I am SO excited to bring you this podcast episode today! We are going to talk about the ONE strategy that has impacted my sales the most this year! I'm super passionate about this topic. Honestly, I try to talk about this strategy with business owners everywhere I go, and I constantly try to convince more people to use this strategy, because the difference it has made for me is seriously crazy-cakes.
Do you have a guess as to what it could be?
Knowing me, you might think this strategy is Facebook ads… but it's not!
I love this strategy because it's approachable and affordable for all business owners. Facebook ads are how I get customers in the door, but THIS strategy is how I build relationships and sell the things I want to sell.
The strategy is hosting webinars.
I know you've probably heard a lot of online business owners talk about webinars over the years, and maybe you already have some pretty firm opinions about them. If you're rolling your eyes at this point thinking, “Webinars aren't for me. Business mom out,” I need you to give me a few more minutes, because I'm pretty sure I'll change your mind. 🙂
Listen To The Show
The Numbers Speak For Themselves (3:26)
If you'll give me the chance, I'm going to talk about the 6 big webinar myths I hear all the time. I'm going to debunk them, and teach you the truth about making webinars work for your business.
But first, I have some crazy-cool stats to share with you that speak for themselves.
This past year, Brilliant Business Moms has grown an insane amount. I'm still trying to wrap my head around it! Chris and I finally sat down and did the books, (like responsible business owners!) and figured out where our sales were coming from.
We've had $285,000 in revenue (sales in the business). $201,000 of that was from sales of my online courses.
The courses I sell are:
- Brilliant Pin Promotion
- FB Brilliance
- A brand new course coming soon!
The other $84,000 revenue was planner sales, primarily. And keep in mind planner season flows into 2017. So we had an awesome season, but only part of the tally accounts for 2016. Other revenue was made through some shop sales and affiliate sales. (Hint, hint… guess how I make my affiliate sales? Webinars!)
Over 2/3 of my income came from course sales. And the main way, (about 90%) of my course sales have been through webinars. People come to a free class that I hold around a given topic, they get to know me and trust me, and they get value out of that free class, whether they purchase anything or not. Then a good portion of those attendees decide they're ready to take it to the next level. They think, “If this is her free class, I know her course will be awesome!”
Webinars for Physical Products (6:23)
And I have to tell you, I was very close to doing a webinar to sell my physical planners this year. So if you're a business that sells physical products, please don't turn this episode off! I have a lot of thoughts and ideas for you. (In fact, that'll be one of the myths we debunk!) This strategy 100% applies to you.
I was really close to doing a webinar to sell my planners. But to be honest, it takes a couple weeks to create a really great webinar, and the planners were selling more quickly than I anticipated. I was nervous that by the time I got my webinar together, most of the planners would be gone.
The main reason I didn't do a webinar to sell planners is because the Brilliant Life Planners sold too fast. (A good problem, but still a problem!)
For our next planner season, I'll get the planners to my doorstep much sooner and will absolutely make webinars part of my selling strategy.
Proof that Webinars Are Powerful (8:49)
I want to share a few stats to prove to you that webinars are crazy powerful.
One of the ways I filled my webinars with happy students was with Facebook ads. We're talking about getting people to attend my free class. Let's say my goal for the week was 2,000 signups. Keep in mind I'm only running these ads to cold traffic. These are 2,000 brand new people walking through the door who knew nothing about me before seeing a Facebook or Instagram ad.
On average, I'd spend about $4,000 on advertising to get 2,000 people signed up for my webinar. And I'd make about $8,000 in sales, so the profit margin is 50%. You more experienced business owners may be looking at that 50% profit margin and thinking it's way too low. And I get it. It's not awesome per industry standards, but I was mostly excited about getting to know a new audience. I spent $4,000 to get 2,000 new email signups, and I made $4,000 profit. I felt really good about that!
