Sarah: Well, today we have Omar from Webinar Ninja. Welcome to the program, Omar.

Omar: It’s great to be here, Sarah. Thanks for having me.

Sarah: Can you tell us a little bit about Webinar Ninja?

Omar: Sure, I started Webinar Ninja back in 2014, really out of frustration, because I was running webinars to grow my business, but I wasn’t really happy with the choices I had when it came to software. I usually had to hodgepodge on my website or a landing page with my email marketing software with the webinar software with the chat software, and it was just a lot of work and a lot of headaches, so I wanted to create something that was simple and easy to use so I can run my webinars with a little less pain.

My attendees are like, “Hey what are you using for this webinar? And there’s something I put together for myself. And they basically ask, “Hey can we buy it” and the rest is kind of history. That’s where the idea of maybe I should create the solutions to the problem that’s bothering me for others as well. And that’s where Webinar Ninja was born that was back in 2014, and yeah, so we really try to make it easy and simple, and intuitive for people to run webinars to grow their business and sell their products and services.

Sarah: Oh, okay, so when you started out, it wasn’t actually to sell it, it was just use it for your own purposes, and then it went from there?

Omar: Exactly, I think I basically was my first client. I guess I solved the problem for myself obviously in the early stages. It was now ready for commercial use, it was not as good looking and all that stuff, but once I realized, okay, people might be interested in buying this we invested time and money to clean it up and make it available for commercial use.

Sarah: And can you tell the audience what people might be using a webinar for? I’ve been to several webinars but maybe the audience isn’t familiar with that.

Omar: Totally. Webinars solve a few problems. When I was starting out in my business before I was selling a course called the $100 MBA which is a course on how to get started in business. It’s a $100 MBA education. So basically what I did with webinars is that I had no audience, had nobody to speak to, nobody to sell to really, or even build a relationship with, so they could be interested in what I have to offer and webinar solve that problem because you can run a workshop, you can run some sort of lesson or class for free in exchange for people’s attention and their email address and then from there, after that, you can follow with them and give them more information, subscribing to your newsletter and then make an offer of your products or services from there. This is what I did is to make that offer to actually sell on the webinar, so you can invite people to demo your product, even if it’s a physical product. This is a modernisation of what we all know home shopping a lot of people know QVC or the Home Shopping Network where people are looking at physical products on TV, and then buying them with a phone call. But now with the internet, many people use webinars to do that, so they’ll show people a product and then sell it on the webinar, but others are also very powerful for retaining our customers. For example, at Webinar Ninja we have our users that use the software and we run monthly webinars for our members teaching them about the new features or release giving them insights of what’s coming up and it’s a good way to build camaraderie and a community within the customers you have, and to keep your customers, which is a lot more important than actually getting new ones. And then lastly, also getting new ones is getting a new customer to come on board. Webinars are powerful for that. So it’s a great sales and marketing tool, but it’s also a great retention in communication tool, but also many people will actually deliver their product or their service through Webinar Ninja, so for example, they might sell their webinar as a small mastermind group or a coaching group, where they’ll run a webinar for a certain amount of money and from there, people would join the webinar and learn something, build a skill or be part of some sort of series.

Sarah: Okay, and what’s the best way for people to find someone’s webinar, or to get traffic to the webinar?

Omar: Well, there’s several ways. A lot of people when they’re getting started, they don’t utilize their website is the home of their businesses where things get done, it’s usually where people buy your products and services and people still go on Google search so it’s really important for you to make sure people know that you run webinars on your website. So you could put a banner on the top of your website, you can make it one of the menu items, you can put it on the right hand side of a right or left column, whatever you have for your blog so putting on your website is great. Emailing your existing email list, letting them know that you’re running a webinar. But we also have a feature in Webinar Ninja called the Webinar Finder, which allows people to be listed in what we call a Webinar Finder, which is like a market place for webinars. So you get exposure to the webinars as well as easily be found on a Google search.

Sarah: So by being in that Webinar Finder people are able to find you on Webinar Ninja’s website. But then also, I guess there’s some SEO with that. I was looking on the website. I haven’t run a webinar myself yet, though I have an idea for one. So I found your software and I’m like, “You know what, this one looks a lot better than the others that I’m seeing or looks simple, it has more features, but what is the difference between the live, automated, hybrid, and series webinar?

Omar: So a live webinar is a one-off webinar that you will be conducting live on camera or on video, and when I say on camera, you can show your face with your camera or of course, you can just have PowerPoint slides and talk over the side. My point is, is that you are live with your audience is a video as well as your audio and the chat and questions and things like that. And this is just one date/one time.

