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.
Ask any online event organizer or host what her biggest struggle is, and she will nearly always say it is 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:
The biggest benefit, though, is that it is 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 will be delivering replays, you do not 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 have 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?
Thanks for stopping by and don't forget to share and leave a comment. I look forward to reading and responding to them, Coach Deb
If you have ever been asked to participate in a fire sale or giveaway event, your first thought was very likely “What’s in it for me?”
That is perfectly normal—after all, we are all in business to make money—and it is exactly what your guests will wonder when you offer them a spot in your event, too.
How you answer that is critical to your success.
Beyond the benefits, though, you also need to make it easy for your guests to participate. Swipe files, social media graphics, reminders and a promotional calendar are all tools you should include in your welcome packet. These will take the burden off your guests, and take away the friction element that might cause her to say “no.”
Here’s another important point: Be sure you invite only the highest caliber of guests, and consider instituting a minimum list size to participate. Business owners who have successfully built a list of at least 2,000 people clearly understand marketing, and will support everyone’s efforts. When reaching out to potential guests, include the names of others who have already confirmed. It will help make their decision easier.
Even when you have all of these pieces in place, don’t be surprised to hear some no’s. Don’t take them personally. Sometimes schedules don’t work out; maybe they don’t have a freebie that’s a good fit. Or maybe they just don’t do giveaways. Start with a large list of potentials, and even if you do get a few who refuse, you will still have plenty of guests to host a popular and profitable giveaway event.
Don't forget to comment and share the wealth, Coach Deb
Think the money is in the list? Think again.
The real money is in the follow-up. Without a great back end to support your list-building efforts, you’ll wind up with a huge list of names that do little but cost you money. And nowhere is that more true than with a big giveaway event.
Think about it. You’ll spend time and money—and lots of it—just organizing your event. Between the design work, recruiting guests, writing copy, and setting up the infrastructure, you’re going to spend dozens of hours.
The way to make up for that is with a solid back end that brings in sales each and every day.
Two Pages to Monetize
Want to know the most underutilized page on your site? It’s the confirmation page. You know, that page where new opt-ins land while they wait for your confirmation email to arrive? If yours says something like “Thanks, now go check your email” (or worse, it’s AWeber’s or Lead Page’s default page) then you’re missing a golden opportunity.
This is potentially the first exposure your new subscriber has to you, so it pays to make it a good one. This is the place where you should be offering a low-cost product that is a natural fit with your freebie. So in this case, your free offer is the giveaway event. Think about your products. Which one will help participants make the most of the event? That’s the one to offer on the confirmation or thank you page. And if you can offer a coupon, even better!
The download page is another often overlooked opportunity. Give your readers a relevant offer that ties in nicely with their download (or in this case, the gifts they’re receiving) and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the number of takers you get.
Email Still Works
Don’t forget the follow-up emails. Hopefully you’ve created a series of emails to go out after a subscriber joins your list. These are the perfect place to make offers of relevant products and services, either yours or those of your event guests. You don’t have to resort to hard sell tactics in every email though—and you probably shouldn’t.
Instead, send your subscribers valuable information they can use, so they learn to look forward to your emails. Save the selling for your P.S. or for the occasional (once per week or less) solo email.
Done right, these two techniques can ensure you not only earn back your investment in creating your giveaway event, but earn a tidy profit as well. Not only that, but these strategies work for every opt-in offer on your site, so be sure to take a look at your other funnels and patch up any leaks you might have.
Looking forward to reading your comments below with your techniques for monetizing on your list, Coach Deb
If you would like to use any of our blogs on your blog sight, please do contact us. We would be happy to share with you.
What do top coaches, industry experts, and media superstars all have in common? They've all written a book. You can too. It's easy!