Welcome to episode 291 of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast! This week on the podcast, Bjork interviews Angel Marie about planning and hosting webinars.
Last week on the podcast, Bjork talked about blogger burnout and how you can improve the relationship you have with your work. To go back and listen to that episode, click here.
Webinars or live events can be a great way to communicate with your audience, sell a product or service, or switch up the way you produce content online.
That said, presenting information to your audience in a live event may seem a bit overwhelming. There’s the marketing piece, the “getting ready to go live” piece, the actual presentation piece, and the post-event follow-up piece, and they all have to work together to effectively communicate your ideas and advice.
It can feel like… a lot. But there are ways you can streamline the process to help you teach and inspire your audience through these live events.
Angel, the Content Educator over at ConvertKit, is a pro at hosting and facilitating live events, and she’s here on the podcast to help you become more confident in presenting your ideas in a live setting. She’s an incredible communicator, presenter, and motivator, and her tips and ideas will help you overcome any doubts or uncertainties you have about going live in front of your audience.
In this episode, you’ll learn:
- How she got her start in digital marketing
- The difference between evergreen and live events
- How to confidently go live
- How to establish trust between you and your audience
- The different processes that can help you produce a live event
- How to promote your live event
- The different parts of a successful webinar
- How to balance being helpful and marketing your products or services
- How communication before and after a webinar can work
- Reach Records
- Youth Frontiers
- ConvertKit Commerce
- Sign up for a ConvertKit account for free
- Join a ConvertKit webinar
- Connect with Angel on Instagram
If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions for interviews, be sure to email them to [email protected].
Learn more about joining the Food Blogger Pro community at foodbloggerpro.com/membership
Transcript (click to expand):
Alexa Peduzzi: Hey, hi, hello, and welcome to The Food Blogger Pro Podcast. My name is Alexa, and we are so excited and honored that you have decided to tune in today because this episode is a good one.
Alexa Peduzzi: Webinars or live events can be a really great way to communicate with your audience, or sell a product or service, or maybe even just switch up the way that you produce content online. That being said, presenting information to your audience in a live setting may be a little bit overwhelming to you. There’s the marketing piece, the getting ready to go live piece, the actual presentation piece, and then the post-event follow-up piece, and they all have to work together to effectively communicate your ideas and advice. It can feel like a lot, but there are ways that you can streamline the process to help you teach and inspire your audience through these live events.
Alexa Peduzzi: Angel, the content educator over at ConvertKit, is a pro at hosting and facilitating live events, and she’s here on the podcast today to help you become more confident in presenting your ideas in a live setting. She’s an incredible communicator, presenter, and motivator. Seriously, I’ve attended a couple of her webinars before, and she is awesome. Her tips and events will help you overcome any doubts or uncertainties you might have about going live in front of your audience. It’s a great interview. Excited to dive in. Without any further ado, Bjork, take it away.
Bjork Ostrom: Angel, welcome to the podcast.
Angel Marie: Hello, hello. So happy to be here.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Whenever we talk to somebody who is familiar with sitting in a chair talking into a microphone, it’s a good thing, because it’s familiar territory. That’s something that you actually do quite a bit. Fill people in about your role at ConvertKit. Actually, I’d be curious to know how you got into it.
Angel Marie: Oh, yes, of course. Yeah, like what you already said, sitting in front of a computer in a chair with a mic in front of you and a webcam, that is my day-to-day life, literally, but I definitely wouldn’t have it any other way. I have been on the ConvertKit team… Again, for those of you that don’t know me yet, I’m Angel Marie. I’m ConvertKit’s creator educator and webinar producer. I’ve been on the ConvertKit team for a year and a half now, where my responsibilities have everything to do with producing webinars, hosting webinars, promoting webinars, creating assets for webinars, and of course, building out any other kind of content to educate our customers. That’s literally my area of expertise.
Angel Marie: I’ve always had such a strong passion for entrepreneurship. Anyone that had this ambition, anyone that had this dream of creating something of their own and following the solopreneur or building their own team kind of path, I’ve always just been so passionate about helping people get there, because I wanted to get there myself. This all derived from a place of wanting to run and start my own business, which I have done for a couple of years now, and then also adding on working for ConvertKit, which is an incredible company that values exactly what I value as well.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, what a great alignment to be able to find a company in ConvertKit really focusing in on that. Initially, bloggers, but now it’s like, hey, creators, online creators and offline, musicians or whoever it might be, and you being one of those. I feel like that also opens up you to speak to other creators in a really authentic way when you are producing a webinar or chatting with people or whatever it might be, because it’s not like you’re disconnected from the things that are happening. You’re right there with them and you’re doing that. Was webinars and webinar production and the marketing side of things something you were doing before as you were building your business? What did that look, and what does that look like today, the business side of things for your own venture?
