Have you heard the claim that free virtual summits attract "low-quality leads" or "freebie seekers"? Or maybe you've even believed it yourself?
First of all, this is straight-up just a rude thing to say about people interested in what you’re doing. By saying this, it classifies anyone who signs up for something free as a “low quality” person to have in your audience and, I’m sorry, but that’s just gross!
So let’s stop that, okay?
Honestly, if you’re attracting “low quality” leads, it’s because of something you are doing wrong, (which we’ll get to), and not because people who sign up for free things never buy.
I can feel my blood pumping already, so let’s just dive right into it, shall we?
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There are so many reasons why someone might say these things about free summits attracting low-quality leads but I'll touch on the top ones I hear most often. Maybe they're sharing negative opinions on freebies because they teach a competing strategy (like low-ticket offers, paid workshops, etc.). Maybe they don’t understand the long-term benefits of continuing to build relationships and nurture leads over time. Or maybe they ran a summit that flopped and decided that meant the strategy itself is flawed and must not work to attract high quality leads, even though the real problem was their execution of the strategy. When a strategy flops that you know others have had success with, the best thing you can do is turn that around and ask what you can do differently next time instead of blaming the strategy itself.
So let’s break down these ideas a little bit more.
Let’s start by talking about the “freebie seeker” idea and where it comes from. The first reason people say that summit attendees are "low-quality" leads is because of this concept of freebie seekers, which I totally do not buy.
This is an idea that people who want you to follow their paid strategies came up with. These people typically teach low-ticket offers, paid events, paid workshops, etc., and they want you to follow their paid strategies. Think about it, if you were selling a course teaching a paid lead-gen strategy, it’s a great argument to convince people that “freebie seekers” are a problem and not worth your time.
But that’s absolute garbage and not at all based on fact!
Will you have a higher conversion rate from a low-ticket entry product to your signature offer than a freebie? Maybe. I don’t have data on that from my personal experience, but that probably is true.
But even with that assumption, it doesn’t say anything about the fact that freebie seekers DO still buy, both right away and over time. It's also easier to attract people through free offers. So even if the conversion rate to your signature offer from freebies is lower, you have a much higher volume to work with, so it would even out anyway. And who knows, you could even make more from those freebie seekers over time.
The next piece of why someone might say that free summits attract low-quality leads is that THEY hosted a summit that didn’t work, or they know someone who does. They blame an entire strategy that does work for thousands of people because they didn’t implement it the right way.
For example, what if I went out and hosted a crappy webinar and then started going off about how webinars don’t work?
Or how about in episode 183 when I talked about summits versus bundles when I shared how my bundle didn’t go great? I said I'd stick with summits and wasn't sure I'd host another bundle, but you certainly didn’t hear me saying that bundles don’t work. I also owned up to things I probably did incorrectly.
These people who hosted a summit that flopped don’t understand the basics of a successful virtual summit. They host a crappy event that isn’t positioned correctly, and because of that they don’t attract buyers…or anyone at all…and then blame their attendees and label them as “low-quality” instead of considering that maybe their knowledge of summits was the problem.
And before I get any spicier with this one, we’ll go ahead and move to the next reason people might say this. And that is…
Another reason someone might say that summits don't attract buyers is that they somehow don’t understand the long-term benefits and results of the relationships you'll build and the leads that you can continue to warm up over time.
Like I said before, it could be true that freebies convert to sales at a lower rate than some type of paid entry offer. But that absolutely does not mean that the people who take you up on a freebie and don’t buy immediately are low-quality leads.
All it means is that you didn’t give them a barrier to entry, and they had space to be curious and learn about something new. They took that opportunity, and they just need time to learn more. It’s your job to help them continue that journey and get them ready to make an investment to learn more down the road.
If these people don’t see that happening, they have a funnel or customer journey problem. It’s not an issue with the people they’re attracting.
The last time I hosted a summit for this business was in September 2020. We had about a 2% conversion rate for a $1500-2000 product we sold on the backend of that event, which led to a $63,000 launch.
I could have labeled the 1200 people who didn’t buy as “low quality.” Instead, I nurtured the heck out of them every week since then to help them continue learning about the power of summits and see that it was possible for them.
In the 18 months that followed, I brought in at least an additional $160,000 from those people that others would label as “low-quality”.
If you host a summit that doesn’t work or doesn’t attract the type of people you want, I’m sorry, but you cannot blame the strategy as a whole or the attendees that sign up. That’s on you.
You need to position your summit the right way to attract the right people, convert highly in regards to the summit, and also convert well into your back-end offer.
This is one of our main focuses in the Launch with a Summit Accelerator™ because if you miss this piece, none of it will work.
Once you've positioned your summit correctly, now you need to host your summit correctly.
You cannot reverse engineer a summit. I would say that maybe 1% of summit hosts can make up the strategies on their own and actually see decent results. There is so much you don’t see in virtual summit strategy and logistics when you’re looking from the outside.
And for a summit to attract people who will buy (now or in the future), bring you thousands of leads, and 10s of thousands in immediate sales, you need to do it the right way. It doesn’t happen by accident.
Again, we cover all the strategies with more than 100 training videos and every template you could ever need in the Launch with a Summit Accelerator™.
And last, pay attention to both the immediate and long-term benefits of a summit. Is the immediate list growth, all-access pass sales, and launch income great?
But that extra $160,000 I made in the year and a half following my last summit for this business? That’s also pretty great.
Summits are both a short game and a long game strategy and you need to be willing to ride it out.
I promise it’s worth it.
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.