Just because your live event is over, doesn’t mean your webinar stops working for you. In fact, with a bit of planning, your replay can get as much—maybe even more—traction as the live webinar did.
Add the Replay to Your Autoresponders
Webinar topics are always welcome additions to your autoresponders. They give your loyal readers another way to learn from you, and their high value (video is always well received) means they’re more likely to be watched than your blog or ebooks are to be read.
But don’t stop with just the video. Offer readers a chance to download just the audio so they can listen on the go, and have the entire webinar transcribed for those who prefer to scan the content.
Use Handouts as Opt-In Incentives
Checklists and worksheets are extremely popular when it comes to enticing people to opt-in to your mailing list. It might seem counter intuitive, but sometimes less really is more. In fact, your readers will appreciate short, to-the-point checklists more than they will a 50 page ebook.
Rather than creating new offers, simply re-purpose the worksheets you’ve created for your webinars.
Transcriptions and Slides Find New Homes
As surprising as it might seem, not everyone wants to watch a video. For those folks who are pressed for time, a transcript they can scan is the perfect answer. Not only that, but since Google can’t (yet) crawl video, the text version of your presentation is far better for SEO purposes.
There’s no end to the places you can share your transcript, either. Your blog, slide sharing sites, article directories, and LinkedIn are all top choices. You might even choose to do a little light editing and turn it into a Kindle book you can sell for a small fee.
Slice and Dice
In any good webinar, there are plenty of sound bites just waiting to be shared. A good virtual assistant can take your transcript and pull out the meaningful quotes for sharing on social media, and perhaps even make a selection of “pinnable” graphics to post to Pinterest.
Your presentation might even contain some of these nuggets, making her job even easier. A screenshot of a slide with a great quote or image makes the perfect update on your Facebook page or Twitter account. (Hint: keep this in mind when you create your presentation!)
And of course, don’t forget you can still offer your replay as an opt-in incentive, long after the event is over. You may want to record an alternate ending if you presented a time-sensitive offer, but otherwise it should serve you well for months or years to come.
I look forward to hearing how you re-purpose your webinars and webinar material in the comments below, Coach Deb
Does the thought of putting together a training webinar stop you cold? If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the possibilities, you’re not alone. Many small business owners freeze up at the prospect of creating an hour-long presentation.
The good news is, it’s not that difficult, if you have a plan to follow.
First 5 Minutes
Here’s where you’re going to introduce the subject matter. Tell your audience what they can expect to learn. Much like sales copy, it’s a good idea here to tease them a bit to get them excited about the subject matter.
Next up, it’s all about you. Your listeners want to know who you are, how you gained your knowledge, and why you’re the one teaching the webinar. Don’t be afraid to get a bit personal here. Share pictures of your family vacation, you “working” on the beach, or anything else that will help create a connection.
Remember, we buy from people we know, like, and trust, and this is your audience’s chance to get to know you better. Plan to spend five to ten minutes on your introduction.
The Main Event
The next 30 minutes or so will be devoted to training. While 30 minutes might seem like a lot of time, when you’re teaching a complex subject it will go much faster than you can imagine.
Break up your training into three or five main points. Any more than that and you’ll run out of time. Remember that you should have approximately one slide per minute, and your slides should be short and punchy. A single word or image will speak volumes, and will help keep your audience attentive.
Most times, this is the reason for the webinar, so don’t skimp here. Plan to spend ten minutes or so selling. Share the benefits of your course or coaching or service (whatever you’re promoting), clearly explain any bonuses you’re offering, and emphasize any discounts the audience will receive for acting fast.
For most new—and even experienced—presenters, this is the most difficult portion of the webinar. You’ll want to be sure you practice it until you’re comfortable, preferably in front of a mirror or even a camera.
Q & A Time
Finally, you’ll want to offer your audience a chance to ask questions. It’s a good idea to hold this section until the end of the call (after the pitch), so your viewers don’t drop off before you have a chance to present your offer.
By breaking down your presentation into very specific chunks of time, it’s much less overwhelming to outline your webinar. Start by determining the approximate number of slides you’ll need, then block off the five webinar sections. Once you see that you really only need about 30 teaching slides, it’s suddenly much easier to fill that time.
