Behind the Scenes: Setting Up and Promoting a FREE Webinar

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facebook insights webinar jon loomer 600x450 Behind the Scenes: Setting Up and Promoting a FREE Webinar

I have several goals for 2013. One of those goals was to host my first ever webinar.

Well, the first step to accomplishing that goal is complete! You can now register for my Advanced Facebook Insights Webinar!

>> Go here to register <<

The webinar will occur via GoToWebinar on Friday, March 22, from 11 – Noon EST. If spots fill up quickly, I’ll open up other time slots as well.

Doing this was a long time coming. I’d be the first to admit that any type of public speaking makes me a bit nervous. But having full control over this helps put me at ease a bit, and I am seriously looking forward to this!

The Mechanics

Since I want everything I do — what works and what doesn’t — to be something you can learn from, I want to be as transparent as possible about each of my experiments.

As mentioned earlier, I am hosting this webinar on GoToWebinar. The service does not come cheaply, but I am using a 45-day trial to determine whether or not it’s worthwhile.

One of my biggest obstacles to getting this done was the mental roadblock associated with the technical aspects I’ve never done before. Not having to fully commit to GoToWebinar helped me get past one of those obstacles.

Another was integration with AWeber. It was important to me to have this connected to my list building efforts, but I’m also sensitive to keeping the process to a good flow. I used Zapier to integrate the two to make it quite seamless.

The flow works like this:

Custom Landing Page with AWeber Form > Custom Thank You Page > GoToWebinar Email Confirmation

To make this work, I set up a “Zap” that would automatically send new subscribers of this particular AWeber list to register via GoToWebinar (not the other way around). It works really smoothly and is quite slick.

Zapier is another premium service (when connected to GoToWebinar), but I’m again using a trial for now. It looks like I’ll need to pony up $15/month eventually to keep it going.

The Promotion

I will be promoting this event as follows:

  • Facebook Video
  • Facebook Video – Promoted Post and Page Post Ad
  • Facebook Offer
  • Email to my current list
  • Promote via Twitter, G+ and my new LinkedIn group(!)
  • YouTube promotion is built in
  • Banner on my site
  • Mention on Video Blog
  • Mention on Podcast
  • Banner within emails

There is a significant challenge here that I need to consider: GoToWebinar trial limits.

A single session fills up at 100 attendees. I should be able to allow more registrants than that based on information I’ve heard about percentages who actually attend.

The easiest way to fix this is by simply updating the landing page to include buttons to reserve a spot at different times. I expect to do that if my first event continues to fill up (and it’s filling up fast!). But I’ll need to be careful to avoid times within some of my promo materials as a result.

The Closing Sell

It’s important that when you run a free event like this one that there’s a purpose behind it. I’m not simply doing it as an experiment (and I have a business, after all!).

My friend Amy Porterfield is the master of free webinars. At the end of her presentations, she makes a soft sell on a new product of hers. It’s a really smart strategy, and one I plan to emulate.

The thought here is that your webinar acts as an effective sales funnel. Those who sign up and are willing to sit through 45 minutes to an hour of listening to you speak must really be interested in what you have to offer. Those are the people most likely to also buy from you.

So what will be my closing sell? The beauty of this is that I don’t know for sure yet. It’s going to depend partially on the response I get via registrations.

If I get flooded with sign-ups, I plan on creating a membership program of some sort that includes access to premium webinars in the future. At that point, I would cough up the bucks for GoToWebinar when the trial expires.

Otherwise, the sell may be something more basic. It could be an eBook. Or it could be a membership program that simply doesn’t include webinars. We’ll see how it goes!

It’s a Start

Something that kept me from doing this sooner was the unrealistic desire for it to be perfect. I finally let go of that and will embrace this webinar’s imperfections.

I am not Amy Porterfield. Video is not my strength. I did not hire a designer. I admittedly create pretty pedestrian landing pages.

But it’s a start.

Plenty can be learned from this. I’ll learn from what goes well and what could have been better.

I took a similar approach with my podcast and I am doing the same with my video blog. After trying a few things out, I’ll decide on the things I should invest in.

I thank you for taking this journey with me and for embracing the imperfection of what will be my first webinar. It will be fun!

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About Jon Loomer

Jon Loomer is a digital marketing consultant with a unique perspective on social media. He was introduced to Facebook in 2007 while with the NBA (back before Pages) and has been using Facebook for business ever since. Stay in touch by liking his Facebook Page (Jon Loomer Digital).

  • Antonio Calero

    Good luck mate! I am curious to read your self-review after this webinar, especially technical aspects (e.g.: how easy was to handle the webinar from your end, etc…)

    I am very interested in participating, but that’s 2:00 am here… So I was wondering if you were planning to make available a recorded version of the content after the event, or even repeat it a a different time.

    • Jon Loomer

      Thanks, Antonio! I do plan to record it. This session is actually already making me nervous in terms of registrations (which is a good thing), and that’s while doing very little promotion. So I have already started working on setting up at least one more time (probably 6 pm EST). Would that be better for you?

      • Antonio Calero

        That would be 9:00am, which is perfect… I have registered for this one, and will do my best to attend. But if I can’t I’ll advise, so someone else could take my place.

        • Brooke Jones

          I think 11am EST is midnight on Saturday in Western Australia so a recorded version would be so great.

          • Jon Loomer

            Take a second look, Brooke. Two more times have been added!

        • Jon Loomer

          I just added two more times!

          • Antonio Calero

            Jon: YOU ROCK !!!

            Thank you for adding extra times. I’ve been checking and I think this covers all time zones World Wide at reasonable times.

            Thank you

      • Guest

        Jon: YOU ROCK !!!

        Thank you for adding extra times. I’ve been checking and I think this covers all time zones World Wide at reasonable times.

        Thank you

  • Kenneth Hart

    Nice! Will this be available for download / viewing online afterwards? Would love to tune in live but it’s 11pm Friday in Western Australia when this is on.

    • Jon Loomer

      I plan on recording it, but I’m not going to promise anything since this is my first webinar (gotta expect some technical difficulties along the way!). I just added a couple more times though!

      • Aliza Nagy

        I have the same problem; on the other side of the planet, with them all being Friday, I’m outta luck for a live webinar ;) Congrats on filling up the first two! Perhaps by the third one, you’ll have the technical end down pat enough to have a great recording. Looking forward to it, thank you. And good luck!

  • Loren Bartley

    We seem to be on a similar path. I am in the process of setting up my first ever webinar, so your tips are really timely. Thanks!

  • Sanmi Lajuwomi

    Wow, the intense amount of work that goes into creating a webinar can be discouraging but i’m sure it’s well worth it. Good luck.

  • waitingfor1202013

    FYI Jon, This webinar was one of the best ones I’ve ever attended, That was some really terrific info! I’m still thinking about it months later. I really dislike Discus though. That’s probably why I’ve never commented.

    • Jon Loomer

      Love hearing that… And OH MAN I HATE HEARING THAT! I actually tend to get rather good response with Disqus. I like how you can login multiple ways. What do you prefer?

      • waitingfor1202013

        I clicked on the sign in with Twitter link, but it defaulted me over to Discus. What’s the point? I’m signing on with Twitter so you can find me on Twitter, not see a random selection of oddball comments I’ve made over the last 5 years on blogs. BTW, you can find me @juliegallaher

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