051: Using A Summit In Your Sales Funnel with Aleia Walker

A summit can be a powerful part of your sales funnel, but only if you have the pieces in place.

In this episode with Aleia Walker we'll break down how not having a funnel is leaving money on the table, how to use a summit as a part of your funnel both as a host and as a speaker, what to do if you don't have an offer to sell, and what your funnel should look like.

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Krista:
Hey, hey. Welcome to the Summit Host Hangout podcast where you'll learn how to plan, strategize, and launch your profitable online summit no influencer status necessary. I'm your host, Krista from Summit In A Box, and we are currently in a series about profiting through your summit apart from all access pass sales.

Krista:
Today in episode 51, I'm so excited to bring in a guest to talk about using a summit as a part of your sales funnel. We're going to cover things like how not having a funnel is leaving money on the table, how a summit can lead into your funnel, both as a host and as a speaker, what to do if you don't have an offer to sell and what your funnel should look like.

Krista:
To give you some background information on our guest, she's an email marketing copywriter who crafts funnels for busy creatives who don't have time to figure out where all the pieces go. She creates experiences that move customers and clients into action meaning profits in your pocket, which I love. Without further ado, let's dive in and talk with Aleia Walker.

Krista:
Hey Aleia. Welcome. I'm so excited to have you.

Aleia Walker:
Thanks so much for having me, Krista.

Krista:
This is going to be good stuff. I'm so excited to get into all of this stuff, but before we do, tell us a little bit about you and your business.

About Aleia's Business

Aleia Walker:
Yeah, so my name is Aleia Walker. I'm an email marketing copywriter. I mostly work with creatives turned educators who are looking to start courses or programs or memberships or something like that. Sometimes it looks like me delivering a 50 page launch playbook for them and writing all their copy and sometimes it's just configuring things in the back-end so it's a smooth experience for themselves and their customers. I work with a lot of people who don't have time for tech and don't want to deal with all those things and don't have to. That is what I do.

Krista:
I love that. I really like the sound of that 50 page playbook. Heck yes. I know all about that stuff. Tell us a little bit about your experience with summits. Hosting, speaking, and what kinds of parts you've had to play in them.

Aleia's Experience with Summits

Aleia Walker:
Yeah, so I love that I've been on both sides of summit's because I get to see like what I like and what I'm going to go for. And I've spoken I think at three in 2019 and I've hosted two summits of my own with a cohost. I just love knowing what I'm going to get out of them and then especially when I'm hosting, what my speakers are going to get out of them. And what the audience is going to get out of it in general, so yeah.

Krista:
Yes. I really love that you know both sides here because I think what we're going to talk about today kind of can apply to both sides. And as a host trying to make sure your speakers benefit, I think it's going to be really helpful for people to hear your take on both sides. But there are kind of a lot of people who consider summits their own thing apart from how the rest of their business operates and that's totally what I did for my first summit. It was like the standalone thing. I didn't really think about the rest of my business too much. But really there is such a big opportunity to use a summit as a part of your business's overall funnel. So, before we dive in to talk about that, tell us about how not having a funnel is really leaving money on the table.

Aleia Walker:
Not having a funnel, to me it's kind of like just regularly ghosting people. It's like saying, "Hey, let's trade numbers and then let's never speak again." So, I don't suggest it. Like if you're going to create an opt-in and you're not going to create a welcome sequence or funnel to go along with it, like don't create that opt-in. Because what can happen is you create this opt-in and then if you don't have this welcome sequence, you might not be a regular contributor to your email list. Someone signs up for your list, be an opt-in in January and the next time they'll hear from you is March, but by this time they don't know who you are and they're not engaged and it's just not helpful at that point. This lead, that's like your email list as a marketing tool. So, this person who subscribed as a lead that you were hoping to convince to purchase something from you because you have something of value that they need. And if you don't have that welcome sequence, you're just not even taking that opportunity. And if they come to your list and it's radio silence, getting them back is so much more difficult at that point, so.

Krista:
Yeah. And like with a summit, why would you go through the three months of planning or however long it takes you and then just not kind of finish the job basically?

