A friend of mine who’s a fan of a coach that’s a “Leading Transformational Luminary” as best described by the coach himself, highly recommended that I attend a virtual webinar that the coach was holding. Curious, I signed up.
It was first scheduled for a Friday evening – I don’t know about you, but the last thing I want to do on a Friday night is to sit at my computer listening to a 90-minute webinar – but, okay, I’ll do it.
On the day of the webinar (the day of) I received an email saying that the event had been rescheduled for a Tuesday… Ugh. Again, I was willing, even though it ticked me off that it had been rescheduled last minute – but then again thrilled it wasn’t on a Friday.
I think it dawned on the Transformational Luminary that he scheduled a webinar on the start of an American long weekend. Gee, that’s seeing into the future for ya.
Anyway, Tuesday rolled around, and at 7pm I logged on. It started with someone from the coach’s team welcoming everyone. Then the coach came on saying hello to all, which followed by him pressing ‘play’ to a pre-recorded presentation that consisted of him talking with closed captions.
Immediately I thought, the coach is right here, live … why on earth would he sit closed camera behind a pre-recorded talking presentation?
Despite all that, at first it sounded interesting. He shared his story (recorded) and the reasons why his 5-step program (although he advertised 7) was going to alter our very existence (something like that).
As the talk continued it was all about what we WILL be learning, he never once actually shared any steps. Nope …. and then I quickly realized (once again) “Oh no, here we go again, a marketing snake oil salesman pitching us on why we should sign up for his course.” Oh crap.
Now I knew this was going to happen. He was going to be that sales pitchy guy disguised as a wise man – but I put my pessimism aside for the benefit of my friend who was such a fan. I wanted to be proven wrong. Sadly, not to be.
What the coach didn’t have was the foresight in knowing that he took 90 minutes of other people’s time which we can never get back so that he could pitch us just the idea of the way one’s life could be transformed.
Here’s 5 Reasons Not To Offer Free Webinars Unless …
1. You Share Real and Helpful Information
When you build up excitement where you keep promising that you’re going to share ways to do XYZ – where you in fact ‘say’ “I’m going to share with you 5 Ways to ….” but don’t … you’ve just lost all credibility.
However, if you give people what they came for – the information that you marketed to get people to attend your webinar in the first place, then you’ve offered something that could prove real and helpful.
2. You Build Trust With Others
How is anyone going to leave a webinar feeling more satisfied, enlightened, better equipped, whatever the enhanced feeling may be IF this particular webinar offered nothing but broken promises. That’s assuming your audience decided to stay for the whole thing once they heard it was a pitch. You’ve just lost the trust of those you could have been positively serving.
Build trust. Give your audience what they came for. Deliver on your promise.
3. You Exceed Expectations
BIG mistake when your marketing material hypes a webinar that doesn’t deliver on any of what was marketed. Not one thing.
If you want to engage people where they want to work with you … give them something – in fact, give them more.
4. Respect Others Time
When you’re asking others to commit their time to listen to something you have to say – make sure it’s worthwhile. In the case of this webinar, it was geared toward entrepreneurs, coaches, and influencers.
In knowing who you’re speaking with, the last thing you want to be doing is to spend 90 minutes for the sole purpose of having your audience sign up for a course. Particularly when an audience of this nature would have preferred you cut to chase and share what was promised rather than a long introduction. In fact, the entire webinar was an introduction.
Having a ‘call to action’ and ‘pitching the idea of the action’ are two completely different things. The first one is expected – we get it – you want to offer more – but that latter? Having an entire webinar as a sales pitch doesn’t fly. You had us for maybe 5 minutes – after that … see ya …
5. Don’t Bullsh*t Others
When you hype how incredibly famous you are. You’ve helped many to earn millions of dollars – first off you better be a billionaire and secondly, I’m not sure if anyone buys-into the ‘how to get rich quick’ pitches anymore – I’m not sure anyone ever did, although I’d be incredibly naive to think that wasn’t the case – after all sex and money do sell.
You have one opportunity to show others who you are – whatever that may be i.e., service provider, coach, investor, advisor, creator, etc. so being knowledgeable, honest, trustworthy, respectful, and in this case sharing and passing along what you’ve learned to others is important. It matters.
For the sake of my friend, and my time, quite frankly, I wanted to like this experience. I wanted to dive in and learn what this guy had gathered and experienced throughout his enlightened years. Just throw me a bone! I was even willing to take scraps. He was not a generous guy.
The disappointment came when he had a real opportunity to engage a virtual audience that wanted what he said he’d be delivering. He wasn’t willing to share without us having to pay for it first. If that were the case, then why would one offer a well-articulated outline of what we, the audience, would be gathering if he wasn’t prepared to share.
I absolutely understand that we all need to make a living. We’ve studied, learned, and experienced much in our lives, and that should garner an earned respect for others to want to work with us – hopefully. Especially if our work is to serve others – however, we do need to demonstrate that we mean what we say and act with good intention. Apart from the knowledge and expertise that we possess, we need to be authentic, giving, caring and trustworthy.
I guess I did learn a lot from this experience.