Get all the juicy backstage info on her own webinars, list building and how to manage social media from Jackie Johnstone, a social and digital marketing strategist, who believes social media is all about real relationships and every single business owner CAN make it work.

I just had a pleasure of talking with Jackie Johnstone, as part of my interview series for Business Toolkit – how do you use tools and systems to run your business effortlessly.

Jackie is a person I have encountered in one of the Facebook groups I belong to, and she has a very real and healthy attitude about social media – it’s not about tricks, conversions or sales, but about keeping it human and being yourself. Her signature 4 Pillar strategy explains very well how to draft your content for social media and it helps a lot if you are stuck and have no idea what to post next.

So let’s get down to business and my main question. Social Media can be very overwhelming and using tools is a sanity saver. I use Buffer for myself and clients, because it’s very intuitive and you can start straight away. But I just happen to know, that there is this new tool making waves in social media world – little octopus named Edgar, who let’s you assign categories to your social media updates and loops your content. So Jackie, what did you use to manage your own Social Media when you just started out and what do you use now?

I used to have a spreadsheet in Google Docs, so I could work on it along my VA. If you are just starting out, it’s a perfectly reasonable option. You can prepare your content in advance and your VA will take care of uploading it and posting for you at the right time. Now I’m using Edgar because it makes re-using content easier.

Is it not too pricey for someone starting out?

It’s a cost of doing business. I would say, wait till you have about 6 months of content – by that time, you should be comfortable with spending $50 per month on software.

Are you not worried Edgar would post some old and irrelevant info? Especially for client accounts?

We review it once a month, check which updates are performing better and which ones are becoming outdated. But generally, it saves a lot of time, as you can just upload a large .csv file (spreadsheet) with your updates and add pictures when necessary.

Jackie, I know webinars are one of your main strategies of building that coveted email list. What tools do you use to run your webinars?

I’m using Meeting Burner, because it’s stable, easy to navigate and allows for screen sharing. I usually call in on conference line, to keep my audio clear. It’s not podcast perfect, but it’s perfectly fine. I mean, it sound like you are on the phone. People are ok with that.

Now, for a million dollar question – we all know by now how great webinars are for list building, but do people stay on the list after the webinar?

The short answer is yes, webinars work wonders for your list. A week or so after the webinar, after you start sending regular campaigns, you will get more unsubscribers, but it is still well worth it.

Can you give us some juicy info?
The webinar about webinars – was my most successful one to date and I had almost 400 people signed up. Around 150 people were already on the list, and around 50 unsubscribed, but that still meant I had brought 200 more people on my list with one webinar.

I usually tell my clients, that they don’t need a big list to run a successful webinar. Was that your experience as well?
I run my first webinar, when I had just slightly over 120 people on my list. 70 people signed up to my webinar, and most of them were new. So yes, it works, even if you are just starting out.

How often do you do your webinars? Kimra Luna shared, that at the beginning she was doing it once per week, to build her list quickly, but that sound incredibly hard to me. It means you need to be extremely organized – isn’t it?

This month I’m taking it easy, because last month I did two webinars, and it was crazy, but usually I try to do one per month.

Sounds like a happy schedule. Doing webinars is one thing, but how do you promote it? Some of us (ahem) are hesitant to start, because they are unsure how to plan the promotion part. I guess we are all overwhelmed at the thought of doing extensive launch just for the webinar. But on the other hand, we are also afraid no one will show up.

In my experience launch window is actually shorter than you think – 4-5 days is usually enough, because people simply lose interest or forget they have signed up for something more than 2 weeks ago. You will also notice that people fail to show up, when they registered far in advance. Usually you get between 40%-60% of people who signed up to watch the webinar or the recording later.

5 day promotion sounds really do-able! Saying that, so how do you actually promote? Do you need to use Facebook Ads?

You don’t have to use Facebook ads, although they help. I spend on average around $60 per webinar and it means I’m paying $1 per lead. Generally, I email my list and ask my biz friends to share it to their audience too. But my favorite method is to simply promote in Facebook groups.

Is that well received? I mean, I belong to couple groups and it’s annoying to see those people copying the same post to advertise their stuff in many groups. Funnily enough, Jordana Jaffe just talked about it – and she admitted to that mistake herself. She did it to save time, but afterwards she regret it, because seeing the same post in multiple groups just annoyed people. I guess, we all learn from mistakes, and I really liked it that she shared it openly so we can all learn too. What is your take on it?

Just be human about it – I promoted in 5-8 groups I spend time in, because I was already present there, and people knew who I was. As long as you help out and answer questions, you will be fine, just don’t jump in with the promotion everywhere out of the blue.

Now, my last question, I promise – It’s about my own my biggest fear, too. I’ll make it all sleek and snazzy, promote it, people will show up and there will be no audio, or I would disappear mid sentence, or you know, just about everything will go wrong. What to do if everything fails?

(Jackie laughed here, because I guess, she gets that question often.)

Yes, tech will fail. But people will persevere if the info is worth it.
I was just doing the webinar interview and her wifi was really bad and sound kept breaking up, but people stuck to the end, because we had some good stuff to share. But if all fails, just apologize, record the webinar later and email the recording. People are forgiving. It can happen to any of us.

I just love this advice, it makes it way less scary to just start doing it!
Thank you Jackie for talking with me today and answering all those pesky questions so generously! And if you are interested, Jackie just happens to have great post about what to do, if no one shows up – so if you want to know how to boost webinar attendance, click here.

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