Dave Hobson, Product & Business Development, Foundr
There are no shortcuts when it comes to good online marketing, something that Dave Hobson knows all too well.
Today we give you a very special episode featuring Dave, the resident expert on all things marketing at Foundr, including how he came to join Foundr and his thoughts on successful online marketing.
Funnily enough, it’s entirely possible that Foundr would not be around if Dave had not cold-called Nathan nearly four years ago. At the time, Nathan had only just started Foundr and Dave was at a job where he had to cold-call people and try to make sales over the phone. Instead of making the sale, Nathan and Dave got to chatting and eventually they became friends.
In order to understand why Foundr may have never existed without Dave Hobson, you first must understand his role at Foundr. Essentially he’s Nathan’s right-hand man, the go-to guy whenever a discussion needs to be had about marketing, strategy, or the future of Foundr. Even before he started officially working at Foundr, Dave has always been in the background helping us out with his advice.
Today we’re very lucky to count him as one of our own and as Foundr’s Business Development and Product manager.
In today’s episode, we show you a little of what’s going on behind the scenes at Foundr, but more importantly we have Dave share the tactics and strategies behind one of our best sale channels: webinars.
Webinars are an amazing tool and they’ve become a staple in the online marketing world, and no one knows that better than Dave Hobson, who knows all the ins and out behind what makes a successful webinar.
- Dave’s story and how he came to work at Foundr
- Why webinars are so powerful and why almost every business in the world can use them
- All the tools you’ll need to start doing a successful webinar
- The structure every great webinar needs if you want to make sales
- How to choose the right webinar topic for you and your audience
Full Transcript of Podcast with Dave Hobson
Nathan: Hello, and welcome to another episode of “The Foundr Podcast.” Thank you so much for taking the time to tune in. My name is Nathan Chan, and I am your host coming from hometown, homegrown, Melbourne, Australia. And today, we’re mixing things up and we’re actually going behind the scenes, and it’s actually me interviewing one of my colleagues, pretty much my right-hand man, Dave Hobson. He’s an absolute superstar. He’s been doing stuff online. We’ve become friends actually ever since I started Foundr, and he ended up coming and working with us, and he’s just an all-around amazing guy, so extremely talented. A lot of the things that you see going on behind the scenes, a lot of it is David’s creative genius. I can’t take all the credit. We have an amazing team at Foundr, and I thought it would be really cool to get Dave’s perspective on a few things that we’re doing that could be incredibly empowerful for your business and your startup, especially if you want to increase your sales revenue, and also get to know your customers a little better.
One thing that we’ve been doing is we’ve found a lot of success with webinars, and the super-cool thing about webinars is you don’t have to have a media company like us that’s, you know, has premium content, that we use, you know, webinars to sell, or digital content, or anything of the sort. You can have a service-based business, you can have a SaaS company. There’s so many companies out there that are utilizing webinars to sell one-to-many to people all around the world, and it’s been such an incredibly powerful tool and process for us to scale sales that I thought that we’d ask the resident webinar master inside Foundr just how it’s done, and I think you guys might find this really interesting. So this is kind of a behind-the-scenes kind of mix-up from a guru inside Foundr. And I wanna do more of this kind of stuff and have some fun with it.
So without further ado, I’m gonna introduce you to Dave. And also, some of you guys have asked from a blog post that we created around this, around webinars. We created a checklist for you guys. So if you guys want to access this checklist, which actually goes through the exact framework, and structure, and steps that we use to do our webinars, you can go to foundrmag.com/webinarguide. And guys, Dave doesn’t hold back. I deliberately told him to not hold back and give the absolute best stuff, true-to-Foundr-style, so you’re in for an absolute treat. All right, that’s enough rambling from me. Now let’s jump to the show.
Okay, so today, guys, you’re in for a special treat because we’ve actually got someone from Team Foundr. It’s not just me. Behind the microphone we’ve got David Hobson, and he runs all sorts of things at Foundr. He’s doing product, he’s doing community, he’s doing Biz Dev, he’s doing an amazing job, and he has an amazing story, so we’re gonna talk about how he got his job as well, and, you know, hear his background of all the different things he’s done. He’s been doing a lot of things online for a long time. He knows this space really, really well.
And we’ve been doing some really cool things on webinars, in particular, for Foundr that I know a lot of people are asking us how we’re doing it, and, you know, Dave has become the residents webinar master at Foundr, so I thought it would be better if we just asked him, you know, what’s up, and, yeah, he’s gonna blow your mind with some amazing stuff.
So Dave, thank you so much for joining us.
Dave: Hey, man, it’s an absolute pleasure.
Nathan: Awesome. So let’s start out with how you got your job, because I know you’ve been doing stuff online for a while, and I know you’ve had an interesting journey.
Dave: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, where would you like me to start? There’s a lot in there.
Nathan: Like, we met on the phone. Guys, this is really interesting. We met on the phone in the early days of starting Foundr. So within the first couple of months, me and Dave met on the phone because I went to this seminar, and it was really interesting. I learned a lot there, and then, yeah, Dave called me up and wanted to get my feedback on this seminar, and then we ended up becoming friends, and now really great friends, and now we work together.
So let’s just start with, like, how did you get started online? I know you’ve done a lot of traveling. So tell us about, you know, how that’s all started.