Angel Marie: Yeah, great question. Before joining ConvertKit, I never hosted webinars. I might’ve maybe did one or two where I was in the pre-production process of that, but never took lead in hosting them, never really understood the cadence of how often you should do it or different ways that it could benefit a business or a person.
Angel Marie: My specific background comes from digital marketing. I used to work for Reach Records, which is a record label in Atlanta, Georgia, under Gospel artist Lecrae. I worked in their digital marketing department just for a while, and then transitioned into working for a radio station based in Atlanta as well. So I’ve just had a background in digital marketing and promotions. As lovely as those jobs were in growing me more into the person I am today, they never creatively fed me in the ways that I was seeking. That’s where this position with ConvertKit of hosting webinars and teaching people about how to grow businesses really allowed me to thrive in what I loved to do.
Bjork Ostrom: That’s cool. For the longest time, I don’t know if you have this, where you plug your iPhone in and then there’s one song that it just always starts with. Now it’s Achy Breaky Heart for me, but for the longest time it was a Lecrae song. I don’t know. I bought an album many years ago, and somehow it got to the point where it was the plug-the-iPhone-in-first-song-that-plays song.
Angel Marie: I love it.
Bjork Ostrom: When you said that, I heard that playing in the back of my mind.
Bjork Ostrom: So it seems like a really good fit for you, and something that obviously is a good fit for ConvertKit as well, as it’s something they’re continually doing and putting resources behind. I think it’s an area that a lot of people miss out on. We think about blog posts, we think about emails, we think about social media, but there’s this other opportunity to create content in a new, unique way. When you first started to get into it, what were the things where you’re like, “Wait, this is a little bit different” or “This is a unique type of content that I’m having to produce, or skill that I’m having to develop”? Did you find that to be true that you were having to develop those new skills-
Angel Marie: Absolutely.
Bjork Ostrom: And what were those in the early stages?
Angel Marie: Yes, definitely. The number one skill, the number one main thing that differentiated this between any other content pieces was broadcasting live. There is the ability to create prerecorded or evergreen webinars that you’ve had the time to prerecord and edit and all this other stuff, but at ConvertKit, we really value going live because we enjoy being as personable as possible. So I had to learn that, and it took some time. It was nerveracking for me at first to go live every week, and I was constantly worried about, “Well, what about this? What if this happens? Everyone is watching me. I can’t edit out anything.” I really had to personally learn how to get myself out of this anxious mindset of what would happen if people saw me mess up live.
Angel Marie: I compare it often to performing on stage. When you are doing live performances, if you’re a musician or anything like that, a dancer, if you’re doing a live performance in anything, people are watching you. If you mess up, if something happens, people will see, people might record, it could go viral, all these other things. The same thing applies to live webinars.
Angel Marie: I’m not saying that to scare anyone off of this podcast episode who might want to host a live webinar. It’s just a skill that you have to build up. You just really learn to take that live experience and to have fun with it, rather than allowing it to overwhelm you to the point where you are anxious about messing up because it’s live and you don’t have the time to edit. So I would definitely say that building up the skill and building up the peace to just go live and to have fun with the audience that’s watching, that took time, but it was worth building that for.
Angel Marie: I would also say it takes a lot more preparation than any other content that I have published in ConvertKit or on my own side hustle. The reason behind that is because it takes additional planning to figure out, what will the slides look like? What does the design look like? What are you going to talk about? What are you going to say? What’s the call to action? I think all of that planning feels more emphasized because you’re going to exercise it all when you go live. I really had to build up the patience, I had to build up the ability to go live and be comfortable with that, and I had to build up this sense of organization to make sure that I had it all planned out, I knew exactly what I was teaching and how I was going to inspire the people that were watching.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, it’s interesting. There’s a lot of content production that you can fix in post. If a photo is a little bit off or if you’re writing a blog post, even after you press publish, you can go back and tweak and change it a little bit. But when you’re live, you can’t do that. You could just not have a replay available, but it’s going to be out there and it’s going to be something that people watch and are watching in real time.
