"I gave my speakers swipe copy and graphics to use, but they're still not sharing and I'm so frustrated with them. What else can I possibly do?"
I see a version of this question often and, unfortunately, by the time you're asking...it's too late to do a whole lot.
Even though swipe copy and graphics make the *act* of promoting easy, it doesn't make *wanting* to promote easy.
Your speakers' desire to promote is the most important part.
Most of your work to make it easy for speakers to want to promote comes before you even start your full-on summit planning.
The strategy isn't quick and easy, but it's so worth the effort.
Today, we're going to cover:
I’ll start this one with a disclaimer: You aren’t going to leave with a super-easy answer here.
The process is more complex than most hosts realize, which is why so many people run into problems and end up disappointed in how speaker promotion goes. If you're willing to put in the work to get awesome results for your summit, buckle up because this stuff works.
Let’s start with the top reasons that speakers don't promote a summit: They aren’t inspired to do so.
And here are 4 reasons that they may not be inspired to promote:
Consider how you can inspire your speakers to want to promote your summit and be able to do it easily. Making promotion easy is about more than just providing the promotional resources. There are other areas to focus on, too.
The best way to make promotion easy is to make it so when they want to promote, the act of doing so is easy. All you have to do for this part is create the promo resources for them.
We have templates for all of this available in our Online Summit Promotion Bundle.
Some hosts really want to encourage speakers to customize templates, but it usually doesn’t work well.
When I’m speaking at a summit, if I open what I think is an email template and there’s a ton of blank space for me to fill in my own thoughts, I’m probably not going to do it.
I'm not saying it's a terrible thing to do, but be sure to include some that are completely ready to go.
Remember: Your speakers have their own stuff going on. They're not an expert in your topic or the transformation you're promising people, so they're going to rely on you to make their promotion easy.
One other thing you can do to make the act of promoting easy is to offer to promote for your speakers.
Ways you can offer to promote include:
Offer to do things for them, with their affiliate link, to make the process super easy.
Just because you've made it easy for them to schedule promotion, doesn't mean they'll actually do it. You need to make it so they want to do it. And this is the more difficult piece.
The best thing you can do is to have relationships with your speakers.
Think about it - are you more likely to promote a summit you’re speaking at for one of your biz besties or for someone you’ve literally never heard of?
You're much more likely to go all-in for your friends and people you know.
However, this doesn’t mean you should go out and pitch all your friends - it’s still important that your speakers are a good fit in other ways. But it does mean that you should work on the relationship-building aspect with speakers who are new to you.
A few simple ways to nurture those relationships include:
Show up for people and they will show up for you. I've seen this pay off time and time again.
Also, this doesn’t mean that you just ghost them once the summit is over. Continue connecting with them and showing that support - we’re not building fake relationships here.
I’m a part of a lot of general marketing summits, but I always let those hosts know that I won’t promote via email because to me, a general topic like that just isn’t something I’m willing to blast my audience with.
But, if I’m in a summit about summits for this business or a summit just for designers for my other business, I’m way more likely to go hard for those because they fit my exact niche.
The more specific your audience is and the more specific your transformation is, the more likely you are to get speakers who will want to promote
With that, you also need speakers with your perfect fit audience. After you get incredibly specific with your audience, you’re going to pitch speakers with that same exact audience. It will make it easier for them to promote because it feels aligned.
Another key to your speakers wanting to promote is having aligned values. The audience and topic for your summit can be perfect, but if you’re pitching speakers whose values don’t align with yours, they won’t promote.
For example: There are 3 other people I know of that host summits about summits. Two of them, I would never ever promote to my audience because our values don’t align. They subscribe more to the bro and boss babe marketing tactics, which I’m very against and I’d never want to put that in front of my people.
If your values align with the speakers you pitch, they will be much more likely to promote.
The last way to make it easy is to remind them to promote. When all of the other things are done right, it comes down to making sure your speakers actually remember that they wanted to promote in the first place.
I send a weekly email with updates leading up to my summit. I’ll give updates on how numbers are looking, what I’m working on, good feedback we’re getting, etc. That way, they don’t feel like they’re opening your emails just to get nagged.
Another way you can remind them is with your own promotion. When you promote, tag them.
To put this in perspective, I want to talk about the 3 summits I’ve been a part of that I’ve gone hard for and treated like my own launches - as in sending multiple emails and working into my content calendar.
The first is Sell With a Summit: Podcaster Edition with Jenn Zellers. The reason I went hard for this is that my audience is all about summits. It’s the perfect fit for me to promote a summit about summits.
I also have a relationship with the host and our values align. We’ve hosted a version of this summit together before (Course Creator Edition). We’re constantly promoting each other’s stuff and sending support back and forth.
Overall, I feel comfortable and excited to get something she’s doing in front of my people. It’s a no-brainer for me!
Another one I've gone hard for is the Rebel Boss Summit hosted by Eden Fried. This audience isn’t as perfect of a fit, but still a good one. Her summit is for people selling digital products and a lot of my audience aligns with hers.
The summit is also an incredible experience for people and provides real value. This has even turned into me paying her thousands of dollars for each summit to sponsor because I want to get in front of her audience.
The third one is a summit for designers, and this was a perfect audience fit for my other business, which targets designers. I'm not sharing the name of this summit for a reason I'll get to in a minute, but this person hired me for a consult where we really nailed down an awesome positioning statement.
There was a relationship aspect from us getting to know each other and her hiring me. It also aligned with the summit I ran, but it wasn't directly competing.
But I would not be willing to do it again because I treated it like my own launch and got absolutely no appreciation for it. Messages I sent were ignored and she never spoke to me again. Because of that, I’m not going to support her again.
Don’t ghost your people after they support you.
Overall, I saw all of these summits as an easy way for me to provide valuable content for my audience and make money rather than seeing them as something I felt obligated to promote. I trusted them, the summit goals that I aligned with, and the values I aligned with.
I'm guessing you tuned into this episode thinking or hoping I was going to give you an easy answer. Surprise!
Having a speaker lineup that will want to promote and go hard for you isn't easy and it shouldn't be. These people work hard to build their email lists and they can't be expected to just put any event in front of them.
But if you do the work and allow yourself the time to get these things right, you'll have a much better chance of having a lineup of speakers who are excited to promote your event.
Start building relationships now! Even if your summit is happening six months or more down the road, do some brainstorming, see who you might want to have on as a speaker, and start genuinely connecting with them.
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.