Webinars have been around a long time, and they remain one of the best list-building and product promotion vehicles. The event nature of a live online meet up combined with compelling content is a winner, even if you don’t call them “webinars.”
That said, there aren’t that many truly great webinars out there. That’s because it takes a certain amount of practice and skill to do them right.
Today’s guest is Tim Paige, and he’s hosted over a thousand live webinars, which in turn have grossed nearly $10 million in revenue directly from those webinars. In other words, Tim knows how to do webinars right.
And while there are many facets to becoming a webinar superhero, Tim boils down webinar success to two crucial keys. In this Unemployable episode, he shares both with us.
The Show Notes
Two Keys to Becoming a Webinar Superhero, with Tim Paige
Tim Paige: Hey, I’m Tim Paige. I’m a webinar superhero, and I am unemployable.
Voiceover: Welcome to Unemployable, the show for people who can get a job, they’re just not inclined to take one — and that’s putting it gently. In addition to this podcast, thousands of freelancers and entrepreneurs get actionable advice and other valuable resources from the weekly Unemployable email newsletter. Join us by registering for our Free Profit Pillars Course, or choose to sign up for the newsletter only at no charge. Simply head over to Unemployable.com, and take your business and lifestyle to the next level. That’s Unemployable.com.
Brian Clark: Webinars have been around a long time, and they remain one of the best list-building and product promotion vehicles. The event nature of a live online meet up combined with compelling content is a winner, even if you don’t call them “webinars.”
That said, there aren’t that good many truly great webinars out there. That’s because it takes a certain amount of practice and skill to do them right.
I’m Brian Clark and this is Unemployable, actionable advice for freelancers and entrepreneurs. Thanks for tuning in.
Today’s guest is Tim Paige, and he’s hosted over a thousand live webinars, which in turn have grossed nearly $10 million in revenue directly from those webinars. In other words, Tim knows how to do webinars right.
And while there are many facets to becoming a true webinar superhero, Tim boils it down to two crucial keys. In this Unemployable episode, he shares both with us.
Tim, how are you? It’s good to have you.
Tim Paige: Thanks, man. It’s good to be here. Thanks for having me come chat with you.
What Is Your Background?
Brian Clark: Yeah, absolutely. It’s been a long time coming and you’re up to new and exciting things, so we’ll get into that. But why don’t we take a moment to hear your backstory, somewhere after birth to now, somewhere from being a kid who loves comic books to an adult who loves comic book movies, who also happens to be a webinar superhero. Tell us that story.
Tim Paige: Yeah. Well, here’s the summation. I spent my entire young life planning to be a musician. I spent seven years on the road touring as a young adult and loved it.
When it came to an end, I had to figure out what was next. I had a particular set of skills. I knew how to market and sell things in a very competitive marketplace, being in a band and there were 50,000 other bands.
So I transferred that into what I learned from all the wonderful podcasts and blogs and stuff and started to really dive into online marketing and podcasting. One thing led to another and it brought me to this world of webinars, because it was this beautiful connection between sales and marketing knowhow and live presentation skills and not necessarily voice acting, but using your voice in a way that people actually want to sit and listen to you for 60 or 90 minutes.
From there I went on and did well with Leadpages. I was with Leadpages for almost four years and did 800 and something webinars in those almost four years. That became this thing where I was like, “I have to really continue to pursue this, because I absolutely love doing webinars. I love this presentation model. I love the way that you can connect with people. It’s like a podcast where it’s easy to sell.”
Now I’ve since left Leadpages and now I am a webinar superhero. So you light the bat signal and I come in and save the day. I host webinars for mostly software folks, but some information product marketers, coaches, consultants, that kind of thing as well. And that’s where I sit today.
Brian Clark: That’s a fascinating thing. We talked about that when you made the announcement that the whole idea of being a “freelance” webinar guy is not really, at least not to me, an established career path and yet it makes perfect sense. By the way, 800 webinars, I think you’re over a thousand total. That’s ridiculous.
Tim Paige: It is. It is nuts. I actually applied for the Guinness World Record, but they told me that –this is super odd. They told me they couldn’t verify it. There was no way to verify it. I was like, “Well, I have attendee records and numbers and all that.” And they said, “There’s no way to know that nobody else has done more.” I thought that was interesting, because there is a way to verify that nobody else has chewed gum for longer than somebody, but there’s no way to verify that anybody’s ever done more webinars. I thought that was interesting.
