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How to Grow Your Web Design Agency with Webinars: The Ultimate Guide

June 4th

Offsprout is the only WordPress website builder for freelancers and agencies.

Marketing is one of the hardest parts of building a web design agency.

Once you have found your niche and productized your service, the website design process itself is easier to execute on.

The tougher part to execute on is to be able to consistently bring in new business.

One way that you can consistently bring in new leads and potential clients is by presenting webinars.

Webinars are a great way to pitch a lot of potential clients at once.

If you have done sales pitches to potential clients before, you know they can take up a lot of time.

If you have been selling your services for awhile, you know that you are giving the same refined pitch over and over again.

You get a lot of specific questions, most of which you are anticipating.

And this is all to get a single sale.

With webinars, you have the opportunity to pitch many interested potential clients at the same time.

It’s not exactly the same thing as a sales pitch though, so we need to spend some time diving in.

This post is your ultimate guide. Below you will find everything you need for your webinar, including:

  • What to present
  • Tools to use
  • How to market a webinar
  • How to present your content
  • How to turn the webinar into sales

and more!

Check out the rest of this guide below.

What Kind of Webinar to Present

You do not want to pitch a “salesy” webinar. This is a big mistake that I have seen well-intentioned marketers make. Growing your web design agency with webinars requires a bit more tact in terms of content and presentation.

No one cares about your company’s web design services yet, going into your webinar. Your webinar audience is not going to be “hot” sales prospects, rather they will be solid potential leads.

People will not sign up for, attend, nor pay attention to you in a webinar where it is just you pitching your services. That is not why they are there.

You may be thinking, what’s the point?

People sign up for webinars to get some education on a topic that interests them.

The material has to be relevant to their interests, it has to provide some new, helpful content for them.

“And then they will pay us money?”

Possibly, yes.

There is a principle in sales about reciprocity and indebtedness, made famous by Robert Cialdini’s book, Influence. If you provide something for free to someone, they will be more likely to feel like they owe you something in return, which in sales means hiring your services.

If you, as a salesperson, do a favor for someone else, they feel like they “owe” you something in return.

Free giveaways, test drives, demos, all these things mentally condition your audience to feel indebted to you.

The webinar you present should provide value. Provide value and sales will follow.

So, for a web design agency, what should you present your webinar on?

If you have a niche focus for your web design agency (which we recommend), you should present on something related to websites or online marketing for that audience. That kind of content will go over very well.

If your web design agency has a niche, it will be especially easy to create your webinar slides and content geared towards that audience. Just another reason for you to consider having a specific niche focus.

Here are a few broad suggestions of webinar topics:

  • Marketing your [niche] business online
    • Talk about different aspects of online marketing including websites, SEO, social, email, paid search
  • Building a website for your [niche] business
  • Creating your business’s logo / branding

The more specific you can get for your audience, the better.

And, it kind of goes without saying, the content you present on should have some tie-in to a service you provide. At the end of your webinar, the goal should be to ask your audience for a follow-up. So, you have to be able to help your audience related to the webinar content in some way.

Software for Hosting Your Webinar

You will need a webinar-hosting app to register your attendees, host your webinar, share your recording, and send auto-responder emails.

Speaking from experience, I strongly recommend paying for a good webinar-hosting app. It will pay for itself.

Years ago, I tried to avoided paying for webinar software by cobbling together different free apps. The amount of extra effort it took was not worth the time investment at all. 

There are many good options for webinar hosting software. Most of them do similar things. You can’t go wrong with any of them. Here are our top suggestions:

GoToWebinar

GoToWebinar is dead simple to use. Every aspect of your webinar hosting is covered in its platform. The GTW platform gives you the tools to:

  • Have a registration page
  • Send emails and notifications to registered attendees
  • Send follow-up emails to attendees and people who registered but did not attend after the webinar is over (you can include the recorded webinar)
  • Give handouts to your attendees on your webinar
  • Do Q&As and polls during your webinar
  • Get data on how active and engaged your attendees are
  • Have multiple presenters and panelists
  • Hold a practice session with your panelists

GoToWebianr is pretty easy to work with. It is not the sexiest-looking software, but it works very well.

Having done many webinars with GoToWebinar, I can say that it is easy to work with and present with guest panelists. You also get some amazing data from your attendees. GTW rates the attentiveness of your attendees, so you can, if you choose to, follow up specifically with your more-engaged attendees.

After your webinar is over, GTW can send follow-up emails, share your recordings, and basically take care of most of your follow-up work.

The only negative is that it is not super-cheap. It starts at $109 per month. But, it should pay for itself if you are following our tips below and turning your webinars into sales.

