Worried that your speakers won't share your summit? I get it. We rely on our speakers to get our summits out into the world and hit the goals we've been dreaming of. And sometimes, reality can fall a bit short of our expectations.
In this episode, we'll cover 7 ways to encourage your speakers to share about your virtual summit as well as how these tips worked for me in my most recent event.
Hey, 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 this is the second episode in a series about encouraging your speakers to participate and cooperate with you in your process. Today, in episode 68, we're breaking that down to chat about how do we encourage speakers to share your site.
We're going to cover a background of why this topic is important and what usually happens when speakers don't share, seven ways to increase the likelihood that they will share and how these tactics worked for me in my most recent summit, which I hosted in March 2020.
Before we dive in, I want to invite you to join the free Summit Host Hangout Facebook group. This is a group of summit hosts, whether they're up and coming hosts or past hosts who have all come together to get support and to support each other in the summit planning journey. It's a great place to ask questions, get support, support others, and just feel really understood since people who aren't on this track really just don't get it. So join the group by going to summithosthangout.com/community.
Now let's talk about a background on this topic, a little bit about getting your speakers to share. Speakers not sharing is one of the biggest complaints I hear from summit hosts. They get all of these awesome speakers. They do a ton of work to make the summit happen, and then I noticed that not many speakers or no speakers are sharing. When this happens, it's really easy to get defensive and blame the speakers. Be like, they're not sharing. I did all this work. They're not doing anything to help. But in reality, it's actually a problem with your process, not with them. Especially if it's like 50% or more of your speakers are not sharing. It's on you. I'll admit, sometimes it is the speaker, especially if most people are sharing, but there's a couple who won't. In that case it is the speaker. In most cases, most summit hosts can't blame the speakers for not sharing.
So let's dive in what you can do to encourage speakers to share here.
First step one is pitch the right people. Pitch speakers who have the same audience as your summit so that they resonate with who they're talking to and what the goal of the summit is. That's going to make it so much easier for them to promote because it's going to feel natural. Of course, they want their audience to hear about something that will actually help them. So if you pitch the right people, they're going to share.
They're also wanting to work harder for your summit if they want to be in front of the audience. If your audience for the summit is filled with people they want buying their products or working with them and their services, they will work harder. If the message is something that their audience resonates with bottom line, they'll want to share that they're a part of it because it looks good for them to be a part of it. There's more on this in episode 19 about choosing your speakers that will both you and them the best results.
Let's move on to step two, which is to set your sharing expectations. If you don't make it clear from the very beginning that you expect everybody to share, they're just not going to because why would they? It's extra work for them. And if you set the expectation but then don't remind them, they'll forget or they won't care because they won't think it's that big of a deal.
So first is to include any expectations you have in your original pitch email. If you want your speakers to share, they need to know about it before they agree to be a part of your event. If you want people to, let's say send one email and share one social media post, let them know that in advance so they can share any issues and concerns with you before they are signed on as a speaker. If you do everything else we're going to talk about in this episode, most will share and most will share much more than the minimum you outline. But this lets them know that they'll be expected to spread the word and it just sets that expectation. Also be sure to position it positively. It's going to be more worthwhile for everybody if they each do their part. So position it that way as a benefit for them. But also be careful about how you do this, about how you set expectations about sharing. There are so many people that go wrong here, and we're going to have a whole episode on that coming up next.
In the next episode we will cover sharing requirements. Personally when it comes to expectations, yes I put it in the pitch but I personally wouldn't put something like this in my contract. How are you going to enforce that they didn't share? Are you going to take them to court because they didn't send an email. No. Honestly like I get a really gross feeling when I am going to sign a contract, like a speaker agreement and that kind of stuff is in there. Like that's just beside the point. So you know my preference, don't put it in your contract, but if you need to do it, I guess go right ahead. But also be open if you get feedback from speakers who don't seem comfortable with it.
