How to Pitch to Speak at Virtual Summits with Michelle Lewis

Did you know there is a magic formula to craft an insanely effective summit pitch? Here’s how to pitch to speak (and get speakers) at virtual summits.Did you know there is a magic formula to craft an insanely effective virtual summit pitch? There is and Michelle Lewis is going to map it all out for us.

In addition to the magic formula to help you land more summit speaking gigs, Michelle also shares how to get around the time-sensitive nature of a virtual summit pitch and her best tip for pitching big-name speakers to be on *your* summit.

Let's dive in!

Pitching Yourself to Speak at a Virtual Summit

Building your pitching skills is really important because it not only gives you clarity for the host, whether it's a podcast host or a summit host, but it also helps you clarify what your message is going to be. When you start guesting on other people's events and podcasts, when you start pitching to publications, you're really getting into more of the publicity realm. Since we're doing that, the goal of publicity isn't the same as visibility.

Visibility is building your subscribers, building your sales, getting that business up running successfully.

Publicity is being seen as the expert in having that credibility and being known as the go-to person for your niche.

Pitching a Podcast vs Pitching a Virtual Summit

Both pitching techniques are similar. With a podcast:

  • Introduce yourself in a small sentence
  • Pitch a couple of different topics that you can talk about in 20 to 30 minutes
  • List a couple of things their audience might be interested in

The difference with the summit is:

  • You need the host to know exactly what you can talk about and what the audience will take away
  • List your main talking points
  • Have a transformational presentation
  • Link to slides or any other resources you can provide upfront since the summit is likely already in motion by the time you pitch

Experience Builds Upon Itself

I started doing a weekly promo where I highlight podcasts I've guested on. People who are in your free community, people that are on your personal Facebook page, business Facebook page, Twitter, wherever, are seeing that.

They're seeing that you're getting out there; whether it's public speaking, podcasting, summit hosting, and that also increases your chances of being invited. 

As hands-free as we can make this, the better.

How to Effectively Pitch Yourself to be a Summit Speaker

Let's talk about what goes into a great email pitch. The first thing you really need to have is a specific mission statement. 

Odds are, even if you're already making great money, your mission statement isn't specific enough. Getting this right is the way that you can really differentiate yourself.

Instead of being a money coach, maybe you're a wealth strategist. Make your title something really interesting so that the host, whether it's podcasts or summit, can go, "Oh, they sound interesting."

Mission statement formula

My mission statement formula is:
I'm a [your title] who helps [your ideal client] [get this result], [get this result], and [get this result] through [your signature offering].

My example: "Hey, I'm Michelle Lewis. And I'm a visibility expert who helps online entrepreneurs and business owners skyrocket their visibility, launch their unique show strategy and start landing press for their brand through my signature membership, The Visibility Lounge."

Your mission statement should be short and sweet.

Back to the pitch...

After you've led with your mission statement, talk specifically about the summit:

  • What do you like about it?
  • Have you seen it before?
  • If you have seen it before, talk about why you would be a good fit to speak.

If it's a first-time summit and you know the host, then you can say something like, "Hey [Summit Host], I heard that you're going to be hosting this summit called Fight The Fluff and I know you're wanting to cut through the industry BS and give people that actionable strategy so that they can actually move forward with their business."

Lastly, include a generous action:

  • Follow them on Facebook or Instagram
  • Give them a 5-star review on their podcast
  • Like their business page

This is a way to get connected with them ongoing. If it's not going to work out this time, you're either going to get referred by them for something else or something down the road will happen.

This industry is a smaller industry, no matter what niche you're in. The goal here is to get you featured, to build your audience, and to build your publicity. It's also to build your relationships because that's what really works for the long haul.

Tips for Pitching Bigger Name Speakers

When I hosted my first summit, I decided I wanted to shoot the video in person. I had a Hollywood background, so I knew that would be different.

I was in L.A. and my first round of people, I think 60% of them were local, but I was messaging people that were across the country that were in Canada and saying, "Hey, I'm not going to cover your flight costs, but this is what I can do."

I actually shot it all in person.

People flew, they spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to come and be a part of the summit, even the first go-round, knowing that not only would they be able to interact with me and a bunch of other entrepreneurs, but then they would of course be featured in the summit.  I used that footage to cut together a speaking role for them.

Don't be afraid to pitch people.

Even people that would have to pay money to fly to you. It can happen.

I would message people; send voice notes. I would send emails and I would just ask. There's nothing wrong with at least trying.

If you're extra nervous, and it's a really big person, if you have a podcast, first ask them to come on the podcast. After you're done recording, be like, "Hey, I'm doing this summit. I'd love for you to be a part of it and speak."

Use What You Have Available

I'd been a part of a lot of virtual summits and so I wanted stuff that was different because I didn't have a big name. I thought, well, I can record it. I have 4K cameras. I married a camera guy and my dad's a director. It was something really different. And I think it really made it as successful as it was just because it was so different.

I also want to talk about the failures because if you have a summit that fails- it's okay. My first summit, it did fine.

To me, it was a failure because there was a hurricane that hit the day my summit aired and so no one watched it. People ended up purchasing after, which was great, but that first day you're so excited. You're going to go live in your community and talk about it. It was a ghost town.

Don't Get Discouraged.

If you have a setback, either with technology or a natural disaster or whatever it may be, don't let it stop you. Chances are, you're either going to be able to sell more on the back end or your next one will be a huge hit. You just don't know. Summits aren't like a flash in the pan kind of a thing. I think a lot of people tend to do their first one and if they don't make 10 grand, then they stop.

It gets easier each time.

You have the foundation there, even if you break even. The next one's going to be better. 

Biggest Takeaway

The one thing that I would tell you is be very clear about your unique assets. I don't care if you're a stay-at-home mom, I don't care if you were on Wall Street, I don't care if you have a Hollywood background, it doesn't matter. 

Look at your press page, to start.

Your press page should:

  • Be a webpage, not a PDF
  • Acknowledge what makes you strong
  • Mention what makes you an incredible guest

And get out and start pitching those summits!

About Michelle

Michelle Lewis is an Amazon best-selling author, podcast host and founder of The Celebrity CEO Method. She teaches online CEO’s how to skyrocket their visibility, launch their unique show strategy and start landing press for their brand through Hollywood techniques in the Visibility Lounge and Applause Academy. She has been featured on Entrepreneur On Fire, TEDx Tarrytown, The Huffington Post, Medium and Buzzfeed.

Hollywood'preneur Quiz | Podcast Pitch Template


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Did you know there is a magic formula to craft an insanely effective summit pitch? Here’s how to pitch to speak (and get speakers) at virtual summits.Did you know there is a magic formula to craft an insanely effective summit pitch? Here’s how to pitch to speak (and get speakers) at virtual summits.

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