An automated webinar is a recorded video so it’s a recorded webinar. The host is not present, and it’s a way for people to maybe get a workshop at any time that’s convenient to them. So many people will run a live webinar, take that recording and use that recording in an automated webinar, and offer it on several dates and times so people can kind of just opt in and watch that and they can submit questions, and those questions get emailed to the host.

A hybrid webinar is a combination between live and automated meaning that the video is recorded. So say for example I’m a software company and I want to run a demo and I nailed this demo, it’s a recorded demo that I use, I will use a recorded video of that demo and then I’ll be live in the questions in the chat so I can answer questions and things like that.

And then lastly, a series webinar is a webinar that is a series of dates and times, and this is a typical for a course or some sort of summit. So you want people to register once, but then once they re-issued their registered to a series of dates and times, and each of those sessions can be a live webinar, or it could be a recorded webinar up to you. So many people that do certification programs will use a series webinar or are delivering a life course. They’ll use a series webinar. Okay, and on that hybrid one, so basically the video that’s showing is automated or recorded, but the only part that’s live about it is that the host is just there to answer questions.

I chat with the audience, maybe show an offer or run some polls ask them answer some questions. So yeah, they’re live in that regard, but they’re not on camera, and they’re not presenting the video is doing all the work.

Sarah: Okay, yeah I think that would be helpful and save a lot of time for people, ’cause that kind of is the best of both worlds that way. You’re still present and can answer questions, which to me, is one of the benefits of doing a live one, but then you don’t have to do all the work.

Omar: Yeah, totally. And especially if you nailed that presentation or that demo or whatever you’re doing, and this is really what people are looking for is what they wanna see. And then you could be there. It’s also a great way to outsource the webinar to somebody like an assistant or somebody on your team where it’s like you did the video already. The content is all yours, but they’re there to help out with any questions or things like that.

Sarah: Oh, okay, so you can have co-hosts, as well. Also I noticed that you can upload PowerPoint or different slide shows?

Omar: Yes, you can upload them right to Webinar Ninja which is really cool because one of our goals is to simplify the webinar experience to make it easier for the host. So they’re not distracted by all the technology, they could just focus on the content and one of the things that people have to do with other software, is that they have to share their screen and then launch PowerPoint on their computer and then they have to toggle back and forth from the webinar software, and their slides to see the chat, and it can get really confusing juggling screens. So with Webinar Ninja, you can just upload the slides right to your calendar and then you can present the slides right there inside the software so you see everything at one time, you can move to the next slide go back to the other side and of course, those slides are saved in your counter then you can just open up and again, any time you want to in future webinars.

Sarah: That sounds pretty convenient. And would be less work for the computer to do at one time, and so, hopefully it wouldn’t slow things down as much.

Omar: So all that’s actually happening in the cloud for you. So it’s all done in the browser, so minimal use on your CPU.

Sarah: And do you also have an option for white boarding like to where you can write but it’d be a screen share?

Omar: We don’t have the option of white boarding on the actual webinar software, but if you want to share your screen and do any kind of annotation or with any other app on your computer, you can definitely do that and show that by a share screen.

Sarah: Okay, and can you also view the webinars on any device or just on the computer?

Omar: Yeah, you can. It’s all browser-based, any device as a browser, so any kind of mobile or tablets or anything like that, it’s responsive so you will adjust to whatever device you’re using.

Sarah: And you can also set up paid webinars. And how does that work?

Omar: So we have an integration with Stripe, which is a payment processor, so Stripe is a free thing that you can sign up for. They only take a transaction fee, which is typical of any payment processor. So basically, you have a couple of clicks inside your account link Stripe , then inside of Webinar Ninja you just choose a price for your webinar, you choose to make it a paid webinar. And then from there, when they use registers, they’re given a credit card form to fill out, once they fill it out and the processing happens they make sure the money gets in your Stripe account and I typically transfer that money to a bank within 48 hours.

Sarah: So how does one decide whether to do a free or a paid webinar?

Omar: So if you’re looking to grow your audience or looking to build leads you’re trying to get an audience so you can sell them a product and doing a free webinar ’cause you want to give them some value in exchange for their attention. And then from there, you can offer them your product or services on the webinar. If you are trying to test out a new product for example, you’re looking to build out a seven module course on a topic, instead of building out the whole course and seeing if people are willing to buy this course for $500, we recommend people running a paid webinar on just one module of the course, or one session of the course charge $20 and see if they are willing to pay for this information. It’s a good way to have some sort of idea validation before you start building out a course and seeing if they are willing to pay for this topic. Paid courses are also good for consulting, and coaching and things like that, where people are willing to pay money to get a little bit more close attention. A smaller group, maybe a group of 10 people or less. And that’s where a lot of paid webinars come into play. But if you’re looking to market and to sell on the webinar, then the free option is what I would recommend.

