Webinars: I need your advice … Can you help?

Written by: Glyn Dewis

Published: July 22, 2011

Category: General

In the future I’m thinking of hosting a couple of webinars but before I do, I just wondered if I could ask for your help; let me explain…

Regular readers of this blog will know that I run my own workshops which include half a day of photography in the studio followed by half a day of Photoshop retouching and compositing techniques, and what”s interesting is that I’ve received a number of emails asking if I do my workshop abroad.

It’s early days with the workshop but if all works out well and it continues to be well received then taking it abroad is something I’d love to do but with my feet firmly on the ground I wouldn’t even consider that until it’d had enough time to develop.

Now this leads me onto this subject of Webinars…

What I’d like to do is to run a couple of webinars in the near future which would cover some of my photoshop work (Retouching and Compositing), choosing one image for each session and then running through each and every step to achieve the final look.

However, before I go ahead and put some dates in the diary I just wanted to get your opinion on a few points, so wondered if you could do me a huge favour and answer the following questions for me…

  1. Do you think a webinar covering retouching and compositing techniques  would be a good thing to do and why?
  2. If you were to pay for a webinar such as I’m suggesting, what would you consider a reasonable price?
  3. What time of day do you think would be best?
  4. Would you like the option to download the webinar once the ‘live’ viewing has passed?
  5. Thinking of how long each webinar would be, how long would be too long?

Win a FREE Kelby Training DVD
Thanks to the N.A.P.P. [link] and Kelby Training [link] I’m able to offer you the chance to win the choice of a FREE Photoshop training DVD as a thank you for taking the time to leave some feedback and helpling me out with this. So for your chance to win just leave your answers/feedback in the comments section below and a winner will be picked by random one week from today (29th July).

Enjoy 🙂

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18 Comments

  1. daniela

    1. yes. providing it goes beyond the free tutorials you’re offering or that can be found on youtube. like – if one would cover a few “what ifs” or more detailed explanations..
    2. highly depends on the actual content. i for one know that i could learn so much from you that i’d be willing to pay a lot for that too. however, if you were to only cover basics there wouldn’t be so much value in it, right. also, i’m not familiar with market prices, so this could seem like a slap in the face (which i sincerely hope it doesn’t!) but if i had to give you a number, i’d say something between 50 and 100 quid.
    3. evening, 6 pm maybe
    4. sure. either that or a written together tutorial covering the essentials. i could imagine that during the webinar it’d be difficult to concentrate on listening, learning, doing and taking notes but later on you’d be dependent on the notes because you surely don’t remember everything by heart just from having heard it once…
    5. don’t have any workshop experience but i’d say the absolute top limit for me would be four hours. i’m sure two would be plenty as well..

    hope this was helpful in some way despite my being absolutely new to the world of seminars and webinars and workshops..
    again, i sincerely hope i didn’t ask for anything totally unusual or that the price was way too low or something.. i really respect you and look up to you, should my answers give you another impression, i’m deeply sorry.

    Reply
  2. Scott O.

    1.Anytime I can learn something new from somebody else, then I’m happy! If I walk away from a class with even the smallest amount of new information, then it was a success.

    2.That really depends on the content, the teacher, and what the students are willing to pay.

    3.Evening time works best for me, but then aain, that would probably early morning where you are at. Possibly a live event for your local folks, with the option to view a taped version for others.

    4.Did not even read this question before I answered #3. But yes, that would be a magnificent option!

    5.I think the perfect webinar runs about one hour, at least for me it does!

    Good luck Glyn, you are an excellent teacher, and I’ve learned quite a bit from you already!

    Scott O.
    Bald Is Beautiful Photography

    Reply
  3. Keith Hammond

    1)Yes, webinars are a good way to learn, but if it was an interactive one then you would have to work at pace that people of different skill levels could follow easily.
    2) Pricing is very difficult to gauge when there is so much free content on the web. It must give good value because although it would be like getting 1-2-1 tuition it’s not the same as attending a workshop so can only cost a portion of a workshop fee, if say the webinar covered a fifth of the workshop content then the cost should be proportionate to that and include a download.
    3)Mid evening, 7 ish for UK market, could be challenging to cater for various overseas time zones.
    4)Yes, because people may not “get it” all during the webinar and it would be seen as good value if included in the cost.
    5)1 hour max, studies show peoples consentration / attention span starts to drop after intense consentration on a computer.