Bjork Ostrom: Do you find that there was an element of repeat exposure, where it’s like, hey… There’s a fear associated with this. I can think of that first podcast episode I recorded, first screencast tutorial I recorded, first live Q&A we did with Food Blogger Pro members. Every time, I can look back and remember being really nervous, but it was repeat exposure that led me to not be as nervous. It wasn’t some skill or ability that I’ve developed. It was just doing it more. Do you feel like that’s the case for you, or were there some frameworks and ways that you thought about it that made you approach it in a way where it wasn’t quite as nerveracking?
Angel Marie: Yeah, I think it’s a mixture of both. I definitely think taking that repetitive action of doing something over and over again until you get more comfortable, that’s just a simply psychology thing in anything that someone might want to get better at. It definitely had so much to do with that.
Angel Marie: But it also had a lot to do with building up the skill of being able to thoroughly speak live. It’s almost like comparing it to building up this knowledge or expertise to be able to speak on stage, instead of getting stage fright or instead of hesitating or mixing up your words or saying um a lot. That’s a skill that I had to verbally practice and I had to build up over time. Yeah, it took some time.
Bjork Ostrom: It’s interesting. One of the things that you said that I think is worth pointing out, not only the preparation piece, which I think goes a really long way, to have all of the things you need, the resources, the material, having gone through it multiple times, but then the piece that you had mentioned was the knowledge base to draw from in order to have a pool of thoughts or ideas.
Bjork Ostrom: When I worked for a nonprofit called Youth Frontiers, we’d go around to schools and we’d present, we called it the Respect Retreat or the Courage Retreat, and we’d talk about, “What does it look like to have respect within your class?” and we’d be in front of a body of students. One of the things we would talk about is the tools in your tool belt. I feel like building up that knowledge base is kind of like putting the tools in your tool belt. Part of it is repeat exposure, where you’re like, “Hey, I’m going out on this job. I know I need this tool. I’ve got to put the tool in the tool belt,” whether it be how to respond if your dog walks by in the background, or if things cut out, what do you do, or if somebody asks a question that you might not know. You develop those tools in your tool belt.
Bjork Ostrom: Also, I feel like part of it, and correct me if I’m wrong on this, Angel, but I feel like you probably have a bit of just being natural, like you’re probably a good talker. You probably weren’t somebody where your friends are like, “Oh my gosh, Angel is so shy.” Is that true? When it comes to doing live content, doing webinars, whatever it might be, do you feel like part of you has to be somebody who has a little bit of that bend, or could it be, “Hey, anybody can do a live event”?
Angel Marie: I think that anyone could do a live event. I just think the time that it’ll take to be comfortable with it, to be able to do it with confidence, is going to feel different for everyone.
Angel Marie: Actually, so many people that watch my webinars, or even people who might’ve seen my website or my business before I joined ConvertKit, everyone thinks that I am an extrovert; I’m just this extroverted, confident, outgoing person. In actuality, I have always been a very shy individual that had a lot of insecurities, and I was like that ever since I was a child. Now, am I a people person? Yes. Anyone that I talk to, I am kind. I am compassionate. I’m nice. I show passion in what I love to do. But when it came to big crowds and speaking, I was always shy. I was never the first one to talk in a big group of people. That is something I had to overcome if I wanted to level up as a leader.
Angel Marie: I think for anyone who might feel a little more on the shy or the introverted side that feels like they can’t do something like hosting a webinar for whatever purpose, I would argue against that. I believe that it is possible. I just think that it needs to be approached depending on the kind of person that you are. Yeah, I would just say that it takes a lot of internal work to get past those insecurities of feeling like you’re not good enough or you’re too shy to be able to host something like a webinar.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. I love how you framed that up, where it’s like, “Anybody can do it. The on-ramp to being fully up to speed is maybe going to look different.” If you’re somebody who loves to talk, if you love being in front of people, if you have an acting background, whatever it might be, your on-ramp to doing a live event is probably going to be pretty short because you’re going to be really comfortable with it. But if you’re somebody who’s maybe more reserved, you get really nervous if the camera turns on and you’re broadcasting live, doesn’t mean you can’t do it, it just means that your on-ramp to being full speed on the live event highway might be a little bit longer.
Angel Marie: Exactly. I would give that advice to anyone that is more in that shy, introverted space, to just start doing things that get you out of your comfort zone so that you can level up to be more confident on camera or be more confident live.
Angel Marie: For example, you had mentioned acting. I actually used to act multiple times in Atlanta, Georgia. The film industry is really booming there right now. But I started taking acting classes because I knew that if I wanted to act, if I wanted to be front center stage, I needed to build up the confidence to do so. I literally forced myself to take acting classes. In those classes, they literally put you right on the spot. They make you get up in front of the whole class, and you have to say a monologue or do a piece with your partner.
