Are your webinars still working for you, or have they become time-wasters? In this episode, Inc. columnist and podcast content strategist Tracy Hazzard chats with Juliet Clark, the Founder of Super Brand Publishing and host of the Promote, Profit, Publish podcast. Tracy and Juliet reveal the technical reasons why webinars are no longer working to your advantage despite significant ad spend. They zero in on why people sign up but don’t show up. Learn tips on how you can use webinars to serve your purpose without being too salesy. If webinars are still working for you, find out why you shouldn’t be too happy about it.
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Avoid Waste Of Time Webinars: How To Make Webinars Serve Your Purpose With Juliet Clark
Everyone, welcome to the Marketing Monday Mixer, the first one.
For those of you who haven’t gone over and gotten your Cranberry Margarita recipe from the fabulous Chef Marie, go on over to our Facebook group, www.Facebook.com/groups/MarketingMondayMixer. I want to add that for those of you who think drinking isn’t healthy, this is a healthy recipe because alcohol increases the size of your liver in mass quantities and cranberry juice shrinks it back down to size.
We balanced ourselves out, so why not go for it? It has the fabulous sugars that Chef Marie makes. She makes her own blend of them. It’s got an orange and lemon flavor. It’s pink. It’s pretty. She has another version where she puts rosemary in it. It’s a little more holiday-ish, but I didn’t make that version. I made the lime-lemon version. That’s what Tom made me. I’m excited that Chef Marie is partnering up with us on doing this. That’s going to be a lot of fun as we go forward. If you want to join us on it, you’re going to need to go in ahead of time. If you’re on Facebook, I put a JPEG of the recipe and a link to Chef Marie so you can see everything that she offers as well.
We are going to talk about why webinars aren’t working. I see many people out there still doing them. They’re still not working. I quit in 2017.
I’ve been still doing them. This is the thing, I think we’re hearing this again. We named our topic Waste of Time Webinars because the last thing we want to do is do anything that is a waste of time. That is my big no-no. I don’t want to do something that doesn’t serve again and again and is useful. The reality is when I get people on my webinar, when they show up and they go there, I convert. The reality is that in some respects, the webinars work, but how do you get them in? A lot of things are broken in the process. We’re a little over webinared. I feel over webinared. How about you, Juliet?
I don’t even go anymore. I don’t have an hour and a half to sit there. Here’s the deal, to anybody who’s ever studied webinar theory, how you put them together, you’re going to learn some stuff but you’re not going to learn all the stuff. You have to go to the end and get the sales pitch. That’s where everybody’s exhausted. They do sales pitch to death.
We want to set up the way that we do these marketing mixers that we’re going to do it regularly, that we’re going to dish about what’s not working first. Then we’re going to talk about some things that we’ve heard that are working or some hacks, some tools or some other new things that we’re trying and experimenting with. You can try them too, then give us feedback about what’s working for you because that’s what we want to hear. We want everyone to brainstorm together and collaborate to say, “How can we hack this system?” Figure out how to make them work for all of our businesses and make them work on it in a new way. The only way to innovate out of that is for us to collaborate together.
Let’s talk about how people are putting these webinars together. They put together a big campaign. They get a PowerPoint together for a Masterclass or a webinar. They hire a marketing company to put together a drip campaign, to put together Facebook ads. All of a sudden, we have all these people signed up for the webinar and nobody shows up. Tell us why.
I want to explain how we’ve been doing it for a while so you have a sense of what we’ve been experimenting with. We’ve been using a marketing agency and company. We’re on our fourth one for over a few months and I fired them. We’ve had the same one for months and they weren’t able to do it. What we had was we had a great webinar. We know it converted. We know that it works because we know when people show up to the webinar, they listen and buy from us. They do it. We also know that our webinar is in service. It’s not a selling webinar. It’s not your average webinar. We didn’t follow the formula. We don’t tell the sob story and then roll all the way through it and drip away little pieces of information. We give it all to them because we’re very confident in the services that we provide on the other side that are absolutely in keeping with doing what they want to do. Whether it’s using our production services or using our hosting at Podetize.
