047: Behind The Scenes Of A Simple And Successful First Summit with Hannah Murphy

I love a good behind the scenes episode and I know you do too!

In this episode we're chatting with Hannah Murphy about her experience with her first summit. We dive into everything from the results she saw to her tech choices and everything in between. This is one you won't want to miss!

Transcript

Krista:
Hey, welcome to the Summit Host Hangout podcast where you'll learn how to plan, strategize, and launch your profitable online summit, no influencer status necessary. I'm your host Krista from Summit In A Box and today I'm so excited to bring on a guest to talk through her experience hosting her first summit. In this episode we are going to take a walk through this person's planning process and the decision she made, what kind of results she got, what was included in her All Access Pass, how many speakers she had, some promotion strategies, so much good stuff.

Krista:
To tell you a little bit about our guest, she's a content and productivity strategist for driven and passionate creatives. She helps creative entrepreneurs show up consistently and wholeheartedly without the overwhelm through systems. And I think this really showed up in how great her summit was because it was so well thought through. Without further ado, let's dive in and talk with Hannah Murphy. Welcome Hannah. I am so excited to have you today and drill you with 20 questions about your summit. This is going to be good stuff. Thank you so much for being here.

Hannah Murphy:
Oh, thanks for having me. I'm excited.

Krista:
This is going to be great. Before we dive into all of the questions I want to ask you, why don't you tell us a little bit about you and your business first?

About Hannah's Business

Hannah Murphy:
I am a content and productivity strategist for creatives. Basically, I just helped them show up in a consistent way. I have one on one clients that I do blog and Pinterest for and then I basically just help people reduce their overwhelm through different productivity tips.

Krista:
I love it. Okay, tell us then, what's your summit topic was and who that was for?

About Hannah's Summit

Hannah Murphy:
Yeah. My summit was quite niche down, I did it full wedding and engagement photographers and I basically wanted to help them really create a sustainable business. It was for photographers, no matter what level of business that we're at. There was a day around building, a day around growing and marketing and then a day around scaling. Yeah, that's kind of who it was for.

Krista:
Did you like doing those themes? Was that hard with scheduling your speakers or anything like that or did you enjoy it that way?

Hannah Murphy:
To start with, I didn't know how it would go, but it actually ended up working out so well because someone was able to plan their day around what day to show up for. It was very easy for them to go, okay, I'm at this stage of business so I need to show up on this day. And it just helped me clarify what kind of topics I should have on that day to reach that kind of photographer at that level of business. Yeah, I actually found that work really well.

Krista:
I really, really like that idea a lot. Okay. You said for your main business, your services are for all creative business owners, you niche down for your summit. Was that a scary thing for you to do or did it just feel right the entire time?

Hannah's Experience with niching down for her summit

Hannah Murphy:
I find it always scary when you niche down, just because you're like, I don't want anyone to feel left out or what if you could get a really great speaker on that topic but they're not a photographer, that kind of thing. I was nervous about that. But at the same time I was confident in the fact that a lot of my clients were photographers and I knew of all the creative areas, I knew the most about photographers because I had the most experience with them. I knew what their problems were. And then the other side of it was I had the most connections in that niche for speakers. That's helped me then go down that route in a confident way. It was still scary, but looking back it was a smart decision because it made it very easy to plan and market.

Krista:
Oh, for sure. The marketing for something as specific as photographers is so much easier than all creative business owners. What led you to make that decision initially? What made you say, my main niche is too much, I need to narrow it down?

Hannah Murphy:
Yeah. A few reasons. The first was because as I was just planning out the topics, pretty much all the speakers were either photographers or educators that could speak on that, like for example, budgeting, but for photographers. For me, a real key driver was actually the speakers side of it because I found that if I can get great speakers then it can be a really quality summit. And so from there that's how the decision went. And also I had to look at my own audience and my own email list and a lot of them were photographers anyway. I think that led down to that track and it was just easier to create sessions, like for example, preparing your clients for session. You couldn't do that for a whole creative space, it meant that you could get some more quality topics.

Krista:
Yeah, you don't have to have one on one level topics on everything. You were really able to dive in deep and provide these people with so much more value probably than any other summit literally than they've ever been to before.

Hannah Murphy:
Yeah, exactly.

