How to Build an Audience and Sell with Webinars – @kimraluna
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To describe a webinar as an “effective tool” would be a huge understatement. They allow you to reach, teach and sell products and services to your target audience in one fell swoop.
Webinars provide a vast number of benefits all with the same goal; to boost, support and build your business. They allow you to build your business contacts – and more importantly – your precious and valuable email list. You also get the opportunity to establish your business as an authority in its field, which adds value to your business. All this while maintaining close communication with your target audience, capturing sales leads and promoting your products and services. And best of all, you could even do it from the comfort of your living room couch if you chose to!
Kimra Luna is a webinar rock star whose unconventional way of doing business brought her from welfare to a million dollar business owner in just 18 months. Her tips and advice show proven results to grow your business through the power of webinars.
Rich: Kimra Luna is the last person you’d think would become a millionaire. Born and raised on government assistance with no college education, formal work experience and a husband in the same boat, Kimra looked for all the world like she would stay stuck squarely in a cycle of poverty.
After her husband eventually landed a job as a FedEx driver, they decided she should use their tax refund to buy a computer to start an online business. Having never used one before, she watched the many free online resources to teach herself not just how to use it, but how to leverage her new tech savvy to grow a profitable online business. In just three short years, she went from surviving on food stamps to growing her business using webinars and Facebook ads. And retiring her husband within 3 months of starting out online.
At just 29 years old, Kimra earned close to a million dollars in sales in just under a year. Since launching her business in May of 2014, she has inspired over 30,000 people on her list and in her online community to start their own freedom-based businesses, teaching them the technical aspects of growing an online business, along with her philosophy of “throwing value around like confetti.” Over-delivering to clients and customers, she says, is the key to growing a community of raving fans and avid buyers, and it’s not uncommon to find Kimra hosting an impromptu mastermind session at her house or arranging informal meet-ups with members of her members-only Facebook group on the fly.
Kimra’s Freedom Hackers Mastermind has become one of the top Facebook communities for networking and learning how to grow a successful online business. And her $2000 program, Be True, Brand You has almost 500 students enrolled.
Kimra is a happy wife and mother to three boys aged 6 and under and she lives in Riverside, CA.
Kimra: Wait, I don’t live in Riverside, CA.
Rich: You don’t live in Riverside, CA. You just finished telling me that. Let’s try that again.
Kimra: I live in Manhattan.
Rich: Right. You’re going to have to update your bio on your website now.
Kimra: They just updated the mobile version, but I have to update the regular version still.
Rich: Alright. Kimra is a happy wife and mother to three boys aged 6 and under and she lives in Manhattan in New York City. Kimra loves traveling, punk rock, Dr. Who and vegan food. Kimra, welcome to the show.
Kimra: Thank you for having me.
Rich: I’m excited about doing this. We haven’t talked at all about webinars really on this show before, they’re obviously huge. Why do you feel that webinars are a great way to build your business?
Kimra: Well, mainly because I just did it. So when I first started my business in May 2014, I knew just from seeing other people around that doing webinars was what was giving them the most growth in their businesses. I follow so many people online and subscribe to so many emails it’s ridiculous. But I followed tons and tons of people, and it seemed like the ones that were most successful were the ones doing webinars.
So I just thought it kinda makes sense for me to do this. I had already enjoyed teaching and I had some experience before that when I was in qa network marketing company where I would do Google Hangouts from time to time. So I kinda already had a feel for it and I decided to just go for it. When I did my first webinar – which was actually teaching people how to use the online tool called PicMonkey where you can edit graphics – I got 1,000 people on my list within the first 2 weeks. And I know some people will be working for 6 months or a year and never get 1,000 people on their email list. so I’m proof that it works.
Rich: Alright, that’s very cool, and immediately I have a question. So you get 1,000 people to this webinar about PicMonkey, how exactly did you get them to be aware of that and register, what was the outreach like?
