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The Anatomy of a perfect webinar: 7 Steps to sell your online course with a webinar

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If you’ve been wondering what the best way to promote your online course is, it will be hard to do better than a webinar.

But wait, what is a webinar? I hear you ask.

Webinar is a portmanteau of the words ‘web’ and ‘seminar’ used to describe a seminar that you run online. Clever, huh?

But a webinar is more than just an ingenious pun. It is also one of the most effective lead generation tools for online course creators that can, if done correctly, be one of the most aspects of your sales funnel. A well-executed webinar will help you foster engagement and trust with your target audience that will have them eating out of the palm of your hands, and clambering for a spot in your course.

Why use a webinar to promote your online course?

A webinar is distinct from most other forms of marketing an online course as it ticks so many different boxes that a potential student wants to know before buying an online course. It allows you to:

  • Give your audiences a taste test of your personality and teaching style
  • Handle any objections about purchasing your course
  • Outline the course 
  • Share testimonials
  • Build trust in your expertise and ability to help students reach their goals.

Essentially, a Webinar can do anything any other kind of promotional material can do, only better, because you are able to leverage the power of real-time.

Thinking about running a webinar to sell your online course? Here are some reasons why that may be one of the best things you can do.

  • The global webinar market is tipped to hit 800 million by 2023, nearly tripling its size since 2015 (MarketWatch)
  • 53% of marketers say webinars are one of the best tools to generate high-quality leads. (Demand Gen Report)
  • 91% of webinar marketers in 2020 say they’ve been a success (Wyzowl)

Sound good? Ready to race out and launch your webinar and reap all of the rewards? Not so fast.

While these numbers are promising, a lot of them likely can be accounted for by expertly conducted webinars that have been engineered for conversions.

Understanding the anatomy of a successful webinar is what will lead to the conversions you’re looking for, and that’s why we’ve created the following guide based on tried and true methods for building successful webinars to promote an online course that will convert attendees to paying customers.

course webinar

Below, we will be going through each of these steps, and the types of content you’ll need to fill them with.

Introduction:

Here, you’ll want to talk about the field or topic of your course. Why is it a good time to get into the field? What are the opportunities in this field? Where can it take you? You’ll want to share a mixture of statistics and anecdotes to really pique your audience’s interest early.

There is a trick to this, though.

Unlike a real-life seminar where people who have lost interest will probably not leave, out of embarrassment or politeness, people can anonymously, without shame, leave your webinar at any time.

For this reason, it’s important to grab your audience’s attention in the early stages of the webinar. You will want to create some excitement around your field, but also emphasise the need for proper education and preparation.

For example, let’s say you’re running a course on how to become a successful freelance photographer.

To generate some excitement, you might want to include some statistics about the size of the market, and how much a successful freelance writer can make. But to add a counterbalance to the excitement, you’ll want to tie this to the importance of preparation for success.

You might say something like:

”Though the opportunities are there, unfortunately the average freelance photographer only makes x amount, and without the proper guidance, many hopefully freelance photographers remain in the bottom tier of earning”

By doing these two things, you’ve painted a picture of what their life could be like if they get into this field while making it clear that they need to be prepared in order to succeed.

1 - Story

Now is a good time for you to introduce yourself, and why you’re teaching the course.

Tell the tale of how you began your career and how you got to where you are today. Your struggles along the way, your doubts, obstacles, and how you overcame them. This is your ‘novice to expert’, or ‘rags to riches’ story.

”10 years ago when I first began my journey as a freelance photographer, I was green. I mean, I was really green. After I got my first paid gig as a photographer I figured that I’d had it made, and I quit my 9-5 job. Little did I know, but it would take me 3 years to make as much as I had with my salary. Did I struggle? You bet. But I’m here to share with you some of the mistakes that I made, so that you don’t have to.”

Including your story is effective for a number of reasons. It builds rapport with your audience, they begin to empathize with you, and your journey. They’re interested in the course because they want a career like yours, and by showing them that you were once where they were, their dreams will feel just a little bit more achievable.

Next, you’ll want to share some of what you have on offer.

2 - Preview Lesson

Now that the audience is engaged, they’ll want to know a little bit more information. It’s here that you’ll give them a preview of the course you’re going to teach. It’s important to remember that a webinar isn’t a sales pitch. It’s not a hard sell.

It’s a free class that you’re offering. Essentially, you’re offering a taste test of your teaching style, and what you have to offer.

