It can be a total letdown to get to the end of your summit and then not make any sales in the launch that follows your event. Especially if the primary reason for hosting a summit in the first place was to sell your course or signature offer!
Launching through summits is the most powerful launch method I've ever experienced, but I know that's not always the case for every one. That's why we've been covering the four most common points in the summit-hosting process where things go wrong, so you can update your strategies and see better results next time. If your currently hosting a summit, there may even be things you can do now to course correct and improve your results right away.
In the first three episodes of this four-part series, we covered:
This week, we're covering the fourth part, which is the course launch that follows your summit. If you didn't make any course sales or signature offer sales after your last summit, this episode will help you understand where things went wrong, and what you can do to turn it around.
If you're ready to put it into action and make more course sales through your next summit, this is what we love to work with people on in the Launch with a Summit Accelerator. If you have a proven offer, or you've hosted a summit before, we can help make your next event bigger and better and tie in a launch of a proven course, membership, or group coaching program. Check it out, and apply.
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I hear lots of reasons why people think their post-summit course launch didn't bring in the sales they wanted:
Any of these could be true if you tried to launch with the wrong strategies. If you don't have a plan for avoiding these launch pitfalls baked into your summit from the beginning, it's definitely possible for you to get lost in the crowd during your summit and see disappointing launch results because of it.
There are 6 main reasons why your post-summit launch may have flopped. For each of them, I'm going to assume that you had attendees who signed up for your summit and engaged with your event, because if people aren't signed up or they aren't paying attention, of course, they're not going to buy.
I'm also going to assume that you had clear summit positioning, because, as you've heard throughout this whole series, summits with vague positioning don't work. Your launch is not going to be successful if your summit was vague.
So, if those aren’t the issues, what went wrong?
If you launched a new offer or one that has not been proven to make sales through previous launches, this could very likely be the reason why you didn't make any course sales. Your offer needs to be proven before launching with a summit, even if you do everything else right, in order for this strategy to work.
For example, I recently made a new webinar for our Summit in a Box program for the first time in three years. I’ve been delivering the same exact webinar all this time because it worked, but I was getting sick of saying the same thing over and over. I didn’t feel as genuine and felt kind of “showy”. So, I made something new. I went all in with my values, and it felt so much better to me.
Spoiler alert! It did not convert. We hosted it two times with zero sales. That has never happened before!
If I had used that webinar to launch on the back end of a summit without testing it first, even with my experience, I'd have thought that the summit was the issue. But really, I would have been doing an unproven webinar and the webinar was the issue.
Make sure you have solid data on your launches before you try to tie it in with a summit.
Let's move on assuming that your offer was proven. The second thing that could have impacted your course sales is a disconnect between the summit topic and your course topic. There are a few ways this can happen:
1. The people you attracted to your summit weren't the people that your offer was created for.
For example, let’s say I hosted a summit for beginner business owners, but then went and tried to launch our Accelerator program for more experienced business owners with a proven scalable offer. That's not going to work. They're two totally different audiences so of course, no one's going to join our program. The attendees at the summit wouldn't be ready for that step.
2. The right people signed up for your summit, but they were excited about the wrong thing.
Something could have been off between your summit topic and your course topic. If the summit topic got your attendees excited and ready to take a different next step than your course is created to help them with, you won't see many course sales. This is why you need to make sure the positioning of your summit topic and your course topic go hand-in-hand.
Another reason you may not have made any course sales is that the summit content cannibalized your course. I don’t like that word, but it basically means that your summit gave attendees an experience that made them think they have what they need without the course.
There are a few different approaches to help you avoid this happening, but one way is to position your summit so that it builds awareness for the transformation that your course provides. The two topics should be connected, but you want to make sure that they're not the same thing.
This is harder to do for a 101-level course, because you want your course to be "Step 2" after attending the summit. For example, I wouldn't want to host a summit about “how to host a summit”, and then launch my Virtual Summit Starter Kit which is a little mini course that we use in summits and bundles. That would not work, so it's important to make sure the two topics don't conflict or work against each other by having too much overlap.
Building awareness of your offer during your summit is crucial to seeing results in your post-summit launch. If your attendees didn't know about your offer by the end of the summit, your launch could have come across as a bait and switch. Some attendees might think: “I signed up for this free thing. Where did this offer come from?” And others might have felt blindsided by the offer and not been ready to make a decision during your launch.
Either way, you don't want to surprise people with your offer. It shouldn't be this big secret you're keeping and then at the end, boom! “Surprise, here's this thing! Come give me money!” That's not going to feel good, especially to people who came in cold through either ads or speakers. They're not going to like that feeling, and likely won't buy because of it.
Another factor that can cause your summit to result in zero course sales is waiting too long after your summit to launch. If nothing else in this list so far was an issue for you, you should still see some sales when you launch, you just won't see as many as you wanted.
The longer you wait to launch once your summit is done, the less excited people become. During your summit, they're pumped, they're showing up, taking action, and there's a lot of momentum. once the summit is done, they don't want to just stop. They want a next step.
When you wait too long to launch, the attendees forget that excitement and why they care, and they move on to other things. This will naturally mean fewer sales.
The last reason that you may not have made the course sales you wanted is that your goals might not have been in alignment with reality. You can check out the episode when I talk about what to expect when you launch through a summit, but some people hear me talk about how summits are the most powerful way to launch, and they take that to mean, “You're going to get crazy conversion rates when you launch with the summit.” And that's not exactly it.
You're not going to see higher conversion rates than normal when you launch through a summit.
Typically, you're going to see launch results and conversion rates that are in line with doing something like a launch to your email list, not a webinar. Webinars are going to convert higher because it takes a lot of buy-in for someone to sign up for a webinar where they know something's going to be pitched.
But if you're doing something like an email launch, where it is emails going out to your full list, you can expect similar results when you launch through a summit.
The power of launching through a summit comes through the leads it bring in. A summit attracts 1000’s more people than you would have without the summit. And then when you tie in all-access pass sales and having those thousands of extra people on your list, who you can continue to convert in the years that followed the event, it all compounds over time.
You should have a great launch, yes, but it shouldn't exceed your regular launch conversion rates.
I know this was a lot of information, and there are lots of factors that could have caused you to have disappointing results in your post-summit launch. It's an art to balance the free summit, the paid all-access pass, and your course launch in a way that's not confusing for people and that doesn’t feel like a constant pitch.
There are many moving pieces that go into doing this well, but when you do, the results are just incredible. This is exactly what we teach in our Launch with a Summit Accelerator program. We would love to have you inside if you have a proven offer you want to launch through a summit.
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. Apply to the Launch with a Summit Accelerator, where we help our clients host life and business-changing virtual summits, to get instant access to the free private training where I'll show you exactly how it works along with all kinds of examples.
I hope this four-part series has helped you see what you can do to improve your chances of summit success. In the next episode, we're going to change gears and talk about whether you can host a successful summit as a new business owner.
Spoiler alert, you can!
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.