Episode 295

How to Sell Your Online Course through a Webinar with Omar Zenhom from WebinarNinja

Learn how to sell your online course through a webinar with Omar Zenhom from WebinarNinja in this episode of the LMScast podcast hosted by Chris Badgett of LifterLMS. Omar shares his journey starting out in the traditional education system and eventually teaching courses and creating the WebinarNinja tool.

Webinars are a great way of selling online courses and scaling up your platform from 1-on-1 conversations with students and products. It also requires the same skillset as teaching, so it’s a great way for online course creators to reach their audience.

How to sell your online course through a webinar with Omar Zenhom from WebinarNinja

Omar’s dad worked in sales all of his life, and living with a volatile income for the family made Omar decide to go in the opposite direction and pursue a career in education. He became an English teacher working with foreign students so they could take courses in English. That’s how he started his professional career in his early 20s. Omar worked as a high school and university teacher for over 13 years and was really great at his job, and that made it hard to transition out of a career he was doing well in.

During the last 5 or 6 years Omar was working as a teacher, he was dabbling with the internet learning about how he may be able to make money working with it. He still wasn’t confident enough to make online business his full-time job, so he spoke to his supervisor, the Dean at the school, and asked when he may be getting a promotion officially, as he had been filling in a role with the school that he was excited to get officially promoted to. And when she let Omar know they were going to go with an outside hire, he realized he wasn’t in control of his destiny and didn’t have control of how he could progress in life. That’s when he made the leap to full-time entrepreneurship.

Deciding to start a business consultancy firm, Omar was helping businesses. And during that time he started a course called The $100 MBA where he teaches the fundamentals of business, sales, marketing, and everything he learned along the way. This was around 2012, and he started to run webinars about his course. And after people inquired about how he was running his webinars, he let them know he had built a beta tool for himself. He tested out an offer for a tool that made it easier to run webinars, and in 48 hours his beta program of 250 people was completely sold out. And that was the genesis of WebinarNinja.

Omar has a lot of great tips and strategies for course creators in this episode, so be sure to take notes on some best practices for how you can run webinars for your LifterLMS website.

To learn more about Omar Zenhom and everything he has going on at WebinarNinja, be sure to check out WebinarNinja.com. You can also head to WebinarNinja.com/Workshop to check out their next live webinar and see an example of how you can run your webinars for your online course website.

At LifterLMS.com you can learn more about new developments and how you can use LifterLMS to build online courses and membership sites. If you like this episode of LMScast, you can browse more episodes here. Subscribe to our newsletter for updates, developments, and future episodes of LMScast. Thank you for joining us!

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

Chris Badgett:

You’ve come to the right place if you’re a course creator looking to build more impact, income, and freedom. LMScast is the number one podcast for course creators just like you. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I’m the co-founder of the most powerful tool for building, selling, and protecting engaging online courses called LifterLMS. Enjoy the show.

Chris Badgett:

Hello, and welcome back to another episode of LMScast. I’m joined by a special guest, Omar Zenhom from WebinarNinja. Welcome to the show, Omar.

Omar Zenhom:

Good to be here, Chris.

Chris Badgett:

I’m super excited for this conversation for many reasons. You have a software tool called WebinarNinja, and course creators need a lot of help selling, and one of the ways to do that at scale is through a webinar. It’s also requires the same skillset kind of as a teacher. So I kind of wanted to start there, tell us about your teaching background and how you translated that into business. Because a lot of course creators are expert first, marketer, sales, technology person later. So how did that journey happen for you?

Omar Zenhom:

Totally. I got into teaching because my dad was in sales all his life. So if you ever had a parent that was in sales you understand what I mean. Because one summer vacation you’re going to Disney World and the next summer vacation it’s in the backyard. You’re going up and down and it’s pretty volatile. And I kind of saw that and I was like, “Ah, I don’t know if I want to get into sales or even business.” And I was just like, “Let me do the direct opposite of that and go into education.”

Omar Zenhom:

And I studied to become a teacher. I was an English teacher. English as a second language. I was teaching foreign students English so they can be able to take their courses in English. And that’s how I kind of started my professional career back when I was in the early 20s. And I was a high school, university teacher for over 13 years, I was teacher trainer and I was really good at my job. I was awesome.

Omar Zenhom:

I don’t say that because I’m trying to beat on my chest, I say that because it was hard for me to transition out of a career that I was doing well in. But about I would say 10 years into teaching, for the last kind of five or six years, I was dabbling into the internet and trying to see what is this thing, can you make money on it? I was just curious. I would read some business books because my uncle who’s an entrepreneur would come and visit me once every few months and just kind of give me a book to read and then we’ll discuss it the next time he’d come around.

Omar Zenhom:

So I got to the point where I felt confident enough to kind of like, “Hey, maybe I can make this my full-time thing,” but I was still not confident to take that leap at full-time entrepreneurship from teaching. But one day it was towards the end of my career at the university and I was the acting chair of the department. I was doing the job for about a year and a half and what was crazy is that, I was like, “Okay, when, when is this going to be official? When am I going to get this promotion?”

Omar Zenhom:

I’m doing the person’s job who left for about a year and a half. So I went and I spoke to my supervisor, the Dean, and I asked her, “Hey, when am I going to get this position officially? I’ve been killing it with this position, I’m doing great.” And then she kind of just told me the truth. She said, “The director of the university wants to make an outside hire.” So at that moment I realized, “Wow, I am not in control of my destiny. I’m not in control of how I can progress in life.”