Dave: Great question. So in terms of starting online, I’m a little bit older than the rest of the guys in the team. I’ve been around online for a while, and, you know, I was really actually…I was raised to be in corporate. I was put through private school system. Everyone we knew, you were supposed to be a lawyer, or doctor, or an accountant. My first job, I kind of like quit spectacularly as an accountant and went to travel the world, and when I got back, one of my best friends was…you know, we were 23/24, and I think at that stage I was getting paid maybe $15 an hour to work at a bar, and he was making about US$10,000 a week online. So naturally I was really curious as to what was going on, and this is really early days. This is before Facebook, this is before Twitter, and all the amazing and powerful tools that we know today, this was just getting warmed up. It was a really exciting kind of Wild West time of online marketing and internet business.
Nathan: Gotcha. So you got started, you’ve had many different online businesses, and you travel all around the world, right?
Dave: Yeah. I guess, like a lot of people, I went on the quest. I was really in my early 20s. What I was supposed to do didn’t work. I just…I didn’t really know what to do, so I just went traveling on my own. I got a round-the-world ticket and just went through Europe, and ended up living in Brazil for a couple of months just trying to figure myself out and figure out the world, I guess.
Nathan: Yeah, gotcha. And you also trained at…was it at a Shaolin Temple, or something?
Dave: Yeah, I told you too much.
Nathan: Not even I really know well.
Dave: Because first thing is, nobody should fight me because I’m a terrible fighter. I’ll probably get hurt in the process, so game a bit. Yeah, with another great friend of mine, we took holidays in college and he just said, “Do you wanna go and train at Shaolin Temple?” And we looked it all up on the internet. We ended up training with Shaolin monks for a couple of three months, which was, you had to do a full 12 weeks to be able to get a diploma, and just like the movies, we just trained six days a week, seven hours a day, and learnt a lot of very interesting things that, I think, still apply to entrepreneurship today really.
Nathan: Yeah, like what? I’m curious.
Dave: Well, the funny thing…so these are the guys. When you look at…some people on the call might be familiar with the Shaolin way of life or Shaolin Temple. You see all these amazing feats that the Shaolin monks can do, whether it’s, you know, iron fist, or they get lifted up on spears, they’re being pressed into their stomachs, or even iron head, or any of these amazing fighting skills that they have. When you go there, the real secret… everyone thinks there’s this secret, you know, there’s a master that’s gonna have this special move where you just spend a few hours meditating or something, and you come back with a one-inch punch, when in reality, it’s exactly what Robert Greene talks about, it’s exactly what you and I know are the steps to mastery, and they just work at it. So someone wants an iron fist, they literally…this kid sits there with a brick wall and he’s just yelled at, and every day he just hits there punching this wall until the skin, you know, develops calluses and he loses some nerve feelings in his hand, and it thickens up, and they just do that until they’ve got like this club fist, which is an iron fist. There’s no shortcut. It’s just hard work, blood, sweat, and tears, and they really just work on their craft day in and day out. So I think that’s what we always see, everyone wants a shortcut, but the true masters know that you’ve got to put in the work.
Nathan: Yeah, that’s right. So first question I have is, when we met on the phone, did you know that, you know, we end up working together and all these great things would happen with Foundr? You know, what was your first thoughts? Because I remember you were really hard to catch. Like, I wanted to catch up, you know, you’re in Melbourne, you were really hard to catch. What were you thinking at that time? Did you ever think it’d go anywhere?
Dave: It’s actually interesting and, like, enjoyable story because, you know, it’s been one of the biggest blessings and an amazing turning point in my life, and it’s funny. So for the listeners, I was in a role where I had to do cold calling, really wasn’t enjoyable. I had a list of people I had to call and try and convince them to buy, and Nathan was one of those people. And we called up, I called him up, and we just got along really well, and we just started chatting. And I didn’t think he was right for the sale. I really didn’t think what was being sold would suit him. We just really clicked really well and we decided we would catch up. In the background, I got in trouble for not closing the sale.
But here’s the funny thing, and this is, I guess, also another lesson around sales. You know, if I went really hard at you just for the sale and I didn’t do it with integrity, then maybe we wouldn’t be friends, maybe I wouldn’t have got to be part of this amazing journey of working with Foundr, and working with you, and seeing all this growth all these years. And I just…yes, so it was a funny turning point where we just ended up finally catching up. And I don’t know if you remember this, but this is when I was really trying to get my entrepreneur hat and figure things out. And I don’t know if you actually realize this, Nathan, but I “John Maxwelled” you on our first catch-up.
Nathan: What did you do? What is John…? Yeah, we know…we love John Maxwell. He’s a leadership guy, and then, like, guys, Dave is like my right-hand guy. I go to him with any problems. We’re always bouncing ideas around. He’s a master of strategy. So I’m curious, what do you mean by this?
Dave: So I was reading heavily into John Maxwell at the time, and leadership books, anything I could get my hands on, and one of the most defining books for me in terms of developing relationships was a book, it’s called something along the lines of “Some Communicate, Few Connect,” amazing book for anyone who wants to develop their network and relationships. And one of the key things it says is that it takes effort to connect, and even something like bringing a person a gift on your first meeting goes a long, long way.
So I don’t know if you remember, but our first time we caught up, it’s on our bookshelf now at Foundr.
Dave: I signed a copy of a book for you, it’s got the date in there, and brought that along because I was like, “Well, if I’m gonna make the time to meet this guy, he’s got this magazine, he seems like a nice guy, I better do it properly.”
Nathan: Yeah, I remember, I remember now, and I remember it was ‘Entrepreneurial Revolution” and you wrote that, you know, you’re part of this revolution. And it was really kind of…no, you’re always like really kind like that. I feel bad actually because you always give me these gifts and nice things and I don’t give you enough, man.