We’re a podcast production in all the states. That’s what we’re selling and giving webinars about. We know it’s valuable. I give this same talk on stages all the time and it converts. We know that part works. We know our content is strong. I think you get a lot of people, Juliet, where maybe their content isn’t as strong. Maybe their free lead also isn’t strong. We don’t even do a free lead. The webinar is the free lead. It’s the free information. Maybe there’s a little side sheet, a template or something that sometimes goes with it, but it’s also given away right there at that time. We don’t make anybody wait. We don’t make them go through a whole email trail. We don’t bother with all of that. Understand that we short-circuited the whole cycle of doing it because it felt so cumbersome and too much friction built in the process of getting to the information we wanted them to get to.
We tried everything from signing up for the webinar and having it appear at certain times of the week, having maybe live, having it run on a cycle every hour with someone being live answering, having it run on demand. We would get people to go all the way through our process, coming from our ads, sign up, go into it, but never show up for the webinar. We had various versions where we required them to pay, but we didn’t because everyone was like, “Maybe it’s because it’s free.” We put a pay gate on, it didn’t happen either. None of that was working and it was driving me crazy. Why would someone go in? It’s one thing to bookmark something to save your video ad. Do something like that, but it’s another thing to go in and put your email address, download the calendar link to your calendar and intend to show up and then don’t. None of them show up. We would sometimes get 100 registrants or more. What was the case with that? Why is that happening?
I said back to the marketing group and my team, “I think they’re fake.” They said, “That can’t be. They’re real email addresses.” We have HubSpot, but if you had Mailchimp, it’d be blowing it back to you if it was fake because we send out a reminder email. You can send out text messages. None of that was bouncing back. I said, “I think these people aren’t real people.” I had set out that our team was going to call them. We hadn’t done it yet. They were going to start calling, emailing, figuring out if these people were real. We will search for them by their email addresses on the internet and start to figure it out. Then I met this guy. I’m giving a speech in the Spectrum in Irvine as a part of the City Summit Group. This guy, who I had met before, his name is Joseph Lazukin. He came to me as being this cool innovator. I thought I might write an article about him. He’s there and he goes up and starts talking about this new program that he developed that discovered that between 20% to 40% of any given ad campaigns in Facebook pages, posts and other things are trolled by bots. I was right. They are fake.Abandon doing webinars because it's not attracting the right people to begin with. Click To Tweet
There are a couple of different ways to do bots on Facebook. We’re not talking about the Messenger bot; we’re talking about the bot that troll. You and I had this conversation about an ad I ran as well. There’s no way that all those people are real.
What happens is if you’ve run ads for any significant amount of time, you start to see this pattern of you’re going to do a retargeting campaign. That’s what eventually works. What happens is that you have your ad set so that when they click on the ad and go to your landing page, that’s maybe the call to action. If they comment on it, if they like the ad, if they share the ad, all of those become retargeting processes. Some process gets assessed against whatever they do. When they go to your landing page, there’s another retargeting campaign because you have what they call a pixel on your website, on your landing page. The pixel is saying, “I found this person that came from Facebook. I know who they are. I have them and I can follow them around the internet. I can retarget new ads, whether it’s on Google or on Facebook, but I can retarget new campaigns and new ads because they took some amount of action. That’s the idea of what you want to do because it makes sense.
All these people who served up your ad, the ones who go to the landing page and even when the ones who then click and put their email address in, they’re more valuable. You want to follow those people and find more people like them. You’re creating more the lookalike audience who will be willing to take these actions. That’s what you’re building and growing through that. That is a real heavy remarketing campaign or retargeting campaign done by pixelization, this pixel process. When you put Facebook’s pixel on your landing page, what happens is that the minute they come, the second that they hit your landing page, they get retargeted for an ad. That’s the number one problem right there. That’s what Joseph told me. He’s saying that the problem is all bots hit the page and within five seconds are gone. They could even be in a way your own bots, which is scary.
You’ve set Google Analytics on and it’s going to troll your page and it’s going to hit it. You’re doing this retargeting and all of those things. You could be scanning your page yourself. It is a part of the process that you can also do that. Part of his program, I think that’s going to come out on November 5th. is that it’s a smarter pixel. It can set in a time delay that allows that bot traffic to go and allows the people who would actually read something on the page. The scary part is let’s say you did go with what was happening. You retarget the people who hit your page and you’ve got all these bots out there going and doing that. They’re doing it on Facebook’s behalf, on your competitors’ behalf, on other marketing agencies out there gathering big data. They’re out there hitting everybody’s ads trying to understand how their funnels work and what’s successful and what’s not.
