I’ll let Abby take it from here!
Generally, I say 90 days is enough time that you can generate interest, get people excited, but it’s not too much time that they’re going to get sick of hearing about it or lose interest.
There are many aspects of planning a summit, beyond the summit itself.
For example, as you’re choosing speakers, get in front of their audience by sharing the speaker’s content, tagging them, and having conversations with them. You’re not only promoting the summit, but you’re also promoting all of the ideas around it, all of the people who are part of it, everything.
If you think that 90 days is too much time, it's probably not enough time for all of the things you could be talking about.
Just as summit hosts are busy, so are the speakers. But if you tag them on something, remind them they’re a part of the summit, they get in front of another audience. You drive traffic to them. It makes sense for speakers to internalize that and feel obligated to promote the summit.
Every summit is going to look a little bit different, but your summit timeline should start about 90 days out.
In general, I would say 90 days out you start teasing some topics. Tease that something really cool is coming or something that's going to be really beneficial for whatever the audience is.
Your audience’s more likely to be an attendee and to participate actively if they have the buy-in.
Then at the same time, if you don't have your speaker lineup done yet, you'll probably get some people who are interacting with your content that might be good speakers.
About 45-60 days out, create swipe copy for your speakers. Swipe copy is copy that you create to promote your summit to make it easy for them to literally swipe it. They're going to copy and paste it into their social media posts or into their emails.
For example, maybe you have podcast hosts who are part of your speaker lineups, so they can use some swipe copy for their intros and outros so they can promote the summit. Create graphics for them.
About three weeks out or so, it's time to talk about the summit. You have your speakers, you have the graphics, you have all the copy, you know exactly how the summit is going to play out, so start sharing about it. Get people to sign up.
Promote each individual speaker so they can share it on their feeds and promote themselves and we can also swipe some of the other people's individual graphics and promote them as well.
Talk to your speakers about affiliate links. About two weeks out, speakers can send their affiliate link out to their audience and make announcements and hopefully earn a little bit of income as well.
Just because the summit is this week, doesn't mean that you stop the promotion. You can still have people sign up. When attendees start to see the excitement, have them comment with their biggest takeaways and tag the summit. You can get more participation by running a contest for the all-access pack.
As a host, it’s important to share your own takeaways from each individual speaker on social media.
When you're sending out swipe copy, it's important to encourage speakers to make it their own.
With all the swipe copy in the same Google Folder, speakers can copy and paste what they need and then tweak it to make it sound like “them”.
There are a lot of ways to keep your audience engaged in the promotional period.
Take action on some of their input to show your audience and attendees that you care and you deliver what they want and need.
It's a lot of work so start early. Start early with the promotion to get people excited about it. The more pre-work you can do, the more energy you’ll have during the summit.
Abby Herman is a content strategist and consultant for service-based business owners who want to gain visibility for their businesses with personalized content strategies and implementation. She specializes in idea generation and content strategy and delivery so her clients can keep on doing what they love in their businesses, making the marketing piece feel easy. She also creates courses to help newer business owners DIY their content marketing, because she knows from experience that there’s nothing more frustrating than not knowing where to start.
Learn how much time to set aside for planning and launching your profitable, stress-free online summit and use my calculator to set the due dates for you.