In this episode we speak with Lewis Howes of Lewis Howes.com. Lewis is an expert in webinars, an author, entrepreneur and former professional athlete. In this interview, Lewis reveals the steps involved to holding a successful webinar. Go grab a coffee, sit back, relax, plug in the earphones and enjoy this weeks episode.
Lewis Howes, is a successful online entrepreneur, his transition from sports to becoming a LinkedIn and Webinar Guru is a testament itself that the online marketing business is an even playing field.
- From Athlete to online guru – A brief look at Lewis’ past through to present.
- Social Media and LinkedIn – Finding your niche and building your network.
- Webinars 101 – Tips and Secrets in staging your own successful webinars..
THE FULL TRANSCRIPT
Introduction: Welcome to the brave new world of cost effective communications, tips, trips, and tricks, how to’s, why to’s, and what not to do’s, and using the power of web based content marketing to easily promote whatever you’d like. Welcome to The Multimedia Marketing Show with Jake Hower.
Jake: Welcome back to the show, listeners. I’m your host, Jake Hower. This is episode number 10 of The Multimedia Marketing Show. Now, just before hitting record, I was reflecting a little bit at the milestone that we’ve just achieved, being Episode 10, and what I realized is it’s actually Episode 11.
You recall, Episode 4.5, where we brought on Dan Norris, Dan Andrews, and James Schramko, which was an impromptu episode, as part of Dan Norris’s promotion for Inform.ly, for his Content Marathon Week. If you haven’t listened to that one, check it out.
We’re actually, now, celebrating Episode 11, and so, this is a fantastic milestone. Personally, I really love this and love that you’ve been listening, so thank you very much, and I’ll look forward to the next 101.
All right. The newest episode, we’ve got Lewis Howes, who’s not only an expert LinkedIn marketer, or an expert in LinkedIn, but he’s also run so many webinars over his years that he’s an expert at running webinars.
Now, in a few episodes ago, I spoke a little bit about how I enjoyed his book, The Ultimate Webinar Marketing Guide, so I really thought that you would get some value out of hearing a little bit about Lewis and how to go about running a webinar.
We’ve got him on the show this week to discuss a little bit how you go about setting up a webinar, and he shares some absolute gold. Rather than put it off any longer, let’s get straight into this week’s interview.
Segue: We’ll be right back with more of The Multimedia Marketing Show but first this suggestion. Make sure that you don’t miss a single episode by subscribing to us via iTunes and don’t forge to like Jake on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and sign up for email notifications at MultimediaMarketingShow.com, then you’ll be the first to know when new episodes are available. Now let’s get back to The Multimedia Marketing Show with Jake Hower.
Jake: Welcome back. This news has mentioned, at the top of the episode, we’ve got Lewis Howes on the call. Lewis, how are you?
Lewis: I’m doing great. How are you?
Jake: No, fantastic. All right, so going back a few weeks, Lewis, I mentioned you on an earlier episode because I was looking at holding some webinars, myself, and asking a few people around the traps, as to good resources on webinars. Your name kept popping up, so I went out and purchased The Ultimate Webinar Marketing Guide, just on the Kindle.
For such a dry subject, I felt that you presented it and explained it in such an engaging way, so I thought, “Gee. I need to get you on the show.”
Lewis: (laughs) I tried to tell some good stories in there, but it’s a work in progress.
Jake: Yes. It really is. I was very surprised how much I enjoyed the book, so yes, you’ve done an awesome job with that. As you’re probably aware, the premise of this particular show is multimedia marketing, so while webinars is not exactly multimedia marketing, it’s certainly a platform to actually offer sales for everybody doing it.
I’d love to go into, in this episode, a little bit about how you hold a successful webinar. How does that sound?
Lewis: Sounds great to me.
Jake: Awesome. For those few listeners out there, who may not know a little bit about you, Lewis, how about you give us a little bit about your background and what has brought you to where you are now?
