If you're looking for a different way to promote your business, especially if you're in a B2B type of company, a webinar series may be just what you need. Webinars allow you to share your expertise, sell your products and gain new leads. Today's guest Josh Turner, owner of Webinarli, shares some great insight into how to set up a webinar, what tools to use, and how to get more people to attend.
- What types of businesses should be using webinars
- How to target the right prospects
- Tips for optimizing your webinar funnel from start to finish
- How to generate real sales & new clients from webinars
Links Mentioned in This Episode
About Josh Turner
Josh Turner is the founder of Linked Selling, a B2B marketing firm specializing in fully outsourced lead generation campaigns, as well as Webinarli.com, which specializes in webinar lead generation. His company represents clients in the US, Canada, UK, Asia, and Australia, in a wide variety of industries. Josh's company also operates LinkedUniversity.com, an online training program for LinkedIn marketing, as well as Webinar University, where you can learn how to grow your business using webinars. He has been featured in the Huffington Post, Miami Herald, and many more national publications
Will Hanke: Hey everyone and welcome to the podcast today! My name is Will Hanke with Red Canoe Media. On this show we to tell everyone how to navigate the rapids of business. With me today on the call is Josh Turner, who is the founder of LinkedIn Selling, a (00:39) specializing in fully outsourced lead campaigns as well as webinarly.com that specializes in webinar lead generation. His company represents clients in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Asia and Australia in a wide variety of industries. Josh’s company also operates Linked University, an online training program for LinkedIn marketing as well as Webinar University where you can learn how to grow your business using webinars. They have been featured in the Huffington Post, Miami Herald and a lot more national publications. Josh, great to have you today!
Josh Turner: Thanks for having me man! Great to be here!
Will Hanke: I really appreciate you coming on today’s show. Today we are going to talk a lot webinars, webinarli and how that works. But before we get into all that how about you tell us a little bit about how you got started, I know Linked Selling was first. So how you got started in your business…
Josh Turner: 2 primary sides of our business: helping businesses generate more leads using LinkedIn and helping businesses generate more leads using webinars. We got started with the LinkedIn stuff first, and how we got into that was that I had started using LinkedIn for the company I worked for back in 2006. I was very early on in LinkedIn’s history at that time. Remember it was 6 million and change or something like that and they have over 300 million now, so it has been growing really rapidly. I was the CFO of a construction and manufacturing company and I was using LinkedIn to develop business for that company. Fast forward to 2009 and that company closed, so I was faced with the decision of deciding whether to find another job doing finance stuff or going out on my own, which I had been itching to do for quite a while and decided to give it a shot. 1 of the reasons I was successful in getting a couple clients really quickly, enough to at least pay the bills and keep my lights on, was that I had built up this really solid network on LinkedIn that I used to start getting the word out about what I was doing.
I really started doing a lot with LinkedIn to grow my business, was very successful with it and had a nice little client base working as an outsourced CFO, essentially a business consultant. I did that for the first couple years, I was in business for myself. In 2011 I had a couple of clients who noticed the things I was doing on LinkedIn and said ‘we see the thing you are doing on LinkedIn, do you think that could work for our business? If so, would you be willing to do it for us’? The light bulb kind of went off in my head and I thought maybe there would be some people out there willing to pay me to do this for them. As if turned out, it was really an untapped niche, you could find Facebook consultants and done for you social media people all over the place. But to find a company specifically focused on lead generation using LinkedIn and had a professional appearance in doing things the way I had envisioned it, you could not find it. To this day we still have very little competition on that side of our business and it really took off. We started Linked Selling in 2007, we have clients all over the world now, we have a team of 12 here in St. Louis, 1 in Nevada.
As we were looking at our business a year ago, we realized that LinkedIn is something we are excellent at, but for our business we have also really excelled at using webinars to generate leads. Webinars and LinkedIn for our business have really been neck and neck and because of that we said maybe there were some other businesses out there that would have helped us help them generate leads like this using webinars. We put a lot of thought into it before we just threw up an new website and started doing it. We interviewed a lot of potential customers, and really worked through the work flow of how our business is doing webinars right now. We really researched that there is a lot of business owners out there who realize the value in using webinars to position themselves as experts in their space, grow their audience, keep their name in front of people and generate leads and increase sales.
