5 Minute Guide to Running a Successful Webinar

Running a successful webinar can mean big things for your business. A webinar audience is a captive audience that actually wants to hear what you have to say, and that means that they will be paying attention and asking questions, and will be much more willing to spend money or get involved in the opportunity that you are presenting.

But you need to put on a good webinar in order to get that audience and this guide will help you. From the equipment needed to how to get the audience to return for future webinars, this five-minute guide is here to show you exactly how to run a great webinar.

Software Needed

Let’s talk about the software that you will need. If you choose the right platform, that will be pretty much the only major piece of software involved. However, there are a couple of minor programs that you might want as well.

Platform: The platform is the software (often web-based) that the entire webinar runs on. Usually, you pay a monthly membership to belong to a specific webinar company and have free reign to use their software with the maximum number of people based upon the price that you pay. This software can report statistics, record your webinar, include a chat room and much more. The software may work with peripherals like webcams and audio devices as well as with social media like Facebook and Twitter.

Other Software: You may also need other software to present your webinar. For example, you might need some sort of slideshow program such as PowerPoint, which will allow you to present your slides. Depending upon what you plan to share on your computer screen you may need other programs as well.

Hardware Needed

When it comes to hardware, there are some things that you will definitely need, but the good news is, you probably already have them. The most important thing about the hardware is that you want them to be high-quality and perform professionally. We will explore that more specifically as we discuss each type of hardware that you need.

Computer: You need to have a really good, high-speed computer to run your webinar. You don’t want to be talking about important concepts and your shared screen freezes because you have too many processes going and your CPU can’t handle it. You want to make sure that your computer has multiple cores and plenty of RAM.

Internet Connection: You need a wired internet connection to run a webinar. WiFi connections are not that stable and you don’t want your attendees to have come to see you and then miss stuff because the connection keeps dropping.

Webcam: You also need a high-quality webcam such as an HD webcam. You may already have one on your laptop but you can pick up an HD webcam that plugs into a USB port for about $50 at any electronics or big box department store.

Microphone: Finally, you want to have a good microphone that allows people to hear what you are saying perfectly even after traveling through the internet, via the software platform you have chosen and through their computer speakers or headset.

Headset: Speaking of headsets, you are going to need a pair of headphones if you are using a microphone, otherwise, you will create feedback that is going to be heard by the attendees of your webinar.

Types of Webinars to Host

There are several different types of webinars out there that you can host, and choosing the right one means that you will have much more success when it comes to connecting with your audience. Here are the three basic types of webinars:

Educational:  The first type of webinar is educational. In this style of presentation, you simply give people information without any sort of agenda behind it.

Promotion: In a promotional webinar, you are usually trying to promote something that benefits you financially. For example, if you are giving a presentation on how to set up a Shopify store, and you use your own as an example throughout the presentation, there is a good chance some of those people will either buy or share the link to your store.

Direct Sales: Finally, the third type of webinar is the direct sales webinar. This is where you are selling something to those attending, and you make no bones about it. They know they are there to be pitched and you spend the webinar doing just that.

Choosing Your Topic

Next, you will need to choose your topic. If you are thinking about a webinar, then odds are pretty good that you already have something to promote or make money on. But how can you take that product or service and turn it into something that people actually want to learn about?

You may not be able to attract many people with a direct sales approach, even if you do have an amazing product. However, if you can choose something that you have done and teach other people how to do it, you have a good webinar topic. For example, suppose that you have set up a successful niche blog. You can teach other people how to do it and then monetize it using some of the methods below.

Your topic should be something that you are intimately familiar with and can easily answer questions about, as well as do a full presentation. Remember, you want to be considered an expert in the field that you are presenting in, or else people will not trust you enough to follow your advice or to buy from you. Find something related to what you already do and can speak on for at least an hour.

Tips for Becoming a Good Presenter

So, you want to become a great webinar presenter but you aren’t very good in front of the camera or at the podium in front of an audience. Don’t worry, there have been many people throughout history who lacked the skills to do public speaking or teaching and then were able to learn them so successfully that they become some of the top speakers in this country.