WebinarJam

WebinarJam has all of the features you would want from any webinar software provider, and at a great price. 

It also has a lot of functionality, more than you will probably need.

In addition to doing webinars on the webinar platform, you can also use WebinarJam to stream to Facebook Live, YouTube.

Like GoToWebinar, WebinarJam also can record your webinars, send auto-responder emails to attendees, give users polls, and share analytics.

Unlike GoToWebinar, there is no attendee limit, and there is only one pricing tier.

The only drawback is pricing is annual-based ($479 per year), so if you do not want to continue using this software, you are on the hook for your annual payment.

Scheduling

Now, onto the logistics – the technical aspects of how you are going to use webinars to grow your web design agency.

First, your webinar should have an hour blocked off.

The time-frame for your webinar should be around lunch time, so attendees can be attentive and not working on other projects.

In general, I recommend doing 2pm ET / 11am PT if you are in the United States and have attendees potentially from all over the country.

If you are located outside of the United States, choose to present your webinar around lunch time.

Content and Presentation

Aside from the mechanics of creating and hosting a webinar, you will need to create content to present. This is why people are attending. So, this needs your serious attention.

If you present a straightforward salesy webinar, it will turn off your audience. They will leave mid-way through your webinar and never come back.

Put yourself in your audience’s shoes. They are taking time away from their regular workday to let some random person on the Internet share knowledge with them.

Your audience wants to learn something, so make sure you are providing real value.

The conflicting thoughts you will probably be having about this are that you want your webinar attendees to hire your services, so you will want to pitch your audience. But, there is a right way to go about it. You can present an informative webinar while also pitching your services, and not alienate your audience.

Here is a recommended structure for your webinar:

  1. Introductions
  2. Agenda
  3. Content with soft pitch your services
  4. Poll for follow-up
  5. Q&A

Next, we will break down each of these elements.

Introductions

As your webinar starts, you need to let people know who you are. Show off your credentials so people know why they should be listening to you.

The first slide after your cover slide should be an About the Presenter slide.

You may feel uncomfortable bragging about yourself, but here you absolutely need to. Here is where you have to convince your audience that you are worth listening to.

Your introduction does not need to be a complete resume, but you can spend 30 seconds saying “I run a web design agency that has served many clients,  and have been doing web design for X years.” Show your audience that you are qualified to give a talk on this topic.

Agenda

After your introductions an agenda slide will be helpful.

Have a bulleted list on this slide to share with your audience what you will be covering. Give them a roadmap of what they can expect to learn on this webinar. This will help them follow along and better understand what you are presenting.

Main content with a soft pitch of your services

Next, we get to the meat of the content. Here, you should be sharing material that is helpful to your audience. Make sure to come at this from the perspective of wanting to be helpful, and not from the perspective of “This stuff is way too hard, you should hire us to do it for you.”

One way I like to think of this section is – give people the information they need so if they wanted to they could take the next step to do it themselves, but present so much information and demonstrate your expertise such that they recognize that they should not do it themselves and they should hire you.

Provide value, but help your audience recognize that they should hire you because you know what you are doing.

Rather than a hard pitch of “Hire us to do this for you,” your content and approach should be “We have been doing this for years, here is how we recommend going about this, make sure to watch out for these pitfalls, and if you need any help, please let us know.”

The most effective webinars I have been on follow a similar format. The content educates, but ultimately the webinar steers me back to thinking about hiring the webinar presenter or using their services.

Aside from this, one thing to be mindful of is keeping your audience engaged.

If you talk at your audience incessantly, attendees can get bored.

If you frame it more like a conversation, attendees will be engaged.

One way to make it more engaging is to use polls.

Most webinar platforms have a poll feature. What you can do is come up with a bunch of polls, designed to be asked at certain points in your webinar. By asking questions of the audience, you force them to engage with you. Many times with webinars, attendees will sign on and then minimize the webinar window, doing other stuff while listening to the webinar audio. Having a poll gets your attendees to engage with you, stop whatever else they might be doing, and pay closer attention. So, I recommend having your poll questions interspersed throughout the entire webinar. Make sure the questions are relevant, and be able to comment on the poll results and share some feedback.

For example, if you are presenting a webinar on mobile-responsive websites, you could have a poll question that asks, “Is your website mobile responsive?” your poll answers might be “Yes”, “No” and “I don’t know.” Then, you could follow that up by then sharing, “Well, we got a lot of people who said they did not know, here is how you can find out,” or “We got a lot of ‘No’ answers, so we will be sure to help you with this webinar,” or something like that.

Closing

It took me many webinars to get the closing section right.