Aleia Walker:
Yeah. Like it takes a lot to speak at a summit because you do have to put together a presentation, especially if it's brand new or something slightly tweaked to what the summit topic is. You have to record it and then you have to either take the time to edit it or spend your resources to get someone else to edit it. You want to make sure that you're getting something out of this work because I've broken it down and probably takes me a solid day's worth of work to participate in a summit. Like I want some return on that.

Krista:
Love that. Yeah. Let's talk about how we can really use a summit. Maybe it would be cool to talk about both the speaker side and the host side, how we can use a summit to lead into our funnel.

How to Use a Summit to Lead Into Your Funnel as a Speaker

Aleia Walker:
One is speak on something that is related to an offer obviously that you have. Speak on something that is, it's probably going to come up so speak on something that you're knowledgeable about, something that you offer. And in your talk, make sure that your host allows it. And I mean most hosts should for sure allow you to speak about this opt-in and so pitch them on this opt-in and get them to join up for your list.

Aleia Walker:
This opt-in should be directly related to the offer that you're eventually going to pitch to someone. Once they get the offer, then just walk them through the process of the experience of using this. Like walk them through like what pain points that you know that they have and then what wins you're able to offer. First by demonstrating how the opt-in actually helps them do that and then later by saying like, "Hey, this is just a teaser of what could happen. If you want the real wins, here's what's going to come here." I do that over like a course of a week via emails and each email has a different purpose and it's really a journey. I always think of a welcome sequence as like an extended consult call. So, the kind of things you're talking about there, make sure that you're turning those up, turning those into different emails.

Krista:
Yeah, I love that. You know, I hear people say that speaking at summits isn't worth doing and of course it's not if you don't have something like this set up. Having a way to capitalize on these new subscribers you're getting through something exactly like what you just said is what makes speaking at summits worth it.

Aleia Walker:
For sure. Every summit is not for every person. Know when you're pitched an event or where you see an opportunity to speak, like figure out what the audience is. I sell to creatives. If there was a summit full of realtors, I probably would not apply for that. Or probably would say like, "Maybe this is not the greatest of fits," because that's not my add in. That could be the point. That could be the issue that you're seeing. A lot of people who attend summits are to the newer side, especially if it's not niched down really hard. Again, if you don't help people who are in the newer side of things, it might not be the best fit for you. Really make sure that you can ask these questions, ask your host. I love it when I pitch someone as a speaker and they're like, "Okay, I have these five questions to answer before I say, 'yes.'" And I'm like, all right, this person, when they say yes, is going to be a great speaker and they're really going to gear everything they do towards my audience.

Krista:
Yeah. I hope all of you hosts listening are taking notes on this because a lot of this is our responsibility as a host to set up. We need to let our speakers set themselves up in this way to benefit. A lot of times we might need to teach them to do that. Maybe have some resources on. Okay, here's how you're going to get the most out of your presentation. And even if it's just like have an opt-in, have an email sequence after to help with this opt-in. At least getting them thinking about it makes it so it's their choice and they know what is possible. And I think including that kind of information, at least a little bit of it in a pitch is going to make people way more likely to say, "yes," who are a little farther ahead in business and maybe have that bigger audience than you. Those people you really want to get, when they can see that you are dedicated to helping them benefit, that's going to really increase the chances that they agree to participate.

Aleia Walker:
Yeah. Yeah. Like you are not just trying to get people to register for your conference, you're trying to get solid speakers. Know that you have to pitch them too and you have to sell them on what you're doing. But you also have to know these things before you can tell that to them. Yeah.

How to Use a Summit to Lead Into Your Funnel as a Host

Krista:
Yeah, for sure. Okay. I love that so much. Let's talk about the host side now. How can someone hosting a summit, use that summit as a part of their funnel to lead into their funnel?

