Webinars – the new sales pages

Not so long ago, everyone was giving away small, free reports to get subscribers onto their list. After getting someone onto your list you’d send them lots of sales pitch emails.

Most people still do that, but there’s a growing trend toward presenting webinars, both as tutorials and in many cases as thinly disguised sales pitches.

Rather than trying to get people to read a 38 screen page sales letter (how 2002 is that?), it seems easier now to get people to show up for an hour, or 90 minutes, to watch a webinar.

I’ve attended quite a few and some of them give great training. Some of them give great training and then make a sales pitch. And then of course some of them are essentially 60 minute sales pitches. Webinars are definitely the new sales pages, it seems.

Why is that? Well, interaction is one small part of it – you can usually ask questions during the webinar and if you’re lucky you’ll get a direct answer. Another big part of it seems to be what might be termed ‘personality marketing’. It’s the same thing I see with the successful Youtube channels. Some of the content on those popular channels is just inane, quite honestly, but if the host is personable and you like them, it’s amazing what viewers will sit through. Webinars seem to work in a similar way.

For example, I know of a few presenters who always fill their webinars because people like how those guys present. It almost doesn’t matter what they’re presenting. And they’ve said in the past that many viewers watch a particular webinar topic every time it’s presented. I guess it’s almost like a tv show for them.

Well, having missed the early launch boat on presenting webinars by about two years, because of my personal circumstances, I’m jumping into the genre on Thursday 12 July. It’s the first live webinar I’ll have ever presented, but from the response I’m seeing already, it won’t be the last.

And here’s something interesting: I’ve already had great feedback with ideas for the next webinar topic. That’s before the first one has even aired. That’s really valuable information, because it means

  1. I know what people will be genuinely interested in.
  2. I can prepare a webinar that gives them great content.
  3. I can meet their specific needs.
  4. I probably won’t run out of ideas – people will keep suggesting them to me.

The first webinar is already 6 times oversubscribed which means that I’ll have to repeat it a few times for those who miss out, but also it suggests that future webinars will be reasonably well attended, if this first one goes well.

Will it be perfect? I’m more than 99.9% certain it won’t. And I’ve stressed about it for long enough, but finally come to the conclusion that nobody  – NOBODY – expects it to be perfect other than me. People are forgiving. They know we’re not robots. If we make a slight mistake, or take an extra pause to think of the best way to say something, they understand. They’re wanting information from real people.

They don’t want Hollywood blockbuster style presentations. I guess, in many ways, they want information the way they’d get it from a knowledgeable close friend.

In other words, I think people want some personality marketing with some solid information. And fortunately for all of us, there’s room for a wide variety of personality types in that kind of scenario.

For me, the idea of a big sales pitch on a webinar leaves me cold. I’m not saying I’ll never have a sales pitch of some kind on a webinar, but I’m not a used car salesman type person and never likely to be. I’ll be presenting solid information and hoping that that’s enough to get people interested in other stuff from me. We’ll see if that pans out.

My own experience, handling literally tens of thousands of support issues for some years, is that there are huge numbers of people who want basic information, because they have no idea where to start and don’t know whom to ask. Addressing that need seems like an excellent starting point for a whole series of webinars of real value. And as so many people keep telling me, I seem to have an ability to explain things pretty clearly.

What I’ve seen over the past 5 years is that many, many people find even the most basic steps to be badly explained. That means they can’t even get a start on building their own online presence, but they would manage it if they just got the right information, presented the right way.

So here’s what I’d like you to do now. Leave a comment below. Tell me what topics related to internet marketing you struggle with. If I can come up with a good webinar for that topic, I’ll do so. Doesn’t matter how simple the topic may be – you don’t have to leave your real name if you don’t want to.

Join in the conversation and leave your comment now!