Everything you need to know about running a lead generation webinar (Part 4): how to run a successful webinar

Have you ever signed up for a webinar but never attended? Perhaps you've signed up and attended a webinar but left halfway through or you didn't end up buying? The majority of people fall into one of these categories, so how do you get more high-quality leads that actually convert? Running successful lead generation webinars takes an entire process that needs to be carefully orchestrated from pre-marketing and signup to follow-up. We've already covered the first three stages - getting people to sign up for your webinar, getting people to turn up and stay to the end, and getting people to buy - so in our last article we are going to round everything up to show you how to run a successful webinar.

This article series is based upon a virtual (paid) workshop we did on how to run a lead generation webinar. Here is part four of a four-part series (which you can also watch if you click on the embedded video below).

There's no such thing as the 'perfect' webinar

a lego man dressed as a unicorn to represent being yourself when running successful lead generation webinarsFirst thing’s first, there is no such thing as creating a perfect webinar. There is no such thing as a magic bullet webinar that runs smoothly every time and all registrants turn up and all registrants buy…as nice as that would be, it just doesn’t exist. Like with all of your marketing and sales activity, you have to measure your inputs and outputs and do a lot of trial and error until your comfortable with the return on investment.

That’s why we have called this blog ‘how to run a successful webinar’ because that’s what you want to achieve. Too often, thinking that we need to have a professional webinar or the perfect webinar, it holds us back from running it in the first place. If you think of how to run a successful webinar though, success is subjective, so you can go into each webinar thinking of it as an opportunity to learn and try again.

Before you even start planning your webinar, let go of these ideas of a perfect webinar and just be yourself. Your webinars will be a chance for people to get to know you as a person, it’s a chance for them to see how you think and how you will be with them if you are their accountant. If you focus on turning up as yourself and being human over professional, trust us when we say that your registrants are going to love you more and you’ll get more business.

Successful lead generation webinars: the 3 things you must do!

1. Start with the end in mind

an athlete crossing the finish line to represent how to run a successful webinarThis is one of the biggest mistakes that accountants make when trying to run successful lead generation webinars: they don’t start with the end in mind. They tend to think, “I’m going to run a webinar on cashflow” or another topic and that’s it. They plan for it and run it, and more often than not, they don’t get the return that they want.

So what do we mean by starting with the end in mind?

If you think about your end before you begin, you can be sure that you’re not wasting your time with running the webinar in the first place. That’s if you think about and clarify these 4 areas before you plan and prepare your webinar:

1. What is the purpose of your webinar?

Are you trying to inform your current client base to stop the phone ringing about the same topic? Are you just wanting to stay top of mind to increase your client referrals? Is this about selling an additional service to new clients or getting existing clients to buy into a software product? Maybe it is about winning new clients in the current climate?

Whatever you want to get out of your webinar, you really need to think about this and clarify it to yourself first. If you don’t know what you’re doing it for, then how can you expect to get any results at all?

2. Who do I want there?

There’s no point in running a webinar for hundreds of people if they are not representative of the client you want, so you need to think about this beforehand. Who do you want there? Just existing clients or potential clients or both?

If you want to know how to run a successful webinar, you need to know who you are targeting because this will determine some of the things that you do to get people to turn up. It will determine the content that you use and your call to action too. To help you make the decision when it comes to attendees, make sure to revisit your client personas and line this up with the purpose of your webinar.

As part of your webinar planning, read part one of our blog series on how to get more webinar attendees. If you're struggling with coming up with your webinar topic too, you can also download our step-by-step fail safe system to putting together a webinar title and synopsis which will have your ideal audience registering in their droves.

3. What pain points are my audience motivated to solve?

When looking at your client personas, review your clients’ pain points. What are their biggest challenges at the moment? Which pain point will they be very motivated to solve (by turning up to your webinar)?

Whether you are trying to get referrals from existing clients or you are trying to win new ones, you need to revisit your client personas and really think about what they need right now and how you can help them. If you do this, you can completely tailor your content and upsell to their needs. The result? Hopefully, a higher conversion rate if you do it right.

4. When will they attend a webinar?

The last thing you need to think about before starting the preparations for your webinar is when will your audience attend? This is absolutely key and yet, is another thing that many accountants don’t think of beforehand. When is the most ideal time for your prospects to attend a webinar?

