written by
Alex Boxall

5 Lessons I learned from running my first webinar

Entrepreneur 5 min read

Running a webinar is exhilarating, stressful, fun, scary af, and ultimately super rewarding, but it doesn’t always go the way you plan. At least not for me...

I ran my first webinar a few days ago (on 24th June 2020). I’d been planning it for months. I’d originally intended to run this webinar back in October last year but as often happens, other projects came along and it got pushed to the backburner and half forgotten about...

People use webinars for different things.

You can use a webinar to grow your email list, to sell a product, to create authority, to share ideas... All sorts.

And from a consumer point of view, a good webinar is worth its weight in gold (if digital video and time had physical weight that is... should have thought that saying through a bit better...)

Anyhow, having completed my first webinar, I thought I’d share the 5 biggest lessons I learned from the experience, so that you can either laugh at me, or learn from me and not make the same mistakes yourself!

Here goes:

Lesson 1: Start advertising early. And don’t stop too soon!

I started advertising about ten days before the webinar itself was due to happen. From a mindset point of view, this actually forced me to get everything finished in time. (Or should have done, but I’ll get into that later!)

Several people commented and said they were interested, and prior to the webinar itself, 12 people signed up. I was a little disappointed I only had 12 people sign up, but considering I literally shared about the webinar in three places on one occasion, that’s actually not surprising...

I shared it on my FB Timeline, in a FB group, and on Linked In.

Other than responding to comments, I didn’t touch, or repeat those posts, until the day of the webinar when I posted about it again.

I get the feeling that had I posted a few times, made some FB and Linked In Lives, asked people to share it, etc then I probably would have had more people sign up.

At least I know that for next time!

Advertise Early and Often

Lesson 2: Test your webinar delivery system well in advance!

I ran my webinar on Zoom, and from a technical standpoint, it worked really well.

But that wasn’t always my plan.

In fact, right up to the day before, I was planning on running it on a Facebook Live, streaming into a page or my private group.

Again, the day before, in the evening, I decided to run a test. The plan was simple:

Use a prerecorded video of the teaching element of the webinar, then use Ecamm live (which is an excellent piece of software, FYI!) to stream into one of those locations.

I tried it. Realised I needed to change a couple of slides. Then realised I’d have to re-record the video. I tried presenting live and it was just too clunky for what I wanted. The final result would have been me staring at a screen for quite a while trying to work out which buttons to press... It would not have been a great webinar experience for anyone watching...

This led to a very stressful hour frantically researching all sorts of webinar delivery systems, before realising that my Zoom account allows me to run webinars to up to 1000 people. So far I had 12 booked on. There was plenty of headroom.

A quick test of Zoom with my daughter sat downstairs on her iPhone and I decided Zoom was the way to go. But I could have saved a little time and a lot of stress if I had only tested earlier!

Test your webinar system works

Lesson 3: Check all your links work. Then check again!

This is such an easy mistake to make.

I ran the webinar, shared a link to my sales page, then my email automation kicked in and sent out a resources guide.

In the resources guide, there was a link to my sales page.

Or so I thought.

I had accidentally put a completely different link inside the Resource Guide and it was taking my leads to a 404 error page.

Thankfully I use Convertri so was able to duplicate the sales page and get sales working within less than 5 minutes from noticing the problem.

(It actually worked out well as I can now easily track where my customers are coming from, whether they are coming from the live webinar, the replay, or from the Resources Guide, depending on which sales page they land on. There may well be a simpler way of doing this, but it’s good to find the positives when things go wrong!)

So check all your links work.

Then double-check!

And triple check!

Check ALL your links

Lesson 4: Have your automations/email sequence set up in advance!

Oh, the irony...

My webinar was all about email marketing and I had only set up two of the follow-up emails.

This meant a big scramble to get the emails sorted over the next couple of days.

So, plan ahead, write your emails ahead of time, get them set up, and test them a couple of days beforehand. It’ll make everything less stressful!

Have everything set up in advance

Lesson 5: Be ready to answer questions

There will be lots of questions.

Some you’ll be expecting. Others you won’t.

All I would say is that, when it comes to questions, it’s fine to admit you don’t know the answer. It’s better to say you don’t know but will find out.

It’s best when you find out, and get back to the customer with the answer.

That will make you stand out.

And when you stand out, people will buy from you.

Be prepared to answer questions

I hope this has been useful for you.

If you would like to watch the replay of the webinar, please click here.

If you’d like to discuss working together, send me a message or email me.

Webinar Mistakes Email Marketing