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Joel Erway: Jumping Ship, Sales Engineering & The Power of Webinars

We are talking to Joel Erway. He is the Founder of both The Webinar Agency and Experts Unleashed. He has helped generate seven-figure growth for multiple clients using a very powerful technique called the good old-fashioned webinar. If webinars are a new thing for you, you are going to discover the power of webinars. We also talk a little bit about jumping ship, what that was like and sales engineering. This conversation that you’re about to hear is about optimizing any sales presentation. We also get into the three-part ARE Webinar Sales Method. Even if you haven’t heard of webinars or use webinars in your business, but you need to sell and influence, you are going to get so much out of this show. Let’s get to it.

Dustin
Joel, your mom and dad must’ve been proud. You graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering and started your career working for Lockheed Martin. The achiever in you led you to become a sales engineer who grew a brand from $250,000 to $2 million in sales in a few years. Despite all that success, you wanted something different. What was that turning point that led you to escape, to jump ship from Corporate America and get into what you’re doing now?
Joel
I was never born to be an entrepreneur. When I jumped into that sales engineering role, there was this whole world that opened up to me that I found new, exciting and challenging all at the same time. What led me out of that career path was the fact that I was continuing to evolve and trying new things within that current company. Every time that I was trying to do new things, they would shoot it down. What caused me to leave and jump off into doing my own thing was frustration. The things that I was attempting to do were working in a big way. When I would bring it to my boss and say, “This worked. We should do more of this,” he would take it away from me like, “Give it to the assistant. That’s not what you should be focusing on. I want you to cold-call, knock on doors and do a bunch of this old school stuff that is less effective and less efficient than what you are doing.” After I landed a $500,000 contract doing simple email newsletters to my customer list of 100 people, I showed that to my boss. He was like, “You can’t do that. Give it to the assistant.” I was like, “I’m done. I’m out of here.” That was the turning point in causing me to look and explore other options for where I can test, do new things and try some unique experiences on my own. It led me to start my own company, my own business.
Dustin
Do you think it was politics? Was it like, “That’s the way it has to be done?” What do you think was going on in that guy’s head?
Joel
As an intuitive person, I’m always looking and trying to understand how other people think. I’ve asked that question to myself a ton before I left. This was probably 2013, 2014. I kept asking myself like, “Why is he not getting this? Why is he so resistant to this?” I think he was part control freak. He wasn’t that much older than me, which I thought was fascinating. He was not experienced in computers and “digital marketing.” It’s hard even to call what I was doing digital marketing because it was just emailing my customer list, but it worked. His method of prospecting and generating leads was the face of your customer as much as possible. Travel to their office. Ask them what projects they’re working on and be annoying. That does work, but it’s a lot of work. People don’t want to see you all the time. That’s the old school sales mentality.
I was 23, 24 or 25 years old at the time. I was frustrated with that. I wanted to find more effective ways to generate leads and sales. I don’t have a better answer to your question aside from why he didn’t want to do that. I think he saw what I was doing with email as a way to do less work. It was the exact opposite because my territory kept growing. I was originally just driving to Buffalo. It became Buffalo and Rochester. It became Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse and every part of the state west of Albany, which is a huge territory to cover. I started emailing because I didn’t have time to go see everybody. He didn’t want to hear it.
Dustin
A lot of people can identify with that, whether they’ve been in Corporate America and had that boss or had to deal with the politics of it. I always find it fascinating to dig a little and figure out what’s that thing that makes you go. Sales engineer sounds like two different things. I think of an engineer as a circuit board maker and then sales in front of it. Can you explain what you were doing as a sales engineer?
Joel
As a sales engineer, I would generate opportunities and leads. I would help them with their projects with our equipment. I would host these sales presentations and demonstrate our products. “You need to use our products because it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread.” Our customers were thoroughbred engineers. They were design engineers. It was my responsibility to work with them to help layout the projects using our products. Sometimes I’d have to do some load calculations and other times product selecting. I needed to be the interface between those engineers and getting them to understand the benefits of our products.