Omar Zenhom:

And that’s when I decided, “Okay, I’m going to take this leap into full-time entrepreneurship.” And that’s kind when I started my business consultancy firm, I started helping businesses, I started a course called The $100 MBA, which is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a $100 MBA education, teaching the fundamentals of business and sales and marketing and everything I learned along the way. And it was 2012 at the time and I started to run webinars to sell this course that I put together The $100 MBA.

Omar Zenhom:

And I just didn’t like all the different software options out there. I had to hodgepodge all these different pieces of software. I used video software and then a different landing page software, and then I had to tie into my email marketing software to send out notifications and reminders and then had to download the replay, then put it on our landing page and offer it to my attendees. It was a lot of work and I was doing it every week because it was growing my business, but it was a headache every week.

Omar Zenhom:

So, luckily I learned throughout the years a bit of HTML, bit of PHP, bit of CSS and I just kind of slapped together a very, very beta software just so I can make my life easier to run webinars. I started using it and then my attendees were like, “Hey, what are you using for those webinars?” I said, “Just something I put together”. And they’re like, “Well, can we buy it?” And they I’m like, “Never thought of that.” So we actually just pre-sold the software.

Omar Zenhom:

We opened it up for about 250 people and we sold out in 48 hours. So we’re like, “Okay, wow. 250 people are willing to put down money on just the promise of a better solution for webinars.” And it was literally just a landing page with just mockups of the design and things like that. So from there WebinarNinja was born and we took those beta members, learned from them, found out what they need and how we can improve and today we have over 14,000 members. So it’s just been a great growth over the last six years or so.

Omar Zenhom:

Steady, slow growth. But one of the things that I learned along the way doing over 500 webinars is, when you do a webinar, it’s very close to being live on stage. And I say that because you just can’t fake it, you can’t fake and you can’t pretend you’re something you’re not. Okay? And I tried that. I’m going to be honest with you. First time I was doing it, I tried to be the Tony Robbins. All right? I tried to be the professional guy.

Omar Zenhom:

I’m the businessperson now I’m not a teacher anymore. All right? And it just didn’t work and people could see right through it. And I didn’t feel good about it and I wasn’t converting. So I decided to be like, “Hey, you know what? I’m just going to leverage my strengths.” My strength is I’m good at teaching. I know how to teach. I have a master’s in education. I’ve taught for 13 years, five times a day, every single day for 13 years. Right? So I know how to teach.

Omar Zenhom:

So I was like, “Let me just use that. Let me just try to teach when I’m on the webinars, give as much value as possible and then when it’s time to sell the product I’m going to show them and not sell them. I’m just going to show them the product. I’m going to demo the product, I’m going to show them inside the course area. I’m going to teach them how to get the most out of the program and what our best students do to get results.”

Omar Zenhom:

So I definitely decided that will work for me because that will feel natural and it did. And what happens is that you start differentiating yourself from the crowd. A lot of people are sick of the salesy, markety type of webinars that go on. They want to learn more about how this program or how this product can help them. That’s really why on the webinar they’re not really interested in being coerced into something.

Omar Zenhom:

One of the things I learned really quickly and I learned this from my father actually is, you can’t make anybody buy something, you just can’t. I mean, you could do pressure sales, but it’s going to end up in a chargeback or a refund or something. Right? One of the things he told me is that, “What you can do is you can build trust and a relationship with people,” and that’s really what your job is on a webinar.

Omar Zenhom:

And that’s the biggest takeaway. If you’re going to take something from today’s podcast is, when you’re doing webinars that should be your number one goal. Don’t worry about anything else. Just worry about building trust of the people on the other side. If they feel like you have their back, you have their best interest in mind. That you’re actually genuinely trying to help them regardless if they buy or not, right? They will remember that. You’ll make an impact on them.

Omar Zenhom:

But most importantly, even if they don’t buy, when they are ready to buy, they’re not going to shop around, they’re going to come back to you. And that was one of the best pieces of advice I ever got. Because it just allowed me to breathe and relax and not worry so much about the numbers and the conversions and the sales and everything, and realize, “Hey, my job is to build trust and then they will come along”.

Omar Zenhom:

And what we found when we did look at the numbers is that sometimes it takes two or three webinars for somebody to convert. Sometimes they just love the content so much and they love seeing you, and they want some of you that they just attend the next webinar, the next webinar, the next webinar, until it’s time for them to buy. And they’re like, “Okay, I’m ready to take that leap.”

Chris Badgett:

Wow. That’s awesome. I got a ton of questions for you related to that. But first, just to point on that trust and the relationship not the hard sell, I really relate to that. And the way I think about it too, when I run a webinar, is there’s something special that happens in the relationship after the webinar’s over. I think about what was their experience? What are they walking away from? How are they thinking about the offer without the pressure of you being right there?

Chris Badgett:

Sure. You may have whatever your email or Slack or something open, and you can see some sales happening while you’re doing the webinar. But in my experience, most of the sales happen afterwards when they’re thinking about the impact you had on that call. In terms of teaching and structuring a webinar, if we’re going to add value even to people who aren’t going to buy so that… I mean, really, it’s usually a lot less than half the people on your webinar actually buy. Is there an industry standard? Is it like a third?

Omar Zenhom:

They say 15%, on average it’s 15%.

Chris Badgett:

15%.

Omar Zenhom:

At some point if they’ve watched your webinar they’ll buy whether it’s on the replay, whether it’s a month from now, but the impact is accredited to the webinar.

Chris Badgett:

That’s cool. How do we think about structure? I know you have a whole slide method of, they do this first and do this. But tell these instructional designers, the teachers watching how do you structure a webinar?