Dave: No, Nat. Not at all. Absolutely crazy, working with you and working at Foundr is the best, so no, not at all. And that’s the thing, and this is something I learned from John Maxwell, and it just goes to show, you know, I really feel that, like, you put in a lot of effort, but it’s so funny. Like, it was literally a cold call. We had no idea who the other was, and it’s just…I think a lot of people, it’s kind of sliding doors. I think a lot of people let these moments go, and I was lucky that you persisted, because I was really under the pump at this role. I was so stressed out with people harassing me all the time, and I was really keen to catch up with you, but I really had to…you know, that’s what…your key qualities, and anyone who knows you, you’re persistent, so we finally had a chance to catch up, and it’s been an absolute blessing, really awesome.
Nathan: Yeah, I know. I really value our friendship because we were very close before we started working together. So I guess what happened next was you’ve done all sorts of other things and, yeah, you ended up working with us, and I pretty much begged you to come work with us, because at the end of last year, because we had some key projects we were working on with Instagram, and a few other things, and we’ve launched Foundr’s Club together, and that’s an amazing product and initiative that we’ve got going on for our community, and we’re building something really special here. But as time has gone on, you’ve really started to master webinars, and teach us webinars, and, you know, I think there’s so much that you can share with the audience around why webinars are powerful for any business. We’re not just talking internet marketing, information products or courses, we’re talking SaaS, we’re talking service-based businesses. So why is that? Why do you like webinars? Why do you think they’re a game-changer?
Dave: Yeah, that’s a great question. There’s so many ways I can answer this. Starting with, I really believe everyone knows this. If you’re in business, if you’re an entrepreneur, Gary Vee says cash is oxygen. People call cash the lifeblood of your business. Most people are hurting from a lack of money and a lack of sales, and most people suck at sales or have no sales process, and I feel that really…I relate to that really well because I’ve done cold calling roles. I’ve had to try and sell people in person, and it was really uncomfortable for me. I didn’t like it.
And then when I started looking into the world of webinars, I was interested, but they seemed a bit…they’ve got a bit of a scammy association sometimes where some people really try to make a lot of money out of webinars, and, you know, I think that can put people off. But why I love them is, you know, most people need to interact with their customers at least one-to-one to get a sale. The highest converting, you know, sales transaction will always happen either in-person or on-stage, and then the next highest is through a webinar presentation. And I think it’s so important for people to realize if they’re doing any kind of sales conversations one-to-one, it’s not about doing a webinar, it’s about going from one-to-one to one-to-many, and scaling and creating that leverage because everyone’s just so time-poor. So a lot of people are time-poor, the sales process isn’t very good and they don’t like selling, whereas, with a webinar and a really well-structured presentation, you get the chance to have a lot of fun, deliver a lot of value, and sell really strongly as well in a way that’s really integral and doesn’t leave people feeling kinda…I don’t know, awkward or icky about the selling process. So there’s so many ways we can go on that, but that’s just my highlights of why I love it.
Nathan: Yeah. So webinars have been game-changing for our business, so much so that we generate hundreds of thousands of dollars every month from them, and we wanna go all-in. Like, we wanna have I reckon, I think what we should do, and this is what we’re working towards, is having, you know, multiple products, and having multiple webinars going like…I’m hoping we can get, like, four-to-five going every single week, and Dave’s kinda gonna be training, and training up the guys, and showing us what’s up. And we’re doing them right now, and we’ve had a lot of success. So I really want to delve deep on this webinar stuff, because I know people will find them fascinating.
First things first, let’s talk about, I think, one thing that people find intimidating is the software and the tech. What do you recommend in terms of tech for people to use when it comes to webinars?
Dave: Look, this is something. It’s normally the first stumbling block for anyone who’s looking at doing it, because it is a bit confusing. There are quite a few options out there. So I guess I’ll give you a quick overview of probably the top three or four that people are thinking of, and I’ll give a really specific recommendation. The first is GoToWebinar that everybody knows. Its pros are that it’s super-reliable. It’s by Citrix, it’s really solid, and it almost never breaks down on you when you’re running a presentation. It has, like, automated reminders, and it’s been around for a long time, so they’re kind of the market leader. Everyone knows them. Even though you have to download something to run that presentation, everyone’s kind of used to it. So GoToWebinar is where a lot of people start. It doesn’t have as much marketing functionality as some of the other tools I’m gonna recommend, but I think for most people, as you and I…we always talk about this, most people don’t even start. They get stuck, and they get paralysis by analysis.
GoToWebinar has a free one-month trial. I would just highly recommend just jumping on the free one-month trial for your first webinar. Like, just get up, get running, don’t get bogged down in all of the details. There’s so many things once you go into a webinar so you can mess around. The first thing anyone needs to do is just run one, because you learn so much by doing so. The sooner you can get up and get running and do your first presentation, the faster everything else will fall into place. So I really feel like GoToWebinar is a great place to start. The cons are really, for entrepreneurs or anyone who’s going a bit on the leaner side, it starts off at something like US$90 a month, which, for a SaaS, if you’re not making a lot of sales initially, that can hurt. And if you wanna scale up the number of attendees, it can get pretty costly. I think it can get up to around US$500 a month. So…
Nathan: Yeah, and you’ll add up to a thousand attendees.
Dave: Yeah. So, look, I would recommend anyone who hasn’t done a webinar, that is where I would start. The next evolution that I’ve been playing around with a lot is Andy Jenkins’ WebinarJam, that a lot of people will be familiar with.
Dave: Effectively, it kinda hijacks Google Plus, and Google Hangouts, and YouTube streaming. So they don’t actually have their own kind of video solution, they just hijack what Google has. They have some amazingly powerful marketing tools, but unfortunately, because the software does kind of hijack Google Hangouts, I found it to be a little bit laggy and stumbled around on presentations a little bit. But in terms of pros for WebinarJam, it gives you things like…it gives you really detailed statistics and metrics like cost per attendee, or revenue per attendee, so you can know your numbers and go back to your Facebook ads.
