There have been a number of teaching resources to help people learn about Twitter lately – one of which is The Backstage Pass to Twitter Success by Laura Roeder. I’ve heard a few people say that they found Laura’s training helpful so I asked one of them – Dave Navarro from The Launch Coach – if he’d be willing to write a review of it. Here’s what he came back with.
I’ll be honest – I’ve been on Twitter longer than Laura Roeder has (well, only three weeks longer, but still, I have to claim what I can). But there’s one big difference between how the last 12 months have played out for the both of us. While I have a healthy enough Twitter following – almost 1.5 followers per person I follow – Laura has a staggering 8 followers per person she follows.
Clearly, Laura knows something I don’t. Maybe a whole lot of somethings. So when she launched her “Backstage Pass to Twitter” webinar a few weeks ago, I had to take a look … and here’s my review.
Part One: Establishing Credibility
Usually when you want to look into someone’s credibility, you Google the heck out of their name and look into what other people are saying about them. But since this is Twitter, I went to TwitterCounter.com instead and graphed her Twitter growth as compared to mine:
TwitterCounter is a nice enough service, but it doesn’t show the whole story. To be fair here, at the beginning of the graph I’m way ahead of Laura, mainly because it was around this time that I started following lots and lots of people in my niches, so I naturally had a good portion of follow backs.
But Laura’s growth was strictly organic (she only follows 1 person for every 8 that follow her). So where I started out with twice as many followers as her because I was following people like crazy, she leapfrogged me because people were following her like crazy. So, establishing credibility is done here.
Part Two: Who This Webinar is For
Surprisingly, this webinar covers a lot of ground, weighing in at a mighty 5 hours of content. That’s gives Laura the time to cover a wide range of content, for a wide range of Twitter users. Overall I’d say the content balances out at about 30% entry-level content (what Twitter is, Twitter etiquette, etc.) and 70% mid-level and advanced tactics.
If you’re totally new to Twitter, this webinar will take care of you with no worries. You’ll go through the entire 5 hours of content and get up to speed pretty quickly. With almost 2000 followers right now, I’m a more seasoned user, but there were still some good nuggets I got out of the beginner sections, especially when it comes to choosing what user name to use (something I flubbed on in the beginning – once I changed my name, my followers increased faster) and how to handle your profile link/custom background.
But I really look at this webinar as an advanced course that throws the beginner stuff in there for free. What caught my attention was Section Two (Maximizing Twitter Time). Looking back, I spent a lot of time building up my follower list, and I would have loved to have kept that time with a minimum – and on top of that, I’ve felt like keeping on top of Twitter was getting a bit unmanageable. So even as an advanced user, this webinar held a lot of value for me.
Bottom line: I can’t really think of anyone this webinar wouldn’t have value for.
Part Three: What’s In the Webinar
Here’s a breakdown of the four sections of the webinar (each clocking in a little over an hour)
Section One: Beyond The Basics of the Tweet
- Getting started: usernames, photos, backgrounds, link
- Settings/notifications in Twitter
- Advice on following: Should follow everyone who follows you?
- When it’s appropriate to use @ message as opposed to direct messages
- Avoiding Twitter profile mistakes
As I said, this is the section that advanced users can skip at first, but it would be a good idea to come back to it later. there are a few “Oh snap” moments in here where you may discover you’re making a simple error in how you handle your profile that can negatively affect your follow rate.
Section Two: Maximizing Twitter Time
- Free tools to streamline your time on twitter
- How much time you really need to spend on twitter every week to see results
- How to update all of your social media sites at once
- How to make your twitter account and website to “talk” to each other so that they’re promoting and sending traffic to each other
- Laura’s “ten minute twitter drill”
This section is worth the price of the entire webinar, in my opinion. Time is money, and I got a lot out of learning how to leverage Twitter more efficiently so it wasn’t such a time drain. After going through this section I’m spending a lot less time on Twitter and seeing better results for the time I’m putting in.
