Breakthrough Marketer

List Building's Number One Trust Builder


By SaRita Custis

Chief Business Growth Strategist

Webinars are, hands down, our absolute total complete ultimate number one choice for targeted list building because…they work!

People expect to get something they can take action on immediately, so they're generally more willing to register for a webinar.

If you're not doing webinars to grow your business, you need to start as soon as possible.

Seriously. I mean think about it:

  • It's an event; people make a commitment to attend.
  • There are no travel costs for you, any guest speakers you have, OR your audience.
  • Since it is an event, its limited-time nature increases participation. People can't procrastinate if a webinar is only available at a specific time.
  • There can be a high degree of interaction so your ideal prospects can get a real feel for who you are.
  • Social Proof from other participants can increase conversions.
  • And it establishes authority for the presenter(s).

Webinars are the bomb, and you definitely want to include them in your marketing arsenal.

But first let's talk about what a webinar is.

It seems like SOME people in the internet marketing community have warped what a webinar is supposed to be. Lately, it seems like webinars are

Buy my product or die

  • 30 minutes of I'm great, I'm good, I'm the best, I'm rich and you're not
  • 30 minutes of my product is the best thing since sliced bread and you'd better get it now or you're going to die
  • And finally 30 minutes of give me yo' money so that you may live

Sound familiar?

Enough already!

At first, webinars were great. You attended, spent an hour or so learning something useful, and if there was an offer at the end, it just made sense.

Now we seem to have accepted this me me me me me junk as the norm.

I don't know what happened! My guess is that people saw how successful others were and tried to model the tactic without really understanding the strategy behind it.

Its time to stop.

Contrary to popular opinion, a webinar is not supposed to be an hour-long high-pressure sales pitch that nobody wants to listen to.

So what is it? Let's look at the word itself. The word webinar is a combination of the words

Web and Seminar

We use the word “web” to refer to the internet which, according to Wikipedia, is “a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to link several billion devices worldwide.”

The Dictionary definition of a seminar is “any meeting for exchanging information and holding discussions.”

So in essence, a webinar is

  • a meeting
  • over the web
  • where you share information.

Webinar Definition
That puts a bit of a different spin on things, doesn't it?

And yes, you can definitely make offers on your webinars, but there are actually

5 different types of webinar you need to do to totally dominate your market

… and none of them have anything to do with smarminess (is that a word?).

Each of them has a very specific purpose, and each of them will help you become the pied piper in your space.

If you've been following me for a while, you know that I use acronyms in a lot of my teaching because it helps me organize my thoughts a little better. Maybe it goes back to my Air Force days, I don't know. In any case, in this article we're going to share how to use webinars to pick up


S is for sales. For most people, when they hear the word “webinar” they immediately assume it's going to be a sales webinar. The goal of a sales webinar is for the attendees to complete a transaction, usually financial.

T is for Training. Training webinars are the single best way I know to build a list of responsive subscribers. In a training webinar, one or more presenters teach the audience how to accomplish something.

E is for Engagement. The desired outcome of an engagement webinar is a list of subscribers who want to hear what you have to say. The engagement webinar helps you strengthen relationships with your customers and prospects because the attendees receive pleasure, inspiration and/or motivation.

A is for Anticipation. The anticipation webinar is all about whetting the thirst of your audience. Its goal is to make them hungry to get what's coming next.

M is for Meeting. Meeting webinars are all about participants sharing information. Sometimes the sharing goes both ways and the attendees share just as much.

So how do all of these work?

Let's look at an example.

Pretend that you own a string of designer rug shops in the northeast US, and you want to use webinars to become the go-to rug guy (or gal) in your market.

You could host a sales webinar where you make a special offer on a brand new line of rugs. It would be similar to a home shopping network segment. You would educate the audience about the rugs and show them all of the reasons they should get one right away. The emphasis should be on what their experience will be when they have the beautiful new rug in their home.

On another day, you could host a training webinar where you demonstrate, live on camera, how to spot clean one of your precious rugs without damaging the fibers. You would likely get very specific, maybe targeting families with small children and teaching them how to remove juice stains from the rug under the dining room table. No selling, just helpful information for your customers and prospects.

At some point you might want to invite your customers to an engagement webinar where you introduce them to one of your premier rug designers from Sri Lanka. That person could tell the story of how their family has been creating beautiful hand-crafted one of a kind rugs for generations. Then maybe you could show images of how these beautiful rugs are being used by discerning shoppers all over the world, not just on the floor, but maybe as art, as window coverings, as table runners, whatever you think of.

Then let's say your customers have been begging you for alpaca wool rugs and you've finally found a supplier who meets your quality standards. You could host an anticipation webinar where you share some of the rugs that will be for sale in a few weeks. It would be perfect for existing customers and for people who responded to an advertisement specifically for alpaca wool rugs in your area. Really emphasize the benefits and tell them to watch their email for an announcement of when they’re available. You could even tell them that if they mention they were on this webinar they get a special deal.

Finally, you could have a customer advisory board meeting webinar with your best customers where they can share with you what kinds of rugs they want, what issues they’re having with your product or maybe with your customer service. You can share with them some of the plans you have for the next season and get their feedback. This builds an incredibly strong sense of community and brand loyalty.

So now that you know the five types, think about how you can implement each into your business. Leave me a comment and let me know which one you're going to try first.

And as always, if you have a question you’d like me to answer, just send it in at