How to host a webinar for free (+ free video tech training)

How to host a webinar for free (+ free video tech training)

Ahh, running a webinar. Is there any phrase that strikes more fear into the beginner entrepreneurs heart than presenting, and possibly even pitching something paid, to a live crowd of people? Not only that, but having to figure out the technology as you go is enough to turn some of you off this amazing list building tool forever. And then there's the cost, which for some platforms is upwards of $50 to $100 US a month. Seriously, that's outrageous, especially when I'm going to teach you how to host a webinar for free 😜.

There are several reasons why you might want to host a webinar, like:

- you want to grow your email list fast
- you want to launch your in-person programs or services
- you want to launch an online program
- you want to partner with someone else, pitch their program, and collect affiliate sales

I didn't start doing webinars in my nutrition business until I was ready to sell online programs, and even then I only used them as part of my launch process. For example, when I was launching my 8-week Mama Mojo program, I did a few different webinars about how to get rid of menopause and PMS symptoms. My course was going to teach them how to balance their hormones by eating whole foods, doing gentle detoxes, and a few other lifestyle changes.

I had a launch goal of $10,000, and my course was $497, so I would have to sell 20 spots to get to my goal ...

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Behind the scenes of a $10,000 online course launch

Behind the scenes of a $10,000 online course launch

I've been asked over and over again about how I launch my online programs, so today I'm spilling the beans behind the $10,036.80 launch of my Brand, Build, Blog course (BBB: A branding & blogging course for holistic biz owners) to an email list of just 400 people. This course has since sold another $4,049.59, since it's an evergreen course and is available year round (numbers up to date as of Oct 11, 2016), bringing it's 8-month total to $14,086.39.

I'm going to break down the timeline of the course creation, launch timeline and sales, plus my secret weapon to creating this profitable online course.

I've often been asked how I come up with my ideas for online courses, and to tell you the truth, the idea for them usually comes to me fully formed in my head ... but only after years of developing my own personal skills and knowledge in the area that I'm going to teach and being able to break large concepts down into easy to understand steps.

For example, in 2014 I launched Mama Mojo, an 8-week online course for busy moms who want more energy, balanced hormones, and to calm their digestive systems. While the idea of the course hit me like a lightning bolt, it was based on my 6-month program that I took one-on-one nutrition clients through for 5 years before that. I guess you can say it was 5 years in the making. I knew the 6-month program worked, so I just translated it into an online version. That course went onto sell $11,114.90 with 2 launches spaced 6 months apart.

For BBB, I had been doing one-on-one Biz Strategy Sessions where people kept asking me about their websites. They didn't know how to design them, they needed help with the copy, and just generally wanted to know how to use SquareSpace better. This is where I started feeling that there was a need for this sort of information so I wouldn't have to waste my time repeating myself over and over again.

So, back in 2014 before I launched Mama Mojo (at least an entire year before BBB landed in my brain), I invested in a branding course that was the base of my $20,000 re-brand. A year after that, I invested in a different course that taught me branding AND website development. 4 months before the course idea came to me in late 2015, I had invested in a copywriting course. All of these courses taught valuable and needed lessons in a general sense, but nothing that was geared just towards holistic health practitioners.

There were no copy templates just for us, and unless a fellow holistic practitioner was really interested in design and web development like I was, it would be hard for most nutritionists or essential oil advocates to take the same courses and translate them into a finished profitable website. I knew there was a need, and so I took the best, most actionable concepts that I had learned from those 3 courses, added my own personal spin and experience with them after developing my own website on SquareSpace, and voila, Brand, Build, Blog was born in my head.

Then I just had to get it into a form for others to learn from and formally launch it. No biggie 😳.

Here's the timeline so you can follow along my course creation journey:

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How to grow your business with trade shows

How to grow your business with trade shows

If there's one thing that I used to despise, it was trade shows. I'd stand there awkwardly behind my sparse display (perhaps calling it minimalist makes it better?), waiting for people to come over and talk to me. Instead, they'd cast their eyes to the floor as they snuck by my booth, feeling guilty for not stopping at the 8 foot long table with the white tablecloth, no signs, a few pieces of paper, and 500 business cards. Really, could I blame them? Thankfully, over the past 8 years, I've figured out that you really can grow your business with trade shows.