At the end of the webinar, people often just drop off. Usually it is because the speaker says something like, “Thank you for attending. We will do Q&A next,” and that is their cue to leave. But, at the closing, you are in the best position to ask for the follow-up with your audience. And if you do not ask, they will just leave.

So, as your webinar wraps up, you should do a few things:

  • Share further reading materials – provide a link to or recommendation of other materials that you have that attendees would benefit from browsing
  • Do not say “thank you for attending” yet because that implies that you are done and they will leave
  • Go to the follow-up poll question

Now, your secret weapon – the follow-up poll.

Follow-up poll

I learned this technique after sitting in on a very effective webinar. At the end of the webinar, before the question and answer section, the presenter shows a poll that asks “Would you like us to reach out after this webinar to discuss [presentation topic] with you?”

The poll has two options: Yes or no. That’s it.

The reason for this poll is that it basically asks your audience if they should be considered a sales opportunity.

Anyone who says yes, you should reach out to and give your sales pitch. These people are asking for you to pitch them and want to learn more about your services.

You should ask this question because after the webinar it is harder to get attendees to follow up with you. This is your best chance.

This is your “8 Mile moment”. After all the work – creating slides, the logistics, promoting the webinar, presenting the content – this is the moment that matters most. Taking advantage of this moment how you will grow your web design agency. 

This poll should be presented right before the Q&A because if people want to get to the Q&A they must first answer this poll question. And if they have no intention of sticking around for the Q&A, they will probably at least stay for this poll because for most webinar attendees the Q&A part is what signals to the attendees that the content is over and they can now leave.

After your webinar, you can get an attendee report from your webinar software. On that report, you should know every attendee (with their name and email address) who said “Yes” to that poll question.

Q&A

Now you get to the Q&A.

If you have good audience questions, you should definitely answer them publicly to the webinar attendees.

You should also have 3 fake questions prepared ahead of time. They should be questions you wish audience members would ask. Good questions that also might lead people back to hiring you. But, have a few fake questions in your back pocket to answer in case you are not getting any good audience questions.

Often, the real questions you get from attendees can be very specific or irrelevant, and those should not be answered during the webinar. Hyper-specific questions that could only speak to one attendee will make other attendees leave and not stay until the end.

Wrap it up

You should close the webinar at the end of your scheduled time. Even if you have some last questions, you want to be mindful of your audience’s time. Do not keep your audience members late.

Thank them for their time and share your contact information so they can follow up with you.

Promoting Your Webinar

Getting people to attend is going to be the biggest challenge with presenting a webinar. There are a few different marketing channels out there to try. Here is what you should consider.

You should spend most of your webinar-related time working on promotion. Without good promition, you have no attendees, and without attendees this is all for nothing. Promotion for your webinars is critical for growing your web design agency.

Email Blasts

You should have an email list by this point. If you do not have an email list of clients, potential clients, marketing leads, etc., you will need that. If you do not have an email list, put a pin in creating webinars for now, work on building your email list, and then save webinars for later.

In my experience, email blasts will drive much of your webinar sign-ups.

With your email blasts, there should be a specific cadence to them. And you should not email just once.

Here is what it should look like:

  • Two weeks from the date of the webinar, send an email blast announcing the webinar. Include bullet points on the topic, and a registration link
  • One week from the date of the webinar, another email blast sent to your email list, excluding registered attendees, that you’re “one week away”; this email should basically be the same as the first one in substance
  • One day away from the webinar, a “It’s Tomorrow!” email sent to your email list, excluding registered attendees; this email should be short and to the point

Aside from these emails, if you have a weekly newsletter, include mentions of your webinar in your newsletters.

Social Media

The chance that someone sees your social posting are unlikely.

Facebook especially ensures that only about 2% of your audience will see your posting.

To promote your webinar, you will need to spend a little money on social media.

You should create social ads, using Facebook in particular.

The beauty of a Facebook ad campaign is that you have a big world out there you can advertise to.

If you have Facebook’s targeting pixel installed, you can retarget visitors to your website (which you should).

You can also build “lookalike” audiences of people with similar backgrounds to your retargeting audience.

And beyond that, you can create a custom audience, targeting the billions of Facebook users out there. You choose the parameters – everything from interests to location to demographics – and you can send your ads right to them.

In terms of the ad copy itself, this will require some experimentation.

There is no one-size-fits-all recommendation I have for webinar ad copy.

But, the ad copy itself should have a hook, and compel that audience to sign up to get your helpful content.

Some successful ads I have seen on Facebook don’t prevent themselves as webinars. The copy focuses on “helping you grow your [niche] business.” And once you click the ad, you are sent to a webinar landing page.

