How to Make Money With a Free Event

If you’ve ever hosted a virtual summit, then you know how much work they can be. You spend weeks planning, foot the bill for graphics and landing pages, shell out for webinar systems, and pay for Facebook ads. Not only that, but you have to invest time and energy in recording interviews and piecing all the technology together.

Sure, you’re adding lots and lots of names to your mailing list (at least we hope you are), but if there’s no money to be made on the event, is it really worth it?

Yes! Because there most certainly is money to be made, even in a free event.

Backend sales. One of the biggest benefits of hosting an event is the opportunity to grow your mailing list, so hopefully, you already have an autoresponder that’s working well in terms of driving sales and affiliate commissions. If not, then spend some time creating follow-up emails that specifically promote your products and services, and those of your colleagues and JV partners.

Upsells and downsells. As you’re setting up your summit funnel, be sure you’re adding in logical up- and down-sells in appropriate places. Some common locations for upsells include:

  • Confirmation pages—this is the page registrants see immediately after they opt-in, but before they confirm their email address. Typically it will say something like “Check your email now” but you can (and should) also include an upsell here.
  • Thank you pages—this is the page registrants will see after confirming their email. This page tells them what to expect next (dates and times of your event, where to log in, etc.) and like your confirmation page, should also include something for readers to buy.
  • Downloadable content—if you’re offering a transcript, workbook, or other downloadable item, remember to include an advertisement for a related product or service.

Extended access. Many summit hosts allow registrants to watch the event for a very limited time, and sell extended access.

Repurpose the recordings for paid products. Bundle your recordings with transcripts or other related content and turn them into stand-alone products you can sell to your list.

Just because your initial event is free to attend doesn’t mean it’s not profitable. With a little thought and planning, you can not only recoup your initial investment, but even make a tidy profit on your next free event.

The Many Benefits of Virtual Summits

They’ve long been a popular choice for online marketers. But if you’re wondering why everyone is suddenly hosting (or participating in) virtual summits, here’s what you need to know.

They make money. Even a free summit has the power to add to your bottom line through “back end” sales. The ability to market to new subscribers again and again means you’ll continue to make money from your summit long after it’s finished.

Audiences love them. With the option to tune in and learn from a wide variety of speakers, it’s no wonder people are quick to register for virtual summits. Even better, if your guests generously offer free gifts to attendees, they’ll find even more value in your summit.

They grow your list. Yes, your virtual event will likely be free, but like any good giveaway, an email address is required for participation. Because you’re hosting a multi-person event, though, you’ll be in front of many more eyes than normal, which has the power to add hundreds or even thousands of new names to your mailing list.

They make you an expert. Even if you’re relatively new to your niche, simply by surrounding yourself with experts you’ll gain instant expert status. You can leverage your new status to gain interviews, speaking engagements and more.

They create long-lasting connections. While you might not have a lot of connections now, the guests you invite to participate in your summit will likely become long-term partners and friends. You’ll be able to reach out again and again with new product launches, JV opportunities, and other business building fun.

They offer an opportunity to give back. Got a charity or cause that’s close to your heart? Consider donating the proceeds from your event. It’s a great way to help others while growing your own business.

These are just a few of the many benefits of hosting a virtual summit. They really are the best way to grow your business for free, and while they can be a lot of work to plan and execute, they’re definitely worth the trouble.

Three Powerful Tools That Make Hosting a Virtual Summit Easy

Ask any online event organizer or host what her biggest struggle is, and she’ll nearly always say it’s technology.

From not knowing what apps to use to not understanding how they work to fighting to connect them with each other, tech is the one thing that holds most people back from hosting an online event.

Even just a few years ago, this was a legitimate concern. Today, though, you have lots of options for every piece of the puzzle, including video recording, landing page creation, and content delivery.

Google Hangouts Make Recording Easy

You no longer need to invest in expensive systems such as GoToWebinar or Adobe Connect. Now all you need is a Google account and a web cam. With Google Hangouts, you can:

  • Share screens and slideshows
  • Record your interview
  • Invite guests with just an email address (nothing for them to download and install)
  • Automatically post to your YouTube channel

The biggest benefit, though, is that it’s free. And you just can’t beat that!

Landing Pages Come Together Quickly With LeadPages

Landing pages—even if you use a CMS system such as WordPress—are a pain to get right. Getting your opt-in box aligned properly and connected to your autoresponder is frustrating. Split testing is nearly impossible. And formatting? Unless you’re a CSS whiz (or you hire one) you’ll likely have trouble.

LeadPages has taken all the work out of landing page creation by providing an ever-growing library of proven, editable templates ideal for any type of event.

