195 FS Webinars and Micronars

00:00 0:58:40
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02:53 - “Micronar”

11:46 - Effective Marketing (Sales Funneling)

16:34 - Webinars as a Revenue-Generating Tool

28:31 - Contents and Packaging

38:09 - Online Summits/Remote Conferences

41:45 - Tools and Tactics

Crowdcast (Jonathan)Wait But Why (Jonathan)27‑inch iMac with Retina 5K display (Philip)Word Swag (Chuck)Dreamstime (Chuck)The Best Podcast Rap Video (Chuck)


[This episode is sponsored by Hired.com. Hired.com is offering a new freelancing and contracting offering. They have multiple companies that will provide you with contract opportunities. They cover all the tracking, reporting and billing for you, they handle all the collections and prefund your paycheck, they offer legal and accounting and tax support, and they’ll give you $1,000 when you’ve been on a contract for 90 days. But with this link, they’ll double it to $2,000 instead. Go sign up at Hired.com/freelancersshow.]**[If you're someone who runs your own service-based business, then spending less time on pesky admin tasks means having more time to focus on your clients’ work, which is why you need to give FreshBooks a try. FreshBooks is the invoicing solution that makes it incredibly simple to create and send invoices, track your time and manage your expenses. 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Earth Class Mail moves your snail mail into the cloud giving you instant access 24/7 and integrates with the tools and services you use everyday. It’s crazy that we’ve moved everything we do for the business over to the digital world but still need to pick up, sort and manage physical mail. With Earth Class Mail, you can get all of your mails scanned and accessible online 24/7. You can search your mail, send invoices over to your accounting software, sync important documents into cloud storage, deposit checks and really just make running your business a whole lot easier. You also get real professional address to share publicly with customers, business partners and investors, and you’ll never need to worry about someone showing up at your door if you run your business from home. Visit freelancersshow.com/mail and you’ll get your first month of service free when you sign up.] **CHUCK: Hey everybody and welcome to episode of The Freelancers’ Show. This week on our panel we have Philip Morgan. PHILIP: Greetings. CHUCK: Jonathan Stark. JONATHAN: Hello. CHUCK: I’m Charles Max Wood from DevChat.tv. And this week we’re going to be talking about micronars and webinars. I know that both of you have done this. I've done a few; not many, and most of mine were actually paid upfront for training. So I’m really curious how this fits into a marketing funnel and things like that. So I don’t know exactly where we want to start, but maybe one of you can pick this up and lead us in there. PHILIP: Why don’t we start with the inventor of the term micronar, Philip Morgan [chuckles]. I’m kidding. [Crosstalk] JONATHAN: [Inaudible] out of my mind. [Chuckles] PHILIP: I did –. CHUCK: Such an unfortunate name. PHILIP: We can get into that. That could be fun, but I just mashed up the idea of a microscopic amount of content and a webinar and came up with a word micronar and started taking credit for doing so, and then found out someone else [inaudible] years ago and actually registered the domain micronar.com, I think. CHUCK: What a loser. PHILIP: You know that diminished the value of the idea not in the least. It’s a great idea and so maybe – I guess I’ll just keep going and introduce it. What if you took the traditional webinar format which tends to be 45-50 minutes of content and 15-20 minutes of Q&A; what if you took that and change the proportions of things so that the content was shorter and the Q&A was longer? That was my idea and I can’t really remember why I came up with it, but I think I just, one day, had an idea for a presentation about positioning, started sketching it out and realized that I had about 15 minutes of content, and I thought “this could be a webinar, just a slightly different webinar with no pitch at the end and just me answering questions after I get done with the presentation”. I did it a couple of times and announced it to my own list, and I was really pleased with the results because the content was easy put together and I thought it had a ton of value and it created a sort of forum for engaging with people on my list in a different way in a real-time fashion that was also very beneficial. And I think we can drill into each one of those things, but just to set it up, that’s what I think of as a micronar; just a variation on the webinar concept where I’m not trying to keep people entertained for 50 minutes, which if you’ve never tried to do it, that’s a lot harder to do than it might sound. JONATHAN: Yeah. I’ll pile on a little bit. If I remember correctly, I think I was around at the dawn of the micronar, and if I remember, there was some motivation for you to have more conversation with your list because it generates content on its own; just asking – it’s almost like – it’s like getting actual Frequently Asked Questions instead of making up your Frequently Asked Questions. And I think you were in the process of finalizing the second book – I could be wrong, but I seem to remember it as your motivation was that you were really looking to make sure that you – the way that you're describing things was actually coming across, and if you needed to change your language or explain something more deeply, then better to know now than later. I have a quick story. I've done hundreds of – maybe a thousand talks, and I’m pretty programmed to talk for 60 minutes. I [inaudible][chuckles] extremely hard to put together a 5-minute talk. The hardest talk I ever did was one of those Ignite talks for O’Reilley, and that is the most I ever practiced for a talk; the slides automatically advance every 30 seconds or so; you have 20 slides and 30 seconds or whatever the math – 15 seconds each or something. And it was brutal. But the cool thing about it is on the one hand, it’s easier because it’s less to set up, but on the other hand, I think it forces you to really have a lot of clarity about a single idea, which – what's the Einstein quote; it’s something like “if you can’t explain something simply, you don’t understand it well enough yet”, and I believe that strongly. So I think it has – so I think the format is super interesting because it forces you to focus down on a single idea, and to me – we’re all fans of being on specializing and becoming an expert and recognized expert in your area because then you become a go-to person and [inaudible] all the marketing just automatically happens much more easily anyway. And being able to drill so far into one question or one point, to me that’s where the light bulb always comes on. That’s when you have a revelation and you have a breakthrough moment and it’s that – stuff like that that separates the people who really know what they're talking about and how to communicate it from the people who are just writing a bunch of blog posts and have curated a bunch of information that is sort of copycat people. Then the last thing that came up while you were talking about that was – I think it’s a Michael Port quote or maybe just floating around in the ether, but people don’t teach because they're experts; they're expert because they teach. I think that is so true because like I – a