#15: How To Create A Powerful Webinar with Michelle Boucher
In the last episode, Michelle Boucher shared some secrets for successful business planning. She also gave us creative tactics to integrate vision into each and every department.
After the last episode, I worked through her checklist and am super excited to see her advice play out in our team here at The Mission Maven. So if you haven’t gotten a chance to listen to last week’s episode, do it. You won’t regret it.
This week Michelle is donning a different hat. She’s the Queen Bee of webinars with a passion for using them to their full potential. Her work creating webinars for clients over the years has given her the opportunity to watch them evolve into what they are today.
Just like all her entrepreneur endeavors, she’s found that innovation is a key to success. In particular, she loves taking ideas from other industries and trying them out in marketing endeavors.
Her passion for webinars is evident as you hear her talk. Above all, she wants you to know webinars don’t have to be boring sales videos. With a little strategy, they can be enjoyable experiences for potential leads moving them further down your funnel.
Join us as we get some bonus insight from Michelle on how to make your webinars work for you.
What’s a webinar anyway?
Put in Michelle’s words, webinars are simply a one way communication strategy to let someone get to know you.
They may take on a variety of purposes along the way, each one having its own strengths. For instance, some are educational, others are for training purposes, and still others focus on sales.
However, the problem webinars face doesn’t have to do with their purpose. The issue is the way they’re carried out. For instance, health tech webinars are often long, detailed, and (more often than not) boring.
Despite these cons, webinars are very necessary for HIT communication. The value of webinars is that people can learn and be informed without reading long, wordy white papers.
So the answer is NOT to ditch webinars. The answer is to rework them to better reach your audience.
Secret sauce for successful webinars
According to Michelle, there are four ingredients you need for successful webinars, and here they are:
Most webinars do fabulous jobs of describing features and benefits. Many, however, skip the last two steps - arguably the most important.
In a webinar, you’re taking potential buyers on a journey - a journey that ends in them being the hero. To get there though, customers need to know that you understand the difficulties they face.
They need you to empathize, and then you need to show them what their story COULD look like. Show them how you can help them get to their promised land.
As you clarify the benefit for their company, your webinar looks less like a sales pitch and more like a trustworthy friend.
Customers buy first with emotion and then with intellect, making this step so important. Webinars need to include emotionally charged words and ideas. As emotions and details converge, potential clients develop a sense of need.
The result? Webinars sound less like Charlie Brown’s teacher and more like phenomenal tour guides.
If you want to learn more about persuasive language, look up Bushra Azhar. She’s a master of emotional persuasion. And one of her top tools is a list of emotionally powerful words.
Michelle also has a list of 700 powerful words that’ll charge your communication. Included are the 5 most powerful words in the English vocabulary: because, new, instantly, free, and you.
Critical elements for compelling webinars
Creating successful webinars means you need to conquer the most common challenges. In Michelle’s experiences these are the top difficulties in leveraging webinars to their full potential:
How to strike a balance between educating AND keeping leads
How to get connected with potential leads when you’re not allowed to mention your business
How to differentiate between serial webinar watchers and actual leads.
As you create webinars, you’ll probably face some similar questions. Luckily, Michelle has several strategies to overcome these challenges.
Research and recast with open loops
As part of her job, Michelle experiments with strategies that work in other industries and repurposes them for HIT marketing. And you can do the same. In this process of innovation, Michelle has learned the powerful tool of pre-seeding customers with content before the webinar.
For instance, if your webinar cycle is three weeks long, using open loops creates excitement and anticipation in attendees.
What’s an open loop? It’s giving them a question or concept that won’t be answered until the webinar. It’s powerful because until the idea is resolved the brain won’t let you stop thinking about it.
Creating an open loop isn’t difficult. It could be as simple as sending a lead magnet that you’ll cover in the webinar or sending them a helpful checklist. Whatever you send them, it should be something that you intend to answer in the webinar.
Engage leads with a business case study
Another way to connect with leads before webinars is to send a case study. You can use them to build trust and generate interest.
So what types of things should you include in a case study? Like always, Michelle has a very strategic list. You can use these questions to create your own case study for your next webinar.
What’s the name of the company?
What challenge were they up against?
What action did they take?
How did your company help solve their challenge?
Were there any unexpected benefits and results?
Added bonus: What successes have they had in the following 3 months?
In creating this content, give special attention to your language. All along the way, you want to frame your customer as the hero, not your company.
Michelle likes to use words like “they” and “them” as opposed to “I” and “my.” As you use these types of words, you can emphasize customer success and acknowledge your company’s contribution at the same time.
Little known webinar tips
Michelle has lots of innovative webinar ideas. Among them, she has a few favorite tips. Relevant for most webinars, these ideas are simple to start implementing right away.
Make them take notes
When creating your slide deck, leave an empty one. You can use this opportunity to give your audience something - a web address, social media link, article link, download link.
What matters most is that you’re giving them something valuable that they can’t get from reading your slides. If they don’t write it down, they won’t have access to the idea in the future.
Taking notes means they’re more likely to remember information long after the webinar is over. As you involve them in the process though, they’ll retain more information and connect more with your one way communication.
Amplify your authority
After someone registers for your webinar, direct them to a “thank you” video for signing up. Use this video to explain what the webinar is about and how it will help your lead in the future.
From this video, you gain instant rapport and relationship. It also helps attendees know what to expect - giving them the opportunity to think about other people who could benefit from the webinar. Then they can invite those key players to join as well.
Multiply your content
Don’t waste good content by using it only once. If you’re going to put all the work into creating webinars, turn them into other valuable media, too.
I like to call this the Circle of Content. Any content you create should be repurposed at least once.
For instance, you can create a 10 minute edited video of the webinar and post it on YouTube. Share this extra content on as many social media platforms as possible.
Last week, Michelle shared some beyond-awesome book recommendations. Go check out her book list in the last podcast. This week she offered a new book that she’s crazy excited about.
It’s called Atomic Habits. A New York Times Bestseller, it’s so insightful about why and how we create habits. Then it flips the concept and gives easy steps to change your life patterns.
Want to connect with Michelle? Find her here:
In addition, if you haven’t registered yet for HITMC 2019, Michelle has a $100 discount available through her website. Use the code BREAKTHROUGH to get your discount.
Like what you hear?
And, as always, if you need help with your marketing…
Let’s talk. You can book your free consulting session with me today.