What do you think? Coach Deb
It’s true. No one wants to hear you drone on and on. But unless you take steps to keep your viewers engaged during your webinar, that’s exactly what you risk happening.
Top presenters have learned several tricks for keeping their viewers interested (and listening) even if the webinar seems to go on longer than they anticipated.
Hold Your Questions
If it seems like your viewers drop off the call just as you’re about to make an offer, you’re not imagining things. Many viewers attend for the training, with no thought to buy, and will leave the minute it’s clear the training is over.
You can curb that with one simple trick: hold the questions until after your offer. By breaking up the training with an offer in the middle, you’re more likely to hold your audience’s attention for the duration of the event.
Host a Contest
Much like holding questions until after the offer, the same effect can be had by hosting a contest in which the winner is not announced until the end of the webinar. Alternately, you could offer a prize to the first viewer to answer a question correctly—the question, of course, is based on the content of the webinar. This virtually ensures your viewers are paying attention.
Turn the Tables
Don’t let your viewers just sit and passively watch. Instead, get them talking.
Most webinar platforms have some kind of chat or question feature, so make use of it by chatting them up. At the beginning of the event, be sure to ask them to let you know if they can hear you and see your slides. Throughout the call, as you make a point or reveal a great tip, ask for their acknowledgment. Not only will this keep them interested and listening, but it will also help them learn how the chat function works, so when it’s time for Q & A they don’t have any trouble.
Tell a Story
Everyone loves a great story, and if you’ve got one, now is the time to tell it. Whether it’s the time you nearly got arrested in college, or how you had to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for a month after your car died, if you can link your story to your webinar message, it’s a good candidate.
Just remember to practice telling it first, because if you’re not a natural-born story teller (many of us are not) then it can quickly backfire.
The last thing you want is for your webinar to be a boring, hour-long event that drives viewers away. It’s pretty depressing to watch the attendee number drop before you’re even halfway through your slides, but if you put these tips in play, you’ll have much happier—and attentive—webinar viewers.
Share your tips for keeping your webinars engaging and exciting, Coach Deb
Selling anything online today requires plenty of “social proof.” Testimonials, “likes” and “shares,” re-tweets and re-grams are all ways of saying “I like this. It’s worthy of my time and money.”
For training programs, ebooks and other downloadable items, testimonials are the biggest and best tool in your toolbox. But when you’re running a live event such as a VIP day, you have other, more powerful options.
Take Lots of Photos
If your VIP day is live, remember to bring your camera along—or better yet, hire a professional photographer to document. There’s no better way to get future VIP clients excited about your offers than to show them photos of what to expect.
If you hold your event in a hotel or resort, photos of the surroundings can give it the feel of a relaxing retreat. If your event is virtual, grab some screenshots of your face-to-face video chat. This will help show that even if you don’t meet your clients in person, there is still a very real connection.
Use the photos later on your:
Just be sure you get the appropriate model release from all your attendees before publishing their photos publicly. Nothing puts a damper on your next event quite like a cease and desist order!
During your event—while everyone is feeling enthusiastic about their business and excited for what’s on the horizon—is the perfect time to grab some meaningful testimonials. Written testimonials are fine, but if you can capture them on video, you’ll be well ahead of the competition.
Simply set up a video camera on a tripod in a quiet corner of your venue, and ask attendees to take a few minutes out of their day to share their thoughts. You could even do this on the fly with a simple cell-phone video if you like.
Hashtags are Hot
Here’s another tip for getting the word out about your VIP days: create a hashtag. Every time you post on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram about your event, use the hashtag. Encourage attendees to use it as well. You can create searches using your hashtag and post the results to your sales page, your blog, or anywhere else you talk about an upcoming VIP day.
If this sounds like a lot of work for one person to manage, well, it can be. But make no mistake, social proof is critical to your success, so unless your event is super confidential, the work will pay off. If necessary, consider hiring an assistant to take the stress out of photos, testimonials and social posting. That way all your attention can be right where it needs to be, on your clients.
I look forward to reading your comments below, Coach Deb
Some of us like to fly by the seat of our pants. We “go with the flow,” and relish the flexibility our online, self-employed status gives us. I get it.