lot of things I do in coaching where I know how to do something, like [inaudible]. I never knew not how to do it; it’s just gut instinct for me to do certain things. But being able to communicate that to an audience, like a bunch of different people who have different constraints and strengths, you have to sometimes communicate it differently for it to actually – you have to say it differently for the audience to actually receive it; receive the information. You could say the same thing 5 different ways in 5 different people. You might have to say the same thing 5 different ways to get 5 people to get it together. So ok, so all of that was just why I’m so super into this idea of having really short focused educational – it’s like a free workshop or something. CHUCK: I can tell you that I've been to a few webinar-type things where they were essentially all Q&A, and I've been to some that were essentially one long lecture with 5 minutes of Q&A at the end because that’s all the time there was. And it seemed like both of them worked. It’s kind of funny if we’re talking about micronars versus webinars and that kind of thing; it’s – I've seen them both work. The ones that I've been to where they were mostly Q&A though, they got most of the questions ahead of time and then opened it up for questions afterward. That way, they had some time to prepare answers to those particular questions. And then there was an overarching topic that obviously you want to do questions to fall into. I can see the power of being able to educate people that way, and I also see the power of bringing those people in and getting them to join your mailing list or buy a product or something like that. JONATHAN: Yeah. That leads into the third kind of webinar that people are familiar with where there were really only is 10 minutes of content, but then there's 45 minutes of selling, and then [laughter] 5 minutes for Q&A or none. CHUCK: I sat through a half hour of one of those – [crosstalk] – where there was 10 minutes of instruction and 45 minutes of selling. JONATHAN: Right. There's basically one – the person, basically, has one clever idea that they could communicate in a paragraph, but they hammer on the problem [inaudible] the problem that they're about to solve for half an hour. And then they belabor the solution as if it’s the greatest things since sliced bread. And then – CHUCK: “I’m a genius. You can use this thing called a pen to draw on your paper” [chuckles]. JONATHAN: Yeah, exactly. [Crosstalk] Sometimes it’s good, but man. PHILIP: Yeah. That was very much in the forefront of my mind when I was thinking about doing webinars for myself, because I have also participated in a few of those intolerable webinars that are supposedly educational, but really just the longest sales pitch you could possibly construct. I admit I was reacting against that, so when it came time to announce my first micronar, I really played up the fact that I was not even going to have time to pitch something. I played it off like it was a time constraint, even though I’m the one who invented the time constraint so it’s not really – it’s a self-imposed constraint, but I was like “sorry, I’m not going to have time to pitch something to you. I hope you'll still come even though there won’t be an agonizing 30-minute pitch at the end of this thing” [chuckles]. CHUCK: There you go. Well, the thing is I've been to webinars where they did pitch something at the end, but the ones that really were effective were “I’m going to completely blow your mind”, and they did, and then at the end they're like “here’s how you do it, and here's the product that I’m selling that does it for you”. PHILIP: I think if you graph out the difficulty of preparing for a presentation against the length of the presentation itself, it’s sort of what Jonathan was talking about. Doing a really good 5-minute presentation, it’s going to be like – sorry, the graph is going to look like an inverted bell curve. So the very short presentation is going to be extremely difficult. And the very long presentation is going to be difficult, I think also, in that you’ve got to make a lot of things coherent with each other and work on the flow and keep people’s interest from flagging halfway through. So I feel like this 15-minute micronar format is – it’s sort of the sweet spot where the value is still pretty high because of the Q&A primarily and because you're not belaboring a simple idea, but the prep time can be pretty low. I think I spent maybe 2 or 3 hours putting together the first presentation. It was very easy to get ready for. CHUCK: So I do want to ask this because I've seen it done different ways and I’m curious what you, both of you, have done, and that is you don’t want to do the webinar where you're doing a 30-minute sales pitch, and you don’t want to do the webinar where you're effectively not getting anything out of it. You can at least ask people to join your mailing list or something. But where do you put it in your sales funnel or sales cycle, and how do you make it effective for that part of it? PHILIP: That’s an excellent question. Here's what I see a lot of people doing online is it is a mouth of – at the very mouth of their funnel, meaning the first thing that you might be exposed to as some random dude on the internet, is you see a Facebook ad that send you to a webinar registration. So the webinar is very close to the mouth of the funnel. It’s working in concert with paid traffic, like via Facebook ad, to generate leads. I tend to experiment with that. I have not done that yet. I've just been using this micronar/webinar as a way to engage with my list – with my email list, and find out what's top of mind for them and just get to know them really, and also provide value at the same time. So I think that certainly a good use for it. I know Blair Enns actually uses it as a revenue engine. And so that’s yet another way, and I think we should drill into all of these, but I know Jonathan can speak to more of the lead generation aspect of it because he’s done a bit of that. JONATHAN: Yes. So I have started doing monthly – I’m calling them webcasts because I think the webinar has a negative [inaudible] as a sales-y type of thing, and I feel like webcasts sounds a little bit more – I like to think it sounds a little more educational, but I do make sure to try and make it clear that that’s what's going to be about; there's going to be lots of times for Q&A. And I have done the paperclip advertising in Facebook to drive people to a webinar because my goal was to increase the number of people on my list to increase that. So that the top of my funnel, I guess, would be the – in this case would be – the top of this funnel would be Facebook ads leading to a webinar registration page which then signs people up for my mailing list. And in the mailing list – so I don’t do any selling on the webinar whatsoever. I’m going to briefly mention or briefly link to a service that I provide in the email, in some email, at some point in the future. So it’s about [inaudible] softest sell you can possibly imagine. And for the first one – I've only done one so far, but it was ahead – I think it was – it’s hard to remember now, but I think it was 125 people sign up; something like 50% attendance, and then another – I’m trying to remember the numbers – another 40 or 50 people have registered for it since. So people can attend the live event and participate, but the recording remains