We discuss how to sell more of your online courses through a well done webinar with Joel Erway of The Webinar Agency in this episode of LMScast. Chris Badgett of LifterLMS talks with Joel about what makes a webinar so powerful for selling, and the things you should consider when building an online course and doing content marketing.
The experts’ curse or expert syndrome is where a teacher expounds on a topic in such a manner that the students can’t understand. When your students don’t understand your content, they disengage.
Joel is an expert with online webinars and student engagement. He shares his story of how he got into sales, and he discusses with Chris some expert tips about how you can optimize your sales conversions and lead generation strategy.
Joel earned a mechanical engineering degree, and he realized within eight months that it wasn’t for him. So he started selling services and equipment to engineers. When Joel noticed the sales presentations he was told to give were putting his audience to sleep, he decided to take a step back and focus his presentation on the core benefits of his products.
When selling your course, you should to take a step back and look at the results your course delivers and focus on the main benefits. This is especially important when you are hosting a webinar presentation. Don’t try to condense your entire twelve module course into one hour-long webinar, because you will end up confusing your students. And a confused mind doesn’t buy.
Marketing is all about getting the customer to know, like, and trust you. Chris and Joel dive into why webinars are the best way to do this, because people love education, and they want to learn before they buy. Customers are more likely to buy a higher priced product from you if they spend a lot of time with you, and hosting a webinar is a great way to accomplish this.
A good way to keep your students engaged in your course and on free webinars is to give them small wins and give them some type of results in advance before you ask for the sale.
Joel has two podcasts. One is called Sold With Webinars, and the other is called Experts Unleashed. Head over to TheWebinarAgency.com to learn more about the power webinars have for selling your online products and services.
Also go to LifterLMS.com to find out more about how you can use LifterLMS to build your own online courses and membership sites. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us!
Chris Badgett: Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. My name is Chris Badgett, and I’m joined by a special guest, Joel Erway from thewebinaragency.com. Thank you, Joel, for coming on the show.
Joel Erway: What’s up, Chris? Thanks for having me, man.
Chris Badgett: Yeah, it’s great to be here, I feel really lucky to … one of the guys whose podcast I listen to, and now I get to interview him. It’s surreal. Thanks for coming. In your podcast you often talk about the experts’ curse. For you the course creator out there, the membership site builder, I really want you to listen in to how Joel describes the experts’ curse. What is this thing?
Joel Erway: Awesome question man. The experts’ curse is something that I have battled myself. Before we hopped on this podcast we were talking about a webinar that I had launched my own audience to cold traffic, and ashamingly wasn’t wasn’t doing as well as I had hoped. Let me backtrack and talk about what that experts’ curse is, ’cause I can almost guarantee that as experts and course creators we all stumble with it. I’ll remind back to when I first got started with sales presentations, ’cause that is really where I discovered what the experts curse was. I’m an engineer by trade, I went to school for mechanical engineering, graduated a while ago. Now almost 10 years ago, which is crazy to think. But, yes 10 years ago I graduated mechanical engineering degree, and I ended up in the world of sales engineering. I had practiced engineering for about eight months, and I’m like, “This is really boring, and it doesn’t fit my personality.” Go figure, I spend five years getting my degree, and then within eight months like, “This isn’t for me.” I got a job in the world of sales selling to my former colleagues.
One of the main vehicles that we used to sell these products and these projects … I should say they were projects not products, was sales presentation. We would go and we would do a dog and pony show. We would set up these appointments and we would talk about whatever the product was that we were slinging at the time. What I had seen was I was 100% commission only sales person, which meant I ate what I killed. If I didn’t sell anything, I didn’t make any money. I was going through, and I was starting a new territory from scratch. I was taking these manufacturers that I represented, and they were giving these presentations to my customers. If you think about it, my manufacturers were in engineering as well and we were pitching to engineers. So it’s engineers talking to engineers, and as engineers we have the most complex terminology possible. You would think that, that would work very, very well, right? Engineering speak to engineering speak. Well, when were giving these presentations, I just remember for two, or three years we were making very very little attraction with lots of efforts.