The third step for encouraging speakers to share your summit is to enforce your expectations. So after it's set, you need to enforce it, but do it lightly. This isn't like the word enforce. I feel like that's a little bit strong here, but it's the best fitting word I have. As the promotion period gets closer, remind them that it's coming. And I like to do this by announcing that the sharing resources are ready. I'll post in my Facebook group for my speakers and say, Hey, we just finished up all your swipe copy and graphics. Here's the folder if you want to check it out. Okay, they're going to look at it. And if nothing else, they'll remember, Oh yeah, here's this thing coming up that I'm supposed to share about. And I usually do that about two weeks before promotion is scheduled to start. This is reminding them without rubbing those requirements in your face. "You have to share one time in these places. Here's the resource." No. Instead say "Here's the resources. I'm so excited. Check them out." I'll also put a couple of reminders the week before promotion starts just saying like, "Hey, it's coming. Here's the link to the resources. Here's how to create your affiliate link. I can't wait to make your affiliate payouts." Things like that. Again, just position it really positively because it is. It's going to be fun for everybody. You just to get them to participate and see that, and it's up to you to show them.
And then once the promotion period starts, like your job isn't done, you have to keep reminding them. I like to give shout outs to people who are doing well. Like, Oh my gosh, this person is just raking in the affiliate income or you know, this person has sent this many people over so far. Thank you so much. After about a week, a week and a half, I will personally email people who aren't sharing and I do this really gently, but I do remind them of the requirements. I point out why it's important to share. I also include in those emails, copy paste scripts, including their affiliate link so they can literally copy and paste into an email and paste it into a social media post and get that sent out. And that is why the personal emails I sent are the reason that every single one of my speakers shared at least once in my last summit, I wasn't rude about it. I wasn't forceful about it. It was like, "Hey, remember this is something we're supposed to do. Here's how we can make it really easy. Here's how other people are getting the best results. I'm so excited for your presentation." So enforce your expectations.
The fourth part of that is to give your speakers a reason to share. If they will not benefit from sharing, and you're the only one that's going to benefit don't expect them to share because there's no reason for them to like think of yourself. Would you put much energy into sharing something that you knew you wouldn't get anything out of? Like you had to do work to be a part of this thing and now you're supposed to share and don't get anything from it. Do you have your speakers good affiliate commissions, if nothing else? Okay. I've had speakers who plan to do like minimal sharing who scheduled more once their affiliate sales started rolling in, and I've even done that myself for somebody. I plan to go, okay, they want me to send one email, one social media post, I'll do that and I'm done, but then I start getting these notifications about affiliate sales. I'm like, okay, I'll schedule a couple more. So give them a reason to share. The affiliate income is a great way where they can start seeing rewards right as their promotion starts. Something I've done in the past is done a sales contest. So like my top three or four, I don't remember what it was. My top few affiliates would win these prizes and I had like a month of HelloFresh, Bluetooth speakers, an Echo Dot, and one other thing that I gave away for the top affiliates.
Then something Demetrius in the Facebook group mentioned recently was considering some kind of bonus for those who do the required marketing or give all the speakers a bonus if everyone does it. So they're encouraging each other. Whether this is like, I don't know, $100 bonus, $200 once they hit the requirement, maybe their affiliate income gets bumped up 10% maybe that's how they get a free all access pass. You know, that's another way you can have like kind of bribery basically, but, or another reason for them to share. But they have to have some kind of reason. Also, if you're going to pay your speakers, which most people don't, but if you are, maybe their payment is dependent on them sharing your required number of times. It's not something I've done, but it's just another option. You need to give them some kind of reason.
The fifth step of this is to make it really easy. The easier you make it for them, the more your speakers will promote. Put yourself in their shoes. Again, how much promotion would you do for something if you had to sit down, write out a whole marketing plan, write all the copy, create your own graphics, figure out what to send, when? Like I straight up won't do it. I used to be at a point where I would, but now I will not do it. Minus maybe a post on my own Instagram stories. So your job as the host is to make this easy for them. You're going to give them a swipe copy both for emails you want them to send and for social media in that you're going to include both like some straight promo stuff, but also value add stuff that naturally ties into your site. It's not all straight pitching.
You're going to give them graphics of all different sizes. So like vertical for Instagram stories, squares for Instagram feed and Facebook, horizontal for Twitter, like every different graphic size. Even if you don't use a platform that doesn't mean your speakers don't use that platform. For me, I almost uninstalled the Twitter app this morning when I was cleaning out my phone just because I don't use it. But that doesn't mean none of my speakers used it. So I did include it for them and I did actually see, I don't remember how I even saw, becase I don't open Twitter, but I know at least one of my speakers was sharing on Twitter because that's where he hangs out the most. So you're going to give them graphics in all different sizes along with the copy and you're going to give them a sharing schedule. So here is what I recommend sharing on this day. Here's what to share on this day. Lay it all out for them. And that's really great because either they can do it themselves and not have to think about it or they can hand it off to a VA and be like, send this on this day, this on this day. Or you know, do whatever's in the sharing schedule. So, so easy.
