"A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing." George Bernard Shaw
Boy, do I know how to fail fast. I made so many mistakes with the cooler social media marketing webinar series I finished today, I felt compelled to share them with you. On the flip side, here's how to create and produce a webinar. You’re probably perfect, but if not, we’d like to know about your mistakes, too.
15 Webinar Mistakes I Made That You Don’t Have To
1. Announce with a super short lead time – this is real time, right?
Fix: Plan a few months, at least, in advance. Sure, it’s good to challenge yourself to get things done, just make sure you have a work in progress to work from.
2. Assume people will actually show up and participate in the complete webinar series.
Fix: Even with paid registration, few people showed up. Why? They knew they would be getting a recording, transcript and a workbook. I’m not sure what the answer is for this – what do you think?
3. Add in too much time for questions and answers.
Fix: To me, the biggest value was in getting time to ask questions. So I allowed 45 minutes, but that was way too much time. Maybe add in a study call?
4. Structure it like an old-school college class.
Fix: Handouts, a power point and case studies may be too much – and students may want more of multi-media experience. How to do that? Add in a few videos. What else?
5. Leave action plans open for interpretation.
Fix: A general guide is good and works for the masses, but not everyone is motivated or creative enough to fill in the blanks.
6. Forget to unmute yourself before you start recording. Yep, I did that.
Fix: But . . . I did have a backup recorder. I used a Sony digital voice recorder, which goes for around $40.
7. Write the reminders and replay emails as you go.
Fix: Write them all at once, you’ll save time and stay in the flow. Plus, you can schedule if you're following number 8.
8. Don’t send emails through a tracking system.
Fix: Set up an automated system to deliver and track email opens and clicks - you'll know who read what.
9. Rely on email to communicate; let messages get lost.
Fix: If your group can't find their email messages, set up a private Facebook group, a Google group or even a Google+ circle. Everyone can talk to each other and all the information stays in one place.
10. Delay packaging as an information product because you need a designer.
Fix: Digital products may be priced less, but there’s much less fuss in getting them out. And, if people really want your information, don’t make them wait.
11. Don’t plan on providing customer service. Everyone will get everything the first time.
Fix: Troubleshoot signup, checkout, registration, replay – you get the idea.
12. Skip on promotions, you don’t want to bug anybody.
Fix: Map out a promotional strategy that includes news releases, partner offers, posts and invitations. If you’re going to all this trouble, you want people to show up, right?
13. Include three times more information than you can cover.
Fix: Well, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I found myself edging an extra 15 minutes into the question session with material. Can they really absorb all of it? Better to offer as a special report or bonus.
14. Talk really fast – like you’re from Chicago and you’ve just had your fifth cup of coffee in an hour.
Fix: Wow, can I zip along, but can people follow what I’m saying? Can I? Slowing down grounds the conversation.
15. Don’t make a list of what to fix – you’ll remember.