Omar Zenhom:

Right. So we have something called the TOKYO method, which is an acronym for how to structure a webinar. And I’ll go through that if it’s helpful. The other thing is I want to be clear that the best thing you can do is be transparent. It’s the best thing you could do. Why? Because there’s so much shadiness happening on the internet, that it’s so refreshing when they see somebody who’s just being honest.

Omar Zenhom:

I just ran a webinar for WebinarNinja yesterday for people that are not members, people that are not customers yet. And I start, the webinar by saying, “Hey guys, this is a demo webinar. I’m here to show you the program. I’m here to show you and allow you to decide if WebinarNinja is a good fit for you. This is not a sales webinar. Okay?” I’m just letting them know. Right? And I just say, “Even though this is a demo webinar, I’m going to make an offer to you. I’m going to give a special deal.

Omar Zenhom:

If you want to get started, only if you feel like it’s a good fit. If you don’t think this is for you, no problem. You’re going to get a lot out of today’s webinar anyway. You’ll learn how to create a webinar. You’ll learn all the steps. You’ll also learn a little bit more about the structure of how to put everything together.” And people just start to exhale at that moment. People go on a webinar and they’re just all tense and they’re like, “Okay, I have to have my guard up. I better put my wallet in the freezer because they might charge my credit card somehow.”

Omar Zenhom:

People are on guard and you need to put them at ease a little bit. You can’t build trust if they have their guard up. So I’m just honest with them and I tell them, “Hey, I’m not here to take your money, I’m here to see if this is a good fit for you. Give you all the information so you can make a decision.” Right? And that automatically makes them feel like I’m empowering them. I’m giving them, the power to make a decision rather than me saying, “Hey, I’m going to shove this down your throat.”

Chris Badgett:

From your dad or wherever, what is the difference between consultative selling versus high-pressure selling?

Omar Zenhom:

Well, high-pressure selling in my… And this is very prevalent in our space. But is a lot more about, “Hey, I’m going to convince people that they need this.” Okay? “And then I will show them that it’s a huge mistake if you don’t buy this.” Right? So basically you’re telling them this is the decision you have to make, right? Consulting is basically, you’re just saying to them, “Hey, this is what I have to offer. This is what I can do and this is what I can’t do.”

Omar Zenhom:

It’s important just as much just say, “Hey, we don’t do this.” Right? “We’re not for you if you don’t do this.” Right? And then you allow them to make the decision on their own. Right? And that’s a lot better sale because that sale sticks. That’s somebody who’s going to stay with you for years. That’s someone who’s going to continue to buy your products. Because they have the feeling that, “Hey, I didn’t get pressured into this.”

Omar Zenhom:

Pressure sales often lead to buyer’s remorse and refunds and chargebacks and bad word of mouth. And often a lot of these companies that do pressure sales they’re not so confident in their product, so that’s why they push it so much and then they have a back office that just makes it a pain in the butt for you to refund. So there’s a lot that goes on here. I’m not saying that pressure sale doesn’t work. It does work.

Omar Zenhom:

I mean, I’ve been to conferences where people are making millions of dollars on programs because they got people in the state of ready to buy and all that kind of stuff. But all I’m saying, this is what works for me. This is what works for me. This is what I feel comfortable with. This is what I prefer to do with my business. So in terms of structuring the webinar, the TOKYO method. So TOKYO each letter represents a part of your webinar that you need to prepare, so you can present the best version of you and your brand and your product.

Omar Zenhom:

So T stands for topic. This is one of the most important parts of creating a webinar is nailing your topic. And I always say that your topic is your promise to your audience, because when your audience sees the title of your webinar, they feel like you’re making a promise that you’re going to deliver on that. So if I’m running a webinar on how to be able to go down a green run with a snowboard for the first time, right? They are expecting to know how to do that by the end of the webinar.

Omar Zenhom:

If they don’t know how to do it, or have the skills to do that, they’re going to feel like you broke that promise and that breaks trust. So it’s really important to be as specific as possible, excuse me. So it’s really important to be as specific as possible that way you make sure you can fulfill the promise. So I always say how to be an amazing basketball player is a horrible promise, but how to improve your free throw shooting by 10% is a good specific.

Omar Zenhom:

I’m not just talking about every aspect of basketball, I’m talking about free throw shooting. Not all of offense and I’m talking about specific metric of how much I’m going to increase that free throw shooting. And I can deliver that in an hour. So nailing your topic is really, really important. Yeah, go ahead.

Chris Badgett:

If we’re an expert on a subject matter, how do we pick what topic? Maybe our program or course, or membership has tons of stuff in it like which one? How do we know what to choose?

Omar Zenhom:

I always say you have to choose where you can add the most value. So what’s your number one… Where can you really nail that topic and really add the most value and change the lives or the businesses of the people that you’re working with? I’ll give a good example. If I wanted to become a travel blogger, for example, I am fascinated with the Japan, right? But I’ve never been to Japan, right? Even though I read all these blog posts and I love Japanese culture and all that kind of stuff.

Omar Zenhom:

If I’m going to do a webinar, let’s explore Japan is not the best value I can add, even though I’m really passionate about it. Right? But I could probably do a better job for the topic was how to go to Egypt on a budget or something like that, because my parents are Egyptian. I’ve been to Egypt over a dozen times and I know how to speak Arabic and all that kind of stuff. Even though I’m not in love with Egypt, right? It’s not my passion, I’m more passionate about Tokyo or about Japan, right?

Omar Zenhom:

TOKYO method. Right? But the point is, is that I can add more value there because I have more experience there, I have more information that I can offer. So where can you add the most value is what I would say. The next thing is that you can always crowdsource your topics either on social or emailing your list with a survey, “Hey, I’m running a live webinar, here are a few topics I’m exploring.” And these are all areas that you can add value.