It got to the point where I was considering quitting ’cause I knew I wasn’t going to be making the money that I wanted, and I was working 100 hours a week minimum. We were going through these presentations and every time that my manufacturer gave these presentations I would look out into the audience and I would just see people not paying attention, falling asleep. They were just being polite and sitting through the presentation, ’cause they never turned in the projects, like they never turned in to work. I identified that’s clearly the issue that we have, like, “How can I improve this?” So I made a mission to learn how to get better at giving an effective sales presentation. After a bunch of studying, I remember as I was flying around the country into these manufacturing facilities, during my layovers I made a commitment to buy a new sales presentations book to learn the art of it. I realized that what we were doing, we were putting these people to sleep. It was because we were teaching way too much, and we weren’t explaining what the core benefits were of our product clearly to our customer.
That’s simplistic speaking, it’s a little bit more complicated. It takes a lot of work to perfect them, but I said, “Okay, screw it. I’m not even going to wait for my manufacturers to come around and give these presentations. I’m going to rewrite the presentations, and I’m going to give them myself ’cause I think I can do a better job.” I had no experience giving sales presentations, but I remember I rewrote one, and I called up one of my customers and said, “Hey, I want to give a presentation for you. I’ll pay for lunch, can I come in?” They said, “Sure.” I stood up, and my presentation was completely different, completely different than my manufacturer’s and I remember immediately I could see the reaction from our audiences and the light switch flipped. The light switch flipped, I saw in their minds, like, “Holy crap, they got it.” And it turned into work. What I call the experts curse brings that full circle is, you the expert, you know so much about whatever it is that you teach.
Whatever course it is that you teach, as a sales professional if you want to enroll more people into your course, you have to take a step back. Whenever my clients would come to me and they would put together a webinar presentation and it would bomb, I would look at the webinar and I’m like, “You’re trying to teach too much. You are taking your six-week course, your 12-modular course, and you’re trying to condense it into an hour long presentation. That’s just not going to work, it’s 12 modules for a reason. Stop trying to teach it all in your webinar ’cause you’re confusing them.” The number one rule that I abide by is, “A confused mind doesn’t buy.” And that is what the expert curse is.
Chris Badgett: That is awesome. One of the things I noticed listening to your podcast … or I should say one of the reasons that I dove deep into it was because … and I think I’ve listened to every episode. Just to be clear Joel has two podcasts, one is called Sold With Webinars, and another one is called Experts Unleashed. But Sold With Webinars is a podcast about using webinars to sell stuff, which … I’m a course creator, but I’m also a software CEO and I believe that one of the big opportunities I’m missing out on … and I do do a lot of webinars. Whenever we are launching new products, I do webinars with my insider community that buys our highest end product which is called The Infinity Bundle. A solid webinar for selling to cold traffic, or whatever, I’m just not doing it. I just want to make the commitment. I have the resources, and the team, and the time to really go deep in webinar. Basically I’ve just been in student mode learning from you, and just being a fly in the wall watching other webinars, and modeling and looking at good examples.
I believe that the webinar is a super skill for selling. Why … and apparently you do too since you’ve made a podcast about it and the agency around that. What makes a webinar so special for selling?
Joel Erway: Awesome question man, I love answering this question. I want to keep this in simplistic terms as possible, right? ’cause I know people who are listening here, they might be they’re just getting started, they might not have much marketing background. If you’re listening now I want you to think about your customer journey. When you consider buying something, whether it’s a $50 product, $10 product, or let’s just say $1,000 product. We’ve put most of our focus and attention on 500-1,000, to $2,000 products and above for direct selling webinars. It’s a big ask for a potential customer, right? When you think about the journey of your customer there is the three most important words in all the world of marketing, “Know, like, and trust.” You. How can you get somebody to know, like, and trust you? If you research anymore about the world of marketing, you’ll probably somewhat cross the world of content marketing.