The first thing that you should do is record yourself giving dry (with no audience) presentations to see how you can improve. You probably won’t be able to see the imperfections unless you record the webinar and view it. Remember how you felt the first time that you heard your recorded voice? The same goes for video. You will see a completely different picture when you watch yourself for the first time.

You can also take acting classes if you really want to improve your presentation. Plenty of public speakers have been able to improve their skills in this way. Acting classes give you confidence when talking in front of a group as well as help with diction, tone and various other things that affect how people perceive you.

How to Interact with your Audience

Interacting with your audience is an important part of hosting a webinar. If you just get up and talk and don’t make an effort to interact, then your attendees could just go watch videos on YouTube and get the same sort of presentation. You want to make sure that you are actually having a conversation and there are a few ways to do that.

Stop and Check Comprehension: When you stop periodically and make sure that your audience is still following you, they feel much more involved. Make sure that everyone understands what you are telling them and if a lot of people are confused then go back and present it again – because if you lose your audience they will be lost the entire rest of the presentation.

Ask Questions: Ask questions periodically, even if you aren’t looking for answers or cannot take the time to actually read or acknowledge the answers that you are getting.

Ask for Questions: You have a couple of choices. You can either ask for questions at the end of your presentation (or at any other point) in one big block of time, or you can stop periodically and ask for questions and then answer them before you continue.

Take a Poll: Ask things like “how many of you…” or “who here has…” These things make audiences feel much more involved.

Ways to Make Your Webinar More Engaging

Making your webinar more engaging means that you are able to make more of an impression with your attendees. So, how can you make your webinar more engaging? Here are some tips to help you.

  • Use multimedia like slideshows, videos and more
  • Ask and answer questions and the other methods for interacting with your audience above
  • Have more than one person speaking for the webinar. Sometimes people will learn better from a different style of presenting
  • Allow chat rooms or social media commentary so that people feel as if they are participating in the webinar
  • Be engaging yourself. Throw in jokes once in a while and smile while you are giving the information

Getting People to Return for Future Webinars

You are also going to want to get people coming back for future webinars. The more people that you can convince to return for future webinars, the easier you will be able to grow your audience, which of course means that you will be able to make more money. Here are a few tips for getting people to come back.

  • Make sure that you are presenting unique information that they cannot find anywhere else
  • Offer gifts and incentives for them to come back (a free product or discount on admission)
  • Ensure that you are engaging and entertaining
  • Make sure that the information you give is something actionable – meaning they can take it and go out and do something with it that will benefit them

Methods for Monetizing Your Webinar

There are quite a few methods out there for monetizing your webinar. You will have to choose which method you prefer, based upon the niche that you are working in and what your style of webinar actually is. Here are a few ideas that will help you decide how best to monetize your webinar.

Charge Admission

Charging money for the webinar itself is a viable strategy. For example, if you can get 50 people to attend and the price of admission is $100, you will have earned $5000 for the time and effort that you put into holding the webinar.

Sell a Product or Service

Selling a product or service that is related to your topic will definitely result in sales. For example, suppose that your webinar is on keyword research and you sell monthly access to a tool that automates keyword research. You will have lots of people signing up. You can also sell eBooks or many other items.

Sell an Opportunity

Suppose that you hold a presentation on internet marketing and you have a Clickbank product that you are trying to recruit people to sell for you. They will be making you money while earning the Clickbank commission as well.

The Final Word

As you can see, there is a lot to putting on a webinar. But you don’t have to be afraid of hosting one because with a little work and practice you can hold webinars that make you thousands of dollars in admission costs or other commissions.

If you follow these steps, you will be able to put on a webinar that people find exciting and engaging, and if you pick the right niche and the right monetization, you can capture lightning in a bottle that will result in hundreds of thousands of dollars made and fame and notoriety within your particular industry.