Dustin
That term sales engineering is in a different context, but what you’re doing now is what you are. You engineer sales. There’s a different meaning on the words and the context. That’s life sometimes playing jokes on us. That jump from something safe and secure into starting your own enterprise is a tough one for people. I had to make that jump, not starting off as an entrepreneur myself. You early on made some very smart personal finance decisions, having been saddled with student debt. Will you talk to us a little bit about that? Did you jump ship with a bunch of student debt or did you pay that off first so you could go and jump ship? How did you play it?
Joel
We were able to eliminate our student loan debt before I jumped off into entrepreneurship because I don’t think I would’ve left without knowing that our debt was covered. When my wife and I got married back in 2011, we both had and I hope everybody does, big aspirations of what you want your life to look like. It took a year or two after us being married to get on the same page of what we wanted our life to look like. I was in the kitchen with her and we had a conversation. I was getting some commission checks. I was spending money on things that I did believe was going to help us make more money and be more financially sound, but I wasn’t getting her approval. We had this serious conversation where we had to get on the same page. She brought it to my attention saying, “If you’re going off and doing this, that isn’t aligning with our end goal of being financially-free, buying the house that we want and starting a family.”
I’m giving you the abridged version. It was a much more serious conversation. I was making more money than her at the time. I still had this idea of like, “This is my money.” I had a very high resistance to that conversation. I opened up and let the walls come down. I saw her point of view and agreed with it. That night, we got on the same page with our finances. We made a conscious decision to make every move as strategic as possible with our finances. What that meant was we needed to pay off our student loans as quickly as possible. With the interest rates, it was all accumulating every single day, every single week and every single month. One of the biggest things that we did to pay down that debt within a couple of years, we’re talking $40,000 to $50,000, was we took our money and pulled it together. I paid every single week against those loans, not every month. I wasn’t paying the minimum. I was putting extra money and sending a check on autopilot every single week to pay off those loans.
Maybe one of these days when I look at it, I will go and calculate how much we saved by doing that. Instantly, that number started to drop. Those bills and debt started to drop. Every time that I got a commission check from my company, we had this plan in place. I would put 100% of my commission check towards my loans. Aside from my bonuses, I was making $40,000 a year. My wife was making $28,000 a year at that time, maybe even less. Together, we’re making gross of $65,000 to $70,000. We had $50,000 in debt to pay off. We did it in a couple of years, thankfully because I had some bonus money coming in. We were also paying every single week against those loans. When you don’t have debt, it provides an immense opportunity and freedom in your life. We have expenses that come up that we weren’t planning for but because we don’t have debt, those become nearly non-issues. It was the single greatest point that I can remember in our relationship. It was having that difficult conversation to get on the same page and come up with a plan of attack to become debt-free. It was before I was even able to jump off into entrepreneurship.
Dustin
I had something very similar take place. There’s nothing like getting on the same page. It makes life a lot easier. Did you build a war chest or a cushion before you jumped ship or did you get back to zero and you’re like, “If I can do this, I can start a business?”
Joel
We did have a cushion. I don’t exactly remember how much it was. The big investments that I made into entrepreneurship when I left were right before I left was I paid $6,000 to join a program called The Foundation. At the time, I had this idea to build a SaaS company. I went through it. I did all the exercises, but I realized it wasn’t for me. That was my first venture into entrepreneurship. I paid $6,000 into that program for a few months and learned a ton. I left my 9 to 5 and started to dabble in my own things and start to build my own business. I wasn’t having much success. At the end of that year in December, I realized I needed to invest into digital marketing. I think this was 2014. Russell Brunson had launched ClickFunnels. He was launching a coaching program at the time. I had seen an ad and didn’t even know who Russell was but I paid him $10,000 to learn digital marketing from him. That was the start of it all. I was probably about $20,000 in investing in myself in training and education to start this business. The cushion that I had is probably $20,000 to $30,000 because I had to pay for some other things there. That was pretty much it. I was pushing it pretty close to my last dollar.
Dustin
Right around the corner, you started The Webinar Agency. How did you come to identify that as being the right opportunity for you?
Joel
This goes back to my sales engineering days. I was giving tons of sales presentations. Optimizing my sales presentations was the single biggest needle mover that allowed me to go from $500,000 in sales to $2 million in sales. When I left and paid $10,000 to join that coaching program, I had a course that I wanted to promote and sell. Russell was telling me, “You need to go do webinars.” I was like, “Webinars are just sales presentation. I’ve done dozens of them in the past.” I learned a couple of different frameworks of webinars. I was like, “I get the idea here. I can do this.”