There are no two ways about it, this step is a balancing act. You don’t want to give away everything you have to offer. The audience shouldn’t walk away from the webinar thinking that they don’t need your course, so you want to keep some of your aces up your sleeve.

For example, a photography course instructor might cover some expert techniques for utilising contrast for better images, while alluding to the many other ways to take a great photo.

The trick is to satisfy some of their curiosity while keeping them hungry for more, and from here, you can introduce the course to them.

3 - What is in the course

If you’ve done your job right, your audience will be dying to learn more about your course. You’ve created an itch that needs scratching, and to scratch that itch, you introduce the course.

You’ll want to give a rough outline of your offering, though it shouldn’t be exhaustive. You should have a sales page at the ready which has all the information they need on it. Here, you just want to give them a cursory glance at what the course is offering.

For example, you might say something like:

”This course has been designed to take a beginner photographer to a freelancer making 10k a month. Over 5 easy-to-digest modules, you’ll be taken through everything that you need to know, from the fundamentals of photography theory to finding a niche, and scaling.”

So at this stage, you’ve covered the market, who you are, why the audience should trust you, given them a taste of the value you offer, and what the course is going to give them. The only thing your audience has left to wonder is what other people have gained from your course.

Enter, the power of social proof.

4 - Social Proof

Here, you’ll want to find the best examples of people you’ve helped in the past, whether it be through your course, or any kinds of feedback or training you’ve offered in the past.

If you’ve run the course before and you have testimonials to back it up, include them. Or, you might choose to include statistics, if you have them. Take some highlight statistics from a survey you may have run with previous participants.

If it’s the first time you’re running the course, find any testimonials from people you have worked with in the field in the past.

Ideally, the most effective form of testimonials are transformational testimonials.

This is a testimonial that uses the power of storytelling to describe how a product or service has transformed them.

For example:

”I’ve always loved photography, but it wasn’t until last year that I decided to really pursue it as a career. Jane’s course taught me everything I need to know about the technical aspects of photography as well as the business of being a freelance photographer. In the 6 months since taking the course, I’ve been able to quit my full-time job and pursue photography as my main gig!”

Notice that, while brief, the transformational testimonial takes the reader on a journey. We can see the struggle at the beginning, the solution, and ultimately, the transformation.

People love stories, not data. While data is important, it’s nowhere near as powerful as a good anecdote. If you want to win your audience over, using data will win minds, but story will win hearts.

Now you’ve covered everything they need to know, it’s time to deliver your offer.

5 - The Offer & CTA

It’s time to put all your cards on the table.

You’ll want to do two things here: Name your price, and give a special offer for attendees.

You’ll want to acknowledge that your audience has taken time out of their schedule to attend your webinar, and for that, they get a reward. This will all depend on the structure of your course, but the key is to acknowledge and reward your attendees. This offer, however, needs a time limit.

You’ll want to create a sense of urgency around the offer so that attendees feel the need to get in.

You might want to make offers like:

  • The first 10 people to sign up will receive a 40% discount
  • Sign up today and receive a bonus coaching session
  • For the next 5 days, the course is half price

For more information on how to use scarcity in marketing, check out this guide here.

We get it, you’re not a salesperson (unless, of course, your course is about how to become a saleperson) and not everybody will feel comfortable using these techniques. If you aren’t comfortable, you don’t need to use them. If you are, you’ll find that they are a potent way to get people buying your course, instead of just thinking about buying it.

6 - Q+A

Wrapping up your webinar, you’ll want to include a chance for some dialogue with your attendees.

A Q+A is section of your webinar is essential for two reasons.

Before anyone decided to buy your course, they’re going to have doubts, and here is an excellent chance to put them at ease. By putting them at ease, you’re also beginning to build a relationship with them. Instead of someone they heard giving a webinar, you’ve now become somebody that they know which will greatly increase the chances that they will buy from you.

And that about does it for your webinar. Phew!

How did it go?

Final Thoughts

Webinars are useful for any product or service, but because the format of a webinar and that of an online course are so similar, they are especially useful for online course creators.

While Webinars are an important tool for selling an online course, unless they’re placed in a comprehensive, and expertly executed marketing strategy, your webinar won’t lead to the conversions that you’re hoping for.

At ClassGrowth, we specialise in on-tap marketing solutions specifically for online course creators, so if you want to be able to focus on delivering an outstanding webinar, or craft a blockbuster online course and not have to fuss over the ins and outs of marketing, we’ve got you covered.

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