Follow these steps and develop your webinar. Study the platforms and decide what works best for you. Get the equipment that you need and then hammer out the niche, topic, monetization method and perfect your presentation until you are running successful webinars that people are attending by the thousands.

Starting and running a successful membership site is hard work. One of the biggest mistakes that too many people make when they set out to begin their first membership site is approaching the process too casually. They think, “I’ll put up this site and see what happens.” Generally, this turns out to be a disaster because they are never able to get it up off the ground. Or, if they do manage to launch it, they never gain enough members to make it worth their time. Just as dangerous are those membership sites that do very well at the beginning, but quickly lose momentum because they lack content, service, and aren’t able to retain their members.

Before you head into a potential disaster, you’ll need to know how to make all of the necessary decisions upfront, before you invest all of your time and energy and money into starting your first membership site. The following guide will show you exactly what you’ll need to do to make your membership site a success. Before you can even get started with creating your first membership site, you need to have some fundamental decisions already decided.

Making the Basic Decisions

 

For you to start a membership site and make it successful, you need to have a few necessary decisions made. The first of which is who your target audience is. One of the biggest mistakes that you can make as a new membership site owner is to start out thinking that your site will appeal to everyone. You need to have a clear understanding of the target audience for your membership site. You need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Who are you building the site for?
  • How old are they?
  • What do they do for a living?

Do they have money to spend on your membership site?

Next, you’ll need to decide on your topic of focus. Take some time to consider why someone in your target audience would want to join your membership site. Is there a specific problem that you are able to solve? What can you teach them to do? What kind of services will you provide?

When you can answer these questions, the task of marketing your site becomes much easier. Finding the answers to these questions will also make the process of planning your site easier because you are clearer on your goals.

Next, you’ll need to decide on the kind of content you plan to deliver. Will you provide a series of lessons that teach a process? Will you offer your target audience with a service, like providing content each month? Will you have a reference library of content that they can consult with as they need? For now, this is a general, based on what you think your target audience wants in this topic area.

Once you’ve covered these basic decisions, and are confident in your choices, you can move on to the steps you need to take to start your first membership website.

Step 1) Choosing Your Payment Model

There are four major kinds of payment models that you can choose from: free, one-time fee, fixed period recurring, and unlimited recurring. Each of these payments models have their own unique advantages and disadvantages and are appropriate for one or more types of membership sites.

  • Free Memberships Generally you would set up a free membership when you want to segregate a group of subscribers from the general public. Those who sign up for the free membership have acknowledged that they are willing to take a few steps beyond just being a subscriber. They’ve indicated they want to get close to you.
  • One-Time Fee This model is often used to sell a product that allows customers access to the materials for a limited time. You can turn off access to the material easily at the end of the specified period. This model is also good if you want to provide lifetime access to the initial content on the site with possible membership add-ons.
  • Fixed Period Recurring Ð This payment model offers a fixed period recurring membership with payments over a specified period. This is often used for high-ticket items. This model is appropriate for limited term courses and coaching programs.
  • Unlimited Recurring Ð The traditional membership sites use this kind of payment model. This is similar to your cell phone bill, electricity bill, and cable TV bill. Your members will pay you for as long as they use the site. This is typically chosen with sites that are posting regular content or for services that are being offered.

Step 2) Choosing Your Delivery Model

The second step for setting up your first membership site is deciding on how you will deliver your content. You can either provide it through a website or through email.

Email Delivery Model

Delivering membership content through email is an interesting perspective. As you set up your content, you load email messages into the autoresponder system then schedule the messages to be delivered over a certain number of days. The best part of delivering your content via email is that you can send out emails daily or weekly, or at any other scheduled time. For your members to enroll in your email membership, all they have to do is sign up on your opt-in form. Then they can start receiving your content on the schedule you have set up.

One of the main advantages of setting up an email membership is that you only need to have an enrollment form. You don’t need to build a specific website or purchase expensive membership software. Once you set the autoresponder, it doesn’t matter when someone enrolls; they will still receive the content through the autoresponder.