Brian Clark: Right, as far as we know, someone in Kenya has done an under two-hour marathon, but they were just running for fun.
How Do You Respond To People Who Think They’re Not Qualified?
Brian Clark: Okay, now you are not only a trained voice actor, but also an employed voice actor. That’s an aspect of what you do for a living. Now that may tend to intimidate some people. I know that our own Robert Bruce has the golden tones, but he’s also a trained actor, and he was the one who really got it across to me that whether you’re speaking on stage or on a podcast or a webinar, you are giving a performance as much as the presentation.
What would you say to people who think, “Well, this isn’t for me, I don’t have that kind of training?”
Tim Paige: The thing is that I would consider it like another weapon in your arsenal, but I also don’t think it’s necessarily critical.
Some of the people that I really admire, in terms of what they do with their webinars, don’t have any kind of acting training or performance training. To me, the thing about a webinar that makes it perform as best as it possibly can is a genuine desire to help the attendees of that webinar, regardless of whether they buy what you’re selling. You don’t have to be a performer to do that.
I am truly me when I’m hosting a webinar. I don’t pretend to be somebody else. You’ll find my webinars are…I guess you’d call them rough around the edges there. I don’t typically go full screen with my slide deck. You can see my whole thing and everything. And I have just a weird style, but that’s who I am. That’s not a performance.
That said, there are things that you can do just like when you’re speaking on stage where you can be yourself. If you want to do certain things to get people to pay attention, you pause for a minute, and then you continue what you’re saying and people often will pay attention. And then you can repeat certain things that you want people to really take note of.
Then from the acting side, if I’m talking about something that I want people to really understand, I’m going to put certain inflections on those words.
But I will say that I think the voice acting part of it is just a really small piece of success in webinars. If you don’t have that kind of experience, that doesn’t mean you can’t rock webinars.
How Do You Prepare for a Webinar?
Brian Clark: Absolutely. I think it’s also important to note something that I think gets lost, especially with the proliferation of live video and easy-to-produce YouTube and other forms of online video. It is all about the actual presentation or performance and people forget it starts with the content, which is an aspect of writing.
So let’s start there. How do you prepare? When you think about it, you’re giving valuable content, you’re also trying to sell something. This is a sales presentation. How do you go about structuring and arranging that for maximum persuasion?
Tim Paige: Totally. There’s a lot that goes into it.
I’ll say this, I always have two intentions with a webinar. One is really, really help my audience regardless of whether they buy. Then the other is hopefully to get them to buy.
Often, it’s easy to think those two things are at odds with each other. If I’m trying to give people a lot of value, even if they don’t buy, doesn’t that compete with trying to get them to buy? But it actually doesn’t.
I think if you pay attention to any kind of online marketers or content creators, many, many people will say, “Give as much value as you can for free. That leads to the sale because if people think your free stuff is really good, then they’re going to really think your paid stuff is awesome.” I completely subscribe to that philosophy and it’s true with webinars as well.
Where people go wrong with webinars though is they think that the pitch is what gets people to buy. And that is not true. The pitch is one very small component of the webinar’s success.
What really gets people to buy is if you’ve structured the actual content in a way that says — I always like to present it this way. “Here’s the problem, here is a solution to that problem that doesn’t require my product or service. And then here’s how my product or service can make it easier or less expensive or more effective or whatever it is that your product does.”
I like to break it down into really easy steps. Let’s say I’m doing a webinar on how to get into voice acting, and I would make it way more specific than that. That’s one of the tips I can give you, is have your webinar not be really general. Remember you have 60 minutes or 90 minutes or whatever you’re doing.
People tend to go really general and say, “How to Get into Voice Acting.” Well, that’s super general, and I could talk about 7,000 things. But if somebody wants to get into voice acting, they probably want to know something more specific. How about “How to Get Your First Client in Seven Days”? Now, that’s really specific. You could even go more specific and say, “How to Get Your First Audio Book Client in Seven Days,” or commercial client or whatever it is.
You start there and then you think of the steps to doing that. So let’s say, “How to Get Your First…” I don’t know, we’ll go a little general – “How to Get Your First Client.” We’ll say, “Step one, make sure…” or we could make it a sub-step. I often will start a webinar with not step one, but it’ll be like step zero and it’s like, “Here’s the prerequisite. The prerequisite is that you have to have some level of knowledge and basic equipment. This is where you have the kind of a bare minimum to get started.”
