Lisa Robbin Young

BEFORE WE BEGIN: I just want to let you know that my new web-based reality mini-series "30 Days To $5k" is now in full swing. Episode 1 aired Friday to an audience that praised the originality and risk-taking edge of the show. If you haven't yet seen the trailer for Episode 1, you can do that here. If you're already enjoying the show, THANKS FOR WATCHING!

Okay, on with #CreativeFreedom!

Webinars are becoming a popular lead generation tool, but if you're doing them wrong, you're actually doing more harm than good to your business... especially in the era of video - where people aren't held hostage in a conference room.

If you're brand new to hosting webinars or any kind of virtual events, I encourage you to experiment and get your feet wet - you'll never know how well it works for your business if you don't try. That said, there are three very SIMPLE things everyone can do - whether you're brand new or a seasoned pro - to make your webinars infinitely more valuable to your viewer and more effective and profitable for you.

Top three complaints about "crappy" webinars

I did some informal surveying of a few online groups I'm in - groups that regularly frequent (and sometimes pay for) webinars. Regardless of the group, there were three major complaints that rose to the top of every conversation:

1. Not starting on time. People show up ready to learn, and you're dragging your feet, dinking around with the technology, and generally wasting the time of your guests.

2. Spending the first 20-30 minutes talking about yourself. No kidding. I was on a 90 minute webinar where the host talked incessantly about herself for the first 25 minutes. I learned a lot about where she's lived, what she's done, and why she wanted to teach this content, but I learned nothing about the topic I was there for... which I can't even recall now because I left the webinar around the 30 minute mark.

3. Not delivering the content promised. While the majority of respondents recognized that a "pitch" was coming at the end of the webinar (and even expected or looked forward to it), they were also disappointed at how little useful content was shared relative to the length of the webinar. Sometimes, the promised content wasn't even delivered, but instead, an upsell was offered to give them access to that information in a different program. That left webinar attendees feeling robbed, and rightfully so. Even paid webinars had a similar result, though to a lesser degree.

How to ROCK your next webinar - 3 tips (and a bonus)

This week's episode of Creative Freedom (with a special appearance by Toby Keith) turns these tell-tale signs of a crappy webinar on their head and reveals three super-easy tips, as well as a bonus tip for helping you get more out of webinars, virtual events, and any other presentation you're about to do.

Host better webinars by starting on time, sharing appropriately, and rehearsing your material

The minute you implement these tips, you'll see improvements in your presentations (online or off). And they're easy, so there's no real excuse to NOT do them if you're a professional. You'll also notice that none of these tips require any special equipment, no special knowledge, and no special investments. I'm not talking about making your webinars "prettier" here. I'm all for getting started right where you're at with what you have, and "failing: your way through things. However, these are easy steps to improve your talks right off the bat.

Remember, your audience is making an investment of their time in you. That's hours of their life they'll never get back! Are you investing equally in them?

Invest in your audience as much as they invest in you. (Tweet this)

How do you make your webinars more effective?

What have been your horror stories? What's really kept you engaged on a webinar? Share your comments below and be part of the Rising Tide. If you know someone that could use this info, please share it with them. You never know how your act of kindness could change their life or business for the better.