Case Study: How Erika made $21k from a webinar (with 100 registrants + NO ADS)

According to dramatists all around the internet, building a profitable webinar should be impossible. I’ve been to so many funerals lately. I’ve got more black in my wardrobe than a 15-year-old emo kid (it’s rude to be an outfit repeater at funerals. Have some RESPECT for the dead). Apparently:

  • News feeds are DEAD
  • Webinars are DEAD
  • Organic engagement is DEAD
  • Snapchat is DEAD (more like a new girl transferred to your school and became hella popular)
  • Facebook pages are DEAD
  • Twitter is DEAD

Here’s the thing: None of the above are dead. What’s dead is how people engaged with them previously. Because old tactics aren’t working. 

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been to a lot of terrible webinars. A LOT of them. They go a little something like this:

  1. The person tells you a sobbity sob story about how they had NOTHING and NO ONE to turn to and they were living in the corner of a shoebox
  2. Their turning point is ALWAYS “discovering the magic of manifesting” and “investing in themselves”
  3. They show you about 22 photos of themselves in some exotic beach location or in front of the Eiffel Tower
  4. They tell you that they have the MAGICAL secret that ONLY they can give you
  5. They make you feel like complete shit for not taking the plunge and pop some fake urgency at you
  6. They harass you with 28 e-mails over the next 3 days

And look, I’m ALL for investing in myself and the people at Better En Noir. I obviously believe in the power of strategic help and in having a strong mindset routine. That being said, these “webinars” were just smoke and mirrors.

So when I was putting on a webinar, I wanted to do it right.  Today, I’m going to be sharing with you what I did to build a profitable webinar. While I ran this prior to moving to an agency model and while beta testing our PR offer, I could have still used a webinar to sell our PR services for the prices that they're at right now.

Corporations, just like solopreneurs, can use webinars as well... it's all about the strategy.

Build a profitable webinar – the numbers:

I believe in total transparency when it comes to sharing a case study. I also want you to know that you can make money WITHOUT a ton of ads, webinar registrants, etc. I literally spent 0$ promoting this thing and I made $21k. I’d call that a WIN.

  • Webinar registrants: 104
  • Show up rate: 12 people(ish)
  • Calls taken: 7 (I had some people who just weren’t good fits that booked in)
  • People pitched: 4 (not everyone above was a good fit)
  • Sign-ups: 3

What people signed up for:

  • 1:1 Business Strategy – $10k
  • 3-month PR retainer client – $5.5k (Paid in full)
  • 3-month PR retainer client – $6k (Paid in instalments)

Total amount made: $21.5k Time to close: Less than 30 days.

NB: We no longer do three month PR retainers and not at this price. This was a beta tested offer.

Phase one: The pre-webinar (planning the webinar)

1. Deciding on the webinar goal

When you’re going to build a profitable webinar, the first thing you need to do is: decide on your goal. Your goal can be any number of things –  grow your list, get new customers, sell your services, etc.

My goal, in this case, was to sell people into a light version of my Done for You publicity package designed for people who had little to no PR exposure whatsoever. Once you’ve decided on your goal, then you can work backwards in creating the rest of the webinar.

2. Creating your pitch

If you’re selling a service, a sign up, etc., this is fairly straightforward. Your pitch is going to be to your program. If you’re selling services or coaching, this can be a little more tricky. Do you want to book people into an enrolment call? Have them fill out an application form? Pay you with no calls involved?

In my case, I decided that I wanted to give people a free mini-session where I helped them come up with an idea that I could pitch. The important thing here is that I was helping them with the idea and not the pitch.

I was giving them value, but creating a gap wherein we could either work on the pitch together in a VIP day OR they could offload their PR altogether and have me do it for them. Once you know what you’re pitching, you can then create the content as you build a profitable webinar because you want to make sure that the content works in service of the offer.

3. Outlining + creating my content

In order to build a profitable webinar, you need to ask yourself these questions (and when I say “ask yourself” I mean take a look at the market research you’ve already done about this topic to find the answers – because you’ve done target market research, right?! If not… well, finish reading the rest of this post because it’s really good and THEN go out and figure out what your peeps actually want because that’s 100% why you’re not making more money).

  • “What beliefs does my audience have about this topic and the industry that I need to change?”
  • “What beliefs do they need to adopt in order to take me up on my offer at the end?”
  • “How can I show them that I know my shit and give them a few micro wins that show them it’s possible for them, too?”