Kimra: I used Facebook Groups. There are some Facebook Groups where you can promote things like webinars or free offers and things like that. So I did use Facebook Groups to promote it and I used Facebook Ads. I’m kind of one of those people, I just decided to go all in, so I did Facebook Ads straight out of the gate when I started my business. Some people wait a year or two before they use them, I decided to do them immediately.
Rich: So you were spending money on Facebook Ads. Do you mind me asking – hopefully I’m not asking anything that’s too personal – but what kind of audience were you targeting with your Facebook Ads?
Kimra: Just other online marketers. People that were in similar space that I was attempting to be in. Just tons of different people like that. I had about 18 different ads running because I knew it was very important to split test your ads. So I started targeting many, many different pages. I would do the same ad and I would just duplicate it and, yeah, my first ads I had 18 different ads running and tested which ones were doing the best and converting the best.
Back then – this doesn’t seem to be the case now because they’re a lot more competitive now – but back then I was getting $1 a lead so it was working pretty well. But I definitely was testing them straight out of the gate as well.
Rich: Alright, so you did a lot of split testing to find out which was going to work more effectively. How quickly were you shutting down or tweaking ads that were performing poorly? Did you give it a week, two days?
Kimra: Yeah, like a day if it wasn’t. I didn’t have much money then, I wasn’t really making money yet so I didn’t want to just be throwing money away. So I didn’t even really tweak them I was just turning those ones off.
Rich: You’re dead to me!
Kimra: Yeah, you’re dead to me, I’ll try again next time. So when I first started I wasn’t really selling anything to people on these webinars I was just asking people to join my new Facebook Group – which is called Freedom Hackers Mastermind – and I started that the same time I started my business.
I would say, “Hey, everybody join my group!” And then what I did is I actually started doing webinars for the people that were in the group. I didn’t even promote too heavily on Facebook Ads, I started just promoting to my email list and promoting to the people who joined my group. And in the group I would actually ask people what they wanted to learn about and I would let them vote on the topics I would do webinars on.
So every single Saturday I would do a webinar. My husband was working a fulltime job working for FedEx so Saturdays were the best days for me to do webinars. So every Monday I’d post to the group and ask people and tell them what they voted for and what Saturday’s webinar would be about. And that’s what I did, I gave them what they wanted.
Rich: In the beginning the only thing you were doing – the only ask, the only sell – was to get them to join this group, which was 100% free. So you’re just building your audience at this point?
Kimra: Yes. I had listened to hundreds and hundreds of podcast interviews and watched tons of other webinars and trainings and I had heard you can’t sell something if you don’t have an audience to sell it to. So I figured, you know what, I’m going to build and audience.
And previously before I had my current business, I had actually had a health and wellness blog and I had grown a pretty large audience on that. But the people for some reason really weren’t wanting to buy from me. And I think it’s because I was giving away so much for free that they were used to that. So I figured with this new business I’m going to give away free for a certain amount of time, then I’m going to be selling a lot more.
So when I was doing these free presentations it was really interesting because people started to email me asking if they could work with me one on one. So I did start making money actually right away and in my first 6 weeks I ended up making $10,000 from people who hired me one on one. At that point I had asked my husband he should probably leave his job now because I’m actually making more than you now,and he thought that was a good idea.
I wanted more clients and more time to start putting stuff together like more digital programs. I did have a digital program when I first started but it was kind of attracting the wrong customer, not the ideal customer that I wanted in the long run. So I ended up scrapping it – which was a mistake – I should not have created a course before I had an audience, that was very dumb of me. But I learned from that mistake and I created my signature program called, Be True Brand You, which was created off of what everybody in my community and what my first initial clients all wanted to learn I put into that program.
Rich: Ok, interesting. So you’re building this audience – and I want to get to that – but I want to take a step back for a second here. When somebody saw this ad and it resonated with them and they wanted to go to one of your webinars and they click on that, what are the steps that they saw, where did you take them when they clicked on your ads?
Kimra: They click on the ad and it takes them to the Landing Page, they sign up with their email and then they get a “thank you” page that thanks them and tells them to be sure to join my Freedom Hackers Mastermind group,a dn then of course they get the following emails for whatever webinar presentation they signed up for on it, and then I would host the webinar.