Angel Marie: I would just encourage anything that you can find or do to help get you out of your comfort zone is only going to benefit you in the long run when it comes to situations like these.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. I think Warren Buffett talks about… There’s all those posts like, “Warren Buffett says these two things were the most important thing in his journey,” or whatever. But I remember reading an article, it was in the past couple weeks, and it was Warren Buffett talking about how the most important skill that he had learned in his career was through Toastmasters. I think it’s been around for 100 years, and it’s all about helping people feel confident speaking. He talks about the significance of clearly communicating ideas through verbal or written word, and how impactful that was for him. I hear you kind of saying the same thing, where it’s like, “Hey, I know this is something that’s going to be important for me, and I want to push myself, even if I’m uncomfortable doing it, because it is important in many different contexts, but especially if you’re going to do a live event like a webinar.”
Bjork Ostrom: We’ve kind of talked about the psychology of it. That’s a huge piece of it, maybe the most important piece. But there’s also the tactics behind doing a webinar. I think a lot of people who listen to this podcast are content producers, but they’re probably not people who think about creating content that’s a live event or a webinar, or even marketing content, very much so like content to get people to come, to read, to consume, but maybe not thinking strategically all the time, I know for us it’s the case, at least, around, “How can we create things that are both helpful but also marketing related?” When you think of the webinars that you’re doing, what do those look like between the balance of content, “Hey, here’s something you can learn. We’re going to educate. We’re going to inspire,” and marketing? You talked about call to action, “Here’s something you can do. Here’s how you can use ConvertKit,” in your case. How do you balance that?
Angel Marie: Yeah, that’s a great question. I feel like it all starts from a place of knowing that when it comes to building any company or aiding in the growth and development of your own business, it takes a lot of trust between you and your audience. If you want more customers, if you want more buyers, if you want more prospects, you have to build trust with them. They need to trust you in order to feel interested in your product or service or whatever it is that you’re offering. One of the best ways that you can build trust is to connect with them on a personal level, and we found that one of the best ways to connect with them on a personal level is to host live webinars.
Angel Marie: We’ve gotten into this really healthy, strong habit of personalizing our webinar content where I am coming live on every webinar with energy, with personality, with fun, and at the same time making sure that I’m also providing the value that they came to learn on the webinar in the first place, so a mixture of that inspiration and value, and then tying it back around to how it can benefit ConvertKit as well. Of course, we run the webinars to benefit our customers, but in a way that how can we also tie it back to, “Okay, well, ConvertKit, our product, can also help you in these areas to thrive in the businesses you’re wanting to build.” We’ve found that really strong balance of grasping their attention and reeling them in with inspiration and defaulting to generosity, which is exactly what we value more than anything, and then at the end just tying it back around to how ConvertKit can help and why ConvertKit is here to serve creators worldwide.
Bjork Ostrom: Do you have an example? What are some of the webinars that you’ve done that feel like a really good balance between those two things?
Angel Marie: Yeah, that’s great. For example, ConvertKit has recently launched ConvertKit Commerce, which is our product feature. It allows people to not only go about their email marketing strategies with ConvertKit, but they can also go about their digital product selling strategies with ConvertKit as well. To align with those product updates, we hosted a live webinar on selling digital products, and that webinar was for the purpose of teaching aspiring entrepreneurs, creators, musicians how to sell their music, how to sell their courses, how to sell their one-on-one coaching services, their ebooks, all of that stuff. It taught them how exactly they can make money doing what they love, just really reeling in that inspiration there, and then tying it back to, “Oh, well, ConvertKit is also here to make sure that you can sell your digital product with ease.”
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, so laying it out, saying, “Here’s what it looks like. Here’s how you can do it, or maybe even different than how you can do it, here’s some of the whys, why it works, and the general outline, ConvertKit being a great example of how you can execute on that,” so making that tie-in to it makes a lot of sense.
Bjork Ostrom: How about in terms of how do you actually do it? We’re all familiar with Zoom. I’m guessing a lot of people are familiar with Instagram Live. We have these components where we understand, “Hey, we know what it’s like to sit in front of a camera and to talk to our parents during a global pandemic.” What are the tools… We use Zoom for that. But my guess is there’s a lot of different things that go into actually producing a webinar. What tools would you recommend that people use as they’re getting started or are interested in looking into it?