    You will have to plan carefully the content of the webinar because you have already shared a lot of tecniques / info etc free.

    Reply
  4. Freya

    1) Yes! Since I am in the US, webinars will be great alternative for me. I still do want you to come and do some hands-on workshops in the US:) As Keith above said, there will be mixed skill levels and I have experienced some frustrations with some of the webinars I have attended. Minimum skill levels need to be posted clearly.

    2) Obviously, price will vary depending on the content/length of the webinar. The webinars I have attended ranged from $25 to $50 for 60-90 minutes. Most of them had mixed skill levels. I am willing to pay for up to $100 for advanced webinars:)

    3) You will probably need to set few different times depending where your targeted audiences are. Most of the well attended webinars here in the US have been around 7PM (I am in the Central Time).

    4) Yes, so I can revisit if I need to. There should be an option to purchase at reduced rate (since it is not interactive) for those who could not attend as well.

    5) 60-90 minutes worked for me in the past but I could go for 2 hours depending on the content. I would hate to rush through some advanced materials and get cut short.

    I am really looking forward to your webinars:)
    Freya

    Reply
  5. DaveT

    1)I don’t think webinars give the same experience as attendance at a workshop. To me they are more like witnessing a live demonstration from a remote location. Yes, some allow you to ask questions, but it’s not the same as personal interaction between the tutor/student. Having said that they are quite useful things for dissemination of information and learning.

    Most of the ones I have seen were free, from people like Xrite, Nik software etc. and are usually archived for later viewing too.

    2) Difficult to know. Because there are a plethora of free videos, blogs, and webinars out there that cover retouching etc, I don’t know what the demand would be for paying attendance. Any pay for attendance webinars would have to offer top quality content, and have some sort of differentiator to attract paying customers. That’s not to say that your not a top quality presenter and tutor, its just an observation of what I perceive the market place to be. In short will the effort give you sufficient financial reward.

    GMT evening time around 7/8 p.m is best for UK but that may be difficult for people in the USA.

    In principal yes, but it depends on the bandwidth. I have slow broadband and restrictions on the amount of data I can use per month.

    Agree with Keith 1 hr max – its a very valid point about attention spans. In fact the more intensive the learning is the more difficult it is to absorb and retain. And like my previous comment, bandwidth is an issue too. If your looking to reach a wide audience, there are many places , even here in the UK that are woefully served by the internet.

    Hope this helps, and good luck
    Dave

    Reply
  6. Martyn Lyon

    1. Yes I think it would, as I like your way of explaining your methods.

    2. Depends on the length and the complexity covered, but I’d say between £40-60?

    3. 6pm GMT sounds about right, as that is still daytime in the US as well, and early evening for our European friends.

    4. Yes, especially in an iPhone/iPad compatible format for viewing later.

    5. I’d say around 90 minutes would probably be perfect.

    Reply
  7. Kategraphy

    Hi Glyn,

    I do regular webinars in German, so maybe, I can help you 🙂

    From my experience, it is best to settle the events between 6pm and 9pm (starting not later than 8pm).
    In addition, I can advice you to plan webinars no longer than 2 hours (45min to an hour is perfect in my opinion). The eyes get tired from looking at the screen after 2 hours and the concentration wavers.

    To post the webinars afterwards is kind of a double-edged sword. People will be able to watch the webinar, if they were not able to attend the live session. But this will keep some of them from the webinar, because they think it’s more comfortable to look it, when they have much time.
    I would make a recorded version available, but make sure, those who attend have an advantage!

    Hope, I was able to help you. If you need further help, feel free to email me!

    Yours, Kate

    Reply
  8. Gene McCullagh

    I’m glad you’re finally going down this road Glyn!
    1. Definitely! You have a definite talent and personal style. Being in the U.S. it is unlikely I can make it to your workshop and this would be a decent alternative.

    2. $15 to $25. This is what I’ve been seeing for similar offerings.