You also in your copy add reminders for them to include their affiliate link and give them easy access to their affiliate link. Link to the page they can sign into to get their affiliate links. We'll make that really easy as well.
The last thing I like to do to make it easy for my speakers to promote is offer to promote for them. So I throw myself out there, I'm like, let me know if you want me to come add value for your audience and tied into the summit. So from my last summit I did a couple of Instagram lives. I offered to do Instagram story takeovers. I did two YouTube videos with people. You could do live trainings in their Facebook groups, guests, newsletters, like think of how you can do the promotion for them while getting in front of their audience and still using their affiliate link. It's just a great way to get some extra promotion and I'm really glad that I offered that for my last summit.
Our sixth step here is don't be gross. Okay, we're going to talk about this more in the next episode, but don't be gross and pushy about this. Understand that some people speak to their audience differently than you. Some people have different boundaries when it comes to promotion than you do. Let your speakers know how important they are. Like don't just be in contact with them to ask them for something like, Hey, I need your presentation. Your presentation is overdue by the way, did you share yet? Sometimes just say thank you and share your progress with the planning. How many people are signing up, things like that. Let them be excited and not like dread whenever they see your name pop up on Facebook or in their inbox. So find other reasons to share updates and show them how important they are. Because if you did not have them, you would not have your summit. So they are such an important part of it.
Some examples that I like to do, I always give them a weekly update on numbers. So every Friday I post in my speaker Facebook group letting them know how many registrations, how many sales, how much affiliate income has been earned, who are the top affiliates, what do we need to do next? Stuff like that. Leaderboards, like I said, are a great thing to include, registrations, what working and what isn't. So you know, here's the promotion methods that I'm seeing work the best. And I also like to just send them a postcard once they have signed on for the summit because it's a reminder that they're a part of it like that they agreed to do it. That's just one thing that's showing them that you care increasing the likelihood that they will care enough to do some promotion.
The last step I want to go over here is to make peace with reality. And the reality of the situation is that some people will not share and there's nothing you can do about it and it's not worth your energy to worry about. Okay? Your job is to get them excited. Your job is to make the process easy for them. When you do that, you will increase the likelihood that they'll share. So focus on that over being an enforcer. Don't just focus on enforcing all those expectations you set. Your job is to get them excited. So share your excitement about everything. Getting the first presentation finalizing your speaker line lineup, the first hundred registrant's. Also make sure that the summit's topic and audience is relevant to each speaker that will get them more excited. Give them a reason to share with affiliate income, different prizes, things like that, and make it easy for them to do so.
In my last summit, I did all of those things minus a contract. I did not have anything about sharing in my contract. This is the first time that every one of my speakers shared, at least somewhere. Now, some huge names with like 40k Instagram followers made one affiliate sale, which tells me they didn't try very hard, but they all shared at least somewhere. And then a lot more kept on sharing once the affiliate sales started rolling in. I'm paying several speakers over $2,000 in individual payouts. In the past, I've paid $3,600 to one affiliate. And for the size of summit that I host, that's big. Like those people are, they are playing their part in the event.
Put these things into action. It's going to make a difference in your process. And like I said, you can do a lot to encourage your speakers to share, but it's not worth enforcing it. Pitch the right people, set your expectations. Support those expectations in fun way. Give them a reason to share. Make it easy, be cool about it. Don't let it ruin things for you when there are speakers who literally don't say a word about being a part of your event.
Your action steps for this episode are to brainstorm how you can create a better overall experience for your speakers. Even if it means going through the show notes for this episode and writing down the list of everything we went over, that's fine with me. I'll count it. Figure out what's in it for them. Why should your speakers promote? How is promoting going to benefit them? Also do some brainstorming on what you can do to make them really excited about being a part of your summit. I'm like honored to be a part of it and then do some brainstorming on what kinds of updates. Just kind of natural fun updates you can give them in a Facebook group throughout the process that aren't related to asking them to do something.
Thank you so much for tuning into this episode. In the next episode, we'll be chatting about the problem with requiring speaker promotion and how to do it the right way, so be sure to tune in for that.
What we talked about in this episode is a secret to success you don't hear much about, and guess what? There are more. In fact, I put together a PDF with 12 of my best summit hosting tips and you can get it today at summithosthangout.com/secrets.
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