Angel Marie: Yeah, for sure. We at ConvertKit break our production into three different categories to make sure that we’re effectively producing and hosting webinars. We have our pre-production process, our live production process, and our post-production process. The whole purpose behind this is to not just say, “Hey, I’m going to go live. Come and join my webinar,” but to have a whole system in place that works, that benefits both your audience and you.
Angel Marie: Pre-production looks like the preparation. What assets need to be created, social media images, swipe copies to promote the webinar? We use Keynote slides to effectively build out the webinar content, making sure that we’re doing the right research. Then live production, we actually run our webinars on Zoom. Zoom has a webinar feature that has worked really well for us. There are other platforms that we’ve used in the past, such as EasyWebinar, WebinarJam, or BigMarker, which those are all good too. We’ve just found Zoom to be the easiest and most efficient.
Angel Marie: So we would use the webinar Zoom feature to go live, and always made sure that I had a partner in this production process with me. For example, it wasn’t just me going live. I would be the one live on camera, but I’d have an associate producer live in the chat, just to make sure that everyone who was watching felt supported and they were feeling engaged with. Also, she would send me private messages if anything seemed wrong so that I could quickly fix it. I feel like that’s a must. Try your best to have someone there with you so that you can have a successful production.
Angel Marie: Then post-production is more like a recap. Are you going to send out a replay email of the workshop? How are you going to connect with them after they’ve already watched it? How well did it perform, and can you keep track of those numbers? Just making sure that we just have this entire pipeline in place to keep up with workshop performance and engaging with our customers.
Bjork Ostrom: Got it. In terms of the funnel, a lot of times people talk about funnels, ConvertKit obviously being an important part of funnels, starting at the top, how do you get people to actually show up? If you’re interested in doing this, you’re like, “Yeah, I want to get better at doing live events,” what would your recommendation be for making sure that you actually have somebody there to see you when you do go live?
Angel Marie: Yeah. As far as people attending the webinar?
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Right. Let’s say that you have a food blog, and you maybe have some readers, you have some social followers, and you want to do some event, maybe have a cooking class, if we’re going to make it a really easy example, and you’re going to do a webinar, talk a little bit about some of the things you could learn, but then you’re going to sell a cooking class. Would you recommend anything and everything, kind of a spray-and-pray approach where you’re like, “Hey, I’m going to email my readers. I’m going to talk about it on social media”? Do you do paid ads to try and get people, or is it kind of, “Hey, it depends, whatever works for your audience”?
Angel Marie: Yeah. I definitely think that every audience is going to be different, and it depends on where your audience hangs out online. A lot of entrepreneurs, they find their audience on Instagram, or the majority of their audience might be on LinkedIn. That always depends.
Angel Marie: But once you really figure out where your audience hangs out online, that is where you’re going to want to double down on your promotional efforts. Just to be transparent, at ConvertKit, we make sure that we send out emails to our list promoting the workshop. We make sure that we run social ads so that other people who don’t know ConvertKit can see the free piece of content that we’re offering to bring value to their life and their business. Then we also will promote it across the company when it comes to the community. Anything live that we might be doing at that time, we’ll send out a notice to our creators letting them know that this webinar is here to help you, it’s here to enhance your daily life or your business.
Angel Marie: It definitely can go in a variety of different ways, but I would highly recommend email and I would highly recommend social media for sure.
Bjork Ostrom: Yep, that makes sense. Let’s say you have 100 people sign up or 1,000 people sign up, whatever number you want to use. 1,000 people sign up. How many people do you find actually end up showing up to the webinar? Is it half, 25%? Does it depend on what the content is?
Angel Marie: Yeah, that’s a great question. We normally see an average conversion rate of about 20% to 25% of people attending live. So based off of how many people registered, well, what was the amount of people that attended that actually registered for this event? We normally see about a 20% to 25% conversion rate on the weekly webinars that we do. Then, of course, that number will increase if you decide to send out a replay of the workshop or make your workshop content evergreen.
Bjork Ostrom: Sure. When you are doing… Do you call them workshops externally? It’s the functionality of a webinar, but it’s like a class, it’s like a workshop. Is that what you’re calling it?
Angel Marie: Correct. Yes.
Bjork Ostrom: Are you doing repeat workshops, like, “Hey, we have an Email 101 that we do once a month, but then we also have timely and relevant workshops that we’re doing that are one-off or maybe just for a certain season”? What does that look like schedule-wise?