Sarah: Okay, and can you tell us more about selling on the webinar?

Omar: Totally, so I’ve been doing this for a some time…a little over five years now, over 500 webinars. My strategy for lack of a better term, for selling on a webinar is to really just try to give as much value as you can and truly just be as helpful as possible to your audience regardless if they buy or not. Your goal here is really to build a relationship is to build trust with your audience and once your audience feels like your intention is not that, it’s like, “Oh I just really want them to buy right now. Not really worried about building that trust or building that relationship”, people will feel that. People can sense it. People can kinda understand what’s happening. People are pretty savvy these days. So just focus on giving great value information that they can use regardless of if they buy your product or not. I like to sell the software webinars and what I like to do is just give them information that they can use whether it’s like presentation skills, how to run a webinar, or how to get more returns things like that, and then I just show them how implementing these strategies is easier with my software with my product.

And also just to be as transparent as possible, I like to announce at the start of the webinar, and even before the webinar starts that you are gonna make an offer that you are gonna say, “Hey I’m gonna give a special offer or give you an opportunity to sign up for my product or service at the end of the webinar if you’re looking to get started, or take things to the next level.” People appreciate transparency and understand that you are running a business and if you get in front of it, people will appreciate it. So that’s really my Sales 101 kind of pitch is just try to be as helpful as possible. I have people that have joined my webinar that have attended my webinar three or four times before they bought so sometimes it takes a few times. It’s okay if your intention is to build a relationship and give value, then you’re gonna be all right

Sarah: I was noticing that you also have the option to add a timer to the offer. So say the timer runs out, is someone’s still able to access that somehow or would they have to contact?

Omar: Yeah, or the time is just to show the offer. So say for example, you’re running an automated webinar, or maybe you don’t want to forget to turn on the offer, but you wanna say, I want this offer to show 30 minutes after the webinar starts or 10 minutes of the open or starts… whatever you choose, and that’s where the timer comes into play. You can set it and then it’ll show it at that time, but of course you can show and hide the offer manually at any time and then you can also do this for the replay, you can set that up for the replay, show it at the start or you can set a timer so it shows at a certain time during the replay and then of course you can set up your email notification so you can send a follow-up email later on after the webinar is over to everybody who’s registered to that. Hey, we made an offer on the Webinar, here’s the offer, here’s the link. And that’s a good way for them to have that information.

Sarah: I was also noticing that when I was watching the video on your website is that there’s a chat bar off to the right, but then there’s also questions that you can ask, so are the questions like when you’re interacting with webinar viewers, is that the private part and then the chat is public or are they both public?

Omar: So they’re both public. But we separate the questions from the chat, because we found it’s much easier to have your questions in one area because usually people have a Q and A session or section in their webinar at the end or in the middle or whatever it is, and it’s a lot easier to go to one place to final the questions rather than go to the chat and it get buried in the chat.

Once you get over 30 or 40 people on your webinar chatting a lot of messages are gonna come in, especially if you’re having an interactive webinar and to scroll back and to try to find all the questions can take some time, and it’s just a lot easier for people to go straight to the questions area to find the questions to answer for their audience. We also have some special question features as a host. When I’m answering questions, I see all the questions listed. We have a feature where you can click a button that says start answering, and then when you answer the question, it records when you answered it on the video, so come replay time, there’s a time stamp. Next of that question where people can click on the time stamp and the answer will you’ll fast forward straight to the answer in that video of when you answer that question, this is great, especially for buying questions. Like do you accept American Express, or do you have payment plans or things like that?

And people are watching the replay and they’re like, “Hey I want the answer to that question that I see right there. I don’t wanna necessarily wanna watch the whole thing to find it.” I want the search for it, I can just click on that time stamp it, I’ll take a straight there.

Sarah: And I was also noticing the live polls.

Omar: Yeah, we have live polls, as well. It’s a great way to interact with your audience, especially not everybody’s gonna be extroverted and chatting on the chat and it’s a good way to get people to participate and to be interactive in a passive way, sort of. So, they can answer a host, you can see… You get a poll of your audience and see where everybody wanna poll at the start of the webinar. To know the level of my audience, their experience in the area that I’m teaching, just to understand and cater the level of the workshop to them, and then also just some fun polls to just to kind of keep it lively.

Sarah: And can you tell us a bit about the email notifications? It sounds like you send reminder emails and confirmation emails, maybe even replay emails, for us versus us having to do it through our own.

Omar: Exactly, so all of the above, we have a template of emails a set of emails that we send out seven emails that we have tested that in terms of timing and delivery and one best to remind people, and all that kind of stuff. But of course, if you wanna shut those off, you can.

