We’ve been talking more and more about using a virtual summit to launch a course, membership, or high-ticket group program lately. People tend to take my word for it that this strategy works for a course or membership, but I do get questions about it working for higher-priced programs. People are skeptical that a free event can really work to sell a high-ticket program. They wonder if it really works, whether a paid event would work better, and there’s just generally a lot of doubt. If you sell a high-ticket program, you may be wondering too.
So today, I've brought in my presenting sponsor from my most recent summit, Shannon Mattern, who used MY summit to launch HER high-ticket program.
We’re going to cover things like...
I'll let Shannon take it from here!
My name is Shannon and I'm the founder and CEO of Web Designer Academy, but I didn't start my business off as a coach or mentor. I started off as a freelance web designer who was undercharging and overdelivering, so I decided to change that by helping people create their own websites. From there, I shifted to teach people how to run their businesses better, and eventually started what became the Web Designer Academy.
Because I still wanted to work with the DIY web designers, I decided to run a summit to gather new leads. I came across Summit in a Box® and use it to host my first summit, the Side Hustle to Self-Employed Summit, which was super successful! That's how Krista and I began our collaborations and friendship. From there, we've collaborated on many projects together, and it's ultimately why I wanted to sponsor Krista's summit.
I definitely had some hesitations about how a high-ticket launch would perform following a free summit. But I was willing to try it because Krista and I have a relationship and history, I fully trusted that that her virtual summit was well positioned to attract my target audience and would be worth experimenting to see if it would work to launch my high-ticket program.
One of the biggest hesitations I had was that I was not the only one at this summit who teaches what I teach. Especially since I was a sponsor and it wasn't my event, I was worried that my message and offer might get lost in the crowd. But on the flip side, I got to be in front of the audience of allll these other speakers at once. Without the summit, I would have needed to take significant time to connect with and build relationships with speakers who I could potentially collaborate with to get in front of their audiences. This really sped up the process!
If you have your own offer to launch after a summit, then I don't recommend giving a sponsor your prime launch spot following your summit. That spot should be reserved for you! But if you don't have an offer of your own, this is something to consider because it worked so well.
We decided to use the summit to launch Web Designer Academy because Krista doesn't do anything with that business anymore other than host the summit each year. The summit is large and very engaging, and attendees want somewhere to go after it's over, so launching the Web Designer Academy made sense. There was more we could have done, and we didn't even know it. If we had implemented all of Krista's strategies she would've used for her own launch, it would have been even more successful for me - we just didn't know to do it this time around!
Krista's goal was to put Shannon in front of attendees in as many ways as she could. Looking back, we could have done some things differently or focused more or less on certain parts. But throughout the event, we looked for every opportunity we had to point people to Shannon and encourage them to sign up for her masterclass following the summit. Some of the places we featured Shannon were...
Shannon's goal was to drive applications and build a relationship with every attendee. To do that, she knew she had to take advantage of every opportunity.
When you host the summit, you're in front of everyone and they all know who you are. You're able to build the know-like-trust factor times 100. It's an incredible opportunity to launch at the end of the summit because it's the logical next step. Even though we had to work harder to make sure Shannon was featured throughout the event than you would if you were launching your own offer at the end, it all paid off!
For a frame of reference, I had the fear going in that I was competing with the other speakers because I was doing something new and it feels risky. When you're at a summit, attendees can see all these other people who offer similar programs and can choose to work with them. Whereas when you, for example, run Facebook ads, even though there's still plenty of competition for ads and you have less control of who you're getting in front of, it felt less risky. This was not the first time I'd launched the Web Designer Academy, but it was the first time trying it this way, so of course I had some hesitations. But it all ended up working out in the end!
The Final Results:
The value was incredible! I would do it all day, every day. If you have a high-ticket program, you have to launch it with a summit! It's so worth it (and so much more profitable than running ads).
Shannon Mattern is the founder and CEO of the Web Designer Academy where she mentors web + U/X designers and developers to create profitable, sustainable, and scalable web design businesses so they can increase their revenue without increasing their workload.
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.