Angel Marie: Yeah, so schedule-wise, we schedule out workshop topics and content about a quarter ahead of schedule. The reason behind that is to make sure that we give ourselves enough time to make them live on our trainings page on ConvertKit, to make sure that we’re all good and set to go to promote them every week. We’re always ahead of the game.
Angel Marie: More specifically, we break each webinar topic down by category. We always do a webinar that has to do with starting your email list, more so for beginners, and then writing to your email list, selling digital products, all the way to more advanced workshops that might dive into segmentation or tagging, more of the technological advancements of email marketing. We definitely have a wide variety of topics. Now that we’re, at ConvertKit, branching off into different industries, such as musicians, we’re going to be creating content specifically for them, so that we can speak to their needs and their wants at that point in time.
Bjork Ostrom: Cool. Take me to the moment where it’s like, hey, you’ve got some people; you’ve sent out some emails; they’ve signed up; they said, “I’m interested in this.” Take me to the moment where you go live. Can you talk through, start to finish, the major chunks of what a webinar or a workshop would look like? Because I think that’s one of the mysterious things to people. It’s like, do you just get on and start talking? What are the chapters of a really successful webinar?
Angel Marie: Yeah, definitely. Our process is to hop on 10 minutes before you actually click broadcast. There should always be, and if there isn’t, there should be, but at least in our experience, especially using Zoom webinars, there’s always a feature to… They call it a practice session, where you can hop into the webinar early and make sure that your video, audio, all the technological stuff is good and ready to go. When you’re actually ready to broadcast live to the world, you would hit the broadcast button.
Angel Marie: We always make sure that we have that practice mode in place before we actually go live. I recommend that to anyone. Hop into the webinar, make sure you look good, the sound looks good, everything is good to go, and then when you’re ready to actually talk, you hit broadcast and that’s where you would start your spiel. We always start off having a very fun, engaging introduction. The reason behind that is because if you dive too to the point right away, then it doesn’t feel as authentic and original.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. You have to connect a little bit. Who’s here? Where are you from?
Angel Marie: Exactly.
Bjork Ostrom: To speak about tools in your tool belt, what are some of the tools in your tool belt that you have in that regard? How do you transition into it, and what questions would you ask? How do you interact with people?
Angel Marie: Yeah. I always first welcome them into the webinar room. I let them know who I am, where I’m currently in, the state that I’m in now, and then I start engaging with them right away. After I give my short introduction, I’m like, “Okay, well, now I want to know a little bit more about you, so tell me in the chat where are you from. Let me shout out your city, your state, your country.” Just engage with them a little bit.
Angel Marie: Then from there, I transition into asking them about their dreams, so really circling back around to what brought them to this webinar in the first place so that it’s fresh in their mind, so asking them why they’re here, what brought them here, and then re-encouraging them with whatever that reason is as to why they showed up today, you want to give them the outcome or the solution that they seek. You are the educator that’s here to solve that problem, so re-encouraging that.
Angel Marie: Then from there, transitioning into the content. For example, I might say something like, “Yeah, so if you’re here, I see some people in the chat saying that they’re here because they want to learn how to connect with their audience through email. That is great. I know that you’re capable of doing that, and I’m going to show you exactly how. Let’s go ahead and transition into today’s topic.” Then from there, I would switch over to my screen share of the slides and dive right in.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. Do you have a goal for how often are you trying to change slide to slide? I’ve heard some people say, “Hey, I never try and have a slide up for longer than a minute.” Are you trying to keep pace with any specific numbers in terms of how quickly you’re moving from one slide to the next?
Angel Marie: Yeah. I would say a minute max. That’s pretty ideal. But at ConvertKit, we appreciate and value personalization and just being truly authentic, so I might remain on a slide longer if there’s a question in the chat that I want to highlight live, or if I’m just wanting to be a little bit more specific because I can get a sense of confusion or people needing clarity. You could plan for, okay, every slide is going to be less than a minute, but at the same time you have to base that speed off of how your audience is feeling. If they’re in the chat and they’re like, “Hey, I’m confused on this” or “Wait, what did you mean by that?” you want to make sure you clarify.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. It’s kind of like, how long should a blog post be? It’s like, “Well, how long do you need it to be to explain what you’re trying to explain?” Instead of using a hard-and-fast rule, say what you need to say and move on. But if you need to say a lot, be okay sitting in that place for a while.
Angel Marie: Yes.