Omar Zenhom:

And people will reply based on their biggest needs, their biggest pain points. Okay? One of the other ways I also recommend is make your first webinar a open Q&A webinar. I recommend this to a lot of our new members who really don’t know where to start. And they just do an open Q&A, it’s about 30 minutes and they just tell their email list or their members or on social, “Hey, I’m doing an open Q&A, if you have any questions about this topic I’m here to…” And your topic is your industry, “I’m here to help.”

Omar Zenhom:

And basically you get all the questions and this is basically all the great topics that you can use for your next webinar, because people are suffering from these issues. And what’s great about our software is that you can save all these questions and you can export them as a CSV file, that kind of stuff. So you can have basically a database of topics for the future. So yeah, you could definitely crowdsource, you can run a Q&A webinar. But I would start with value. Where can I add the most value? Yeah, go ahead.

Chris Badgett:

Quick question on the topic. I mean, I see some people new to webinars thinking, “Oh, they’re just coming to sell.” How do you think about the topic with the percentage of the people that aren’t going to buy or whatever? Like webinar’s are not just for selling. I mean, you do want to sell but what about the people that don’t buy? How do you think about that in your mind?

Omar Zenhom:

So this is actually a really easy thing to do if you’re selling information, if you’re selling a course, because you can definitely sample whatever you sell on the webinar. So for example I have a course called Easy Course actually, it’s a course on how to build your own online course. And the first module is all about how to define what your course is all about, how to outline the whole topic of the course. And I can just make that a webinar.

Chris Badgett:

So you teach it live?

Omar Zenhom:

I teach it live and then basically at the end of the webinar’s like, “Hey, I got a whole lot more that I could teach you, but we only have an hour. I have a whole program that goes through all these things.” And I outline what the whole program is about, I actually share my screen. I go into the members area, here are all the courses. I actually play a video and show them, “Hey, check out the quality of these videos.”

Omar Zenhom:

And I say, “It’s a 30-day program. We have a special offer today if you want to continue your learning, if you liked what you learned today, and you want to take things to the next level, here’s the offer. We’re going to be having this offer,” and this is the bundle they get. And it’s just an offer button. I just show them the product and then I take questions. And I just say, “Hey, any questions you have about what I taught today or about the product, let me know.” I don’t spend too much time with the offer, maybe maximum five minutes-

Chris Badgett:

Out of like an hour or what?

Omar Zenhom:

Yeah, yeah. Maximum five minutes because I’m mindful of the fact that my goal is to build trust and I can do that in the workshop most of the time or in the demoing portion. And then when I’m selling I’m just… When I say selling, I’m really just showing them what I have for them. I got something here that can help you implement this with far greater ease, basically.

Chris Badgett:

Free sample.

Omar Zenhom:

Yeah it’s a free sample but it’s also like, “Hey you could build the course on your own or you can be part of our community, get the accountability you’re looking for, get feedback, get the templates we offer.” So you’re basically showing them there’s an easier way to do what I just taught you. You can go with what I gave you, it’s going to be a little bit harder. You could definitely do it, but if you want the fast track way everybody loves convenience here’s what I have to offer you.

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. Oh, and TOKYO is the outline.

Omar Zenhom:

Yes.

Chris Badgett:

So how do we structure this thing?

Omar Zenhom:

Totally. So when I talk about outline I immediately think about a lesson plan, because there’s just my background in teaching and every teacher never… Teachers don’t walk into the classroom with no plan, they have to have a lesson plan because they need to make sure that they can deliver the information and the students can comprehend it so they can pass the tests. Right? A lot of their jobs are on the line there. Right?

Omar Zenhom:

So, what I like to do is, okay, you have a topic, you have a promise. How am I going to make sure I deliver on that promise? We have an outline where basically we’re going to break down that topic into three parts, three steps, three tips, something like that, that’s going to deliver. If you can’t do it in three then you probably need to get more specific on your topic. Okay? And I say three because one of the things I learned in education is, in order for somebody to learn something, they have to do two things.

Omar Zenhom:

They got to be able to comprehend what you’re saying understand it, but they also need to retain it, remember it. If you can’t remember and be able to repeat that it’s hard for you to reproduce that result. A good example is when you were back in grade school, when you had to learn long division, you’d have the example on the board and you’d have to carry the one, but you have to remember the steps. You can’t do the homework at home if you don’t know the steps, right?

Omar Zenhom:

So the same thing goes when you’re on your webinar. You want to make sure it’s brief, it’s short so they can remember it. I always do a recap anytime I go through any of the steps and that really helps. So you want to break it down to three parts or three tips. And within those three parts you can have sub-parts. For example, if I’m doing a webinar on free throw shooting basketball, free throw shooting, maybe the first part is visualization, right?

Omar Zenhom:

Part one, is visualize the ball going into the hoop. You want to keep your eyes open. You want to keep your eyes looking at the hoop and you want to see the ball go through the hoop a few times, four, five times, six times, seven times. So these are just a few tips about visualization, and then I go onto the next one. Okay, the next thing is that you want to square up, you want to bend your knees, you want to make sure it looks like you’re sitting on a chair. So all that kind of stuff.

Omar Zenhom:

So you talk about your stance and the third is fall through or something like that. This is just off the top of my head. So the point is, is that you want to break it down into three easy to understand parts. So that’s your outline. And then at the end you have to ask the question, does it fulfill the promise? Do they know how to improve their free throw shooting by 10% if I deliver these three tips? And that’s kind of how you put it all together.

