We're currently in a series about virtual summits for high-volume business owners: business owners who need a relatively high volume of leads or page views to hit their sales goals. If you haven't listened to the first episode in this series where I broke down if a virtual summit is right for you, and you think you might be a high-volume business owner, (aka you have a course, membership, or group program,) go start there and then come back.
This week, we're specifically talking about how high-volume business owners can not only fund your launches, but profit by using a virtual summit as a launch strategy, before you even open the doors and start selling your offer. That means profiting before the launch even happens.
We're going to cover:
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Let's start off by briefly covering what I mean by a “summit funding your launch,” because the expenses that go into a launch differ for everyone. Some of you might even be at the point where you don't really feel like you have any launch expenses, especially if you have a rinse-and-repeat approach following a proven launch method.
But almost every online business will have at least some launch expenses, whether it's their first or 15th launch. Let's break down what some of those expenses are.
Expense #1: Paid Advertising
The most common launch expense is any type of paid advertising you're doing to fill your launch. Attracting a cold audience through ads or making sure your warm audience knows that you have something going on, is probably the biggest launch expense for those of you who already have a rinse-and-repeat launch method in place.
Expense #2: Your Team
Another example of launch expenses is your team. This could include:
Expense #3: Prizes, Gifts, or Giveaways
Something else you might do during a launch that adds an expense is give away prizes or other fun features you might add to your lunch to build engagement. I'm a big gift person, so I always build ways for attendees to win prizes by participating in my launch events. Any prizes you give away will likely include some expense.
Expense #4: Software
The next big thing is software. A lot of you are probably at the point in your business where you already have all of the software you need for your launches lined up and paid for, but some of these expenses include:
All of these expenses can range from $0 to 10s of 1000s of dollars depending on the strategies you use, but everyone will have at least some expenses that go into launching.
Now that we've covered all the different expenses you're likely to have in your launch, let’s break down where I tend to spend my money during my launches:
I don't know about you, but I would prefer to not start my launch by trying to make up the money I spent to make the launch happen. Sometimes there's no way around it, but if I can help it, I definitely prefer making back those expenses and profiting before the launch even starts.
With that being said, let's talk about some traditional launch methods that aren't going to make you money before you launch.
Launch Method #1: Webinar
First is the webinar. Usually, you spend a pretty penny to get people signed up for a webinar, and you're spending money on the webinar software itself, but then you are not making money until the launch happens at the end.
Launch Method #2: Challenge
Same story with a challenge. You're spending money to make the challenge happen and get people signed up, but you're not making money until the end when you launch your offer.
Launch Method #3: Paid Bundles
You can technically profit through a bundle, but I wouldn't really consider a paid bundle its own launch method. When you run a paid bundle, no one is really there for you. They’re there for all free or low-cost things they can get inside the bundle, and that means if you do launch after hosting a bundle, conversion rates are going to be super low. I know bundles work for some people, but I also know so many business owners who have jumped on the paid bundle train and ended up very disappointed.
Launch Method #4: Paid Conferences
Now let's look at paid conferences. You can make some money on ticket sales with a paid conference, but I think generally, the goal is to break even with your ticket sales. Those ticket sales are a much smaller scale revenue-wise than your summit revenue is going to be, and usually won't cover more than your ad spend. But it totally depends.
Launch Method #5: Paid Live Workshops
I know that a paid live workshop is another big launch method that people do, but I have never hosted one successfully. We tried doing one once, but I ended up calling it off because we had so few signups. I would guess that would be pretty similar to a paid conference when it actually works. Your goal with the ticket sales for the workshop is to break even on ads and expenses, with profit coming when you launch your offer at the end.
I’ve talked before about the difference between a free summit and a paid conference, and what is the difference in these strategies, because there actually is a really big difference.
This is just an overview of some traditional launch methods that don't make money before you launch, and don't get me wrong: I'm not saying these strategies are bad. I have done all of them to one extent or the other. My goal here is simply to put these launch methods in perspective. With all of them, you normally start your launch in the hole and then need to make up the money that you spent on making the launch happen.
Now let's talk about how a summit can replace those traditional launch methods by creating the same results and more. We’ll look at the primary goal is with each of those launch methods, and how a summit compares.
Have you noticed a theme here? These types of traditional launch methods are good for audience re-engagement and maybe a little audience building, but then they come in strong with the launch.
So what are we missing with these strategies?
We're missing the large-scale audience growth and visibility. We're missing leveraging industry connections and making new ones. We’re missing turning a profit through the launch event itself, before you start actually selling your core offer. And we’re missing the ongoing leads to continue to nurture and convert moving forward.
All of these strategies are really costing you money or maybe breaking even to cover your costs, and you're relying on those core sales at the end for all of your profit.
And of course, this is where summits can really shine.
So let's talk about how a summit will fund your launch and turn a profit. Last week, I broke down the full power of virtual summits and the power they have to build your audience and leverage connections, but virtual summits do even more than that!
The way you fund your launches, and profit with your summit is through your all-access pass.
People sign up for your summit for free, which is why it's so easy to get hundreds or thousands of people signed up. It's easy for speakers and affiliates to promote because it's a free thing that's high value to their people, and there's a much lower barrier to entry for people to decide that they want to attend.
From there, you profit by selling an all-access pass on the back end. Most summit strategists will tell you to aim to break even with your all-access pass, but I know that there are ways to make an all-access pass bring in much more than that. It comes down to a lot of the things we focus with our clients on in our Launch with a Summit Accelerator. While we focus mostly on their positioning, we also make sure you're inviting the right speakers, creating a good experience for them and your audience, and setting up your all-access pass offer in a way that increases conversion rates.
I'll use some real numbers to make it easier to understand, using a well-positioned smaller summit as an example. Let’s say you have:
A lot of you listening are set up to see events larger than that, and it's possible to see all-access pass conversion rates higher than that, which is another piece we work with our Accelerator clients on.
But right there, not only have you brought in 1500 leads for your launch, but you have over $11,000 that can cover whatever launch expenses you have. For most of you, if you have over $11,000 in launch expenses, that's means you're running some serious ads, which will make your summit larger and cause it to generate more revenue. So if your launch expenses are growing because of ads, that means your summit will grow along with that number.
And if you're not spending a lot on ads, your launch expenses will likely be significantly less than that, which means you'll have profit coming in from your launch before you even open the cart and start selling your course.
If you're looking for a launch strategy that will…
A virtual summit is where it's at!
If this all sounds good to you, we would love to work with you in the Launch with a Summit Accelerator. You can also reach out to us on Instagram anytime if you want more information on that.
If you're ready to host a high-converting virtual summit to replace your slow-growth marketing strategies, and use it to lead into your biggest course launch yet, I've got an exclusive training just for you. This training is for those who are interested in working with me in our Launch with a Summit Accelerator to host a summit that blows industry standards out of the water, uses feel good engagement-based strategies to create an amazing experience for everyone involved, seamlessly leads into your biggest course launch yet, and sets you up for additional posts on my profits on the back end. Inside the Accelerator, we help our clients consistently host life and business-changing virtual summits and in the free private training I'll show you exactly how it works along with all kinds of examples. So apply for an invite to the Launch with a Summit Accelerator.
To wrap us up here, I am not saying that summits are the only way to launch. I am not one of those “gurus” who's going to say that “my way is the only way.” I use all these different launch strategies consistently in my business.
But if you are a high-volume business owner, who can execute large projects, I truly believe a summit should be added to your list. And after you’ve hosted your first summit, you get to rinse and repeat, making it so much easier and generally even more effective every single time you do 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.