Website Delivery Model

Over the last several years, WordPress has become a popular choice for setting up and operating websites. While WordPress itself is free and built into most hosting platforms, there are numerous plugins and themes that you can get to make your WordPress-based site look and act as you want it to. Whether you use WordPress or HTML for your membership site, you will still need to get membership software.

Membership software protects your content, so only those members who are current on their payments will have access to the content. Membership software tracks members and passwords for you. The membership software will also trigger your recurring charges or can work with your payment processor to do so.  If you have members that are getting charged on a monthly basis, you don’t have to remember when to bill them. Instead, it happens automatically with the membership software.

Step 3) Create Your Content

The third step in your journey to creating your first membership site is to create the content that you will be providing your members. With your site, there will be content added at different times, depending on the way your site is set up. You’ll want to consider each of the following content types in order to decide what you want to offer your members.

Initial Content

When a member first signs up with your membership site, they will see your initial content. Generally, you will want to make a big deal about what will be there, waiting for them when they log in. Your initial content will be discussed in your sales letter. Your initial content could be the completed product that you are selling, or bonus reports that you’ve created, or even a new members course that they will receive right after they join your site.

Permanent Content

Your permanent content will be the content that stays on your site. This is content that is added over time to the library portion of your site. For example, you may provide a video library with 30 how-to videos. While these have been recorded over time, once you add them to your site, they become permanent. Early members receive the videos as they are recorded and posted, while new members will find them as part of the permanent collection.

Incremental Content

Most membership sites will have additional content. The incremental content is added over time, and it may or may not disappear. You may offer your members a bonus for longevity. The longer they are a member, the larger the gift becomes. These bonuses are delivered at preset times to appear automatically. This is incremental content.

Step 4) Making Money Decisions

This is the step where a lot of new membership site owners fail. While they have great ideas and have produced great content, they are unable to wade through all of the money decisions.

Charging an Initial Fee

If you have a lot of content on your site when members log in for the first time, you may want to charge an initial fee.  There are people out there that will come in and join your site, download everything they can get their hands on and then cancel within 72 hours. To avoid this situation, you may want to consider charging an initial fee. An initial price could be a barrier to entry, so think carefully if this will be worth it for your site.

Trial Members

You also may want to consider a trial membership. Trial memberships are a good way for people to find out if your site is a good match for them. A trial removed the risk from the buyer. It lets them see what they will receive in the member’s area. It may help to encourage people who are hesitant to join your site to try it out.

Typical Price Points

The price points for products and membership sites change over time. As far as the average price points you’ll find in membership sites, anything under $40/ month is considered an impulse buy. Lower prices will encourage the “set it and forget it” aspect. People often ignore the smaller recurring charges on their credit card bills because they think that it is easy to pay it than try to cancel.

If you want to charge higher prices, then you will have to provide stronger sales copy. This is why new membership site owners start their site at a lower rate because they aren’t as proficient at writing sales letters, so they feel that they can sell a $9.95/month membership, by aren’t good enough to sell a $99.95/month membership.

There is no magic number when it comes to how much to charge for your membership site. It’s a matter of what is customary in your topic area. Based on the content you deliver. If you offer content that helps people make more money, you can generally charge more.

Conclusion

Starting or adding a membership site to your business can provide you with massive rewards. In order for your site to become successful, you need to have taken the time to properly plan your site and spend the time to implement that plan. With these four simple steps, you will find you can have your membership site up and running in 90 days or less.

Membership sites have become extremely popular over the years, and for a good reason. With just a bit of upfront work and continued maintenance, you can create a steady stream of passive income that will continue for as long as you continue to run your site. Just about anything these days can be set up to run automatically, so what are you waiting for? Now is the best time for you to set up your first membership site and enjoy the perks of getting recurring monthly income.

Contact us if you have an interest in starting your own membership website. We would be happy to discuss this with you. You can contact us here.