hosted and people can come back later and watch the video including the Q&A. So it’s cool because it continues to generate traffic and generate sign ups and very few unsubscribed; very very low unsubscribe rate; less than 1% from people who get follow-up emails from attending the webinar. So I think that I've got another one coming up in March; maybe that will be my pick, but we’ll see how the – my goal was different than yours. So Philip’s was to engage more conversation, mine was to get more people on my list. CHUCK: Right. I know that John Lee Dumas did a bunch – I think it was 2 years ago, like 2014. I think he did 30 or something in a year. It was just like every week or every other week or something, but it was to get people, and he was actually at the end pitching them on a product. And so what would happen is I think people went through his – he had like a 12-episode podcast about how to do podcasting, and during the process, he would also be sending them emails and he would be reaching out to them and asking them to come to one of the webinars, and then during the webinar, he would also show them how to make podcasts. And then at the end, he would pitch them on Podcaster’s Paradise. And he did the same thing with – he has a webinars course that he did it with. And I don’t know how well they converted for him, but I know that for a while they're the majority of his sign ups were off of those webinars. And now he’s got a recurring revenue base that he can lean on and make work. So I know that people fitted in maybe a little bit further down the line where maybe they have some other thing that brings people in, and then at the end, that they get pushed to move on to the next portion of the sales cycle and eventually wind up on a webinar where they are pitched. PHILIP: The things you just said point to the flexibility of webinars as a tool. I think we should also dive in to them as a revenue generating tool, not as a sales tool, but like a direct thing you can monetize. And I wanted to say that they just have this weird power. I’m looking at the LeadPages listing of templates, and for those who don’t know, LeadPages allows you to sort their templates based on the conversion rate across. Because in most cases, LeadPages is hosting these templates free, so they have a lot of visibility in to how these perform from a conversion rate perspective. CHUCK: I just want to clarify. The conversion rate on those is people who actually enter their email address to get notified of when a webinar is. This isn't a conversion rate through the webinar to actually purchasing a product. PHILIP: Exactly. Good point. I don’t know – what is their – maybe 50 or 70 templates on this page. And the highest performing one that’s from a conversion rate perspective, like the top 6, are all for webinars. And I don’t know why people so readily sign up to donate an hour of their time to watch a webinar. I honestly don’t know, except that I think it has something to do with – the perception is they're going to learn something valuable that they can’t learn any other way; or maybe it fits their learning style preferences to have an audio visual presentation rather than the written word. Those are my two theories why they're of such interest, but I guess my takeaway is it is something that if you align all the pieces correctly, I think, can perform very well for a marketing perspective, and as we've discussed before, from a trust building perspective, which is almost more important than the freaking conversion rate is how many people can you demonstrate that you're highly credible to and to what degree is that going to increase their trust. So I don’t know – there's something going on with webinars. I think it’s really interesting. JONATHAN: It’s the next best thing to attending a conference, because yes, you don’t get any of the physical presence, but it’s a live event. There's a group of people that are like-minded, at least, in this one way. It’s like a live event, but more convenient so obviously, pros and cons. But I've written 4 or 5 books on software development, and they were mostly done in a pre – certainly before the explosion of online video training, and video is just a great way to teach. It’s great. So it’s just really good. So I think that’s the – what is it compared to what? What are you going to do otherwise? Read a book. It’s weird because webinars bridge a nice – they strike a nice balance between passive and active. If you're going to accept Q&A, the person can sit there most of the time, react to your presentation, form opinions and questions, and then get them answered. But it’s a perfect balance of laziness versus value. So you can just sit there and watch and maybe not participate, but –. So here’s the frustrating thing with recorded video. Just like going on YouTube and worrying to do stuff is that – I’ll take karate for example because I’ve been doing that a lot lately. There are a million – there are probably millions of videos of how to do taekwondo forms or whatever. And when I was a kid in the stone ages, you would get a book with almost what looked like a contact sheet, if people know what that is. It’s just a book with a bunch of slides on a page; black and white slides that you could barely see. They're about the size of a postage stamp of the animation almost of how to do a move or whatever. And now, a video is – it is like a million times better, but in tons of situations, I would pay 50 bucks to be able to ask a question, one specific question, about something that they did that doesn’t click or doesn’t map to my understanding, like “why did you do that one thing like that, because I thought and all the other videos show somebody doing it the other way, but your way looks better. So why do you do it like that?” And to be able to ask that question in the – maybe if I watch 10 videos, maybe I have 2 questions like this. And the webinar’s a perfect thing because I've got the dude, like here’s the dude. If half of these things were live, then you’d be able to ask that question. And then the really cool thing is a lot of people are going to end up with the same question. So if you use something like Crowdcast, and for the people who asks questions, the answers are recorded along with the primary content, then anybody who comes along behind the first person is going to say, after the event, is going to see these top question, the one that voted to the – it was voted to the top because everybody had the same question. “Oh, that’s the question I was wondering about”, and then you click on the thing and the person answers the question. It’s a fabulous balance of the passivity and interactivity. So I think it’s going to be big. PHILIP: You know, I think there's a disparity between the real personality of a human being and then the personality they construct for marketing purposes. And there's nothing wrong with that; we all do it. And I think that maybe the live video – although with some webinars, you never see the host showing their face on screen, but I think there is a feeling like you're going to get another layer of insight in “how the heck this person is” or maybe you will learn something they – maybe they’ll just act in a way, say something they would never show up in their book. JONATHAN: Yeah. There's a level of intimacy to it. PHILIP: Right, right. This is this sort of heightened level of access to their mind almost. CHUCK: Well, it’s like the podcast, right? I