We're currently in a series about virtual summits for high-volume business owners, that is business owners who need a relatively high volume of leads to hit their sales goals, such as course creators, membership site owners, and high-ticket program coaches.
Today, I'm so excited to talk about a benefit of virtual summits that I have truly never really hit on before, and that is how you can expand your body of work and increase your impact with a virtual summit. This is one of those magical parts of hosting a summit that never even crossed my mind until it happened. And honestly, it took years for me to see the big picture of what it did. I’m hoping I can do a good job of painting the picture for you today.
This topic is important for me to talk about because it's something I value, but also, I know that those of you who run things like courses and memberships and group programs are doing those things not just to make money, but also to spread a message and create some type of impact in your industry. You have your offer packaged in a way that provides a wider impact than you could make working with people one on one.
The good news is that pairing your desire of making that impact along with the summit makes it even more powerful.
A note before we dive in: a lot of the time on this podcast, we're talking about how your summit can make you money. The benefits of hosting a summit to build your body of work tie into making money, but it's not going to be our focus here.
Let’s start by going over some different examples of what it might look like for you to expand your body of work and increase your impact, because I know these can be kind of fluffy terms.
Then, we will break down a whole bunch of ways a summit makes that happen.
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Expanding your body of work can mean different things to different people, so let's start with a few examples of what it can look like, and how you might desire to expand your body of work.
First is the desire to reach more people in a way that serves them.
Things like ads and bundles work to help you reach more people, but generally, you don't jump into those things out of a place of service. You can always look at things like, “I am running my ads, so that more people who need me, can find me.” But that's generally not the main thing your thinking about.
There was a time recently when I looked at all of my freebies on my website and was just so underwhelmed. I asked myself, “Am I really serving people who are new to me by offering this? Or am I just trying to get them on my lead list and make sales as quickly as possible?”
Honestly, that led me to a big long brainstorm on how I could make my freebies better and create a better experience for people who are new to us. I had an idea that will take my team and I weeks to execute, so as of right now, it would be wonderful if it was done, but it's probably not. So, if you go to my website and the freebies are PDFs, that is not it. Hang tight on that!
Maybe you have a desire to reach more people, but serve them really, really well in the process and that might be a way you want to expand your body of work.
Another reason you might want to expand your body of work is to impact people who might not be able to afford your offer or aren't ready for it for another reason other than money.
For those of you who sell premium courses, high-ticket programs, or even low-price offers, there's no question that what you provide is worth what you charge and likely far more, But there can also be some guilt associated with charging higher prices or any prices at all.
I'm sure most of you with paid offers are also providing value on other channels, like social media or a blog or podcast, so there is a way for people to learn from you for free. But you might have the desire to do or create even more of that or make some kind of bigger experience for those people.
You might also desire to create something bigger than yourself or bigger than what you can do on your own. Some people do that with things like writing a book, or speaking on stages, or just like working hard to have a big impact on a small scale, which could look like some kind of serving or volunteer or donation work. You might even be moving towards some of that without even knowing it or realizing it.
But desiring to create something bigger than yourself is another example of the impact we're talking about today.
Another reason you might want to build your body of work is to a new message in your industry, whether it's to speakers, attendees, or far beyond things directly related with the summit.
For example, I’m very passionate about running summits in a way that doesn’t feel gross or slimy and creates a positive experience for everyone involved, and I can go on forever talking about that.
Maybe there's a message you want to get across, or a door you want to open for your audience, which would translate to your attendees or even your speakers. Spreading a new message could come from a desire to make a change in your industry, or even to simply provide another place to teach.
These are just some of the different ways you might focus on expanding your body of work, but hopefully, these examples help you see what it would look like to expand the work you’re doing and increase your impact.
So, how does expanding your body of work tie into a summit? When most people go into hosting a summit, it's so easy to focus on the immediate benefits, like revenue, list growth, connections, and things like that, and spreading their message or expanding their body of work isn’t really on their radar. But the opportunity is definitely there.