Protect Content With Wishlist Member

If you’ll be delivering replays, you don’t want them available to the public. You can protect content with a simple password set up on your site, but for a more professional look and feel, consider upgrading to a membership site. Wishlist is easy to use and configure, and will automatically create protected pages for your summit recordings.

If you’ve procrastinated hosting your own event because you didn’t think you could manage the tech, you can no longer use that excuse. These three tools together make it super easy to create, promote and host a virtual event. So what are you waiting for?

VIP Days: The Secret Strategy of Top-Earning Coaches

How many hours per day do you spend on the phone with clients?

If you’re like most coaches, the answer is often “more than I want to.”

Let’s face it, coaching can be exhausting. Sure, you love working with different clients, and you get a real charge out of being able to help someone overcome their issues and achieve their goals.

But it’s still taxing to be on the phone all day, every day. And add to that the need to constantly be looking for new clients, and you’ve got a recipe for burnout.

That’s why so many coaches are beginning to offer VIP days. Simply put, a VIP day is a whole day spent with a single client (or maybe two or three, depending on your preferences). Rather than jumping from call to call and trying to keep up with multiple clients and their various issues, you can simply focus on a single client and a single goal.

Even better, with coaches routinely charging as much as $10,000 for a VIP day, you can see that scheduling just 4 clients per month can bring in more than a whole week’s worth of one-on-one calls.

Here’s how VIP days work: Typically, clients will travel to your location. You might choose to meet in your home, in a rented meeting space, or in a hotel. You can also host virtual VIP days via Skype or phone, if you prefer.

Your VIP day will be tightly focused and have a single goal. If your market is online business owners and you are a genius at book writing, your VIP days might be designed to get a client to plan, outline, and begin writing her first book. If you work with working moms in search of balance in their lives, you might focus your day around creating a workable schedule for the family, with planners and other organizational tools created by the end of the day.

Your VIP clients receive the benefit of your expertise, your undivided attention (no texting with the kids during a VIP day!), and a day spent simply focusing on the task at hand. It’s a powerful way to get things done, and unlike conferences and other training programs, it encourages clients to actually do the work on site, rather than going home with a notebook full of ideas she’ll never implement.

VIP days also make for a great opportunity to upsell your client into an ongoing group coaching program. After all, she’ll likely need support after she gets back home, and regular coaching sessions with other VIP clients is a great way to get the support she needs to continue working towards her goals.

Ready to offer your own VIP days? Start by asking your current clients if it’s something they’d be interested in. Chances are they’ll give you an enthusiastic thumbs up, and you’ll be ready to start putting together a plan to offer powerful, focused VIP coaching.

Single Focus: The Secret to Powerful VIP Days

Unlike a 3-day conference or telesummit, VIP days are generally tightly focused with a single goal. You want your client to walk away having solved her biggest business problem (or at least one that’s been holding her back for some time) and be able to jump back into work with a sense of accomplishment.

You don’t want her to go home with a head full of ideas and a notebook full of half-finished thoughts that she’ll never take action on.

Keeping your VIP day tightly focused is beneficial to you as well. Chances are you’re the go-to person in your market for one (or maybe two) things. Perhaps you’re known for helping clients break through their money issues to earn more than they ever thought possible. Or maybe you’re a genius at building an affiliate marketing empire. Or you might be the 4-hour workweek type, able to set up systems and processes that get your clients out of the office while still growing their income.

Whatever your area of expertise, by offering a VIP day centered around it, you’ll be able to command a much higher rate than a general “coach with me” kind of day where anything goes. After all, you’re the expert, so it’s time to show off your stuff.

You’ll find that attracting your ideal client is easier when your day has a strict focus as well. It might seem counterintuitive, but when you offer buyers lots of choices, they’ll often become confused, and end up buying nothing. The same is true for coaching. When faced with many ideas and potential programs, there’s a tendency to become overwhelmed.

By remaining focused, you have the opportunity to show potential clients exactly what you can help them accomplish, rather than using vague words and empty promises such as “take your business to the next level” or “overcome your roadblocks to success.”

Instead, your clients will know that after their VIP day with you, they can look forward to having a “step-by-step personalized action plan for becoming a super affiliate” or a “new attitude towards money and how it can work for you.”

Focus makes your sales page easier to write, ad targeting clearer, and testimonials more powerful, too.

Of course, all that means that you really do have to have the focus (and enough expertise) to teach for an entire day on a single subject. If you don’t feel you can pull that off, consider bringing in a guest expert who can speak about a related topic. For example, if your VIP day is all about money mindset, then a brief meeting with someone who can offer tips on budgeting would be a perfect fit.

Here’s the bottom line. The more focused your goal for your VIP clients, the more they will get out of your event. And the more value they receive, the more raving fans you’ll have, who will happily share you and your coaching programs with their friends and colleagues.