But this is something that we offer to make things easier for you ’cause we’ve already done the testing for you, and we have a reminder emails and confirmation emails. Like, once they register, they get a confirmation email, telling them this is the day and time of the webinar, and here’s the webinar link and you can customize the copy of that email, so you could personalize it and all that kind of stuff. And what’s really cool is I can see your copy, as default so that way you can save it for all future webinars, so you can insert tags like webinar time, webinar title, host name, that way you can re-use those emails for future webinars regardless of what webinar you’re doing, so that way it’ll just populate the information based on what the webinar day and time, is all that kind of stuff. And then, of course, we have the replay emails that go out automatically and we have separate emails, for those who attended and those who did not attend. So that way you can actually address people properly. So like, “Hey I notice that you didn’t make the webinar. Here’s a replay for you or thanks for attending the webinar here’s a replay. It’s gonna be available for 48 hours or whatever you wanna make it available for” So you could definitely do that with our automated email notifications, but you also can add you could add new ones, if you’d like, create one from scratch, if you like, and then add those to your series of emails.

Sarah: So with those automated ones, does the software keep track of who came to the webinar and who didn’t already and automatically send those out or do is there some kind of manual way?

Omar: The webinar software will automatically keep track in a live time who registered,who attended, who did not attend. And that way you can cater the emails and send the emails specifically to those groups.

Sarah: Okay, yeah, that’s really convenient. I’d never even thought of a webinar software having that feature. And then you do integrate though, I guess with other email platforms so that you can move people over on to your email list and what not?

Omar: Totally. We understand that people run businesses, they have their products, their services that they’re used to. You might be used to using Mail Chimp or ConvertKit and we don’t wanna inconvenience you and say “Hey don’t use that anymore.” So we integrate with them: Active Campaign, a whole bunch of CRM and marketing software where you can integrate it so that way anybody who registers for webinars, can get added to your email list, over there or you can tag them a certain way and you can actually integrate it, based on the webinar, so you can send them to one list on for this webinar, but for the next webinar you can send to a different list.

So, it’s quite advanced, but you can keep it simple as well if you like, it’s pretty simple to integrate. We’ve worked with each of these companies personally one-on-one to find out how they use, for example, ConvertKit and with their webinars and that way the integration is pretty simple. They click on a button, they sign into their account, before you know it, they’re integrated.  

Sarah: And then also the social media sharing, is that just maybe when someone registers, then they can share the webinar on Facebook or Twitter?

Omar: Totally. So we have this feature on all registration pages, or thank you pages. And it’s a way that you can encourage people to share your webinar with others. So on the Thank You page, we also have a template where you can insert a video so I like to have a video on my thank you pages, and it’s a short generic video so I can use this video over and over, I just say, “Hey thanks a registering for the webinar. Why don’t you share this webinar to friends over on Facebook or social media, whatever.” And the buttons are below. We also have an add-to-calendar feature on the thank you page, so that people can add the event to their calendar and then the calendar gets populated with all the correct information like the day and the time and the link for the webinar. So, as we know if something’s on your calendar or it’s not gonna happen. So I think that feature is really helpful. And then also, you don’t have to register each time.

Sarah: As far as the marketing in the video I watched on your site, it says that you market for us. How does that work?

Omar: So this is where the Webinar Finder comes into play. We try to optimize your webinar, if you make it public, via SEO and to be found and ranked on Google, so for your keywords like the title of your webinar, and the description of your webinar and things like that. We also try to give you as much exposure as possible so people can find your webinar. So people are looking specifically for a health and wellness or a business or education they can go to that category and find your webinar. We also, on the home page, we’ll feature our members as well to give them more exposure. Will also have webinars that are starting in the next hour, so people that are just on our website or on the Webinar Finder. You’re trying to find a webinar to join, you can get some last minute registrations to increase your exposure.

Sarah: Oh, okay, do you ever have the recorded ones available for people to find and view?

Omar: Yes, so it’s your choice. If you wanna make your automated webinars public then they’ll be listed on the Webinar Finder.

Sarah: Well, I think you’ve answered all my questions. Is there anything else that you would like to discuss now if anybody is interested in learning more about Webinar Ninja?

Omar: They can check out webinarninja.com as well as we have a free course. If you wanna just learn how to run your first webinar, or how webinars all work. It’s a seven-part video course that is well done and highly produced and just gets you started, if you’re interested in learning how people use webinars to grow their business.

Sarah: Oh okay, cool, yeah, I think I’m gonna need to sign up for that. I appreciate your time. It was a lot of good information, and I’m curious to learn more on that course and get a webinar started.

Omar: Awesome, well thanks Sarah. If you need any help, of course, you could reach out to our support team. They’re super helpful, and, yeah, happy to have you.