So, I just spent an hour on another info business webinar. The lecturer was recommended to me by a dear friend who owns an info business company herself (her link was not referral, no 🙂 )
The webinar was about traffic, a social media platform, and a search for a perfect client. You know the story. I got lured in by a few selling bullet points that seemed interesting, specific and original. They raised questions I had no immediate answers to, so I signed up. However, I again faced the issue why I don’t get curious for webinars that often anymore.
Once you see 3-5 of them, even by different authors, you get a general idea of what’s to come.
As a listener, you get a pre-recorded 1.5 hour-long video that starts off with “why this topic is so important”, “look at all these people typing in places they are coming from, we do have other live viewers”, and “how do you do, fellow kids” message that is achieved by totally accidentally spilling some water or dropping notes off the table if the video is actually a video, not a presentation – that’s how you know you got a fancy, thoughtful one.
After all the pleasantries are done, you usually get 10-20 minutes of actual content. Most often it is Business 101, or a suggestion to figure out
- who is your dream client
- what is their problem that needs to be solved
- how to solve that problem in order to get their e-mail or make a profit
Literally, this is a general formula for about every webinar I’ve ever participated in. Hm, a business idea: spread these bullet points into 15 different slides, dress them in fancy yet minimalist fonts, and start a webinar business on how to make webinars. I won’t even charge you $97 for it, or 4 easy installments of $29, I promise!
So, now that the content part is over, it’s time for a shpeel. Be like “oh, let me just tell you about this thing real quick, it’ll only take a few minutes”. Be as nonchalant as possible, sip on some water (making all the necessary sounds if it’s a slideshow, or get up to move around cause you’re just so excited about it if it’s a video). Your shpeel should last between 15 to 30 minutes with the full description of the modules, while giving away the minimum of info. Use relevant made-up words if you’re cool and creative, or buzz words if you come off more stuffy to show that you’re still in the loop, and the webinar hasn’t been recorded over 5 years ago (most people do know that it’s not live after all, with the sign-up scheduling software offering 4 different time slots for each of the 3 upcoming days).
Is there any audience left? Well, it’s time for testimonials and questions now. Cite all the beautiful smiling strangers on the slide, and give insightful yet ambiguous answers to people who have asked questions the first time the webinar was actually recorded. Ah, those sweet times when you were actually doing live webinars because you didn’t know any better…
The allotted 15 minutes for questions are over, but because you’re so committed to your students’ success, you’re generously going to allow another 15 minutes for a few more requests, some of them about time-ticking discount offer that you just threw in. No, it’s not because the first 15 minutes were spent on testimonials of totally real people (who can prove anything here, huh), it’s because you genuinely care for audience to take away something from this webinar.
Wrap up the session with a few more promises how you know the listener’s problem, and you know how to solve it (remember those bullet points from the beginning, just re-phrase them for your new half-warm dream clients), and close.
How’d it go, any sales? Do tell 😀
Just so we’re clear, I’m not hating on webinar teachers, webinars, info business, courses, or the idea of passive income in general. Just like any business, it takes knowledge, work, and charisma. But dear god – when did everyone decide to recycle ideas of other people, and start selling for their own?
What do the lecturers hope for? To be the first ones to introduce at least some listeners to the field, and sell them a course before they get their hands on another webinar? Before they learn how lazy and copy-cat most of them are?.. To be fair, a few years ago I myself signed up for a webinar on a similar topic that did give me some answers (back then that content was still new to me). I didn’t buy that course opting to do more research though.
Back to my today’s webinar experience. One of my initial questions has been answered in the testimonials and questions part of the presentation, the rest of them were never spoken of. This is my conclusion: the webinar was marketed pretty well (for target audience like me), but not executed well enough since it failed to match the selling description.
I’m not mad (it was only an hour, and it was free after all), but neither am I sorry for what I’m writing here. Even though my tone is bitter, I’m more disappointed than upset.
This is exactly why selling an online course, owning an info business or being a coach on the Internet is getting such a bad rep.
Just because your Pins are occasionally going viral doesn’t mean that you can re-write someone else’s original course, and load up the webinar machine or a lame typical funnel, and call it a business. It is not. Whatever it is, it is lazy, obvious and derivative. Trust me, I’m all for people making money, but this is just not a healthy way of conducting a business.
Just like owning a gross drop-shipping website with crappy return policies and AliBaba quality products doesn’t make one a businessman (let’s face it, it only makes them a middle-man with some marketing skills), making webinars to sell courses on “how to sell courses through webinars” is a bizarre business model. I get it, there’s always a sucker with money out there, but what’s the point? Beyond the money, beyond the desirable idea of a passive income or a 4-hour work week, what’s the point? Are we making this world any better? Are we innovating anything? Are we even happy with the line of work we chose?
:Rant Over: I sincerely hope that if any info businessperson reads this post, they take something out of it. This is just my honest impression, and I do hope that this feedback will benefit someone. All the best luck to you and your business, but keep in mind that there are fellow human beings with eyes and a brain on the other side of the monitor, and they see cheap tricks and gimmicks where they are due to be seen.
What’s your experience with free informational webinars? Please comment bellow, I’d love to hear from you!