Aleia Walker:
Yeah, so like during summit days it's all summit all the time. That's all that's going on. It's nothing that we're not pitching anything else. But like after the summit, Joyce and I both take the opportunity to say, "Thanks for joining our summit." And we individually introduce ourselves on our list. Like I will say, "Hey, thanks for joining. If you stick around, these are the things that you're going to get." And she'll do a similar thing. And then I put them into a tweaked welcome sequence. I have basically the same welcome sequence. Each opt-in has a welcome sequence and it's tweaked a little bit depending on the particular audience. That's what happens. I introduce like, "Hey," and then I put them through the sequence to what I would typically share with my audience. That's what I do to just like let them know who I am a little bit more because like I'm more about featuring my speakers during my summit versus myself. That's what goes on there. It's like giving them that warm introduction that people would get if they came through a different way.

Krista:
Yeah. Yeah. I love that. I'm thinking about, this just came up in the Facebook group a couple of weeks ago and it's what I do myself so that's why I'm thinking about it. But there are people who host summits who don't necessarily already have another offer that they feel like is a good fit for pitching. Like for the business I run summits through, I learned so much through. I have development services that are a couple thousand dollars. People only need to hire me if they have a project in the pipeline that they need to developer for. Like all my summit attendees aren't going to need that. And I know there are other people in a similar situation. Do you have any examples of what good offers are that someone could say, "Okay, I'm going to host a summit. I really want to capitalize on this after and make a little funnel for people to go through." Like are there certain offers that kind of convert better than others after a summit?

What Offers Convert Best After a Summit

Aleia Walker:
Definitely I say if you are pitching something, I prefer like digital products that are under the $50 mark. Something that's kind of like a give me. Like an easy sell. I think those are really great. But if you don't have one and if you feel like creating one is not the best use of your time or for whatever reason and you just don't have an offer right now, then always pitch them on like your free resources and get them like indoctrinated in who you are and like all the things that you have to offer.

Aleia Walker:
This other thing that I say that's not just related to summits, but you can have an email list and not have an offer. And use that email list as research. Just sending them a bunch of content and seeing what they connect with and that way you'll find your next offer, you'll know the kind of things they want. You'll already know their language, like stuff like that. If you just straight up don't have an offer that time say like, "All right, cool. This is a welcome sequence. I'm going to share who I am, what I do, why I help. Here's some of my most popular content people connected with in the past." That's definitely something that you can do.

Krista:
I love that idea of using it to learn about people because after a summit attendees are so warm and engaged with you and they kind of want to give back in a way after you've given them so much. And I'm thinking it would be a great time to send out an acuity link and have like, I don't know, open 10 spots for people to schedule calls and talk with them, learn about what they really want after the summit is over. Perfect time to capitalize on that engagement, talk to them so you could figure out what they actually want moving forward.

Aleia Walker:
Yes. I think that's good. That's an amazing thing. Talking to people is so valuable. Any opportunity you can do, like go for it.

What Makes a Good Funnel Email Sequence

Krista:
Yes, yes, for sure. Okay. Can you talk to us a little bit more about what that funnel sequence should look like? You said start with an introduction. What else goes into a good funnel email sequence?

Aleia Walker:
The first email, the automatic one that comes back is explaining like, "Hey, here's the freebie that you downloaded. Here are the benefits that you're going to get from using it. I'm going to be back in a day or so to check on you." And my next email is where I break down more like my story. And so how I get started, but more specifically how I get started with whatever's related to this topic. I have a welcome sequence map freebie. I talk about like how I learned about welcome sequences and how they helped and directly how that relates to them. Breaking down like I didn't think I needed this thing. I figured out I needed thing and now I work with this thing. That kind of email.

Aleia Walker:
And then the next one I'm breaking into like pain points even deeper. Like what specifically does the welcome sequence fix? Like what problem am I having in business? The problem is that people are not engaging on my email list. Like why is that happening? People aren't engaging in my email list so then they're not converting to customers. I'm breaking down that pain point really hard. And then is when I'm getting like more into pitching in that next email. I'm like, "Hey. Here is this quick win. I have this offer for you. It is less than 50 bucks for the next three days. Since you're brand new to my list, I want to give you this gift. And here's how this fixes like all the welcome sequence problems I've been talking to you about for the past three emails."

