How to Host a Webinar for Free
Webinar, live class, workshop, whatever. They're all same. Right? I think I can speak for many of you when I say that I have a love/hate relationship with them.
What I love about webinars is the intimacy and the value that they hold.
What I don't really love is the mystery behind them. When I first started coming to them a few years back I thought these gurus must be HIGH TECH! They were using expensive software like WebinarJam and they just made me feel like hosting one of my own was completely out of my league.
After attending so many webinars on various platforms I finally decided to do one on my own. So, I went out on an exploration to find the perfect software. To me, the perfect software was going to be FREE and not buggy at all.
My first webinar was done on Zoom and it worked really well. Zoom is still one of my favorite platforms to record (that's a paid feature by the way) podcast interviews on, but I don't use it anymore for webinars.
This is what I've learned in the past couple of years hosting webinars and some of the mistakes I've made.
- RECORD THEM. Even if you said you aren't recording (to urge attendance). If it turns out flipping amazing then you have a live class to have on your site (hello email list sign ups!) or you could even sell it for a few bucks! RECORD!
- My first webinar was on Zoom and it went pretty well. BUT, I was devastated to learn that it didn't record...because I didn't pay to upgrade. Boo. I learned that the hard way.
- Make sure your slides are clean and simple. I'd rather you'd have 80 slides than 40 with a bunch of text on them and so would your students.
- Send out reminder emails (don't go too crazy and annoy people). I like to send two on the day of the class. One three hours before class starts and one 5 minutes before class starts.
- Give them an incentive to stay until the end.
- Engage with them and ask them questions.
- BREATHE. Don't take yourself so seriously. I fly by they seat of my pants with them. I don't freak out and I don't even practice because that makes me nervous. Do what makes you comfortable and feel prepared.
The best part about webinars is you don't even have to show that gorgeous face of yours. You can look like a complete mess, sitting on a laptop, hiding in your messy bedroom with the door locked and no one would know the difference!
The steps I go through to host a webinar:
- Create a registration page. I create a cover page on Squarespace, link a form to Google Docs, and then load my ConvertKit when it's time to send out the first email.
- Invite and promote on social media. Sometimes I'll buy ad(s) and sometimes I don't.
- Write a blog post that goes out the day of that promotes the class.
- Make sure the reg. page link is on all of my social media accounts
- Create a stand alone page for the webinar (I, once again, just create a new page on Squarespace)
- Schedule a Live Event in YouTube
- Embed on webinar page
- Add any buttons or calls to action on the live page
- Create emails that need to go out to students the day of
- Write "after class" emails and attach recorded video
I created a checklist of everything I am currently using for webinars. I still don't pay for expensive software or anything really fancy. I just make sure to deliver valuable content and I have an end goal in mind every time I decide to host one.