But then step one might be, “Research Your Target Client.” Then, step one of “Research Your Target Client,” you would start with the problem. The problem is we’re not sure where to find our target clients. A solution to that is we could go and google the best advertising agencies in Chicago, and you could find that. Or you could start cold-calling people and find who they’re working with. An easier solution to that problem might be, “Hey, we can make it easier for you. We have a team that actually will provide you with lists, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.”
You’ve given them a solution to that first problem which is: how do you find those people? They can google it, they can do whatever that is. But to make it easier, we’ve got these lists or we’ve got a team that does it for you or whatever.
You do that with each one of the steps so that later, you don’t have to go, “Now that you know all the things that you can do, let me tell you about this new product I’ve created. This product is going to teach you …” and then you have to spend 5 or 10 minutes explaining your product, and people are going, “Oh, here’s the pitch. I’m signing out,” and they leave.
But if you’ve done it within the content in a way that’s fully integrated, where they can say, “Oh yeah, okay, great, I can do what he just taught me. But you know what? Your product would make that so much easier or cheaper or whatever. Cool, that’s something to keep in mind down the road.”
Then you go on to step two and they still love you. And then when you finish your steps, you can go, “Okay, now I’ve shown you all about what my product is about. I’ve got some great bonuses if you think that that is going to help you make your life a little bit easier.” Then you can give them the link, tell them how to buy, what to do, and then you provide them the bonuses.
That is such an easier experience. There’s no friction. There’s no, “Okay, we’re switching gears to the pitch now.” I mean, how many of us have seen that webinar where it’s like, “Here’s a little bit of content, now is the pitch.” I don’t want it to be like that. I want it to be almost like step five is, “Here’s my product and this can make it easier for you if you want to do that.”
Now I’ll give one other tip. I know we’ve got plenty of stuff still to talk about, but there’s one other tip that can make that even easier. It’s in the beginning, you’re going to do one of a couple of things. You can either basically tell people there is going to be an offer. This scares the daylights out of people when I tell them that, when they’re like, “Oh gosh, I have to tell them about the offer upfront?” But people, one, they don’t want mystery and two, if they’ve ever been on any webinar before, they know you’re going to make them an offer.
You being upfront about it puts them at ease a little bit. It lets them know that you’re not going to be the kind of person that has that little hidden thing behind their back that they’re going to throw at you. So you can say something along the lines of, “Hey, at the end of this webinar, I’m going to tell you a little bit more about X, Y, Z product. It will make your life easier when you’re trying to find your first client. But you absolutely do not have to buy that to get value out of this training.” You can do that, and that is the way that I think most people will feel comfortable.
Here’s the one that is my favorite. I’ve been doing it now for about six months and it has had a profound impact on my results and the retention rate of people actually staying on the webinar. It is make your offer upfront.
I’m telling you, people cringe when I say this, but what you do is you tell people what to expect, get them ready for the webinar. And then you say, “Now, what I want to do is I really want you to get to focus on the content. Look, you know that I have something for sale, right? That’s why I would do any of this marketing. So here’s what I’m going to do, I’m going to tell you what I have to offer. I’m going to tell you what the bonuses are if you buy during this training, and then after that, we can really focus on the content and dive into the content.”
Then you make your offer. It’s maybe a shortened version, a few minutes. Tell them what your product is, just a brief description. Tell them what the bonuses are and tell them they can buy now if they want to, or they can hold off until later on in the webinar. Then when you’re done with that, you say, “Okay, great. Now we can really get into the content and everybody can breathe a sigh of relief.”
I’ve had so many people in the webinar say, “Oh my gosh, I’ve never seen anybody do that before, but that is awesome. I feel so much better now. I know that you’re not going to sit here and pitch me, because you’ve already done it. Now we can talk about the content.”
That has increased the average attendance rate or the on webinar stick rate to about 67.5 minutes. That’s how often the average person stays on webinars that I’m hosting. And that has been a huge contributor to that.
So I hope that answered the question.
Did You Study Copywriting When You Were Starting Out?
Brian Clark: Yeah, fascinating. Also everything you’ve just shared with us are fundamental classic copywriting techniques. From specificity to overcoming objections to sensing the apprehension and diffusing it upfront, all of that kind of stuff.