met a whole bunch of people when I went to Netherlands and stuff, and they all looked at me and they're like “well, I feel like I know you”, and it’s not because I can’t put that much personality into a book or something, but they hear my voice, they hear the inflection, they hear the way that I talk to you guys about stuff, and they really understand “oh ok, there's this real dude on the other end with real stuff to say and I feel like I've talked to him. I feel like I've had these conversations with him and so I feel like I've gotten to know him”. JONATHAN: Yeah. I've never met either one of you [chuckles]. If I ran into you at a restaurant, I totally would be like “dude!” and then I’d sit down with you without even asking. We totally know each other – not totally, I mean there's levels, but we know each other well. PHILIP: Yeah. CHUCK: Yeah. JONATHAN: And it’s over the same – it’s a similar kind of medium. Listeners don’t know this, but a lot of times we’ll have video going on just so we can see what each other is doing. And when I was just having – like preparing to say that, I was like “wait a second, have I met them?” I couldn’t even remember if I’d – you know what I mean? [chuckles] PHILIP: Yeah. CHUCK: Yeah. Well, and it’s funny too because when you meet in person, it’s different still. I mean, I think I have a different level of relationship with the folks on the JavaScript Jabber podcast because I've met them all in person. But at the same time, you can’t do that with everybody. And so the next best thing is they see you standing in front of your standing desk or sitting at your desk with a microphone in front of your face and you're answering their questions. And so it’s not even – it’s kind of a level up from the podcast in the sense that the podcast is recorded conversation that we've already had, but with them you're actually interacting. They have a question, you can bring them on the – bring them on screen and talk to them and make sure you understand where they're at, or you can at least answer the question that they posted in there or whatever. But you have this level of interaction with them immediately and they get that immediate payoff, and they feel like they do have that relationship with you and you can feel like you have that relationship with them where you had a conversation, you’ve talked about what they care about. JONATHAN: Hmm. When I was into a podcast or even like when I’m on a [inaudible] watching karate videos, I don’t feel like I’m with someone. I feel like I’m alone. But that’s not my focus; I don’t feel – I feel alone and I feel lonely and I feel like it’s a private thing that I’m doing. But when you're on a webinar and the person on the other end is live, you don’t feel alone. You feel like you’re in a room with someone. It’s funny because we had a conversation in another – a chatroom about what's the best way to do actually deliver this stuff. And of course, it occurred to many people that you could just record the webinar and keep presenting it as if it was live and no one would know. You could get caught, I suppose, like there could be a technical glitch, but [inaudible] technical glitches, you could do it. And people do it. CHUCK: I know people who do it. JONATHAN: Yeah. But I can’t go there. I’m all about optimizing stuff and automating stuff, and I just couldn’t go there because that breaks the contract. CHUCK: Yeah. I was going to say for me it’s a trust issue. It’s I've presented that this is a webinar, which is understood to be live, so unless I’m telling you “this is a recording and I’m going to do Q&A at the end”, or “this is a recording and I’m not even going to be there, I’m going to be there”. JONATHAN: Mm-hm. PHILIP: Yeah. I feel the same way. I think we should, towards the end of this, dive into some of the specifics so people could do their first webinar maybe after listening to this podcast. There are tools that are specific like webinar platforms that are specifically designed for that use case of making a fake live webinar using a recording and simulating that it’s live. And it makes me feel icky like there's something different inside the box than is showing on the packaging. And I think part of that is just because the expectation is it’s a live event, man. Don’t send me some recording that you could just as easily upload to YouTube. JONATHAN: It’s a really cheap deception too. It is like finding out that you were lied to in that way, and all of a sudden you’ve felt like you're with a bunch of people and  you're having this group experience, and all of a sudden you're just like “no dummy, you're by yourself. You're a fool. You are a fool”. And I just – urgh, it’s a lot of – my email campaign is automated; I don’t mind doing that. I think it’s safe to assume that if you're getting long weekly emails from someone that you signed up for, obviously they're automated. But doing a – that, to me, just crossed the line into a sleeze-ville. PHILIP: Yeah. And you always have to ask “to what end?” How is that going to benefit you? Is it just going to stuff a few more people in the mouth of a funnel that has very high churn rate, or is it – to what end are you doing that? So I guess we’re all against that concept of faking it. JONATHAN: It probably has a positive ROI for people who are presenting those hard sell really content-free webinars where at the end you just get pitched on something. But my goal is to engage and answer the questions because that’s where I get my own education out of figuring out how to – when someone’s having a problem, figuring out how to get them out of that problem is extremely valuable to me as someone who’s trying to educate people. I get paid to educate people, so to become more effective at it by giving a webinar, it would be completely missing the point for me to not be live there answering the questions. That’s kind of the major part of the point for me. PHILIP: Yeah. That’s the business asset for you, that new insight or that new skill and answering that particular problem, that’s like a business asset that’s going to pay for itself. The ROI for you on doing webinars is immense; doing live webinars, I mean. JONATHAN: Yup. CHUCK: Yeah. PHILIP: Me too, I’m developing ideas for content and getting deeper inside into my market’s needs, and I think that’s an excellent reason on its own to do a webinar. Even if you have nothing to sell, I think you could make a good case for doing webinars. JONATHAN: It’s like the research phone calls that we sometimes advocate, but to a group instead of to an individual, which scales it up – it leverages your effort and you end up with a video after the fact, I think, is also can be used as a valuable asset, maybe as a lead magnet or something. PHILIP: Yeah. CHUCK: So let me throw something out there then. We’ve talked around why and how you want to do this. My question is – I've been working on a book how to find a job as a developer. Incidentally, I’ll just put the domain out there and I’ll have a landing page up by the time this goes live, but it’s gotacoderjob.com. And I’m trying to figure out, ok, I’d like to do some webinars, but some of it I just want to do like the micronar where I talk about something for 10 or 15 minutes. It’s understanding the job market, or how to put together a good resume, or how to – do’s and don’ts for interviews or something like that. And some of them I want to be a little bit longer form and I eventually would like to make