I’m a webinar junkie. I love doing them, I love attending them, and I’m always looking at ways that I can use them in my business.

Doing webinars can help you sell your programs or products, help build your connection and relationship with your online audience, and help you build your list. They are also a great way to increase your credibility and “expert status.”

I thought I’d take a hot second and go over the difference between live and evergreen webinars and give you the pros and cons for each of them.

Live Webinars

I’m a performer with a degree in theatre. I made my living exclusively speaking LIVE from the stage before I started my online business, so live webinars were a really easy transition for me. Basically, this means that you set a date and time for your webinar, get people to opt in, and then invite them to show up live with you at the correct day and time. Those who can’t make the live webinar will often watch the replay, but it’s recorded live.

Live Webinar Pros

  • You can make last minute changes and changes on the fly when you do your webinar live. I’m a “tweaker” so I love this option
  • When you go live, it’s much easier to make an emotional connection because you can…
    • address your participants by name and…
    • handle objections or questions in real-time. And that means that…
    • Live webinars generally convert better than automated ones because of that personal connection
  • When your attendees know you’re there with them live, they’ll be more likely to stick around and engage with you throughout the presentation.
  • You can offer a live Q&A at the end of your session, which is GOLD because you’ll be addressing your potential purchaser’s real objections in real time
  • People tend to stay until the end because of the interaction and the ability to ask their question

Live Webinar Cons

  • Timing with audience availability, because you set one day and time and, with different time zones and people’s schedules, this often makes it challenging for people to actually participate in real time.
  • Things can go wrong in real time and if they do, you’re dealing with them whether you want to or not. Tech issues are the biggest danger and can happen no matter how prepared you are. It’s honestly really nerve wracking.
  • You might screw up and say something wrong. God knows I’ve done this. And live is live. You can’t take it back or edit it out.
  • Multi tasking can be hard, because when you’re training live, you’re also interacting live. It’s hard to run the slides, be an awesome trainer, and also keep track of the comments and questions. Having someone help with this is a solution, but not everyone has that luxury.

Evergreen Webinars (Pre-Recorded and Automated)

Evergreen webinars are pre-recorded webinars that play either on demand (when someone accesses them, they’re always on and available), or through an evergreen system that allows participants to choose from several different dates and times and whose goal is to present the webinar as “live” even though it isn’t. So you record the webinar once, get it exactly the way you want it to be, and then fake your audience members out so they think it’s actually live.

I’m not a fan of this, but it’s widely used. In my (never to be humble) opinion, people aren’t idiots and they can tell if you’re insulting their intelligence by pretending a webinar’s live when it clearly isn’t. I personally hate this and I can always (ALWAYS) tell when this switcharoo is taking place. Just don’t do it.

Automated Webinar Pros

  • You can map out content before you record so that it’s exactly what you want to say
  • It also allows you to edit your presentation in post production so that it’s perfect. Any mistakes or “oops” moments can be edited out
  • If you tend to get nervous, prerecorded is easier because the pressure is off and you know you can edit it if it’s not the way you want it
  • You can still interact to comments after the fact if you keep track of them (and some systems even alert you when someone comments so you can reply in real time.
  • You can offer “on demand” and make it look live which eliminates time zone issues (but, again, people aren’t stupid. If I hit a webinar page and, lo and behold, there just magically “happens” to be a webinar starting in 5 minutes, I don’t, for one tiny second, believe you when you tell me it’s live).

Automated Webinar Cons

  • Because it’s pre-recorded, if something changes with your offer or presentation, you have to re-record the entire webinar
  • You’ll have no interaction or connection with your audience which can impact your outcome.
  • People know they are automated, even if you use “live” features to fake them out (again, just don’t do this. I say at the beginning of my evergreen webinar, “This is not live, it’s pre-recorded. I wouldn’t insult your intelligence and attempt to fake you out by passing this off as live. There’s a ton of great information and I do check the comments often so please ask your questions, just know that I’m not actually here.”).

The bottom line is, there are uses for both types of webinars in your business. You could have a prerecorded evergreen webinar as part of your lead funnel and still do live webinars of use FB live (like I do) to make offers or grow your list. Look at the pros and cons, see which one’s best for you, and go for it.

Are you wanting help putting together your webinar? Need help with your format or ideas? Let’s jump on a live, 30 minute assessment and let me help you figure that out!

I’m offering my “Your Killer Webinar Formula ” Assessment to my blog readers. There’s no charge and this is NOT a sales call (cross my heart and hope to die).

Here’s the link for that if you want to grab your appointment: https://TheVirtualRockstar.com/killerwebinar

Julie Anne Jones

Author Julie Anne Jones

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  • Linda Vorthman says:

    Julie Anne, this is a very detailed overview. It’s important information for marketers wanting to connect & get their message out in a big way.

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