Now, when you first started out, did you study copywriting? Is this more of what you learned in the real world of sales with your band? How did you come to these pearls of wisdom which are solid and have been time tested for a long time?
Tim Paige: Yeah, it was kind of three things. One, my experience was in sales, like hardcore old school sales. That’s how I was funding the time when I was on tour in the band. That came first.
What came second was all the podcasts that I listened to before I ever started my online marketing journey were from people like Pat Flynn. People who you just knew had this, almost to the point of they were willing to lose tons of business if it meant that they could make their customers or listeners or whatever, happy and comfortable like Pat.
Like Pat, you can tell that sometimes he’s just like, “I don’t even care if anybody buys anything. I just really want to help you.” And then of course he wants people to buy stuff. But that combined with my old school sales background. That was like, “It’s all about the sale.”
I found a middle ground where it was like, “You can be really transparent and open and cool with people and do whatever you can to get them comfortable and make them feel happy.” And then also, “You want to get them to buy and employees and things that will make them comfortable and make the sale feel like something that they’re grateful that you did as opposed to they’re like, ‘Oh gosh, he pitched me so hard, I had to buy.’”
But then the third part to that is before I ever did my first webinar, I took an online course on copywriting. It was an intense course. I spent I think six weeks just absolutely going nuts, learning old school, direct response, direct mail copywriting. And that is how I learned to build a webinar — was using those copywriting tactics. So, yeah, you nailed it.
Brian Clark: Yeah, the best salespeople have always been those who are willing to understand who they’re talking to, educate them to the point that they need to be, in order to even be in the realm of doing business with you. Then you make a beneficial offer. That’s what content marketing is. It’s that useful kind of benevolent sales, but you’re still influencing and you’re still definitely persuading. You do want the sale.
Brian Clark: I guess that also comes down to the fact that you have to have a product that truly does fit the needs, that solves a problem, satisfies the desire. Certainly we cannot make short shrift of that. I mean, copywriters for years, the hired guns, will turn down work for a shoddy product, because they know their reputation is going to hurt when it flops.
Tim Paige: Yes. I’ve been doing the same thing with people approaching me to do their webinar, in a nice way. But if I don’t think that that product is the best of the best, there’s no way I’m going to do a webinar for it, because I’m not going to be able to convince people to buy something that I don’t think that they should really buy.
How to Avoid Common Webinar Mistakes
Tim Paige: I want to point to something you mentioned. One of the ways that people can – actually, two of the ways that I’ve found specifically with webinars that people have made errors in what they’re doing.
One is they will spend way too much time telling their story. We’re told a lot that we need to have the hero’s journey and all those things. And in copywriting we often have to do that a lot.
In the webinar though, I’ve found that people spend way too much time doing it. We need to compress that. Your hero’s journey is not even specifically relevant to whatever you’re talking about. At Leadpages, my hero’s journey necessarily wasn’t important. We were talking about how to get a higher conversion rate, and I could simply say this is based on X, Y, and Z and show some data and we’re good.
If it’s a more personal based thing, like if you’re a health coach or something and you’re talking about how you used to be overweight and now you’re not, you need to tell that kind of general story and how you came to find what you did. But it doesn’t need to be 15 minutes. I find too many people end up doing that.
The other thing that people tend to do, because they’ve studied copywriting, is they spend way too much time defining the problem. Now I understand why we do it and we do need to define the problem, and like I said, we do that in each step.
But it doesn’t have to be a big thing, because people, if they’re attending a webinar, they’ve already moved down your funnel a little bit, and they probably already have an idea of the problem. If they’re on a webinar on how to get their first client, they probably already know that it’s kind of tough to get your first client. They probably already know that. It’s hard to find the right person or whatever the thing is.
So we want to define the problem, but then we want to define the problem on a granular level. What’s the problem with doing the steps required to solve that problem. And those are specific little things.
One of the things I see people do is they spend 15 minutes telling your hero’s journey and then 15 minutes defining the problem. They’re like, “There’s this issue, there’s this issue, there’s this issue.” But now you’ve spent 30 minutes and people haven’t learned anything. All they know is more about you and then what the problem is, and why they’re struggling with what they’re already struggling with. And now, you have a very limited time to provide value and then to offer your stuff.