Chris Badgett:

That is awesome. Into the content when you make the turn into the offer, like how do you make that turn? Especially for somebody who’s a little scared of selling or not comfortable with it. How do they turn around the corner from the content there?

Omar Zenhom:

Yeah. So there’s two things that I recommend. Number one is like I mentioned at the start of the webinar be transparent, so they know it’s coming. So you say, “Hey, this is what we’re going to be covering today. I’m going to be teaching you one, two, three, four. I’m also going to be giving a special offer of my product at so and so.” I even make a joke about it. I say, “I’ll let you know when that happens. So if you’re not interested, you could leave the webinar or you can-

Chris Badgett:

No pressure.

Omar Zenhom:

… throw wallet in the freezer.” Yeah. And I’m just transparent. It’s just a joke, people think it’s funny and that’s it. You just let them know at the beginning that this is happening. So then when you’re going through the workshop and you’re teaching, and then now you’re transitioning, I actually ask permission. And this is a really a good technique because you get the crowd onboard, you get support from the crowd.

Omar Zenhom:

So I will ask in the chat, we went through the workshop, “Hey, would you guys be interested in learning how you can implement what I just taught with far greater ease? I’ve put something together for you that I worked really hard on. I’m really proud of that, like I mentioned that I want to offer you guys if you’re interested in getting started. Is that okay with you?” And then in the chat they say, “Yeah. Let’s see it, blah, blah, blah.”

Omar Zenhom:

So by saying is that okay with you? You recognize and respect the fact that these people are spending their time with you, they’re on the webinar, they put it in their calendar all that kind of stuff. So a lot of people are receptive to that kind of response, to that kind of prompt. And then from there I say, “Okay, let me show you what I have here. This is called, Easy Course. This is called free throw shooting for pros. I put this together [inaudible 00:25:41],” and you just tell your story.

Omar Zenhom:

Why I put this together? This is why I made it. And by the way, everybody knows you’re an entrepreneur. Everybody knows you have a product to sell. It’s not a secret. So just better to get in front of it and be honest with it and that’s really the transition line I love. It says, “Hey, I just taught you something, would you like to see how you can implement this with far greater ease?”

Chris Badgett:

So K in TOKYO is keynote and part of that is making the transition or turn to the sale. But there’s also the whole slide development thing.

Omar Zenhom:

Yeah.

Chris Badgett:

What do people mess up with slides? Let’s start there.

Omar Zenhom:

I think the thing is that a lot of people have too many slides and a lot of people will have like a 100 slides for an hour webinar, I think that’s way too much. And what tends to happen is people rush through their slides and they don’t allow enough time for people to think and absorb what you just taught. And they think that’s high energy. No, that’s not high energy, that’s just horrible teaching. I mean that’s just the honest truth. I know that from experience.

Omar Zenhom:

It’s better for you to have 30 slides and to spend a little bit more time on each slide, check comprehension, ask people rhetorical questions. Like, how many of you experience this? To relate a story to each lesson that you’re teaching or each point you’re teaching, reference it in real life, things like that. So a lot of people are just reading off slides and they’re not actually teaching the material.

Omar Zenhom:

If I can give you the slides and you can just read the slides and understand everything and get like 90% of the content, then you’re useless, right? So there’s no reason for you to be on the webinar. Okay? So the slide shouldn’t be self-explanatory, you should be able to see a slide, get a vague understanding of what the slide is about, but it requires a teacher to unlock it. And that’s really what you want to do.

Omar Zenhom:

So that will allow you to kind of simplify your slides and not rush through things. A lot of us, when we get nervous we speak faster. I’m a native New Yorker, so I had to slow down my speech when I became a teacher and this is one of the first things I learned. Is like “You’re speaking too fast teacher,” and I was like, “Okay, sorry.” So the point is, is that when you’re putting your slides together, what we really recommend is one, is see it as a signpost, as a way for you to prompt yourself.

Omar Zenhom:

This is what we’re going to be talking about. This is how we’re going to… And use them as visual aids. Visuals are very good for people to remember what you’re actually teaching. Remember retention’s 50% of learning something. So this is what we recommend. We have a format which basically is your title slide, which is the promise. And then you have your host slide where you talk about who you’re all about and why you here. Why you teaching this webinar? What brought you to today?

Omar Zenhom:

I call it the origin story and it shouldn’t be too long, about a few minutes, but basically you want to share the ups and the downs that brought you to today, all the mistakes you’ve made, not all of them but some of the mistakes you made that you learned along the way to get to the point where you are on the webinar and teaching them this topic. And then we have the outline slide where it outlines what you’re going to cover today.

Omar Zenhom:

And then you go into the slides for those three parts we talked about and then the sub-parts inside of them. And then we have a slide that we have for the offer and a slide to prompt them for Q&A and we have a whole format. And if you ever go on our live webinars you’ll see how you can use that as an example and also we do give away the slides templates to our members, so that you could just plug and play with PowerPoint keynote.

Chris Badgett:

That is awesome. So I’m going to ask you to coach me Omar. I’m an introvert. I’m not a very animated person. I can be a little bit monotone. I’ve done maybe I don’t know, a 100 or 150 webinars, and I’ve definitely gotten better. One of the reasons I podcast is to just improve my public speaking skills and stuff, but how do we increase engagement? I mean, I say, hey to people in the beginning, I ask people to say something in the chat to make it more interactive. But how do we up the engagement game especially if we’re just not a natural, if you will.

Omar Zenhom:

Yeah, totally. It’s good to have a game plan when it comes to engagement and the TOKYO method, why it stands for your engagement. And what I like to say is that you can’t expect the crowd to be engaged. You have to train them to be engaged, right? You have to show them this is how it works here in this webinar. This is how I do business. Okay? And it’s then slowly. You ease them into it. And what I like to say is that regardless of what the topic of the webinar is, everybody’s favorite subject is themselves.

