Free webinars and teleseminars

  • Do you attend any and, if so, are they worth your investment of time?
  • Do you present any and, if so, how good is your ROI? And what tips would you be prepared to share? (Maybe you could add one or two in the comments section or perhaps write a guest post on the subject?) ;-)

photo credit: HubSpot via photopin cc

photo credit: HubSpot via photopin cc

You see, my one-on-one clients pay me a substantial fee to help them get results. Their problems are usually showing up around money/ cash flow, and of course they want to see an upturn as soon as possible.

These are people who are by and large used to being successful but have currently just lost their way a bit. Sometimes they’ve gone through a crisis (or, even worse, a series of crises) and want to turn their whole life around. I’ve found my background means I’m pretty good coming up with practical ways and helping them to alter perspective and allow that to happen. Neither of us want to draw out this process and the rate I’ve set the fee at deters people who really only want minor tweaks.

Where I’m always on the lookout for more information is on ways to help them sort out any junk between their ears that’s probably contributing to holding them back, to add to the tools I already have in my toolbox.

Where www comes in

So I’ve found the web an absolute godsend for that and I use it to do a lot of research. In the past, teleseminars and, more recently, audio visual webinars, have been great sources of access to various people and new/improved methodologies specifically around removing blocks . One of the things I learned many years ago as a sales trainer and manager (no, don’t ask how many…) was that “one size does NOT fit all” and what works brilliantly with one person can just as easily fail dismally with another who can’t get his/her head round the technique.

However, I’ve noticed more and more that each time on these webinars/ seminars that I’m investing about an hour and within that about the first third is the back story of the presenter/ interviewee and the traumas he/she suffered and overcame by discovering this marvellous method; the second is about the method itself and the final third is flogging the offer – usually $97 US dollars but increasingly $147, $197 or substantially more if it’s some kind of course. And, of course, it’s ALWAYS a special offer for a very limited time for a very select few just because… (fill in the blanks).

A plea to presenters

I can’t believe I am alone in thinking “I don’t mind a quick back story that gives me enough reason to listen to you and believe you know what you’re talking about but please keep it brief.” Especially when, as I’ve discovered, the interviewee types ‘do the rounds’ and tend to be flavour of the month on every teleseminar going till you’re fed up to the back teeth hearing their story (which is usually repeated virtually verbatim) and you feel you could say their spiel for them… :-(

Why not use the majority of your time to demonstrate this particular method and then direct me to the offer? You could cut the session down to half an hour easily. If I can mentally get the “how” of it from your presentation I am not going to buy. Not right now, anyway. But I’ll like the fact that you’ve respected my time and I’ll come back for more. And, provided you’re not a one-horse-trick, there will probably be a time when I get the what but DON’T get the “how” and guess what? If it’s something I want to get my head round, I’ll happily buy from you…

Is it only this particular sort of subject matter that’s this bad (I hate to say it but for want of a better phrase the self improvement/ self development type) or is it the majority of free webinars/ teleseminars?

Your thoughts and contributions, as always, are welcome :-)

Linda

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Comments

  1. says

    As you know, I give free webinars frequently—and I have several goals for every webinar.

    1. Deliver great value by teaching something participants can use right away to improve their fat-loss and fitness results.
    2. Build the “know, like, and trust” factor with people in my community.
    3. Make an offer.

    During my webinars, I *do* talk about my background to help people understand why I do this work and demonstrate that I’m qualified to do it.

    And I do make special offers. There’s nothing underhanded or manipulative about giving people a time-limited deal that encourages them to take action.

    If they’re interested, they’ll buy—and if not, they’ve still gained excellent information and strategies by attending the session.

    I’ve also attended dozens of webinars, of varying levels of quality.

    The problem is not intro + teaching + pitch: that’s merely a presentation formula.

    The problem is that some people deliver crap.

    But there’s a quick and easy solution! As soon as the presenter starts delivering crap, we are free to get off the session.
    Mary C. Weaver, CSCS lovingly created…One crazy reason you may be stuck at a weight loss plateauMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Mary

      Lovely succinct, reasoned input that I both agree and disagree with :-)

      I love this chance to “talk” to each other, don’t you?

      Sure, content is definitely King – though I really wish we could call it Queen… ;-)

      And I think you and I agree on the know/ like/ trust established formula that enables offers to become more and more successful :-)

      I’m not saying that the deliverable(s) is (are) cr*p:

      My whinge is that I seem to have to wade through so much cr*p to get to the gems that might, just might be embedded there.