Let's break down how a summit helps you expand your body of work:
First of all, when you host a summit, you are impacting and serving hundreds or thousands of people who would have probably never heard of you otherwise, for free. I talked about earlier how I looked at all my freebies, and I was just so underwhelmed and honestly just disgusted by them. I went on a big brainstorm to see how I could create something better.
And in that process, I had the realization that running summits totally fills that gap.
It draws in hundreds or thousands of people and truly serves them better than you probably could on your own, and having people on your list who feel taken care of is powerful. Not to mention the fact that a summit will draw more people, more quickly, than any type of freebie is really going to do on its own.
A summit opens the door for you to impact and serve lots of people for free, which can really be powerful.
Another door opens when impacting people who either can't afford your offer who or who simply aren't drawn to it for one reason or another. And I know there are some people out there who will say, “If this isn't a paying customer, I don't want them on my list.” I personally think that's gross and immature and silly, but that is a rant for another day.
A summit is an incredible way to serve and reach people who aren't a fit for your offers for one reason or another.
You and a group of experts are providing some of your best stuff for free, or at least stuff they can use to get started, for free and usually including extra resources and experiences along the way to help.
For those of you serving people in the B2B space, or helping people make money outside of their own business, your summit can even get them a couple of steps closer to being able to afford your bigger offers.
Beyond affordability, you also have a way to serve and reach people who just aren’t invested in your offer yet. Even though many of these people still won't join your offers, if you set it up right, they will still know about your offer, which means they now can share about it with other people who need it. And that is also powerful.
Another way a summit can help you expand your body of work is giving you a way to come together in collaboration with speakers to produce something you couldn't create on your own.
We talked earlier about how some people work to create something bigger than themselves through things like writing a book, speaking on stages, and things like that. These things are powerful and serve different purposes in their own ways.
A summit creates a bigger impact in it’s own way too. It’s a powerful way to bring together a group of people in an industry who are experts at what they do and all put their brains together to create a really awesome event. It's a result that one person can't get by themselves, and an impact that not just one person can make, but when a group of people come together, it becomes so much more powerful.
The next thing I want to talk about is the fact that a summit can open the door to collaborations with speakers and others who connect with you through your summit, and that allows your impact to continue to spread.
For a lot of people that you'll pitch to speak, it’s a pretty easy yes for them. It's a pretty low-commitment, safe way to collaborate with someone new, and depending on the industry, they understand the pros and cons going into it.
It's a great way to open the door to that first collaboration with someone which makes it way easier to present future collaboration opportunities such as webinars, affiliate promotions, joint workshops, including lessons in each other's programs, or speaking.
All these doors are suddenly open, and both you and your speakers have a greater opportunity to continue working together in the future to make each of your impacts wider and reach more people.
The next thing I want to talk about here is the way a summit helps you spread a new message in your industry, whether it's a truth you want your attendees to know or if there's something you want to change for your speakers.
I’ve talked about how I really want summit hosts to realize that their events aren't just about them making as much money as possible and using other people to get there. You can bet that's infused throughout my events and how I show off my speakers, and the presentations we have, the things I say, and the expectations I set.
If you listened to Brandi’s life-changing 6-figure summit episode, you heard how she opened the door for her speakers to make a whole lot more money with what they do, and totally changed the way they look at it. She completely changed the industry for her speakers!
The last thing I want to talk about here is the way a summit lets you glean additional topic ideas and ways you can help your audience based on what your attendees are saying and asking. Basically, it's giving you ideas for additional content you can teach and value you can provide.
You're getting the ability to serve your audience and customers on a deeper level by creating more well-rounded content and products or guest experts to bring in.
If you're a content creator, ideas never hurt either, right?
A summit is so powerful when it comes to expanding your body of work and increasing your impact in so many different ways.
I hope this post really opened your mind to this benefit that comes from hosting a summit that we don’t talk about as often. I know it might be tough, based on what you're doing, but I would love for you to take a couple minutes to just brainstorm how you want to spread and expand the work you’re doing. After you do that brainstorm, come back and see how you can fit that in with a summit.
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.