You’ve seen them go by many names – Masterclass, webinar, workshop, mastermind, event.
With the advancement of technology, because you’re no longer limited to in-person events, you have the choice to host a variety of virtual events depending on your goal. Over the years, what coaches call their virtual events have started to become interchangeable, but the fact is that different virtual events all have distinct features and benefits, and that’s what we’re gonna dive into in this blog so you can understand which type of virtual event will best support you, your audience and your goals – so let’s get started!
Why Should Coaches Host Live Virtual Events?
Although some experts out there will have you believing live launching is “dead”, no longer works, or is the quickest way to burnout in your coaching business, the fact is that launches that incorporate live virtual events are a highly effective strategy to:
- Build your audience by attracting leads to your coaching business
- Warm up and nurture a new or existing audience
- Position your authority and expertise
- Generate quality prospects for your offer
- Convert those prospects into your offer
- Ahem – they’re fun!
Type of Live Virtual Events For Coaches to Host
There are quite a few different types of live virtual events for coaches to host – so let’s break them down so you can start to understand which event may serve you best depending on your goals. Here are some of the most effective live virtual events for coaches to host.
A webinar is an online presentation that typically demonstrates your coaching framework at a high level. Here’s some typical features and benefits of hosting a webinar:
- Webinars generally run 30-45 minutes.
- Most webinars are run as free events but can be paid if you so choose.
- On a webinar, the host is typically the only participant visible.
- Webinars can be considered “fluffy” if they’re only rooted in making the sale, and not providing some type of value.
- Because they are a shorter event compared to some of the other options we will discuss, webinars are most effective for an already warm audience that is familiar with you and have experienced some level of communication and nurturing leading up to the webinar.
- A typical flow of a webinar is to introduce the topic and agenda, explain who you are and why you’re an expert, present your coaching framework, deliver your offer.
- You can develop more connection on a webinar by offering a live Q&A session at the end or keeping the chat active throughout the presentation.
A Masterclass is a presentation in which the host goes deeper on one specific topic in which they are an expert. Here are some typical features and benefits of hosting a Masterclass:
- Masterclasses can be hosted from an hour up to several hours over the course of several days.
- Because Masterclasses are a deeper dive into a particular topic by someone with a high level of expertise, they are often a paid event.
- On a Masterclass, like a webinar, the host is typically the only participant visible.
- Masterclasses should never be “fluffy” as it is entirely centered around the mastery of a particular topic.
- Masterclasses are most effective if your goal is to position your expertise and build your authority.
- Like a webinar, you can develop more connection on a Masterclass by offering a live Q&A session at the end or keeping the chat active throughout the presentation.
A workshop is a live virtual event where participants are being walked through a particular process at the end of which they have typically implemented whatever it is they learned. Here’s some typical features and benefits of hosting a workshop:
- Workshops can run from 1 hour all the way up to several hours over several days.
- Because workshops are so hands on and participants walk away having implemented something, they are typically a paid event.
- On a workshop, the host and participants are typically visible.
- Workshops are effective in actively displaying your coaching process or framework, as you implement your participants through it in your workshop.
A mastermind is a live virtual event that is considered a “meeting of the minds”. There is a facilitator, but the participants are typically peers at a similar stage of business, with similar challenges, and similar high level goals in mind. Here’s some typical features and benefits of hosting a mastermind:
- Workshops can run from 1 hour all the way up to several hours over several days.
- Because participants are typically hand-picked due to their personal area of expertise, they are typically a paid event for everyone except the facilitator who incurs administrative costs in organizing the event.
- On a mastermind, the host and participants are all visible to each other.
- Masterminds are effective as a networking opportunity.
A challenge (or bootcamp) takes participants on a multi-day journey. It can either go deep on one aspect of your coaching framework, or high level over each piece of your framework. Here’s some typical features and benefits of hosting a challenge:
- Challenges can run from 15 minutes to 1 hour plus over the course of 3 days up to however long you want!
- Historically a lot of challenges have been free, but more recently coaches have begun to offer challenges as a low ticket event.
- Depending on how the challenge is hosted, either the host can be visible or all of the participants as well.
- Challenges are effective in re-engaging with an existing (and perhaps somewhat disengaged or “turned cold” audience) but they can also attract new leads into your audience.
- Challenges typically involve some level of implementation of your framework or process by which participants are walking away seeing something to completion.
I’m Ready to Host a Live Virtual Event – Now What?
There are lots of considerations when hosting a live event. Here are just a few things to think about when preparing for your event:
- When do I want to host my event?
- In what format will it be delivered (using a meeting software or in a community)?
- Will my event be free or paid?
- How will I market my event?
How Do I Choose Which Type of Live Virtual Event To Host
There are quite a few different types of live virtual events for coaches to host – so how do you choose which one will be most effective?
1. Understand Your Goal
Always start with the end in mind. Understanding what is your goal will help you determine which live virtual event will serve the goal. Goals could be:
- Build your audience (i.e. your email list)
- Generate qualified leads for your offer (i.e. get calls booked, strike up an enrollment conversation in the DMs)
- Produce a quick cash injection.
- Test out new content.
- Build rapport and deepen relationships
- Facilitate networking or connections among yourself and others
- Convert leads or prospects to buyers
2. Know Your Resources and Capacity.
Different live virtual events require different levels of time, money, and capacity to prepare and execute successfully. Knowing how much resources and capacity are available to support the event is crucial. Some are super simple and quick to pull off, and others require a higher investment of resources.
How Often Should I Host a Live Virtual Event?
How often you host a live virtual event can depend on:
- Your goals, both revenue, audience, and other goals
- Your marketing calendar
- The type of events you are hosting
How Do I Market My Live Virtual Event?
There are endless ways to marketing your live virtual event to increase your registrations. Here are just a few ideas:
- Promote your virtual event on your social media channels through static posts or live video.
- Create affiliate relationships and invite your partners to promote your event.
- Feature other experts as part of your event and invite them to promote.
- Promote your virtual event to your email list.
- Run paid traffic to your event (Facebook ads, GoogleAds, YouTube Ads, etc)
- Add your event to sites like EventBrite.
How To Convert Clients From Live Virtual Events
Although there are many reasons that coaches host live events, most often the goal is to convert participants into clients.
Depending on what type of live virtual event you are hosting, you may position your offer differently as part of the event.
In order to most effectively convert clients from your live virtual event, you will want to:
- Ensure the type of event you are hosting, and the topic, attracts your ideal client.
- Have a plan on how to maximize the live attendance to your event – most conversions happen live off of the event, and not as much in the follow up.
- Create a process to nurture your registrants leading up to the event as well as engage with them during and after the event.
- Develop a rock solid offer and practice your CTA (call to action).
- Test. Whether or not your live virtual event crushes it in terms of converting clients, there’s always room for improvement. Don’t throw your event efforts away if something doesn’t work the first time.
Hosting Live Virtual Events Can Be An Effective Tactic to Achieve Almost Any Goal in Your Coaching Business.
Now it’s time to start planning. Think about the goals in your business and which live virtual event will best move you closer to achieving that goal.
Choose one, plan for it, prepare well, host it and then don’t forget to debrief from your event so that you capture any learning you can carry forward to the next time you host!
And once you’ve got an event that you know converts, it can be an opportunity to transform it into an evergreen digital product!
Planning a live virtual event? Check out my Launch Planning Protocol, a guide to help you effectively plan your promotions so that you can achieve your goals: https://laralasala.pages.ontraport.net/launchplanningprotocol