Welcome to the first episode of the Virtual Summit Mastery podcast. In this episode, I want to talk about eight ways virtual summits can grow your online business.
I think this is a pretty solid way to start this podcast because the tagline is the podcast where you will discover practical and proven methods to exponentially grow your email list, influence revenue, and impact. So this episode is all about expanding your business online through virtual summits.
Summits are a beast of a strategy for building a business and growing the business online, but they also can be overwhelming, and they are a lot of work.
So with this podcast episode, I want to start the VSM podcast by giving you the eight best ways your virtual summit can explode your business. Those are ways that talk about your thought leadership and how your brand is perceived. You’ll understand how summits are bringing in revenue and growing your email list.
1. Use Your Virtual Conference To Establish Thought Leadership
So with that out of the way, let’s dive into the eight ways which of the summits can scale your business. The first one is that you are establishing thought leadership in this space. You bring together influencers who already have credibility and who are already known, liked, and trusted.
And to do that, you obviously, first of all, have to need to have a relationship with these influencers. But you also can demonstrate your expertise in their field and in the topics you are focusing on, on your summit by having thoughtful conversations, having thoughtful interviews with those experts.
What you are doing is you are standing on the shoulders of giants here. You have their fame rub off on you. And you are leveraging the authority. Those influencers have already built up authority you want to associate yourself with – by featuring them on your summit.
Now let’s take a step back right here. If you want to bring on influencers and people who are already famous in your space, don’t you need to be famous and respected yourself?
And the short answer is no, you don’t.
How Coaches, Consultants, Experts, and Speakers Are Using
Our Proven System to Build Wildly Profitable Online Businesses With Virtual Summits
While Making A Bigger Impact On Their Audience, And Adding Targeted Subscribers To Their List.
You only need to have a genuine relationship with those people. You don’t need to be famous yourself to get high-profile speakers onto your summit. What you need to do is you need to build a genuine relationship with those influencers way before your summit starts.
So that is why I’m a big fan of the saying to build relationships before you need them. And by that, I mean genuine relationships. I don’t mean this form of conversation where you are trying to elude to a pitch for somebody to join onto your summit as a speaker. I mean, being genuinely interested in the other person and trying to add value to them, that could be, you are sharing their posts.
You could be promoting a product. Maybe you’re buying their products, even. It doesn’t really matter as long as they see you. You come up over and over again in their feeds on social. If you always reply to their email and your setup, they will notice you. If you always leave comments on the YouTube videos, they will notice you.
If you always retweet their status updates on Twitter, they will notice you. And by that, you can align yourself with those influencers and you can set the foundation to bring them onto your summit. No, that is the first wait a virtual summit can scale your business by establishing thought leadership through bringing together influencers in your field and having their fame and expertise rub off on your business.
2. Build Relationships With Influencers And Partner Up After Your Summit Ended
The next step is to build relationships with those influencers, and you can park with them even after your summit has ended. The summit is not a one-time thing.
If done correctly, a virtual summit sets you up with years and years and years of work and opportunity. During the summit preparation, while you are building that relationship, while you are recording the summit session with the guest expert, you have the opportunity to build the relationship, as I’ve said, and get to know the other person.
You’ll want to earn the speaker’s trust and showcase your expertise. Then, what you can do is you can offer to help them cross-promote products. Once a summit is over, you can give each other publicity, do more interviews, do guest articles on your blogs, or promote a guest article to their blog.
You can co-host webinars with them. And it would be best if you kept in touch with the experts you have on your summit because you never know; maybe they are creating a roundup article and want to feature you.
Maybe you can propose to collaborate on the roundup article for their website. So you do all the heavy lifting. They get to publish quality on their website, and they understand that you are passionate about adding value to them.
Maybe you can promote an upcoming launch that they have as an affiliate. VSM students and even VSM founder Navid Moazzez do affiliate promotions regularly. They are commonly making six figures and affiliate revenue after they hosted their summits.
Navid even was that one of the top affiliates for Ramit Sethi’s “Zero to Launch” promotion back in the day because he had such an engaged audience built through his branding summit. The opportunities to strengthen and leverage the relationships you are building after the summit are endless.
You just need to make sure that you are genuine about your approach. So that is the second way to grow your online business with virtual summits.
Building relationships with the influencers that you are interviewing and partnering with them even after your summit has ended.
