Hey, hey, guys. Thank you so much for listening to the webinar. This is Alex Branning, your marketing coach. Today, I’m talking about a serious power move. It’s called the Virtual Summit. I’m going to dive in to how you can rally your audience around learning a specific thing that you’re going to teach them, how you can use this Virtual Summit to strengthen the relationship with one of your power partners, and how this will elevate you as an expert in your field. Let’s go.

All right. This is one of those ideas that takes a little bit more planning than, say, going live on a video or sending out an email to your list. There’s more moving pieces to putting together a successful Virtual Summit. Let me define the term Virtual Summit. When I say that, what I mean is there’s going to be a video conference or some sort of webinar where it’s you and at least one other person in the room. The goal is to have your voice and an expert’s voice chime in on a topic that you want to be known as an expert in.

For example, my good friend, Linda, she recently held an online storytelling summit. She got people from all over that are experts in the storytelling space, and she had them contribute their thoughts to what makes a really good story that would help build a business. It did a lot of things for Linda. Number one, it showed that Linda is now rubbing elbows with these big players in the space, so that was great. It was run from her account. It was run from her database, so that meant that she got to get all the leads for the people that wanted to hear what those other experts had to say. You can already see where this is going. This is going to create a massive win for her. Then, at the end of the summit, what she did was she made an offer to the people that joined so that they could sign up for a deeper coaching session with her.

To put something like this on, there’s a couple things that have to go well. Number one, the first thing is you have to identify a topic that people want to learn about. I’ve seen these virtual online summits done by people around storytelling. I saw a real estate agent do it around buying a home. She had experts from outside the area talk about the different things that they do to help their agents, and what it did was it showed that the real estate agent that was putting on this virtual home buyer seminar really knew her stuff and was well connected in the industry, and then at the end of that short seminar, that short online summit that she did, she made an offer to her audience so that they could reach out to her to get pre-qualified, number one, and then start the home buying process, and it was very, very successful. It showed her as an expert. It did a great job.

I’ve also seen other people do an online summit around, because I’m in the marketing space, I see it a lot around marketing type topics. Another one was lead generation. I saw another online summit around the idea of creating long-term financial security. The idea is you want to make sure that the topic that you are bringing to your audience is something that will captivate them and bring them in so that they want to be a part of it. I will be doing one shortly, depending on when you are listening to this podcast, on goal-setting. That’s going to be something that I’m going to be putting together for my audience.

Let’s get into the how. You’re listening to this and you’re going, “Okay, Alex, this is an interesting idea. I can do an online summit. I have some ideas for topics. How do I pull this off?” The first thing to do is jot down the experts that you want to contribute to your online summit. It could be me. I’d love to be a part of it. It could be other people in your network. The idea is to bring in a couple more voices so that people know that they’re going to get a very well-rounded education during this short summit.

The next thing is determine the length of time. I’ve seen online summits go for, it’ll be a single one or two-hour online summit that then they can record and share later. I’ve seen it be a multi-day online summit where every day that week at 4:00 PM, an expert goes live within the Facebook group or the email gets sent out with the recording every day at 4:00 so that they can watch it. You can do that, as well, especially if there’s a lot to cover on the topic that you’ll be discussing. You can also do one that is a Facebook Live event. It’s going to start at, say, 5:00 PM and go until 7:00-ish, like when we’re done, but the length of time is going to be important because that’s going to determine how you structure how the summit goes.

Pick a topic, write down the list of people that you want to be a part of this, and then jot down what you think would be a good structure for how your summit is going to go.

The idea, the end goal, of this summit is twofold. Number one, it’s all about generating leads. You want people to sign up for this. You want to create a landing page so that people can register to be a part of this free online summit. You’re going to be just adding to your database like crazy.

The next thing you want to do is you want to have a specific goal in mind for the next step that the people take that are watching this online summit. It could be to set an appointment with you. For my real estate agent, there was no contracts that they could sign right there on the spot. The end goal was for them to set up an appointment with the agent. It could be to buy a course. My friend, Linda, at the end of her online summit, she was offering a course, an online coaching program. For me, when I do my goal setting, the goal is actually going to be pushing them to work with my business coach for a couple reasons, but for me, I don’t offer goal setting help, and then my business coach does, so it’s a great way for me to build that relationship. Whatever the goal is, be very clear about it because you want to build up to that offer the entire time.