Many of those same businesses do not have the tools, know-how or time to get in the know-how to effectively set up the kinds of marketing campaigns it takes to consistently drive traffic these webinars. If you do not have many people signing up for a webinar, it is almost a waste of time and then people will just stop doing them. So that is what webinarli is, we help consistently drive new traffic and attendees to our client’s webinars.
Will Hanke: Yeah there is nothing worse than doing a webinar and seeing that there are 2 people watching, and you know it is your mother and your sister
Josh Turner: Exactly, that is no good. We launched webinarli in the spring of 2014, and it has been going well. Turn out, there are a lot of people that need help with these things and that is what we do.
Will Hanke: Are there certain kinds of businesses that should use webinars that works better then others?
Josh Turner: I am hard pressed to find a business that could not benefit from using webinars, but if your b to c, there is probably a good chance that webinars might not be the fit. At the same time, if you have some sort of educational component to what you do, it might still be a fit. Like a financial advisor could definitely use webinars to educate their communities, clients, potential clients, anyone they have on their email list. But I look at something like if you are a residential contractor, you are probably not going to generate leads and have a very tight co-relation to sales by running webinars about home improvement, that would be a little bit of a stretch. I think that a company like that would find some higher priority marketeering activities to work on. If you are b to b, it is absolutely something you should be doing. We keep an eye on a lot of those surveys that companies like marketing props and all those people put out about what are the tactics that marketers are saying are generating the most results. Webinars is consistently at the top of the list or near the top. So if you are b to b it is definitely something you should be looking at.
Will Hanke: With your expertise on the LinkedIn site and your companies expertise there, it really helps the business owners be able to get the right people onto their webinars as well
Josh Turner: We certainly leverage LinkedIn extensively when we are helping a client promote a webinar whether it is through organic outreach and campaigns or through LinkedIn’s advertisement platform and sponsored updates and such, there are a number of ways to use LinkedIn there.
Will Hanke: How do you guys which prospects to target?
Josh Turner: It really depends on who the client is that we are working with and we are very clear with them about who it is we want to do business with and what that profile looks like. Depending on where we are going to target those people, there are different ways to slice and dice the search criteria to set up different advertisement campaigns. On Facebook, if we think we think we can reach their audience there, the kinds of things you have at your disposal and the target are a little different than what you have on LinkedIn. How you decide which prospects to target really comes down to the types of businesses our clients want to work with and having a real clear understanding of what options are at our disposal in the different places that we run campaigns.
Will Hanke: I think both of those are very important. Talking about number 1, do you guys find that most business owners know who their target audience is, and specifically know or in general?
Josh Turner: There is always a variety on that spectrum, but I would say that most of the people we work with have a very good idea of what the prospects is for their business. If they come to us and say it could be anyone, anyone could be interested in what we do. If we cannot get them to work with us, drill down and come up with a much clearer definition of the best prospect that they want to work with, it is difficult to create messaging that will resonate with people. It is also very difficult to target because the audience size is 7 billion at that point, so the campaigns you run will not resonate with people. those people typically do not become our clients, our clients are typically people who know they want to go after.
Will Hanke: Do you ever come across clients with more than 1 target audience?
Josh Turner: Absolutely! And we handle it a number of different ways. 1 example is a client of ours who we had a campaign running that targeted directors in larger hospital networks, health care companies specifically in roles related to information management, and it went very well. Then we set up a second campaign to go after another target market of theirs which was a general counsel and legal professionals in big companies. So similar product, they just have different segments that they approach differently in the market. We have a client who we are approaching in the market to target credit unions initially and then the campaign is going to roll into commercial real estate brokers. So there are definitely ways with these things to target a lot of different types of people. we do the same for our business, at any given time, we have probably 5 – 10 active different campaigns running targeting different types of people. For example, we have a webinar running specifically for people in Australia, 1 for financial advisors, one for professional services firms, one for companies in the United Kingdom, then we might have a more generic 1 for anyone. That is just an example, we could keep in going down the list.