them as part of a premium package. So there are some webinars that are going to – will go into deep depth about how to build your resume or how to get to know the people who are hiring to increase your chances of getting hired or whatever. And I’d like to put those in there, a lot of that content will be in the book anyway, but do I just treat them as two separate things and make people pay for one and not the other? Or should I do all of them for free, and then just not publish the ones I want to sell? How would you approach something like that? PHILIP: I got to say I would be inclined to them all for free and then if you ever decide to sell some subset of those later, take them off the market so to speak, and then bundle them in your paid product. But that means that’s just kind of my bias to do things a simple dumb way. JONATHAN: I’m a big fan of the simple dumb way too. So I would – if it were me, I would recommend taking the 6 – maybe 6 most provocative ideas – maybe not that many, but the most provocative ideas, the most – the ones that you find the most insightful, the things people are least likely to think but once they hear it in retrospect, they’ll be like “how did I not think of that?” So those real light bulb moment things to set up a webinar for each one of them, present them live, and whether or not you take them down is debatable. I think I probably – whether or not you take it down immediately is debatable. So if you use a platform like Crowdcast, they're going to be a – for as long as Crowdcast is around, but you can also download the video and you can make them private after the fact, or you can make them paid after the fact. But I wouldn’t – if there are going to be a companion to the book, I wouldn’t make them paid independently. I would use them, like you said, as the premium package and then have an alter premium package where someone buys the book, they also get the videos which will be the premium package, and then the alter premium package they get an hour-long phone call with you. And have those three offerings. We did the same thing for the Independent Consulting Manual, something very similar, where we recorded roundtables in multiple authors. So we recorded roundtables with the facilitator on each different topic. I think there was 6. Maybe Philip remembers. PHILIP: Yeah, that sounds about right. JONATHAN: Right. So the middle tier, which of course is the one the vast majority of people are going to buy, has the book in multiple formats of something like 6 hours of video roundtable discussion around the topics in the book, just a swarm of discounts for a bunch of related products. And I think that might have been it, and then the alter premium one included a phone call with one of the author of your choice. And we've sold, I think, 13 of the top level one and something like 300 of the middle one, which is more than double the price of the bronze, the lowest level one. CHUCK: Gotcha. JONATHAN: So we got just tons of sales from the middle option, and it was – the amount was more than double. So you get as many or more people who buy the middle option and it’s more than double the price. So you’d kind of be bananas not to have some kind of three-tier system, and I think – so probably if you – to get back to your question, having those bundled in, even if it was just in a convenient format that perhaps I could view more easily offline, then I think that’d be a great idea. Never mind the insight that you’d get from doing them, which then you could feed back to the book itself. CHUCK: Yeah. My plan was basically to do the webinars regardless and it was just a matter of do I charge for them or not, but I can definitely see both the value in doing them and allowing as many people as are interested to join in just from the insight and things like you said. But also, it allows me to create a little more [inaudible] because I can basically say “I have no intention of republishing these for free. So if you want the content without having to pay for it now, this is the only way to get it. PHILIP:   That’s a good idea. JONATHAN: Yeah. And I think that’s fair. So when you first mention it, I was thinking that you would have the book available and then you're going to use the webinars to promote it, but in fact, what I would do is – CHUCK: I’m thinking about doing both because I think I might do some micronars that are more focused but less content and just do Q&A to promote it, but I could also do the full-length or half-length – an hour or half an hour worth of content and just say “look, this is going to be part of the video package, but the initial recording is free to attend if you want”. PHILIP: We’re getting into an area that I’d hope we would which is monetizing this. I think there's a couple of models like the one we’ve been talking about is using them like sawdust that you package up into something else which I think is a great way to do it. And I see some people directly monetizing like this. I know Blair Enns does with some kind of subscription thing that I suspect Jonathan knows more about, and Alan Weiss does too. JONATHAN: Mm-hm. Yes, I am signed up for variations on this from both of them. Blair Enns is like the best deal online. It’s like 49 bucks a month for – he does one new webinar per month, but it gives you access to the entire back catalogue. So if you are – honestly, it should be twice as much as he’s charging, but whatever. CHUCK: Sshh, don’t tell him that. JONATHAN: [Chuckles] Yes. There's another pattern that I've been seeing lately that scratches the itch that I was talking about with not being able to talk to the karate video people that I've seen Paul Jarvis do in Wes Bos who has this React for beginners; it’s a fabulous React for beginners course that is just videos; both cases, it’s just videos or other static materials. And then they make themselves available either on a monthly hangout so that all of the people who have purchased the static materials, whether it’s a book or videos or worksheets, whatever, can get their questions answered. So over time, you built up all these questions, you’ve gone through [inaudible] and you’ve got these burning questions and you – they allow you to scratch that itch by, like I said, either jumping into a Slack room where the membership is predicated on having purchased the product, or a monthly hangout or periodic hangout where you get together and people jump in and can ask questions. So that – I feel like – it’s funny because if we just talked about the concept of live events, like these live online events that – let’s just generically lump all of them under webinar. They break into a lot of different things, like you could consider it – so in Chuck’s case, you could consider – you could do them in – before you even finish writing the book to make the book better and to bundle them in as an option for the middle tier, and you could do ones after that were forever and ever be public, and at the end, you promote the book. So in that sense, you’d be doing them – you’d be monetizing the first batch, but you’d also be using them to make your content better, and then you’d use another version of it to promote the thing in the first place. So it’s kind of – it hits every part of the business; super flexible. CHUCK: Mm-hm. One other thing that I've done is I have done one-off, like one or two-hour webinars, that people just paid to get access to. So I did –. [Crosstalk] JONATHAN: To me, that’s not