I launched my own webinar. I was making sales. If I can go back to 2014, 2015, I would kick myself. Knowing what I know now, I was close to having a big success there but just because I didn’t know what I didn’t know, I thought that it was a failure. I was breaking even on ads. A couple of tweaks, I could have been making some good money. I ran out of cash and called up Russell because I was trying to hustle. I called him and said, “I love your coaching program. I’ve got a ton of value out of it, but I’m out of cash for the ads. I need to hustle and make some extra revenue. Do you have any openings to sell your coaching program?” Thankfully, he said no.
He connected me with somebody else in the coaching program which was looking for a salesperson. He was like, “Go talk to Jason. He is looking for a salesperson to follow up with his webinar leads. Maybe you guys can make something happen.” We connected. I talked to Jason. He was like, “Call all my leads that haven’t bought and try to get them to buy.” I looked at his webinar. He was like, “Watch my webinar so you know what I’m selling and then call these leads and follow up with them.” I was like, “I have zero experience in phone sales, but I’m going to try and figure this out.” I watched his webinar. I was like, “There are a lot of opportunities here.” I can’t imagine this webinar is doing all that well.
I call up Jason. I was like, “Out of curiosity, how’s your webinar performing? How many sales are you making?” He was like, “It’s doing okay. I’m doing this because Russell tells me I need to do it. I don’t like doing webinars but we’re at breakeven. I make about one to two sales a week of a $1,000 program, spending about $1,000 to $2,000 a week in ads. We’re continuing to tweak and optimize every single week.” I was like, “Let me do this. Give me the webinar. Let me pitch on your behalf. Let me rework it. If it works great, we’ll split the revenue. We’ll do a 10% commission split. I’ll take 10% of the gross sales that I generate. If it doesn’t, it’s no harm, no foul.” He goes, “Go for it.” It’s like, “I don’t like doing webinars so here you go. Take the reins.”
Two weeks after that conversation, I pitched his webinar. He went from making about one sale a week to making fourteen sales when I pitched it for him. He went from making $1,000 a week to making $14,000 on that very next webinar that I pitched him. That’s when I realized, as an opportunist, that there’s a huge opportunity for me to help people with their webinars. In that coaching program, Russell was telling everybody to do webinars. I had a pool of 20 to 40 targeted leads for myself to help people with their webinars. I ended up sticking around with Jason for quite a few months. I had revenue coming in the door that way. I picked up a few other clients. That was the genesis of The Webinar Agency.
Dustin
If I was doing one to two sales a week and you do this webinar and you jumped me up to fourteen, you’re getting a phone call, not a text. Did that take place? Did Jason call you and say, “Thank you.”
Joel
He hit me up on my phone with Voxer, which is a walkie-talkie app. He was cursing to celebrate. He was screaming of excitement. He had never seen that much success. I hadn’t seen that much success. That was my first success in digital marketing on behalf of a client. I’m like, “That’s awesome.” He texted or called me. The webinar was on a Thursday. He called me up on a Saturday. He was like, “I just want to let you know, I went out and bought a new car with all the money you made me.” I was like, “I hope we continue to make that much money.” It was funny. I was celebrating for him because I made 10% of those sales. It’s worth $1,400 for me, which was big money for me at the time. It’s the first real money that I had made. I knew that this was a big opportunity that lies ahead.
Dustin
You’ve got a formula that you developed. What did you do to improve to get that result? You’ve codified that into a framework. Is that the next best place for us to go, is to discuss like, “How does one make a message so attractive and appealing to get results like that?”
Joel
We can dive deep into it. I’m going to keep it simple because I can also go down a deep rabbit hole. I can break it down into six core elements that your webinar needs. I call it the ARE Webinar Sales Method. As a marketer, I should probably kick myself because it’s a horrible name for a webinar system. Any sales presentation should be composed of three core parts, introduction, content and offer at the end. If we break that down, your introduction should compose of three of the six elements. Those three components represent the A in the ARE. That stands for attraction, authority and awareness. Those are the three things that you have to get developed and get right in your introduction. Let’s start with attraction. Your attraction mechanism is exactly what it says. What is making people excited to learn about this topic and how does it relate to them? What is the big promise that you are going to reveal to them? What are you going to show them that’s possible for this topic that you’re teaching them? Jason was teaching people how to build a business on Amazon using drop shipping. The title was very catchy. It was something along the lines of, “How we generated seven figures on Amazon without touching a single product.” It’s a big promise that gets people to be attracted to the message.
