Hosting a virtual summit is work and it’s definitely not something that everyone needs to do. But if you want to increase your visibility, your income, and your email list all at once, hosting a virtual summit may be right for you.
What is a virtual summit?
According to Entreprenuer.com, a virtual summit is defined as 20 or more expert interviews on a given topic that viewers must opt-in to view. They will be given access to view the interviews for 24-72 hours and an opportunity to purchase an all-access pass that will include all interviews and bonus content.
More and more people have started hosting virtual summits because they can give you massive growth in many areas.
When I first thought about hosting The Mom Project, I wanted to make it easily accessible to my audience. Many of us are mothers and it’s a feat to go to blogging and mom-related conferences. Hosting a virtual summit makes it easy and FREE for women and moms to be able to get the same benefits of attending a conference but from home. No need to get a sitter, purchase a flight or hotel room for a week or weekend. I wanted to provide the same value of an in-person conference to people like me who may have small children and can’t quite afford or fit in the possibility of going to a conference.
Secondly, I wanted to grow my email list and my income. I shared in a recent YouTube video, that collaborations can help you transform your impact and your income. Hosting a virtual summit is truly a collaborative effort. Not only will you be growing your email list and income, but helping those who participate to have the same opportunity by allowing them to offer opt-ins and serve as affiliates for the all-access pass.
Before hosting a virtual summit, you should ask yourself three questions:
Is there a need for a virtual summit in your niche?
Are there experts that will be well-received in your niche?
Do you have the time and funds to commit to hosting a virtual summit?
Number three is HUGE. It takes a big time commitment and it will take some financial investment as well. I will get into all of that when I talk about income later in this post.
Are you considering hosting a virtual summit? Here is a mini-snapshot of what hosting a virtual summit did to increase my visibility, income, and email list.
Many of us want to make an impact on others–or at least I hope you do. I’d hate to know that you are in this JUST for money. If that’s your reason for blogging, owning a business, or anything else in life, you won’t succeed. You have to care about what you are doing and you should do it to serve your audience and those you want to work with.
In order for me to make a major impact, I knew that I would need to become more visible in the online space. I have guest posted spoken on the panel of other virtual summits, but I knew in order to really grow, hosting a virtual summit would increase the visibility I was seeking after. It would allow me to connect with amazing speakers and not only my audience, but theirs as well. Many amazing women joined my Facebook community during the summit as well, allowing me to make an impact on them daily! I enjoy connecting with others on a more personal level, and my Facebook group allows me to do that.
As a product, I was also asked to speak on other summit panels and asked to come speak at an in-person, live event. Hosting a virtual summit opened up more doors for me to be able to serve and make an impact in this community.
Many of us in the online space do this full time or are working towards doing so. Being able to create multiple income streams is vital to make a living online. Millionaires don’t just have one income stream. They have multiple ways of bringing in money. You can’t host a virtual summit every month; you could, but that’s not attractive. A virtual summit is something you would host annually, so one time a year. The all-access pass would be what you are selling. As mentioned earlier, the all-access pass would include all the sessions that pass-holders can view at any time and some additional bonuses. The Mom Project’s all-access pass includes the sessions, more exclusive interviews, and a guidebook. There really is no limit to what you can offer in the all-access pass. It’s all about providing that extra value to your audience. I am so excited to share that we have sold more all-access passes than I projected, which is so amazing.
You also have to be willing to invest. Things like landing pages, email autoresponders (if you don’t already have on in place), giveaway prizes, thank you gifts, and ads on Facebook or Instagram are all things I had to invest in. Unlike many other virtual summits, I pitched sponsorship packages to various companies. We had two sponsors for The Mom Project and this helped to offset the cost. Not many other virtual summits have sponsors and it is not a requirement.
Just be mindful of the expenses that come along with hosting a virtual summit when you are planning.
Growing your email list is so important. It was definitely mentioned during the summit by Candis of Smart Mom Blogger and Meera Kothand, email marketing specialist. Hosting a virtual summit can definitely grow your email list. Funny story, I had maybe 4-5 signups every other day on my blog; even during my marketing campaign for the summit. But on the first day of the summit, the sign ups were unimaginable. I thought, how funny that everyone waited until the day of the summit to register.
Hosting a virtual summit can take your email list growth to a new level. Of course, be prepared to have unsubscribers after the summit, which is totally okay. Email lists are all about building YOUR AUDIENCE. I rather have 20 people who are there because they trust me, my content and value what I have to offer, versus 200 people who never open my emails or take the time to read or share my content.
Your email list should be filled with people who want to learn from you, buy from you, or work with you. If when they see your name pop up, they unsubscribe or don’t click, they are not a part of your tribe.
When it comes to hosting a virtual summit, you are going to get people who sign up just to hear from one particular person and then they want to unsubscribe. It will happen.
But the best part, there will be so much more who will stay. They will be glad that you did this and will want to learn more about you and what you do.
Do you want to learn more about hosting a virtual summit?
If you have ever considered hosting a virtual summit, feel free to schedule a one on one chat with me and we can walk through the process and learn how I can help you create an epic marketing strategy along with setting up your virtual summit.
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