Krista:
I'm sure people tell you that even.

Hannah Murphy:
Which is really encouraging.

Krista:
Yes, you did a really great job. Okay. What made you decide to run a summit in the first place? There are so many different things we see that we should be doing challenges, webinars, YouTube, all the things. What made you decide on the summit?

Why she ran a summit

Hannah Murphy:
First off, a summit was never in my radar to do, to be honest, I didn't even really know about summits, but I guess it started early this year where I saw a lot of my clients or business friends in the US that were attending events, in person events. And I was craving that community and there just wasn't really many around. As you can tell by my slow accent, I'm from Brisbane, Australia. And so there wasn't a lot in my area and I was just craving to create a space where people could come and be encouraged and receive quality education. That's the start of it. And then I actually came across you at the same time I was invited to be a part of the summit. When I was part of that, I was like, I love this idea of being able to have that and just saying all the ways you did the summit. I was like, this is totally my jam. I love the idea of this, I'm just going to go for it. Yeah, that's where it came.

Krista:
I love that. Was that Kory's by chance?

Hannah Murphy:
Yeah. She's awesome.

Krista:
I love it. She had all my stuff too, so I love that that one gave me a good experience and all that stuff, I hooked her up, awesome. I'm going to have to tell her that too, that she's the reason it happened. Okay. I want to dive into the results, but first I want to circle back for people that are listening who are not US-based like you, what did you do with your schedule? Did you schedule sessions for your daytime hours or the US day time hours?

How Hannah handled scheduling sessions while being based outside the US

Hannah Murphy:
This was the hardest part of the summit, was working out time zones because I wanted to make sure that I was scheduling this stuff out properly and trust me, I had a lot of times on conversions with my VA and us trying to work out. But from the beginning I decided to do it in the US time zone. While that was harder on me, I knew that majority of the speakers were US-based and I wanted them to make sure they were meeting the marketing deadlines kind of thing, but when cart opens and all of that kind of thing. And I knew because a lot of the speakers were based in the US probably a lot of the attendees would be based there as well. I did decide to go with that time zone, a day before it was like, Oh, did I do this time zone convention right? But no, it actually ended up being why easy out because people showed up a lot more and people, the speakers marketed a lot better in that time zone. Yes, I did decide to do that. But it wasn't an easy decision.

Krista:
Yeah. Okay. I was really interested when I remembered, there was a couple of times when I would see you were talking about your summit on Instagram. I was like, I wonder what time it was going on here? Yeah, very interesting. Okay. When you decided to run your summit, what kinds of results were you hoping or expecting with it?

The results she was expecting with her summit

Hannah Murphy:
Going into it, it wasn't really a huge financial move. It was more just to increase my exposure within the industry and grow my email list. That's where I wanted to head. And because I've never done a summit before, I didn't really know what to expect, but it was more, the goals were to really increase that exposure and yeah, grow the email list.

Krista:
I love that. How did that compare to the results you actually saw?

The Results Hannah Saw

Hannah Murphy:
Seriously, the results of this summit went like, I'm so grateful it went above and beyond what I was expecting. And it's just like, yeah, it's helped get my name out there so much, which I know sounds so selfish, but at the same time the speakers were able to get their names out there as well. It really did help everyone. We had over 900 people register for the summit, which was so much fun. And yeah, it was really great to see expectations go above what I thought would happen.

Krista:
That's amazing. If you're comfortable sharing, how many All Access Pass sales did you see come in from that 900?

Hannah Murphy:
Yeah. We had 150 purchased the toolkit, which was awesome.

Krista:
You guys, that's over a 16% conversion rate.

Hannah Murphy:
Yeah, that's amazing.

Krista:
Tell me something else that you can do that gets you a 16% conversion rate with a cold audience. I don't think it exists. I love that. That's so exciting. What was your price point for your All Access Pass?

Hannah Murphy:
We did a 48 hour sale at the beginning, that was $47. And then after that 48 hours it was $97 up until the hour before the summit started. And then it was $147 during the summit.

Krista:
I love that you didn't go real low like I see some people would go. Did you see all of those price points sell pretty well?

Hannah Murphy:
Yeah. The best selling one was that 48 hour sale because there was a lot of everyone, all the speakers were promoting it at the same time. It was real cheap compared to the other price points. But yes, every single one of those price points got sales in there. They all worked.