Will Hanke: I think it is very important that you define who that target and if possible the particular person or spot on the company for that particular title and show those advertisements specifically to those people.
Josh Turner: Yeah, definitely. especially with LinkedIn you have the ability to not just target some generic profile, but you can really drill to say, you want someone in this company, this exact position or you can even know the exact person you are going after, and there are different ways to get that person to attend your webinars. Whatever message you want to put in front of them, and just because you put a message in front of them does not mean they are going to attend. But it becomes a numbers game, so if you are the type of company that has say 100 named accounts you are trying to target, LinkedIn is a place you need to be spending time, no doubt about it.
Will Hanke: There are also the custom lists in Facebook, where you can advertise specifically to these people and show these advertisements to these people, that is a very cool thing too.
Josh Turner: Yeah, then to be able to have all of them working together with re-targeting. So for anyone doing this, a lot of people wonder what is the thing they should do first. Then they decide they are going to do LinkedIn, but if you are not setting up some of the basics, like re-targeting which can be very easy to set up, then you are going to be missing out on some leads. So even if you think that LinkedIn is where your prospects are at, but you cannot even find out a way to try and use Facebook’s advertisement platform to try and target them, still do the re-targeting because they are on Facebook, and if they hit your landing pages and do not opt in why not show them an advertisement on Facebook too?
Will Hanke: Yea, like they say in the military, you are just flanking around and trying to a way to get to the same result. So let us talk a little bit about the webinar funnel from before the webinar starts through to after it is over. What kind of tips do you have? Let us talk about starting before you even push the live button.
Josh Turner: First, when you say webinar funnel what that means to me is the entire process that you have planned out for how you are going to work someone through all the way at the top end with your advertisement campaigns, to the next step of your landing pages, the email sequence once they are on your list, signing up for the webinar, then the webinar itself, and what happens after the webinar, all the way to how they become a client. On the frontend, in the initial stages, one of the best tips I can offer is to segment your landing pages. So if you are doing a webinar, create a number of different landing pages based on the different types of people you want to target for your webinar. If you are going to send out a blast to your enter emailing list about the webinar, you probably want to use a more generic version of the landing page. Let us use the example I had of a professional services webinar, learn x, y and z, this is a webinar specifically for professionals services firms. You can segment that down so that you have a landing page for bankers, 1 for CPAs, 1 for any of the other types of professional service firms you are going to be targeting. The campaigns you run to target those kinds of people should also be specific to them and drive the CPAs to the CPA landing page.
What you will see is a very significant lift in conversion in those very targeted, specific landing pages versus the generic 1s, thus your advertisements spent on campaigns you are running is greater, you get more out of it, your cost per lead will go down, and you are simply generating more leads out of the same budget. So it takes a little work on the frontend, but it does not mean you have to have 10 or 5 separate webinars. You have these landing pages really funneling all these people into the same landing pages for professional services firms.
Will Hanke: And once you do the webinar it kind of resonates with all those people. I think that is very smart, I think anyone who has tried to do a webinar has tried to reach everyone or even if you only reach everyone in professional services, the generic landing page is not going to resonate as well as something specifically for bankers to example.
Josh Turner: Absolutely! It does take a little more time to set up on the front end but it is definitely worth it.
Will Hanke: So once they get to the landing page and they opt in, there is an email sequence that happens after that, still prior to the webinar starting.
Josh Turner: Yeah, a couple things on that. If you are asking for tips
Will Hanke: What is the time sequence between putting an advertisement out and actually doing the webinar?
Josh Turner: It really depends. If we are talking about doing a live webinar then you are probably going to want at least 3 weeks ahead of lead time to start promoting it, unless you are simply promoting it to your emails or an affiliate who has a big list, that is a different story or you do not need that kind of lead time it can be next week. But if you are driving traffic to webinars on a consistent basis from advertisement campaigns and the different sorts of tactics we help our clients with, sometimes when you get it rolling it is not working right away. If you do not give yourself any breathing room, you could run into that situation where you have a webinar coming up in a couple days with no one signed up for it yet. It just does not give you any breathing room to changing your messaging, tweak your messaging and advertisements to try and get thing where they need to be. Then in terms of the email sequence, you have to set that up accordingly and it depends on how much time. But you certainly want people to get a welcome email like ‘you are confirmed, here is the information on how to get into the webinar’, which they should get relatively shortly after signing up, if not immediately.
