What I learned from hosting my first webinar

I hosted my Handmade Wardrobe Q & A webinar yesterday! I had a great time doing it, and it went pretty smoothly considering I've never hosted a webinar before. I'm pretty comfortable on camera and chatting with people. Although it was a little awkward chatting to myself on a screen instead of looking at people's faces while I talked, I soon got used to it! 

I did a lot of research and prep for the webinar, because I didn't want it to suck. Even so, there were a couple of things I will do differently next time. Since I hosted the webinar on YouTube live, there is a video recording that I'm going to share with y'all today. 

Check it out!

What I learned from hosting my first webinar - makingsomethingrad.com

So, I've never hosted a webinar before. However, I'm trying to put together a list of topics that I should be covering when making tutorials, and eventually workshops and coaching offerings for creating a handmade wardrobe. I kept going back to the fact that I just needed to talk with some people and actually address the issues they need help with. So I decided to host a webinar.

I started by emailing out a quick letter to my subscribers, asking them about the top two problems they were having getting started with a handmade wardrobe. I created a list of the responses, as well as my answers to them.

Then I set up a YouTube live event and sent out another email (actually more than one, in case people missed the first one) with the link, as well as the date and time I would be hosting the event. I also gave a brief description of what I'd be covering so people would know what to expect. 

I created an itinerary of the topics and the approximate time spent on each one, and sent it out to my subscribers the day before the webinar. 

My webinar itinerary. I know there's a typeo, but YOLO! I created it using Canva.

My webinar itinerary. I know there's a typeo, but YOLO! I created it using Canva.

On the day of the webinar, I printed out a little outline of my talking point. Not a script, just the topics in order and some prompts for myself, so I could stay on task.  I would love to show you a photo, but my cats ate the papers. XD

The night before the webinar, I created a resource list to mail out afterwards. I created it in Canva, and it's a PDF with clickable links to all of the books, blogs, pattern companies, and other things I go over in the video. If you want your own copy, you can sign up as a subscriber to download it below!

On the day of the webinar, I did a test run on YouTube live about an hour before the event was to start. I asked my husband to moderate, which was a great idea. I'm glad I did a test run, because YouTube live is kind of confusing to set up. I had my husband help me with technical support, setting up the mic, and so forth.

The webinar went really well! Here's the video!

Here's what I learned from hosting my first webinar -

It's really hard to talk at your own face! I got used to it, but I wish I could see the participants so it would feel more like a conversation.

YouTube live is a little tricky. You have two windows of the feed - the Google Hangouts, and the YouTube video. This is confusing. You should be looking at the Hangouts one, not the YouTube one. And, you have to popout the chat from the YouTube and make two windows so you can watch the Hangouts feed of yourself talking, and also see the chats from the guests. I would have never figured this out without my husband to help. 

Also, the live streaming nature of YouTube live makes a really annoying delay of about 20 seconds between when you talk and when your viewers see and hear you. This makes it confusing and hard to ask questions to the audience and have them ask you questions. I did not like this at all.

Although YouTube live was a great free, fast option for hosting this webinar, I will be looking for a "real" webinar service to host the next one on.

Yes, there will be a next one! I realized that maybe Sunday afternoon is not a good time to host a webinar. Many people who signed up and gave me great responses in the emails were not able to sign on. I am going to hold one on a week day coming up. If you want to get updates about that, sign up to my email list here!

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Even though some people weren't able to make it, I did have an amazing time. I went over all the questions that were asked from the email responses, and I had a great guest who had some really thoughtful questions I could answer for her.

I am really glad I did all the prep work, because I felt totally comfortable and prepared with my content. It's all about pre-production, folks!

After the webinar ended, I sent out my resource list and a link to the video to everyone who signed up. 

Download my resource list here!

It's got links to a bunch of great resources for starting a handmade wardrobe, from my favorite beginner-friendly pattern sources to the places I shop for fabric, books that will be helpful, and great learning blogs and websites.

Get my Handmade WardrobeQ & A resource list!

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This PDF resource list has clickable links to all my favorite places for patterns, fabric, books, blogs, and sewing info!

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As I said, I'm going to host another webinar soon. If you want to ask me questions about getting started sewing a handmade wardrobe, sign up and I'll send you the updates. If you have questions you'd like to ask me, post them here in comments and I will be sure to address them!