7 Common Webinar Mistakes to Avoid Making

If you make any of these seven common webinar mistakes, then you’re cramping your style and hurting your conversions. In this article, we’re going to tackle each of these mistakes as well as identify some solutions for them so be sure to stick around.

Webinar Mistake 1: Not asking for audience engagement early on.

The first mistake that I’ve seen people make when it comes to their webinars is not asking for audience engagement upon the audience member join the room. What I mean by this is the second that somebody joins your webinar it can be super helpful to engage them and invite them into the room. This can be as simple as simply asking all of your attendees to include what their name is, what organization they’re coming from, as well as some sort of response to a question related to the topic that you’re talking about during the webinar session.

By having this sort of slide in the beginning of your webinar, you can actually call out those people as they are entering the room to welcome them into the room. For example is saying, “Hey Jerry, thanks for coming in from ABC Corp.” and so on. A side benefit of this as well is that as more and more people engage and participate early on, they will be more likely to participate throughout the rest of the webinar as well.

By doing this people naturally feel like they’re being recognized or that they are being seen. And if you’ve seen my marketing lessons from Peloton article, then you know the importance of this when it comes to the nature of building communities.

Webinar Mistake 2: Reading straight from the slides.

The second mistake I’ve seen people frequently make in their webinars is simply reading from slides. Just because you grew up going to school in which your teacher would read off slides doesn’t mean that you have to make your webinars just as boring as those lectures. Instead, it can be helpful for you to provide additional information or color to the information that’s presented in your webinar slides.

This can be as simple as including some sort of story related to the content or some other facts that might be interesting to your audience. If it’s easy for your audience to review the slide deck and get everything out of what you went over in your webinar, that you’re not adding enough value for those that attend live for them to have a reason to attend live the next time around that you run a webinar.

As a result, you want to make sure that you are adding this extra color or value into your presentation aside from just reading directly from your slides. The ideal situation is one in which people are actively taking notes throughout your webinar, beyond what they see on the screen. By doing this as well, you will be encouraging your attendees to actually be listening to what you’re saying, as opposed to just blinking or spacing out on a particular slide.

Webinar Mistake 3: Not summarizing key takeaways or inflection points.

The third mistake I’ve seen people make is not summarizing key takeaways or inflection points in their presentation. The natural attention span of a person that’s attending your webinar is not going to be very long. In other words, it can be helpful every five to seven minutes to make sure that you are checking in and providing some key takeaways so that your attendees can retain the information that you’re sharing with them.

The easiest way to do this is to trigger this with a cue. Here are a few examples of cues. The key thing to remember here is, if you remember nothing else, remember this. This is an important principle and learning to take beyond just your webinars. You can use this in your product tours and your demos with prospects, as well as an any important user email that you are sending to your customers. Pretty much any important business meeting should always have a key takeaways section, just so that everybody is clear as to what you should take away as most important from that particular meeting. Like I mentioned, attention spans are super short. So, when we offer these sorts of trigger sentences, we’re telling the person, “Hey, it’s okay if you actually spaced out for a little bit, here’s what you really need to remember from what we just went over.”

Webinar Mistake 4: Not giving a reason to stay until the end.

The fourth mistake that I see people often make is not giving their attendees a reason to stick until the end. If you want to see a great creator that masters this art of having somebody stay from the beginning to the very end, check out any Mr. Beast video. The reason why Mr. Beast is so effective in his content is because he lays the stage really early in his videos and makes you want to feel like you’re part of the journey and figuring out how he accomplishes the particular thing that his video is about.

You want to achieve a similar thing in your webinars. When you tell your attendees that you’re going to be teaching them A, B and C, you want to make sure that they actually have a reason to stick with you to learn all the way through point C by the end of your webinar. When you look at Mr. Beast videos for inspiration, you might notice how he’ll sprinkle in little subplots along the way, in terms of his storyline, to keep you engaged throughout the video.

This is a little bit like those key takeaways that I just referenced, but also it makes it so that you are working iteratively through this process of getting to the very end. And then he’ll also have some sort of giveaway sometimes or something fun for the attendee that sticks until the very end of the video. You can apply these sorts of incentives to your attendees as well when it comes to your webinars.

For example, before your webinar actually begins, you might send in your reminder email, I mentioned that all live attendees will get a special bonus at the end of the webinar. That will tell those people that they have more incentive to actually show up for the live session.

