Well. Sort of.

I admit to being a bit of a webinar addict. You know the ones. They pop up on your Facebook or Instagram, often promising the world. ‘Solve your copywriting woes’, ‘design your own website in 5 easy steps’, ‘how to become a life coach with no life experience’ (kinda joking about that one). They are ads designed to try to steal your attention.

I started watching webinars pretty late. About 2017 when I lost my job and I had nothing going on, I often watched webinars to get a better understanding of what people were doing online.

The webinar trend has been growing since before then. So I’ve watched a lot of them. I very rarely purchase anything (make that one time I’ve purchased a program off a webinar and that was for a $50 investment). But there is something fascinating about them that I can’t put my finger on.

Webinars are a bit tricky too to watch. You need to know what you are going for because they are a business. An important one for any digitally based entrepreneur. Your webinar can apparently help you find your superfans, those who will pay whatever means necessary to rub elbows with you. They can help you find the (shudder) ‘tribe’ of your dreams (I’ve got reasons for hating that word in describing followers). You can show you are an expert in some fashion and offer to help them get to be an expert to. Simple.

Sort of simple.

Of the ten I watched this past month in the throes of my boredom, every single one (well, so far) has had a sales pitch at the end for some program, usually costing $497 for a self-taught coaching style program. $497, around that range, is a magical number. It is just expensive enough to feel a bit prestigious investment without being scary expensive. The webinar will promise that you’ll get your investment back.

Now maybe I’m a bit cynical about the whole process. No, wait, I know I am. Because the promises all hinge on one very important factor.

You.

You have to have the mindset and ability to do what the webinar suggests. Which always results down to work hard and play hard. Both very admirable ideals and I get it. I want to earn $100000/year just writing a page of sales copy a month but frankly? I know my limits in what I can propose to companies. (I might get there one day. Never know). But you won’t find many companies willing to pay you 10k when they don’t know you and you’ve built zero portfolio. Webinars don’t often teach you the skills in that short 1/2 hr – 1 hr period. They’re information and email gathering machines.

I’m using the copywriting example because that is what I tend to watch. These ‘free’ webinars come up in every facet of your interests these days. Musician, photographer, writer, horse enthusiast (ok these are MY interests), you’re going to find experts everywhere. Usually the most pervasive are network marketers or digital lifestyle gurus who at times mock you for working a 9-5 or for not wandering the world with just your laptop and the ability to annoy your friends with your product sales pitches.

There’s nothing wrong with webinars and how they operate, and that’s because you can take information from all of them. In…some ways. Sometimes the presentation really isn’t that good. Much in the way sometimes my blogs suck. You can’t be on all the time (least when it comes to me. My ‘on-ness’ is very dependent on many factors).

The webinars I love are those without agenda. No sales pitch, just information sharing. They are out there, I know they are. I’ve seen a few. I never track my webinars but I might start. I’m repeating this information off of my memory, after all, and that is highly unscientific.

But I know I’m not the only one getting ready for this trend to die a little. Webinars used to be useful sales tools but now they have become very salesy. Some people aren’t waiting to hook you. They’re punching you with sales talk early on. And I mean PUNCHING you.

There’s an art to webinars, I think, and the best of the best know not to punch early. You hook with information, with service, then you pop the question and offer to serve your clientele early.

People running webinars, when it comes to me…:

  • please please PLEASE do not punch me in the face early with a sales pitch.
  • Don’t spout off of all the riches this lifestyle has afforded you. I am a doubter, in which I don’t think you’re sipping a First Class bottle of champagne in your private jet by selling shit on amazon
  • I don’t mind if you aren’t a public speaker. Neither am I. But at the very least, have some order to your service and pitch.
  • When it comes to pitches, don’t insult me. Don’t talk down about my chosen field and how I run it. Just to prove you wrong I’m gonna keep going and flip you off in my head.
  • Invest in a decent mic.
  • Please don’t call me ‘hon’ . Really. don’t

As a frequent watcher, I have to admit it is a bit like gathering some popcorn, a drink, and seeing how it goes at this point. I’m learning from them how pitches are made. Mostly because I suck at pitches myself. I hate pitching. But I am getting better through practice.

Now this is all opinion. some people swear by the webinar format (and I’m waiting to get a slew of emails to my inbox about how wrong I am not to LOVE them or how THEY’RE not like THAT) and that’s fine for them. But I’m ready for a trend of content that doesn’t have an agenda.