Rich: Ok. I notice now on your website that you’re using Leadpages, was that the tool that you were using back then when you first started?
Kimra: Yes, I’ve always used Leadpages from first the day I started. Almost all the tools I’ve used since the day I started.
Rich: It seems like in our industry that webinars are an hour long, 45 minutes of conet and 15 minutes of Q&A or sales. Is that pretty much what you do or do you have a different format?
Kimra: Pretty much. In the beginning I’m a believer in sharing your story and share case studies and do 25-30 minutes of real actionable content that they can apply to their business or their life or whatever it is I’m teaching on right away. And then I get into a little pitch and then after that I do a Q&A. So it’s not like some secret formula, it’s a formula that works. A lot of people in the industry use that sort of same kind of parts in their presentation and it works very, very well.
Rich: I think a lot of people, when they hear about webinars, feel that they’re going to be dull or dry. How do you keep your webinar lively and interesting, how do you keep people from multitasking like checking their email while you’re talking and then all of a sudden they miss it and just kind of give up on it?
Kimra: So typically in the beginning of a webinar presentation I actually ask people to close down all that stuff. If you have committed an hour of your time, i’m committing an hour of my time as well, so we’re committed to each other. And that actually helps a lot. You would be surprised at how much more attentive people are when you actually literally just ask them to commit their time to you. I usually say that I spent hours of time putting this presentation together, and if you really want to learn this content you’ll pay attention for an hour. And it actually works quite well.
I was surprised at first, I wondered if I was being mean by saying “Close down your Facebook, close down your tabs, get out a pen and a piece of paper and we’re going to learn some real stuff here.” But my audience also has learned that I’m the kind of person that gives ridiculous amounts of value inside a presentation. I’m not a person that’s afraid to give away my best stuff, even at something that’s free. I know a lot of people hold back, but I’m a person who believes in abundance and I don’t believe in there’s only so much that you can share and if you accidentally share something that’s inside your program then no one is going to buy your program. I don’t believe in any of that stuff, so people typically know that straight out the gate a Kimra presentation is going to be intense and they’re going to learn so much stuff and they’re ready to rock and roll. so my audience is almost kind of trained and accustomed to that and know that my webinars are going to blow them out of the water every time.
Rich: That’s good to know. How do you segue from the valuable content that you are delivering into the pitch?
Kimra: Well I usually mention in the very beginning of the presentation that there will be a pitch at the end but after the pitch I will answer any questions you have related to this topic.
Rich: Which gives them an incentive to stick around for the pitch because undoubtedly they’ll have some questions.
Kimra: Yes. And that’s typically what people want from a person, they want a little bit of that one on one time. I don’t do private coaching so the time that they get with me is that Q&A time in the chat box.
I also use a Google Hangout with a chat box called chatWING, where we’re actually interacting with each other, and that – to me – makes the presentation stronger. A lot of people use GoToWebinar, but the thing I really actually literally hate about GoToWebinar is that people in the chat box can’t chat with each other. And I know that seems weird because you’re like, “Well, I want them to only be paying attention to me.” But when they’re interacting with each other it makes it feel like a community, not like I’m a lecturer in front of a college class. It makes it more of a community feel and so that’s something that’s different for me.
I think with my presentation, most of the people in the industry that are kind of like top leaders, they all use GoToWebinar and I actually feel like they would be stronger if they had a different webinar platform that would give them a better chat box option where people can intermingle. That’s just something that’s my personal beliefs.
But I know you were talking about how do you segue into that pitch, and I ask questions. I literally ask them, “Did you get value out of this presentation? What is something that you learned?” And people in the chat box will write what they learned and they’re already fired up. I think there’s this whole synergy behind it and I think that’s why the chat box is so important when it comes to actually converting sales is because you’re talking directly to the people and they’re seeing other people’s questions and they’re commenting on the great questions. To me it’s just a different type of vibe.