    3. M-F: Evenings, Weekend: Afternoon/Evening You may want to look at several sessions due to time zones or offer one live experience and then charge a different rate for on-demand “rentals”

    4. I’d rather stream it than download it.

    5. 2 hours is the absolute maximum IMO. If you anticipate a longer session you might consider doing a multi-part series keeping each part under 2 hours.

    Now, this doesn’t relieve you from touring with your workshop, Glyn! LOL

    Reply
  9. Theresa Jackson

    1. Yes. I love the webinar idea
    2. Up to $29.00
    3. M-F PST Daytime. That’s when I am working and most likely to watch a webinar.
    4. I would want to download the webinar and watch it again at a later time.
    5. 2 hours max! 1 hour is probably better. Could possibly break up a webinar into a couple sessions to keep it short.

    I’d love a webinar where you go through the steps of your editing process from start to finish. What ideas do you have while working on an image. What look are you trying to achieve and why and how do you get there. Personally I am more interested in your creative thought process than the technical how to but that’s just me. I’d guess most people are more interested in the technical information.

    Reply
  10. Dave

    I can’t honestly say I’ve ever been involved in a “webinar” – I’m not actually sure I even know what one is. I am however a big fan of Kelby Training Online so the ability to download any source of information and in the case of video be able to pause and rewind etc is vital to how I learn. Downloadable course notes would be awesome too if I’m right in thinking a webinar is like a virtual seminar?

    How much I’d pay would depend on the content and depth of that content. I have paid for tutorial dvds before which only gave you (perhaps just me?!) 95% of the “how and why” – keeping the last 5% to themselves means that you feel like you have learnt something but can’t quite reproduce the technique yourself. Sneaky. I have never felt this way about your tutorials and its important that this carries through with your webinars. A webinar is not a replacement for actual human contact face to face, hands on and as such should be significantly cheaper than a physical course/seminar.

    Time-wise, it probably depends on who you want to watch. As a full-time photog I could make time in my working day, assuming I’m editing and not out on a shoot. Amateurs and semi pros may not be able to watch during the day and would want an evening session, perhaps after dinner is done and the kids are in bed. For me personally that wouldn’t work as I try not do work after dinner. Tonight is an exception and I should be editing and not posting on peoples blogs! 😉 Hope this helps!

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Thanks so much everyone for the comments coming in so far…they’re all incredibly helpful!!!
      Gene…I hear you mate…honest…I’d love to travel with the workshop; df’ something for the future 🙂 Oh and Kate…thanks for that…out of interest what hosting/service provider do you use for your Webinars?

      Thanks again everyone…this is all great ‘food for though’ 🙂
      Glyn

      Reply
  11. Kategraphy

    Hi Glyn,

    I’ve been working with Adobe Connect mostly. But makeTV is worth a look, too!

    Kate

    Reply
  12. A.J. Wood

    The best approach I have seen is free webinars that are then put behind a pay wall. What I mean, is I know a few very successful subscriber based websites that are continually building their content library by offering free webinars. The free webinar introduces potential subscribers to the value they receive if they signup.

    As mentioned in the other comments, the challenge is all the good free content that is already out there. I’ve certainly run into this myself, and as you’re well aware you can’t mention Photoshop without bumping into a “guru” these days.

    I think your content and techniques put you at an advantage because your fan base is in love with your craft. You’ve certainly surpassed many of our colleagues who gone back to the comfort of their day jobs.

    However you choose to get things going, I’m sure it will be a success. Oh, and WHEN you bring that workshop to the states, I fully expect to see you in Dallas.

    – A.J.

    Reply
  13. David Hodgins

    I think webinars are a proven teaching/learning method. Scott Kelby has proven it works. The biggest challenge I see with it is that of competaition. Again, I mention Scott Kelby.
    What can you offer that isn’t in Photoshop User TV as a free download? Shared images, for one. Real-time interaction is also very popular. Just spend some time watching The Grid to see how many people take part. The Grid, however, is a talk show, not a teaching show. But many of the Kelby live webinars are very well populated. Ironically, I just finished watching the portrait retouching webinar they did.
    If you could offer the immediate interaction during the shoot, real-time the images to subscribers, then do a retouch live on that shared image that others could work with you, I think that’s something that’s not out there right now.
    One of the other things I am finding is that almost everybody will show you how to do it right in an online class. What is missing (likely due to time/bandwidth/etc) is what it looks like when you did it wrong. I have seen what correct looks like over and over, but that doesn’t teach me to work the problem when i have done it wrong the first time, and figure out what I DID wrong.