Omar Zenhom:

They like to talk about what’s going on with them. Right? Because that’s what they’re good at. They know themselves very well. So you can start with a softball like that. And when I join the webinar I say, “Hey, let me know where you’re coming from and what would be a win for you today?” Or “What brought you to today’s webinar?” And the reason why I want them to share that is because I want to learn a little bit more about what their needs are. Why did they come here? What their expectations are. Right?

Omar Zenhom:

And then the reason why I ask them where are you tuning in from? Is I want to just get some context so I can be able to build some rapport with them. So once they start putting some answers in the chat, I just said, “Hey oh, John, you’re from New York. Whereabouts in New York? I used to live in the West Village. I’d love to know where your abouts.” And then it gets him engaged. And he’s like, “Oh yeah. I love the West Village. I’m on the Upper West Side.”

Omar Zenhom:

The point here is, is that they recognize I’m just not shouting at, “Hey John, hey K, hey whatever.” That is not engagement, that is roll call. Right? So what you want to do is you want to just engage on a personal level at some point. Every single thing in the chat I’ll say that, “Amir’s from Amsterdam. Hey, Amir, it’s great to have you in Amsterdam. I was there last year, what a beautiful city. I love biking around. Are you close to whatever bridge that I was on?”

Omar Zenhom:

And then you just throw some context at them to just make them feel like you actually are interested in who they are and you are, you should be. I mean, these are your people, these people are spending time to be in your webinar. So that’s kind of a nice way to get started. I also like to run a poll because there are other people on the webinar that are maybe not as chatty or willing to be in the chat and a poll is the easy way for them to engage and give you some information.

Omar Zenhom:

And an easy softball poll could be something as fun as like, “What are you watching on Netflix these days?” And you can put some answers or you can say, “What are your biggest struggle right now in business or in whatever field you’re doing?” And you could put some answers. And it just makes it easy for them to just choose an option. And then throughout the webinar one of the things I like to do is, I like to do what’s called… And I learned this from teaching is a technique called input output.

Omar Zenhom:

Input output means that I will input information, but then I also need to spend time allowing them to output information. Right? I can’t keep moving on to the next topic, the next point, without making sure that they can reproduce or they can give me a confirmation they got it. So for example, I’m teaching that basketball free throw shooting webinar and I’m talking about visualization, that’s the first part.

Omar Zenhom:

And I say, “Here are three tips of visualization. One, two, three. Which one of these tips are you most interested in? Which one of this tips are you going to do first things?” You’re going to do them all, but which one are you going to do first?” And you just get them to think for a moment, because what you do here is if you look at the slide, they’re like, “One, two, three, which one do I like more? I like this one the most. Then I’m going to write it down.”

Omar Zenhom:

If you don’t do that, if you don’t ask that question, they’re never going to think about it. They’re just going to be like, “Okay, great piece of information, move on to the next one.” So you’re allowing the time to pause, let’s think, give me some output. Right? And they put it in the chat and this is easy engagement. It’s just like, “Yup. I like number one. I like number two. I’m going to do number three first.” Right? And then you move on to the next one.

Omar Zenhom:

You can ask other questions like, “Okay, which one of these three do you find most challenging? Which one of these three do you feel like you would love a little bit more help with?” Okay. And the reason that is a good question is because you’re going to provide that with your offer. You’re going to provide some more help for them in that offer. So this type of engagement is really good.

Omar Zenhom:

And if you’re doing this throughout the webinar and engaging with people and answering questions, we have a questions area and all that kind of stuff, so you can answer questions at certain points of the webinar, you’re going to find yourself about 50% of the way they’re going to engage with themselves. People are going to start talking to each other and you’re going to have cheerleaders and you’re going to have people that are more extroverted [inaudible 00:34:28] really participate. So those are just a few tips that I like to share with people.

Chris Badgett:

Yeah. That’s a lot of good stuff. Now, when we get into the offer, which is the O in TOKYO. I’ve seen even people that are just phenomenal, like internet personalities or communicators and stuff. But I’ve watched a lot of webinars myself just to deconstruct and learn myself how people sell and stuff like that. But I’ve seen people that are pretty famous kind of choke a little bit or just appear visually nervous when it comes time to say the price or just make that offer statement. Why is that so uncomfortable and how do we get over that?

Omar Zenhom:

Because most people have never sold a product and by nature we go to school, we go to get a job and we get a paycheck. We never have to ask for money. Most of us didn’t sell girl scout cookies or didn’t do any of that kind of stuff growing up, then they don’t have that experience. And it’s just natural for you to be a little bit uncomfortable. It’s almost like you feel like you’re begging or something like that. But one of the best things to keep in mind is that one, you need to understand your return on investment.

Omar Zenhom:

You need to be fully sold on the return on investment, meaning that you need to be sold on the fact that when people buy this for whatever, the course is a $1,000, they’re going to get this result that’s worth way more than that. And if you need a reminder, look at past students. Find out what their return on investment was. How is their life better? How are they improving their business? Whatever it is, right?

Omar Zenhom:

So you need to be sold in that first, because if you’re not sold, you’re not going to be very convincing, that you believe in this price. Okay? The next thing is, is that I would say that price is flexible. Okay? If you’re not comfortable with a $1,000, then don’t sale over a $1,000, start out with $500, right? And if you feel more confident with that, you can increase the price later on. It’s harder to lower price, but it’s better for you to increase it.