a webinar. CHUCK: Yeah. It’s a –. JONATHAN: It’s a training; online training. I mean I would call it an online training because you can price it differently. Nobody’s going to pay for a webinar. If you say the word webinar, people have an expectation that it’s free. CHUCK: Well, maybe I could’ve sold more than because I called it a webinar. JONATHAN: Yes. To me, a webinar is like a sales presentation. A webcast is a free educational – I’m probably just totally making this up, but – [laughter]. CHUCK: Well, the actual topic on GitHub is an hour-long debate over spelling and made-up word. JONATHAN: Yeah. It was the way to go. To me, online training – I mean, you just did a remote conf. You didn’t call that a webinar. You could have, but the – CHUCK: I could’ve, but eh. JONATHAN: That would be ridiculous. CHUCK: Twelve webinars, right in the row! Blah blah blah blah! Buy now! JONATHAN: I mean that’s a webinar. It was a gigantic group gang webinar. [Crosstalk] PHILIP: [Inaudible] webinar is the same. Yeah. CHUCK: Yeah. It was good. JONATHAN: Yeah, it was good. But the thing is the webinar is the wrong word for it, that’s my point. And I think that if you're paying – if you're charging somebody a hundred bucks to do a pair of programming, that’s not a webinar. Even though all of the mechanics are literally exactly the same, it’s not a webinar. CHUCK: Yeah. PHILIP: Yeah. While we’re on the subject of words, you see people doing these online summits now, which are like Freelance Remote Conf on steroids and crack all at once. And then – what did Alan Weiss do? It’s audio only. It’s the same idea. You pay –. JONATHAN: Teleconferences. PHILIP: Teleconferences. Yeah. That’s a little more antiquated word for the same idea. CHUCK: Yeah. And the online summits really aren’t that different from what I've been doing. JONATHAN: I've never seen this. What is it? CHUCK: It’s [inaudible] a remote conference. PHILIP: Yeah, just usually with more of everything, really. Maybe different multiple tracks, but it’s the exact same idea scaled up a bit. There's one that you might see promoted now, which is the – I don’t know – email summit. I’ll look it up, but don’t wait. It’s going to take a while to look that up. Carry on [chuckles]. JONATHAN: Just as a big picture for a second; if people who are listening subscribed to the notion that working with your – selling your head, not your hands, is a good idea, and I promise you that it is a good idea that the freelancing that you're doing now is something that – if you're doing this traditional notion of freelancing which is like doing what you're told by the hour, then I would say take the expertise that you’ve built up doing that and you're going to want to transition it into something where you're doing less with your hands and more with your head in the same area of expertise and hopefully with the same types of – the same audience, same types of clients that you’ve been working with. I wish there was a more generic – it’s like a remote presentation – I wish there was a more generic word than webinar, like a level up from that. This concept of doing a remote audio video presentation is an extremely good bang for the buck type of way to help you make that transition in the variety of ways that we've been talking about. So it’s great for actually creating the content. You just put together a 15 minutes’ worth of content, or 5 or 10 minutes’ worth of content, and then do 45 minutes of Q&A, and you're going to have – you'll end up with 4 hours of content after doing that. So, boom. Now, all of a sudden, you’ve got a huge amount of content. Then ok, great, now you're going to do webinars on each one of those subtopics that emerged. Maybe you put together an ebook. Maybe you do another round of presentations that are free if you're live, but they have to pay the seat after the fact. Maybe you turn them into a full video course with Q&A in the course. I've been seeing a lot of that lately too where you buy a video course that is videos of a teacher teaching a roomful of people so that you get this thing that happens with Crowdcast, but with, I suppose, more organization because people have to show up in person. But even though it’s static, the questions that come in from the audience are almost always helpful because you probably have the same questions because the presenter probably missed something. So you get that kind of like groupthink on the Q&A super beneficial, super flexible, lots of bang for the buck, and in every situation, if you do it in an ethical kind of way and you're truly – your goal is to educate your viewers and yourself, you're going to be moving away from the handwork and more to the headwork because people are going to recognize you as an expert or an authority on whatever it is that you're focused on. So it’s a very very good thing to do. PHILIP: Yeah. The CreativeLive does their classes that way where whoever is teaching is teaching to a room – a fairly small room of people and it’s just fantastic because you do get that – someone in that audience is going to be a proxy for you in whatever question you have. Email Success Summit is what I was trying to think of. It’ll be over by the time this podcast is live, but it’s 40 speakers. “Industry thought leaders who will transform the way you think about email”. CHUCK: I love thought leaders! Leaders! Leaders! Leaders! PHILIP: Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! I think we should briefly touch on tools and tactics. Maybe that’s a way to wrap this up because I’d love for people to walk away from this with knowing the basics of what they need to do to get started. JONATHAN: Sure. CHUCK: Yeah. I know that Jonathan’s mentioned Crowdcast a couple of times, and that’s what I've used. I will say that I have tried a whole bunch of other ones, and Crowdcast really is the best one that I've been able to find. We used ClickWebinar before that for the Remote Conferences, and it was nice, but it was Flash. And after hearing about yet another Flash exploit for the browser, I just couldn’t, in good conscience, use that one. It is a really nice system, but anyway. So that’s why I switched to Crowdcast. But I've tried Zoom, I've tried – what is it – GoToWebinar? They're just –. JONATHAN: ON24. There's a million of them. I’m a huge fan – for people in the audience – and this is straight from Blair Enns, but it’s great advice. If you're even remotely considering this – no pun intended – if you're even remotely considering doing this and you have an idea, go to Crowdcast, create a free account and just post it. Just post the idea. Describe the thing, and now looks, it’s [inaudible], now you got to do it. Pick a date, pick a topic, and put it up there. It’s free. And then you can – if you want to try people to it, you can go to your Twitter account, Facebook, whatever your networks are, and just post the link. It could not be easier. And Crowdcast is not perfect. It’s got their problems with it, but in terms of minimum viable webinar, then you really can’t beat it. So just go do it and there are ways to optimize it, and Philip’s actually great at optimizing, so let him talk about that. But my first webcast, I was very happy with the attendance. It’s approaching 200 viewers now and people keep coming everyday and I’m doing absolutely zero to promote it. So it’s a really good [inaudible] kind of thing, and if it took me 45 minutes, I’d be surprised to set it up. PHILIP: Yeah. There are a