What was getting in my way when I first started was how do you set up a booth when you have no inventory to sell and all that you offer are health coaching programs? *I* was the inventory! Even if you have an essential oils business, you probably don't carry a lot of inventory to sell retail, but have a whole business based on people purchasing their own product or having a class, and having it shipped to their house.

It doesn't matter if you don't have much (or any) physical inventory, you still have to make your booth or table visually interesting.

I can't count how many times I've went into a store I didn't even like because there was something interesting set up in the front window. There's power in visual displays.

It's the same thing as having a visually beautiful website. The pretty pictures will draw people in, but your amazing written content and valuable expertise will keep them there.

My second problem with trade shows was once the people were there, how to do you turn them into actual paying clients? It's one thing to have someone take your business card, but it's entirely another thing to have someone pay you for your program after they found you at a trade show, especially if your programs are 3 or 6 months long and close to $2,000 like mine were.

After a few years of horrible waste of time and money trade shows (my fault, not theirs!), I came down with a system that worked to bring in hundreds of new email subscribers and new paying clients. Here are 9 things to keep in mind to grow your business with trade shows:

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What email software to use in your biz

What email software to use in your biz

I get the question of "what email platform should I use in my business" at least once a week. When I first started, there was only a handful of email marketing software companies, but now the possibilities seem endless: Mailchimp, AWeber, MadMimi, Constant Contact GetResponse, ConvertKit, InfusionSoft, Ontraport ... and that doesn't even include the multi-tool platforms (that include extra robust shops and even online course hosting) like the New Kajabi and Shopify. How do you even know where to start?

You make an educated decision and move on. Seriously.

Whatever success you want to create, whatever feats you want to achieve, whatever dreams you want to make real, you can, and you don't have to do impossible, extraordinary things to make that happen. But you have to do SOMETHING. ~ Jeff Olson

You could debate until you're blue in the face which one to choose, but as in life and anything biz related, there won't be just one platform that will have everything you need all in one place and is the best at all of them. It doesn't exist.

One company might be better at getting through spam filters while another will give you the ability to create multiple lists and track clicks.

You've got to pick the one that ticks most of your boxes, then make it work for all it's worth.

However, if there's only one thing that you learn from this blog post, it's that you need to be growing an email list for the success of your business.

Whether you choose one of the companies I list below, or go with another completely different one, promise me that you at least HAVE an email list.

This is one of the top 3 mistakes I made in my first year as a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, and I don't want you to make the same one that I did.

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9 things you can do when business is slow

9 things you can do when business is slow

It's summer right now, which means that everyone is out on their boat, at the beach, the cottage, out of town, visiting friends and families, having BBQ's, drinking bevvies on a patio, and taking the kids on day trips. All these people are your clients, and they're not interested in working on much right now. There are always seasons in life and in business, and summer is the season of slowing down. Try telling that to your bank account or your credit card company.

It's not just summer either. For us holistic health practitioners, depending on your niche, there's probably at least one other time of year when business is slow.

If you're a massage therapist, chiropractor, or naturopath, the two months before everyone needs to use up their benefits is insanely busy, but the two months after that are probably slower.

If you're an essential oil advocate, the busy times are September to December and March to June. The other months of the year aren't quite as hectic.

If you're a nutritionist, it depends on your niche. If your focus on weight loss, mid-November to the end of December is probably pretty dead, and then picks up in January and February when people realize they have a food hangover. If your focus is something else, you might find that you're busy up until mid-December, and then hit a lull until March when people come out of their winter hibernation.

The point is that there are at least 2 times during the year when you have the space and time to work on your business, not just in it.

You might not be selling a whack load of programs right now, but there are still tons of things you could be doing to build your business.

I have a mainly online based business, so I have a running list of things that I could be working on at any time of the year. Website updates and changes, pics for social media, completing the online course that I just purchased, recording a new webinar, truly the list could go on forever.

You might be just starting a website and realizing that you can use it as your master marketing machine year-round. You might have several social media platforms going that you know you aren't using to their fullest.

You can totally use this down-time to make shit happen in your business and bring in new clients  for the next 6 months, but you can't just try things willy nilly.

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