Webinars are an interesting way to generate awareness, thought leadership, and eventually leads for a business. Previously I had stayed away from these as I thought they would be difficult to start and run, but I found that it was relatively straightforward once you had a roadmap.
To save you time in setting up yours, here is my tutorial on starting your own interview style live webinar.
Things you’ll need
- List of Topics
- Guest list
- Outreach script
- Guest Agreement
- Show Flyer / Brochure with instructions
- Promotion Channels
- Google Sheets
- Appointment scheduling tool (E.g. Calendly)
- Landing Page + Email Automation Tool (e.g. MailChimp)
- Webinar Platform (WebinarJam, StreamYard)
- Hootsuite / Social Scheduler
High level process
- Book guests
- Setup your webinar
- Promote the show
- Run the show
- Promote the show, again
With the high level details done, here is how to put these tools and pieces into play.
1. Book Guests
The first step is to book guests.
Research a list of guests and pop them into a Google sheet, with at least first and last name, email.
Then you can manually send emails to each person on the list or you can also use tech to automate this. If you use Streak, you can easily import your list from Google sheets and have Streak do the heavy lifting for you by sending out your script with merge tags to replace the names.
I will write a tutorial on how to automate outreach with Streak later and update it here.
In the emails, you want to introduce yourself and the webinar, asking them if they would like to be on your webinar. I have included a basic script below:
My example script:
Hope you are doing well.
I have just started a new webinar series and was researching people in the SPACE who I think would be great guests.
[Insert personalised information here, such as: “I like the work you did on the previous webinar LINK”]
I’d love to have you on the show to talk about TOPIC.
We will be promoting this across all our social channels, website and some paid media.
Would you be open to talking more about joining us on the webinar?
A gentle bump on this. I know that sometimes these things can fall through the cracks.
The rest from there can be highly personalised replies, drawing them to make a decision. If they agree, send them the guest agreement and make sure they reply saying they agree to it.
Use a booking calendar like Calendly to make sure you have a seamless way of finding mutual time. Calendly will adapt to your calendar and show your availability (which you decide) so you can set a few slots in a week, far away enough, that really work for you to host and promote it.
If you have it, use document signing solutions like DocuSign which are free to a certain level. Create the guest agreement in DocuSign and send it to them.
2. Setup Webinar
You can use a tool to set this up, or plain old Live YouTube broadcasting. Another option for DIY is StreamYard.
I would recommend using something like WebinarJam. They give you the ability to create an event inside their platform, which creates its own landing pages to sign up for notifications. It also provides automated notifications for registrations with the join link and reminders of the event.
Each event is provided with a host and guest link, which you navigate to and setup your sound and video. Once ready, you press the live button and it will record and stream at the same time.
DIY With YouTube Live or StreamYard
To do this manually, by using MailChimp + YouTube Live, you would need to:
- Create a landing page for registrations
- Create an automated campaign in MC for people who sign up + reminders
- Create an Live Event in YouTube, copy the link, and add it to your automations
With StreamYard, the difference is that it creates an event inside the StreamYard application, but also pushes the stream out to all the different social channels. The interface as you can see below is simple to use.
They also have a $0 a month plan so it is affordable. If you weren’t interested in WebinarJam, this would be the way to go.
Find them here: StreamYard
3. Promote Event
With the event prepared, you can now begin promoting it.
Easiest places to begin are on your social channels and email list 2 weeks in advance. Any sooner, and people will be less likely to have the time slot free on their calendars.
Any further away, and people will easily forget about it and become numb to the message as you try to remind them that the show is imminent.
In your promotions, be sure to link to your landing page, and provide the time and date of the event.
4. Run the Show
On the day of the webinar, be sure to connect about 25 or 20 minutes early and check your microphone and webcam.
Disasters CAN happen, which means that someone’s webcam or microphone aren’t working as expected.25 minutes can seem long, but when you are fighting to make sure you start on time, this can give you the breathing room you need. In the worst case, you can knock out the setup checks then take a short breather before the event.
Have someone in the chat to monitor what people are saying and highlight the questions to the interviewer.
5. Promote the Show After
After the show is finished, be sure to download the video so that you can begin the post-webinar promotions. Typical promotions can include:
- Uploading it on YouTube, but leaving it as a ‘unlisted’ video
- Promoting the recording behind a landing page, which sends the registers a link to the YouTube video after signing up