      So yes, you’re absolutely right, I could get off the session at any time, yet it’s amazing how many times I’ve picked up on just tiny-weeny, throw away information that’s allowed me to adapt that and help a specific client in a slightly different way… :-)

      But I love learning, exploring and growing, so I’ll probably be a thorn in the side and a moany old bat every now and again – I certainly hope so! :-)
      Linda Mattacks lovingly created…Boastful, confident or diffident – which is best?My Profile

  2. says

    I’m just starting to do webinars and I am struggling to fill an hour – I have a 5 minute intro about me, 45 minutes of meaty content and then a 10 minute Q&A. I have a 3 minute pitch and that’s it. The content is strong and really good stuff, they don’t actually need to buy my offering and I’m really respectful of other people’s time – because I’ve sat through two many rags to riches stories that take too long – you’ve heard one; you’ve heard them all. Even if they are true, if I was that interested in a person’s background then I’d research them.
    Sarah Arrow lovingly created…Creating an effective link post #bloggingMy Profile

  3. says

    I am new to webinars myself and resisted for several years doing them. Glenn Bridges has been bending my ear trying to encourage me to do it and I finally took the plunge this month.

    What I have come to realise is that people digest information in different ways and at different paces. I have tried not to do too much flag waving (Back story) about me but instead have illustrated the points I am making with personal experiences.

    I have to say though, I immediately kicked myself for not having done this sooner. My first webinar converted 22% (And wasn’t very organised). We also had over 400 people register.

    For me it is about 90% value added content. 10% present a solution relevant to the content.

  4. says

    Hi Sarah,

    I’m only attending video seminars. Also, I started to dislike them more and more. Obviously the first reason is the one you talked about: marketers who talk to much about themselves and how they managed to overcome obstacles.
    By the way, I noticed that this type of talk never disappears. Why? Because it works. They take advantage of the human structure (that never changes) and use mythological motifs and symbols (American dream, for example).
    People say they hate this talk but they listen to it and dream. They want a story, they want a dream, they want a myth.
    The second reason is the lack of interactivity in a webinar. You can ask questions but there are also hundreds of people who want the same thing.

    What I do want is the following. I want small video conferences (webinars?) where 6-7 people meet with one purpose only: to help each other succeed. I want this conferences to be hold once a week. Each week will be dedicated to one person from the group.

    Let’s say that next week is Sarah’s turn. Sarah announce in advance that she has a problem. She wants to drive traffic with a particular method but she is stuck at some point and she doesn’t know what to do. The rest of the team studies Sarah’s problem.
    When they meet, they all talk about one subject: how to help Sarah overcome that roadblock. Everybody comes with solutions until the problem is solved.
    The video conference is recorded (with screenshares, tables, videos etc.) and Sarah downloads it for further study.
    Next week will be Jack’s turn and he has a blogging problem. And so on.
    This is what I want.

    Have a nice day
    Silviu lovingly created…Alexa Traffic Rank. What is your rank?My Profile

  5. says

    I do regular webinars and I love the format. Before I actually begin, I get to chat with people who are already on. I ask them questions to get a sense of where they are from and what they are working on. That way, I feel more connected during the webinar, and I also get more engagement during the webinar as well. I do use a set formula, one that works.

    I talk about myself for sure (not for 15 minutes though), not only to give people background on me, like they should have, but I also use myself as a teaching point. I give a ton of content that people can use immediately and I make an offer. While I make the offer, I continue to give good tips and content.

    One of my very successful colleagues actually asked for the replay of one of my webinars the other day. As I gave her the link I warned her that most of it she undoubtedly already knew. She said she was not above learning anything – even if that learning was a validation of what she already knew! And if she could pick up just 1 aha that could make her event better, it was time well spent.

    Would you spend 1 hour to pick up just 1 aha that could improve your business and make you thousands of dollars down the line? Even if you have to sit through some one’s back story for 15 minutes? I think it’s worth it! But you have to use your filter. Pick webinars on topics you need at that moment and listen for that 1 thing. If it sounds good and you could use the additional training, buy it.

    If it is not the right topic for you at that moment, skip the webinar. Use your precious time another way.
    Daphne Bousquet lovingly created…Let’s Dance: When Your Event Objective And Format Don’t JiveMy Profile