Then you really want to think about the things you need to say to the people to continue to keep reminding them about why they should be excited about this webinar and why they should show up. If you do not do that they will forget why they signed up for this webinar a week or a few days ago, like ‘why did I think this was going to be good, I do not think I am going to do it’. If you have a couple emails going out the 2 or 3 days leading up to the webinar, just reiterating what they will learn in the webinar and the benefits they will get out of it, you are going to get your attendance where they need to be, and 30 – 40% is what you need to expect. You might be thinking, ‘I am using go to webinar or their other webinar platform and they are going to send out a reminder email for me’, that reminder email will remind them of the topic and how to login. But normally it will not remind them of what they will get out of it and why they need to attend and be excited about showing up which is really the key part about getting them to show up.
Will Hanke: Yeah. I think that is another thing that a lot of business owners miss when they go to do a webinar that is hugely important, to have those couple emails worth of content that show what we will be looking at, and the benefits as well.
Josh Turner: Absolutely!
Will Hanke: We are getting ready to start the webinar, what kind of tips do you right before you go live and the webinar starts?
Josh Turner: First, I highly recommend go to webinar by (21:46) and every single time I work with someone who tries to use a different platform, it does not go well. Go to webinar is the goal standard and what you are trying to avoid is the technology not working for either you or the people in attendance. There are a lot of options for you out there to try, but even to this day, I just do a webinar with someone earlier this week on a GooglePlus Hangout. There are different tools you can use to run webinars off GooglePlus Hangouts. People are not comfortable with the technology so there are all types of people in the chat complaining about audio not working, the video not playing and this and that. If you are serious about using webinars and getting maximum results out of them is important to you, then I would recommend spending the money to have go to webinar because it is the goal standard. I should ask (22:52) to start paying me for all these recommendations I have given for them but it is a good product so that what happens.
Will Hanke: This is episode number 7 and we originally did this on Google Hangouts, and we turned it into a podcast. But to be honest, this is the first time, we are on episode 7, we have not had terrible technical difficulties.
Josh Turner: I believe it. It could still happen. 10 minutes before the webinar starts you want to logon. I will normally logon and I normally have a co-host with me on a webinar because it adds credibility. So Ben who is our director of campaign management and 1 of the top guys in our company, co-hosts webinars with me. we will normally logon on 10 – 20 minutes before the webinar is supposed to start so we know on our ends that the technology is working and we are clear on if we have an offer for something on sale or the call to action at the end of the webinar and some important pieces of housekeeping that we both need to be clear on with each other, that takes 1 minute or 2 and it is almost always goo. So we just hangout and talk for the next 8 or 10 minutes, then for the 8 minutes until the webinar is about to start, I normally go live. I start letting everyone in and once there is at least 30 or 49 people in the room, I start welcoming them and saying things like ‘hey, great to have you with us today. I appreciate you logging on early. We have a few minutes until we get started but I want to do a little sound tech really quick and make sure that we are good on all the technical stuff. So let me know in the chat if you do not mind, let me know that you can hear my audio clearly and that you can see the screen. Just put something in there ‘good to go’ or ‘got it, it is all good’, or something like that. So you have some interaction with the audience and them telling you they can hear you and everything is good, normally it is all good.
Then from there, we normally say ‘okay great. We will be back on in a few minutes to welcome some of the newcomers so go ahead and grab a drink or take care of any last second items’. We mute for a few minutes, I go grab a water or whatever, look at an email or something whatever it might be. Then I will get back on and essentially just welcome all the new people and there are still a few minutes to go before we get started. But then at that point with about 3 minutes to go before we get started, I will start getting into some of the benefits of why they are with us today, trying to get people excited and making them feel comfortable for them being on there with us early and I will start asking them in the chat where they are calling in from and people will say ‘Dan from Idaho, Jodi from California, Steve from the United Kingdom’, and that kind of stuff. That is good to do, you want people interacting and engaging so doing it before the webinar is a really easy way t get them to pug in things into the chat and have a good time with you and feeling represented. You can say their name back to them and thank them for being on, all that kind of stuff. So those are a couple tips just to name a few.
