For building relationships and helping the most people, how do open live streams on websites like Dlive, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or Twitch compare to closed webinar formats with things like GoToMeeting or Zoom? I will show you and you can decide although to be honest I am way biased in favor of open sharing after having done both.
Closed Webinars vs Open Live Streams for Teaching and Selling?
I've done almost all my live streams in the open. I've done a live stream with GoToWebinar. I've done a live stream with some other closed thing, Google Hangouts or something like that, and I've done some live streams to a private Facebook group.
Now, let's show you the data. These are all of my videos on YouTube. What you will notice is that there is a bunch of these live videos that have a lot of views and a lot of engagement that came from live streams.
Here's one I live streamed. It's a gaming video.
I've got live streams all over the place that are tutorials.
Here's a live stream Facebook tutorial. If I keep scrolling down, here's a live stream cryptocurrency tutorial.
A lot of these live streams I've done have gotten thousands of views even years after I did them.
Now, compare that with a webinar where if I just did the webinar and only the people who came to it could watch it, I would have got a fraction of the total results.
Here's a live stream I did on Facebook ads, "Free Insider Facebook Ad Training." I show the best of what I learned doing Facebook ads over two years completely for free on YouTube.
I've got thousands of views on this video.
I did the same thing with Poloniex.
I've done a bunch of different live streams and it works way better than doing closed webinars if you actually know what you are talking about and you are proud to present it, and you want people to actually learn from what you have to say without having to pay you.
In my opinion, the main motivation to do a closed webinar is fear. You are afraid that you are going to show everyone what you know. You are afraid that you won't make any money by showing people what you know. You are afraid that if you just do it on live you will make a mistake on YouTube or something.
You are afraid, afraid, afraid.
If you go forward in love and courage, it seems like by far the best option is to do it wide open. If you want some more data, let's take a look at a few different data points.
This is my Thinkific website, which is what I use for my course hosting now. I've not put a lot of effort into promoting this and I earned $40,000 in revenue, nearly all of which is profit.
Now, that's a small part of the total.
If we look at YouTube, over twenty-one million views, and $39,000 in ad revenue.
A lot of the ad revenue was a result of live streams, that then later had ads on them and got watched and helped people discover my video tutorials.
Now, the most money, Udemy with $600,000 earned. A bunch of the course sales were a function of my live streams.
I did live streams on "Facebook Ads" years before I joined Udemy, and then the first course I got that sold really well that inspired everything else was a "Facebook Ads" course that was based on my live stream.
Literally, the first course I uploaded to Udemy was a live stream recording.
A lot of the people who bought the course on Udemy saw my live streams training on Facebook Ads.
On StackCommerce, $129,000 earned.
A lot of the sales on StackCommerce are coming from things that I originally live streamed, and then I put into a paid video course.
Now, if you think that doing a paid webinar or a free closed webinar is a better way to do it, here's another data point.
In six and a half years of doing business online, I have never once ever went to someone else's webinar that was not on a platform I already used.
I went to a webinar for Udemy instructors hosted by Udemy.com on Google Hangouts. I never once have been through someone's squeeze page and join their webinar, despite seeing hundreds, if not thousands of them, despite advertisers paying to get me to see it, not once ever have I went to someone else's closed webinar.
Because I'm not interested in going to someone's sales pitch, which might show me a few tips, and then getting sold some course for several hundred dollars that only happens to be available for free.
I'm not interested in having to be online at a very certain time to watch a presentation that you could record and put it up on YouTube that I could watch whenever I wanted to, and that other people could watch for me, and then they could decide whether it was worth watching for me or not.
What's amazing about these free platforms is that other people help essentially review the webinar.
Why the hell would I want to go to your closed webinar when I will go watch someone else's on YouTube that people have validated with lots of views, comments and likes, and maybe invalidated with dislikes?
Why would I want to do that?
I don't go to anyone else's closed paid webinars.
I hosted a few of my own and I even had 20 or 30 people come to them.
The sales were abysmal, and then after doing that webinar, sure I could upload it after the fact and put it on YouTube, Facebook or Twitter, but it's not the same as just doing it live.
We can get massive audiences by doing our live streams in the wide open on YouTube. If you are going to spend all that time, energy and effort to get people to watch, why not just put it up on YouTube and Facebook for free and allow anyone to come join in it?
Fear is the only good reason not to do that.
If you are afraid, then there are lots of reasons not to do that, and if you just genuinely have something useful you want to share, there's no reason to put it in a paid webinar, let anyone come watch it.
There is no reason to put it in a free webinar and require someone's email address before they watch unless, in my opinion, you want to exploit them.
Let people come decide for free without giving you anything, not even a like. There have been people who have loved my live streams and learned from them and they have never bought anything from me, they have never said anything to me.
I know this because a lot of people who now are collaborating with me, who are partners, who have shared lots of my videos, who have bought my courses, who have paid for consulting, have told me consistently the same thing.
"I watched your videos online, and then I bought your course." Or, "I bought your course because it was reviewed very well."
It's very easy to sell a video course indefinitely when you do live streams especially on YouTube. On Facebook, a live stream can also be very effective to sell a course, but what a lot of us may get caught up on is impatience.
I did live streams with cryptocurrencies for about a year before anyone bought a course from me on cryptocurrencies.
I first just did it to test it out, "Hey, look. Here are a few things I learned."
Once I started doing live streams promoting a cryptocurrency course I made, a lot of the Thinkific sales and a lot of the ad revenue on YouTube, a lot of the StackCommerce earnings came from people watching the live streams, buying the video course and wanting to see everything in detail that I was talking about.