Giving them the pitch is actually really easy. I was a person, of course, who was terrified of getting to the pitch because I had never sold stuff before really. I had made little bits of money here and there online but I’d never really sold things that cost over $1,000, and my Be True Brand You program is $2,000, so I was terrified of getting into a pitch to sell something like that. But it felt easy because I just felt like I was having a conversation with people. What I would do is say, “I don’t know why you showed up to this presentation, maybe you were really struggling with this, this and this”, and I’d look at some of the pain points that they were having around that topic and then I would just present my program as the solution to that and share all the benefits and how it can solve those problems for them.
And that’s really all I do. I’m a pretty light pitcher compared to most people. Some people have really a hard pitch, I’m kind of gentle with it compared to most. And I still was able to generate over $1 million dollars in sales in 18 months of being in business by not being hardcore aggressive when it comes to the pitch. Which makes me happy, because it means that my presentations give the people so much value that they wanted to join my program, it was a no brainer to them.
Rich: That’s awesome. So just kind of reiterating what you said, first of all one of the things is getting them to shut down their windows so they’re actually paying attention. Then using that separate chat feature – not using GoToWebinar, using Google Hangouts – and knowing there is already some hubbub going on and they’re already talking to each other so it feels more like a community.
And I love those 2 questions that you threw out there, “Did you get value today?” and “What did you learn?” So they are really excited, and then all of a sudden you say, “There is something more that you can do if you want to take things to the next level.” And all of a sudden it becomes a more natural thing. How long is your pitch, would you say, on average?
Kimra: My pitch on average is usually 10-15 minutes, particularly for my Be True Brand You program because it’s quite an extensive program. I do have a new program that came out that talks about webinars, and the sales page on that one is shorter, it’s not a super lengthy program so that pitch is a little bit shorter. I might lengthen the pitch on that one, I’m still testing the waters. with it because it’s my first evergreen program that’s going to be open year round. so I’m still tweaking things like that with the pitch. But so far so good, so far I’ve been able to convert about 18% of the people into sales.
Rich: That’s fantastic.
Kimra: Yeah, so I’ve done pretty well, and most of that has been to a cold audience, so my goal was to be able to do 20% to a cold audience. And then once I’m able to do that a few times, then I might put the webinar on some automation. But I like to do live because I know with automation you typically don’t convert as strong or as many people as you do doing it live, so I prefer live.
I know tons of people that do automated webinars and they do great, but it’s like the amount of people that actually do watch the presentation compared to who signs up is still small. They’re still making a profit but it’s still so small I’d just rather do it live.
Rich: Yeah, I hear that. So when you’re all done and the webinar is over, what kind of follow up do you do with your attendees or registrants?
Kimra: Depending on the presentation, with my current one, they attend one of the webinars and I have a sequence of emails after that that goes out to them that covers some of the objections if they don’t buy. Right now I think my sequence has 4 emails that are going to be going out after the presentation. Not every single day, but every other day, to cover some of those objections that people have about webinars. Some people are terrified of them, so I have an email talking about that and share some stories of people who overcame and some experiences that they had on their very first webinars. And then I have other emails that kind of go over the technical stuff and I show them step by step how to get through that. then I share a testimonial from someone that says, “Kimra’s program helped me get over all those technical hurdles.” So just a few follow up emails like that.
Rich: That’s really helpful. And it sounds like you split it based on what people bought or didn’t buy. And you actually split it between people that actually showed up for the webinar and didn’t show up for the webinar?
Kimra: Yeah, there’s different ones. If people actually showed up for the webinar and actually clicked on the live link in that email to attend – I usually just send out an email like and hour before – if they clicked on one of those to actually join live, then those people get put on a particular sequence. Then the ones that didn’t join, I end up sending them the replay, dn if they click on the link for the replay then they start getting the sequence. So I don’t give the sequence unless they actually show a lot of interest where they actually clicked on either the replay or the actual webinar. And that’s kind of my strategy as of right now, it’s still something I’m kind of tinkering with.
Rich: And do you mind me asking, what are you using for your marketing automation for these email follow ups?
Kimra: I use Ontraport. I’ve been using Ontraport since I started.