Nathan: Yeah. I saw that when you showed me that, that looks really interesting, and it also allows you to present an offer, as well, during…if you go…when you’re going through transitioning to your pitch.
Dave: Yes, absolutely. So it lets you…you can drop in off as live, you can add scarcity. They create landing pages, “Thank You” pages, email reminders. So it really is an all-in-one kind of out-of-the-box solution. It’s just, I found it…I’m just hoping they’re working on just on the presentation side, it’s a little bit clunky.
Nathan: Yap, gotcha. And are there any other tools that people should know about?
Dave: There’s plenty of tools for presenting webinars or just add-ins. What would you like me to go into?
Nathan: Let’s just keep for presenting.
Dave: Sure. So for presenting, the final option actually is really, you’ve got services like LeadPages and ClickFunnels, and they develop templates where you can just drag and drop like Google Plus, and Hangouts, and YouTube streaming into that, so you can effectively do it without a webinar software, as long as you’ve got a template and some basic coding skills, and then you just need to add on a plugin, Tatango. I think it’s tatango.com, they’ve got, like, a chat plugin that you can drop in over the top, so you can get all the features of kind of like a more premium webinar software, but you can basically do it all yourself for free.
Nathan: Gotcha. And when it comes to the presentation, talk to us about the presentation, because I think people would find that also a stumbling part or intimidating whether, you know, you’ve got a SaaS-based product, software-based product, whether you’re a consulting company. Like, for example, let’s say you’re a web agency. What would be a great topic in presentation and positioning?
Dave: Terrific. So the key thing with the webinar, like anything, I think it’s got to be about solving problems for your customers and adding value. So you want to actually go through, what are you top-performing blog posts, or what are the most frequently asked questions, or what are the things that you have to take people through? And it might be similar to what, you know, the popular lead magnets, or downloads, or any of those things. So you want to find what is, like, a really burning issue and problem for your target audience to really bring them on to a webinar? Because you can’t…you know, you’ve only got one hour. No matter how much you give away, they’re still gonna need your help at the end of the call.
Nathan: Yes, that’s correct. And should you be afraid to give away, like, your best stuff? Like, is it possible to give way too much value?
Dave: I find it highly unlikely, unless your solution is literally an equation like E equals MC-squared, and the presentation’s over. You know, we find really good structures when you have three steps. And here’s a great way of looking at it. When you’ve got any customer, you’ve kind of got the…we talked about the A and B state. So they’re A state is like where they are, and they’re B state is where they’d like to be. So ideally where they’d like to be is what your product or service, that’s the solution you provide. And you wanna have a webinar topic that shows them, “Here’s how to get from where you are now to where you want to be.” So classic with our Instagram, we identified one of our hottest lead magnets. People were super-interested in how to grow their followers, yes so we structured a webinar that will show people how to get from where they are now, not enough followers, to be B, being able to implement five strategies to start instantly growing their followers.
Dave: And so that’s really powerful to do on a webinar, but, of course, well, with you, I think your course has something like…how many hours of content?
Nathan: Oh, we’re at least, you know, 15 hours’ worth of content.
Dave: Yeah. And on top of all the questions in community, there’s no way you could cover that all in an hour. So that’s a great example of how we give away a ton of really actionable stuff that brings them closer to their goal. We get them results, but if they want to get our kind of results, if they want to get really deep results, if they wanna get results our clients and customers are getting, then they’ve got to take the next step. So it’s really about solving some problems, and at the same time, you unpack a larger problem that your product or service solves. So I don’t think you can ever give away too much. You’ll really just serve to increase, you know, your rapport, and people will be much more drawn to buying from you when they can see that, you know, you’re talking about. If you’re holding back, people will sense it and they’re not gonna like it.
Nathan: Gotcha. So can webinars, you think…can this be applied not just for, you know, courses, information products? Can webinars work for most businesses? What are your thoughts there?
Dave: I really believe that most. Of course, I’m sure someone can ride in with some weird business, then it doesn’t work for…I don’t know.
Nathan: Or extremely niche topic, right?
Nathan: Or like physical products, can you do it?
Dave: Look, here’s the thing, and this is what I firmly, firmly believe. If you can sell something and it requires a sales conversation, or an email, or a web page, and you could sell something to somebody one-on-one, then you can use a webinar and you’re selling it one-to-many, and all you’re doing is scaling that interaction. So I think I would love to be proven wrong. I’d love to have someone’s riding with something that’s just absolutely impossible to do on a webinar or sales presentation, because I bet that somewhere they are having a sales conversation, whether that’s a dentist who gets…you know, a friend of ours who does teeth whitening, and, you know, he was looking at doing a free consultation, whereas now he can look at scaling that with webinars. Rather than one-on-one at a time, he can do a free consultation, take people through their doubts, fears, concerns, objections about teeth whitening, and he can do that…instead of doing to one at a time, he could do it to 50 or 100 at a time.
So I really believe it can be scaled. It’s just not falling into trap of thinking, “Oh I can’t do this because whatever reason,” so, what are you doing in your sales process, and how can you scale that and go one-to-many, and still provide value? That’s what I believe.
Nathan: Yeah. Okay, I see. So in regards to, I guess, like a web agency, what would you recommend? You know, how would they…like a consulting or a services-based company, what can they do to implement webinars, especially when it comes to, I guess, the structure of the presentation?
