Marketing webinars to clients with no time – four critical questions to ask

In a recent webinar Julie asked, “What are your suggestions for marketing to clients who say they don’t have time for training?”

Julie, this is a challenge common to many organizations. Please permit me to ask a few hard questions – only to root out what we’ve got to do.

Is a LIVE virtual presentation/classroom the right way to engage them?

In other words, what does it bring to them uniquely over simply having a video posted on YouTube? At some point, knowledge alone is something people perceive they can access on demand – any time they need it.

If your live session is simply information, it’s possible that either 1) there’s little or no differentiation between your live session and what they think they can otherwise get or 2) there is no perceived value or differentiation.

The first is a content and experience design problem, the second is a communication problem, which leads to my next question.

Is there something, anything, that your target market has ever gone out of their way (spent their own time and money) to pursue?

It’s a rhetorical question. The answer is, “Of course.”

The reality is that nobody has time or money for anything that they don’t perceive value in, and usually that value has to be pragmatic (“How can I impact my job/business NOW?”).

I assume you’ve got something valuable, and you believe you do, too.  I presume you’ve got something that can positively impact them. Figure out the WHY that’s greater than the HOW, and you’ll have nailed down what to communicate to them.

What can you do to create an experience for them in the live session?

People are most impacted when they are engaged cognitively, affectively, and kinesthetically. In other words, holistically.

If attending your live session is no different than watching a YouTube video, refer back to question number one.

The power of the synchronous classroom, however, is that it’s a live, instructor/presenter-led experience – or has the power to be.


  • Do they have access to an expert to get a question answered?
  • Is there “workshop” time for them to do exercises and apply what has been learned?
  • Is there a social aspect that has participants engaging with not only the instructor/presenter, but their peers as well?
  • Do participants have a chance to give input and have their voices/feedback heard?

The list could go on and on. But these are things we do in classrooms that often aren’t done in “webinars.”

How do you communicate that experience to people?

Now that you’ve created a live experience that goes beyond data-only, do your marketing communications help the invitee “own” that?

This might mean needing to go beyond “attend this webinar/training session to learn…,” and frankly, you probably should go beyond “attend this live, interactive webinar/training session to learn…”  People don’t believe it, because that’s not the common experience. It’s an intangible, and being descriptive is usually needed to differentiate from the other “talk at you for 45 minutes” webinar experiences they’ve had.

Separately, if you want to gain some insight about the interactions that people find engaging, taking this survey and viewing the results at the end might yield and idea or two for how you develop your training sessions.

All my best!

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