When you keep these questions in mind, you create an outcome and audience driven webinar that doesn’t become a 45-minute sign up form for some self-serving business cult of people who are worshipping at your feet because they think you’re so cool. Real transformation is when you help people realize that they’re fucking cool and they have what it takes to shift with the right help (aka you). The formula to making money is pretty easy – it goes like this: High-level value + Bite-sized wins + Right offer = cash. 

In my case, my audience needed to know why their FB group marketing strategies weren’t bringing them the results they wanted, how influencers have used publicity to build their empires, and how THEY could secure publicity for themselves quickly and easily. 

Phase two: The pre-webinar (marketing the webinar)

Because I was testing a new offer and didn’t know if my webinar was even going to convert or not with a webinar, I decided that I didn’t want to throw any advertising money at it. I figured that I could refine the offer and THEN create a Facebook ad if I wanted to. It’s a good thing because the webinar was so valuable that a lot of people saw results just from the free information.  

I decided to leverage my pre-existing network of Facebook groups and my e-mail list to get sign ups, and that’s it.

I had 104 people register with exactly a week of promotion. In order to avoid fatigue for my audience, I made sure to post about the webinar in different groups on different days. I used a ladder post (where you ask someone to drop an emoji or a gif if they want access) that led with value first; this keeps readers intrigued and group owners happy because even if they allow promotion, they don’t want you to start spamming their space with a bunch of promotional shit. Always add to their tribe. 

Phase three: The webinar

The actual webinar itself is the least eventful part. I showed up about five minutes early to interact with the audience, see who was showing up, and how I could make some instant tweaks to my wording to fit into their business or integrate them into examples. I knew a lot of the people who showed up to my webinar because they were either a part of my Facebook group or they’d been following me for the better part of two and a half years.

I used Zoom (affiliate link) to host the webinar – not the version that streams to Facebook Live, just the lowest paid plan – and I made my slides in Keynote and screen shared. In my webinar presentation, I made sure to include lots of testimonials as I went along in between each section. I made sure that each result or testimonial was related to my point, so that I could start priming my audience with the idea that I produce results (which I do) and that if they wanted results, too, they should take the action at the end.

To ensure that as many people as possible stayed until the end, I also gave an incentive for staying until the end. I gave people who stayed all the way through a pitching template that would help them to execute what I had just shown them, which I was charged a nominal fee for in the replay e-mails.

Without the pitch template, they only had about 75% of what they needed, so the desire to stay at the end was strong. About 90% of the people stayed until the end and because I was focused on answering questions and making sure that each person knew how publicity could work for their business, I had five calls booked before the webinar was over and seven more that rolled in in the 72 hours after the webinar.

Phase four: The post-webinar (e-mails and calls)

1. E-Mail sequence

You have to give people a reminder to take action without being pushy. The first day, I sent a casual reminder with my replay e-mail. 48 hours after, I sent an e-mail alerting people to the fact that they had 24 hours left to book a call with me.

On the third day, I sent a twelve hour and 2 hour reminder. I purposely kept the e-mails short and sweet.

What I would change if I did it again would be to include some client results again in the e-mails. Because I was keeping my e-mails to the point, I wasn’t offering the same level of value that my audience is used to and sharing client stories and results with a takeaway of how they could do something similar likely would have increased the number of calls booked.

2. The calls

The first thing I did was screen every application to see if they were a good fit. I rejected about five applications because the person was too early in their business or they had a business model that I didn’t feel comfortable with. 

Once I got on the calls, I then got to know people better and we worked on their story idea, as promised. When I felt like it was a good fit to pitch, I asked if the person was open to hearing more, and all 4 people that I asked said yes.

Of those, I realized that one woman wouldn’t be a fit for PR until she had some fundamental aspects in her business sorted out first, so I offered her a short intensive with me that I then upsold into a 6-month coaching package.

With the other women, they declined to purchase a package right away, but I kept in touch with them and kept consistently sharing client results and posting about my area of specialty. Within 30 days of the webinar, they’d both signed on for PR packages. 

My most important takeaways to build a profitable webinar:

  1. Just do the thing. Before I did my webinar, I was so nervous and put it off for three weeks.
  2. It doesn’t take a large audience to have a massively profitable webinar.
  3. When you lead with value first, you create customers for life.
  4. There is a limit to how much free information to give out.
  5. Keep going, even when it’s not perfect (I had a coughing fit for almost five-minutes mid-way through the webinar)