole reason for the webinar wasn’t to help you out at all– they just wanted to get in your face to sell something. The whole thing feels self-serving to the webinar host and gives no real benefit to you, the customer, at all.
Next they’ll use all their scare tactics to back you into a corner. “If you don’t buy X, you’ll never increase revenue.” “We don’t know when this will come around again.” “This kind of deal only happens once a year.” ….
That’s called a scare tactic, and honestly, scare tactics are a dirty scam. They play on people’s good nature and trust. So many people these days are trying to better themselves whether it’s in their personal lives or their professional lives. Sadly, they’re just being preyed upon.
As a creator, you NEVER want to leave people feeling that way.
You don’t want to create a tactic to get a dollar today when you could create a mutually beneficial relationship over the next 10 years, right?
Your webinar strategy should focus on the long-game
That’s why so many companies use webinars to lure potential customers into a pitch. They need quick money. They need to show an increase in sales, and they will do whatever it takes to get there. It doesn’t matter to them how they come off to their audience or if they can keep them as a customer long-term as long as they make that $1 today.
As a business owner, that kind of short-term thinking is only going to keep you in the weeds of daily tasks and frantic sales pitches just to keep your head above water. That kind of day-to-day living will never set the stage for a solid future.
You need to learn how to play for keeps. It’s what will set you apart from other creators that offer webinars.
How avoid sales webinars and focus on relationships
You know how it feels when someone is pitching you something with ulterior motives behind it. There’s such a slimy quality to it. But pitching doesn’t have to be that way.
Think of pitching as more of a human-to-human connection than human-to-revenue possibility.
Maybe your product wasn’t right for them at the time of our webinar, but who’s to say it wouldn’t be six months later. It's better to have that context of a relationship set up with a customer so that one, three, five or 10 years from now, they will remember the good experience they had with you and get back in touch.
Instead of falling into a scam and never being refunded for a product they didn’t even use, they’ll remember how you gave your knowledge, taught them what you know, and asked for nothing in return.
Instead of setting tactics to trap people into giving you their money, focus on communicating your way into a relationship with your customers. Here’s how to make that happen:
Focus on your audience
Like Isa said in How to Be a Great Webinar Host,
Being a great webinar host is about making your audience feel seen and heard and helping them make progress. It’s not really about you.
Everything in your webinar should be focused on your audience. What can you teach that will help your audience reach their goals, feel known, and level-up their skills?
Survey your audience before your webinar to find out what they really want to learn. What are they struggling with? Where are their pain points? Find out what those things are so you can create a webinar tailored-made to serve your audience.
Think about your offering
What you offer in your webinar should have a purpose. Coffee mugs, t-shirts, and posters are fun and can absolutely help spread brand awareness, but when you’re wanting to generate repeat customers, think about amping up your offering so they can’t help but come back for more.
Make sure it fits at least one of these guidelines:
- Something of value
- Teaches your core values
- Sets you up as an authority
- Creates trust with your audience
- Helps keep up communication with your audience
Be super transparent
Staying transparent means you are open and honest upfront about anything that is about to happen in your webinar. It’s about staying away from tactics and not creating false scarcity– because scaring and intimidating someone into doing something will always end up making you look like a bully and untrustworthy– not the way to win over fans.
Before you set up a pitch, make sure to say something like,
“Hey, just so you know– I’m going to talk about “X product” now, and I’m going to make you an offer. BUT what I’m going to do differently is I’m not going to ask you to spend any money today. I just want you to try my product.
If you end up trying it out and don’t like, that’s totally fine. I just want you to try X because I believe it will actually help your business.”
Believe in your business
If for whatever reason you don’t make conversions on your webinar, that’s ok.
If an attendee doesn’t like your product, you don’t want them to give you money just to get money, right? It shouldn’t be about the revenue; it should be about the relationship.
When you truly believe in your product, you’re not afraid to miss the sale now. You know that building a strong, trusted relationship with your audience can be much more valuable to you in the future than just a couple dollars in the bank today.
Don’t be afraid to give things away for free. If your offer gives new value to your potential customers and is better than what they already have, they will be happy to invest in you and your business in the future.
You just have to believe that your product/service/offering is exactly what your audience is looking for and let it speak for itself.
Amp up your webinar follow-up
A big question you might have at the end of reading all this is, “Well if I’m not supposed to sell during a webinar, when do I sell?”
The answer is– during your webinar follow-up.
You can send attendees and non-attendees down email funnels related to your webinar offer as well as something they’ve shown interest in. These funnels will eventually pitch your products/services for you without feeling salesy and pushy.
We’ve got a whole how-to article about setting up your webinar automations right here. Check out how you can easily set up your webinar communication in ConvertKit as well as download a template for your webinar follow-up sequence.
Ready to build relationships and avoid sales webinars?
It’s time you start thinking long-term about your webinar strategies.
Make sure your motives are right before sitting down to your webcam. Because by focusing on the people you’re talking to more than a product you’re pitching, you’re at least building the foundation for future loyal fans instead of grabbing a quick dollar today.