Dave: Great. So when you’re saying “web agency,” do you mean like developers, or what are you thinking they might be working on?
Nathan: Yeah, like, I guess…because a good one would be like, you know, somebody that does website development.
Dave: Perfect. And I think this is a great topic because so many people have so many doubts, and fears, and concerns, and everyone’s got a story being ripped off by a web developer or having a bad interaction. So you could run a webinar…and you’re putting me on the spot, so I’m just gonna make this one up. I haven’t preplanned this one. So you might just choose something like…something along the lines of how to get an amazing website designed, or benefits of working with an agency, or risks, or frequently-asked questions, whatever you find are the most frequently-asked questions, and you can just take them through that process.
So for web developers, normally it’s, you know, “Do I go with a freelancer, or do I go with an agency?” And you can just kind of walk them through what’s involved so by the end of that process, they should be closer to trusting you, knowing you, liking you, and being really interested in buying what you’ve got, and at the end, you should basically be able to say, “You are now equipped to go out and hire a web development agency. Hopefully you’ve learned a lot from us. Here’s what we can offer you today. We would love to work with you further, and you should have built enough trust and overcome enough objections during that time, but rather than them going off and hiring someone else, they really know and like you guys, and want to jump on and work with you further.”
Nathan: Yeah, gotcha. So a big part of why webinars are so powerful is because of the trust that it can build?
Nathan: So do you mind just going a bit deeper on that, because this is something that I had to learn, as well, in regards to a sales process, in regards to building trust and handling objections?
Dave: Definitely. So one thing that’s really important, I think, when we look at doing a webinar presentation, there’s two elements. One is that it has to provide standalone value, so it should be something that people could almost pay for and be happy with, so that it…it’s really useful. But the second aspect is to understand that it is a sales process, and you need to put in the steps you would have in a normal sales process into the presentation.
There are so many different methodologies, but the simplest we can always fall back on for something like today’s call is “know, like, and trust.” They’re just primary triggers for people buying. And for something like a webinar, it accelerates rapport, because you can hit all of these very, very quickly. People can hear your voice. If you jump on the camera, they can see your facial expressions. You can build in authority. You’ve got such a chance to hit every key buying sort of trigger that people need to build up that trust in you so that they know that you know what you’re talking about, whereas in email campaign, you can get a sassy copywriter to jump on and do some stuff, whereas getting someone live on a call, you can very quickly figure them out, you can ask questions live. So it’s definitely really important in the trust-building process because they get direct access to you and the information that you’re putting out.
Nathan: Yeah. I think, also, another thing to consider, as well, is in regards to prospects. You know, if you have prospects, which is the plan to get onto your webinars and do these presentations frequently, you can get engagement and interaction to find out, you know, what their problem is, what their deepest, darkest desire is, what their biggest frustration is, what their objections are, even if you don’t know them yet, for what’s…you know, maybe why your solution, or your product, or your service might not…they feel, be a right fit for them. So it also can be a great way to find out more about your customer.
Dave: It’s excellent, and I’ll come back to that in just a second because you just reminded me in terms of the trust-building, in terms of sales, there’s the figure going around that it takes seven touch points to make a sale. And as you know, in a previous life, I had to do some work with some dating and pick-up guys. And in working through a lot of their marketing and their copy, one thing that they found accelerates relationships is they would actually…they use this seven touch-point thing, and they would actually change locations. So they felt you could build a stronger relationship with someone if you kept moving location. So whereas something like a coffee meeting count as like one day, they would make sure that it would have to be this longer day without go from having a coffee to the park, to the museum, to a bar. And all the sudden, in a very short space of time, they would develop this very strong connection and relationship by going through these different touch points and spending time together in different environments. And across a webinar, you can accelerate what might take, you know, weeks on email, or reading a blog, or whatever social media you’ve got, that accelerates into one hour where you can go through all of these touch points and build up that rapport as well.
Nathan: Yeah, that’s gold. Okay, awesome. Now, this is getting good. All right, so…I’m loving this. So next question that I have is, once you’ve worked out a presentation, how do you get registrants, and what it’s like to show up, typical show-up rates, what your people expect? What does that part look like?
Dave: Brilliant. So once people have chosen their webinar software, they’re all fired up, they know what they’re doing, you throw up what we call a registration page, and this is where you show the time and date of your presentation. People can click to register to attend, and that signs them up for a session.
Now, this is where things get a little bit more complicated. I want to give some real specifics here, because as we know, a lot of people just click a lot of things online. So when people go to register, the things that influence whether they will register are things such as the time and date, and being very clear about that, we’re in Australia, we work with a lot of people in the U.S., we’ve got people in Europe, and really all around the world. And if we’re not careful, we’ll get emails from people saying, “What time is it?” So being really clear about the time and date, and multiple time zones, boosts registration. Having a great, optimized landing page to that registration…really, the key to having high registrations, it’s the topic you choose. If you don’t know your audience, and if you choose a dud topic, people aren’t gonna register.
So one of the first things you really need to do is test. And ideally, like, we would always recommend testing somewhere else first, so whether that’s, you know, your most frequently-asked questions, and you just asked me before, and I jumped off topic about finding out more about your audience, one thing I’d really recommend, if people are totally stumped and they’re freaking out, you can just run a Q&A webinar, or an AMA webinar, and you literally just throw it open and say, “I’m here for an hour to answer any of your questions around X topic,” and just keep track of it to see what people want to know, and what they want to know from you, and you can very quickly…if 10 people ask you the same question, well, that’s your topic for the next webinar.
Nathan: Yeah, that’s gold. Okay. And what about, I guess, making sure you maximize show-up?