Like you need to publish lots of content to build your authority, to build that trust factor. Blog all the time, podcast all the time. Coming up with valuable pieces of content would track your ideal audience and get them to spend time with you, and trust you, to get them to believe that you are the solution to whatever problem they’re currently experiencing. Well the problem with that is lots of people are spending tons, and tons of time blogging, creating SEO … I’m not saying there’s not a time and place for that. I mean, absolutely, we’re doing it in our company too. But how can we build the most effective marketing machine out there to … as solo-preneurs, many of us are small business entrepreneurs, we work online. One, maybe two, or three employees are subcontractors, whatever they are, but we’re usually are marketing on, right?
So how can I create the effective piece of content that builds that know, like, and trust factor and ultimately gets them to want to take the next step with me, which is joining my membership site, join my course, hire me as a consultant. Webinars are the best way to do that because people love education, they want to learn before they buy. A webinar is the best way that I found to do it, because; number one, the best way to increase the know, like, and trust factor with your potential audience is get them to spend time with you. You just don’t get that time commitment with any other piece of content … like the single piece of content that I’m saying. One single piece of content like you do with a webinar. You can get someone to spend one, or two, or three hours with you. And the longer they spend with you, the more likely they are to buy a higher price product, or a higher level of commitment product. The single biggest reason why webinars work so well is they’re spending time with you.
Time increases the relationship factor, the trust factor, and the bond building factor with you and your potential audience. That’s the primary reason. I can keep going, you want me to keep going or do you want to stop here?
Chris Badgett: Well, let me just jump in there and say part of the experts curse it’s something I talk about a lot on this podcast is what I call the five hats problem. Which every course creator membership site owner faces, which is they have to do five jobs simultaneously. They have to be a good expert, which is it’s own skillset. The community builder, building a list, building following, all that. They have to be an instructional designer or teacher. They have to be a technologist, and they have to be an entrepreneur. So course creators, membership site owners are very busy, and if we look under that entrepreneur umbrella there’s this thing called marketing. What I encourage you to think about along in alignment with this episode is, you have limited capacity, limited time. Before you get on the content marketing hamster wheel … it’s good to make some videos, and some blog posts, and things like that, but think about the webinar as a super skill that’s highly focus. How are you going to invest your limited capacity in marketing? Let’s talk more about some of the benefits, you said there is a time factor.
The audience can engage and have a back and forth conversation. What else makes it the super skill?
Joel Erway: Well, providing results in advance. So asides from them spending time with you, which helps build the bond and build that relationship with them, you’re teaching valuable content. That has to be delicate balancing act too because you don’t want to give away the farm. You don’t want to teach so much that there is no reason for them to buy your course, so you don’t want to teach so much that you confuse them. Teaching the right content is a delicate balancing act, however; if you’re just getting started out, building good will, and by teaching content, you’re not going to hurt your audience. I use search or refine your message, you’ll know what makes the biggest impact, but you want to revert some sort of results in advance before you ask for the sale. That’s like super marketing rule law number one.
Chris Badgett: How do I do results in advance from a webinar? What do I do?
Joel Erway: Results in advance, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to make money, or you have to get some sort of guaranteed result. But like giving them quick wins, I’m all about quick wins. One of my programs, The Webinar Vault I break down highly successful webinars. I’m talking about Mike Dillard’s right now and I’m breaking it down. I always look for what the quick wins are, and if a webinar has quick wins I know without a shadow of a doubt that webinar is successful. I’ll give you the example, Mike Dillard’s webinar, he talks about how to build a profitable list. How to build a massive audience and monetize that audience without spending any money out of pocket. Excellent, excellent webinar, but with a caviar. Mike is a super skilled copywriter. One of the things that Mike does for quick wins is he gives them the tools that he uses to build this, that’s a simple quick win. It’s a valuable resource by you. Mike is … one the webinar, he’s like, “I’ve used every tool out there in the market, and here’s why I picked these tools.”
That’s going to save your audience time and money by choosing the right tools for this specific business, that’s a simple example as a quick win. That’s results in advance, just provide value without ever asking from anything in return from your audience. Just provide value first and they will return the favor.