3. Lead With Free Value And Build Goodwill In Your Community
The third way is that you are building good within your community and leading with free value. This is quite a short tip, but it’s nevertheless very, very powerful.
By making a summit available for free while it is live, you can prove that you really care about your audience.
So in Virtual Summit Mastery, the common process is that you do not charge for attending this summit while it is live.
Maybe you even keep the summit for free available all the time, that’s also an option. And by doing that, you clearly demonstrate how important your audiences to you. You give helpful content before you ask for any sale.
In this situation, you let people see all the summit sessions you put in the hours and hours and hours over a month preparing the summit, and then you give it away for free.
What would that do? Just think about it. How would people perceive this? Your audience cannot perceive it as selfish. You are not getting financial returns directly.
Sure, you can bring on sponsors. We’ll talk about that later in these show notes.
You don’t need to make a monetary loss, even if you are not charging for lifetime access to the summit while it’s live. But by giving it away for free while it’s live, at least you are building a ton of goodwill and reputation in your community.
So that is way three: by leading with value and building goodwill in your community, you can grow your online business with virtual summits.
4. Grow Your Online Business With A Bigger Email List
Obviously, you’ll also grow your email list with engaged attendees.
The summit delivery process most often relies on email and that’s for a good reason because.
You know, as well as I do that, having an engaged email list is a very important aspect of building a business online. And by delivering a summit via email, you force people (in a good way) to open your emails because otherwise, they would miss out on all the summit sessions.
So you make people sign up for the free summit ticket. You are building your email list and I myself on the first summit that I ever ran, I grew my email list by 600%, just from one virtual summit.
So that is 6x more email subscribers.
Imagine what that would do to your business. And I’ve seen various VSM students collect 40,000 to 50,000 email addresses per event.
So, this is a really powerful way to grow your online business by growing your email list by building a solid foundation for your future business. With an email list that actually wants to read your emails because they are trained to read them and to click on your links during the summit delivery process.
5. Sell All-Access Passes.
And I’ve talked about this at the beginning of this episode. What you can do is you can keep this summit for free while it’s live. But just as a physical conference has a start and end date, a virtual summit also can have start dates and end dates.
And when that end date comes, you take all the sessions offline. Then, only people who upgrade to an All-Access Pass can access the summit contents.
Essentially, with this approach, you are turning a summit into a membership area. It’s nothing fancy. It’s nothing technologically extraordinary, different, or difficult. You just locked down your summit sessions in a membership area where only paying customers have access.
In future episodes of the Virtual Summit Mastery podcast, I explain how this works. But for now, what you need to know if you can leverage your summit sessions so that you are turning them into a membership area and selling lifetime access passes.
And with that, you have a new way to monetize your summit and grow your online business by organizing virtual events.
I would also recommend thinking about how you can overdeliver and exceed the expectations of your attendees.
Summits are so common these days; you need to find ways to stand out against other people who are also organizing online conferences in your space. And that could mean that you are including actionable worksheets that condense every summit session into a one-page worksheet. These worksheets highlight the most important takeaways from each summit session.
You can include audio versions of your sessions. You can include transcriptions of your sessions. You can include special deals or discounts, and many, many other things can be included in the virtual summit membership area.
But the point is that by selling lifetime access to the summit sessions, you have a, essentially a digital product you can sell on auto-pilot. You can only focus on promoting and delivering onboarding people into your membership area can be fully automated. So that is a fantastic digital product to set up.
Don’t forget that when you’re asking for the sale, you’ve already built up a lot of goodwill and provided free education. That is very helpful if you’re afraid of selling online.
6. Selling Sponsorship Packages.
You can also sell sponsorships to your events. So you do not necessarily need to sell lifetime access. You could, in theory, keep the summit for free and keep it running on evergreen for free and monetize it through sponsorships.
You can bring on relevant companies in your space and present them as sponsors. You can collect money already during the preparation phase of your summit for this pay for the expenses, like the team you want to hire. The video editor, graphic editor, the PPC team, and all the other staff pay for your time to record all the sessions have sponsors cover those expenses.
After delivering your summit for free, you can monetize the engaged email list through affiliate offers or your backend funnel. So even though the tip is focused on monetization through sponsors, keep in mind that you have other income streams when hosting a virtual event.
You can also set up sponsorship agreements where you position a company as a sponsor in exchange for their help with publicity. So say they have an email list with 500,000 engaged customers who are the ideal target audience for your summit. You could set up an agreement where they promote the event to their audience and in return, they get featured as a sponsor on your event.
