Let’s face it—webinars take a lot of time to produce. And they can cost money, both to produce and market. The common wisdom says you shouldn’t charge for your webinars—but what if you did? Should you consider it?
The fact is, for most people, offering your webinars for free is the way to go. The webinar is supposed to cast a wide net, attracting qualified prospects who have a heightened interest in what you sell. It’s a marketing tool that’s designed to build you a qualified list to market to. It’s not the product in and of itself.
But when you change the game and start charging for your webinars, it ups the ante. It raises audience expectations that your webinar will be worth paying for—so you’ll need to deliver. And, although your number of attendees will most likely go down, the ones that stay will be super-qualified. After all, they’ve already paid money to attend your webinar.
When is it better not to charge?
Paying is a barrier to entry. It’s best to offer your webinar for free when you’re building your list and you want a lot of people to attend. Especially people who’ve never heard of you before.
People love free things. If you’re offering great content for free, you’ll have a good chance of building a strong list, as long as you’re doing all the right things to market your webinar.
When is it a good idea to charge?
The people who are willing to pay for your webinar are most likely those who already know you—and who’ve attended your free webinars before. The superfans.
If your customer list is already large, your free webinars are well attended, and you have customers who are loyal and keep coming back, you may want to consider charging. You don’t have to charge for every webinar you put out—and you probably shouldn’t. But offering an elite webinar series for those who are willing to pay could add significantly to your income.
Paid webinars are also more common in instances where you’re targeting a very specialized niche, especially in B2B. These often come in the form of specialized training programs for people in specific trades.
Paid webinars don’t fit in every situation. But they can be very effective in certain cases—when you have a large, loyal following already, or when you’re training a very specialized trade or B2B niche. In those cases, charging for your webinar can pay off.