On average, that's 63 course sign-ups out of those 2,000 webinar sign-ups. With these numbers I'm getting about a 3% conversion rate. People who are insanely good at webinars and have it down to a science can get way higher than 3%, but I felt amazing with these numbers! Because guess what? Those sales were to people who didn't know me at all before that webinar!
One stat you'll see floating around online marketing looks something like this: Let's say you've built an email list and worked hard to have a relationship with that list. The best practice is to nurture the list over time, and then send out a ton of messages pitching your product. Conservatively, you should estimate a 2% conversion rate from those efforts to people who already know you. But I hung out with total strangers on my webinar and got a 3% conversion rate. That blows my mind!
The first time I launched my FB Brilliance course, in July, I brought in 125 course sales from about 3,000 webinar signups, and those were from my email list of about 20-25K people.
It was a pretty straightforward process: I emailed my list a few times, and about 3,000 people took me up on my offer. I only pitched my course and bonuses to the people who signed up to my webinar. I didn't pitch it to my whole list, which I should have! I didn't go through all the motions of building anticipation and hint, or make tons of calls-to-action. I just said, “Let's do this!” and got the webinar out the door. And I had a 4% conversion rate on this one!
I much prefer using webinars to market and sell than to bug my list like crazy for only a 2% conversion rate! Webinar sales always blow my email sales out of the water. It's just more effective.
Here's one more non-webinar example. My current list has 50,000 subscribers. Only 1,600 of them purchased a planner. That conversion rate is 3%. It's better than the standard 2% conversion rate. But it also happened over a couple of months. It happened with loads of social media posts and emailing. It took lots of buildup and time and content to get that 3% conversion rate from my list. Whereas, I probably could have just created an awesome webinar around goal setting and time management and had a much higher than average conversion rate (without promoting non-stop for months on end!)
Now are you excited for the potential of webinars!? I really hope that you are.
Webinars are fabulous because not only will you get to show off your personality and knowledge and get to know your audience, but your audience will also become your friends. It's so much fun that your attendees want to walk away from the class and take action.
Alright, let's get started Debunking 6 Webinar Myths, plus I'll give you the Truth About Making Them Work For Your Business
Myth #1: I need to be great at public speaking. (17:33)
It happens all the time. When I start talking about how great webinars are, people panic!
People (usually introverts) think that in order to put on a great webinar they have to be fabulous at public speaking – not true!
First of all, I am not great at public speaking. Yeah, I'm a Chatty Cathy, but I'm not great at public speaking. I'm a rambler, you guys! That's just as bad as the person who doesn't have enough to say!
I have so much work to do when it comes to upping my public speaking game.
In terms of my experience, how many times have I been on a stage speaking to a large group of people? Maybe twice.
The only time I can think back on is when I was part of a mission program with my college. I spent a couple months volunteering at an orphanage in India, and when I came back I had to speak at a chapel service about my experience. It was supposed to be an inspirational 20 minute talk, explaining what we did and giving inspirational insights from the Bible. At the time, I was a molecular biology major. I had no background to be inspiring!
So that's one public speaking experience.
Recently I did a breakout session at the Business Boutique conference in Nashville. This was in front of maybe 35-45 people. To be honest, I find that setting WAY more intimidating than a webinar, or my chapel experience, because of the close proximity. My biggest fear is that I'm going to accidentally spit on someone in the front row! But keep in mind, this Business Boutique event didn't even happen until after I fell in love with doing webinars!
I am not a public speaking expert, and I haven't taken a single class on public speaking.
Think about recording a podcast… it's a totally different environment. We have editors to make us sound way better than we really do, plus when I was recording with my sister we had each other, and we had another person doing most of the talking! Podcast recording is not really public speaking.
Here's what I would say if you think you need to be great at public speaking, or have a natural speaking talent: practice is what makes you great at webinars. That's been my experience and it's what others say, too.
The cool thing about a webinar is that you're the boss! You decide what you want to talk about. You create your slides, which remind you of what you want to say. And you get to practice as many times as you want. As you practice, the flow will become increasingly natural.