Live streams on Facebook can do a really good job of getting friends and family involved. You can get a niche audience with live streams on Twitch depending on your topic, You can get one or two people at least to come stop by your live stream even with no existing audience, if you are teaching something that's genuinely useful. There's not a lot of live streams that I've seen like that on Twitch.
A lot of these things I live streamed, I could have easily done a paid webinar for, and the beauty of it is some people will watch a live stream on one thing, and then come back for a completely different topic.
Now, you can also build an email list alongside this. If you have got an email list, I think it's much more effective to promote the live stream available for free because it's easier for people's friends to get involved.
If you are afraid of people forgetting about the live stream, you can ask them, "Hey, would you sign up for my email list to get notifications when I'm live on YouTube, Facebook or Dlive?" or wherever you are live streaming. You can do all of the same things and yet you can make it open and available indefinitely.
You will notice that some of these live streams I did are from a long time ago — I say a long time ago, not in the grand scheme of things — like I live streamed this over a year ago and over that year more people have watched it on YouTube as a video that was a recorded live stream, but I streamed it live on YouTube.
Over the years since I've filmed this more people have watched it after it was over than watched it originally.
Now, if I'd done a webinar that you had to sign up via email and a squeeze page, if I'd done it that way, then I still could have had the original maybe 5,000 views. Would I have got that many views if I had to promote it? But I wouldn't have gotten the twenty thousand plus views over the next year afterward.
It's the same thing with this "Pay per Click Advertising" video. Most of the views came afterward.
Even if most of the people didn't engage with it, that's an opportunity to get back in the newsfeed again, or to get back in the recommended videos again, or to get a completely new audience to discover it.
In my opinion, doing paid webinars or webinars that you have to sign up is a complete waste of time. When you have got a message that's genuinely helpful to share with people, when you want to show someone how to do something, just put it out there for free.
If you have got something you want to sell, do it in the free webinar that's out in the wide open. You can use things, if you want to get a lot of other people talking, you can get them on Zoom to talk with you. You can have a bunch of people all talking at once on Zoom. You don't need some webinar platform to give everyone the chance to participate. You can just do Zoom and live stream your Zoom out on YouTube, Facebook, Dlive or wherever you want to live stream.
You see that when you do it this way, you have got a chance to reach a lot more people. You have got a chance to make a lot more sales and you get rid of all those fake barriers. When you try to do something like a closed webinar where you have to sign up via email and you have to go through, and then show up at a certain time, what you don't see is how many people you are losing through that process and you get sucked into someone else's funnel of having to promote things a certain way.
Then, you have got to get people to sign up for your email and your webinar. You have got to promote it and often this requires advertising, whereas if you just repeatedly do this on YouTube and Facebook for free, you won't have to promote them anymore.
I don't have to spend money on ads promoting my live streams now. A lot of the live streams had hardly anyone watched them at the time, and yet thousands of people often watched them afterward. The free option is so easy that most of us just think it can't work.
Now, there's also another roadblock. If you have been to someone else's live stream and they suckered you in and sold you a $500 course with the same information you could have found for free, if you looked for it on YouTube or Google — it happens.
I bought someone's $500 course just because I liked them and they offered a free call. I literally could have googled the same information I got out of the course. I liked the guy though and I still have credit for my 30-minute call with him and that was not through a webinar, that was through a friend recommending me to it.
What I've noticed is a lot of my friends that work online have been drawn into these webinars, have been sucked into them and they have bought something, often spent hundreds sometimes thousands of dollars, and then they have got the idea that they can do the same thing.
It's not that easy. Often the people who have sucked you into going through their process, you can't repeat that process on other people without spending hundreds of thousands of dollars, without having often products and services not genuinely helpful that cost a lot that are easy to trick people into buying or without having some built-in affiliate system, which makes money in the middle on lots of emails.
You don't often see the entire system if you are going through someone else's. You don't see their whole business setup, and then you think that it's easy to just do this yourself. I've never seen one of the people I've worked with on a consistent basis successfully repeat it, not once.
I've seen a lot try, a lot spend money on software, a lot try to get people to sign up, and you know what they tell me, five people came and no one bought anything.
They spent hundreds of dollars on ads, they spent hundreds if not thousands on webinar software, they spent more money on graphic designers, they spent a bunch of time trying to do the presentation, five people came, no one bought.
There you go.
You have got the data here for you.
You can do whatever you want to.
You want to go create a squeeze page and get people to go to your sign up only webinar?
Go for it.
You can see what I'm doing.
You can see the results I'm getting.
I appreciate you reading this.
I've shared this because I hope it saves you a bunch of time and energy doing things in a way that's proven to be extremely effective for me and in a way that's transparent.
I'm showing you the system I'm using out in the open. You can see it for yourself. You don't have to guess about it and you can see that it's cumulative.
Now, sure, you can do closed webinars and those are cumulative if you keep building your email list, but they are not cumulative in terms of naturally syncing up with everything else you are doing. You always essentially have to sell people on going to another webinar, whereas with this, I don't have to sell anyone on watching another of my live streams.
All I have to do is announce it and say, "I'm doing this," and people show up every time. There's somewhere around twenty to a hundred people who come watch every live stream I do.
That's after two years of live streaming. I don't need ads. I don't need to promote it.
That said, there might be one special case somewhere where you can't show something because it's illegal or you have got this super-secret, occasionally, sure.
I realize it works for other people. This is what works for me, so there you go.
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