Behind the Scenes: Setting Up and Promoting a FREE Webinar

Facebook Insights Webinar by Jon Loomer

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!