Bjork Ostrom: So you get through it. You’re talking about the content. You’re focusing in on sharing whatever it is that you’re sharing. Then, eventually, there’s a call to action, CTA, you might say, industry term. What does that look like? How do you do that in an authentic way that doesn’t feel like, “Hey, then there’s the sell,” and it feels like the sell? How do you do it in a way that feels genuine, authentic, but is also… Realistically, you’re not just doing webinars for free. It’s a marketing thing for ConvertKit. How do you balance that?
Angel Marie: Yeah. I always have to keep it in the forefront of my mind, and I think anyone should, is that your mission is to serve first. When you’re going about the entrepreneurial or the creative space, such as being a food blogger, of course you want to make money doing what it is that you love, but the reason why you’re doing this isn’t just to make money; it’s to help solve a certain problem that your audience might be facing. You always want to lead with that. You always want to be intentional with that.
Angel Marie: I’m not going to name any names, but I have personally been an audience member on a webinar of an entrepreneur that I used to look up to, and when I was in the chat in this webinar, I can clearly recall how salesy and demanding it felt. This person literally would call out the names of the people in the chat. They would be like, “Angel, what do I need to do to get you to buy from me right now?” I remember being like, “Whoa, this is really intense.”
Angel Marie: We don’t do that approach. We want to make sure that we approach it with kindness and generosity, letting people know that we’re here to serve, letting people know that this product exists for the purpose of helping them. We don’t push. We don’t force. We just let them know how it can help them and allow them to make the decision.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that’s great. One of the things that we’ll talk about, you set up a link, convertkit.com/foodbloggerpro, which is a link to sign up for a ConvertKit account for free. For ConvertKit, is that the angle, like, hey, it’s a really good first step into using the tool? If people don’t know how to package things together and offer them to the people who are attending a webinar, what advice would you have for them?
Angel Marie: Yeah, that’s good. We definitely always say that ConvertKit is that first step that exists to enhance your business that much further. When it comes to our product, there’s a reason why we have recently launched a free plan. We wanted to get rid of any financial barriers that people were feeling for using a tool or a platform that could help enhance their business. That’s why we’re here. We want to help them earn a living, including if they feel like they don’t have the finances to start. We always lead with this intention of, “Hey, ConvertKit is here for you. There’s a free plan so that there’s no financial barriers, so that you can get started doing what it is that you love.”
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, that’s awesome. One of the questions that I have that’s kind of a tactics question, when you are sending out the link for people to show up, is it just a Zoom link? Is it a link to the Zoom webinar, or is it embedded in some way? What does that look like in regards to that process?
Angel Marie: Yeah. We just send the Zoom webinar join link. If you use Zoom’s webinar integration, they will create an opt-in link for you for people to join the webinar. We literally copy that link, we link it to the emails letting people know, “Hey, you can join here.” We might link that on a specific button in the email, just so that call-to-action button is in first person, making it feel more personalized. So you might open the email and there’s a button that says, “Yes, take me to the webinar.” Then they would click and be redirected to the webinar room.
Bjork Ostrom: Got it. In terms of the signup process, you have a landing page, I would assume built using ConvertKit, and then you have a ConvertKit email list, so people are then tagged with the tag that they are interested in attending a certain webinar. Is there an automation then that goes out to those people, or are you sending broadcast emails up to the point where the webinar goes live?
Angel Marie: The automation piece is what we tie in with the confirmation email. As soon as someone registers for a webinar on our registration/landing page, they automatically get a confirmation email, which we set up as an automation in ConvertKit. Now, the webinar reminder emails with the link to actually join, letting them know that, “Hey, we’re about to start. We’re going to go live,” we do that through ConvertKit’s broadcast feature, just so that people are getting those emails the day of, 10 minutes before, and that they’re ready to go the minute that that email hits their inbox.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah, got it. Cool. Then do you do follow-up on the back end? People sign up, they see it, they watch the webinar, and then after… This is something that people don’t talk a lot about, or at least we don’t on the podcast. It’s a great way to build an email list because you have all these people who have signed up and given you emails, as opposed to passively being like, “Hey, sign up for my newsletter. Put your first name, last name.” Instead, it’s this really specific thing, so people sign for it, and then you have grown your email list. But are you then following up with those people after, both with the webinar and then general ConvertKit content as well?
Angel Marie: Yes, absolutely. We call it our replay sequence, where we follow up with them the evening after the webinar ends and a couple of days after that. That’s because we just want to check in, “Hey, how are you doing? The replay is still available. We’re here for you. Feel free to ask us questions.” You always want to circle it back around and remind them that, “Hey, this webinar is still here” or “This offer is still here,” rather than just letting it sit.