Even though I recommend you show your face in the webinar, you aren't looking out on a crowd of faces, and that takes away the intimidation factor. And if you need to, you can hide behind a slide and not show your sweaty armpits or wardrobe malfunction 😉
I know you'll soon be amazing at doing webinars if you just practice crafting and delivering the right kind of presentation.
Myth #2: I have to sell an online course to make a webinar work. (24:50)
I hear this myth all the time!
Of course webinars are great for selling courses. I've done it, and I know lots of online business owners who are selling courses through webinars.
But here's the thing. I think you'll stand out even more and be really surprised at your results if you use webinars to sell whatever it is you already sell online. Whether you sell eBooks, physical books, homemade baby goods, whatever the case is, I think that you can make a webinar work for you and your business.
I've seen webinars work well for book launches. You could teach a topic related to your book, do an author Q&A, and maybe offer a juicy incentive like a book giveaway every 15 minutes for all live attendees.
Sarah and I used webinars to launch our very first planner. We talked about how to balance a business and family during the presentation, and at the end of the webinar we had a special coupon code for our brand new planner. We only had a few thousand Facebook fans, less than 5,000, and our email list was maybe 1,200 people. We had about 100-200 people sign up for each webinar (one in the morning and one in the evening).
Only 20-30 people showed up live, but our live attendees had so much fun and gave thoughtful and encouraging comments, and about 10 people from each webinar purchased a planner! That's a great conversion rate, about 50%. (How would it feel if you made 20 new sales a day? It's pretty exciting!)
Another benefit of the live webinar is that we could answer questions. I can think of so many products I have questions about that I would love to get answers to before I purchase. For example, I would love to know how to use a baby wrap. I just bought one, and I have no idea what to do with this thing! I feel like I need to practice 100 times with a baby doll so I don't drop my real baby! What if a baby wrap business offered a free class on wearing your baby and getting life done? If I saw an ad for a class like that, I would sign up for sure. And I would be a super loyal customer, because they took the time to teach me how to use their product.
If you sell a physical product, think about the help and value you can add by doing a webinar.
I've got a few examples to get your wheels turning 🙂
Julie Fuller of Tokyo Blossom Boutique has a fun shop and sells awesome, adorable planner accessories. Julie is super creative and has gorgeous handwriting. She decorates her planners and totally blings it out! Her planner pages look really pretty and classy. Julie is going to create a course on planner decorating. She could do a webinar showing 5 quick ways to make your planner beautiful and functional, and it'll lead right into her course as well as the physical products she already sells!
Even if her course isn't ready right away, who am I going to buy planner accessories from? Julie, because she is going the extra mile and rocked my socks off in her webinar!
(And by the way I'm totally giving my biz friends assignments right now! 😉
Melissa Kaiserman of A Time for Everything sells cash envelope systems for people on the Dave Ramsey plan, or other cash budget systems. Now, Melissa already does awesome and her sales are fantastic. But what if she did a budgeting webinar? Or a webinar on how to set up a cash budget that will work for you and your family? I think the webinar sales would blow her away!
What about you? How can you use a webinar for your product in a way that makes you insanely helpful? When your customers get to know you and form a relationship with you, it would be really tough for them to switch and go to someone else. And even if they found a product they wanted from someone else, you'd likely get their feedback to improve your product, since you have made them a loyal customer!
Myth #3: You need to have expensive tools and programs to run a webinar. (34:16)
(And yes we're just at Myth #3. I told you I'm not a skilled public speaker. I'm a rambler!)
I'm sure you've been to webinars where hosts are using Webinar Jam or Go To Webinar. If you've Googled these tools, you know they are expensive. Plus, the more people attending your webinar, the more expensive they get!
News flash: you don't need those expensive tools to run a webinar.
Here are the tools I use to record my webinars:
- A Yeti microphone, which you can get for around $100. (You can also get a Snowflake microphone for around $35.)
