Charge For Webinars? Of Course You Can!

Note: About halfway into writing this I realized that every vendor I talk about in this piece has a free or $1 trial offer so if you want to try to do this, look at the links at the end of this – and my very cool (I pay you / not vice versa) offer. We’re talking $0 for your entry into the paid Webinar game.

I’m in the middle of my Summer Webinar Series so when Tim Bourquin pointed out this silly blog post, I had reactions on multiple levels. Took me a day to digest this stuff but … let’s examine the issues at play here.

First of all, yes, my Summer Webinar Series is “free.” The goal of this series is simple – I’m building up a great opt-in list of people interested in the monetization of New Media. Will I be offering this list paid Webinars down the line? You bet I will.

What I think “The Webinar Blog” is trying to say (in a nutshell) in this post is “you can charge, but it is easier not to.”

Of course it’s easier not to charge for anything, but sometimes, you want to pay the bills. And, trust me, what I will do with the list gathered from my Summer Webinar Series will pay the bills quite nicely. And of course, I could enter my token “and if you pay the bills doing this, you can offer even better content cause you’re not competing with your day job any more” comments but I won’t (in this post at least).

Rant over – back to content.

My favorite model for Webinars is this – do a live Webinar event and then produce the event into a Podcast. Here’s a recording I did about that very model (yes, that one is free – but you bet there is a paid option to0). There are paid and free paths to this model – depending on what your end game is.

How Do You Charge For A Webinar? Is There Really No Easy Mechanism?

Actually, there is an incredibly easy mechanism.

1 – Charge them for the “ticket” using anything from PayPal (free) to AutomateSales.com (30 day free test drive) to my favorite – Premiumcast.com (not free for the ecommerce mechanism – but keep reading).

2 – On the thank you page, give them the registration information for your Webinar. My favorite companies – GoToWebinar (Free Trial available) and InstantTeleseminar.com ($1 for 21 day trial – and it’s not just teleseminar – they’ve got webinar features included). I’ve used GotoWebinar for the first 3 Webinars in the Summer Webinar Series – the one this Wednesday will use InstantTeleseminar for the Webinar on Blogging.

That’s it. It’s pretty easy.

Bonus …

3 – Offer those who can’t make it a live a chance to catch the recording of the event. Now you know why I’m such a big fan of Podcasting.

So, this offer I hinted at in the first paragraph of this piece.

May I challenge you?

May I give you some free publicity?

May I pay you for your Webinar?

1 – Anyone who posts a legitimate paid Webinar in the comments below, I’ll compile them all for a big post with lots of link love and Google juice spillover. You can do this! Let me send you some traffic.

2 – The first three people to post a legitimate paid Webinar (with a topic that interests me) with a ticket of less than $100, I’ll buy a ticket. Can’t promise I can attend but you’ll provide that archive option now, won’t you? I’m not willing to be your only customer, but I’ve very willing to be one of a small crowd. Remember, when you’re done, you’ve got content you can do some very cool things with later. Let me pay you.

3 – If you use Premiumcast.com to run this, I’ll refund you your first 3 months (whatever level you sign up for).

One more time, here are those links:

  • Take Payment For Your Webinar (Credit Cards and Checks) with – PayPal (free).
  • AutomateSales.com (30 day free test drive) is the engine I used to sell 7 figures in products online. They work wonderfully.
  • Premiumcast.com (3 months free if you do this – just leave a comment below) is the engine we use to sell Podcast content (and do I dare say a “version 2 of AutomateSales.com?). This could be perfect for selling access to your Webinar. The system even generates the thank you pages – you don’t even need a web site.
  • “Do” your Webinar With – GoToWebinar (Free Trial available). I’ve done dozens with them and I love their system.
  • Here’s an alternative Webinar Option – InstantTeleseminar.com ($1 for 21 day trial). If you want to see them in action, attend Wednesday’s Webinar (or at least sign up for the archive).

Leave your comments and information about your paid Webinar below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://www.martyfahncke.com Marty Fahncke

    Paul,

    At Conference Call University, we promote and/or produce dozens of webinars every year.

    About 80% of the webinars we produce are PAID webinars.

    Why?

    Because customers who pay for a webinar are much better customers for other products and services. I would much rather have 100 people who have paid $50 or $75 to attend a webinar than 1,000 people who are there for free.

    By paying, the customers are pre-qualifying themselves for additional products, services, and information which makes their lifetime value much better than the freebies.

    We use a simple system of 1ShoppingCart and GoToWebinar to manage the payment and webinar access, and have had great results.

    You can see an example of one of our paid webinars at http://www.SocialMediaMoney.com.

    I would be honored if you checked it out. This one was recently completed with a couple hundred attendees at $67.00 per person for the live webinar.

    Now the archive of the event is online, and I’ve had many, many more paying customers since I made it available “On Demand”.

    I’ve also had the webinar transcribed, turned the transcription into an article, and had the article published in a marketing trade magazine, reaching over 30,000 executives and marketing professionals.

    Charging for a webinar? Check!
    Making money while I sleep? Check!
    Repurposing content? Check!

    Just a few of the things you teach your students…

    Sincerely,

    Marty M. Fahncke
    Founder
    Conference Call University
    Learn. Earn. Succeed.
    http://www.CCULearning.com

  • http://www.e-trainingfordogs.com Cheryl Asmus

    Hi Paul,
    I have been on the feed list of the Webinar blog for a few years now. Ken even wrote a blog about us once: http://wsuccess.typepad.com/webinarblog/2007/05/webinars_go_to_.html
    I have started a business offering dog training via webinars. Some of my classes do very well but it is hard to convince people to pay for them.