We need to establish our authority. What makes people want to pay attention to you? Why should they pay attention to you? What can you do to prove to them that you are somebody who can be trusted? You don’t even have to be the best in your industry. You just have to prove to them that you’re somebody who they can trust and want to follow. That’s what it comes down to in terms of authority. What have you done to prove to them that you know your stuff? What have you done in the past that gets them to believe that you are the saving grace to bring them forth into the future? If you can establish that authority, you have the credibility to continue on and talk about what you want to talk about. That’s attraction and authority.
Awareness is the last piece in the introduction. It’s all about bringing to light the problems and the opportunity in your marketplace that gets people to understand like, “This opportunity that I’m sharing with you is something so game-changing that you’re going to want to pay attention.” You want to be their research arm. Give them statistics and proof on why this opportunity is so big or if you’re not positioning an opportunity, what are the problems that you’re here to solve. If you go out there and say, “You need to pay attention to this topic because the marketplace is presenting so many hurdles. Here are the hurdles that you have to be aware of.” When you show them that opportunity or the problems that you’re here to overcome, you bring them closer to building that bond with you. That’s all about being the third party research arm. You don’t have to have testimonials and existing proof. Does that help? 100%, but if you’re just starting out and you don’t have that proof, be the third-party research arm. Get those statistics that say, “This is the best path forward.” That all happens in the first ten to fifteen minutes of your webinar and that’s the introduction.
Dustin
I think back to you when you were working as a sales engineer. What if someone finds themselves where they’re not the authority per se on the webinar but it’s maybe a company or they’re a salesperson inside of a company. How does one garner authority in that situation?
Joel
I had to do this when I was a sales engineer. Establishing yourself as that right-hand authority where you’re not the one who created this technology but you’re here on behalf of somebody, it doesn’t take a whole lot of extra effort to establish yourself as the authority. All you need to do is let them know, “I’m part of this team. Here’s the team’s story. Here’s the company’s mission of why I’m here talking about this. I believe in it so much that I’ve done extra research. I’m here to show you that this is the best path forward.” For example, my first client Jason, I was pitching his products on his behalf. The first time I did it, I didn’t have any results. I wasn’t going through the system. I wasn’t a testimonial pitching on behalf. I was just positioned as a team member on Jason’s team. A lot of people think that’s a projection like, “People aren’t going to trust me.” We drastically increased our conversions as a third-party or as a team member pitching on their behalf. I don’t want you to think that you have to be the foremost expert. It’s 100% not true. A lot of times, you can increase your conversions when you position yourself as being part of a team.
Dustin
I’ve had opportunities in the past to work with celebrities. Sometimes it doesn’t make sense to have a big name person do the pitching. It almost detracts because they’re so big. Have you experienced that as well?
Joel
I have experienced that. If the expert can do the pitching, you’ve got some advantages and disadvantages there. Also, there are definitely pros and cons. You want to make sure that they can be an okay presenter, which is also not required. You don’t have to be a rock star presenter. A lot of times, these celebrities don’t have time or dedication. They’re too busy to get on a webinar or a sales presentation and pitch it. It is not a requirement to have them deliver the sales presentation.
Dustin
Attraction, authority and awareness, that’s the intro. We’ve got knocked out. The next step is content, right?
Joel
Yes. I break this down into two of the six elements and it’s all about rapport and relationship. It’s the ARE Webinar Sales Method. A was attraction, authority and awareness, which goes into the introduction. R stands for rapport and relationship-building, which goes into your content. If you’re doing a 60 to 75-minute long webinar presentation, this will take up 30 to 35 minutes of your total presentation. At this point, they’re bought into the opportunity, the promise and who you are as a presenter. The biggest question that you need to overcome is, “Why should I believe you? Why should I trust you?”