- My computer. (Obviously! Hopefully you already own one, but if not you can get a decent laptop for a couple hundred dollars these days.)
- You Tube Live Events, using your YouTube Business account. (Which is basically like the new Google Hangouts. It's free!)
- Leadpages for my webinar landing page. (This is a paid service, but you can easily make a page on your own site.)
- Chatango for my chat option. (Which I embed on my Leadpages webinar page, and could easily be embedded on any webinar page. Also free!)
- Google Slides for my presentation. (This is part of your free Google Drive tools. Can you believe it!?)
- ConvertKit, which is my email service provider, because you want to collect signups. (An email service provider could be your biggest expense. MailChimp is free for the first 2,000 subscribers. Sarah and I used MailChimp for our first webinars!)
- I did choose to invest in video lights for night webinars, but you don't have to do that. If lighting is a concern, just make sure to host your webinars during the day and use natural light.
That's really all you need! If you're really on a bare bones budget, just grab the basics: a microphone, Mailchimp, and your website where you can embed your video and a free chat box–and you're good to go!
To me, I feel like there's more room for things to crash with fancy systems. I've been to a lot of webinars where things go crazy. It seems that the more tech you have, the more you can get bogged down. Google Hangouts has only failed me one time in a couple of years of use.
Bottom line: hosting your own webinar is really affordable if you need it to be!
Myth #4: You have to be great at selling and marketing. (39:57)
A lot of people think they need to have that obnoxious salesman personality in order to make a webinar work. Maybe you're sitting in your chair right now thinking, “The thought of selling to people live freaks me out! I can't do it!”
Take a deep breath.
Because I DO recommend you offer something for sale at the end of your webinar!
But I DO NOT want you to be sleazy or salesy!
First and foremost, whether or not people buy from you, they should walk away able to take action and have a quick win. You want to focus on fabulous content and solid teaching.
And what you can do in a webinar that you can't really do without video is to show off your personality! You get to be you in all your glory. Part of the fun is people seeing your mistakes, and that you have a sense of humor and can handle the mess.
If you're afraid that your personality stinks, or you have quirks, know that there are people out there who jive with it. And guess what? They think your quirks are the most amazing thing about you!
Here's an example:
We've established that I'm super chatty and wordy and ramble on and on. I always get people who comment in webinars, “She talks too much.” But I ALSO get people who say, “I love that you want to explain things in detail! It feels like you're real.”
And you know what? If they don't love you, they aren't your ideal customer.
How do you make friends in real life? You make friends by hanging out with people, and having a real conversation. It's hard to have a relationship just through letters, emails, or Facebook posts.
The most genuine relationships happen when a real life conversation is happening. Webinars are the next best thing to a face-to-face conversation with people from all over the world.
The other thing I want to say about selling is that there are formulas, or specific steps, you can take your customers through that really feel seamless and natural and lead to a sale. (I'll tell you more about these steps next week – stay tuned!)
You get to be you–talking in your normal, non-salesy voice–and you'll get way better at it and more comfortable the more you do it.
You're approaching this sale from a place where you just taught people tons of awesome stuff, and you want to help them take things to next level. You're excited to share your product with them, and have confidence that your product will positively change their life.
Myth #5: You need to have a huge audience. (46:53)
I hear this a lot from business owners, “I'm not ready for a webinar because I don't have the budget to spend on Facebook ads. My audience is just too tiny. I'm nervous if I offer a webinar, it will be me and one other person.”
For my first webinars with Sarah, we had a small group, but we had a great time
I promise even if only 5 people show up, you'll have a great time! You'll get amazing practice, plus you can take the replay and use it in other situations.
You could send your replay to your list, or as a thank you to new customers or email subscribers. It's not a waste even if no one shows up, because you can use that recording in other ways.
The other thing is that webinars are a great way to build your audience. The more webinars I've done, the more I see that I always get new attendees who say, “My friend told me I just had to attend your class.” I get emails and Facebook posts all the time from people asking for the next class! People will tell their friends about your fabulous webinar. Promise!