What Hannah Included in her All-Access Pass

Krista:
What did you include in your All-Access Pass?

Hannah Murphy:
There was all the presentations and workbooks for 12 months and then we had, I can't even remember those, over 10 contributions from the speakers and affiliates. There was things like, I contribute a productivity course, a blogging course, and then there was everything from bookkeeping master class to branding guides to pausing calls, wedding guides, website kind of help, Pinterest guides. Yeah, that was a lot in there, which really did help contribute to those toolkit sales. I think the greater the value, the greater their saving, which also helps speakers as well. I think it's so important with toolkit passes and that kind of thing to actually have a lot of value in them because it helps speakers to go, this is so much easier to promote because look how much is in there.

Krista:
Yeah, I totally agree. Okay. You said that it was, it included access to the presentations and workbooks for a year. I have two questions on that. First, what made you decide to end access at a year and then two, did you get any people pushing back on that and asking why they couldn't have lifetime access.

Hannah Murphy:
No one asked about the 12 months year thing, I didn't get any pushback on that. Maybe people thought it but I didn't hear it. And then the other thing was a few reasons. The first was because I didn't want to over promise, I don't know how long I'm going to be on the course platform for aware that's going to sale. I just thought 12 months was enough. The other thing was I just find it always helpful putting deadlines on things because then people use it. That 12 months was like, I mean 12 months is quite a long time in my eyes, but also a lot of those resources they can download themselves. That was the heart behind it. Also, if I was to do another summit in the future, then they can be part of that and get access to the new toolkit and that kind of thing and you could use that as bonus resources for the next tool kit. Yeah, that's where the heart was around it.

Krista:
I love that. Okay. And I thought some people would probably ask about that. And I've always been curious too. It was great to hear your thoughts behind that. Okay. You had 900 registrations, 150 sales, which is still just, that's incredible. How many speakers did you have as a part of your summit?

How many speakers she had for her summit

Hannah Murphy:
There was 14 speakers and me, there was 15 presentations altogether.

Krista:
That's incredible. And I think this is showing people you don't have to have 40 speakers to get incredible results with the summit. That is really awesome. They must have done a great job helping you spread the word.

Hannah Murphy:
Yeah, they did awesome. And I also bought in five key affiliates who couldn't be part of the presentation, but I knew they had really solid audiences and they would be able to help promote it in a way that is for helping their audience and they contributed to the toolkit and everything else. That I think really helped as well because it wasn't extra work on my end trying to find more people to get more speakers in there. But it was also for a first summit. I was like, I'm going to go to beyond? But yeah, they did do an awesome job of promoting though.

Krista:
Do you think there's anything specific that you did or provided them or any key things that made it so your speakers did promote? Because you know I've seen people all over the board where they're like, "None of my speakers said a word." And then yours who clearly did a great job. What do you think caused them to help you out so much?

How Hannah got her speakers to promote her summit

Hannah Murphy:
The first thing is, not every speaker did promote amazingly, but I think what helped was number one, all the resources from you that I got as far as putting together email templates, giving them graphics, giving them everything they need because our job as a summit host is to make their job easy. It was basically trying to get as much resource in their hands as possible. And then also I did a few things, I did speak prizes or affiliate prizes for the top three earners, that just helped motivate another way. The other thing was I tried to be as active as I could in the Facebook group and make sure that every speaker was in there and I didn't just post. But if it was something important I would then tag every speaker in the comments so that I made sure they'd see it.

Hannah Murphy:
It was basically me trying to do as much as I could to support them and notify them. But also what I think helped was that initial 48 hours because it was like, quick, this is here, you don't want to miss getting this sale to people, you'll get an affiliate. But then after that they saw the hype and they saw the results and they were like, "Wow, this is cool." Then they helped promote in the next price jumps as well because they were getting higher affiliate percentage because it was a higher price. I think those kinds of things all together. And then also when I chose the speakers I wanted to choose people that I'd observed and I looked at the way they promoted things. I looked at the way they collaborate with people, that kind of thing. What I've realized in planning a summit is there's so much intention behind marketing decisions and the speaker choices and everything like that.