Will Hanke: Those are great! I was actually on a webinar 1 time, quite a while ago, but the guy did that, ‘where are you from and what is going on? What did you do this morning’? They start interacting with you and it really does kind of make you feel a little better about what is going to happen, and probably get the people to pay more attention to webinar instead of going back and checking their email or other things.
Josh Turner: That is 1 thing I stress to on almost all of our webinars. I will say something leading up to it like ‘you are really not going to want to have any distraction open for this because we have some stuff to show you today and walk you through that is very specific actionable advice and tactics that you are going to want to be able to start using as soon as we end this call. You are going to want to be paying attention to this, I highly recommend you shut down any distractions, close your email, any of that stuff because you are not going to want to miss this’. Probably some people ignore it, but if it gets some people to pay attention more that is good.
Will Hanke: I do not want to talk too much about the webinar per say, because it will be very different for every single industry. But I am sure there are some obvious things, turn off your cell phone. I am talking about the person doing the webinar, limit your distractions as well. That is very important, you do not want your dog barking in the middle of it or something like that.
Josh Turner: That is true.
Will Hanke: So webinar is over and I know that you guys have a follow up sequence, you do not simply do the webinar and it is done, there are things to do after as well
Josh Turner: Yeah, and what those things do will depend on your business. But generally speaking, there are 2 kinds of webinars: 1 deigned to get people interested in your services, for potentially selling them down the road, and then there is the webinar where you are selling a product and pulling out your credit card and ordering it. that usually happens with info products or training programs and things like that. The way those 2 types of webinars are approached is definitely different. For my business we do both of those types of webinars so I can speak a little on each of them and what works best. If we are talking about how service providers or companies that are not selling a product on the webinar, let us talk about that first.
The key is look at all the people that signed up and/or attended the webinar, you try and take the next step with them whether it is picking up the phone and calling them once they get to a certain point in that sequence or emailing them and saying ‘hey, I have sent you some information over the last couple weeks and I would to set up a time to talk and see how this might work for you. How does next Tuesday look? Here is the link to my calendar’, something like that. You will have some people that will, on the webinar if it is structured properly, who might reach out to you to talk about your services right away. But most people, on that kind of webinar are not going to fall into that category so you have to proactively go after them, put on your sales hat. It is not simply doing a webinar, it is also having a plan and a sales process.
Will Hanke: That makes sense. The 2 different kinds are very interesting, and that is actually a question I was going to ask about. Is there a percentage of webinars that you do that are purely informational versus 1 specifically because we are trying to sell something?
Josh Turner: In the entire world?
Will Hanke: Yeah, in a webinar. In other words, if I plan on doing 5 webinars, should 3 or 4 of them be informational and 1 on a product or should it be the other way around? Is there a formula?
Josh Turner: I do not know about that, maybe that is highly depending on your business’s situation and what makes sense for you, whether you have a product you can directly sell on the webinar. I would highly recommend try that out, it can be as simple as an e-book that you sell. It does not mean that you have to create some monstrosity training program, info product membership site community, whatever you want to call it. It can be something a little more simple, or if you have a real book you could make an offer to buy the book at the end of the webinar at a special price. Throw in some bonus or something for anyone that gets in on it. Honestly, the answer to that is that it really depends on the business and what your goals are because there are some people out there that do nothing but webinars to sell their info products, that is their business so for them 100% of that makes sense. For other businesses they do not sell stuff on webinars because it does not make sense because they are high priced offering that people do not pull out their credit card and purchase on a webinar, it simply does not work that way for that kind of business. So they would stay away from that kind of maybe more internet marketer, info marketer kind of model and they would be looking at a more buttoned up presentation that does a really good job of conveying what they do, their benefits, some case studies in whatever the topic is that attracted people to the webinar in the first place. Then they want to nurture these prospects, registrants and attendees towards becoming hopefully a client someday.
Will Hanke: I know that the other part of your business with Linked Selling is focused more on helping people grow their business using LinkedIn. Can you talk about how you have integrated webinars into that process to grow that?