Another thing I share about webinars I am hosting is how fun it is to hang out with like-minded people live. I love all the chatting between business moms, and when they start to collaborate with someone they've just met. It's fun to know that in this often lonely online world you can meet up with people real time. That's the incentive for signing up to a webinar.
Customers don't get to connect or communicate with you when they grab your checklist or cheat sheet. Webinars are an incredibly powerful form of communication!
Myth #6: Webinars are over done, and just a trend. (53:20)
Some people think webinars are just a fad: “As soon as I jump on the webinar train, webinars will be overdone and old news.”
I completely acknowledge that the format webinars are given in, the structure, or the tools used to put them on, may change over the next decade.
But building relationships with your customers on video? That's not going away, you guys. You see it all over. There's Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and Instagram Live, Snapchat, and YouTube – which feels like it's been around forever – they aren't going anywhere.
Selling and building relationships with your customers via video isn't going away. When you dig into webinars you'll realize that you're building skills you can take with you for the long haul.
I think one of the reasons I'm really comfortable to hop on Facebook Live at any given point in the day is because I do webinars all the time. It becomes second nature.
While we're on the subject, you could technically do a webinar just using Facebook Live. At this point it would be tricky to have a clean, polished slide presentation. But something like a baby wearing demo, craft project, Q&A, or product launch would be great! Just set up your phone with the right kind of mount and do the webinar right there. You could be commenting in the chat, giving people links, and telling them where to go to find your product.
A webinar is simply using video to provide awesome value and sell a product. That's not going away.
There are more and more people in this online marketing space using webinars to sell. You may notice your feeds are inundated with offers for free classes and lessons. But there are so many niches out there where hardly anyone is doing webinars! (Maybe yours is one of them!)
Plus, I don't care who's doing what, I'm confident my webinars are way better than anyone else's. So I'll keep putting them out there and giving a lot of great value, and people will tell their friends.
People who are in other niches outside of the online marketing space have a great advantage. Here's an example:
I don't know about you, but I have loads of friends on Facebook who are body coaches.
Let's say after giving myself time after this baby comes, I want to get back in shape. Maybe I want to try a Beachbody program and get into a challenge group. Well, I've got 15 friends who are all selling Beachbody programs. How do I decide which friend I pick?
(Hint, hint: There are thousands of others in your niche selling something similar to you! How will you set yourself apart?)
I'm going to pick the friend who seems most passionate about her product and who walks the walk. I'm going to choose the one with the most knowledge and expertise, and not just fluffy-duffy tips. And honestly, at the top of my list is the friend I relate to the most, and I really like the most – because that's the person I'm going to have a great working relationship with.
You've got to be the person in your space with the most knowledge and the most passion, who walks the walk, and who people really like.
But that's a lot to live up to, right?
And it really is a lot to cover in written format–social media posts and blog posts.
Webinars are a one-stop-shop. You can accomplish all of this in an hour, and have people who all of the sudden know you and like you and think you're the real deal.
5 Days to Craft Your Brilliant Webinar (1:05:50)
There it is. We just busted the 6 myths about doing webinars. How are you feeling?
If you're ready for next steps…take a deep breath. I've got you covered!
I'm actually doing a 5 Days to Craft Your Brilliant Webinar challenge next week. It's a free, live video series on Facebook Live. Monday February 13th – Friday February 17th I'll be on Facebook Live every day at 9:30am PST / 12:30 ET with tips on how to craft your very own webinar.
After watching this series, you'll have the framework in place to get started growing your business with webinars.
To prepare for this free video series, grab my free 5 Days to Craft Your Brilliant Webinar Guide that includes all you'll need to follow along with the videos, plus worksheets and a checklist! So grab that now, before we get started Monday the 13th, so that you are super prepared for our 5 day class.
Now it's your turn to head out there and Be Brilliant!
– Beth Anne