Using your existing WordPress website, YouTube Live (previously “Google Hangouts”) , a free chat program and your email marketing tool of choice – you can host your own Webinar for free! You really don’t have to spend more on 3rd party applications. I will show you exactly how I create pages to host my own Webinars and share with you the entire process I take surround a webinar.
Below is a screenshot my live webinar page built with WordPress:
Of course, more goes into hosting a webinar than just the live page! You need to be able to collect signups to your event, send them to a thank you page, create the event page, create the replay page, setup emails and promote like crazy!
Last week I hosted a webinar to launch my latest Course Lady WordPress theme. I recorded everything I did to setup for the webinar so I could share it with you!
For the complete list of steps I took surrounding my latest webinar, you can download my webinar checklist!
And here are the steps I take to host my webinar in written form…
1 – CREATE 3 Pages in WORDPRESS
First, I created 3 pages in the WordPress backend. You can keep them blank for you, you just need these pages created so you can use the urls in the following steps.
The pages you need to create include:
- Webinar Signup Page (collects emails of everyone who wants to attend)
- Webinar Event Page (hosts the live webinar even)
- Webinar Thank You Page (subscribers are thrown to this page after email confirmation)
2 – EDIT YOUR WEBINAR SIGNUP PAGE
Now we are going to edit your Webinar Signup Page. This is the page you are going to drive traffic to so that people who are interested can “sign up” for your event. To collect signups, you will simply embed a form from your email marketing tool (MailChimp, Convertkit, AWeber.. whatever).
Pictured above is my Webinar Signup Page using my “Lead Page” Page template available in my Boss Lady Theme. Of course, you can also use ANY page on your website to embed a signup form but a page with less distractions is better for conversion.
Note: To embed any code inside a WordPress page, you must click on the “text” tab.
- I create a new form and create an “inline form” then embed that into my page.
- I send them to the Thank You Page once they’ve confirmed their email address (I already have the url because I create that page above)
- I add also automatically add them to a webinar email sequence (they get ANOTHER email immediate with a google event link and a link to the event page).
On the signup page, I keep the description pretty short. I make sure the date and time is clear and I list a couple of benefits of attending. I also mentioned that there will be a recording after the workshop (I think this might have helped get signups but probably didn’t help with live attendance so it’s something I’m playing with 🙂 ).
Also note that Convertkit, MailChimp and most email marketing apps have Landing Page tools so you can use their hosted solution to collect signups. I like to host the page myself because then I have the opportunity to redirect traffic once the event is over but other than that, I don’t see a problem with a hosted form for this step.
2 – EDIT YOUR WEBINAR THANK YOU PAGE
Your ‘Thank You’ Page or the ‘Confirmation’ is the page that you send your subscriber once they’ve confirmed their email address. On this page you will let your subscriber know that the registration process has been successful and here are a few other smart things that you can add to make this page better:
- Remind them of the Date of the Event
- Include a Google Event Calendar Link so they can easily add it to their calendar
- Communicate that they should expect more emails the day of the event to remind them
- Track Your Page Conversions by setting up a “Goal” in Google Analytics
- Ask your subscribers to take further action (share button or survey)
I decided I’d like this opportunity to find out more about my registrants with a quick survey. The answers helped figure out how familiar was audience was with the subject matter and also know what they’d be interested in learning to help decide on what I was going to say!
I was actually quite surprised with how many people took my survey (about 60% conversion!) . I used the Opinion Stage Plugin to create a short survey and then embedded the code in my site. I think what helped encourage feedback was keeping the survey short and also telling people how many questions there are so they know what to expect.
3 – EDIT YOUR WEBINAR EVENT PAGE
Finally, we are ready to create the page that is going to HOST the live Webinar. This is the page that people are going to visit on the specific date the time you gave them to see you do your thang.
3. 1. Install Beaver Builder
I like to have two columns for my webinar page: Webinar video on the left and chat on the right. The easiest way to create columns in WordPress is to use the Beaver Builder Plugin (the free version will do). Below is what the Beaver Builder Page Builder looks like in action.