Omar Zenhom:

So just go ahead and start where you’re comfortable and then move up the price as you move on, as you start to feel more comfortable doing this and asking for the sale. The third piece of advice I love is the idea of, if you have something that’s going to help somebody, if you have a cure to somebody’s pain, it’s your obligation to give it to them. Right? If I was walking down the street and I was with a friend or something like that, and they had a migraine and they said, “Oh my gosh, this migraine is killing me.”

Omar Zenhom:

And I had an aspirin in my wallet, I’m obligated to give it to him. Why am I holding back? Right? So if you look at it that way, somebody is in pain, somebody is in need, somebody is looking for a solution. And you have it, you can give it to them. They’re more than happy to pay for it. People pay for things all the time. People pay for $10 coffees and people pay for $50,000 vacations. Yes, people spend that kind of money on a vacation.

Omar Zenhom:

Point is, is that people spend money, they’re happy to spend money if they’re going to get something out of it. There’s a lot of people who spend money and get nothing out of it. It’s called Vegas. Right? So the point is, is that be okay with your price, be okay with the return on investment, fully believe in it and then also just have that mentality that, “Hey, these people, they need some help. I have something that can help them.”

Omar Zenhom:

And the other thing I would say is that don’t be afraid to rehearse. Rehearsal’s very important. If you’re not comfortable, say the price over and over, say your offer over and over as much as you can. I always say that if you have a hard time with the offer, focus on the value of what you’re giving them. You don’t have to say the price over and over. You can say it just once. You could just go through, “This is what you’re going to get. This is what our results are. Here’s some testimonials from our customers.”

Omar Zenhom:

I love case studies or success stories from students or past customers because I’ll say, “Hey, this is what we’re offering. Here’s one part of the offer, here’s the success story. Here’s the next part of the offer, here’s the success story.” So I’m sandwiching what I’m selling them with, “This is the result.” At the end of the day people are buying results. They’re not buying the product. They want a result out of this course. They want a result out of whatever you’re getting.

Omar Zenhom:

People buy deodorant not because they love putting on deodorant, because they don’t want to smell that’s the result they want. So that’s what you’re selling. And as long as you could show that this gets results through some case studies and testimonials, things like that. And then you could say, “Okay, now that I’ve shown you all the great results this is what it’s going to cost. This is the return on investment that you’re going to get. This is the investment you’re going to make for this return on investment.

Omar Zenhom:

It’s X amount of dollars and this is everything you’re going to get with it. This is the money back guarantee or trial or whatever you have.” And you can just close down. “Hey, if you have any questions let me know. This offer is valid until X, Y, Z.” And that’s it. And sometimes you might be hearing this right now. Okay, that sounds pretty simple, but I highly recommend that you rehearse it before you go on a live webinar, just so you feel more and more comfortable saying those words.

Chris Badgett:

I love the point about using your past customers’ case studies to help sell for you essentially. Just as a demonstration purpose right now, if you were to tell a WebinarNinja case study or story as if we were on a webinar right now, can you tell us a little story as a demonstration of this concept?

Omar Zenhom:

Yeah. Definitely. Kate Toon, one of my favorite copywriters, CEO, experts, she ran her first webinar with WebinarNinja back in 2015 and she got her first 100 customers for her business, SEO Recipes for Success which now is her flagship business and allows her to go to conferences like Yoast and allows her to go and speak as an expert practically every week at some conference, because she put herself out there, because she served an audience with a webinar.

Omar Zenhom:

And that’s one of my favorite stories to share because she bet on herself. She said, “Hey, I have something to offer here. I just need to put it out there in the world.” She ran a webinar that webinar got her X amount of registrants, which turned into a 100 customers in the long run and allowed her to really propel her business. And I always tell people on the webinar that, “Hey, yes, we are a webinar software, but me, my partner Nicole, the whole team knows that we’re not just selling software.”

Omar Zenhom:

We’re selling the opportunity for you to be able to grow the business of your dreams, live the life that you want to live and to continue to grow that business and work with great people and webinars allow you to do that. And we want to make sure that we serve you in that way and not just a bunch of buttons and a bunch of tutorials or something like that. And it allows people to understand that, “Okay, these people have my back. I’m not going to just buy something and never hear from them again.”

Omar Zenhom:

And that’s one of the number one reasons why people stay with us is because they love our support. Because our support is more than just shooting you a tutorial. It’s, “I’m going to walk you through it. I’ll be an attendee on your webinar, so I can show you what it looks like on my end.” So yeah, it’s really important for you to not only express or show the case study, but also how does it apply to real life? Expand about it. Why you like this testimonial? Why are you sharing this testimonial? How does it relate to the people on the webinar?

Chris Badgett:

That’s awesome. Well, you made it to the lightning round. So I was going to do just some quick questions, if you could try to keep your answers to less than 20 seconds if possible. All right. So if we’re going to do a webinar for selling a course or membership site, should we do the same webinar over and over and just perfect it? Or should we just move on, try this topic, then do this topic, then do this topic?

Omar Zenhom:

I would iterate after three different times. So you’d run one topic three times in a row and then you move on to the next one, to another topic three times in a row. And then after you’ve done that four times you want to evaluate which one resonated most? Which one attracted more registrants? What was my attendance rate versus registration rate? And then from there, you can really master that one topic and make it like your signature move.

Chris Badgett:

Best length?

Omar Zenhom:

60 minutes to 70, 90 you’re pushing it.

Chris Badgett:

What’s the industry show up rate on registration? So if a 100 people register how many people are coming?

Omar Zenhom:

I can tell just from our data, from our own system, from all our users, at WebinarNinja, the show up rate is 40%, this is quite higher than industry average, industry average is around 25. But we do a lot of work with making sure that registration and email notifications convert.