9:30 am is supposed to be the magic moment, at least according to Xero and a few other professionals who run webinars religiously. That’s worked out the best for us too. 9:30 am is our magic moment for our small accountancy firm clients too. At 9:00 am, our audience will be running team meetings online and any later in the day, our turn up rate dwindles. So find out what time is ideal for them. There’s no point running a webinar when they don’t want to or actually can’t turn up, so do your research, ask the question, and trial and error when you get the best turn up rate.

2. Have 4 essential processes in place

a box with a question mark on it to represent how to run a successful webinarThe secret for how to run a successful webinar is actually four-fold and it comes down to having four essential processes in place. These are:

1. What am I going to do to get people to register?

Part 1 of our blog series about running successful lead generation webinars starts with giving 6 crucial steps to getting more people to register. Among the list is a catchy title, valuable objectives, and spreading your message far and wide.(If you need help with this, download our cheat sheet on how to choose your title and synopsis for your webinar. )

2. How am I going to get people to turn up?

Part 2 of the blog series gives you 4 methods to get people to turn up to your webinar. It’s all about having a process in place to ring clients and warm prospects, sending out enough email reminders, and not promising a recording for those who don’t turn up.

3. What am I going to do to get people to stay to the end?

Part 2 of the blog series outlines seven things you need to be doing to keep people on your webinar for longer. This includes making it highly interactive, making a promise for those who stay to the end, and making it about your audience and their issues (not you and your firm).

4. How am I going to get people to buy?

Part 3 of the blog series shows you how to take your attendees from any stage in the buying journey to making that decision to buy from you. It’s all about positioning yourself as the solution to their pain point.

These four processes are obviously going to be different based on what you are trying to achieve from your webinar but what you’ll find is that eventually, the methods will overlap Over time, you’ll have a process which you can repeat and tweak so that you can run successful lead generation webinars every time.

If you need help with this, download our cheat sheet on how to choose your title and synopsis for your webinar.

3. Use the right technology

laptops, phones and hard drives to represent using the right technology when creating a perfect webinarThe last thing you must do to run successful lead generation webinars is to have the right technology in place. For example, Skype isn’t good enough for webinars, it’s too unreliable for dropping out and that is not what you want in the middle of a pitch! So what technology is good and what should you be using for your webinars?

Here is a quick checklist of everything you need in place:

  • Webinar or online meeting software, e.g. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, GoToWebinar, Google Meet.
  • Decent broadband and ideally a webcam.
  • Automated diary booking system, e.g. Calendly or AcuityScheduling.
  • Tool or way of collecting people’s details who want to register, e.g.
    • Inbuilt in webinar tools, not necessarily online meeting tools,
    • Eventbrite or other event software.
  • Bulk email marketing tool, e.g.
    • Automations or autoresponder sequence to invite people to a webinar,
    • Automations or autoresponder sequence to remind people who have registered to attend.

The right technology can really make or break a webinar, so really think about what programmes you will use carefully. Any way you can make it easy for your audience is a massive plus as well. For example, having an automated diary booking system. This makes it so easy for your registrants to click a link to your diary and book in a call with you rather than to-ing and fro-ing which just leads to frustration.

If you choose to use a true webinar tool such as Zoom, you will benefit from all the inbuilt webinar tools. The marketing tools which will help you collect the details of the registrants, and get people to accept and send your invite without having all of the email automation tools that invite and remind people.

Read: How to market a webinar so your clients and prospects actually turn up

Everything you need to know for 'how to run a successful webinar'

So there we have it; here is everything you need to know for how to run a successful webinar. Notice we didn’t say ‘creating a perfect webinar’ because that doesn’t exist. Just like with all your other marketing efforts, running webinars takes time, effort, and trial and error.

To run successful lead generation webinars (and to do this consistently, every time), it really is as simple as implementing these 3 things:

  • think about the end before you begin so that you know your purpose and target the right people,
  • have four processes in place to get people to register, to get them to turn up and stay, and to get them to buy,
  • use the right technology that makes it as easy as possible for your clients and potential clients to attend and buy.

Once you have these in place and you streamline your webinar process, you will get the results that you want from your webinars. Just remember to turn up as yourself. Don’t wait to perfect your webinar and until you dot all the I’s and cross all the T’s. Stop holding yourself back and take a running jump. Most of the time, your parachute will open and you’ll find that your imperfect webinar will do what you want and if it doesn’t? You can learn from it, review all of these steps, and try again.

If you want to know how to get people to register for your webinar, how to get them to turn up and stay till the end, and how to get them to buy, see part 12 and 3 of this blog series. 

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