The more information they gather in, the better that they are. They want to run through your ads and do that. If you’ve ever seen negative or weird comments, not just negative comments like, “You crap,” but weird comments that don’t make sense that are like, “I don’t know if I like this.” It’s like, “Why are you commenting?” It’s wishy-washy or weird English. We start to suspect those. When you see a lot of those running, it means the bots are running on yours. Their system also removes what they call negative comments. These are also comments that are indicators of thoughts. You’re now mapping those and making sure when they hit your site, they are also removed from the data set. What now happens though is that when we’ve got them all in the mix and we have this bad data or these bad bots hitting our system and we create a lookalike audience, we get more of them. By doing a retargeting campaign, we’re retargeting a worse audience than we started with.
The numbers start going up because we’re tracking people who are not real action takers. They’re not even real. This is part of why we think this webinar model is broken. We abandon it because it’s not attracting the right people to begin with. The ad itself is not attracting the right people to begin with. It has nothing to do with your ad model and/or your webinar model. It’s the program in between that’s being run to retarget people. When you have cold traffic, which is ad traffic, people don’t click the first time. They don’t. It has to be completely relevant to something they were dying and looking for them to be validly interested. It’s not until the 5th or 6th time that it hit them that they’re like, “I’ve seen this everywhere. Maybe I should check this out.” That’s why a retargeting campaign is valuable. If in the end you’re not retargeting any of the real people, then there’s no value in it.
It’s not working. The other thing that I hear all the time, and there was a big stream in it inside of a Catherine Bell’s group, was people are tired of the Facebook ads for webinars and free everything. They’re exhausted from it all.
That’s absolutely the case. They’re exhausted from the ads that are running and the way that they’re running it. I have heard some good people who are doing some different things. They’re breaking the model. That’s what I’d like to see is that they’re breaking the model where they are saying, “This is a webinar that has zero sales in it. I promise you, it’s got nothing in it. It is a total service email or total service webinar. That’s all you’re going to get here is you’re going to get the actual information.” I have twelve things you did wrong when you set up your podcast that is killing your growth. It’s twelve ways to prevent pod fading. That’s another term we use to describe it. It’s completely twelve things that you could fix yourself. You don’t need me to fix them.
I think that by providing the value makes you more interested in finding out more about my company, more about our coaching, more about our services that support that. Not that we don’t sell, but we mentioned that we do this for our clients. That’s mentioned in there, but it’s never a sales pitch. The only thing that you can do at the end is if you want an evaluation of your program, of your podcast, of your website, there’s a free opportunity to get that. There’s a scheduling link. That’s it. That’s the extent of it. You can drop before that last slide ever post. That’s how we do it on that one. Frankly, I haven’t switched the ads yet but the ads aren’t working and ours are still saying all of those things.
Another tip to getting this done is getting together content like we’re doing right here where you provide good information. Here’s the deal, I can’t get 80% of my people to produce content. Content is where people find out that you are an expert, how good you are and that they trust you. Putting together something like we’re doing right now and having a formula where you teach many and then turn around and sell something small, that too is a model that’s beginning to work. Use text instead of email for reminders because more people are not opening their email. I don’t open anything anymore. I’m email burned out. This is another place where the webinars are failing, the JV partnerships.
I’d love to talk about one that is working. We’ll do that in an upcoming one. You’re right, a lot of them aren’t working. Why? Their audiences are burned out. They’re tired of seeing the same thing or the same model again and again, which is a new topic.