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Let’s get a little … I imagine you are pretty excited listening to all this, if you’re really excited about doing a webinar or trying it, send an email to your list and set one up. Before you do that, how do you explain to a beginner Joel, how to structure it? Is there a three act play? What’s the sequence during the webinar itself? How should I think about it? ‘Cause I can’t teach the whole time, I need to have a call to action, I need to open it up, I need to get people engaged, I need to keep them entertained to stay for a while. What’s the structure?
Joel Erway: The way that I teach it is, I call it … I wish I came up with a more sexier name, but I call it The A.R.E Webinar Sales Method. I’ll break it down, it’s actually six pieces. There’s three pieces … oh man, this is terrible job of me explaining. I’ll try not get it too complex, but it’s a six part method. Let’s start with the A. A stands for three things; authority, attraction, and awareness. This happens inside of your introduction. So A.R.E follows introduction, content, and the clause. The three main components of your webinar. You with me so far?
Chris Badgett: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Joel Erway: Okay, cool. Introduction, we’ve got authority, attraction, and awareness. Here’s my assumption, we do mostly cold traffic webinars. What I mean by that is somebody’s going to register for my webinar who doesn’t know me at all.
Chris Badgett: Which is that hardest sell, right?
Joel Erway: It is the hardest sell. If you have traffic that’s warmer, great.
Chris Badgett: A lot of course creators have that problem though, they don’t have a following yet, or they’re just getting started. It’s their first course, so you have to work with cold traffic.
Joel Erway: Yep, this is the cold traffic strategy. We start with authority, and if nobody has ever heard of you before … and I actually just had an article published on entrepreneur.com yesterday it went live on How To Become An Expert Even If Nobody’s Heard Of you. It’s talking about this similar concept. If you’re an authority … you know authority, attraction, and awareness. You want to figure out a way on how to build yourself as an authority. If you study marketing at all, there is a lot of misconceptions out there. People tell you to tell your hero’s journey story, which is your rags to riches story. I think that’s nonsense. There is a time and place for your hero’s journey story, but what I like to talk about in the authority piece is, “Why am I qualified to talk to you?” If I’m asking that question to myself, or to one of my clients, how can I prove to them that, “You are relevant to me. You can help me.” It doesn’t have to be complex.
I spend maybe one to two minutes max talking about that, and all I talk about are what are my results that I’ve gotten related to the topic that I’m here to share with you today. I want them to know, have I ever been published in any sort of articles? Do I have a podcast? Do I have any sort of guest appearances? Do I have results that I can share with them? How can I prove to them that I know what I’m talking about? That’s all about authority. Attraction and awareness; awareness is all about letting them know what the problem is in the market that you’re here solve today, that’s awareness. I do that by going to find market … I do market research and I find stats, so I go to Statista or any sort of industry publications that are relevant to that specific market.
For instance, if I’m putting a webinar together on how to run Facebook ads, or the new way to run Facebook ads, or how to run Facebook ads profitably, I’m going to go find market research and talk about the rising cost of Facebook ads, and the increasing amount of competition because those are the problems that I know they’re going to be having, and other sorts of problems too. Here’s the problems in the industry, I’m going to bring them front and center ’cause I don’t want to assume anything. I want my audience to know these are the problems that are in the industry, I’m sure you’re aware of them, and if you … that’s a bond building exercise too, if you bring problems that you know they know of, and you present them, they’re going to trust you ’cause they feel like you know what is going through their mind. I bring the problem and I say, “This is the problem in the industry, and this is what I’m here to solve.”So, bring in the awareness and connecting with your audience that way. Authority, awareness, and attraction.
The attraction is all about like, “How is this relevant to me? How can we connect the dots and present the opportunity gap for what makes this webinar special?” This all about the big promise, like, “What are you here to learn today?” So come up with those big results … I mean I’m not talking about monetary, but the big benefits of what they’re going to learn from the webinar today. Those are the three main things that I talk about in the introduction of the A.R.E Webinar Sales Methods. A is all about the introduction of your webinar; authority, attraction, and awareness.
