I’ve written before here about the inform-perform distinction as a way to differentiate Webinars for which you don’t charge from those for which you do. Here’s another, much simpler approach to Webinar strategy: if you want to charge for it, don’t call it a Webinar.
1. Webinars at this point are either a marketing tool or a commodity (sometimes both)
2. Language matters
Call it an online short course. Or a virtual workshop. Or, best of all, don’t talk about the format at all other than to say that it is online. (See, for example, this offering from the Association for Talent Development (formerly ASTD). In this and other ATD programs the word “Webinar” is practically nowhere to be found.)
Just don’t call it a Webinar unless you want it to be perceived as something for which people expect to pay little, if anything.
Yes, I know: there are still plenty of exceptions. But having watched this market for years, it’s clear where the trend is heading. It’s past time to get ahead of it.
P.S. – None of the above reduces the importance of the inform-perform distinction (or, one step further, transform). In the end, if you want to charge for it, you will have to deliver clear learning value, not just information. Finally, if you still really, truly want to charge for a Webinar, here is some data about Webinar pricing that we published a while back – and which seems to still hold pretty true, in our experience.