One of Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People is: “Start with the end in mind.” That’s good advice for webinar organizers too. So today let’s turn your webinar upside-down and see how reverse engineering could improve performance.
Just for a moment, forget about how to start your webinar. Instead, let’s go to the end and figure out the answer to a very simple question . . .
Step Four: What Do You Want Participants to Do?
Notice I didn’t say: “What do you want participants to learn?” That’s the wrong question, unless you’re in the university business Busy people want content they can use.
Maybe you want to sell something. That makes the decision simple. You want them to purchase your offer.
Or maybe education is the goal of your webinar. If so, motivate them to go do it!
For the moment, let’s start with webinars that are intended to sell. First, list the exact steps needed to purchase the product or service. Then explain those steps quickly and clearly.
Remember that presentations are the powerful combination of visual and auditory. So it might be helpful to provide spoken instructions accompanied by written prompts.
Got it? You now have the most profitable way to end your webinar — with a clear, strong call-to-action.
Step Three: What Can You Do for Them?
If they do as you ask, what will be their immediate benefits and long-term benefits? As examples:
Immediate Benefit: Make more money
Long-Term Benefit: Build a lasting business
Immediate Benefit: Lose weight
Long-Term Benefit: Be healthier
Immediate Benefit: Meet new people
Long-Term Benefit: Enjoy a more interesting life
And don’t stop with one of each. Brainstorm until you have more benefits than you need then whittle the list down to those that are most compelling.
Step Two: What Have You Got for Them?
Let them know the overall story and enough details to help them understand the value. You might describe features of the product.
If a service, you can describe the steps involved. Paint a picture of what it’s like to be your customer.
Step One: Who Are You?
The goals here are to warm up your audience and to build credibility, so they’ll be receptive when you present your offer and ask for their business.
You don’t need to tell them the name of your 8th grade Algebra teacher just provide some type of proof of what makes you and your company a standout. It could be any combination of education, experience, accomplishments or, better yet, the accomplishments of your customers.
Time to Flip
Don’t forget that you’re “reverse engineering.” So the presentation order should be like this:
Step One: Here’s who I am
Step Two: Here’s what I’ve got for you
Step Three: Here’s what it can do for you
Step Four: Here’s what you need to do now
You can use this simple formula again and again. Boil it down to its shortest form and use it in email offers, landing pages or even sales presentations — in person or by phone. Or expand it into a presentation of any length.
Expanding the Formula
To expand the formula, just repeat steps two and three for each feature of your product or service:
Step Two: Here’s how Feature-A works
Step Three: Here’s what Feature-A can do for you
Step Two: Here’s how Feature-B works
Step Three: Here’s what Feature-B can do for you
Naturally, you need not repeat step one (who you are.) And step four should be at the very end of your webinar — although it’s perfectly OK to drop hints along the way to prepare them for your call-to-action.
What About Educational Webinars?
Purely educational webinars don’t usually include a big build-up to a call-to-action. But webinar participants will get more value if you help them implement what they learn.
So divide your content into several sections and repeat steps two, three and four for each section.
Step Two: Here’s the first thing I want to teach you
Step Three: Here’s what it can do for you
Step Four: Here’s how to use this learning
Step Two: Here’s the second thing I want to teach you
. . . and so forth.
Why It Works
This format models how people think. Participants want to:
- Know that the source is trustworthy (who I am)
- Understand the details (what I’ve got for you)
- Recognize the value (what it can do for you)
- Find out how to get it (what to do now)
Just for a moment, put yourself in the other person’s shoes. If you didn’t know who you were buying from, you’d feel less confident about taking out your credit card.
And what if you didn’t really understand what you’d be getting, couldn’t figure out how it could help you or weren’t clear on how to get it? You’d be confused, wouldn’t you?
And unfortunately . . .
. . . A Confused Mind Always Says No
By reverse-engineering your webinar, you “un-confuse” your participants, so they can make a good decision about whether your product or service is right for them.
Confused about any of the steps? Got any questions? Ask them in the comment section, and we’ll answer every single one.
Good luck with your webinar!