Guest post by Bailey Richert | this post may contain affiliate links
In 2016, my infopreneur business was reaching a bit of a plateau.
Nothing was wrong; everything kept moving along as it was supposed to. I just had this desire to take my business to the next level. I wanted to elevate my exposure in my niche, grow my email list and increase my revenue fast.
I already had ebooks, online courses, private coaching and other revenue streams. I was also already doing all the usual marketing techniques: social media, podcast interviews, and the like.
So, I decided to try something different. I hosted the Infopreneur Summit.
In just 90 days, I was able to completely launch a virtual summit from scratch, and I was simply blown away by all the benefits I reaped from this endeavor!
I grew my email list by over 1,000 people.
I grew my Facebook group by 355 people.
I made an additional $4,000 in revenue that month.
I formed business relationships with 27 influencers.
Today, when business owners – both beginners and those who are more established – ask me what I did to achieve such rapid growth, I tell them: host your own virtual summit.
Many people who don’t fully understand how virtual summits can benefit a host remain skeptical at the idea of launching their own. I often hear in response to my suggestion, “I would rather put that effort into creating another online course.”
Oh, if only they knew just how much easier and more beneficial to their business hosting a virtual summit would be over launching just another course!
In this post I would like to share with you 6 specific ways in which I have found that hosting a virtual summit is far easier than launching an online course, and perhaps convince you to give it a try!
1. You don’t need an expensive video recording setup.
When creating an online course, everyone wants to appear as professional as possible. Part of that entails creating a recording ‘studio’ in your home to create your content. Even if you only invest in middle-of-the-road equipment, it can all add up fast! A backdrop, camera, tripod, lapel microphone, desk microphone, video editing software, screencasting software.
The content you will record for a virtual summit is in the form of online interview which require far less equipment. For my first virtual summit, I was able to get away with a $60 webcam and USB microphone. I even edited my videos inside of YouTube for free!
You can get by with less hardware and software when hosting a virtual summit compared to creating an online course.
2. Content creation is much, much easier.
Speaking of creating content, it can take literally hundreds of hours to create awesome content for an online course. Even if you are “only” doing screencasts, you still have to edit, add callouts and on-screen text or captions. Plus, don’t’ forget all the time that the videos take to render!
Interviews with influencers are the content in a virtual summit. The people you are speaking with are literally creating the content for you! There’s no scripts to write out, perfect and memorize. The video interviews are recorded once, barely edited and ready to go.
Creating content for a virtual summit is faster and easier than recording videos for an online course.
3. Launching takes less time.
Piggybacking off of number 2, it is easy to see why having help from influencers makes the content creation happen more quickly. But that’s not the only reason why virtual summits can be a faster revenue stream to launch than an online course.
In my free ebook, I explain my 3-phase process for launching a virtual summit in just 90 days! That is exactly how quickly I was able to launch my first summit from “idea” to “execution”. Normally, when I launch an online course it can take me anywhere from 4 to 6 months to allow enough time for recording videos, developing bonuses, recruiting affiliates, pre-selling, creating the sales funnel and more!
A virtual summit can be launched in 90 days whereas online courses often take many, many months.
4. You don’t have to be an expert in everything.
When creating an online course, it can be hard to determine where you should start and end the content. You want to provide your students with as much help as possible, so you start to teach on topics that are truly beyond the scope of what the course should be. Sometimes, you might even feel obligated to offer content on topics you don’t really know. Boundaries for online courses can be tough.
Virtual summits solve this problem entirely because you are asking the guest speakers to offer their expertise. As the host, it’s your job to let them shine. You don’t have to be an expert in the topic that they are sharing. It’s your job to ask insightful questions, not be the teacher.
Virtual summits highlight other influencers’ expertise so you can cover many topics for your audience, even those of which you have little or no knowledge.
5. You have dozens of influencers promoting for you.
Let’s be honest. Profiting from an online course can be difficult if you don’t have an amazing email list of subscribers. Plus, it can be tough to recruit affiliates in your niche who are busy promoting their own products.
Virtual summits bring together dozens of influencers who will be sharing and promoting your event at the same time, culminating in a huge rush of traffic to your opt-in page.
Whereas promoting an online course can be an uphill battle, promoting a virtual summit is easy with many influencers working to drive traffic to your event at once.
6. Urgency prompts attendees to buy more without requiring a “pushy” hard sell.
Many online business owners went into business to practice their craft, not to sell. It’s a common fear, and the others just think it’s unnatural to ask someone to buy. But, when you are launching an online course, that’s exactly what you need to do: push your product.
A virtual summit has the benefit of being a limited time event. Attendees are faced with a very real sense of urgency to purchase their All-Access Pass because the summit has actual start and end dates at which time the price goes up. The attendees accept these deadlines more easily than they do with online courses where potential buyers are more inclined to put off purchasing in favor of a holiday sale or the next launch.
Virtual summits use the short time period of the event to create urgency around the purchase of the All-Access Pass which sells more easily than online courses do during a launch.
While online courses tend to be the beloved revenue stream of many online business owners, virtual summits should not be overlooked. In many ways, they are far easier to launch than online courses and can bring even more benefits to your business that an online course cannot, such as exposure, explosive email list growth, business relationships with influencers and more.
The next time you are thinking of new ways to boost your business, give hosting a virtual summit a try instead of just creating another online course!
Interested in learning more about virtual summits?
Download my free “Virtual Summit Set” and receive an ebook, 2-page planning worksheet and guest speaker checklist all intended to help a beginner learn to launch their own virtual summit from scratch in 90 days!
Bailey Richert is a business coach who helps individuals launch profitable online enterprises as “infopreneurs”: respected experts in their fields creating value and generating income by sharing their life experience, knowledge and passions with others in a manner that supports their ideal lifestyles.