What is a Virtual Summit? A virtual summit is a vodcast on wheels. Vodcast because it’s made of video interviews/sessions. You conduct these sessions once and you can profit from it over and over again plus, there are exclusive benefits to creating and hosting a virtual summit.
Here is how it works
You interview minimum 7 speakers [this is the minimum threshold for me because a virtual summit is typically an online event and you want attendees to get value from the different speakers] and there is really no maximum number of speakers you can have.
You can also do a presentation-styled virtual summit instead of an interview but let’s stick with interview for now. Once you are done with the interviews, you promote the summit via a landing page with an email opt-in form to capture attendees’ information.
Next, you decide the other details such as opting for an entirely free or paid event, how many days you want to host the summit and the software for hosting the summit.
The biggest benefit is you can use this single strategy to start your online business because you get targeted opt-ins; it is also probably the most cost-effective and fastest way because the benefits are multi-dimensional.
Before you get started, here are the things you should know:
.1. There is a lot of moving parts
Believe me, I am not trying to scare you. Just being your bestie by giving you a heads-up.
On the outside, the big worries seem to be getting an incredible speaker line-up, setting up the membership portal, using fancy fonts on the summit pages and getting yourself to look good on camera. While those are the big stuff, the teeny-details are perhaps the most important that can make or break your summit.
Details such as asking the right questions in relation to the theme and overall summit experience, writing high-converting copy, email sequence, planning and promotion strategies are behind-the-scenes work necessary to create a successful virtual summit.
That said, you can create and host a virtual summit in as little as 30 days or 12 months depending on the scale of the summit and a well-organized summit will help you avoid overwhelm
.2. At some point, you start to doubt if you know what you are doing at all
I believe you want to use the virtual summit strategy as a way to start or scale your online business so this second point is very important because you will always have doubts, just don’t let it get the better part of you.
These doubts start to creep in as you get closer to the launch date, about the 4 weeks mark when the promotion is in full swing.
Like I said, don’t let it bother you. If you have done everything right [I didn’t say perfect], as the doubts creep in, it will slowly give way to excitement and anticipation.
Also, a support group can come in real handy when dealing with doubts. You can use Facebook groups as a support group or use this roadmap as well.
.3. You need some basic skills, especially copywriting
Unless you have a team, be prepared to take on [almost] all the responsibilities of creating your virtual summit.
The most important skill here is copywriting. It doesn’t matter how fancy your summit pages get, or how much promotion you did or if you use reliable hosting, if you can’t sell your summit without being sale-sy, you are not going to get opt-ins and definitely no all-access pass sales.
Selling without being sale-sy simply means that you have positioned your summit with the copy you use so that it communicates value to your audience.
This way you won’t have to do any hard sell before they purchase the All-access pass [an upgrade for those interested in getting lifetime access to summit videos, audios and bonus from your summit] because there is perceived value already.
.4. You need a team
There are so many moving parts when planning a virtual summit. You don’t have to do all of it but if you are looking at a bigger goal such as using the platform to write your own book, get sponsorship, launch a product, or become a TV host, you may need a team.
Here is what that looks like: pitching fifty speakers instead of twenty, reaching out to twenty more prospective sponsors rather than five, writing more guest posts to promote the summit and post-summit details like sending personalized thank you emails, and so on.
.5. You will learn so much about yourself and more
Don’t know what you are passionate about? Have ideas but not sure which to go with? Wondering if you have what it takes to start your online business or scale one?
Creating a virtual summit will give you access to at least 30 minutes of each speakers time to ask any questions you may have; time you wouldn’t otherwise have access to unless you paid 100’s – 1000’s of dollars.
Their insights will be of tremendous value to help you launch and scale your business; and the free gifts they will be offering will also benefit your summit attendees.
Creating a virtual summit will give you an idea of what running an online business looks and feels like; it will open your horizon and give you new ideas that you can develop over the coming months
Creating a virtual summit can give you a new income stream and the profits you make from the sales of All-access pass can be used to further grow your business
And when you have to upload and re-upload your summit videos into Vimeo because of unstable internet, deal with the graphics guy or answer multiple questions from attendees and customers, your patience will be tested.
But it will be worth every bit of time, energy and resources you put into creating and hosting your virtual summit
.6. It can/will change your life forever
Months after you host your first virtual summit, you will still get facebook comments thanking you for putting together something so incredible.
You will still have people that got to know you just because of that virtual summit. You will still get questions about why you decided to host a one and maybe, you will get requests to turn your virtual summit to an annual event.
Have you ever created a virtual summit? Do you have any doubts about using this strategy to start your online business or to build your brand online? Spill it all in the comments