Chris Badgett: That is awesome. What is next with the R?
Joel Erway: So R … we talk about the next two steps which are rapport and relationship building. This happens inside of your content, and a lot of times I pick very specific pieces of content to teach them. My whole goal with the content is to ultimately get them to want to buy my product before it ever gets the pitch, that’s the ultimate goal. I want them to be sold on my product before they ever get to the pitch. The way that I do that is I start with my offer at the end, like, this is the course that I’m going to sell, how can I present that as a system in my content? Because I want them to know whatever it is that this method is in this course that I’m teaching, I want them to know about this from and center and let them see why this is going to work for them and solve the problems that I’ve already introduced to them in the introduction.
I’ll give you an example, I had a webinar that did very, very, very well, I was actually just talking to my client the other day, his goal was to do a $10 million launch with his webinar. He exceeded those goals, we did well over $10 million with this webinar launch. The way it was structured was very, very simple inside of the rapport and the relationship building. I chose three specific pieces of content for them to teach inside of the content. Piece number one was to introduce the end product, front and center. They were teaching people how to build a business on Amazon and make money on Amazon, they had their own unique method that was different than everybody else’s. We called it The Unsexy Method For Selling Products On Amazon, that was the vehicle and that was ultimately the same course that we were selling at the end. I brought it up front and center ’cause I want them to know what the product is early on and conquer their objections.
I wrote that piece for them, and it’s like, “Okay, this is the method, this is the system, and here is how it’s different than everything else. We spend about 10-15 minutes talking about that inside of piece number one. The other two pieces of content that we taught after that we all objection handlers, I taught the system, I taught the method, and I showed results of what this could mean for them, and why that was the best way to build a lifestyle business with Amazon. I know after we get to the end of that first piece of content with the system they’re going to have objections, “This won’t work for me because of X, Y, and Z.” Or, “I get it, but what about this?” So I will strategically place those objections right at the end of that piece of content, and I would handle it with the next piece of content. I don’t know if that came out clear, so let me try and reframe it. Content piece number one was the system, it was The Unsexy Method For Selling On Amazon-
Chris Badgett: Without overdoing it, without putting all 12 modules into that presentation?
Joel Erway: Right, I only just talked about the top level system, the top level overview, the concepts. I present that in content piece number one, then at the end of content piece number one I would actually write on the slide, “Todd, that makes total sense. I can see how this system would work, but aren’t all the good suppliers already taken by the power sellers?” That was the main objection that they had, right? And so I put it up on the slide, and I say, “Well, you’re probably thinking this, and actually that’s not true, and that’s what we’ll talk about in the next piece of content.” So that next piece of content was meant to address the major objection for why they felt like that wasn’t going to work for them. It’s that I taught that piece of content, and I repeated that same exercise at the end of content piece number two. I will introduce the next major objection and conquer that with content piece number three.
By the time we got from the introduction to the end of the main teaching part of the webinar, what we’ve done is we’ve introduced the system, and we’ve conquered the top two major sales objections for why they can’t be successful. We’ve never even pitched the product yet, does that make sense?
Chris Badgett: Totally.
Joel Erway: We’re building that rapport, we’re building that relationship with that audience because I know exactly what they’re thinking, I know their objections, and I know their thoughts, and I know their problems. We taught some things in there, but it was not deep in the weeds like, “Step one do this. Step two do this. Step three do this.” It was, no, “Here’s the top level overview. Here’s why this works, and here’s how to overcome these simple hurdles.”
Chris Badgett: That’s awesome. Well, what’s in E?
Joel Erway: In E, that’s now we’re in the pitch. E is called the exchange, and it’s the sales conversation, the sales pitch. What we do here is … if you think about it, and I taught this in one of the summits that I hosted, what most people think about sales is I think of a battle. Two people are going to battle, you the experts who’s selling something, and your potential customer. Most people view it as like, “You’re trying to butt heads, and overcome all these objections, and ultimately win the battle and get them to hand you money.” When you think about that, sale gets really finicky.
