Automatic Webinars & Tension

Towards the end of 2014 I set my sights on creating a series of Automatic ‘On Demand” Webinars that could be used to help my audience regardless of timezone constraints. At first I thought about just releasing recorded videos that people could watch whenever they desired, however the problem with this is that is works to limit the actual ‘tension’ of those in wishing to consume the content.

The term tension is borrowed from Seth Godin, whom I recently finished listening to on the Social Media Examiner podcast, who described the power of tension in compelling people to act on the message your hoping to spread. In his case, he applied tension to his latest book release by ensuring that the book was only available in physical copy. The reason this worked to create tension, is that you cannot hide away from it, you can’t delete it, you are constantly reminded of the fact you haven’t read the physical book as it sits on your shelf. This tension works to encourage the reader to read the book and thus deliver the message to his audience.

So this got me thinking about how I could deliver a similar experience to my audience of PE Teachers, so that they would be compelled to consume the material available to them, and ultimately improve their teaching practice.  How would I do it? How could it ensure my message was shared? How could I do it with Webinars?

At this stage my plan was to produce a webinar that could be made available to people via an email opt in. They would then receive a link to a live Google+ Hangout on Air, which I would then conduct the presentation from live.

In terms of creating tension, Webinars are perfect.  Once a user registers, they cannot escape the fact that this event doesn’t last forever. So in order to cash in on the knowledge, they HAVE to turn up.

This is great in an ideal world without timezones, but in the real world I simply couldn’t physically do more than one LIVE webinar per week. Not to mention, I would only be able to serve a small collection of my audience using this method.

This got me thinking about On Demand Automated Webinars, and how they could be used to instil a blend of tension and true global reach.

My Solution

1. Start by producing a nice presentation file template using my new branding, which would form the basis of the material shared in the webinar. I hired a designer on Fiverr.com who produced a stellar design for $25.

2. I then made a start creating my 60 minute presentation of nothing but the best content

3. Using the screen recording software ‘Snagit‘ I recorded me conducting the presentation in High Definition and uploaded the recorded video direct to Dropbox, Amazon S3 & Vimeo.

4. I then purchased the automated webinar software ‘Evergreen Business Systems‘ which works to enable you to create events wrapped around your pre recorded video. The best part about Evergreen Business Systems is that its a one time payment.

5. Once purchased, I got started with the setup of my first webinar ‘Motivate PE with Tech‘ which was designed to be 100% evergreen content. Meaning that it would never change and would be a constant source of value for those attending.

6. Once the webinar was ready to go, I blogged to my audience about a new on demand webinar that they could access. The most amazing thing about EBS is that attendees select the date from the list of days in the week you choose to make it available for and the times are then converted to their local time. As you can see below, I chose to make my webinar available on Wednesday & Fridays at 9am & 7pm. This ultimately meant that regardless of where they’re located, they can access it.

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7. After a person registers they receive a series of follow up emails from inside of the EBS system. These messages can be scheduled however you like and for me serve as reminders 6 hours, 1 hour and 15 minutes before the webinar starts. This aspect is 100% customisable. Best part about it is that the emails include the session details and a personalised link to the event.

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8. The next step was to begin generating mass traffic to the event registration page, which came as a result of my email lists, blog posts, social media posts and finally a $5 per day recurring ad set on Facebook.

9. Finally it was time to sit back and enjoy seeing the registrations come flowing into EBS.  At this stage I also registered for my own event using another email address. This resulted in me receiving the automated reminder emails, and eventually hoping into the room with the attendees.

10. At this point I sat back and relaxed while my on demand webinar filled with 100+ attendees went through some of the best content I’ve ever made.

11. Following the completion of the webinar EBS sent follow up emails that included links and discounts mentioned within the webinar. This ultimately meant that the webinar had become an automated sales machine.  I also directed people whom completed the webinar to complete a survey asking them if they would recommend a webinar by me to a friend, here’s what they said.

 Do it. You will not regret it. Lot’s of great ideas that get you thinking about where you can take your class with the addition of technology in the class.Very informative. Great new ideas.

Don’t be afraid of technology! This webinar was so informative.

The apps we learned about are inexpensive or free and cover everything from dance to fitness testing. Definitely worth the hour of time!Go for it!

A quick easy way to get hold of ideas and apps that can be used in your classroom. Ideas that can create that intrinsic activity motivation that we want our students to have. Enjoyed it!

This was my first one, but I really enjoyed it. I got some very good ideas for using technology.

 

Over the years I’ve ran a number of LIVE webinars, and LOVED how they have helped me share my message with my audience. However, this new On Demand service via EBS is now making it possible to take this message to an even wider audience.

So why not just release a video? Why go to effort to do this?  See below for why this matters.

Screenshot 2015-02-12 20.41.07

The above is an example of one of the many emails I’ve received from people disappointed they couldn’t make the event.  No matter how good your online video is you’re NOT getting emails like this. Why you ask? Because there’s NO TENSION.