    Here is a sample of one of my classes that is only $50:
    http://www.e-trainingfordogs.com/Courses/TD307HouseCrateTrainingToyDogs.php

    I use Paypal to register and take payments.
    I use Adobe Connect Professional to provide the Webinars.
    Some of my classes are Live, but all are OnDemand too.
    Thanks for your pick-me-up.
    It is easy to find free information about dog training on the internet, but with a webinar I can provide quality training that can be individualized and directed toward the owner to work through their problems.
    Time will tell!
    Cheryl

  • http://www.BroadcastingCareer.com Michael Madden

    Great post, Paul.

    Charging for webinars is only a small portion of the benefit. Sure, the instant cash is handy, but repurposing the information is where the back-end stimulation comes from – for us.

    For instance. We use a mentor-apprentice model to train people to break into radio broadcasting. Before hosting our webinars, we’re surveying prospects and students to better determine their needs and wants…which stimulates a better live gate.

    Come webinar time, they’re able to experience a preview of what it would be like to work with an experienced broadcaster, so we’re also successfully planting seeds for a later harvest.

    After the webinar, we whip up a separate page to sell the webinar – http://www.Sportscasting.Info/ for a little back end income, AND exposure to our upsell http://www/sportscastingCareers.com

    Last, but most definitely not least, we use both the webinars and transcripts derived to grow our broadcasting curriculum…which keeps us more up-to-date and relevant than our competitors.

    Disagree with you on GoToWebinar, though. If ones not proficient in camtasia, recording them through GTW is a hassle. I much prefer InstantTeleseminar for the ease in recording they provide.

  • Pingback: Charging For Webinars - Part II | Building Bridges Between Cultures Through Clearer Communication

  • Bronwen Stiene

    Hi Paul,
    Nice idea!
    We have a live video webinar on the 4/5th August (depends where you are in the world). It costs $55.
    The subject is: First International Live Video Webinar with Frans Stiene of the International House of Reiki http://www.reiki.net.au.

    Please find the blurb below and here is the link: http://www.reiki.net.au/copy.asp?id=coursewebinar

    I am the stomper who you told about Premiumcast. I am wanting to sign up to the full version of premiumcast for my digital product sites which are getting created at the moment. Should have the nearly finished by the end of this week. I’d sure appreciate the first 3 months free!
    Cheers,
    Bronwen

  • http://www.andrewflusche.com Andrew Flusche

    Thanks for the great resources, Paul. You’ve inspired me to schedule my first webinar. I’m doing this one for free, mostly so I can learn how to do it and not screw up when I start charging people for attending. Plus I can hopefully start building a list of people who are interested in my material.

    My first webinar is August 18 at 8pm. It’s on Trademark Registration Basics. Here are the details: http://www.andrewflusche.com/blog/trademark-registration-basics-free-webinar/

    Best,
    Andrew

  • http://www.mygiftedgirl.com/ Audrey

    THANK YOU!!! GREAT INFO! I don't have one set up yet, but I am planning to soon. Your post was so helpful. My site is MyGiftedGirl.com. We are a community for gifted and talented girls, women, educators and parents. I will be hosting webinars in the near future.
    Thanks again for your help!

  • http://www.mygiftedgirl.com/ Audrey

    THANK YOU!!! GREAT INFO! I don't have one set up yet, but I am planning to soon. Your post was so helpful. My site is MyGiftedGirl.com. We are a community for gifted and talented girls, women, educators and parents. I will be hosting webinars in the near future.
    Thanks again for your help!

  • amor2010

    Hi,

    I was just wondering is there any way you can prevent people that purchase a ticket to a webinar sharing your registration information with others and therefore people can access your webinar for free and bypass purchasing the ticket?

    I've been searching for an answer to this problem for quite a while now but I can't seem to find a solution..

  • paulcolligan

    As per the article, you can manage that with something like Premiumcast.com.

  • amor2010

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your reply. Just wondering though can I hold a live podcast where people can interact with the presenter like a webinar? Also does premiumcast.com only deal with charging upfront for podcasts? What about webinars?

  • paulcolligan

    Well the definition of a Podcast is a prerecorded event so a “live” Podcast isn't really possible. There are people who offer the kind of service you're looking for though. Try http://www.phoneandwebcast.com or http://www.phonebridgedeluxe.com. These both work great, have trial offers, and produce a good recording in the end that you can eventually make a podcast from.

  • MarkMannering

    Good thoughts here Paul; the main thing I'm struggling with is what's a fair price to charge for a 1-hour or 2-hour webinar? You could get anywhere from 1 up to 500 people attending – I notice your rates are around $50-$60 per person. How long are your typical webinars? Thanks.

  • paulcolligan

    The price of the Webinar is all about the content contained within. I've done lots of free ones and lots of paid ones. It's all about what the content is – not what the price is.

  • Kevin Cannella

    Aloha Paul!

    I am very appreciative of your article!

    Here is my webinar ‘Intensity of Desire’ (http://www.anymeeting.com/PIID=EA50D681884F).
    The webinar demonstrates the importance of Desire in creating what we want in life.
    Participants will learn to take control of their lives through clarifying their goals and developing the necessary energy and desire to bring these goals about.

    I realize it has been over 3 years since your post, but if you are able to give the workshop any publicity – it would be so greatly appreciated.