I think traditional copywriting is absolutely on the mark, but we also need to understand the actual context of the webinar and what’s different and understand that people are not going to spend 60 to 90 minutes with you if you haven’t gotten to the value and solutions relatively quickly.
Brian Clark: Those are two amazingly excellent points. And I would say that it’s a misunderstanding of copywriting to a certain degree. Because yes, if you’re a hero, your hero’s journey is relevant, then yes, absolutely. That’s the old reluctant hero approach, “Now I’m going to teach you.” But too many marketers fail to realize that they’re the hero going on her own journey and that’s the focus, not necessarily you anymore than necessary.
The second thing of course is if you’ve properly identified who you’re talking to, then the copy you use to get them to register for the webinar should be the thing that delineates the fact that they know what the problem is. Then you take it down to that granular level — I really love the way you express that. That’s awesome.
What Are Your Top Tips to Best Deliver Your Content and Offer?
Brian Clark: Don’t forget — it’s the writing, it’s the structure, it’s the architecture of persuasion that is the beginning point. But then from there is a whole other room which you are excellent at. And that, of course, is the presentation of the information itself. It comes down to voice inflection, emphasis, pacing, pauses – you know way more than me.
How about some of your top tips? Once you’ve got compelling content, persuasive offer, let’s talk about how best to deliver that when it comes down to it.
Tim Paige: Yeah, let’s talk about this. When people are on a webinar, the best way that you can keep them is when you’re presenting, present them things that they can do pretty easily, even if that thing is not what your product offers them.
What I tend to do is I tend to present things that are really, really simple. Oftentimes I’ll talk to people and they’ll say, “Well, I’m speaking to a sophisticated audience and so they want sophisticated answers.” But I don’t care how sophisticated you are, unless you’re looking for a talking point at your next cocktail party, you still want things that you can actually go do.
Often what I like to do is I will present something that is a pretty simple solution. And then I’ll actually start responding to people as they’re asking questions about whatever that solution is.
So, if I tell people that one of the solutions to, let’s say the problem is that they’re not getting booked off of their auditions. One of the things that I’ll often tell them is that… this is again just an example. I don’t teach people how to do voice acting. But I might tell them that they need to play around a little bit more in their auditions. Their auditions are they’re just reading the script exactly. Instead, they should be adding some extra fun words. Instead of saying, “At the corner market, you can get this thing,” try something like, “You know, I’ll tell you, at the corner market we really love…”
That’s a solution to a specific problem — How to Stand Out in Your Auditions. Then I will go to the questions and see somebody says, “Well, how do I come up with what I’m supposed to say?” “Gosh, that’s such a great question.” And then you’re directing the content based on what people are asking you.
Now, I don’t make up questions and there’s no denying that sometimes you have an audience that’s not asking questions, they’re not engaging. You maybe have 300 people on and yet it’s like crickets in the questions box, and that’s fine and you can’t do it that way.
The biggest thing that I’ve found in terms of an actual presentation is being flexible and ready to actually speak to people when they’re asking questions. Because that has been a big differentiator in terms of conversion rate, in terms of the feedback from the webinar, in terms of people saying, “Gosh, Tim, you’re so good at that.”
I don’t even know that there’s something special that I do. It’s just simply that I have an audience and they’re literally telling me right there what they want to know, what will help them. I need to speak to that, because what ends up happening is people will ask a question and on a typical webinar, they have to wait until the end, during the Q&A.
So maybe they’ll ask it 20 minutes in. And you’ve spent all this time talking about all this stuff and then you’ve made your pitch. And now you’re going back to the questions and suddenly you’re answering this question from 40 minutes ago after you’re hoping people are buying and you’ve presented a bunch of stuff.
Now, all those people are going back to focus on that question that was asked 40 minutes ago and they’re not thinking about your offer anymore. They’re not thinking about where they are. Their head has completely even forgotten, “Wait, why did I ask that? What was I curious about?”
So, if you can answer questions throughout the webinar, it allows you to be a little bit flexible. It allows you to steer the content in the direction that your audience wants you to steer it. And then you can always flow back to the next point in the webinar.
Now, I don’t go too far off. If I’m talking about how to make a high converting landing page or something, and somebody is asking me about email copywriting techniques, I’m not going to go there. But when they’re asking relevant questions to what you’re talking about at that point, go to them. Answer those questions, because oftentimes those turn into the objections later.