Dave: Definitely. So you asked about the rate of attendance and show-up. So typically attendance is falling across the board for chats and webinars, and unoptimized registration sequence. Really, you can expect, if it’s total garbage, if it’s really not optimized, maybe 10% show up. The industry standard online is really around 20% to 30%, but if you do it just-on-time webinar, or you have a good indoctrination sequence, or a really well-crafted autoresponder sequence between the time of registration and time of webinar, people could hit as high as 50%, and for just-in-time webinars, they can even do as high as 70% or 80% attendance.
Nathan: Yeah. Okay, gotcha. So what is your thoughts on automated webinars and just-in-time webinars?
Dave: I sort of love them, but they’re kind of dodgy. I think they’re amazing when done right, and they just have to be done with integrity. I think no one likes being lied to or manipulated. So I think it’s really important when people make that play, that it’s very clear about what they’re doing.
Nathan: Yeah, I agree 100%, especially like for us, if we’re doing an automated webinar, we want to say, you know, “This is a record webinar. We want you to be able to access it straight away, we don’t want you to wait around, but please understand, you know, this is where we’re at.”
One thing that you mentioned to me last week, which I thought was really smart and I think we should share with the audience, was, you said to me, “Just have a think about this ” and you was like, “because we want to double down webinars. We want, you know, four-to-five webinars going every single week for Foundr, because we know it works so well.” And that’s, you know, why won’t you come on and share? But you said to me, “You know what, Nathan? We have to be careful in the sense that if people always know that we’re running webinars to sell, we have to be careful because we should actually always, as well, mix things in and, you know, run webinars that there is no sell.”
Dave: Definitely, because I think it’s…we always talk about Gary Vee, but it’s easy because a lot of people know his methodology, but the “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook,” if we’re only writing webinars that have got…you know, they do deliver a lot of content. Like I said, don’t do webinar unless it’s standalone. But we also gotta be careful just, if we’re gonna be really putting out lots of webinars, we don’t wanna train people that, “Oh, we’re gonna always sell to you.” As a brand and as a company, you’ve had this from the beginning, is to serve entrepreneurs, to equip entrepreneurs, to put out amazing content on the blog, on social. And I just felt for us to be congruent means, yes, throwing on a webinar just to deliver a ton of content to our audience. I think it’s a great thing to do. It continues to build trust, but it also means that people are then getting an association with, “Well, if I jump on a webinar, I’m gonna need my credit card,” because we always wanna deliver value. And, you know, sometimes we’ll have products that people should buy, and we only put out things that we think people should buy, but I think it’s really important to always get that, you know, people can sell very hard on webinars. I think it’s really important to just make sure you get the value and sale balance in harmony to avoid being seen as a salesperson.
Nathan: Yeah, I agree. That’s one thing I think we’re doing a good job with, is even though we do, you know, obviously sell at the end, and if people do want to know more, there is that option, but we have, like, received so many comments from people, like, ridiculous amounts about, you know, “This was the best webinar I’ve ever joined,” because I see it as a win-win. We can do a value-based webinar where we can, you know, provide people with a ton of gold, just like we do on this podcast, or whatever, and then if people want to know more about, you know, whatever this product or service is that we have, there is that option. But if people want to leave it, when it gets to the sales pitch, or whatever, we still win because they’ve got a ton of gold, and we can confidently say that, you know, “We’ll provide a ton of value. We haven’t wasted your time. And, yes, this is a sales presentation, but it’s a win-win.”
Dave: Absolutely. And this is funny, I just want to bring up a point that a lot of people get stuck on around selling and making the offer. Can we jump into that?
Nathan: Yeah. That’s what I want to get to. Yeah, please.
Dave: Awesome. So, like you said, we do a really value-pack presentation. We provide a really strong offer, and then we hang out for a Q&A and make sure we answer everybody’s questions. One of the keys with the selling process and putting out the offer…and it’s talking about balance. One of the key things you can do is, be very clear. I really advocate this, right up front at the top of the webinar, that you say, “Here’s what’s gonna happen. We’re gonna do around 55 minutes of pure content. I’m gonna put everything into a workshop with you. I’m gonna share everything I’ve got. I’m then gonna give you the best-possible offer if you want to work further with us, and then I’m gonna stay on the call to answer all of your questions.”
And people…it does two things: one, people know it’s coming, and there’s an agreement. You’re putting your company’s money and time into a free presentation for an hour, and you’re gonna offer people something. And people know that and they’re like, “That’s reasonable.” Like, you go into a store to look at a pair of sneakers, you’re not upset when they say, “Hey, would you like to buy these sneakers that you’re looking at?”
Nathan: Yeah, that’s right.
Dave: And the second thing it does for the hosts, and anyone who’s listening and trying to figure this out, if you don’t do this, people get horrifically awkward, and you upset your audience, because everyone’s having a great time, they’re learning a ton of stuff, and then all of a sudden, “Pam!” You know, sales message, “Buy my stuff.” People are like, “What?!” And you’ve gone from being this great person helping them to, like, bit of a jerk who’s trying to sell them some stuff that you didn’t even know was coming. So I think it’s really important to be clear and to do that kind of artfully so that everyone’s happy, like, they’ve got an hour of phenomenal value.
And then the extra hook is I really stay a long time on the Q&A, because I think if you’re going to the attitude that we do it Foundr, and you’ve really laid this principle, is to serve first. So if we stay at the end, not just to close sales but to serve first: “What questions have you got? I’ve booked out my calendar, I’m here to answer any of your questions,” they get live access to an expert to answer any of their questions, and that’s immensely valuable, and it’s also a reason for them to stick through the offer. If they’re not interested, well, you know, 5-10 minutes to hear about a great offer, but then getting to Q&A is, like, entirely reasonable.