Lewis: Sure. Yes. I used to play professional football, back in 2007, 2007-2007, and that was kind of my dream, my entire childhood, was being a professional athlete. I thought, to myself, if I could get paid to run around, and hit people, and throw a football, and catch a football, then that would be a pretty sweet dream come true, I thought, in my mind.
I made my dream come true. I played arena football, in the United States, which is indoor football. It’s not the NFL, but it’s about a step below, and I was working my way towards the NFL. However, I had a career ending injury. I broke my wrist in a game and to recover for about 12 months from this injury. I couldn’t really work out for a while, so I decided to retire from playing football anymore.
I was trying to figure out … I had three credit cards. I was in debt. I had student loans. I was sleeping on my sister’s couch for this entire year-and-a-half, while I was recovering from this surgery and this injury. I was trying to figure out what my next move was going to be.
I realized that I didn’t really want to go work for someone. I didn’t think a nine-to-five type of job was something that I was built for or made for. Once you’re getting paid to wear a helmet and hit people in the head, you don’t really want to go sit on a desk and take orders from a boss, when, you felt like you were on top of the World as an athlete.
I decided to figure out, how was I going to make money on my own? How could I be an entrepreneur, or make money, be my own boss? I started, actually, researching a lot of bloggers, at the time, who were making money. I was reading different blogs, learning about online businesses. Social media started to become a huge topic around that time.
Actually, one of your previous guests, Chris Brogan, he was one of the blogs that I started reading early on, actually, about how to leverage social media, how to grow an audience, how to generate sales online, and things like that. I started him and a bunch of other people, and learning about how they did it.
I would reverse engineered products they would create, how they would write email copy, and study what everyone did. Then, I copied a little bit of what they did, and applied some of my own thoughts and ideas to it. From there, really took off. I wrote a couple of books, early on, and then, created one product, which led to many more products, which led to where I’m at today.
Jake: Yes, fantastic. It’s a really interesting story, and it’s amazing. I guess, probably, what doesn’t come out in that quick intro is how much time and effort you actually had to put into to becoming what you are now. What didn’t come too easy?
Lewis: Yes. I definitely, for the first year-and-a-half, I didn’t make a dollar. I remember thinking to myself, “When am I going to be able to move into my own apartment, and be able to take care of myself?” I’m 25-years-old, and I was thinking, “Gosh, I’m a grown ass man, and I still, I live in my sister’s place.”
It was more of a, maybe it’s more of an ego thing, or it was, I needed to be able to take care of myself, and at the moment, I couldn’t take care of myself. My basic needs were not met. I couldn’t provide my own food for myself. I couldn’t buy myself clothes, and I couldn’t pay for my own apartment.
For me, it was I had nowhere else to go, except for, learning how to make money and learning how to provide for myself. I spent all day, all night studying, researching, taking action. I had mentors. I was doing whatever I could to finally figure it out, and I didn’t stop. I really didn’t sleep until I figured it out.
Jake: Yes. Cool. All right. Moving on to, continuing to paint the picture a little bit, so LinkedIn is where you become really an expert. I believe you started holding in-person events?
Lewis: That’s correct, yes. I realized that I was building this large audience, pretty fast, on LinkedIn. I was spending, probably, six to eight hours a day on there, for a number of months, really trying to connect with people to see what type of business opportunities were out there.
At the time, I was looking for job opportunities, but I didn’t want to take any of them. I was like, “What is out there?” I was connecting with these decision makers and these hiring managers, and I built this huge network pretty fast. I was creating these different, business-related groups in various cities, and trying to learn all about LinkedIn, and see what other people were doing.
I said to myself, I started going to local social media events, and they were kind of lame. I said, “Okay. I think I could throw a better event than this, and I think I could get more people here.” I threw an event, and it had 350 people show up, and I sold about $1,000 worth of sponsorship for little tables, little booths.