Brian Clark: I’ve heard this before, and there’s something also just inherently compelling about the interaction. In my public speaking gigs, lately I have started making them more interactive. The content hasn’t changed. I just go to the audience more often, which is something I never used to do. My evaluations went through the roof. The content is the same. It’s that connection that the interaction bonds. It’s like, “He’s not talking at me, he’s talking with us.”
How to Overcome Objections by Answering Questions
Brian Clark: That was a lesson that I’ve just recently learned and I can speak to the power of it. But to me, almost more importantly, is what you said about overcoming objections, because questions are objections.
Tim Paige: Yeah. If somebody says, “Well, wait a minute, I’m not really sure how to do that. How do I start a script differently than what’s written on the script?” Later, when you offer them your course, they’re going to think, “Well, yeah, but I’m not going to really understand what you’re talking about.”
But if I then say, “Oh, that’s such a great question, Brian, you want to know how to start a script? Here’s what I do, I pretend somebody asked me a question that the first sentence of the script answers. So, if the first sentence is, ‘At the corner market, we believe in locally sourced foods,’ I think of a question that would lead to that. So somebody would be like, ‘What’s your philosophy at the corner market?’ ‘Oh yeah. Well, at the corner market, our philosophy is we believe in farm friendly,’” or whatever it is.
Now, that person goes, “Oh, that makes perfect sense. That’s such an easy tactic. I love it.” And later when you offer them your course or your thing, they go, “Oh yeah, wow. If I can just get those little tactics like that, that’s going to make my life so much easier.” Or when they think of your software, they don’t have that problem where they’re not sure how to properly use it, because they didn’t even know the answer to the thing that you started earlier. And that does become a hang-up.
People will get hung up on something that they didn’t understand. And an interesting thing happens. I’ve reached out many times to people that have left in the middle of the webinar. You get that report from GoToWebinar, and I’ll reach out to them and say, “What made you leave?” And they’ll say, “Well, honestly, there are a few things that I just didn’t understand. And after like two or three things, I just left.”
If you let it get that far, you’ll start losing people. One question, one thing they didn’t understand — no big deal. But when it starts to kind of snowball, they start thinking, “This is just not for me.” So yeah, that’s a great thing to latch on to.
How to Move Off Script
Tim Paige: Then the other thing is, I tend to not work off of scripts. I wanted to toss this out there. I find a lot of times people will have an entire webinar script and they’re on the page word for word. Which is fine I think to get started and get some practice and get used to it. But eventually, the goal should be to move off script.
The way that I do that is my slides are laid out in a way that I know it will trigger me to say whatever it was that I wanted to say at that point. I know there are ways you can put notes that only you can see and stuff like that. But I don’t have any of that. My slides are designed in a way that’s like, “Here are some bullet points,” and then I’m going to go in depth on each bullet point, and I already know how to do that because I have the knowledge, which is why I’m teaching this this webinar.
So, if you can go off script, it’s going to be much more natural. You’re not going to be saying, “And now, here’s what we’re going to do next.”
Brian Clark: It’s so important. Of course, we started off talking about writing and I guess I should have been more clear, because I don’t use a script either. I don’t script out live presentations. I don’t script out webinars. But you do have to structure it and there is an art and science to, “This goes here, and then you follow with this.”
But to your point, the best advice I got was from Seth Godin. He said, “Every slide represents a story and it triggers (like you said) the story. Now tell the story.” The more times you tell that story, the better it’s going to get. All you do is look at the next slide or at some point you know.
The beauty with webinars is you get to look directly at the slides unlike your presentation. Have you ever seen someone on stage who keeps looking over their shoulder? It’s a little annoying.
Yes, that’s an important point, because I was about to say if you really wanted to summarize what we’ve talked about today, and I think it’s incredibly valuable, is to structure your presentation in a persuasive way. To know it, know what you’re talking about. That’s some of the most persuasive education you can have is when you actually know your stuff.
Then be able to step away from what you have to say to interact with them based on what’s coming up. And having enough snap, I guess, to say, “I better address that now or it’s going to linger and I don’t want to address it after I make the offer.”
Tim Paige: Yeah, that takes practice. There’s no doubt about it. I’ve done over a thousand live webinars now, and I can tell you there are still webinars where people ask questions. I’ll start answering and then I’m like, “Wait a minute, where was I?” I’ve actually repeated a slide twice. Gone through a slide, answered a question, gone back and gone through that slide again. Whatever, it happens.