Josh Turner: Sure! For our business specifically they really feed each other in a lot of ways because we utilize webinars to train people on all sorts of LinkedIn lead gen strategies, and some percentage of those people that are on those lead webinars and up joining our premium program. 1 of the ways we drive attendants to those webinars is through some of the LinkedIn strategies I mentioned earlier such as more organic outreach messaging and things of that nature, but also LinkedIn advertising and sponsored updates. For our business, it is very intertwined and the clients that we help with both LinkedIn campaigns and webinars it kind of works the same way, we are utilizing LinkedIn to drive traffic to webinars. Having a webinar series is really helpful for the work that we do in LinkedIn because it gives us something to invite people to, and something to say aside from are you interested in talking to me about my products and services which does not really work. You know how it is, Will, with all the meet ups that you do, when you have something that you can invite people to it is a great way to really pour in relationships with people.
Will Hanke: It is/ I have talked about (34:41) in a past episode, it is a great way to sell without really trying to sell. You invite them to something where people are already there and excited because they know what you do and things like that. The webinars is another terrific way to do that.
Josh Turner: No doubt!
Will Hanke: What are some benefits of someone hiring you versus trying to do it themselves?
Josh Turner: That is a good and fair question. I would say the main benefit is that we take it off their plate. So all the pain of trying to figure out how to drive traffic to their landing pages, how to even set up the landing pages and make sure they convert, how to integrate the entire system so that it comes off flawlessly. For a lot of people, they do not want to put in the time, energy, trial and error that it takes to get it to the point where you are successfully running webinars and have a lot of people showing up to them. If that resonates with you, what we do might be a good fit. On the other hand, there are a lot of people out there who are do it yourselfers or marketing people in bigger companies who have a team to do all this stuff for them. That is why we created Webinar University, our training program which is a library of training videos and step by step manual that are for those people to show them the things we do for our clients and a lot of it in there is literally the exact training that we use for our staff. There are verbatim recordings of training sessions that we do internally to teach out team things like how to use lead pages, to set up Facebook campaigns, on and on down the list.
Will Hanke: That is pretty cool. So is the Webinar University, is that a monthly fee? How do people get into that?
Josh Turner: It is a monthly fee and you have access to all the core training lessons that covers all of the things we have talked about today in a lot of detail, the entire webinar funnel. Every month we put out a new webinar breakdown. I do not know anyone else out there doing anything like this., but we go out and find really smart marketers, record and document the entire process of their webinar funnel from the advertisements we saw them running on Facebook to their landing pages, the emails they sent out, to recording the actual webinar itself and any follow up messaging. Then we critique, provide feedback and our members have access to that, once a month we publish a new1. That is really good stuff just for seeing what other marketers are doing. If you can even pick up 1 or 2 little tips from each of those it can really pay dividends.
Will Hanke: That is very incredible and it definitely worth the cost of getting in there. I have seen some of that stuff done on lead pages, for instance like you said, people critiquing your landing page. There is nothing better than having someone looking over your shoulder, not in a negative way but instead saying ‘you should try this or that and see how it helps’.
Josh Turner: It takes a lot of work for us to produce those. We put a lot of time into those because it is not simply recording all the stuff and documenting their emails, and throwing it up there. It is myself and our marketing manager sitting down and critiquing the entire funnel and recording that entire process. So every month it is several different hours of new content being put up for those webinar breakdowns.
Will Hanke: That is definitely awesome and worth it. So Josh, what are the best ways for people to get a hold of you both on the LinkedIn Selling site and the webinar site?
Josh Turner: You can go to linkedselling.com or webinari.com, or you can look me up on LinkedIn, I would love to connect with anyone there, it is linkedin.com/joshbturner.
Will Hanke: Those are very good. I really appreciate you coming on the show today and sharing some terrific thing with us
Josh Turner: Thanks for having me! It has been fun, appreciate it!
Will Hanke: My name is Will Hanke with Red Canoe Media, and today’s guest was Josh Turner with LinkedIn Selling and Webinarli. I hope everyone has a great rest of your day and thanks for being with us to help you navigate the rapids.