Unless you’ve been around here for years, you probably don’t know that back in 2020, I co-hosted Sell with a Summit: Course Creator Edition with the wonderful Jenn Zellers of Virtual Summit Search.
You can go back to Episode 83 of the podcast to hear more details about that first run of this event, but to sum it up, when we co-hosted Sell with a Summit in 2020, I went in with every intention of it becoming an annual summit.
My co-host and I created and strategized this event from the ground up. I put everything I had into positioning this summit and setting it up to be an incredible event for attendees and for my business.
In the end, this (intentionally) smaller event led to me breaking my previous course launch record and inviting dozens of perfect-fit students into my signature program.
All the foundations were laid to continue hosting this summit and making it a core piece of my marketing strategy for Summit in a Box. There was just one problem…
As truly incredible as my co-host was and is to work with, I’m just not cut out for co-hosting virtual summits.
This week, I’m sharing more about what happened during that first round of Sell with a Summit, and how it landed back in my lap after handing it off to my co-host with no expectation that I’d get to host this summit again.
The Sell with a Summit story and how it all worked out for me to be hosting this event again over two years later is nothing short of a miracle, so let’s dive right into it!
Listen on your favorite platform:
Download the episode transcript here.
[00:40] The first ever run of Sell with a Summit: Course Creator Edition happened in 2020 when I worked with a co-host to create, strategize, and host this event for the first time. Despite being very happy with the results of that summit, and having an incredible person to collaborate with, I ultimately decided that co-hosting summits wasn’t for me.
[1:34] Deciding not to co-host again was a really tough call, because we agreed ahead of time that if one of us wanted out, that meant passing the summit on to the other to continue running. I had put so much into making strategic decisions and positioning this event to grow Summit in a Box, so it was hard to walk away from it. It’s honestly eaten at me ever since!
[2:00] Even though it was a hard call to make, I am SO glad that we had a co-hosting agreement in place that outlined exactly what would happen if one of us no longer wanted to host the summit. You should always have an agreement in place when you collaborate with someone, whether it’s a co-host, speakers, or sponsors for your event.
Because we had an agreement in place, there was no question of what was going to happen when I decided I didn’t want to co-host again. I knew that I was making the decision to give her the summit, which wasn't a fun decision to make. But I really like and appreciate that our agreement was clear and there was no drama involved. Jenn and I have continued to talk and collaborate and just chat and refer people back and forth ever since.
[3:17] After that first run of Sell with a Summit, I thought many times about hosting another summit for this business, but after putting so much into the positioning and strategy for Sell with a Summit, I struggled to move forward with any other ideas. They all felt like I’d be competing with myself in a way or competing with Jenn as she continued to run this event on her own.
[3:40] Because I wasn’t feeling great about hosting another summit for this business, I kept going back and hosting my original summit for designers, even though I’m no longer active in that business. It felt easier than coming up with something new for this business, even though my passion for that event was no longer there. That showed in the results when I ran my summit for designers for the last time earlier this year, and I finally decided to sell that summit.
[4:10] Selling my summit for designers was a tough call, but I knew that event would be in good hands. It also freed up space for me that I thought I would use to go back to the drawing board and put together a new summit for this business… but that’s not what happened!
I kid you not, within a few weeks of deciding to sell that summit, Jenn reached out and asked if I wanted to take Sell with a Summit back over. I am not someone who tends to sit and cry over awesome things happening, but I did that time. I was in awe.
[4:50] I'm so grateful to Jenn for doing incredible things with that event over the past two years and for just being a dream to work with and collaborate with all around. I was always a sponsor when it made sense for her other runs of the event, and she will have an ongoing sponsorship spot whenever she wants it as long as I run it too. (If you’re looking for opportunities to speak at summits, or you’re a summit host wanting to put your summit on evergreen, Jenn is your go-to!)
[5:45] Jenn ran several different editions of Sell with a Summit over the last few years, but now, I am so excited to announce that for the first time since 2020, Sell with a Summit: Course Creator Edition is back, this time with some big changes.
This run of the Sell with a Summit: Course Creator Edition is for more experienced course creators, and our goal is to show you how to combine the power of your proven signature course that you already know sells, with a high-converting virtual summit to hit those next level launch goals that you have and use it to scale your course sales.
[6:33] Once you have a course that sells, then comes the constant hustle of finding more people to sell it to. I am very familiar with the cycle of trying ads, trying different social media strategies, different networking strategies, and always piling on more and more things to our plate to generate leads. What has made a bigger impact for me than piecing together any other strategies out there, is hosting a summit strategically positioned to launch my offer.
Not only has launching and selling my course on the back end of a summit broken all of my previous launch records, but the ongoing benefits for my online course business are absolutely wild and so far beyond what any other strategy does.
[7:39] Launching with a summit is only going to work if you already have a launch strategy that works. You can’t use a summit to save an offer that doesn’t sell, but you can use it to scale the results you’re already getting. That’s why we are spending the first day of Sell with a Summit focused on intermediate and advanced course launch strategies you can add to what’s already working for you to make your launches as effective as possible.
[8:21] We’ll also have a full day dedicated to more advanced summit strategies to help you create a seamless and incredibly impactful event that sets you up to lead right into a profitable course launch. (Plus, a private podcast is included with your free ticket to catch you up on summit basics first.) And another full day dedicated to combining your summit and launch for maximum impact!
[9:30] I'm sure it will not come as a surprise to you that after you register we'll have a couple of awesome upgrade options for you and a discounted offer for a little bit of time. The Summit to Course Launch Kit this year is packed with exciting bonuses including a private behind-the-scenes podcast, opportunities to apply for a course sales page critique, hot seat coaching on your summit positioning, speaker bonuses, and more!
[10:40] Another thing that’s different about this summit is that it’s the first one I’m hosting after deciding not to publicly share detailed results from my events anymore. I decided after hosting a paid virtual conference earlier this year that always sharing my results put too much pressure on me to achieve results that were impressive to others in addition to hitting the goals that I’d set for myself. So I’m not doing it this time, and it feels great!
[11:33] Even though I’m not sharing detailed results anymore, I’ll still share updates on the experiments I’m testing out with this event. Every time I host a summit, I experiment with something new to see how it works and be able to provide feedback based on real results. This time around, the biggest experiment is the timing of the event. I get asked about hosting a December summit often, and after this event, I’ll be able to answer with more certainty.
We've always done some kind of launch in December and have historically seen great results, so I feel pretty good about it hosting a December summit. The biggest question for me is whether speakers will be willing to promote around US Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and then how engagement will be with our attendees. So stay tuned!
[12:50] One more thing I’m paying attention to this time around is the positioning of this summit. This event is not niched in a way that's meant to get huge numbers, but it’s all very strategic. If we had a client in the Accelerator share similar positioning with a goal of 10,000 people registered for their event, we’d be going back to the drawing board. Events positioned like this aren't meant to wind up with like 1000s upon 1000s of attendees. It's meant to have a really high impact for a very specific group of people. We’ll see how it goes and I might report back once I see if my thoughts around that still hold true.
So that's that! Sell with a Summit is back. Grab your free ticket and join us for Sell with a Summit: Course Creator Edition December 6-8th!
If you are an intermediate to advanced course creator, we would love to have you join us. We are planning this event very intentionally for experienced and busy business owners like we know you don't have hours each day to sit through presentations, especially information you've heard over and over again. We're going to include some DEI presentations, we're going to include some presentations to help you take care of yourself and prevent burnout during your launches, so grab your free ticket at sellwithasummit.com and we cannot wait to see you there.
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.