    Reply
  14. SC

    1 – Yes – I loved Scott Kelby’s book on retouching, and will definitely be buying Matt Kloskowski’s new compositing book. Whilst am sure there is plenty of video content covering both subjects out there already, always good to have plenty of options and visually seeing the techniques put into practice is much easier to learn from.
    2 – Like other people’s comments this is hard because of the amount of free content available already. What I would say is I’d pay a small fee for the option of being able to download the webinar for keeps via itunes or similiar which ties into question 4.
    3 – 8pm GMT works for me.
    4 – Yes – having it downloaded allows unlimited revisits on smart phone, ipads, laptops etc. If the webinar isn’t free, this softens the blow.
    5 – 1 hour is a good time. 1 hour and a half max – whilst people’s attention spans may be short, if you do offer it as a download after, your offering more content in terms of learning value that people can revisit at will.

    Interested to see where this goes. All the best. SC

    Reply
  15. David Kelly

    Hi Glyn,
    Just throwing my tuppence worth in:

    1. I think webinars are another useful vehicle for reaching an audience (particularly as there’s usually an opportunity for interactive Q&A at the end) so a retouching / compositing would be a great idea as venture. I think the compositing angle would be particularly attractive as IMHO I think retouching is extensively covered out there given the amount of DVD / downloads I see out there. Don’t recall seeing much on compositing (other than your workshop / blog posts and Matt K’s new book 😉

    2. Given that you can potentially get a several days worth of workshop for “free” via CreativeLive & free product webinars from Nik / Onone, I think it needs to be a low price point, something around £14.99 – £19.99 / $24.99 – $29.99 (yes the old .99 subliminal mind trick).

    3. I think 6pm UK time is a fair compromise to cover the time differences between US / European countries – I imagine covers most of you potential audience, but a different slot would be need if you have AsiaPac people 😉

    4. Definitely. If the video wasn’t going to be hosted online anywhere afterwards I’d want to be able to download it for reference / re-watching, particularly as the subject matter isn’t going to be something that involves just a few clicks! HD / iOS compatible video would be ideal so that you can clearly see the results (most esp. if your doing ‘subtle’ retouching) and that I don’t have to waste time converting it to a .mp4 / .m4v file for my iPad.

    The CreativeLive earlybird discount model may be useful in this instance to make the prices suggested above more attractive, with a increase in these prices for those who may wish to purchase the video post delivery.

    5. As someone who holds & participates in web conference calls at work I think that a webinar should last no longer than 50-60mins (for the delivery) + 10-15mins for Q&A. Trust me people’s attention span will start to wear off at this point (if it hasn’t done so earlier!). The one thing that people forget about webinars is that the presenter also has an attention / endurance span too, so as a presenter you need to factor in how long you can hold it together with an audience watching / listening. There are no breaks on short webinars so it’s worth checking out how long you can deliver for, before you start to wane.

    Regards,

    David

    PS Are you any further forward in your choice of hosting options, following your tweet last week?

    PPS Apologies for not visiting these ‘blog shores’ for sometime now 😉

    Reply
    • Glyn

      Thanks again everybody for adding your thoughts on here; definitely is a BIG help 🙂
      Kate…thanks for reminding me about the Adobe Connect…I’ll definitely take a look at that and A.J. … I wouldn’t dream of missing Dallas off the list…lol 🙂

      Looking at what everyone is saying I tend to agree that 1hour would be enough because I know how I am if I’m having to listen and learning for periods any longer than that and re the pricing…that’s definitely been interesting.
      I’ll keep you all posted with the progress but expect to run a couple of freebies so folks would know the quality and content for future webinars.

      Cheers,
      Glyn

      Reply
  16. Rain

    The aibilty to think like that is always a joy to behold

    Reply

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