Think Creative Collective

How to Plan Your First Webinar

Building a BusinessAbagail Pumphrey1 Comment

Your first webinar can be both scary and exciting! That is totally normal. Before you jump in, let me preface. When I went down the road of planning a webinar I had no idea what I was getting myself into. In fact, I did many of the steps out of order and it caused major headaches. Here is everything I wish I had known before I planned my first webinar!

How to Plan Your First Webinar  |  All 26 Steps Outlined  |  Think Creative

Decide You Are Capable

Seems reasonable enough, but convincing yourself can be tricky. You have to be confident that you can do this. That you can get in front of a camera and you can put yourself out there. 

Pick a Topic

Find a topic relevant to your audience. I thoroughly intended on making this entirely a Q&A session originally. However that in my mind made it very hard to market. Pick a topic that will resonate with people. Make people think and get them wondering what’s inside the shiny box!

Decide Where You Will Be Hosting It

There are many options available out there. I originally planned on using Google On Air, however, when in the testing phase I noticed there was a 45 second delay, which I thought would significantly impact my question and answer portion. I ended up going with Webinar Jam. It came highly recommended by both newbies and seasoned webinar givers.

Test the Hosting Service

Put the system to the test in front of a small audience,or even a close friend or family member. Make sure you understand all the capabilities and where all the levers and switches are. It isn’t exactly like riding a bike. You have to put some time and effort in to make sure you are comfortable. 

Get Someone to Moderate the Q&A

Having a chat box flooded with questions is a great problem to have, but you don’t want to have to be jumping through hoops to understand what is going on. Ask a friend (preferably one who has hosted a webinar before) to keep an eye on the chat box and when it is time serve the questions to you on a platter. 

Tell People About It

Social accountability is a major driver in your following through. Tell your friends, tell your family. Leak a rumor on your blog or social media accounts. 

Write a Blog Post

Give people more detail about what you will be diving into throughout the webinar. Again, what relates to the topic, but what also creates mystery and wonder. This valuable content can be used again and again across social media and other channels later. 

Create An Event Page

Give people a place to land when they want more information. This can be a carbon copy of your blog post, or can go into further detail. 

Give People an Opportunity to Opt-in

From your event or lead page ask people to “snag a seat”, “reserve their spot”, “RSVP” or whatever other language you decide on. Make sure on the opt-in form to get their name and email address. Save this info, you will need it later. 

Talk about it on Social Media

Get savvy with your social channels. Work the opportunity to talk about it into multiple posts on different days in advance. Get crafty with your messaging and watch yourself from being too repetitive. 

Repost in Every Blog Post the Week Before

Don’t make the whole blog post about your webinar, but use content that relates in topic or scope. At the bottom, give a brief teaser that leads them directly to the opt-in and gives them the opportunity to visit the event or lead page if they want more information. 

Remind People they RSVP'd

Send out several e-blasts as reminders. If you are having people RSVP more than a couple days in advance, don’t just remind them. Give them a reason to keep opening your email. I personally sent them a welcome message with a bit more about me, my company and some bonus freebies. 

Plan Out Your Time and Content You will be Sharing On or Off Screen

Get your slides and your script together. Don’t wait until the last minute if you can avoid it. Have someone else review all your written content to make sure you didn’t misspell anything or have any errors. Remember you can’t necessarily go back and fix it later if it is recorded and you showed a misspelled word on screen. Well you can, but it would take some unnecessary video editing. 

Retest A Hosting Service

By now, you have picked and tested a hosting service at least once. The morning of the webinar run through it one last time to have everything fresh in your mind. The last thing you want to do is be scrambling on screen. 

Tease with a Video on Social Media

Tape a 15 to 30 second clip of you inviting people to the webinar. Post on social media and watch as more signups come in the door. Let’s be real, most people don’t read – by getting in front of them with video they immediately think what you have to offer is a no brainer.

Declutter Your Space

Clean up your desk and office. Test the camera to see what will be in the shot and make sure to simplify or stylize what people can see behind you. This may require moving to a different room or rearranging your monitor/camera for the best angle, etc.

Look like a Million Bucks

Sounds simple enough, but make sure you do all the things you would normally do to get your picture taken. Where a cute outfit that looks good while sitting. Style your hair and makeup as you normally would. Don’t forget about those chipped nails. Gotta look polished people!

Send another E-blast the Morning of the Webinar

Pre-schedule this in advance to make sure everyone who has signed up gets a link to the webinar room. Remember to add details like the date, time and timezone to the email. Remind people to add to their calendar and set a reminder. 

Automate a Reminder to be Sent 15 Minutes Before You Start

One last time, just to make sure they don’t miss anything. Give them that webinar link and tell them to head over immediately. 

Get a Good Nights Rest

Get some shut eye so you look bright and shinny the morning of. 

Visualize How you Want it to Go

Take a few moments and calm yourself before you begin. Visualize the outcome you are hoping for. Sit in peace for several minutes undistracted by phone, email, social media, etc. 

Be Ready for Technical Glitches

To avoid any technical glitches close as many other programs and windows as possible. Give your computer a nice restart and then only open the few windows you will need to make this webinar possible. 

Post Your Notes

Use post-its or an iPad to post visual notes around your screen to reference throughout the webinar. 

Arrive Early

You can get into your system controls prior to your participants being able to join the room. Get cozy, even 20-minutes before, so you are totally ready when the clock strikes time. 

Do the Thing

Do the webinar. Remember to smile, be yourself and remember no one else will ever know if you forget to mention something you had in your notes. 

Thank People for Coming & Send the Replay to Those Who RSVP'd

Thank people for coming directly on the webinar. For those who were unable to make it or had to leave early send across a replay link. P.S. Don’t forget to press record!

Ready to plan your first webinar? Download your free getting started guide!