But when you’re planning your VIP day, freeform flexibility is the kiss of death. Your VIP day has a goal, and in order to reach it, you have to stay on track. And that, of course, requires careful planning.
Make an Appointment Schedule
Every minute of your day should be planned out, from when and where you’ll be having breakfast, to the exact minute of departure. By leaving nothing to chance, you’ll eliminate the possibility of running overtime, and never have to worry about missing an important lesson or learning opportunity.
In addition, your attendees will know exactly what to expect as well, so they can be prepared ahead of time and make the most of your day together.
A page from any appointment calendar will work for mapping out your day. Begin with the non-negotiables:
Next, fill in other must-have times:
If your VIP day is actually two or three days, then you’ll also want to include time away from the main location.
This may seem like very little time is left for actual one on one time, but if you keep your VIP day focused on a single outcome, it’s more than enough to give all your attendees the attention they deserve.
Publish Your Schedule
Don’t forget to share your schedule with your VIPs. Having this document in hand before they arrive will help them prepare for the event. They’ll know ahead of time what questions they want to be sure to ask, what documents or other information they should bring with them, and even what to pack.
Not only that, but planning your VIP day well in advance leaves no room for rabbit trails and other unproductive time. You want to be sure your attendees get great value from their day with you, so keeping everyone on track is important, and will make you a superstar.
What tools do you use to organize your VIP days? Coach Deb
Ask anyone who has ever offered coaching, training, or other professional services before and they’ll tell you that a certain percentage of clients simply will not (or can not) do the work. Sure, they love the idea of having a professional coach, field expert or trainer. They might know a good coach is the secret to business and life success. But for some reason, they just aren’t ready.
Maybe they aren’t as advanced as they think they are, and they choose the wrong program.
Maybe they’re simply professional students, who never intend to build a business, but instead just like to learn about it.
Whatever the case may be, it’s important that you eliminate these people from your potential VIP client pool.
This is especially critical if you are hosting a group event. It will be uncomfortable for everyone if you have 4 clients attending, and 3 of them are advanced students while one is just starting out. In addition, if you only work with clients who have reached a certain level of success, you’ll need to eliminate those who simply aren’t a good fit for you.
Pro tip: The ability to pay is not a good indicator of success. Many people have (and spend) lots of money on training without ever doing the work required to get a business off the ground.
Design Your Application Process to Self-Select the Best Candidates
The easiest way to avoid clients who aren’t a good fit is to require an application before payment. This can be as simple as a PDF or email questionnaire with just a few questions. You can ask things such as:
These will all give you a feel for the applicant, and allow you to know ahead of time if she’ll be a good fit.
But you can help eliminate applicants who aren’t a good match simply by changing some of the language on your application. For example, you might ask about the applicant’s current income, but rather than allowing her to write in any answer, give her a list of choices. If you only work with people who are earning six figures and up, then a conspicuous lack of those lower income brackets will be enough to make someone who’s just starting out think twice about applying.
You can do the same thing with language on other questions. If you only want to work with people who have a positive attitude about coaching, then you might ask, “Tell me about the best coaching experience you’ve had and what you loved about it.” Negative Nancys will have a difficult time answering that one, and you’ll be able to spot them immediately.
Even if you only invite current clients to VIP days (so you already know and like them) it’s still a good idea to have some kind of application process. After all, VIP days are far more intense than a monthly coaching program, so you want to be sure all applicants know what to expect. And the best way to do that is through a formal application.
What do you think? Do you screen your VIP day participants? Coach Deb
Unlike a 3-day conference or tele-summit, VIP days are generally tightly focused with a single goal. You want your client to walk away having solved her biggest problem (or at least one that’s been holding her back for some time) and be able to jump back into work with a sense of accomplishment.
You don’t want her to go home with a head full of ideas and a notebook full of half-finished thoughts that she’ll never take action on.
Keeping your VIP day tightly focused is beneficial to you as well. Chances are you’re the go-to person in your market for one (or maybe two) things. Perhaps you’re known for helping clients break through their money issues to earn more than they ever thought possible. Or maybe you’re a genius at building an affiliate marketing empire. Or you might be the 4-hour workweek type, able to set up systems and processes that get your clients out of the office while still growing their income.