That whole model over and over where they say the same thing. Everybody knows now that you’re making a commission off that. You’re not vouching for the reputation for that person. You’re in it for the money. That piece is failing as well. People want emails with results. Show me the results you got from this before you pump it for me and you personally. I think people want a lot of that because there are a lot of unhappy people out there who haven’t gotten results.Content is where people find out that you are an expert, how good you are, and that they trust you. Click To Tweet
I think that we’re all recognizing the model. The open rate and email are just down. We have a small email list. We cultivate our email list. We might have under 5,000 people on our email list, but they open. We don’t have a million people. We don’t have 100,000 people. We have a small email list, but they open it regularly. They know we’re not going to spam them. We don’t send twelve a week. We always do a second level opt-in. We did a big event where I offered them this webinar and some other things as a part of my free gifts. I said, “You’re going to get eight mail emails. I’m going to do something unusual because I want to make sure you get them all quickly. I’m going to give them all to you one a day for eight days. Normally, I’d make you wait eight weeks to get them. I’d be dripping it out one a week. In this case, I’m going to send them to you in eight days. If you decide that you got value from that, click the link and join the Feed Your Brand newsletter, which is only once a week. You’ll only hear from me once a week after that. If you want to opt-out, that’s the moment you opt-out when you get that eighth email.” I offered that up from the stage. We haven’t gotten through all eight. We’ll see what happens on our opt-out rate. I wanted to see what was going on. I don’t want them in there if they’re not going to consume the content.
That’s very true. I dumped my list. I deleted everybody who hadn’t opened in the last 30 days. I did that because we have a book coming out. In order to make a bestseller list, we want a clean list. We need to know where the people on our list are purchasing. We want to know that they’re opening for when we launch. My list has gone way down. I have a very good friend who puts out a book about every three months. She is a romance novelist. That’s what she does; she gives away something free. She cleans up her list every 30 days. If you haven’t opened it, see you. She’s consistently making a very credible bestseller list every book that’s released because she has a squeaky clean list of people who buy.
For us, we were a little longer before we clean up the list. The real reason is that I do have a lot of people who find us. Our subscribers to our blogs are on our newsletter list. They appreciate what we have to say, but they’re not ready yet. They’re not ready to start. There’s still dabbling, still considering, still thinking. As long as they’re subscribed and they occasionally open, we have a six-month review, then I’m okay with that. As long as our open rate isn’t declining heavily, then I don’t really go and scrub like that.
For tips, we’re recommending hardcore education. No selling, and a lot of content.
Shorter webinars, I think that’s also another thing. If you can do 30 to 45 minutes, that’s better. Under an hour better. I also see what’s tracking and what’s working are short little tidbits, doing one that’s 15 to 20 minutes and then offering more. If you want the next in the series, they’re still all free but it requires them to click through. Now, you’ve got more action being taken and it’s a more serious person. We also get a lot of people who watch webinars who are competitors. You have to realize that. A lot of people sign up on your list and go through that. I did that with this guy who runs a podcast event that I don’t think is very credible, but I went through it. I’m a host, so I picked one of my hosting email addresses that don’t have my name on it. If he’s not smart enough to immediately bump me out or ever check it, which probably no one really is. No one really watches that. No one watches who joins their list on a daily basis. It’s probably not going to happen to you. I went through 30 days of his emails and thought this is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen. I clicked through and watched some of the webinars and thought these are the grossest things I’ve ever seen. They’re manipulative, but they’re working. How is it still working?
I think though that the difference is that some of these things that are working, these webinars that are still working for people, are working by manipulating a very susceptible audience who are not as web-savvy, who are not as content-driven and who don’t have that great digital presence already. Those frankly aren’t my customers. Some ways they’re not yours either, Juliet. I think that’s also something for you to keep in mind is the webinar model is working for you because your audience is this newbie audience who is new to Facebook, new to what’s going on in the entrepreneurial world, the marketing world, then that’s working for you. That’s great, but maybe step up your game. Start doing things in a little more honorable way than following the models of what it is. It’s going to stop working for you too.
I find that it doesn’t work for those people who are promising the cash machine. The cash machine is a myth. You can find it out there. Find the Loch Ness monster. It’s probably in a locket hanging around its neck. I get calls from those people every day and I’m disturbed. Digital marketing is not easy. It’s not a slam dunk.
That’s still the issue is you have to think about if this what I want my business to be associated with? Is this how I want to operate my brand? Is this a relationship I want to start out with someone? I’m not in it for volume. I’m in it for quality.
That’s the same with me. I’d rather have some quality people who are there to learn and move to the next level. How is that cocktail?
It is delicious. I’m not used to having a margarita that sweet. It has such a sweet edge because it’s got pineapple and cranberry in it, two of my favorite juices. I’m not a big juice person, but having sugar instead of salt though, it makes the whole thing a little fun. I could definitely see this for a holiday party. I got to try the rosemary one for my next holiday. I’m enjoying it. I’m going to definitely finish it afterward.