Chris Badgett:

Do you know if more sales happen when people are taking the offer on the live webinar or on the replay? Is there some mystery you can unveil there?

Omar Zenhom:

It depends what your price point is, what the product is, what mark you’re in. But on average, you’re going to see a 50, 50 split. Some people need a little bit more time to maybe get approval or ask or think before or after the webinar. So it all depends on how you incentivize it. We always give a little bit of an extra bonus if somebody buys live even if it’s just a WebinarNinja t-shirt, we send that to them. It’s really nice. They like it. And if they don’t, they still get some of the other bonuses. But they don’t get the t-shirt if they don’t buy live.

Chris Badgett:

At what point or stage in business does it make sense to pursue an automated webinar versus just running it live? What’s the triggering event that is like, “All right, now I’m ready to try an automated webinar?”

Omar Zenhom:

Automated webinars are great if you want to qualify leads, you want to qualify buyers. Especially if you’re selling something a little bit higher, say for example, you have a course, but then you have a mastermind coaching that’s maybe $2,000 a month or something like that, and it’s a little bit pricier. And you need a little bit more nurturing. So if you want to qualify a buyer, what I like to say is run an automated webinar where it’s all about that kind of coaching.

Omar Zenhom:

And then the call to action on the automated webinar is to register for a live webinar where you say, “Hey, I’m going to outline exactly what this is, how much it’s going to cost, what the commitment is going to be on your end. And that allows you to only have people on the live webinar that are buyers and that way they know exactly what they’re getting into and then you could sell out your heart’s desire at that point.

Chris Badgett:

What are some popular names for webinars that people call them these days? If you don’t want to call it a webinar and you want to call it something else, what can we call them?

Omar Zenhom:

Some people call them online classes, some people call them master classes, is a big thing, you hear masterclasses all the time. Some people call them workshops, some people call them online trainings, online demo, depending if you want to demo your product or that kind of stuff.

Chris Badgett:

Is it better to save questions to the end or take them as they’re flying in, or is it just a matter of personal preference?

Omar Zenhom:

I’ve seen it done a few different ways. The two ways I find that convert really well is to have… One option is to do it 50% of the way. So halfway through, you could take a couple of questions, the first few questions, and then have the other half at the end of your workshop because you’re going to answer a lot of questions through the workshop that you don’t need to answer because-

Chris Badgett:

By completing your presentation.

Omar Zenhom:

Yeah, exactly. And then you’re going to get new questions of course, because of the offer and all that kind of stuff. The other way that I really recommend is in your email notifications, you can set those up and edit those. As they’re leading up to the webinar, you could say, “Hey, the webinar’s tomorrow, if you have any questions about our product or about the topic reply to this email, let me know and I’ll answer that question first.” And that way you can give them the top of the queue and basically you can answer those questions maybe even earlier in the webinar before the end of the webinar and address those questions.

Chris Badgett:

Well, that’s a pro tip. Well, Omar Zenhom webinarninja.com. He also has a podcast called the $100 MBA. How did your course turn into a podcast or the name?

Omar Zenhom:

I had a failed podcast actually. I had had a failed podcast first called The People Who Know Their Shit, sorry for the French. But we thought it was an awesome name, but unfortunately the podcast was shit. We gave it a good shot, it was an interview podcast. What I realized after 40 episodes was I’m not good at interviewing, I’m good at teaching, that’s where my background is. And so we decided to create the podcast called the $100 MBA, which is the same brand name as our course, a $100 MBA Program.

Omar Zenhom:

And it’s a daily 10-minute business lessons, every single day, five days a week. And that is my strength and I’m so glad that I decided to double down on my strength and teach. 2014 we won Best of iTunes and we’ve grown since 2014 to over a 100,000 downloads a day, so we’re really proud of that show. And for me, it’s my favorite thing to do, because it allows me to give freely to my audience and share my wins and also share how to avoid some of the mistakes I’ve made.

Chris Badgett:

All right. That’s awesome. Well, any final words for the people, and what’s the best way for people to find out more about WebinarNinja and connect with you?

Omar Zenhom:

Yeah. So you can go to webinarninja.com. If you go to webinarninja.com/workshop, you can go to our next live webinar and you can see by example how I run my webinars. And if you’re interested in learning more about WebinarNinja, you’ll learn about it on the site and on the webinar. My last piece of advice, if you’re creating a course and you’re teaching information, one of the things I need to stress that I learned in education and that I confirmed in business is that people don’t care about how much you know until you show them how much you care. And that’s just the truth.

Omar Zenhom:

You have to show them that you actually genuinely care about who they are and what their needs are, and you have their best interests in mind. You’re not just interested in their money, you’re interested in their success. And if you can convey that as much as possible, as frequently as possible, as early as possible, the better your chances of building that audience that is raving fans of your work, that will allow you to kind of get that viral marketing and let them… Word of mouth will spread by your own customers and just people that attend your webinars.

Chris Badgett:

That is awesome. Well, Omar, you dropped so many knowledge bombs today, I really appreciate it. Go to webinarninja.com. Thanks so much for coming and we’ll see you around.

Omar Zenhom:

Thank you so much.

Chris Badgett:

And that’s a wrap for this episode of LMScast. I’m your guide, Chris Badgett. I hope you enjoyed the show. This show was brought to you by LifterLMS, the number one tool for creating, selling, and protecting engaging online courses to help you get more revenue, freedom, and impact in your life. Head on over to lifterlms.com and get the best gear for your course creator journey. Let’s build the most engaging, results getting courses on the internet.

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