Angel Marie: But yeah, I would recommend to any creator, any food blogger, anyone in the entrepreneurial space, that if you are looking to grow your email list, webinars are one of the most massive list-growth strategies. It’s just a personalized way of being able to connect and build trust. They see you. They hear you. They’re being taught by you. They get a feel for your personality. It just emphasizes who you are as the expert in your field that much more.
Bjork Ostrom: Yeah. If you were to look at the Food Blogger Pro email list size, there would be these bumps along the way. Anytime there’s one of those bumps, it’s one of the times we’ve done a bootcamp or a workshop, comparable to what ConvertKit would do, and thousands of people will then sign up because we’re talking about how to shoot video content or the Instagram playbook that we use for Pinch of Yum. It’s just so obvious when that happens.
Bjork Ostrom: Another example in the food space, for Pinch of Yum specifically, it’s not necessarily a workshop, but it’s kind of an event-type thing, where we did something called Plant-Powered January and really focused on plant-based recipes. The same thing. It’s not this general opt-in that nobody is really excited about. It’s something really specific, and it’s a chance to join and be a part of something. You see a huge bump in email subscribers for that as well. I think it’s a great little takeaway in tactic and strategy.
Bjork Ostrom: We’re getting to the end here, Angel, but I’m guessing that people would be interested in actually checking out one of the webinars that you do or one of the workshops that you do. My guess is a lot of the topics you’re talking about would be really helpful for people who listen to this podcast. What’s the best way for people to see what’s coming up and to maybe connect with you on one of your upcoming workshops?
Angel Marie: Yeah, such a great question. You can easily just find your way to convertkit.com/training. Again, that’s convertkit.com/training. That’ll direct you to our webinar hub. You’re going to be able to access all the registration pages that we have up and running right now, so that you can opt in to upcoming webinars, depending on the topics you’re wanting to learn. There’s also a couple of on-demand trainings if you want to watch one right then and there, podcast guides, just a lot of different resources for you to use if you’re looking to grow your business in any way.
Angel Marie: Feel free to register. I’d love to have you on one of our webinars. In those webinars, I am just a very engaging person. I normally always connect when we go live to those that are attending, and then I always let you know where you can communicate with me one-on-one. If you’re wanting to start up a conversation in my inbox or if you’re needing additional help, I’m always here for our creators.
Bjork Ostrom: Awesome. That’s great. Then I’ll share this link again. For anybody who hasn’t signed up for email yet, or maybe you have and you want to check out ConvertKit, you can go to convertkit.com/foodbloggerpro. There’s no connection to us specifically for Food Blogger Pro, we’re not getting anything from that, but just a way to track anybody who signs up after checking out the podcast. We’ll link to that in the show notes as well.
Bjork Ostrom: Angel, really fun to connect with you. I feel like personally I took a lot out. I have some notes here that I’ve made on stuff that we can do to improve our processes. Selfishly, these interviews are always great because I feel like I can learn a lot from them as well.
Angel Marie: I love that.
Bjork Ostrom: If anybody wants to connect with you personally online, is there anywhere where you’re posting content, or would the workshops and webinars on ConvertKit be the best place to go?
Angel Marie: Yeah, I would say convertkit.com/training is the best place to go. If you’re wanting to connect with me on more the personal side of things, I am mostly on Instagram, so feel free to shoot me a DM at @angelmarieoffical, and I’d be happy to connect with you there too.
Bjork Ostrom: Awesome. Thanks so much for coming on, Angel.
Angel Marie: Thank you. We’ll see you later.
Alexa Peduzzi: That’s a wrap on this episode of The Food Blogger Pro Podcast. Thanks again for tuning in today. We hope you enjoyed this interview with Angel. If you’re interested in setting up that free ConvertKit account, that URL to go to is just convertkit.com/foodbloggerpro, all one word. You should be able to set up an account right there.
Alexa Peduzzi: Last thing I wanted to mention is that we are in the process of planning some free events for this year for our audience, for you guys. If you have any interest in potentially joining one of our free live events, be sure to get on our email list. You can actually do that right on our home page. It’s at foodbloggerpro.com. We’ll be sure to notify you whenever our next event is coming up. There is a little email opt-in right there in the front center of the home page that can also actually get you a free download for ways that you can monetize your site, so it’s a win-win situation all around.
Alexa Peduzzi: That is it for us, my friend. We appreciate you for tuning in, and we’ll see you next time. Until then, make it a great week.