What happens when you fight? Well, people become protective, and they put up these shields, they put up these walls, like, “No, I want to protect my money. You can throw all these objection handling sequences, and objection handling statements at me, but even if you do win and I give you my money, chances are I’m going to have buyers remorse ’cause I felt forced to make that purchasing decision.” What we do is we just frame it as an exchange, when you present your offer early on in your content, they’re already in their minds selling themselves at why this is going to work for them. Why they need to take advantage of this. Now when we get to the sales pitch all we’re doing is we’re giving them and exchange in values, or we’re saying, “Okay, you’ve heard what I’ve got to say. I’ve taught you this system, now you probably want some additional help and support. I’ve got this implementation program that is everything we just taught you, but it goes deeper in the weeds, hold you by the hand step by step, the whole nine yards.”
And always putting the decision in their hands, say like, “This is up to you. If you say yes or no, it doesn’t matter to me. We are having success, my students are having success, this is the same method that I use in my business … or whatever it is yada, yada, yada. I would love to have you on board.” And you just simply go through the details of what’s in the program, what is positioned as an exchange. It’s not positioned as, “You need to buy now. You need to act fast.” I mean, those have their place and time, but you never want buyers’ remorse.
Chris Badgett: That is awesome. I think a lot of … especially beginner marketers, or if they’re more of teacher than marketer sales person, they have a fear of being salesy. But it’s really a value exchange, and you just have to position it. It’s not a confrontation if you’re trying to help people and get on the same page with what’s possible here. There’s a book by Daniel Pink called To Sell Is Human, which if you are having that internal dialogue about, “I don’t know if I can be a salesman, or a sell from a webinar.” I’d encourage you to check that out. I want to ask you about your membership because if I wasn’t listening to this podcast episode, I’d be like, “Man, I need to find out more, I want to try this.” Can you tell us about The Webinar Vault?
Joel Erway: Yeah, Webinar Vault is the best product that I’ve ever put out, and I’ve put out lots of different courses before. I used to sell my training separately for 1,000 and $2,000, and about a month and a half ago I … The agency side, I’m reviewing webinars all the time. Sometimes 10-15 webinars per month, so I’ve grown this audience of people who are interested in webinars. I got the idea by putting this post out on my Facebook profile, just saying, “Hey, listen I’m reviewing all these webinars. Would you guys be interested in getting copies of my notes and learning why these webinars are successful, what I would be doing differently if this were my webinar?” And there was an overwhelming amount of positive feedback. So I said, “You know what? I’m going to tie everything all together and …” it just makes sense because people can learn so much from other webinars in different markets, not just business opportunity. We have clients that were in the relationship niche, custom banket design, financial coaches, you name it. We’ve done hundreds of webinars. The whole goal of the Webinar Vault is to break down these different niches.
I’m going to be doing a supplement webinar breakdown from Doctor Axe probably tomorrow or later this week. Anyway, I wanted to create this vault so people had inspiration to draw from. With all of these different types of webinars, they can get different styles. They can see different versions of what’s working and what’s not working. I include my training and my webinar software, my webinar build software SlideSell. It makes it super easy for people to see what’s possible with webinars, and draw inspirations so they can leverage webinars for their own business. Because I truly believe webinars are an absolute game changer for the solo-preneur because it’s the ultimate form of content marketing. It builds a bond, builds your relationship so your audience knows, likes, and trusts you. It can seriously change the game for your course, I mean that’s the primary market reserve of course creators. That’s what the Webinar Vault is all about.
Chris Badgett: And that’s at thewebinaragency.com, is that the best place to go to find that?
Joel Erway: Yep. Yep, they can find the links at thewebimaragency.com they can get all the details there. It’s just 97 bucks a month, I guess that I was selling my course for 1-2 grand, and they get access to it inside of the Webinar Vault. It’s my collection, my archives of sales presentations.