One final point on that is don’t be afraid to make mistakes. This might be kind of like beginner woo-wooey advice. But I’ll tell you a funny story. I once did a webinar where about four minutes in, I got the worst case of the hiccups I’ve ever gotten in my life. I’m talking loud hiccups – no joke. Four minutes in and my brain went, “I can’t do this webinar. I’m never going to be able to do this.” So, it was every five words. I was going, “So next we’re going to – hiccup — talk about –hiccup…” I mean, it was gnarly.
The funny part is by the end of the webinar people were like, “We’re going to tweet out #hiccupswebinar.” And I converted at 50% on that webinar, because people just connected with me so much on a personal level. We had fun, I made fun of myself. We joked around, and the content was still really valuable. The pitch was still really strong, but people were just like, “This is just a guy who really wants to help me and he’s fighting through this ridiculous thing to get the content to me.”
It would be easy to be flustered and uncomfortable and not know what to do. Just roll with it. And you’ll find oftentimes that those results are even better than others.
Brian Clark: You’ll often hear professionals, speaking coaches, say to insert vulnerability even on purpose. But for me, I tend to screw up at least once naturally. I just roll with it. As long as they see you’re human and they see that you’re just going to go ahead and shake it off and keep going, that’s incredibly compelling. And like I said, I don’t have to manufacture that.
Tim Paige: Exactly. Yeah. I don’t know that I agree with adding something in, but I think it’s easy enough. You’re probably going to trip up. I don’t care how good you are. Like I said, I trip up every webinar. It just happens, and it really does endear people to you.
Brian Clark: And it’s more important how you deal with it than the mistake itself.
How Many Solo Webinar Practitioners Are There?
Brian Clark: Briefly, because it’s interesting to me and it’s probably interesting to a lot of the people out there who are making a living on their own, the whole idea of doing webinars for others. We do webinars for ourselves and we do webinars for the companies we work for. But the whole idea of a solo webinar practitioner, are there others out there or do you really feel like you’re blazing a new path here?
Tim Paige: I’m nervous to say I don’t know of anybody else that does this specifically. I know of people that create webinars for folks. They actually build the webinar presentation and give them a script and all that kind of thing.
I don’t know anybody that is a freelance webinar host for a couple of reasons. One is, I mean, if you are good enough that people would give you a ton of money to host their webinars and you have your own product, you can absolutely dominate if your product is good. Most people that are really, really good at webinars just do them for themselves or are lured into a company to work for that company. And that’s a great thing too. There’s a lot of security in that.
The other problem and the reason why I think there are not many is because there aren’t a whole lot of companies out there that can support somebody who’s really good, having enough people on the webinars to actually make it worthwhile.
I’m definitely not ashamed to say I’m not cheap. So you have to have a lot of people on a webinar to have me pay for myself. But then, if you can bring a lot of people, you can definitely do that.
But I definitely don’t know of anybody else doing it and I welcome anybody who is awesome at webinars to go do it. The market’s out there. I have a waiting list. It’s awesome.
But it’s definitely a weird path and I’ve learned there are a lot of things that people want that I don’t necessarily offer. Because I’m a firm believer, and this is a great thing to take away from this, I’m a firm believer in really, really just doing the thing that you are absolutely the best at.
Like I’ve got some automation chops, I can run a Facebook Ad campaign, I can write some copy, and I’m pretty good at those things, but I’m not the best at them. I’m not in that top echelon of that. What I am in the top echelon in is hosting and building a webinar. Those are the things that I am the best at. So that’s what I do for people.
I don’t write the copy or any of those things, because I leave that for the people that are the best at them. And I find there are a lot of people that are looking for that. So we’re building it, we’re figuring it out as we go to.
Brian Clark: Tim, this has been incredibly useful. Thank you so much for the time.
Tim Paige: Yeah, thanks for having me.
Brian Clark: All right, Everyone, webinars are still an important part of your content marketing mix. In a lot of niches, a lot of industries, it is not the overdone thing like you see in the Internet marketing space. And even if that is your space, just reposition it as something else — a masterclass, a workshop or what have you. Just emphasis on the value and how it relates to what you’re ultimately selling.
As always, thanks for listening and keep going.