Section Three: Twit-etiquette and Twitter Culture
- The commonly sent message that makes newbies look bad
- What topics are OK on twitter and which ones are taboo
- How to introduce yourself to new people on twitter
- How to increase your follower list without using spammy methods
- Laura’s big strategy for getting hundreds more followers than Dave, even though he’s been on Twitter longer than you, Laura (ok, let’s just say this is a sore spot for me, I’m working through it!)
- How to form authentic connections with twitter VIPs
- The real reasons people unfollow
As an advanced user (and coming from a heavy marketing/customer relations background), I came into this section knowing a lot of it, but for those who haven’t been doing self-promotion for the last 10 years, there’s a lot to learn here – especially when it comes to forming real connections with people farther up the “food chain.”
This is huge, because if you’re looking to build your business by networking and getting exposure on Twitter, this is the section you need to listen to at least twice. Personally, I’d say that 50% of my revenue growth over the last year can be attributed to Twitter, so don’t underestimate what it can bring to your business.
Section Four: Selling & Promotion on Twitter
- The twitter monetization method that is guaranteed to backfire in the end
- How to avoid certain promotion tactics that will make you lose followers
- How to woo potential clients without ever being sales-y or pushy
- How to get others to retweet your sales messages and have them spread virally
- Laura’s personal strategy for under-the-radar selling on twitter
- The common mistake that ensures that your followers will never become buyers (and what to do instead)
Whoo, this is an important section for all twitter users. Selling is always a touchy issue unless it’s done in an exceptionally elegant way, and it’s the little things that make the difference between a pushy message and a message others want to spread for you. Again, with a marketing background, I had figured out a lot of this on my own, but I still learned a lot from this section in terms of subtle tactics that let you promote without being pushy.
Part Four: What I Liked / Didn’t Like
I liked the content, plain and simple. It was useful and relevant, and I really liked how the two “beginner” sections (One and Three) actually had things in it I hadn’t thought of before. I’m not sure if Laura did this on purpose, but she included one bullet point in each of those sections that made me say “Crap, I thought I could skip this section, but now I’ve got to know this.” And by doing that, it forced me to listen and learn new things from topics that I thought I was already well-versed in.
I also liked Laura. She doesn’t come across as a know it all, and she backs up all her recommendations
with good, real-world examples that you can immediately use (I’ve even had her guest post about Twitter on my own blog because I like her style).
I also liked her 6-month guarantee. Not many people have the guts to push a guarantee this long.
What I didn’t like – and this is a very personal thing – was that there weren’t any transcripts with the webinar. I’m big on transcripts, because I speed read and I can go the transcript and take notes in a fraction of the time that watching video takes. In fact, I didn’t watch the videos – I downloaded the MP3s of the sessions and played them at double speed so I could move through them quickly (what can I say, I’m impatient).
I’d recommend to Laura that she throw in some transcripts because they’re coming to be a more “expected” feature of information products these days.
Part Five: Is This Worth It For You?
Price is a big area where people get easily hung up, so I just want to tell you that you need to frame your expectations to this or any other info product according to the wise words of Warren “I’m the second richest person on Earth” Buffet: “Price is what you pay, value is what you get.”
Now, Laura’s selling this webinar for $197, which may seem high to a lot of people (and I know this in spades, given all the crazy comments I received from my own $97 ebook featured here on Problogger). But as I said in the comments there, price is irrelevant when you’re thinking about value.
If you’re just going to dabble on Twitter, and you like having lots of people to chat with, then this probably isn’t the product you need to be buying.
But if you’re using Twitter as a business building tool, then the only question for you is how much business you want to bring in via Twitter. For most people who are building a business online, this price is a non-issue because it’s easily recouped with a few product sales or a new client or two. And if you’re a blogger (which, if you’re reading this, you probably are), it’s a question of how much traffic you want to bring to your site via Twitter. Thinking about the $197 is small-time thinking. Focusing on what you can get is the criteria you should use with every buying decision.
Part Six: The Bottom Line
What Laura doesn’t realize is that she’s just given me the ammunition I need to turn the Twitter tide and overtake her in followers (I’m coming for you, Laura, the game is ON). If you want to bring in more business this year using Twitter, then you’ll want to take a closer look at Laura Roeder’s Backstage Pass To Twitter Webinar.