We need to establish rapport and relationship-building. This is all about explaining to them that you’ve been exactly where they are. You know how to overcome the hurdles. “Let me give you some content that explains to you that I know how to get past all the hurdles that you’re going to overcome or that you’re going to experience in this scenario.” Usually, what we’ll do is either break it down into three, four or five steps and explain, “This is the five-step process for how we achieve this big promise.” We can also pick three pieces of content that overcomes whatever their existing beliefs are with the system.
I’ll give you another example. It was also in the Amazon space. I was helping a client launch a webinar on how to build another type of Amazon business. It was using distributors instead of private labeling. The first piece of content that we gave them was we wanted to show them what the methodology was, what the system was. We called it the unsexy method for selling on Amazon. What the most popular method was to find bestselling products, model them and siphon off the traffic of the bestselling products. They had this other way to go about being successful on Amazon. We said, “This is the most popular way. This is what everybody is doing. Here’s why this isn’t going to work for you.” We were throwing stones at the old methods. We showed them our new method, which was going after unsexy products that weren’t popular because of all the reasons why they had success. That was our first piece of content.
We showed the opportunity. We used two more pieces of content to crush any objections that they had to why they believe that wasn’t going to work for them. The reason why we did this sequentially was that by the time we got to the last piece of content, they were sold on the system, the program, before we ever got to the offer. We showed them, “I know exactly what you’re thinking. Here’s how we overcame it. Here’s how you can replicate it and do the exact same thing.” You do that two or three times. Those are your sales objections that your audience is going to run into. They’re going to want to buy your product. They’re going to be more likely to buy your product before you ever even pitch them.
Dustin
I remember when I first got started, they let the objections happen and they try to overcome them. In this format, telling stories ahead of time is incredibly powerful. How did you come to realize that?
Joel
For people who are in the sales and marketing world, you always have to be thinking about why somebody won’t buy. You have to be proactively thinking about that. I had to develop that skill when I was a sales engineer because I didn’t have a background in sales and marketing. I was an engineer by trade. As I started giving more sales presentations and knocking on doors, I knew that there were going to be major objections to why somebody would or wouldn’t go with us. I tried to be proactive and overcome them before they came up. You start intuitively thinking, “Why would they say no? Why would they not believe what I’m about to promise them? Why would they want to go with somebody else?” If you can start to think like that, you can start to develop your own messaging and marketing and be way more effective to get people to be much closer to the finish line in terms of winning or losing the sale.
Dustin
I think of my friends who are in the positive affirmation space and of good things. It naturally will come. However, I love this line of thinking. All salespeople and entrepreneurs should adopt this. It’s not like they’re not going to buy, but it’s thinking of that reason and planning for the worst-case scenario. If you’ve got an answer for it, you’re the problem solver. You have the solution. They’re going to move forward and do it. I’m in alignment with that. Rapport and relationship-building are part of the content. It’s two to three pieces of very powerful content stories and statistics educating them. Are we ready for offer yet?
Joel
Yes. There are lots of different ways that somebody can go about presenting the offer. I prefer to get them to be already sold before you ever get to the offer. In ARE, E stands for exchange. When we get to the offer, there are two lines of thinking if you’re pitching anything on a sales presentation. There’s one way of thinking, which you can completely stack the value before you reveal the price and give them the offer. The other way of thinking is listening. Put the decision in their hands. Let’s lower the tension that is going to happen when you discuss buying anything and pitching an offer. I tend to rely on that second way. Let’s reduce the tension as much as possible and say, “I’ve got something for you that’s extremely valuable. If it makes sense and you want to join us, then I want you to get it. If it doesn’t make sense, I don’t want you to get it.” It’s plain and simple. That is how we structure our offer. It lowers that tension barrier specifically not with your prospect, but with you the presenter.
When you are presenting, people can tell whether you’re scared or nervous as you start to stutter. People can tell that you’re about to present an offer. You want to be able to reduce your own anxieties when delivering a pitch. The more comfortable and confident you are in giving your presentation, it will come right through in your offer. Your audience will understand that you are solid and confident in your ability to fulfill whatever your promise is. We structure it like that. I think it was Frank Kern who showed me that style of a pitch. He learned it from Dave Dee. That’s where I heard of this line of thinking in coming up with an offer. It’s like, “I’ve got an offer for you here. I believe it’s exactly what you need to achieve whatever result you’re looking to overcome. If it makes sense for you, I want you to get it. If it doesn’t make sense to you, I don’t want you to get it,” plain and simple. You reduced all tension within your presentation ability and with your audience. That’s the easiest and simplest way that I’ve found to deliver an offer.