Chris Badgett: Well I’m going to take my marketing, or entrepreneur hat off and put on my instructional designer hat, and just look at what Joel has stacked here, it’s all about the stack. We had the training, and then training course inside the membership. He’s got the breakdowns, which is like what we call a case study course, it’s a unique thing, I love that idea. It’s like taking, not just the training and great content, but let’s look at what’s working for real out in the world. Then you have software, tools to support this. It’s not just … the stack is always fascinating to me, when somebody teaching something has a unique stack it means they’ve been at it in a while and they’re really focused on getting results and serving our community. Can you tell us a little more about the software piece of that?
Joel Erway: Yes, we created internally a piece of software called SlideSell. As we were growing the agency the whole goal was to help train new copywriters faster, we wanted to expedite that process. I basically wanted to take my coaching program and distill it into a slide by slide format to get people to understand, “Okay, what’s the psychology that happens with every single slide?” And there’s some other copywriting software out there but I just really didn’t like how they were building it. We took a different approach to this, we created a rough template. All the slides are blank on the left hand side, then you can edit your slides on the middle potion. All the bullet points are pre-populated, saying like, this is what I would talk about here. On the right hand side, there is a tutorial video. It’s almost like my coaching program package in a box, every slide has not only teaching of what is supposed to go on that slide, but it’s the psychology of why that happens.
We also give a real life example, like what we did with the slide with another webinar so they can see everything that’s happening in real time and how it all measures together, so they can model it and get inspiration for themselves. They can build it right in that presentation tool, right in SlideSell and they can export it as a Google slide.
Chris Badgett: Wow, that’s beautiful. I want to go back to something I heard on one of your episodes of a common mistake that people make. You touched on it earlier in this conversation, which was putting the hero’s journey in the wrong place. Can you elaborate on what you discovered for people who aren’t aware of what the hero’s journey is? What that means.
Joel Erway: Yeah. We’ll start with the hero’s journey. The hero’s journey is a story that you tell about yourself, it’s what is your struggle story and how does that relate to your audience? Call it the rags to riches story, call it the … whatever it is, but like, “What was your journey to get to where you are today?” So many people who are building their webinars put that right smacked up in the beginning of the presentation, and you have to understand that your customers, your audience they’re selfish. They don’t give two craps about you, especially if they’ve never heard of you before. Think about this, you see an ad on Facebook and it’s like, “Free Webinar; Learn how to X, Y, and Z in 10 minutes. Join me for this free training on Thursday at 8:00 P.M.” Like, “Okay, cool. I’m interested, I want to learn.” You register for the webinar, you show up at 8:00 P.M and for the first 20-25 minutes … and mind you, you have no idea who this person is. Zero exposure to who this person is that you signed up for the webinar.
What do they do? The first 20 … in your mind you want to learn what they promised you. “I want to learn what the headline is of this webinar. What’s the big promise?” But they force you to sit through like, “Before we get to that, let me tell you a little bit about my back story. 10 years ago I was this broke college student, and living off of food stamps, blah, blah, blah.” I mean, you’re forcing them to listen to your painful journey. You’re asking way too much from your audience at that point, they really don’t care about you. They want to learn what you promised them, if you do get them to stick around, they’re going to be frustrated. They’re just going to be wanting to get that end result, that hero’s journey story does come into play, but only after you … you can use it after you have proven value to them, because it is a trust building exercise.
I would put that at the end of your webinar, and only use it as like, “Why should I trust you?” After maybe the offer the call to action and the pitch, use it as an objection handling story. The main question people are going to say, ‘Well, why should I trust you? Why should I invest in your course? What makes you a qualified educator? A qualified leader?” Then you can go and say, “Listen, you’re probably in … I don’t know about you, but three years ago I was in a pretty rough situation before I discovered this solution.” That is when I would tell my hero’s journey story. Where you use it as bond building exercise as an objection handling sequence, but not at the beginning ’cause people don’t care about you. They really don’t.
Chris Badgett: Well said. Well said. Do you remember which episode it was where that came up on your podcast?
Joel Erway: I don’t, but I can pull it up.
