When it comes to how to set up a webinar that will engage and convert your audience into paying customers, there are a specific set of steps you must follow in order to ensure success.
These steps are the same ones you'll see over and over again inside any successful webinar.
More important, when you follow these steps in order, they make it easy to not only get (and keep) your audience engaged - they also help you make a seamless (and non-sleazy) transition into selling your product or service as well.
Watch the video below and read the rest of this blog to make sure you get this all-important first step correct.
The First Step to Structuring a Successful Webinar
In this post, we'll cover the first step of the entire process.
It's one that might seem obvious, yet it's often done incorrectly or not at all.
I'm talking, of course about what I call the "Introduction" and "Warm Up" phase of your webinar.
The mistake I see too many webinar presenters making is introducing themselves and the webinar, and then plunging straight into their presentation and content.
Now, if you think about it, when we meet a group of other professionals in real life, we don't immediately launch into our presentation and sales pitch, do we?
Instead, we usually start with some small talk.
We break the ice.
We get to know each other.
And, most important, we get the other person talking about himself or herself before we dive too far into the discussion.
Get Them Talking ASAP!
"Remember that the people you are talking to are a hundred times more interested in themselves and their wants and problems than they are in you and your problems," Dale Carnegie wrote in his landmark business guide, "How To Win Friends and Influence People."
"Most people trying to win others to their way of thinking do too much talking themselves," Carnegie wrote. "Let the other people talk themselves out. They know more about their business and problems than you do. So ask them questions. Let them tell you a few things."
This is especially true on a webinar, where, in most cases, you are going to be talking almost nonstop.
So, in order to break that pattern, you need to engage your audience right away!
On my Live and Hybrid webinars, the first thing I do, after ensuring all the tech is working and that my audience can see and hear me, is start asking them to talk.
Similar to how you make small talk in a real-life meeting, I ask each attendee to share two things with me in the Live Chat area - where they live and what type of work they do.
Here's the exact script I share:
"Also, I love having tons of engagement on these live trainings. So do me a quick favor - let me know in the Chat box two quick things - where you are from and what type of work you do. Just go ahead and type that into the Chat, where you are from and what type of work you do."
At the same time as I'm saying that into my microphone, I'm also posting this in the Live Chat area: "Tell me in the Chat (1) Where you're from and (2) What type of work you do!"
Why This Step Matters
You want your webinar audience to "warm up" by talking about themselves, and this also gives you a chance to respond to them via Chat or (even better) by calling them out by name in real-time.
People love hearing their names mentioned out loud!
"A person's name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language," Carnegie wrote in his book.
Using this "warm up" method works wonders later on in your webinar, because it sets the foundation for you to build a rapport with your attendees as soon as they sign in.
Being able to riff a bit about where someone is from (based on what he or she writes in the Chat) or what type of work they do makes you more relatable, likable and trustworthy.
Here's an example of how easy this is to do. Say you ask the question, and a participant named Joe replies in the Live Chat with this link:
Joe: New York, dentist
You can immediately say: "Awesome, I see Joe from New York is here, wow, you're a dentist, very cool! Just don't asked me if I flossed, Joe!"
It breaks the ice, and it plays into your personality and sense of humor.
The participant feels a sense of connection, and you set the tone that your webinar isn't like others the person has been on before.
It's more personal, conversational and engaging - and those factors will play a huge role in your participants feeling comfortable spending money with you later on in the sales process.
It might seem simple, but failing to properly warm up your audience can doom even the best webinar before it begins.
Take the extra time to do it, and use the script from this post if you like.
Trust me, setting the tone with this first step of the process will make the rest of your webinar much more effective and efficient when it comes to keeping your audience engaged and eager to learn more.