Krista:
Yes. Okay. So many good points. I kept picking one that I wanted to pick out here and then you kept going with really good ones. I really like that you thought to pay attention to those speaker choices because so many people want to go for those big name speakers, this is the person that talks about Instagram, this is the person that talks about Facebook ads or whatever. Those people are probably not going to promote your summit. I'm really glad that you were really intentional with that. And then another thing, I really love how that 48 hour strategy played into everyone promoting because people didn't have time to sleep on it or let themselves forget. They knew that those first 48 hours were going to be hot. And then you also got everyone excited and engaged right off the bat with just carries through to the rest of the whole event. That's incredible. I love that.

Hannah Murphy:
Yeah. There's so much momentum in it. I think a key part of helping marketing is momentum and when I would see it drop off, I would think, okay, what can I do now to gain momentum? Because it was only two weeks of promotion or something like that. It wasn't a long time. But yeah, momentum is so important.

Krista:
Yes. Okay, speaking of momentum, something I saw you doing was on Instagram, you were so active on at least Instagram stories. I don't scroll the feed at all, but you were always on Instagram stories even during your summit, doing so many awesome things interacting with attendees, promoting each day. Tell us a little bit about your strategy for that and if you think it paid off.

Hannah's strategy for promoting her summit

Hannah Murphy:
First off, I am great with Pinterest, but Instagram is actually not strength. And so I knew I had to up level for Instagram in this summit. Funny you mentioned the feed because once my summit sort of went live or just before and I actually hardly posted in the feed, it was pretty much all on stories and I did one Instagram live. What I did, which helped was I did a Instagram TV behind the scenes of the toolkit so that people could see and that gave speakers a place to direct so that they could see in the toolkit. But then also I went, you know what, I have 14 speakers, that's 14 days of content if that's two weeks of marketing. Because I chose these speakers, I knew about them, I knew their strengths. I'd either worked with them, bought their products, something like that.

Hannah Murphy:
And I think a lot of my marketing comes from a place of real encouragement. And so I just basically wanted to rave about that speaker and I found that when I did that they were like, "Oh wow, this person seems so cool. I want to hear more about them." It was actually very non salesy in my opinion, but also more effective in sales than me going on and saying, hey, this person is on this day and that kind of thing. A lot of the lead up was actually more just talking about the speakers and I found that I would do that again. It was a very helpful strategy in just giving a lot of content. I think the biggest thing is you want to show up in that two weeks, daily or at least through the week. And so that was an easy way for me to go without having to overthink it.

Krista:
I love that. And like you said, it's not overly salesy, but that is why I think it worked so well because you were genuine and that's what people connect with and it's all about connection all throughout the process. And I have a feeling when you were talking about each speaker, you were tagging them, they were probably sharing that. That's a really great idea. I like it. I have a couple more questions for you here. You have done a great job handling everything I'm throwing at you here. One of my last questions is what do you think is the best decision you made for your summit?

The best decision she made for her summit

Hannah Murphy:
I love this question so much. And I really have to think about it, but I think there was a few. The first thing, which I know sounds very potentially unstrategic it was, I always asked myself the question, how can I make this easy on me without sacrificing results? Because I could very easily get overwhelmed with the tech. I'm not really great with tech in the whole funnels and everything like that. And it was my first summit. I wanted to make sure that I was showing up and helping people without being a hot mess stressed behind the scenes. That's the first thing I did. And because it's such a great question, I need to add something else in. But also I really think the 48 hour sale really helped the summit in this particular situation. That's when I saw the most amount of sales and the most amount of people sign up. Yeah, they were probably the two. One strategic and one just more mindset that I think actually helped make the summit successful.

Krista:
Yeah, and I mean there are so many people who feel held back by a summit for things like how difficult the tech can feel. Out of curiosity, what tech set up did you use?

The Tech she used

Hannah Murphy:
I ended up using ThriveCart with Squarespace, that's just how people got the free ticket, how they signed up. All the sales pages were in Squarespace and the ThriveCart affiliate tracking was amazing. At the end of the payouts, it tracked everything for me and ThriveCart was only a one off payments. I didn't have to pay these months to months payments or anything like that. That was the tech I use and then to host the toolkit, I did it in partier because that's where my other courses are, that was just an easy fit.