couple of other platform choices we could touch on real briefly. There's blab.im. And although I think it’s not going to quite have the interactivity that Crowdcast affords you, Periscope is another option for doing the same kind of thing. So one of those tools is going to work. I think, like the rest of you guys, I’ve been least satisfied with the stuff from Citrix and wherever else, like the bigger players. Some more established players, I think, have also got the harder to use and more stagnated platforms. I've been super happy with Crowdcast, and I pick it because I have this one killer feature, which – now Jonathan’s going to have a different take on this, but it lets you invite participants into the videostream. CHUCK: Blab.im does that as well. PHILIP: Right. And I just think that’s so cool because it just takes that idea that you're interacting live and maxes it out, and that’s what drew me to it. And I've not had any of the many disasters things that could happen, I suppose, happen when doing this. It’s worked out ok, but it sure does open up kind of Pandora’s box of like you never know what's going to happen when someone flips on their video camera. [Chuckles] JONATHAN: For sure. PHILIP: [Chuckles] But it also, to be honest, keeps it fun and unpredictable for me, and I’m just hoping one of these days, something crazy does happen. JONATHAN: [Inaudible]. PHILIP: [Chuckles] CHUCK: You can put that on your mailing list. “You won’t believe what they were wearing or not wearing”. PHILIP: Or not wearing, yeah. JONATHAN: You won’t believe what happened next. PHILIP: [Chuckles] But yeah, I guess that’s the takeaways is there's so many things you can do with webinars, and I think you'll – if you go out and research like “how do you do a webinar”, you'll probably come away with the idea that it’s complicated and hard, and it’s not. That’s what I want people to walk away from is it’s not. I mean, Alan Weiss is further along the technology adoption curve that I would expect someone of his vintage to be. And he’s now using –. CHUCK: I love that. PHILIP: He’s now using Periscope to do these little live broadcasts, and it’s great. It’s just the tools don’t have to be a barrier, I guess, is my point. They're getting mature enough that you can just do exactly what Jonathan said and be off and running. And I think the final fear that people are going to have is being on stage, because that’s a pretty common fear. And I don’t know how to – actually, the first micronar I did, I used Google Hangouts which limited the participation to 14 people plus me, because I use a Google apps account which gets you 15 total. And that might be a way that people think about starting is invite some people that you know aren’t going to heckle you [chuckles], aren’t going to criticize you in a negative way, and maybe start there if the idea of doing a full-blown public webinar is frightening. CHUCK: Yup. JONATHAN: I don’t want to devolve into a tools conversation in a bad way because I think that the decision paralysis is very high for this because people – you see it all the time. You see people be like “oh, what kind of lights should I buy? It’s kind of dark in my room”. It’s like “no!” Just put the page up, put up a page where you can get sign ups. I don’t think Hangouts does that. That’s the thing I don’t like about Hangouts – well, that’s one of the things I don’t like about Hangouts – because there's no subscribe – it’s like “what do you do?” So it’s just like you announce it. When you announce it and people either remember or they don’t. I guess you could set up reminders in Drip and stuff, but that’s too complicated for what I want people to do. When I’m coaching people on this, I’m like “go to Crowdcast, create a free account, and put up a webinar”. CHUCK: Yeah. You can make it private, which means that people have to sign up. Or you can make it – [crosstalk] – sign up. Yeah. JONATHAN: There's private and public, but everybody has to sign up. CHUCK: Everybody has to sign in, yeah. But the other thing is yeah, Jonathan, you talked a little bit about “well, what if I don’t look good?” Well, you turn on your webcam, and in Skype you can actually – I think you can see yourself, or you can, on the Mac, you can open up QuickTime, and you can actually prep to record a video, but you can just see how you look. And if you look fine, you look fine. JONATHAN: Or just show your slides. You can just decide to show your slides and never show your face. CHUCK: Yup. JONATHAN: So just don’t worry about it. Of all the things out there, Crowdcast is surely one the easiest, so I highly recommend it. It’ll probably be my pick. I've picked it before. If you sense yourself going down this path of like lighting and “how do I connect it with my email thing so it automatic – so my leads automatically go into Drip”, and “do I have to use Zapier”, blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah. Forget about all that. You can do all of that later. CHUCK: Yup. JONATHAN: Just the thing you can’t do later is get started. And a way to get started is go to Crowdcast, create – I should be getting an affiliate fee [laughter] – go to Crowdcast, create an account, and post your topic. And boom! Share it on social media. If you want to go nuts, advertise it on Facebook. PHILIP: I think the Crowdcast – the pricing on webinar platforms is fairly standardized. There are not a lot of outliers in terms of price, but I will say for folks new to this, you might be surprised it’s a little higher than what you're used to paying for your free MailChimp account, for example. But just know that the return on investment of doing it, doing a couple of webinars or doing a consistent webinar for once a month for 6 months, is I guarantee, you'll get a return on the investment. It’s almost impossible not to if you just do it because it’s a transformative practice for your business. It’s less about actually doing the webinar and more about doing the work of putting on a webinar. That’s, to me, the transformative part. CHUCK: I also want to throw in there that a lot of folks that I talk to about doing something like this, I’m like “make a video or do a podcast” and they're like “what if I screw up?” And with the webinar, you don’t have the option of going back and editing later because the thing’s live. If you post it later, you can. But the people who are showing up are showing up because they expected something and they're rooting for you to give it to them. And so the second you show up and you start demonstrating value, if you trip over your tongue a few times, or you skip ahead a couple of slides and have to go back, or you have some other technical glitch, people will understand that and they’ll come out of it at the same time, go on “this was a terrific webinar. I got everything I wanted out of it. The host was very knowledgeable”, and they won’t even remember that you had a little blip in there. So just go for it. Don’t let any of that hold you back. PHILIP: Seconded. JONATHAN: Yeah. I find it much much much harder to record with no audience. It’s way harder because you're like [inaudible] I want. CHUCK: Yup. JONATHAN: And so the perfection beast comes in for the attack. And when it’s live, there's no – you just forward; show must go on. You just keep going forward and that’s great practice for a million things. There are definitely people who are probably listening to this and be like “there's no way I will ever do this” because I