And then from there, when your webinar actually starts, you might want to mention to all the live attendees that if they stick until the end, they’re going to get some special surprises. A special surprise could be something as simple as a free download that’s really valuable to your attendees or some sort of exclusive time-based offer that your attendees can get after the webinar because they sat through the entire thing.

For example, I try to include a little carrot as well in my video sometimes in which I’ll reference a jumpstart kit that the viewer can see and pick up for free in the link in the video description if they stick until the very end. It’s by including these sorts of incentives, that your attendees will be more motivated to actually stick with you throughout the entire process.

Webinar Mistake 5: Not interacting live with your audience.

The fifth common mistake I see people make in their webinars is not interacting with their live attendees. Aside from asking for that early audience engagement in the beginning of your webinar, you also want to potentially add a spot in the middle or in the one-third and two thirds point of your webinar to bring somebody into the conversation.

In other words, this might be a time for you to pull an example out of that chat box from earlier in which you can bring their example to the stage as well as themselves to have a back and forth conversation with you. By bringing this person into the conversation, people in your audience will have another trigger to re-engage with what’s going on in the webinar. Because they hear this new voice entering the conversation, they’re going to want to hear about what that voice has to say about the particular thing that you guys are talking about.

So, what I recommend is somewhere in the one third or two thirds point of your webinar, try to bring in one of those examples from the earlier audience engagement that was in the chat into an actual conversation where you actually unmute them and you have some sort of back and forth conversation with that person.

Another benefit of this behavior is that by doing so, if you consistently run webinars with your audience, you will also build this behavior in which it’s okay and welcome for people to participate in a lively conversation. In other words, instead of only engaging in the last 10 to 15 minutes of Q and A, or in some cases, not even feeling inspired enough to participate in that Q and A, they can feel like they can find a place in your webinar to actually have their questions answered truly and fully.

7:53 – Webinar Mistake 6: Pushing too much sales copy at the end.

The sixth mistake I see people make a lot in their webinars is pushing way too much sales content at the very end. Recently, I was working with a partner in doing a collaboration webinar, and I found that a third of her slides from her prior presentation were related to her sales offer at the end of her webinar.

In other words, she was allocating at least 15 to 20 minutes of our webinar time to just trying to sell her attendee as opposed to providing value. This is a big mistake in my opinion, because if you want people to consistently be coming back to your webinars, you need to be delivering some meaningful educational value for them to be inspired, to feel like they’ve learned enough and then come back in the the future.

I understand that webinars can be a conversion opportunity for you, but you can actually build a more enduring brand if you establish yourself in your space as somebody that just gives high quality informational content in these webinars, and really encourages repeat behavior in attending a webinar.

One of the easiest ways to do this is to hold back on your sales content and only dedicate one or two slides at the end of your presentation to share a particular offer for your webinar attendees. By doing this, another benefit is you will have a much more clear call-to-action for your webinar attendees, as opposed to spending way too much time, bombarding them with different offers that they might convert on.

Ultimately, it might be helpful to ask yourself what you want out of your webinars. For example, do you prefer to be a company in which you are well-regarded for having educational high-quality content in your webinars and repeat webinar attendees? Or would you rather be the brand in which you are known for having way too much sales content in your webinars and people don’t tend to come back right after that because they get tired of all the long sales pitch that they had to sit through.

In my opinion, you want to be more of the former in which you are known across your industry or in your space for being that high-quality provider of informational content. That way, when it comes time for them to actually solve their problem, they are going to immediately think of you and reach out to you to do business with you.

Webinar Mistake 7: Not focusing enough on your natural integrations.

The seventh mistake that I see people often make in their webinars is not thinking critically enough about their natural integration. This relates back to the last comment in terms of webinars sales pitches, in which you can actually find more unique and natural ways to integrate sales opportunities into your webinars.

What I mean by this is, if you spend your time in your webinars, helping the people that are attending, identify the problems and challenges they might be facing, and then providing different initial solutions to those problems that you can actually find an opportunity to integrate your own product or service when you cover those solutions.

In other words, you don’t need to do a direct sales pitch, but you can offhand mention that “Hey, we do this part of the solution when it comes to solving this big problem of yours.” By doing this, you position your brand as an expert, as well as a guide for the attendees when it comes to solving their problems. So it’s an open invitation to engage with you as opposed to some sort of pushy sales pitch at the end of your webinar.

Big takeaways

There are two things that I want you to remember from this article:

  1. The first one is to give a reason for people to show up as well as stick around.
  2. The second big takeaway is to always be looking for network effects. The power of virality really comes from when we were able to reach out to somebody and essentially see leverage from our efforts.

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