Dustin
I love the tension removed because I’ve been in rooms and webinars where we know the pitch is coming. Being detached in life, in general, is a very good place to be. It’s letting them know, “Maybe it’s not for you,” versus like, “This is for you.” Trying to sell to people is a tough gig. Instead, you could release that tension and pull people in.
Joel
We’re marketers and entrepreneurs. You’re always selling yourself. Even if you’re not an entrepreneur at this point, you’re always selling yourself and being able to reduce those barriers. It’s an exchange of value versus, “I’m trying to get you to buy something.” It makes all the world the difference. It takes some practice. When you can start to see through a different lens how an exchange of value happens versus trying to get someone to buy forcefully, you establish better relationships with your clients, audience, customers and whomever you’re trying to do business with.
Dustin
Aside from missing any part of the formula that you described, is there anywhere else where people can screw this up?
Joel
It’s trying to teach too much. Teaching doesn’t sell. I worked primarily with course creators, trying to sell their courses online. They use webinars to do so. The biggest shift that I made was with Jason, my first client. He tried to condense his three-month-long program into a 60-minute webinar presentation. When he went through the content, he was trying to teach them everything. That’s where he was losing people. I reworked his content more than anything. That’s what increased the conversions. You have to understand that teaching doesn’t sell. I’m not saying to hold back things that they need. It’s all about showing them the opportunity. The more that you teach somebody, the more opportunity you have to confuse them.
You have to understand that your webinar was meant to show them the opportunity, not give them all the keys to the castle. That’s why you put together a six, eight or ten-week training program is because they need more details to get the results. This is all about previewing. There are people who run events that do preview events. There are one-hour training presentations that show you, “This is the opportunity.” Get people to see the opportunity, but don’t give them all the keys to the puzzle. They can’t consume all that. That’s why you put together a ten-week training program. You have ten weeks’ worth of content. Don’t try and condense it all into 30 or 60 minutes. That’s the biggest mistake.
Dustin
We’ve got people from all different industries in entrepreneurship and even salespeople who are reading this. Do you think there are fields or niches where webinars are not a route to go for folks? Have you identified any?
Joel
Yes. The last thing that I want to do is square peg round hole somebody’s marketing efforts. Just because we run The Webinar Agency and we use webinars as tools, it doesn’t mean that it’s the right tool for every single job. We have used webinars in tons of different niches and industries. We’ve identified a couple of core ones that webinars do very well and I’ll explain the reasons why we found this to be true as well. Webinars work very well for the business opportunity niche, like showing people how to make money on Amazon or with real estate. We’re showing them a new way to be successful.
They work well because there’s a whole industry out there, the joint venture, the partner webinar circuit. An entire market is created where they’re used to consuming webinars. Because that exists, it makes webinars so effective. I didn’t create that market. It was created well before I jumped into this industry. We worked with lots of clients and experts who are like, “Joel, I want to work with you. I’ve heard through all the gurus who I’ve been following that webinars are the best way to sell my course and program,” but you have to identify how your audience consumes content.
We’ve worked with some other niches. Probably one of the best niches that we worked on was a client who teaches people how to start up a cabinet-painting business. He gets incredible results. We are launching a webinar for him. He got his first sale with the automated webinar that we built for him. It’s very similar. It’s in the business opportunity space but to answer your question, it’s very much square peg round hole. We’ve identified niches that it doesn’t work in. We want to make sure that you are not just following the blind advice of everyone saying, “You have to use a webinar.” I run The Webinar Agency, you don’t necessarily have to run a webinar. They are great for mass-market ability, once you’ve validated your offer and you’re ready to go to a mass market and grow but it’s not for everybody who’s just starting out with an invalidated offer.
Dustin
I’m not sure if people caught this idea of the automated webinar. For folks in the marketing industry, it’s not a new thing. For people reading, when you say webinar, it’s a sales presentation online. You go to a webinar and all these different platforms out there. There’s a lot of discussion around automating a webinar and maybe leading people to believe that it’s live when it’s not. What’s your view on this? What are the pros and cons of an automated webinar?