Nathan: Yeah, that’s awesome. So if someone’s got an awesome presentation, they know what, like, a topic is that their audience is asking for, and know their prospects, and it’s a problem, it’s a frustration for people, and they naturally believe that that presentation or topic will be a good link to, you know, a potential offer for their product or service, any tips on transition, because I think that’s something that always, I think, even when you’re on the phone, or anything that kind of is the most intimidating…kind of you feel bad? What are your thoughts there?
Dave: Absolutely. So for anyone who’s new to webinars or sales presentations, my first piece of advice for the transition is: Commit to it, because if you’re not comfortable with it, you’ll have this great time and then you’ll get awkward, and if you get awkward, everyone else gets awkward, you’re not confident, you lose their trust. Like, why will they buy from someone who’s shaky about what they’ve got? So it’s really important that you commit to it, you see it all the way through, least of which is because some pure numbers. By making the offer…obviously, if you make an offer, you increase the chances of a sale. So if you’ve gone this far, you have to, at least, put it forward.
I was telling JC this story the other day. My first webinar I ever did, and I closed up [SP] after it. I was, like, running around my house. I almost slipped over, I was so excited, but I only had a PayPal link and I had 10 people on the call. I didn’t have a product. I had no idea what I was doing, and I got to the offer, and I was all a bit stammering, and like, “He-he-here’s my link, you know, if you want it.” And someone bought, and boom! Two hundred and fifty dollars in my account…I didn’t have a product, just by making the offer. So no matter what happens when it gets to transition, don’t lose your cool, charge all the way through, put it out there. You’ve worked hard, you’ve got something great to offer. Maybe I didn’t at that point in time, but I work with a lot more integrity now, and it’s really important. So I’ve learned my lessons, you know. I’ve really learned them the hard way. So push through. The key to transition, I mentioned one is by framing it upfront, so you’re just delivering your promise. “So I did this. Now I’m gonna tell you what I’ve got.”
The other part of the transition is to make sure that during your presentation, and that the problems you solve, there’s two things that you want to happen. Every step, everything that you’ve sold really needs to be tied back to your offer so that it should be a very cohesive link. So you might show someone…I’ll go to web developer agency. You might say…first step is you need to have a really good landing page. In your offer, you want to have something to do with landing pages. You don’t want to then go off and say, “We’ve actually got a hosted service that we allow you to do this,” and you haven’t even mentioned hosted services on the call. It has to be a direct line that you can draw between the problem and solution and your service offering so that you’ve helped them, but really what you’ve done is you’ve solved a small problem, they’re satisfied, that’s great, but you’ve unpacked a larger problem that they need your expertise for. So the transition, it’s really about having a well-structured offer. So very smooth where you say, “Hey, you know how we said you need landing pages? Well, guess what? The first thing I’ve got for you today is I’m gonna put in a free landing page if you work with us.” And so people are already very excited that you’ve taught them the value and the pain points on why they need a landing page, and now, “Boom! Here comes your offer, and it’s totally lined up,” and they’re already hungry for it.
Nathan: Yeah, you know, that’s gold. Okay, awesome. And I’m curious around after the webinar, because that’s a big part of it, too.
Dave: Definitely. So do you mean after the webinar as in literally we’ve turned off GoToWebinar, or do you mean once you closed off…?
Dave: Follow-up, yes. So a couple of things. People say money is in the list. I think a lot of people make a massive mistake where they finish the webinar, they look at their stats and they go, “Well, that’s that.” I mean, you just have to look at yourself, or myself, or anybody. Has there ever been a time where someone offered you something to buy instantly and you didn’t take it up, but you were still interested? Definitely, I have.
So it’s really important to follow up. We do a couple of things. We have sales teams, and…well, I shouldn’t say sales teams. We have customer support on the sales page, because even at that point in time you’ll have people who are like, “I need to talk to my wife,” or, you know, “I’m listening this from the car. Can I do this when I get home?” So you want to make sure you’ve got people there to help process the sales, and really be a really good customer support team. That’s one thing. And then afterwards really, on a webinar, it depends what you’re doing, but you might sell an “okay” webinar. Do you want to get into stats and conversion percentages?
Nathan: Yeah, please.
Dave: Okay. So an “okay” webinar, if you just follow this structure and make an offer, you’ll convert between 5% and 10% just by having someone who listens to you and offering them your thing if it’s…if everything lines up, it’s a good offer, makes sense 5% to 10%. Depending on what else, you might even get up a4s high as 30% to 40%. People across the industry would regard, you know, a 15% rate as pretty solid depending on the price point. So that means you’ve gone to all this effort, you’ve marketed, you’ve filled [SP] a webinar, you’ve got registrants. All these people have heard you for an hour, they’re really interested in what you’re doing. Of course, 100% of people won’t buy at that point in time, but that doesn’t mean that they’re not interested.
So there’s that extra group of people who really, you know, might just need a follow-up of some kind, and there’s two ways you can do this…so it’s three. One is sometimes I look at the engagement scores, so you look for people who just totally dialed into the webinar, answering everything, super-super-interested, but they didn’t buy. So you know that they’re interested. You can follow up and be like, “Why didn’t you buy?” And, you know, they might come back with, “I had a question,” or, you know, whatever happened, “I had to go and pick my wife up,” or something happened. So you can follow up with those people.
