Have you already made virtual summits yourself? If no – you may find considerations in this inaugurational article not so evident. If yes – share your experience, what coincides with written in the article and what doesn’t.
When it comes to results of virtual summits for its hosts, these are:
- the number of attendants (becoming new subscribers to your email list),
- the number of sales and financial results (gross earnings and net profits),
- authority (that you gain in the field after a successful summit),
- relationships (with guest speakers),
- knowledge (gained by speaking with experts in your field),
- experience (at least in the field of creating and conducting virtual summits).
Let’s consider them in detail:
- Relationships, authority, knowledge and experience are abstract, difficult to measure. Of course, you can find them in host’s virtual summit reports. But for creators of virtual summit courses the situation is different. The more testimonials you have – the more difficult it becomes to present them in an original manner,
- Attendants/email subscribers are at a lower level of abstraction. I mean that you can imagine the number but not understand its direct impact on your life. For example: have you earlier heard a quote of Nick Unsworth: “If you have a list of 5,000 email subscribers and not have a 6-figures business – you’re doing something wrong”? I hadn’t expected the subscribers/revenue ratio to be that big. You may neither. And we are not alone: considering real money is easier than an abstract number of subscribers.
- Here we come to money that attracts most attention among results of virtual summits. It is not true if you are an experienced email marketer for whom money should not be such an issue. For others, I will follow the conventional road and dedicate most part of the article to money. And it is the time to introduce 2 traps:
- Real money is not as real unless you extract profit from overall revenue,
- As it also happens to other areas, people tend to be impressed by bold records. But they don’t realize important prerequisites enabling hosts to achieve these successful results.
Take the case of Chandler Bolt. Navid Moazzez used it over and over again in promotion of his Virtual Summit Mastery course. Why? Because of stunning $370,000 that Chandler made with the summit. Studying this case, I should mention 5 main facts:
- As you can find on the reference page, Chandler already had a mass following of 12,000 subscribers. Moreover: he has made $300,000 in revenue in 6 months before the summit. Let me rephrase to draw your attention to this fact again: Chandler WAS ALREADY MAKING BIG MONEY BEFORE THE SUMMIT. But even people who talked with Chandler in person (Bryan Harris) didn’t realize the impact of this fact. Or Bryan uses a more impressive way by choice? I mean when he says the conventional ways of growing email lists suck. But this underestimates Chandler’s starting point that defined his final result.
- You may ask: how he was already making big money before the summit? For Chandler, it was his flagship course that transformed the volume of subscribers into the volume of sales. An already expensive course costing $2000 or $3000 (I haven’t found how much it exactly cost before his first virtual summit). I should mention not only pricing but also the value it provided. If you think about Chandler’s results – you should bear in mind his ability to give this amount of value.
- He used previous earnings to hire a team of subcontractors. Navid Moazzez has already experienced success with his Branding summit. Why? Because Chandler’s starting point enabled Navid to get much bigger revenues together than with his own summit alone,
- Let’s not forget about speakers. Attracting superb speakers is possible even if you are nobody and start from scratch. But already being an expert in his niche made the task easier and the conversion rate – higher,
- Finally, we come to another piece of hidden (or rather not-so-exposed) truth: big earnings do not always mean big profits. Because of marketing reasons, it is revenue that is more widespread. But you should exclude all affiliate payments, software and hardware costs and finally payments to your subcontractors (if you hire them) from revenue.
When virtual summit is a starting point – you probably do not have a flagship course. I mean a course that costs more than an all-access pass (after all discounts expired). It not only means that you can’t leverage virtual summit to boost sales of an expensive product. It also means that your speakers and affiliates will not be so eager to promote your summit. Why? Because they can not earn by promoting an expensive product. And it is tough when you start from scratch and have no following/no list. Because affiliate promotion is your most valuable source of leads.
As I already mentioned Bryan Harris earlier, I should comment on his approach. I mean, can we use “First pre-sell a non-existing product, then create it being sure of its sales”? I will start to answer with Obama’s words: Yes We Can. But then consider that:
- preparing free-to-visit event you break that rule. Of course, you may pre-sell even virtual summit itself. But everywhere else virtual summits are free. If you are able to pre-sell it – you already are at Chandler Bolt’s league of well-established influencers. And have no reason to care that much about initial investment,
- having only plan instead of an established product may turn off affiliates from promoting your event,
- you may understand from the beginning: pre-selling means less money because of discounts. But do you also bear a smaller conversion rate in mind? People are less tempted to buy when they will get a course not now, but months later. And can you present a non-existing course in such a bold way as an established one? I doubt.
You can also promote somebody else’s course for the commission. If you make good money selling somebody else’s course – it can be an indicator for you to create your own course. But having sold a course once does not guarantee future sales of a similar course later. Especially to a similar audience – you at least will have to change the audience in the future. And do you remember that one of virtual summits’ results is the authority you create for yourself? Driving people to other expert’s course decreases your potential of growing authority.
By the way, Bailey Richert could disagree with me that this truth is hidden. In her virtual summits reports she:
- not only reveals both revenues and profits,
- but also reasonably states that revenues from her courses should not be included in revenues from summits,
- oh, she also reminds that first-doers have initial costs (software and hardware) that more experienced hosts haven’t.
Her openness and revealing truth mesmerize. But in case of human bodies, when nothing is hidden, the naked body often appears not as attractive as in clothes. Here is the same: naked profits are not as sexy as her revenues (let alone Chandler’s ones). And that is the time to come back to non-monetary results of the summit. To sugar the pill Bailey reminds us that virtual summit creates/enhances relationships and their fruits can grow much later. And if you are a novice – these relationships are not friendships but tutoring and coaching when you speak with leaders of your industry. Yes, podcasting gives this opportunity too. But virtual summits also give a context of business cooperation that is not usual for podcasting.
Have I promised you that non-monetary issues will not be the focus of the article? With already 1250 words it means that time to draw conclusions has come.
- Yes, some hosts earn way more money from virtual summits than average people at ordinary jobs. But their result is defined by starting point. Not by the instrument of virtual summits itself,
- While earning is a more attractive figure it is profit that defines bottom line. So don’t forget to exclude all types of costs. You can cut your costs acting in all roles yourself – but thus you also maximize your preparation time. Cutting the time boosts your expenses on subcontractors. Marc Guberti hosted 2 summits, held most responsibilities on himself and guess what? After that experience, he concluded to be no longer ready to bear the burden,
- Don’t have a course to sell at the summit? Don’t expect income from your summit to be like of those hosts who have one. And don’t expect similar interest level of your affiliates and speakers for promotion,
- Making virtual summits can be a business itself. But they produce better results when you promote your existing business with them,
- Quick earnings seduce novices. But finally, it is long-term benefits of relationships and authority that would make more sense for them. And thus real effect reveals itself only if you play the long game.