Rich: Alright, excellent. They are a sponsor of Agents Of Change, so that’s kind of cool to hear. So you shared with us some of the tools that you’re using. Are there any other tools that you haven’t mentioned that you find are critical to the success of putting on good webinars?
Kimra: Yeah, one of the things that I love using is Evernote. When I was building my business I was pregnant most of the time, so I actually was really uncomfortable with sitting at my computer desk, so I would use Evernote on my phone to actually write up the content. So I would be laying in bed writing the content on Evernote, and then when I’d get to the computer I would just copy and paste all that information into slides and I was done. So that’s a trick for people that are maybe on the go and need to write some content for a webinar presentation. So there’s no excuse, plus if you have a VA or an assistant you can just send them the Evernote link and they can make it into slides.
(Learn how to Make the Most Out of Your Live Webcast…)
Rich: That’s a nice time saving hack. One last question is, your stuff is online courses and that does tend to be something that really sells well in webinars, but what about people who are listening who maybe have a physical product or a more traditional business? Is there a different way to do webinars, or do webinars even work if you’ve got a physical product or service to sell?
Kimra: Webinars actually work better if you have a service or physical product to sell.
Rich: How so?
Kimra: So I have a friend who sells jewelry and she sells jewelry made with different crystals and stuff and she actually does webinar presentations which are actually meditation circles. So she invites people to be in these meditation circles, and then at the end she sells the jewelry that goes along with it and almost every single person that attends the webinar buys. Almost every single person.
Rich: What’s the name of this person, I’ve got to check this out?
Kimra: Well she doesn’t like me to say who she is, she’s already asked me not to. And I’ve seen a few other people do it, too, on other platforms. I’ve seen people on Google Hangout doing meditations and lighting candles putting the crystals all around and then they’re selling jewelry. I’ve seen one guy who actually sells tennis rackets and he does really well.
Rich: What is the webinar like? Let’s go back to the meditation and crystals.
Kimra: Because you can use a Google Hangout, and a Google Hangout you don’t have to share slides. Everybody thinks that a presentation has to be just slides. It doesn’t have to be slides at all, it can literally be someone looking right at you. So all you have to do is have your camera set up and plug into your computer and you can be wandering around your house doing a presentation.
You can even do a Google Hangout on your phone. You can be holding your phone up like a selfie and be walking around. I knew this one girl that did real estate and she did Google Hangouts where she did it on her iPad and she walked around the house with her iPad during the presentation to show people the house.
Rich: That is very interesting. I love those storie,. I never would have thought of trying to sell a house through a Google Hangout, I never would have thought of creating a meditation circle to sell jewelry. I’m always concerned that people are actually meditating instead of paying attention to me on my webinars. So there’s definitely some opportunity out there that’s definitely worth exploring.
This has been great. And at some point I’d like to have you back on in the near future to talk more about these Facebook Groups and what goes on. I know I’ve taken up a lot of your time today. Where would you like to send people who want to learn more about you? I’m guessing a lot of people are going to want to check you out after this interview.Kimra: Yeah, my website is kimraluna.com, on there I have some super, awesome free stuff to get you rocking and rolling with whether you want to do webinars or just learn how to grow your audience and Facebook Groups, so I’ve got tons of free content there. And my favorite place to hang out is actually my Freedom Hackers Mastermind group on Facebook. If you go to freedomhackers.com it will take you to the group so that you can join and hang out with over 20,000 entrepreneurs who like to kick it and support each other in that group.
Rich: That’s awesome. And of course we’re going to have all the show notes and full transcript as we always do, so be sure to check those out. Kimra, thank you so much for your time today.
Kimra: Thank you for having me.
- Check out Kimra’s website for advice, tips and freebies!
- You’ll definitely want to check out Kimra’s Facebook group to get inspired to be an entrepreneurial rock star.
- Follow Kimra on Twitter for her free-spirited entrepreneurial advice.
- A few tools that Kimra mentioned that she uses with her webinars:
Check out this related blog post too! https://www.theagentsofchange.com/agentsofchange/james-hilliard/