Whatever your area of expertise, by offering a VIP day centered around it, you’ll be able to command a much higher rate than a general “coach with me” kind of day where anything goes. After all, you’re the expert, so it’s time to show off your stuff.
You’ll find that attracting your ideal client is easier when your day has a strict focus as well. It might seem counter-intuitive, but when you offer buyers lots of choices, they’ll often become confused, and end up buying nothing. The same is true for coaching. When faced with many ideas and potential programs, there’s a tendency to become overwhelmed.
By remaining focused, you have the opportunity to show potential clients exactly what you can help them accomplish, rather than using vague words and empty promises such as “take your business to the next level” or “overcome your roadblocks to success.”
Instead, your clients will know that after their VIP day with you, they can look forward to having a “step-by-step personalized action plan for becoming a super affiliate” or a “new attitude towards money and how it can work for you.”
Focus makes your sales page easier to write, ad targeting clearer, and testimonials more powerful, too.
Of course, all that means that you really do have to have the focus (and have enough expertise) to teach for an entire day on a single subject. If you don’t feel you can pull that off, consider bringing in a guest expert who can speak about a related topic. For example, if your VIP day is all about money mindset, then a brief meeting with someone who can offer tips on budgeting would be a perfect fit.
Here’s the bottom line. The more focused your goal for your VIP clients, the more they will get out of your event. And the more value they receive, the more raving fans you’ll have, who will happily share you and your programs with their friends and colleagues.
Have you been part of a VIP day? Did the event you attended have a single focus? Coach Deb
How many hours per day do you spend on the phone with clients?
If you’re like most consultants, the answer is often “more than I want to.”
Let’s face it, consulting can be exhausting. Sure, you love working with different clients, and you get a real charge out of being able to help someone overcome their issues and achieve their goals.
But it’s still taxing to be on the phone all day, every day. And add to that the need to constantly be looking for new clients, and you’ve got a recipe for burnout.
That’s why so many consultants are beginning to offer VIP days. Simply put, a VIP day is a whole day spent with a single client (or maybe two or three, depending on your preferences). Rather than jumping from call to call and trying to keep up with multiple clients and their various issues, you can simply focus on a single client and a single goal.
Even better, with consultants routinely charging as much as $10,000 for a VIP day, you can see that scheduling just 4 clients per month can bring in more than a whole week’s worth of one-on-one calls.
Here’s how VIP days work: Typically, clients will travel to your location. You might choose to meet in your home, in a rented meeting space, or in a hotel. You can also host virtual VIP days via Skype or phone, if you prefer.
Your VIP day will be tightly focused and have a single goal. If your market is online business owners and you are a genius at book writing, your VIP days might be designed to get a client to plan, outline, and begin writing her first book. If you work with working moms in search of balance in their lives, you might focus your day around creating a workable schedule for the family, with planners and other organizational tools created by the end of the day.
Your VIP clients receive the benefit of your expertise, your undivided attention (no texting with the kids during a VIP day!), and a day spent simply focusing on the task at hand. It’s a powerful way to get things done, and unlike conferences and other training programs, it encourages clients to actually do the work on site, rather than going home with a notebook full of ideas she’ll never implement.
VIP days also make for a great opportunity to upsell your client into an ongoing group consulting program. After all, she’ll likely need support after she gets back home, and regular sessions with other VIP clients is a great way to get the support she needs to continue working towards her goals.
Ready to offer your own VIP days? Start by asking your current clients if it’s something they’d be interested in. Chances are they’ll give you an enthusiastic thumbs up, and you’ll be ready to start putting together a plan to offer powerful, focused VIP day
Are you ready to start offering VIP days? Comment below, Coach Deb
No doubt you’ve heard about storytelling and authenticity, and how being your true self is your most powerful branding tactic. But just how open and honest should you be when it comes to sharing your story?
Pat Flynn and Jon Lee Dumas are notorious for their transparency, even going so far as to post monthly income statements. You might argue that when you’re making the kind of bank they do (6+ figures each month) it’s easy to share—perhaps even inspirational to your audience. But it might also be off-putting to some, since talking about money is often seen as vulgar. In this case, though, it works to attract the exact audience they are after. Others will find other mentors, and that is, after all, the point of marketing.