Krista:
Love it. I'm going to link to all of those things in the show notes as well for anyone curious. If you do another summit again, first let me know if you think you will, but second, what would you do differently next time? Is there anything you'd try to tweak a little bit?

Would she host another summit?

Hannah Murphy:
I have absolutely fallen in love with the idea of summits. I probably will be doing another one. But there's definitely a few things I'd do differently. The first thing is I would have a think about. With the toolkit sales there was a lot in the beginning and there was heaps of momentum and then during the summit while there was still sales, it wasn't as consistent as the other stuff, which is pretty normal and natural in my opinion. But what I would do next time is I would add in another bonus and can consistently add into the toolkit and do surprise resources have a lot of value to add in just to create a little bit more hype so that it could be still everyone, no one's at a loss if they purchased early because everyone gets it. But it just helps create a little bit more heart and momentum around those times. That's the first thing.

Hannah Murphy:
The second thing is I would be more strategic with email. I didn't do a huge amount of email marketing to the summit people attendees. I probably did it like a sequence of I think about three emails, but I just would've considered that a bit more as far as post summit, how much time am I going to leave, what emails am I going to do? That kind of stuff. And I just look at new ways to add value to the attendees, whether that's going live in the Facebook group for some bonus trainings or just that kind of stuff. Adding some more, I guess bells and whistles next time.

Krista:
That's cool though. I think it's great to know that you got these great results without all the bells and whistles. I think that's probably going to be really encouraging for a lot of people listening. And I also really like what you said about the bonuses and I've actually done this on accident for my last couple summits and it works well. And the reason I say it's an accident is because when my speakers are late delivering their bonuses for my All Access Pass, I just announced them as they come in and it's ended up being a really great way to market even though I'm not trying to do it. The bonus idea is a good one.

Hannah Murphy:
Yeah, I know, definitely. I think that would help.

Krista:
Yeah. Okay. Last question I have for you, what would be your biggest piece of advice for someone looking to run a summit for the first time?

Your big takeaway

Hannah Murphy:
Oh, so much. I could probably write a whole book about them, and I'm sure you could as well. But I would actually just say start small but give a lot of quality. I found the 14 speaker mark really helpful because it was still enough but it wasn't too much to organize. I would do that. And then the other thing I would just say is that if something goes wrong, which it did a few times during the summit, don't freak out. Actually just find an easy way around it because there's always a solution, whether it's reaching out to someone and asking for help or whatever. And then also the last thing I would say is before you even stop promoting or getting speakers or anything like that, have a marketing plan and write down, I don't want to call it a hate list cause that sounds terrible, but write down your topics that you want and find people that are going to match that.

Hannah Murphy:
And if you get a no from a speaker, look for someone else that's strong in talking about that because I've found that topics helped drive what people wanted and I didn't do it based off, I want you as a speaker, what do you want to talk about? Because that would have been very hard to organize. Yeah, I would say, do that look for a quality speaker, your most preferred, reach out, if they say no, look for someone else kind of thing.

Krista:
Heck yes. I love that piece of advice. I very highly encourage everyone to start with the topic. I was over here fist bumping as she was talking about that. Where can people go to learn more about you? And what you offer?

Hannah Murphy:
They can go to my website withhannahmurphy.com and I'm also on Instagram and Pinterest under that name as well.

Krista:
Awesome. Thank you so much for coming on and sharing so freely. It was really, really fun to hear about your experience.

Hannah Murphy:
You're welcome. Thanks for all your resources too.

Krista:
Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode with Hannah. If you are planning towards your first summit, I hope you're so inspired by the results she got, how far above and beyond they exceeded her expectations and the fact that she was able to do that by keeping things as simple as possible, not overwhelming her with complicated tech, too many speakers, all kinds of bells and whistles. She kept it simple and got incredible results.

Krista:
In the next episode, we are starting a new series and we'll be talking about how to boost All Access Pass sales after the event is over, so be sure to tune in for that. Now go out and take action to plan, strategize, and launch your profitable online summit.

 

Resources

 

About Hannah

Hannah is a content and productivity strategist for driven and passionate creatives. She helps creative entrepreneurs show up consistently and wholeheartedly without the overwhelm through systems.

Website | Instagram

 

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