3. 2. Create a YouTube Live Event and Grab the Embed Code
I use Google Hangouts on Air to broadcast my webinar. As of Sept 12, 2016 – they moved this service to YouTube live (it’s really just the same thing but you take different steps to set it up). YouTube automatically records the webinar and keeps a copy on YouTube (selecting the video as unlisted will keep it out of your main channel)
3. 3. Paste the Google Hangouts Embed Code into Your Page
With my Boss Lady theme, I set the page to use the template: “Landing Page – No Header” but again, you can use embed the code on any page in WordPress site.
Edit your page and Launch the “Page Builder” (that’s Beaver Builder’s Page Builder). Create to columns and embed the code in the column on the left.
- Go to Row Layouts and add a new row with two columns.
- Drag an html content module into the leftmost column
- Paste the Google Hangouts on Air embed code (I also edit the embed code to make the size of the video bigger.
- Lastly, I drag the video column to be 70% of the row (so the video side is around 2/3 of the row and leaving the chat column to be 1/3).
3. 4. Create a chatWing Chat Box & Embed the Code on Your Page
I use ChatWing to create a chat box for my webinar (it’s totally free to signup and use). Once you sign up, create a new chat list box. I don’t do much with setup besides changing the colour of the box to match my branding.
Then, grab the embed code (iframe) and paste it into the column beside the video just like you did the Google Hangouts on Air.
3. 5. I add a “Click to Tweet” & Embed the Code to the Bottom of Your Page
While people are listening to the live webinar, I like to give them the option of sharing the event! I created a Click to Tweet with a link to the original signup page.
Remember that subscribers will get redirected to the ‘Thank You’ page so to streamline this better, change your email setup to send them immediately to the live event page right before the webinar goes live.
4 – PROMOTION
I sent out an email to my existing list a week before the workshop and got them to signup simply by clicking on a link to my Thank You Page (in Convertkit you can tag people who click links on your email so anyone that clicked that link got tagged as a Webinar subscriber).
Then, I started promoting the webinar 2 days before the start date which meant sharing my signup page: I scheduled SEVERAL tweets. Shared the event on facebook and instagram and also went onto Facebook Live half an hour before the event.
5 – SETUP EMAIL REMINDERS
I scheduled two emails to remind subscribers of the event. One email went out an hour before and another 15 minutes the start time.
6 – WEBINAR GO LIVE
When I went live, I have a copy of the chat in my ipad (Chatwing lets you easily see the live chat by going to www.chatwing.com/<name of chat room> )
Simply navigate back to the event you created…
My Channel > Video Manager > Live Streaming > Events > Start Hangouts on Air > Start Broadcast
Note, before you click Start Broadcast, you can call up other people if you are hosting the webinar with others. You don’t go live until you hit “Start Broadcast”.
Google Hangouts on Air lets you use your camera to introduce yourself and then, using the menu on the left hand side, I did a screen share of one of my monitors. First, I shared some slides I created with Keynote and then I shared my browser for a live demo.
6 – CREATE A REPLAY PAGE
After the live webinar was over, I went to the video through my YouTube channel, copied the embed code and pasted it into a new Webinar Replay Page.
Then, I sent out an email for everyone who signed up for the webinar to check out the replay video in case they missed the live event… and created some urgency saying the video was only available for a limited time.
My replay page also contained a link to my new WordPress theme and a promo code. I also included that same information in the email to make sure people saw it.
Lastly, I wanted to catch any traffic still going to that live page and redirect them to the replay page so I used the redirection plugin.
7 – PROMOTE THE REPLAY!
Lastly, I wanted to get more mileage out of my webinar so I decided to promote the replay video for one week. It’s a great opt-in incentive and also a good opportunity to get more sales!
- I changed the WorkShop signup page to make it a signup page for the REPLAY video (that’s just changing text)
- I create a new signup form in Convertkit and sent subscribers to the Replay Page on confirmation (instead of the thank you page)
- I created some banners with Canva
- I added an Optin Popup to my website
- I paid for some Faebook ads that directed leads to my Replay Signup Page.
- I promoted the replay on social media
And that’s it!
I promise you that once you go through the steps once, you’ll get the hang out it. Once the webinar is over and you are finished with the replay, you can use the redirection plugin to redirect traffic to your homepage. Then, simply put your 4 pages to “draft” status. You can reuse these pages for your next webinar (just rename the pages and edit the urls). Easy peazy.
If you are interested in Hosting a Webinar, grab my Webinar checklist! It’s an easy to follow summary of every step I listed above