know that some people are just not a good fit for this. They much prefer doing writing, that sort of thing, and that’s totally cool. But I think a lot of people listening probably are like “yeah, I've got a great topic and I can totally talk about it”. If that’s you, if you know you have something to talk about and you're not absolutely petrified, fine, be nervous. If you're petrified, that’s probably not for you. But if you're nervous, that’s no big deal. Just go for it. Work your way through it. It’ll be totally fine because it’s true, the audience is pulling for you. They want you to be good. They don’t want to waste their time. They don’t want you to stink. They want you to be awesome. PHILIP: Yeah. One of the core skills that you're building perhaps without knowing it is the skill of building your own platform. And if there's one thing that’s been transformative for my own business over the past year or two, it’s been just starting to learn how to do that; basically creating demand for your services. I could go on a whole rant about this, but it is so worth doing. CHUCK: Yup. It feels like we’re starting to wind down. Is there any other angle on this that we need to talk about before we get to picks? PHILIP: I’m trying to think. We really did cover a lot of useful territory. CHUCK: One thing that I’m not sure that we did talk about that I was curious about, Philip, you talked about using it just to – you promote it to your list and then you use it to get a feedback or other information. How do you pitch it to your list, and when you do it just your list, what kind of outcome are you looking for beyond just more info? PHILIP: So here's how I do it. I send a broadcast email, and I just send one email right now and I say “here's the next micronar”. I show a screenshot of the first [inaudible] to the micronar, I explain the topic, I explain what a micronar is, and I say “click this link to register”. And when they click that link, they get subscribed to a campaign that reminds them “micronar’s coming up t minus 24 hours, t minus 1 hour. Here’s the link to show up for the micronar”. And my numbers are almost identical to Jonathan’s. I get about 120 subscribers when I do that, and about half of those people show up live, and then there's a trickle in afterwards of people showing up for the replay. And what I hope to get out of it is connection with my audience, trust building, so that those who are a little further down the sales funnel will hopefully self-select into paying me money sooner. It’s sort of a deeper inside into their world and what's hard and scary for them. That’s really – at this point, that’s all I want out of it. Again, I’ll redeploy these as a list-building strategy down the road, but just for some reason, I want to start with doing it for my list. CHUCK: Cool. PHILIP: Yeah. Yeah, it has been cool. And it’s been one of the coolest things that’s happened in my business in 2016. CHUCK: Yeah. And that was, for me, just the thing because I was wondering “ok, how do I put to this to my list so that it is most effective to get people to want to come”, and so that’s really helpful. PHILIP: Yeah. I could definitely crank up the curiosity angle. I could definitely crank up some kind of urgency by attaching an offer that only goes out to live attendees or something like that, but I just haven’t yet. I’m fine with starting small and that’s really what I've done. CHUCK: Cool. Let’s go ahead and get us to the picks. Jonathan, do you have some picks for us? JONATHAN: Well, obviously, I’m going to say Crowdcast. CHUCK: Plus one. JONATHAN: [Chuckles] I couldn’t imagine a thing to make it easier to get started with this. And I think for [inaudible] utterly petrified of doing something like this, it’s a very valuable thing for your business to be doing. So ok, enough said about that. The other thing is a post from a blog that I’ve only recently come across. It’s called Wait But Why. It’s very popular; I’m probably the last person to hear about it, but the author – I think his name is Ted Urban, but I guess it doesn’t matter – or Tim Urban – he was selected to – out of the blue, he got an email “could you come and speak at the TED conference?” Not a TEDx conference; the real Vancouver TED conference. And he wrote a post about preparing for that talk. And it’s one of the best posts I've ever read that describes the various ways that you can prepare for a talk, and the relative risks and rewards of the different ways. So it’s everything from winging it to memorizing a script. And it’s totally fabulous. And it’s extremely self-deprecating and funny, so if you're a little bit – if this is new to you and you're like most people a little bit nervous about getting up in front of people and talking, then you'll absolutely love this. So obviously, link in the show notes, but TED talk post from Wait But Why. CHUCK: Alright. Philip, do you have some picks for us? PHILIP: Yeah, I do have a pick. Sometime last year, my 13-inch Retina Macbook Pro started disciplining me a regular basis when I was on any kind of video chat. The whole rest of the computer would slow to a crawl, and I –. So I’m going to solve this and I’m going to get the most expensive computer Apple sells. And I got a 6-Core Mac Pro; so not the most expensive computer, but then the most top end of the line that turned out to be a little bit of a disappointment. If you join my list, you can find out why. So instead, I got a – after I returned that, I got a 5K 27-inch iMac, and I've got to say this is one of the best pieces of Apple hardware I've come across in the past couple of years. I think it’s close to their organizational heart as a consumer/mobile computer company. And it’s basically a laptop glued to the back of a really nice display and it’s been flawless. What's interesting, I guess, about my perspective on that is that I have two other pretty recent Mac computers to directly compare it against and it’s been the more reliable one. So that’s my pick. It’s the 27‑inch 5K iMac. CHUCK: Alright. I've got a couple of picks. When I do the webinars, I tend to use Keynote. And I like just using images from dreamstime.com for my slides. The other thing that I do with them if I have time is I’ll actually put them – use Word Swag, which is an app. So what I do is I get the images off of Dreamstime and then I’ll use Word Swag to put the main idea that I’m talking about on there. I tend to avoid bullet points if I can at all help it, but again, it just helps to convey the idea while I talk about it, and I really have liked what I've gotten from that. So I’ll go ahead and put the links to both of those in the show notes. Word Swag is just a nice way of putting text together on your photos in a really classy way. My last pick is – I ran across this this morning. John Lee Dumas posted to Podcaster’s Paradise this podcast rap that’s on Facebook, and it is freaking hilarious. So I really enjoyed it and I thought I would share a smile with you folks. Especially if you're a podcaster, this is just fun stuff. So anyway, those are my picks. We’ll go ahead and wrap up the show. Thank both of you for coming, and we’ll catch you all next week.[Hosting and bandwidth is provided by the Blue Box Group. Check them out at BlueBox.net.]**[Bandwidth for this segment is provided by CacheFly, the world’s fastest CDN.  Deliver your content fast with CacheFly. Visit cachefly.com to learn more.]**

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