‘What’s a virtual summit?’
That’s the question I asked myself while reading Dorie Clark’s Entrepreneurial You. I stumbled upon this virtual summit thing 2/3 of the way into the book.
I knew nothing about them.
To define it, a virtual summit is an online event featuring 30+ experts in a given industry. Interviews with these experts are released for free over the course of a 4-5 day period, then the interviews are locked forever and taken down.
If guests want access to the interviews forever, they can pay to get the “All-Access Pass.”
That’s what it is, and if you want to put one on, there’s an ENTIRE roadmap that takes hosts about 3 months to complete start to finish.
Here’s The 3-Month Roadmap
Basically there’s three phases to putting on a virtual summit. Each phase takes 1 month.
1. Finding guests to interview + interviewing them.
2. Creating the summit landing page/sales page/backend.
3. Marketing the summit.
It’s a TON of work to land 25-30 guest speakers, let alone the time it takes to interview them!
I don’t want to get into steps 1 or 2 that much, because the bottom line is this:
If you can’t get people to your virtual summit, you won’t make any money.
Marketing is 2/3 of the virtual summit pie in my opinion, so I’ll very quickly go over that now.
IF you want a more comprehensive plan of action for a virtual summit, I go over it in this video. It’s 16 minutes long and basically houses my entire arsenal of virtual summit tips.
But very quickly, let me go over two quick tips on the “structure” side of things..
Have A Sales Page Appear Directly After People Sign Up
I used Clickfunnels to design my landing pages/sales pages, etc.
While I won’t do a step-by-step guide on how to set up a funnel (there’s other ones out there), I will tell you that it’s crucial to send people to a sales page directly after they sign up.
For instance, I gave people an opportunity to buy the All-Access Pass at $67 for 20 minutes. The end price for the All-Access Pass would be $197. It was a freakin’ fantastic deal, but you NEED to make sure it’s only available for 20 minutes.
How do you do that?
Deadline Funnel. It’s an awesome tool that helps you show a timer on any webpage you want. When the timer ends, the person on that computer will get re-directed to another webpage and they won’t be able to come back to the squeeze page again.
Even if they somehow get the url to the squeeze page and visit it later, they’ll still get redirected.
It’s a beautiful, beautiful tool.
That’s really the main thing you need to do that helps big time in the long-run.
How To Market Your Virtual Summit
So let me get into the four ways I marketed my summit..
1. The help of my guests (500 attendees)
2. My existing email list (250 attendees)
3. Blogging on Medium (500 attendees)
4. My Affiliates (250 attendees)
As you can guess, I had 1,500 people sign up for my virtual summit, which isn’t too bad, you know?
I figured that as long as I had people entering my funnel, I’d make money. So my biggest concern was, you guessed it, getting people in the damn funnel.
Let’s analyze each of these four points really quick.
1. The Help Of My Guests
I’d say about 8-9 of my summit guests actually helped me promote.
I had 30 guests overall.
That’s not a bad number, but at the same time, I wish a few more would’ve helped me contribute.
Just keep in touch with your guests after you interview them. Spread the love. Share their stuff on Twitter, respond to them on Twitter, and generally just try to stay top of mind.
You’re supposed to give your guests half of all the money they generate for the summit anyway (they get affiliate links), so that should be enough to spur a good portion of them to help you any way they can.
2. My Existing Email List
I did have a list of 3,000 people before the summit started. After emailing my list about it once, I had about 200-250 people sign up immediately. I also made about $500-$600 because a bunch of them signed up for my All-Access Pass, too.
I love you, ConvertKit.
3. Blogging On Medium
Okay, so blogging on Medium was a HUGE game-changer for me with this virtual summit. I already had a pretty-good sized audience there, and after I published at some of the bigger publications 3 times per week for 4 weeks, I wager we had about 500 people sign up because of Medium alone.
That’s about 125 sign ups per week off 3 blog posts.
Medium is amazing in case you didn’t know already. If you’ve heard about Medium but have never given it a try, consider taking my free email course on it before making a profile.
Medium has almost single-handedly accounted for every one of my email subscribers, readers, and fans so far. It’s grossly underestimated, and I hope you stop underestimating it as soon as possible!
4. My Affiliates
One of the cooler things I did to market this summit was I used the people in my existing list. Word obviously got around that I was putting on a huge virtual summit, and a few people who weren’t interviewed for the summit signed up to be affiliates..
But I also decided to open up the affiliate program to my existing email list. After sending out that email, I had about 60-70 people sign up for the program, and they all started spreading the word about my summit in Medium posts, emails, and on social media.
It was freaking amazing, and accounted for probably 200-300 sign ups itself.
How awesome is that?
So that’s how I did it.
Obviously you have to get quality guests, create an intuitive landing page/funnel, and follow through on marketing, but this was my first time doing a virtual summit. If I could make $3,500+ on my first try, you can too.
You don’t need much more guidance than this–you can do everything yourself.
Hopefully in the next few months I’ll throw more posts up like this one to help you run your own virtual summit!
Make sure to sign up for my free email course on Medium if you haven’t already. 🙂
NOTE: This post did contain some affiliate links. I use all the products I recommend, though. If you click through and make a purchase with some of these links, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you.