Follow this six-step formula for creating effective webinars that help drive sales.

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The following excerpt is from Dan S. Kennedy and Dustin Mathews’ book No BS Guide to Powerful Presentations. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes or click here to buy it directly from us and SAVE 60% on this book when you use code CAREER2021 through 4/17/21.

For a long time, your only real use of a powerful presentation was in person. Speakers traveled from city to city to deliver their presentations at others’ organized meetings, at churches, at hotel ballrooms and at convention centers.

Related: 4 Secrets to Becoming a “Presentainer” Who Grabs an Audience’s Attention

Today, authors, professional speakers, promoters of various kinds of opportunities, reality TV stars, corporate trainers and consultants still hit the road regularly, taking their presentation to audiences. At the local level, doctors, lawyers, accountants, investment advisors and other professionals and business owners go out to civic groups, business groups and luncheons; advertise and promote their own seminars and introductory classes; and maybe go into companies and do lunch-and-learn sessions for the host’s employees, always taking their presentations to audiences. But what if you could bring the audience to the presentation?

Don’t get us wrong — we remain fans of the “old school” way. It works. Most of the time, it works better than anything done online with the same presentation by any tangible measurement: sales made, customers obtained, appointments booked. There is, however, a very significant expense of money and time involved when going around the country or the globe, or even just around your city, to deliver your presentation. There are also people who will never set foot in a free preview seminar, come to an “executive briefing,” or otherwise place themselves in an audience, but these same people may be great prospects for your business.

This is where online media becomes so valuable. If you have a presentation that works, perfected with live audiences in the flesh, there’s a 99 percent likelihood it can be made to work as-is or adapted as a webinar — short for “seminar delivered on the web.” This lets you speak while you sleep. It lets you reach audiences you wouldn’t in person. It multiplies the value of your presentation. It allows an audience of one to watch your presentation whenever he wants, on demand, just as he watches movies, TV shows and/or replays of sports games. It allows you to push a group to watch it at a designated date and time, just as you would if traveling to Boston and holding a meeting in a hotel. It’s versatile, efficient, and can be entirely automated.

Following is our Ultimate Webinar Formula:

1. Traffic

Just as you have to invite and motivate people to come to a meeting at a physical location, you have to invite and motivate your audience to come and watch your webinar. There’s certainly no shortage of ways to do this. There’s email, social media, offline direct mail, ads in magazines, radio and TV and opportunities to get other people to promote your webinar for you.

Related: 4 Ways to Structure a Great Promise in an Irresistible Presentation

2. Registration

It’s rare that you want to set up a webinar for direct, on-demand access without some sort of registration. People are used to registering for seminars and classes, so there’s very little resistance. And you want this contact list for follow-up.

Great registration pages include a headline, a photo of the presenter, and a little sales copy about what you’d learn if watching. They also include a countdown timer so they see the clock is literally ticking! It’s counting down to the moment when this webinar will not be available any longer.

3. Build excitement

Don’t take enthusiasm or follow-through on people’s part for granted. That’s why there’s sales copy on the registration page. If there’s a delay between registration and the webinar (or a live webcast), there should be a series of follow-up messages by email and text, possibly voice broadcast and possibly mail to build their interest in the upcoming webinar. Much of the time, getting a person registered is the start of a process — not the end of it. You have to sell people who’ve registered on showing up! The good news is, just as with the playing and replaying of the webinar itself, all this communication can be automated.

4. The presentation

This is the easy part. You just have to deliver your Signature Presentation that you’ve perfected and (ideally) battle-tested with live audiences. It can be a completely prerecorded video, or it can be done live as a webcast.

One important difference between a webinar and a live presentation is that you can’t stampede people to the back of the room to sign up for or buy whatever you’re offering. Instead, you’ll most likely want to direct your audience to what we call a “Hot List” page. This is a separate website you’ll direct them to or have them click to where they opt-in again, then move on to enrolling or ordering or scheduling with you. We usually split the requesting of their contact information and then their purchase information into two opt-in pages, so that when someone leaves without completing the purchase, we know to follow up with them in a certain way. This is our new list of hot prospects. At times, you might add as an option or even substitute calling your business or an outsourced call center.

5. Follow up

Your webinar becomes the center of a lot of follow-up marketing activity. It creates different lists of people for different kinds of follow-up marketing:

  • Everyone who buys or takes whatever substitute action you’re asking for
  • Everyone on the Hot List who doesn’t complete their pur­chase or action
  • Everyone who watched the webinar but didn’t go to the Hot List
  • Everyone who registered but didn’t attend/watch the webinar

In addition to your own direct follow-up by email, text, mail, and phone, you can do automated retargeting with Facebook and Google. A follow-up message can literally follow the person around.  

6. Stick and overdeliver

Whether you use your webinar to sell a product or get people to request free information or schedule an appointment, you want to immediately email them a confirmation of what they did, verification of what’s coming to them, and, if it was a purchase, a receipt. In some cases, this can also be used to offer an immediate upsell to a deluxe or bigger version of what they just bought or to set up a second, sequential sale. Now, more than ever, people want instant gratification, so even if your product is physical (not digital) and will be shipped to them, or they’ve made an appointment for a phone consultation or to come into your office, showroom or store some time from now, it’s good to give them something extra they can consume immediately. This might be an educational video, a downloadable information item, a membership site — something.

Related: Why Every Personal Brand Needs a Target Audience

When you move your effective presentation online and wrap these six results boosters around it, you leverage that presentation to a much greater extent than you could by just packing your laptop loaded with your PowerPoint slides and playing Have Speech, Will Travel.

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