Aleia Walker:
Next one breaks down features. It breaks down, like it walks through more of the item. My next email is testimonials. Straight up like, "Here are my past clients. Here are my past customers. Here's how they benefited from it." And then last chance for the discount. And then a few days later I follow up with a completely non pitchy email that is just breaking down like some of my best resources. Like here's the merge in between the welcome sequence and the rest of my list.

Krista:
I love that. I love how all that content works together and supports each other. Can you tell us a little bit about the freebie?

Aleia Walker:
Yeah, so the map. It breaks down each email and what are the key contents of the email. Like what's the topic that you're going to talk about specific to whatever your product is. What is the pain point that you're solving? What is the offer that you have? How does this offer help? It helps you break down the key topics and the key CTA, like call to action, what you're trying to get them to do. And I think once you have that together, it just makes everything so much easier to write when you know what's your goal, what is your topic and what are you trying to get them to do? When you can figure those out, the in between just gets a lot easier.

Krista:
Yes. Having a map for something like that makes it so much less overwhelming. Something else I'm thinking is a lot of people that come to me to learn about hosting summits are overwhelmed with the tech and the tools they need. What kinds of tools do people need to make a funnel happen?

What Tools You Need to Make a Funnel Happen

Aleia Walker:
Your email service provider. All of them are going to include some kind of automation for you to set up. That's the base of what you'll need. All of them have the ability to set up some kind of welcome sequence in them. Some of the unpaid ones are going to make life more difficult. When you are ready to sell via your list, you're ready to pay for an email service provider. Yeah, make that investment. And then somewhere to host a sales page or a landing page. That's about it. A lot of people can get that done on their website. I use Lead Pages for all things landing pages. That is my go to. I use active campaign for my annual service provider and Lead Pages. Those are basically everything I need to get that out there.

Krista:
I love it. But if you're hosting a summit, you're going to have somewhere to host the landing page and an email service provider. That's perfect. You don't need anything extra really. That's always the answer we like to hear. So much good stuff. What is the biggest takeaway you would like listeners to get from what we talked about today?

Your Big Takeaway

Aleia Walker:
Well, use a welcome sequence is like, I should tattoo that somewhere. But yeah, introduce people to who you are and how you can help them because that's what they want to know. When people come to a summit, when they download your freebie, it's because you have some information that they want. Just give it to them. Like don't be afraid to send an email because they signed up for it and they asked for it. And if they don't want to be there, then they always have the option to scroll to the bottom and unsubscribe. But don't make them do that because they don't know who you are by not having a welcome sequence.

Krista:
Oh, for sure. And I hear a lot of hosts saying, "Okay, I just hosted my summit. What should I do with all these subscribers? Do I add them to my list? Like what do I do?" It's like, yes, add them to your list but do it with a welcome sequence. I think this is so perfect. I'm so excited for everybody to put this into action. Thank you so much for sharing so freely. Where can people go to learn more about you and what you offer?

Aleia Walker:
Yeah. Thanks for having me. My website is the best place to find me aleiawalker.com, I will of course give you the welcome secrets freebie so you can link to that. Also, I'm on Instagram a lot. That's another great place to find me. My handle is @MissAleia. Yeah, those are the best places to find me.

Krista:
Awesome. Be sure to go and connect with Aleia. Thank you so much for being here today.

Aleia Walker:
Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Krista:
I hope you love this episode with Aleia. I love how she broke all of that down for us and made something that usually sounds really difficult, like creating a funnel, nice and easy by breaking down those steps of a welcome sequence, letting us know what to do if we don't have anything to sell. And really just kind of highlighting the benefits of having a funnel as a part of a summit, whether you're a host or a speaker.

Thank you so much for tuning in. In the next episode, we'll be chatting about how long your summit should be and the timing of it. Be sure to tune in for that. Now go out and take action to plan, strategize, and launch your profitable online summit.

 

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About Aleia

Aleia Walker is an email marketing copywriter who crafts email marketing funnels for busy creatives who don’t have time to figure out where all the pieces go. She found a way to blend her love of words and technical skills to create experiences that move customers and clients into action. That equals profits in your pockets so you can spend more time serving your people. She wants to help you build your dream business (+ and your dream life.)

Welcome Sequence Funnel Map | Aleia's Shop | Aleia's Instagram

 

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