I said, “Wow.” This was the first money I made. It was 1,000 bucks from this event. I said, “I wonder if I could charge people for this event, and if they would still show up, as opposed to making if free.” The next one I did, I charged $5, and 400 people showed up. I said, “Wow, okay,” and I sold sponsorship.
I said, “Okay. I wonder if I can charge more for this, and if people would show up, and charge more for sponsorships.” I kept increasing the sales. I kept, I started charging $10, $20. I was increasing my sponsorships.
I thought, “Okay. What if I charged, asked the place, the restaurant or the bar that I was hosting it at, what if I asked them if I could get a commission on sales, for any food and bar sales, for the three-hour period?” I started to make an extra 15%-20%, from all food and bar sales, from 500 people. That all adds up.
Then, I wrote a book about LinkedIn and started selling my book at the event, so I started to learn how to leverage these events to generate more income. I started getting clients. I started doing consulting about LinkedIn. All these different things stemmed from building an audience on LinkedIn.
The goal was to bring people together, to add value to them, to help them grow their business. While I was doing that, I realized that I could start charging for different things. That’s really how it all got started for me.
Jake: All right. Then, how did you make your way from holding physical events, all around the country, to moving into the webinar space?
Lewis: I realized that events were really starting to drain my energy. I was promoting these things, and I would travel around the country, and host these events. It was a lot of time consuming. I said, “I don’t want to do anymore events.” I think I did 20 in the first year, and they were getting me by, but they weren’t generating passive income, and it wasn’t really smart money coming in.
I remember, I was trying to figure out how to create products online, but I had no clue what I was doing. I didn’t know how to write copy. I didn’t know how to do anything technical with sales pages.
I had this LinkedIn book that I wrote, however, and there was a guy named, Joel Calm, who asked me to come on a webinar that he was … He was hosting a boot camp series about social media. He didn’t know anyone else who was talking about LinkedIn, and he had an expert on Twitter, and Facebook, and YouTube.
Luckily, I had met him at an event just before this, and was pitching him on why he should use LinkedIn to help him in his Internet marketing company. I got on this webinar with him, and I didn’t have a product, but he said, “I want you to have some type of training or some type of product, where we can sell at the very end. You’re going to give 60 minutes of great content for free, and then, you can offer something at the end.”
I had no clue what I was doing, but I offered, basically, a three-day, live training on advanced LinkedIn strategies, for people, at the very end. Long story short, I made $6,300 in that first webinar I did, to his audience, and was blown away at … For me, that was the most money I’d ever made in my life, basically, in a day, let alone probably a month.
I was blown away that he could do that online. It was this “ah-hah” moment, for me, and I said, “Wow. I don’t have to …” I was literally in my underwear, behind a computer screen, presenting on a topic that I know so much about, LinkedIn. I was able to sell my information to people who wanted to learn how to accelerate their business and grow their business, using LinkedIn, after that.
I said, “Wow. I could do this every single day if I want to make $6,300 on a webinar.” I said, “How can I perfect this system? How can I make more sales? How can I add more value to people? What can I, who can I find to promote these webinars?”
I started really diving into that whole system of webinars and learning everything you could about it. It’s been pretty interesting, the last couple years, doing webinars.
Jake: Yes, yes. Right. How many webinars do you think you would’ve held by now?
Lewis: Man. I think, six months ago, I think I tried to do the numbers. I probably did over 500, about six months ago. I’ve started doing a lot less. I’m probably only doing a few a month right now, but I was doing, some weeks I was doing 10 a week. It was insane.
When I could, I couldn’t line them up fast enough, basically. Once people heard that I was able to add that much value and generate a lot of sales and webinars, it was, I was signing people up, every day I could, to promote me.
Jake: Yes, certainly. The 500 webinars plus makes you an expert, and so, you’ve gone on. You’ve written a book about it. You’ve created a number of program-, or, one in particular, I think, was it, Magnetic Webinars, around holding webinars?
Jake: Okay. Let’s move on to the actual steps, here, for our listeners. Who should be holding webinars?