As far as budget goes, you can spend whatever you would like, but I would recommend spending a few hundred dollars at least for your webinar, to ensure you get some sign-ups, and so you can test out the effectiveness of different ads.

Your Webinar Landing Pages

Before you start sending out email blasts and ads, you will need a landing page for your webinar. Often, your webinar software will allow you to create a landing page on their platform itself. That’s a fine option. It’s not the best, but if it works it works, and it’s easy.

Another option that gives you much more control is creating a landing page on your website.

The page will need a website form integration with your webinar software to register attendees. Technically it will be more complicated than using the webinar software’s landing page platform, but, you have more control.

If you build the landing page on your website CMS, you can integrate with your Google Analytics, and better track your visitors.

You can also better customize your landing page’s look.

As for the landing page design itself, it should be simple. You should have a headline that is your webinar topic. You should have short, compelling copy that discusses the “pain point” of a problem your audience has. You should then provide that the “answer” to the pain point is in your webinar. Have a bulleted list of topics that will be covered in your webinar. You will also need to mention the date / time of the webinar.

And, a large form that people can fill out to register (that is integrated with your webinar registration).

Practicing Your Webinar

For your first-ever webinar, I recommend practicing it fully at least three times. It might seem excessive, but you should do this for your first webinar. After you have given a webinar or two, you will not need this much prep time.

Practice the webinar in full. Once you know the material cold and know how to properly pace yourself – not speaking too quickly, not saying “uh” and “umm” – you will be ready to have a great webinar.

Ideally, have a friend listen to your practice run to give you honest feedback.

After you have given a few webinars, you will be a pro. After doing a few, you learn how to give a good webinar and you will not need as much prep time moving forward.

How to Host Your Web Design Agency Webinar

As a technical matter, you should probably have two people working the webinar – one presenter and one organizer. The organizer should do things like mind the Q&As that come in and make sure the webinar is going well, paying attention to comments from the audience during the webinar. Meanwhile, the presenter is presenting the webinar content. It is possible, but more challenging, to both present and organize the webinar. If you are trying to read audience questions while presenting, it is not easy.

Getting Ready

Before your webinar starts, restart your computer.

Start with a fresh computer desktop.

Close all of your apps that give you notifications. Close Slack, Gmail, Outlook, etc.

The only thing that should be open on your computer is your slide deck and your webinar software.

Find a quiet place to give your presentation, away from extraneous noise and potential noise (e.g. unplug your phone).

Also, you should ideally have a hard-wired Internet connection with good connectivity. You don’t want to be coming in-and-out or dropping your signal mid-presentation.

Presenting Your Webinar

Start your webinar 5 minutes before your designated start time.

Let your attendees entering the room know that you will start soon and that you are waiting for everyone to arrive.

One to two minutes after your designated start time, people will still be trickling in. So, you can wait an extra minute or two. Then, go ahead and present your webinar.

Don’t forget your “closing” poll question (very important).

And, have fun!

Presenting webinars can be a lot of fun. You might be nervous the first time, but after awhile, they can be a lot of fun. Your attendees are showing up because they want to hear what you have to say. Share your knowledge.

After the Webinar

As soon as the webinar is over, download your attendee report from your webinar software.

You should get the info of all your attendees and their responses to your poll questions.

The people who wanted you to follow up with them are now sales leads. Treat them like sales opportunities and enter them into your CRM, if you have one.

You might want to send a follow-up email or two to your attendees – let them know that you can help them out if they have any further questions. At this point, plug your service or product.

Over 2-3 emails, you can even offer a discount on your product or service specifically for webinar attendees.

And with that, you can grow your web design agency by giving webinars.

Webinar Checklist

Last, but not least, here is the checklist of everything you will need to get your webinar going:

  • Logistics
    • Date and time
    • Title
    • Webinar software setup
  • Content
    • Webinar description
    • Slides
    • Content
    • Handouts (if any – e.g. PDF of slides)
    • Poll questions
    • Q&A questions
  • Marketing
    • Website landing page
    • Emails to your audience
    • Ad copy
    • Ads
    • Post-webinar emails to attendees
  • Prep for webinar
    • Practice
    • Quiet place to present your webinar
    • Good internet connection
    • Unplug or silence phone
  • Presenting
    • Get there 5 minutes early
    • Let attendees know you will start soon
    • Start at 2 minutes after the designated start time
    • Don’t speak too fast
    • Use polls
    • Final “sales” poll
    • Q&A
    • Close it up by thanking attendees and let them know they can reach out

If you have any tips, recommendations, or questions related to presenting webinars to grow your web design agency, share them in the comments below.

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