There’s really endless opportunity here. Leave a comment below this podcast episode, if you want to learn more about this. So I know what type of content to create in the future. What types of topics to focus on sponsorships definitely are a great way to scale your business. And I’ve personally collected well into five figures from sponsorships alone.
7. Sell Backend Offers.
I’ve also briefly mentioned the seventh method to scale your business with virtual summits already. And that is by setting back and offers VSM student Chandler Bolt. For example, from Self-Publishing School, he ran a summit, I think three years ago, the Self-Publishing Success Summit.
And by selling this course Self-Publishing School as a backend offer, he made well into six figures from his event. So if you have a product or service that is established, that, you know, you can deliver exceptional results for your clients, sell that as a backend offer on your phone, on your summit. It just.
A no-brainer if you are in the position to sell a backend product, definitely include that in the funnel for your virtual summit.
And even if you don’t have a backend product, you can launch new products on the back of your summit. For example, what I see Virtual Summit Mastery students do is turn their summits into coaching programs. They add live video calls, live Q&A sessions, live coaching, live mentoring, stuff like that to the summit sessions to justify a higher price point.
And by being the summit host, they have established the authority and the credibility they needed to justify the higher price points. So that’s definitely. A great way to grow your online business with virtual summits is by selling backend offers.
You could co-host live workshops even after your summit, sell those as upsells, and then you can charge different price points for the live workshop and the recording. So, as usual with scaling online businesses, there are many ways to take over this, but for now, I want you to keep in mind that selling backend offers is a fantastic way to leverage a virtual summit, even after it’s over.
8. Repurpose Summit Content Into Marketing Collaterals
The eighth way to grow your online business through virtual summits is to repurposing all the contents that you have created all the summit sessions into marketing collaterals.
As a brief rule of thumb, 10 minutes of video content usually can result in 40 or 50 pieces of content. You can watch this interview I did with Tristan Griffiths to learn more about content repurposing.
If you repurpose the summit sessions, turn the videos into highlight reels, where you pull out the most important nuggets, publish those as one- or two-minute videos.
Turn them into blog articles, pick out a strategy that was shared by the guest expert and elaborate on that in a blog article.
Repurpose that in emails and repurpose those as Twitter status updates, Facebook status updates, LinkedIn, whatever platform is relevant for you.
You can write guest blogs based on the sessions and the other summit contents.
You can even repurpose the worksheets that you are creating for your membership area.
Give those new materials away magnets for people who enter your funnel.
You can create a summit playbook that condenses one or two strategies from every speaker into a single PDF.
You can leverage the content in so many ways, and you really need to repurpose the summit content. I urge you to do this.
If you are hosting a summit and if you are creating the summit sessions with a high production value, don’t use that content only once.
If you are spending the time of interviewing 10, 20, maybe 50 speakers on your summit, don’t let that content sit there.
You could even start a podcast from those interviews. You can invite the speakers back on and do another interview with them on your new podcast.
The ways are endless for this. Please do the work.
Please be mindful about how you structure your summit sessions so that you can easily repurpose them and start with the goal of repurposing of summit sessions in mind.
When you are just planning your summit, be aware that you are going to repurpose the summit sessions and structure them in a way that allows you to easily do that.
Now, these have been eight ways how virtual summits can grow your online business.
The first way is to establish thought leadership by bringing together influencers who are already known, liked, and trusted in your field.
Way number two is that you’re building relationships with those influencers and can partner with them after your summit has ended.
The third way is that you are leading with free value and you are building goodwill in your community.
Way four was growing an email list that is hanging onto your lips that wants to read your emails that has a high open-rate and engagement rate.
Way five: You are selling all-access passes to the summit membership for people who want to have lifetime access to your sessions.
Way number six involves selling corporate sponsorships.
Number seven is selling your own backend offers or maybe you do a JV launch for your backend offer.
And finally, way number eight is repurposing the content for new marketing collaterals.
So I hope this episode has given you a good glimpse into why I am so excited about virtual events and why all the VSM students are as well.
I would like to invite you to subscribe to this podcast because there are more episodes like this coming, where I’m breaking down the process of hosting virtual summits.
The episodes will be talking about the pitfalls, the benefits, and sharing one or the other success story on Virtual Summit Mastery as well.