Lewis: Anyone who has a product, a service, an expertise, a software, or events that they would like to sell. You could also have some type of membership side, or things like that, but if you’ve got a product, a service, a software, or event, or you’re an expert at something, then that’s who should be doing webinars.
Jake: Yes, okay. Products, is this a digital product, or can this be a physical product as well?
Lewis: This can be both. Now, the majority of people that I work with, and the majority of products that I sell, are digital. For me, it’s easier to sell a digital product, and it’s easier to manage the process of shipping stuff or not shipping stuff afterwards. We do work, I do help people who do have physical products, and they still do extremely well. The profit margin isn’t as high as it is for product.
Jake: Yep, okay. No problems. All right. What I’d like to do now, Lewis, is let’s do a bit of a case study. I’ll be really selfish, here, and let’s say, I’ve got my own product here. I want to start holding webinars, myself. Now, I’d say that I’ve gone through the last six months.
I own a travel agency, here in Melbourne, and I’ve been shooting a lot of video over the last six months. I, now, feel that I’ve got something to offer other businesses about how they can go about setting up their own video production and getting video out there. I want to hold a webinar and help people out.
I know nothing about webinars. Let’s go through the process for our listeners, and put together a webinar.
Lewis: Wait, is your product, your travel industry or video stuff?
Jake: It’s video stuff. It’s definitely video stuff, but what makes me an expert in it is the fact that I’ve been doing it in my other companies.
Lewis: Got you, got you, got you. Okay. Your product is a video marketing, or how-to course, right?
Lewis: Okay. It’s a digital course. It’s a live training. It’s something like that, correct?
Lewis: Okay. Cool. If you’re going to do a webinar, and you want to generate some sales for this digital product, then basically, you’d want to, the first thing is, you need to either have your own email list or you need to find someone who can promote you, who has an email list or an audience online.
It could be a big Facebook page. It could be whatever, but you need to figure out how you’re going to get people to get on the webinar, first. If you don’t have a list, if you can’t find someone who has a list or an audience, then you can do Facebook ads, or some other ads, to drive traffic to a webinar registration. That’s the first step is, figuring out where you’re going to drive traffic from, to a webinar registration page.
The next step would be, setting up a clean call-to-action on a webinar registration page. I like to use GoToWebinar.com. They’re the standard in the industry. It seems like everyone’s been on a webinar, from GoToWebinar, so they understand how to use it.
You go to gotowebinar.com, sign up for an account there, and set up a webinar registration page, with a clean call-to-action in the title. It could be, “The Seven Step Process for Building Your Business Through Video Marketing.” Then, you would have a nice intro paragraph, some bullet points of how they’re going to, what they’re going to get out of the webinar, how it’s going to increase their business by using your strategies, and then, the opt to inform, at the bottom.
You’re going to drive the traffic there, and I’m going to give you a brief synopsis. Basically, you’d want to spend a couple of days driving traffic to the webinar registration page, letting people know about it, getting them excited, telling them to get on there early.
Once they get on the webinar, and it starts, you want to make it about 60 minutes long. With that, you can have 30 to 60 slides. You want to create a presentation that’s very clean and has a lot of, more image-focused than text-focused, and has great examples for your tips or strategies, things like that.
You want to, there’s a whole process for actually selling without being salesy. For the sake of time, you basically want to have a strong introduction that’s going to hook people to stick around to the very end.
What’s your big promise? What are you going to promise people, that they’re going to receive, if they stick around through the very end? If they don’t stick around to the very end, then you’re going to decrease your chances of getting sales.
Once you give them your introduction, and you give them your promise of what they’re going to learn, you going to send them through your contents. You want to give them some of your best tips possible, your biggest secrets, the best strategies, the things that really work for you or your clients, and give it away. Give them your best stuff. Don’t be afraid to hold back and just give basic stuff.
