4 Keys to a Profitable and Impactful Virtual Summit

We talk a lot about the more surface-level pieces of hosting an online summit, but in this episode we're diving a little deeper.

We'll talk about 4 of the most important parts of your summit that will boost profits, increase your visibility, and create a whole lot more impact.


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 we are currently in a series about some of the things I see as most important in hosting a successful summit. Today in episode 57 we're going to focus on the four most important parts of a profitable and visibility-boosting impactful summit. We'll break down each of these four key pieces and I'll give you some good tips along the way.

If you're newer to the idea of hosting a summit, you might want to start with episode 13 instead and then come back here. In that episode we talk more on five basic keys to hosting a summit. And then this one we're specifically focusing on things I had to do more with profits, visibility and impact.

We're taking episode 13 deeper and kind of diving into some strategies that take your well-done summit and bring it up a couple levels. Let's dive right in to this first piece.

The audience and topic you choose for your summit

If you've been around before, you've heard me talk about this, so bear with me. If you haven't and you think it sounds too basic, I promise it isn't. Again, stick with me. This is all about the audience you choose for your summit and the topic. These pieces are the most important parts of a summit that are going to bring you profits, visibility and impact - everything we're looking at today.

Let's compare two example audiences here. Say we have one summit for online business owners and then we have another summit for wedding professionals, which one of those is going to stop a wedding planner as she's scrolling through Facebook and sees an ad pop up? It's going to be the one for wedding professionals, right?

Let's add in the topic now. So let's say we have a summit for wedding professionals to help them grow their business. Then let's say we have another summit for wedding professionals to book more brides on Instagram. One is going to catch their attention. It's definitely the one that's going to help them do something really specific. Because when you have a really general summit, 1) it's not going to catch anyone's attention except very beginner entry level business owners, and 2) you get people's attention by speaking to a problem that they're having that's really unique to them. Something like a summit for wedding professionals to book more brides on Instagram that's speaking to a problem. That's something that they want specifically. That's how you host a successful summit, so the niche and topic, that's where you catch their attention and it's also how you can get your presentations focused enough to actually benefit your audience.

But we'll talk more on that later. Even if your business had or has a really wide niche, I want you to narrow it down for your summit. For example, I know a VA for creative business owners who hosted a summit just for photographers and she saw incredible results, and right now I have a good friend who runs a theme shop for bloggers and creative business owners who's planning a summit just for either home or lifestyle bloggers. We're still kind of playing with the idea, but both of these people are taking their wide audience and narrowing it down so they can host a really specific helpful and successful summit.

I know this is a little scary. Like I said, I'm working with one of these people as she does this, but it's so worth it. Your niche is everything. So get specific. We have more on choosing your niche in episode four. Then you know after you've had that specific audience you need to choose your topic and that is what's going to get people interested even further because it's going to solve a specific problem they have. We have more on that in episode five so check those out if you haven't yet. I promise that this is the difference between a summit that brings in a couple of hundred dollars or maybe a couple thousand and tens of thousands of dollars. This is what makes the difference. It also makes everything else in your planning process so much easier when you've done the work to get specific.

Choosing speakers for your summit

That includes what we're going to talk about next, which is speakers. Something to do with your speakers here, and this is something that took me three full summits to figure out and I cannot wait to give you a recap of the summit I'm planning right now because I think the difference this point is going to make, is going to be absolutely mind blowing and that's getting speakers with the same audience as your summit. And for some of you you're probably going like, duh, of course I want speakers with the same audience, but I know it's really easy from experience from my first three summits to fall into the trap of just pitching people that we already know or that we can think of off the top of our head to talk about a specific topic.

So you think of a topic you need, you consider the first friend or acquaintance that comes to mind and you put them on the list. But having a list of speakers that share the same audience as your summit is so powerful. From my previous summits, I've had a few speakers with the same audience here and there, but it wasn't something I focused on. And after my last summit for some reason, I don't know what made me do it, but I sorted my list of speakers by the amount of affiliate income they made in my speaker tracking spreadsheet and I instantly saw how important this was. It was so eye opening for me. Any speaker who did not make any affiliate income, even with promoting, they did not have my audience. My audience for my summit is specifically designers and most of those people had creative business owners as their audience.