Joel
First and foremost, we never ever try and fake-live it. We don’t ever try and produce fake engagement throughout the presentation and make people think that it’s live. That was practiced by some marketers back in the day when automated webinars were newer and people weren’t aware that stuff existed. An automated webinar is an automated sales presentation. A webinar is an event-based presentation where people register for a date and time. They show up to a webinar room, a meeting room, and they watch a sales presentation. In the end, an offer is made. Usually, you add urgency and scarcity with that offer, which you can do legitimately and honestly with an automated presentation. The benefits of it are infinitely scalable. You’re teaching this over and over again every fifteen minutes, every half hour, every top of the hour. You have unlimited times of when you can give this presentation. It’s extremely effective to sell $1,000, $2,000 offers straight from cold traffic, without you having to give these presentations over and over again. That’s the core idea of what an automated webinar presentation is meant to do.
Dustin
I want to press a little bit to price points. It’s always situational to the business or the messaging. What’s the lowest price point you’ve seen someone put a webinar together for and what is the highest price point? What’s that range?
Joel
I interviewed somebody on my Sold With Webinars Podcast, which is dedicated to marketing. He is running a very successful mid-ticket webinar now but when he first started, he was selling a $47 per month program from his first version of his webinar. He was profitable, which is crazy to think because it’s a very low-ticket price for what it costs to run paid traffic. That would be the lowest ticket that I saw. He reworked his presentation and launched a new one for $997. He’s making 25 to 30 sales a day. The highest price point I’ve seen was $5,000 going to warm traffic. I don’t want to get too in the weeds with all these different marketing terminologies. I’ve seen as high as $5,000 successfully sold and as low as $47.
Dustin
Let’s say someone has a big-ticket program or maybe it’s complicated that it needs to be customized. Maybe it’s a training thing or software solution, how does one do that? Some things are hard to close and say, “Give me $100,000 on this webinar.” What do you tell people to do in those situations?
Joel
What you want to do when you’ve got a bigger ticket item is to change your call-to-action to be a phone call. You’ve watched this presentation. Now, they’re fully educated on what the opportunity is, what the solution is. If it’s a more serious or more big-ticket item where it’s $10,000 to $50,000 or whatever it is, people are going to want to talk to a real human before they make that decision. Encourage them to book a call or a strategy session where you can close the deal on the phone. That’s a very common strategy that we do when we’re launching brand new offers that haven’t been validated. You’re going to get a higher closing ratio when you implement a phone call. You’re going to have a lot more success and overcome a lot more objections, handle specific use cases that each prospect is going to have. That’s what we would advise in that situation.
Dustin
What do you think the future is? Are we talking about virtual reality or augmented reality webinars? What do you think the future holds for webinars?
Joel
The future for webinars is going to go more social than anything. It already has gone social. The single largest webinar in history took place with Russell Brunson, Tony Robbins and Dean Graziosi. They had a webinar that had over 250,000 people attend live. They used YouTube Live as their streaming platform, which is a free service. If you were to pay for a webinar hosting platform to host 250,000 people, it would cost you a legitimate fortune. It’s fantastic to see they’re using free platforms to host these large-scale webinars. They included a couple of other interesting social elements.
People want to stay engaged and they want to contribute and interact. That is what webinars allow you to do when you do them live. You can’t have the interaction on an automated webinar, but you can engage. Anytime that you increase your engagement level with your prospects, with your audience, conversions are going to go through the roof. You have that level of intimacy. With that, you increase trust and rapport-building. You get people to believe, “This is right for me.” We’re going to go much more social with the future of webinars. That’s where we’re heading.
Dustin
You mentioned the podcast, Sold With Webinars. We’re big fans of podcasting here at the Get WealthFit show. What did you see as the opportunity? Webinars are a pretty niche marketing strategy. Why launch a pod?