After you give them the content, you want to lead them into the offer, which would be your video marketing course. Send them through a number of slides that will let them know what the product is, why they should sign up, who else has gone through it, the success of other people’s businesses that have used your program or your strategies. Send them through, to a sales page, where they can buy your product there. That’s pretty much an overview of a webinar.
Jake: Yes, okay. Cool. That’s fantastic. A couple of questions surrounding that, let’s look at a webinar registration page. I’m sure you would’ve done a lot of the testing, but there are a number of different platforms, out there, that offer what they call, Higher Converting Webinar Registration Pages, over the traditional go-to webinar page. What are your findings on that?
Lewis: We did a number of testing because I thought, at first, you can’t really customize the go-to webinar page that well. You can’t add a video. You can’t add this. I thought, “What if we had a video, on here, and nice looking images, and buttons, and arrows, and all this stuff? I wonder if we could optimize our conversions better.”
We were getting around 50% opt-ins, from people that went to the page, the webinar registration page. We tried this for about six months to a year. I did a webinar with Brian Tracy, who’s a top sales coach in the World and a big name in the business World.
He did a personal video saying, “Hey, guys. Brian Tracy, here, number one [inaudible 00:19:57] bestseller,” yah dah, yah dah, yah dah. “I am so excited to come on this webinar, with Lewis Howes. Make sure to sign up. Here’s what you’re going to learn.”
We thought this was going to blow it away, and it got 10% conversion. We tried everything, with different buttons, nothing converted, as well as, the simple look of go-to webinar’s registration page. For me, we went back to that and stuck with what works.
Jake: Yes. That’s really interesting. I guess, would you assume that’s because people like familiarity?
Lewis: That’s probably one of the things, and it may be our audience, who knows? Maybe, it you’ve got a different audience, and you’re not getting conversions the way you want, then try a different page yourself. It’s probably because they started off, with us, for a year like that, and then, we changed it up, maybe, who knows.
Jake: Yes, okay. Cool. In terms of the platform, you mentioned, go-to webinar. Do you think there’s anything else in the market that is comparable?
Lewis: I don’t think there’s anything as good, that’s as consistently good, and gives you everything you need to get results. There is some other stuff that has different widgets, and buttons, and videos, and stuff, but it’s more expensive and not as reliable, in my opinion.
Jake: Yes. That’s, my findings indicate that as well.
Jake: Okay. Cool. All right. Moving on, then. Initially, you were promoting LinkedIn. You’ve moved a little bit away from, I wouldn’t say moved away, but you’re actually bringing other, different expertizes into the products’ table. What else are you focusing on now?
Lewis: It’s really on all social media marketing that works. We’ve created Facebook product. We’ve created the YouTube products. We’ve got our LinkedIn products. We’ve got our webinar product.
We’re expanding our product line because if I’m just talking about LinkedIn all the time, they want, my customers want more information, as well, on other social media sites, also how to build their business better online, so going into broader, how to grow your business online, as well
Jake: All right. That’s fantastic. This has been a nice, short, sharp interview. I really appreciate you coming on, Lewis. Mentioning, before we hit record, that’s, you’re coming out with your own podcast.
Lewis: Yes. I’m really excited about this because I do a lot of different content about business, and online marketing, and social media, but what I’m really excited about it connecting with the most inspiring minds in the World, in athletics, in business, and the celebrity World.
I have a new show called, The School of Greatness, where I interview these inspiring minds, elite athletes and celebrities, on how to become great at what they do. I’m going to be introducing these great people, to my audience, through this podcast, and it’s something I’m really excited about.
Jake: Yes. I’m really looking forward to it. It’s a great premise for a show.
Lewis: Thank you very much. Thank you.
Jake: Excellent. Listeners, keep an eye out for that particular podcast. Lewis, where can our listeners connect with you?
Lewis: The best place to come find all my information is at my website, lewishowes.com.
Jake: That’s fantastic. Lewis, thanks very much for coming on the call today.
Lewis: Thank you very much, Jake. I appreciate it.
Jake: Listeners, we’ll speak to you very soon.