It was a really wide audience that didn't have a high number of my specific people even though they were intermixed, you know, there wasn't a ton of them. There were quite a few who made less than $200 who promoted and those people did have a few more designers mixed in. But again, nothing crazy. But then I had my top three speakers as far as affiliate income goes and their affiliate earnings ranged from $700 to $3,400 in affiliate income, meaning they brought in two times that through their referrals. And those people had their own offerings just for designers. And that was an aha moment. So do the work to connect with people who target the same audience that your summit will. Your results are going to increase so many times over. I'm so excited to share the results of my next summit with you so I can prove this even further, but we're going to talk about finding speakers and episode 16 but be sure to add more emphasis on this piece to what you learn in that episode if you go back to check it out. So that's our second point.

Think about your audience first

The third thing I want you to really consider in your summit to boost your income, your visibility, your impact is to think about your audience first. A summit is so exciting to put together and like it's just natural to dream about how it's going to grow our business, how it's going to help us. But the interesting thing is our business isn't what we should be focused on. For the most part you need to think of your audience first throughout all of your planning. And yes, we need to make sure we bake in ways for ourselves to grow. But the more you help your audience, the more they will help you. So for example, maybe you want to have your friends as speakers and let them choose their presentation topics. But what if those presentation topics don't end up interesting your audience at all.

Instead you need to start with what your audience wants to learn, what they need help with, and choose the topics and speakers from there. So you're thinking of them first rather than yourself first. Or maybe you want to run your whole summit through email because managing a Facebook group is too much work, email will be easier, all that stuff. The connections made in an engaged Facebook group will do so much more for your summit than you could ever dream of doing through email. Seeing other people excited and learning things from your summit will pull all kinds of other people in and your attendees will be able to get more from the summit if they're in a community of other people going through it along with them.

I just want you to know your attendees aren't going to pay for something that isn't going to directly help them. So lead with them first and then consider yourself. The odds are if you started with how you can help your audience, there's nothing else you need to do to make sure you're going to benefit from the decisions you've already made. It's all just going to come together.

Showing up during your summit

The next thing I want to talk about is just showing up. So once day one of your summit hits and the prep work is done, you are not done. That's not when you would just get to check out and watch what you've created come to life. It is so important to show up throughout your summit and I see so many people miss this. You never want to host a summit and have people leaving after the fact without a clue of who you are. You as the host need to show up, and that is not just through sending emails.

This starts on your registration page. We've talked about this before, but I want to know - is your face on your registration page? Do you have a video introducing yourself and the summit besides just your written bio? It all starts right there in the first experience, hundreds or even thousands of people will have with you and your brand, and then this gets even more important throughout the promotion period and this summit itself, I want you to think about how can you show up each and every day to provide value with the goal of keeping everyone excited, engaged in learning, and putting yourself in front of them. So for me, in my summit during the promotion period, this looks like doing at least two weekly bonus trainings during the promotion period in my Facebook group and showing up the other days to interact with the and answer questions as they're waiting for this thing to start during the summit.

It means I'm responding to people quickly in the Facebook group. I'm cheering on my speakers in the chat box. I'm asking engaging questions to get everyone talking. I am showing up too, to really help everyone else to engage and keep learning, but to keep everyone moving and to keep myself in front of them after the summit. The way I'm asking you to do this, there's going to be no doubt in anyone's mind who the host is and you're going to be able to make everyone's experience so much better just by being there and showing up. So once those registrations start rolling in, that's not the time to sit back and relax. Really double down on your efforts. Show up, help people, get yourself in front of them because it's going to be so worth it. So all of these pieces we talked about tie together in that.

You have to think about who you're hosting the summit for in each step we talked about. So of course choosing your niche and topic and that's what you're doing, but you're also thinking of your audience when you choose your speakers and when you make any decision at all about the event and in the way you show up, you're showing up for those specific people. If you haven't chosen a super specific niche and topic yet, that's where I want you to start. Go back and listen to episodes four and five, even if you have already, for my favorite ways to do that and take some time to think on it. Even if it takes you a couple of weeks of brainstorming, I promise it's so worth taking that extra time to do it because that decision isn't going to make everything else is so much easier and more impactful for you and everyone else involved.

Thank you so much for tuning into this episode. In the next episode, we'll be chatting about how to make your summit an event people actually want to attend, so be sure to tune in for that. What we talked about in this episode are some secrets to success that you don't hear much about and I do have more for you. In fact, I've put together a PDF with my 12 best summit hosting tips and you can get it summithosthangout.com/secrets.

Now go out and take action to plan, strategize, and launch your profitable online summit.




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