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5 Reasons Why Webinars Fail

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by David Garland in General

It’s no secret (unless you haven’t been on the Internet since the AOL days hanging out in sketchy chat rooms…a/s/l?) that webinars are:

  1. Amazing for selling your online courses, products & programs
  2. Amazing for selling other people’s products and programs
  3. Amazing for testing offers for yourself that you haven’t created yet
  4. Amazing for automation as well (besides live webinars…automated webinars are also pretty epic)

You are probably thinking… “Duh. Thanks David.”

You’re welcome 🙂

Now these 5 reasons why webinars fail (and what to do instead) don’t come from random guesses or re-hashing what other people out there are saying.

These come from 3 years of devoting myself to cracking the code on webinars.

Hours and hours and hours of experimenting. Learning. Trial & Error. Successes. Failures.

Why? Because I wanted to sell more of my Create Awesome Online Courses program (and some of my other programs as well).

Some quick fun facts:

  • 1st webinar once I got the “code” down: My sales DOUBLED (actually almost freakin’ tripled) from my previous webinars. I ended up selling $38,336 worth of programs on a small webinar.
  • Then I put it to use again and brought in an additional $121,724.00.
  • Now well over $3,000,000 in sales via webinars.
  • Mastered a system where results keep getting better and better (and more predictable).
  • Now (along with my webinar sensei John Richardson) I’ve helped folks all around the world create successful webinars on every topic imaginable from helping photographers run a successful business doing senior portraits to helping fiction authors sell more thrillers and romance novels (pretty cool).

Without further ado….let’s get into those reasons and how to fix ‘em.

#1: Reminding People To Show Up LIVE

It’s one thing to get people to register for your webinar, and another to get them to show up.

If a webinar falls in the forest and nobody hears it did it ever happen?

Now an industry trend (you can thank Netflix culture for this) is live show-up rates are down. People wait for replays, etc. HOWEVER you want to do everything in your power to get as many people to show up live as possible.

What most people do… is maybe send out an email when someone registers.

That’s it.

Good thing you aren’t most people.

TWO HUGE TIPS to increase your “show up rate”:
  1. Send out AT LEAST one email the night before and day of reminding people. You might want to even send out two the day of.Why? Is that excessive?Absolutely not! Remember people are BUSY. They have other stuff going on. Lives. Businesses. Kids. Family. Travel. Taking Fluffers to the groomer.
  2. Make it worth their while…a free gift for attendingNo not a bouquet of flowers. I mean you could totally do that but things might get weird.Give away something neat to people who attend your webinar and REMIND them to get that neat thing they have to show up live.The neat thing can be anything that helps them…slides from the webinar, a magic recap sheet they get after the webinar to outline the key points you taught….etc.For extra fun, games and anticipation tell folks they get a free gift for attending but don’t tell them what it is. Show up to find out, hehe.

#2: Too Much Time On YOU

I mean obviously you are freaking amazing.

Your story in context to what you are teaching is super important on your webinar.

BUT (hold your horses) there is a major difference between sharing important parts of your story and being the person who spends the entire webinar talking about themselves.

I’ve been on those webinars before (and you probably have to) and it is freakin’ painful. 45 minutes in and the only thing you’ve learned is the name of each of the presenter’s 14 cats. Awesome.

A huge tip on your story:

Your story is important, sets the stage and gives context…but it isn’t the main production.

Remember you are in the RESULTS business. Your “job” is to help people get results.

This is also why a VERY SPECIFIC structure for your webinar presentation is so important (including how much time to spend in each area i.e. your story, the content, etc.)… more on that in a bit because I have a great free way you can learn this from me and my webinar sensei.

#3: Don’t Deliver On Promise:

This one makes me cringe. Yuck. Yuck. Extra yuck!

So, in your webinar you will make a promise. This promise is on your registration page , in the title of your webinar and during your webinar.

Example: “5 Steps To Teaching Your Hamster How To A Backflip” or “3 Keys To Teaching Your Gerbil How To Do A High-Kick Like Rockette”

Makes sense, right?

But here is where things get sucky. People promise, “I will show you the 5 steps to teaching your hamster how to do a backflip” but then during the webinar they never mention the steps and instead just keep hinting at them and then pitch “buy the product for the steps.”

Ewwww. I need a hot shower.

Ready for the huge tip on this?

I thought so…ready?

Um. You are ACTUALLY going to teach!

And don’t worry there is a natural progression to lead to a sale of your course/product/program.