For my real estate agent, during the entire summit, she would say, “When you and I sit down together in my office and talk, we’ll go over this.” In other words, what she was doing was, if there was ever a point of confusion, if there was ever this mental speed bump that her listeners were having, she would smooth it over by saying, “Don’t worry. We’ll go over this in depth when you and I sit down in my office.” She was pre-framing this so that when they sat down, so that they were thinking, “Okay, I’m going to spend some time and sit down with her at her office,” so she did a great, great job of setting that up, which is why it was so successful.

The next thing is to make sure that you have everything ready to go in case they want to take action right away. They may not want to wait until the end. One of the things that Linda did really well was she mentioned, she was like, “P.S. If you want to dive in deeper, you can check out my storytelling coaching program,” and she had a cool name for it. I forget what it is, but, in other words, after every single time you watch the video for her summit, she gave an opportunity to take the next step. It was very well done. I don’t know how many sales she got, but the entire online summit experience, it was very nice.

There’s a couple cool things that happen after the summit is over, as well. The first is that you are now perceived as an expert in that space. If you are the one that is heading up this online summit, this meeting of the minds around a certain topic, then you’re setting yourself up as an expert to your audience about that certain topic. That’s really good.

The second thing that you’re doing is you’re giving to the people that are contributing as experts on your summit because now they can say, “I was brought into Alex’s online summit about lead generation, so Alex recognized me as a lead generation expert.” That’s pretty sweet, because, now, you’re building those power partner relationships. They have to give of their time, but a lot of times, people want that recognition. They want to be acknowledged as experts, so when you invite people that you know, trust, and respect to be a part of this with you, that does something to that relationship. There’s not a value amount that you can put on that. It just makes them feel respected. It makes them feel good. That’s another bonus.

The third thing that you can do is you can actually, and I recommend doing this, record it, spend a little time or money, and do some editing on it so that there is nice transitions, maybe some cool titles on the bottom or something so it becomes like this online presentation after the summit is over, where it’s got everybody that was a part of it all in one video, and then you can actually give that to people. Again, it’s about establishing yourself as an expert in a space. It’s about setting yourself up and saying, “Look, look at what I can do. Look at how I am seen in my space.”

One of the people that did one of these, he’s really well known for it. His name is Rich, and he put one of these together, and he did the summit for free, and then he sold the recordings because there was so much good content that came out of it, that people were interested in paying for it so that they would have access to watch it over and over again. That was really cool. Lesson learned from him. He’s brilliant.

You know me. I love stacking things. One of the things that I want you to think about here is I want you to think in terms of combinations, and I want you to think of combining the Virtual Summit idea with everything that you’ve learned about list building and what I just talked about two weeks ago on a mobile app.

Imagine this. You’re going to set up your Virtual Summit. You’ve got your experts, you’ve got your topic, you know the general structure of how it’s going to go. You set up your landing page. You start marketing it, say, a week before the summit, maybe two weeks depending on how much lead time you want to give your audience. During the time between the time they sign up for that and the time that the summit actually goes live, you can send everybody that signs up a series of emails that introduces you to them, tells some success stories, shares the vision of what you want them to get out of the summit, maybe you share some more information about the guest that will be appearing, and they can send a personal introduction through your email system. It’ll be like, “Hey, this is just a quick hello from Alex who’s going to be joining me on my online summit.” You’re marketing to them. You’re warming them up because some of the people that are going to show up to this online summit, assuming you do well in the marketing side, are not necessarily going to know you are, so this is your time to make a really good first impression. Then combine that with the app.

What if, during the summit, you have content on your app that can only be accessed on your app? Well, the summit’s going really well, people are getting a lot of good content and you’ve put a really cool lead magnet just on your app, what do you think is going to happen? People are going to download your app. Then, we’ve found that if they do not delete your app within 24 hours of them installing your app, that app will stay on their phone for the next six months. With that knowledge in mind, you can put a lead magnet or some sort of document that compliments the summit and then send another email, say, “Look, in a week from now, I’m putting together the list of the 10 best things that we learned. Plus, I’m going to be asking my guests for one or two more golden nuggets related to this topic that they didn’t have time to share, and I’m going to post that in my app.”

The odds of people deleting the app that they downloaded just to get that freebie before they actually get a chance to get that new thing that’s only going to be available in the app is slim to none, which means that this summit is setting you up so that you will now have the app on their phone for the next six months. Do you see the power in that?

There is a lot of cool stuff that you can do with a summit. I highly recommend checking it out and getting started on it. If you have any questions, please reach out to me, Alex@BranningGroup.com. This idea, this concept, works across any industry, any space, any region, because it is establishing you as an expert. Have a great rest of your day and thank you so much for joining the podcast.


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