The other one is with lead scoring through platforms like Infusionsoft, when you can see who your hottest customers are, the people who are desperate to buy from you, you just want to follow up and talk to them, and find out what’s going on, and help take them through that process. Maybe you’ve got to answer some of their objections, maybe they just missed the link, or their computer froze, or something happened, and there’s just a lot of extra sales. And you’ve already done the hard work, you’ve put so much effort into presentation, everything else, I think you’re really doing yourself a disservice to not follow up on people who wanted to buy your product or service, and just let them go and buy someone else’s because you’ve actually…the funny thing is seven touch points in the buying process, you might have taken them through six, and you’ve educated them, and you’re giving them away to someone else, and they just take them on the seventh with no effort and no work. So I really think it’s important to follow up.
Nathan: Yeah, I know, that’s gold. Okay, well, we’ve covered a lot of ground. Was there anything else that you think would be helpful, that we haven’t covered, that I’ve missed?
Dave: A couple of key points. I really think…I’m so convinced of this, and I’ve seen it work across so many industries. I think people need to, at least, give it a shot, and like I said, even if you don’t sell, even if you just do a Q&A webinar, because that intel and that interaction, you know, one hour with your life customers helping them, that will give you more until then, like, a month of hiding behind your keyboard. So I think people need to get out and just start trying. I think it’s really important.
What else haven’t we covered? I think there’s some other cool things that people can do. We didn’t talk too much about having a strong indoctrination or registration sequence, if you want me to talk about that.
Nathan: Yeah, let’s talk about that.
Dave: Great. So this is especially if you’ve got cold traffic that doesn’t really know, like you, and trust you before turning up to the webinar. So maybe they are on social, they’ve just kind of clicked on some thing. If you don’t warm them up really well with a great sequence of an email sequence and touch points between when they’ve registered and when the webinar is, they probably won’t show, or they’ll show up and they’ll drop off because they don’t really know you. It just was something that maybe caught their interest. So some of the best things that we’re working on, and that I’ve seen, and that I know is where you really…you basically resell why they need to turn up, and you deliver content during that registration sequence. So if you’ve got a Step 1 on how to increase your followers on Instagram, one of your emails might be Step 1: “Here’s what I’m gonna show you,” and you keep reselling them, and you keep…you know, it’s Robert Cialdini’s influence, you know, there’s things like congruence and reciprocity, and you’re just…all these touch points, if you can have more, whether that’s a video of you telling them how excited you are. Another great one is automated phone calls. We haven’t practiced yet.
Nathan: Oh, yeah, you were talking about this. Yeah, that’s crazy.
Dave: Fifteen minutes before the webinar, it’s literally, “Hey, Nathan, we’re getting ready to go on 15 minutes. Yes, this is automated. I just wanted to send it out to you because I don’t want you to miss our class in 15 minutes. I’ll see you there. Click,” things like that, people are just doing anything different. The more touch points…I have sequences where I followed people on Twitter, I had them on LinkedIn…the more rapport you can build talking to people, sending an email. Sometimes I literally jump on Gmail and start sending people emails, or getting people to fill in surveys, and answer questions. If you get someone to say…if you said, “Look, what would you like me to cover on this webinar? Here’s a survey, or here’s this,” and they’ll answer you, they’ve got a lot of buy-in because now you’ve made a promise to answer their question, and they’re way more hooked into the process. So I think that is another massively-missed opportunity where people are pretty lazy and a bit sloppy, and they focus on the top of the funnel and the end of the funnel, and just huge amount amounts of people fall out in the middle just because they get busy.
My last one…I get excited, I love this stuff. My last one is, out of everything you can do…and I was talking to you, we were walking down the street the other day, I was talking to you about this. I’m firmly convinced that one of the most powerful things you can do is own a piece of someone’s calendar. I think that’s prime real estate. So if you can get it from being an email or a little annoying reminder to an appointment where they’re booked in and it’s locked into their calendar, I think that is one of the most important things because I’ll stop doing it as something they might do to an appointment that they have, and they will work around it. Even their team will book appointments around it because it’s blocking up their calendar.
So if you could do one thing, I would focus on that. And there’s a tool called AddToEvent, or AddEvent, will put it in their notes, like just couple of bucks, little plugin, and that’s how you get people to add it to your calendar, and really you want to lock that space in. And GoToWebinar, you can do it through their reminders. But the sooner you can get them to lock that in as an appointment versus a thing they might do, I think that’s like a real turning point.
Nathan: Yeah, okay, awesome. Oh, dude, no, I mean, you’ve crushed this, you have covered a lot of ground, but you’ve given people so much gold. So thank you, man. Was there anything, lastly, that you’d like to share?
Dave: On what topic?
Nathan: On webinars, or this call, this discussion, this chat, talking shop?
Dave: I just think, from my experience, there really has never been a better time to be an entrepreneur. Starting out, I had to do some things probably the hard way. Moving back, we didn’t have Facebook, we didn’t have all of these things, there wasn’t a Foundr. There’s now so much out there. One of the only things that stops people is their excuses. And I would just really encourage people to get up and go after, whether it’s a side hustle a passion project. Even with Foundr, there’s so many resources that should not stop you. And I know that anyone listening to this who is hungry, they wanna do more, they wanna get out there, they wanna be more, and I would just encourage them to take action towards that. Whatever that is, the worst thing is not doing anything. So I would just encourage anyone who’s interested in entrepreneurship in their business, or their hustle, or their passion project, just to get started on it, like, right now.
Nathan: Awesome. Man, that was amazing, dude. Well, we will wrap there, but, yeah, look, thank you so much for taking the time and sharing all this wisdom around sales, webinars, presentations, you name it. So thank you, bro.
Dave: My absolute pleasure. It was a lot of fun.