Some folks think….”Well if I teach then they will have no reason to buy.”

Nonsense! The opposite is true. People will say “If this is the FREE stuff, I can’t imagine how amazing and life-changing the paid stuff is!”

And when you teach great stuff people who don’t end up buying also don’t feel screwed and that’s important.

Why? Because they will be back. They know you deliver and have great free webinars. Often times they could become a customer in the future (all about long term in this business, not just quick wins and screw everyone else).

We see it ALL THE TIME where someone has attended several webinars (sometimes over months or years) before becoming a customer.

#4: Don’t Know How To Sell

If this is you, don’t fret… I had to learn this too.

I really had no clue how to sell on webinars when I was getting started and what results is:

Awkward transition from content to sales. Basically going from inspiring teacher to horrible used car salesman.

Wishy-washy pitch with lack of confidence. “Oh, um, gee, I guess you could buy this or not or um….”

The good news?

Two simple tips on this:

  1. This CAN BE TAUGHT and you can learn how to do this super easily. There is a key method for transitioning to the pitch called a bridge (and I’m going to teach this to you…actually even BETTER the guy who taught ME how to do the bridge is going to teach it to you with me at a free training you can sign up for here)
  2. Selling starts with confidence. Confidence in that what you are selling is going to be help people. Confidence in that you have put your very best effort into your products and programs. You are helping people. Don’t apologize!

#5: No Follow Up

People attend your webinar… and then that’s it?!

Yikes. No good.

A huge(eeeeee) tip on this:

Over 50% (or more) of sales can come from a LIMITED TIME replay + follow up emails (I send on average 5 follow ups for every webinar I do).

Don’t make the mistake of webinaring-and-ditching.


As mentioned before, we are very much in a Netflix-On-Demand culture now. Lots of people want to watch on THEIR time.

And people are busy. So busy. Fluffers needs to the groomer at 3:00 PM. You have a hot date at 7:00 PM or you have princess play time with your daughter at 7:00 PM… whatever.

Having a deadline (where the replay and offer actually expire and go bye-bye) + reminders = people taking action.

Simple formula. Put it into action.

Wrapping it up and next steps:

My goal with this article is to share some insights that will save you an absolute boatload of time and money.

Sure you will make some mistakes but just ONE IMPORTANT tweak can often be the difference between a flop and a success (and I want you to be the BIGGEST success).

Now if you want some more in-depth training to show you how to do all of this (i.e. how to structure your presentation to make sure you are spending time on the right things, how to do the natural progression from content to pitch, etc.) you are in luck:

There are a lot of things to learn when it comes to doing webinars that educate and sell (from how to fill up seats for your webinar to what tech to use to getting people to actually show up) but the MOST IMPORTANT THING when it comes to webinars is your presentation itself.
Meaning a presentation that educates AND converts. You make sales and bring in new happy customers. And folks that don’t buy are still happy to with your quality content (and will come back next time you have a webinar and heck – could end up being a future customer).

Otherwise you could do everything else “right” (get the right people there, etc.) and not make sales. Sort of like inviting everyone to dinner but you forgot the food…oops.
I’m totally guilty of this when I first started doing webinars years ago. I kind of “made up” my presentation. Meaning I wasn’t following a SPECIFIC STRUCTURE. I was winging it. And when I winged it… nothing good happened.

It wasn’t until my webinar sensei came into my life in the form of a very funny Irishman…John Richardson. John taught me the specific way to create webinars that sell (without being sketchy) and forever changed my webinar world (personally since John taught me his secret sauce I’ve sold over 3 million dollars in online courses via webinars).

And John has helped thousands of my peeps and customers get killer webinar results (from James Wedmore to David Newman to Renae Christine and thousands of others) and he can help you too.

Check out the Most Kick-Butt Webinar Blueprint Ever. 

This workshop will show you the exact method to create webinars that crush, including:

  • Walking you through everything step-by-step “fill in the blank”
  • The simple process to help you map out YOUR webinar in less than two hours
  • Totally paint by the numbers (for example):
  • How to create your story – regardless of how inadequate you might feel it is currently.
  • A simple break down of each of the seven critical steps you must take for success.
  • How to create “no brainer” offers that will sell.
  • PDF download of the slides

The workshop sells for $197, and you can grab it right here.

8 Steps to Turning What You Already Know into a Successful Online Course

The 8 step process to the successful with online courses + free gifts for attending!

Unlock the Offer!