Joel
I launched a podcast because one of the contractors on my team ran a podcasting agency. He’s like, “You should launch a podcast.” I’m like, “I don’t listen to a whole lot of podcasts.” I don’t know that market, but I’m willing to give it a shot. On a whim, I started the first podcast. I ended up loving it. I loved to do podcasts. I did hardly any promotion with it. It just took off. It was a great rapport-building platform for my audience who’s been sticking around and wants to learn about webinars. It produced the best leads for me. People hear my voice for hours and hours on end and it gives me an outlet to talk about whatever I want. I love doing it. I started having guests on the show. I do solo podcasts and solo episodes. I loved it so much that I started another one, Experts Unleashed, which covers a different angle and topic. Podcasting is fantastic. It’s exploding. I read an article on the future of podcasting. There’s a lot of money being dumped into podcasting from investors in Silicon Valley. It’s extremely untapped. There’s enormous potential with it. I love it. I wish I’d done it sooner.
Dustin
What surprised you about podcasting, something you didn’t know when you got started?
Joel
I didn’t realize how many people listen to them. I had my own self-bias. I’m like, “I don’t listen to podcasts. Nobody listens to podcasts.” What a big mistake that was. I didn’t do any formal launch. There are lots of steps and processes that you can do to gain exposure and I did nothing. I didn’t do any of that. I just created episodes and put it out in the marketplace. I would get feedback of people who said they loved my episodes or podcast. I had no idea how many people listen to them. That’s the biggest mistake that I made.
Dustin
I want to drill in Experts Unleashed. You started this second podcast. It appears like the brand The Webinar Agency is very specific. The people that know what a webinar is would come to you. Experts Unleashed seems to cast a wider net, is that the case?
Joel
It is. I have no strategic reason for launching Experts Unleashed. I just wanted to build a platform, a network, where I can get other entrepreneurs who have built six, seven to eight-figure businesses to get on the pod and share what worked for them. How they were able to spot and seize opportunities that made huge impacts on their lives. I wish I could say that there are this big branding idea and strategy that I had behind it and I really didn’t. It was that I loved doing podcasts, interviewing people, asking questions and building that relationship. Probably the only selfish reason I did it was that I get to connect with other super successful entrepreneurs like yourself and that was it. I don’t have any other reason except to continue to provide goodwill to the marketplace and provide good content.
Dustin
Thanks for your transparency. I thought it was part of a strategy. What are you excited about? What are you working on? What does the future look like for you personally?
Joel
We’re trying to evolve the brand of The Webinar Agency and expand and help course creators to quickly grow in scale and set them up with the right strategies. I’ve been testing a new methodology called mini-webinars. It’s attached to this big idea of what we call The Perfect Expert. For course creators who are just starting out, launching a long-form direct sale webinar is probably not the right path for them. Direct sale webinars are great when you’re ready to scale your product to the masses, once you’re above a $50,000 per month revenue mark. That’s when you should invest in building a long-form direct selling webinar.
If you’re below that, we use mini-webinars, which are shorter. It’s ten to fifteen-minute long micro webinar presentations that attract people who have a higher budget and get them to invest in one of the three different levels of your course. We help our clients develop multiple versions of their course to sell through mini-webinars. That’s what I’m excited about. It’s getting those course creators from $0 to $50,000 per month very quickly. We’ve had some clients do it in as little as 30 days. We’ve had other clients go from $0 to $1.2 million in two-a-half months. We’re excited about mini-webinars. That’s where we’ve been putting a lot of our focus. We’re setting up these clients where they’ve got the maximum opportunity for success.
Dustin
That’s genius. I’ve never heard a mini-webinar. That’s great branding. It’s something new, exciting and different. Kudos to you for coming up with that concept, flushing it out and bringing it to the world. If people want to check out mini-webinars, regular webinars, what you’re up to these days or the pods, where’s the best place for someone to go?
Joel
They can go to TheWebinarAgency.com. We’ve got podcast episodes, blog content and links to the mini-webinar and all the things that we’re doing. That’s the central hub that they can go to. It will link them to a webinar case study that we’ve done. That’s the hub that we can point people to.
Dustin
I want to challenge people to embrace this. You may say, “I don’t do webinars,” but the webinar sales formula, the framework given here can be incorporated into any sales message. Don’t make that mistake. Revisit that. Write it down. Figure out how you can translate that into the selling method that you’re using because at the end of the day, it’s influencing to get people into action. Joel, thank you big time for sharing your secret sauce with us on the show and doing what you do in the world. We appreciate having you.
Joel
Thanks for having me, Dustin. I appreciate it.

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