Did you say you were going to do the appetizer? Are we not going to do a cocktail?
We’re going to do munchies. I thought we’d trade off mixers and munchies. Doesn’t that sound like fun?If you want a bestseller list, make sure your email list is squeaky clean. Click To Tweet
Yes, mixers and munchies. You’ve got to get that recipe. Do you want to unveil it for us?
Chef Marie has a wonderful mini meatball. I’m Italian, so I think I got to try this meatball. I’m going to make it and have some premade and ready. The recipe, I’ll make sure you have it ahead of time. The way that we’re doing this is on Fridays, so we should reveal the recipe because then it gives you a chance over the weekend to get the ingredients.
That’s very nice. We’ll have to have Chef Marie at some time. She has the cutest little accent. You can’t help but fall in love with her. It’s adorable.
She has a podcast. You should check it out. MChef.com is her website. You can check out our recipes. She’s got these wonderful mixers as I told you. There are sugars and different sweet things and salty things, things that you would use for your cocktails. She also has rubs and other things, herbs and spices that you can use for your cooking. They’re amazing. She had given me a set when I met with her. They are so good. I didn’t know this, but there are a lot of fillers and junk in the herbs and spices mix that we get out there in the marketplace. She worked really hard to stop that. They are a lot healthier and better for you. I’m thinking of mini meatballs sounds awesome. We were going to talk about how you can stop being a one-try wonder. Stop trying these things one time and giving up.
We’re doing this twice.
Exactly. We’re going to keep going because we’re not going to be a one-hit-wonder or one try wonder. We’re not going to say, “These mixers aren’t working,” after one time. We’re going to go for it again and so should you. That’s what we’re going to talk about some of the things. We’d love for you to send in, put in the comments, drop in the group, drop in on the page and let us know some things that you tried once and gave up on.
Let us know what you once gave up on or even twice because we all get that shiny object syndrome going on. Who remembers Periscope?
It still exists. I found that out. I don’t know if anybody’s still on it, but I found that out from somebody because I said the same thing. I was like, “Isn’t Periscope dead?” I thought Twitter bought it and killed it. It still lives.
I tried Periscope once and I thought, “That was awful.” Remember how it used to pop on? About two days later, these people popped on and they tried to do a show together. It was hilarious because one of them talk with their hands. They knock the camera off and you could hear them in the background cussing. They’re trying to get the camera and they’re all scrounging. I was like, “I’m a pro. Maybe I should try that again.” When you try that once and stop, remember there’s always somebody out there that’s worse than you.
That’s right. If I read some of my first blogs, I would have never kept blogging.
Tracy, where can we find you and your blog?
You can link to me on Facebook and message me through that if you choose because you’re already there. If you’d like to find me elsewhere, you can go to Podetize.com. You can find all the information on that’s there as well. Find out about podcasting. Find out about those webinars.When you try once and stop, remember there's always somebody out there that's worse than you. Click To Tweet
I have a podcast called Promote, Profit, Publish. Everything you want to know about building a platform. You can find me on Facebook too. Fill in what that thing you tried once because we can’t wait to hear.
That’s the thing, if you want to come on live and you want to talk to us, you got to join the Zoom. There’ll always be the Zoom link, but you can consume in Facebook and texts and message us right through there.
That’s very cool. Thanks.
Go get your mixers, finish your drinks, and have a great night.
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About Juliet Clark
Hi. I’m Juliet Dillon Clark, Founder of Super Brand Publishing and our expertise-first approach stems directly from my own disillusioning personal experience with my first book back in 2008. I thought my background with traditional publishing would make self-publishing easy. I realized that this process did nothing but take advantage of unsuspecting authors, who didn’t know that there was a better way.
I decided to make that better way available, through the creation of Super Brand Publishing. Over the years I brought my expertise to corporate clients like Mattel, Nissan, Price Stern Sloan Publishing, and HP Books. While I enjoyed the work, and was good at it, I felt like something was missing. I realized that what I really wanted to be doing was helping individuals, not corporations, further their success and find fulfillment.
Since then, I have helped more than 600 entrepreneurs and authors share their work with the world and have published more than 60 books, turning more than 190 authors/entrepreneurs into best-selling experts! Let’s cut through the clutter and get your message across so that you can cultivate your fan base, increase sales, and reach a level of success beyond what you thought possible.
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