Three Rookie Summit Mistakes You’re Probably Making

Hosting a virtual summit? Good for you! You’re in for an incredible experience. Not only that, but you’ll grow your list, make some money, show of your expertise, and even make some important connections with other coaches in your niche.

But you can’t do any of that if you’re making these rookie mistakes.

Not planning ahead

A virtual summit is a big commitment. There are all kinds of moving parts you must coordinate, including:

  • Multiple speakers and their many scheduling conflicts
  • Email autoresponder connections
  • Upsell and downsell opportunities
  • Landing and access page creation
  • Promotion schedules and marketing materials

Clearly, this is not something you can pull together in a few days. Take your time, and consider hiring an expert to help you keep everything moving forward.

Not getting out of your comfort zone

As the host of a virtual summit, you don’t get to fade into the background. Make a commitment to put yourself out there, not only when it comes to promoting your event, but also when inviting guests. Reach for the stars, and don’t be afraid to approach your “dream” guest. You never know who might just say yes.

Not testing everything

No single webpage should be published, and no email sent without a thorough testing of everything, including:

  • Buttons—are they clickable and do they lead where you think they do?
  • Links—watch for broken links, placeholders and 404 errors.
  • Spelling and grammar—proofread everything, including the names of your presenters.
  • Upsell/downsell funnels—make sure products are buyable and easy to access.
  • Content delivery pages—do your videos and downloads work?
  • Guest offers—opt-in for all of your guests’ free offers to be sure they work as expected.
  • Timers and coupons (if you’re using them)

Virtual Summits: Show Off Your Expertise (Even If You’re a Relative Newbie)

There’s a reason why so many top coaches and service providers are hosting virtual summits: they’re the perfect way to showcase your expertise…even if you think you don’t have any.

Seriously, everyone is an expert in something, but if you’re breaking into a new niche, or simply trying to “uplevel” your brand, then a virtual summit can be the perfect launch pad. Here’s why it works so well.

Invite your dream guests

It’s true what they say about surrounding yourself with greatness. When you associate with coaches and business owners who are just a bit ahead of you in the entrepreneurial game, they will bring you up by association.

Pull off a successful event, and you’ll find your inbox flooded with offers for interviews, speaking engagements, and JV partnerships, and all because you had the courage and forethought to put together a stellar event. So don’t be afraid to approach those “big” names.

Repackage and repurpose

Don’t let your big event fade into the background as soon as it’s over. Instead, turn the recordings into evergreen products that will continue to showcase you as the go-to person in your niche.

Consider bundling the recordings with transcripts and selling them as one-off products. You could also turn the transcripts into Kindle books, or use the audios in a stand-alone training program. If you have a coaching client who struggles with a particular task, share the relevant recording with her, then offer to answer questions after she’s watched it.

The point is, use and re-use this content everywhere you can, and it will continue to help you grow your business for years.

Blow your own horn

Blog guest posting, podcast interviews, and the speaker’s circuit…these are all fantastic ways to leverage a successful summit to show off your expertise. Because you’ve pulled off your virtual event (with a minimum of hitches) and had the backing of some heavy hitters in your niche, you’re in a great position to turn that “fame” into more opportunities.

Make the most out of your hard work by including the information on your:

  • About page
  • Speaker page
  • Press page
  • LinkedIn bio

And don’t forget to stay in touch with your speakers so you can make the most of those connections, too.

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?