Transparency comes in other forms as well. Struggles with alcoholism, depression, cancer and other health concerns are commonly shared. Stories of marriage and relationship triumphs (and tragedies) are told. Even spats between competing businesses aren’t off limits for some marketers.
That doesn’t mean, though, that you have to be frank and honest about all areas of your life and business. With a little forethought and planning, you can keep certain aspects of your story private.
Watch Your Social Media Profiles
Here’s where a lot of business owners falter, especially when it comes to Facebook. You have your personal profile, to which you invite friends and family, and your business page, where you talk, well, business.
But there will inevitably be some overlap. Colleagues will slowly filter into your personal timeline, and you into theirs. Pretty soon, your business people are hearing all about your latest bout with the flu and that snarky thing your mother in law said yesterday. Too much? Maybe.
When it comes to your social media sharing, it’s important to pay close attention to not only what you say, but who you’re saying it to. Using privacy settings, contact lists, and even limiting who you “friend” can help maintain your privacy while still being transparent about your business offerings.
Remember, the Internet is Forever
While privacy settings can help, a better way to keep your personal business away from prying eyes is to simply not post it at all. Think of every blog post, Tweet, Facebook status update and Instagram pic as a billboard. If you wouldn’t post it on the side of the highway for all who pass to read it, don’t put it online either. The chance that it will “leak” (despite your best efforts) is great, and once it’s out there, you will not ever get it back.
So, think twice about those nasty replies, intimate details, and other confidential information. You just never know who might be reading, and they will affect your brand image.
The bottom line: Know your audience and know yourself. If you’re not comfortable sharing certain aspects of your life and business, chances are they won’t be comfortable hearing about it, either. It’s okay to maintain some privacy, even in this transparent world of online marketing.
Have you ever posted something you regretted posting? Share below if you dare, Coach Deb
If there’s one mistake that new—and sometimes even established—business owners make, it’s this: failing to develop a clear vision of her ideal client.
Too often we think our service or product is “for everyone.” And while it might be true that everyone could use your help, it’s simply not possible for you and your brand to appeal to everyone. Your prices might not be in line with what some can afford. Your branding might not resonate with others. Your story may not touch everyone with the same sense of urgency.
And when you try to reach everyone, rather than narrowing your focus to your truly ideal client, you dilute your message, making it even less likely that those perfect customers will find you.
But if you’re just starting out, it can seem an impossible task to know who your ideal client is. Start with these three points.
1. Gender. Is your audience male or female? While men and women might both read and enjoy your content—and even buy your products—you will most likely find that your market is skewed heavily one way or the other. Men and women are different, and they are affected by stories and branding in very different ways, so what appeals to a man will not always appeal to a woman. Look around at some of the brands you buy, and you’ll quickly see how they form their messages to appeal to one or the other, but very rarely both.
2. Goals. What does your client hope to achieve, and how do your products and services help to realize those goals? Whether she’s trying to build a profitable crafting blog so she can stay home with her children, or he’s working to create an online resource for muscle car fans, if you don’t know where they’re going, you can’t help them get there.
3. His or her point in the journey. Is she a beginner or well along on the path? How you speak, how you write, what marketing methods you use, and even what prices you charge will all be determined by your ideal client’s level of sophistication. Whether you’re teaching beginning knitters how to cast on, or helping couch potatoes train for their first 5k, their level of commitment (and willingness to spend) is far different from a long-time knitter who is discovering intarsia, or a runner working up to a triathlon. And you will not reach your market effectively if you don’t know exactly where they are and what they need at this point.
Of course, if you’re just starting out, you might not yet know who your ideal client is. That’s okay, too. But pay attention, because they will tell you. They’ll tell you through the products and services they buy. They’ll tell you by following you (or not) on social media. They’ll tell you by commenting on your blog and asking questions that are relevant to them.
Watch your interactions, study the businesses of those who contact you for help, and take a look at what your competition is doing, and soon enough you’ll have a clear understanding of who your ideal client really is.
What do you think? Leave me a comment or questions below, Coach Deb
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