Do You *Have* to Pay Virtual Summit Speakers Affiliate Commissions?

summit speakers Jan 19, 2021

Do I have to pay my virtual summit speakers affiliate commissions? Let’s cover whether it’s a requirement, why, and how to overcome any hurdles with it.

There are a lot of decisions to be made when it comes to your virtual summit speakers. How many should I have? Who should I pitch? What should I give them for participating?

Recently, in the Summit Host Hangout Facebook group, I was asked, "Do I have to pay my virtual summit speakers affiliate commissions?"

Today, we're going to break down the answer to that question and cover whether or not affiliate commissions are a requirement, why, and how to overcome the biggest hurdles involved.

Do I have to pay my virtual summit speakers affiliate commissions?

If you've been around a while, you know that I believe that if you do things right, you don't need to pay your speakers a fee for speaking.
 
But, what about commissions? Should speakers really get a portion of any sales that they refer?

The answer is yes!

You do need to pay your speakers affiliate commissions, especially if you're not paying them a speaking fee. Really, it's not optional.

For most speakers, it's not even about the fact that they want to make money. It's about showing that you appreciate them, their efforts in spreading the word, and their participation. 

If someone pitched me for a summit and there was not a way for me to get affiliate commissions, I'm not going to promote just on principle. It's not a matter of making money. It's a matter of the host, not caring and valuing the work that I'm doing as a speaker.

Remember, you can't host a summit without your speakers. Show them you realize that with your commissions of 40-50%.

What Holds Hosts Back from Paying Affiliate Commissions

There are two things that hold up virtual summit hosts who are asking this question. The first is tech.

Affiliate tech

I know that tech is intimidating to a lot of first-time hosts. If that's you, you may be hoping to cut a corner by not having to worry about affiliate tech setup.

However, in most cases, it is extremely easy to set up. From there, you don't have to worry about it - everything happens on the backend of your site.

If you're on WordPress, use the Affiliate WP plugin. If you're on something like Kajabi, Teachable, Teachery, Podia…it's all built-in and there's nothing else for you to do. If you use anything else, use ThriveCart

None of these will take you more than an hour to set up and the time you do spend, as well as any extra feels, will all pay you back many times over.

Greed

The other thing that holds a select few hosts up from wanting to give affiliate commissions is greed...which I hate to even have to say. These hosts simply don't want to share a cut of the profits.

If that's you, please revisit your thoughts around hosting a summit. Remember, it is not about you. It's about everyone else involved. YOU get to benefit when you give everyone else an incredible experience.

It's not about the money

When it comes to paying your speakers an affiliate commission, yes, you need to do it, but keep in mind that it's not about the money for most speakers.

It's about showing them that their efforts matter to you and that you appreciate them. Show your speakers that you recognize that you can't do it without them. 

Action Steps

Your action steps for today are to:

  1. Decide what commission amount you'll give your speakers. If you're not sure, start at 40%.
  2. Choose your tech platform. If affiliate capabilities are built into your tech platform, use that, otherwise, look into other options that we mentioned earlier. With the help of a handy-dandy Google search, you'll have it set up in no time. 

Resources

 

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Do I have to pay my virtual summit speakers affiliate commissions? Let’s cover whether it’s a requirement, why, and how to overcome any hurdles with it.Do I have to pay my virtual summit speakers affiliate commissions? Let’s cover whether it’s a requirement, why, and how to overcome any hurdles with it.
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