Whether you're just starting your business and hustling to build an audience, you're established with a service-based business but don't sell digital products, or maybe you don't even have a business yet... if the idea of hosting a summit has caught your attention for one reason or another, you may be wondering if it's worth it.
We talk a lot about hosting a virtual summit as a way to launch a proven course or other scalable offer around here, but you don't need to have something to launch in order to host an incredible summit as a stand-alone event.
This is the second episode in a series for those of you who are newer to the online business world or who are wanting to host a summit without launching something on the backend - for whatever reason!
In the last episode, we talked about whether you can host a summit as a new business owner, and today we're moving on to cover the question "What if I don't have anything to launch after my summit?" This is a question I've been getting more and more as I've started to focus more on speaking to business owners who do have a product to launch because of our Launch with a Summit Accelerator program, and I want to make sure those of you who are newer to business don't get left out!
In this episode, we'll cover:
So let's dive in and uncover valuable insights and strategies to maximize the impact of your virtual summit, even without an offer to immediately launch through your event.
Prefer to listen instead? Use the links below to listen on your preferred podcast player:
Let's start with my experience just so you can see that it's possible and still worth it to host the summit without having the launch afterward. As of recording this, I've hosted nine summits for my own businesses, and I hosted seven of those without anything to launch afterward.
Honestly, for the first several, it didn't even cross my mind that I should have something to launch. I was hosting a summit purely for the benefits of hosting a summit and I was very happy with those benefits. And we've had hundreds of students host summits without launching afterward.
Those first 7 summits I hosted without launching anything were for a service-based business that I owned. It never crossed my mind to tie my services into my summit more because I kind of naturally got booked out following the event. (I’m not saying that you shouldn't be intentional if you do have services to sell though!)
All that to say: I had very successful events that felt more than worth it without launching anything.
Now, let's talk about why you don't need anything to launch after your summit in order to benefit from hosting one. First of all, the benefits of a summit on its own are just incredible.
My first summit brought so many benefits, even without an offer to launch. It changed all kinds of things in my business, including:
Even without having anything to launch, that summit was more than worth it to host.
I want you to think about why you're drawn to hosting a summit even without something to launch.
A summit can get you all of those things better than anything else I have come across, and you get them whether or not you launch afterward.
A launch is just a bonus!
Now let's talk about how hosting a summit without a launch can still set you up to have a successful launch down the road. When you think about it, launching something to no one is hard.
Last week I talked about when you’re a new business owner and don't have an audience to launch to, who's going to buy it? You need an audience to have a successful launch.
A summit gets you that list of people to launch to, whether it's something you have almost ready and you're just trying to build an audience before you launch, or it’s something on your “someday” list. You can start building that audience right now.
You also get to experience the power of affiliate connections and collaborations through your summit, which you can then carry through to the launch of whatever you have down the road. You’ll gain general visibility in your niche and community. And the summit can also give you ideas for products or services for your community.
Assuming you have a community with your summit, something I like to do is ask what people are most excited to learn or I'll do a survey after the summit and ask what their biggest takeaway was. You can also ask them what they wish they would have been able to learn more about.
All of those things can give you ideas for what people need help with. You could do something like hosting a live workshop, making a mini-course, or even experimenting with a really simple first product soon after the summit.
To me, a live workshop is the easiest thing to do because all you're really doing before you're making money from it is outlining what the workshop is going to be about. Then you'd be able to test the messaging that came up through your summit and see if they're willing to put money behind it.
The last thing I want to talk about today is how to maximize your impact and results through a summit without having an offer to launch. First, consider your real purpose and your real goals involved in hosting the event to see if there's anything specific you should build in.
Supporting A Cause
We have a client who is very passionate about a cause that relates to his summit topic, so his biggest purpose is to raise a ton of money to give to that cause. Maybe that’s your purpose, too, and you need to optimize for that.
Email List Growth
If email list growth is your top priority, don’t bring in speakers who have zero audience. Bring in speakers who have the exact audience you want to get in front of. And be careful how many big-name speakers you bring in because they often don’t promote.
Optimize your list growth based on how targeted the event is and how targeted the speakers are to that event.
You could also optimize for immediate revenue by making sales of your all-access pass. Pay extra close attention to your strategy, your all-access pass pricing, price increases, cart close, and limited-time offers.
You could offer special bonuses or extra emails and promotion of the all-access pass in order to build up ways to optimize for sales.
Make New Connections
Another goal could be to make new connections that you can leverage. You can make the most out of the connections you form through your summit by finding ways to connect with your speakers, serve them well, and promoting them instead of just asking that they promote the summit. You can also make a plan for nurturing those connections after the summit is over.
If you don't have something to launch, pay extra attention to the benefits you're most interested in, and see how you can optimize your event for those things.
I hope this helped you see that you don't need to have something to launch to have a successful virtual summit.
Next week, I'm bringing on a special guest who hosted a summit completely from scratch. She had no brand or audience to speak of and went on to host an incredible event so be sure to stay tuned for that. After that, we'll talk about how to overcome your fear of being seen and rise as a thought leader through a virtual summit, so tune in to those!
If this episode helps you see that you can host a successful summit even without anything to launch, I've got some great resources to get you started with understanding the summit hosting process, brainstorming, and even planning your event.
- We have a funnel roadmap for you to map out how you'll get people signed up for your summit, buying your all-access pass, and more.
- We've got a masterclass where I walk through how I tripled my monthly revenue with a summit with a smaller email list.
- And we even have a curated playlist for this podcast for new and aspiring business owners and another one covering the foundations of hosting a virtual 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.