Chris Badgett: While you’re doing that, I also just wanted to ask you about traffic. Assuming I have a small, or limited audience that I’ve built so far, what do you advise to get traffic and signups to my webinar?
Joel Erway: Cool, I have a bunch of really great episodes on how to get traffic to your webinar. There’s lots of different ways that you can get it. I’ll reference, the Hero’s Journey Mistake is episode 36, and actually the very next episode which was episode number 37 with John Nemo, he talks about how to Get 100 Free webinar Registrations Per Day Using LinkedIn. I would highly recommend anyone who’s just starting out and maybe you don’t have a budget for paid traffic, check up that episode and learn how to leverage LinkedIn. I know a bunch of people who use LinkedIn to get webinar registrations, and they’re usually more targeted. Probably not the best for scale, however; just getting started, that’s one recommendation.
Chris Badgett: Cool. If I do have a list, what’s the recommendation you would have for me to maximize … let’s say a prospect list, how many people enroll? Should I do bonuses for live attendees only? Or is there any way to maximize enrollments for my existing list?
Joel Erway: I’m sorry, can you repeat the question?
Chris Badgett: Let’s say I already have an email list of let’s say several thousand prospects, is there anything I can do with presenting the webinar opportunity to maximize the number of people that join? Is there any bonuses, or what? What can I do?
Joel Erway: I always like to get permission before I invite them to a webinar, one of the ways that you can do that is give them a free pdf, and lead them. Getting somebody to commit to a webinar is a big ask. It really is.
Chris Badgett: It’s two hours.
Joel Erway: It’s two hours, right. And they get a block out time in their day, give them a teaser beforehand. If you’ve got an existing list, like one of my clients Brian Harris gave a pdf to his existing list saying, “Here is some great things that we’re talking about on the webinar.” And he got them exited for the webinar. I apologize, I don’t know if you can hear my son screaming in the background. But anyway, it is what it is. A free pdf to give them a teaser for your existing list helps warm them up, and be like, “We’re going to dive deeper into this webinar, so hopefully you can join us.” That works very, very well, rather than just saying, “Hey …” cold blasting my email list. Get them excited about the topic first and then get them to register, it’s like a two step, and you will get a higher show up rate with that, 100%.
Chris Badgett: That’s really cool, that’s a good tip. It’s almost like, “We’re going to talk about the party before we invite you to the party.” Is there any kind of general best practices around the replay?
Joel Erway: It all depends on if you’re doing cold … I’ll give a little bit of a preview. Inside of this webinar break that I did with Mike Dillard’s webinar, it’s a super, super, short email funnel. I mean it’s like a total of like five emails, and I think three out of the five are just pre-webinar reminders. His follow up sequence is only about two emails long. If this is going to cold traffic, I would not heavily push the webinar replay. Send one email out, don’t pepper them with high pressure sales. They’re either interested, or they’re not. Leverage this as the profitable list building tool that does way more than just building your list, it builds that rapport relationship, and that bond. But don’t overpressure them with high pressure sales tactics, stuff like, “This bonus is expiring. This bonus is expiring. This bonus is expiring.” Go simple, and save those big asks for later.
Chris Badgett: That is awesome. Well Joel, thank you so much for coming on the show and sharing your wisdom with us. You can find out more about Joel at thewebinaragency.com check out his podcasts Experts Unleashed, and Sold With Webinars. Tell us again how to find out about the Webinar Vault, your monthly membership.
Joel Erway: You can find the links right on The Webinar Agency Homepage. I’ll have links there, we’re setting up the frontal right now. I pre-sold it last month and a half ago., so unfortunately I don’t have the direct links, but you will find it on the homepage of The Webinar Agency. Check it out, and just either connect with me @Joel @thewebinaragency.com and I can hook you up there and follow me on social media. Those are the best ways, and follow my podcast. Definitely follow my podcast.
Chris Badgett: Awesome. Well, thanks, Joel.
Joel Erway: Yeah, thanks, Chris. It was a pleasure.