This is a guest post by my good friend, Aj Amyx. He will share the exact steps he and his business partner, Andy Zitzmann, used to create the Movement Marketing Summit.
We’ve been working together, since January 2015, on creating one of the best virtual summits of the year. They have a unique process, and I'm happy to share it with you.
You’ll love this – rock it, Aj!
All of this started on July 4th, 2014 when Navid released his episode of The Lifestyle Architects where I was a guest.
At the time, I was talking about how to use Twitter to attract more free customers who call you. I had been teaching Twitter for months because I had been seeing amazing results with it.
It’s funny now looking back because that’s the day we American’s celebrate our Independence Day and Navid’s virtual summit was the catalyst for his freedom from the 9 to 5 job.
If we fast forward a few months to November of 2014, I had the pleasure of speaking on Navid’s Branding Summit. We kept in touch and he was sharing with me via Facebook Private Message how everything was going.
By the end of his summit, Navid had managed to do something I never had. Sale 200 units of a single product.
In December of 2014, Navid and I were having one of our typical Facebook PM chats and I told him Andy Zitzmann and I were thinking of doing a virtual summit.
He said, “You need to do one. You’d crush it.”
So Andy and I said yes.
Why the Movement Marketing Summit?
Andy and I had been coaching people for years and saw a common theme; overwhelm. confusion and not knowing where to start.
Many people in the lifestyle design and online business industries where sharing “maps” and “blueprints,” but our clients wanted a GPS.
Something that would guide them to their goals, dreams and aspirations.
That’s why Andy and I set out on a mission to interview 50 Elite Entrepreneurs who are the some of the best in the world at what they do.
Unlike many summits and podcasts, we didn’t want to focus on their stories. We wanted to provide high value, how-to content to our end user.
The 8 Steps to Create a Virtual Summit People Will Remember
You have to be clear on the EXPERIENCE you want to create for your end user.
I learned this lesson when I was touring professionally in a band I had co-founded called Trade Cities.
People do not go to a concert to listen to music. They come for an experience. If they simply wanted to listen to music, they would stay at home and listen to their iPods, Spotify or something of that nature.
Instead, they come for an experience. They want to FEEL something. In our case since we were an Progressive/Rock-n-Roll band, we brought high energy, long hair and sweat-slinging head banging.
I translated this lesson into the Movement Marketing Summit and to the many clients Andy and I work with.
I got extremely clear on what EXPERIENCE I wanted Andy and I to create for our end user (an author, speaker, coach, trainer, consultant).
Then and only then, did we start reaching out to people.
So how can we create a virtual summit people will remember?
1. Know What Problem You Can Solve with Your Virtual Summit
Understand there are only 3 areas people are looking for solutions to: money, relationships and/or their body.
No matter what you do, it boils down to these 3 things.
I already hear the spiritual yogis wanting to send me healing vibes and pray for me…
Hear me out on this.
The only reason people want to find their passion, purpose and happiness is ultimately to make money doing something they love.
Or, if they are career oriented, then they want to make more money while being happy in their career field of choice.
If they want to lose weight, I assure you there is a deeper reason that is tied to their relationship. Either with another person or themselves.
Get clear on what problem you want to solve with your virtual summit.
People do not need information for the sake of information. That’s what Google is for.
2. Be extremely clear on your target market.
Don’t just create a virtual summit because it’s the new thing to do. Create a summit because you want to create an online event that solves a problem for your target audience.
Ask yourself, what does your dream customer:
– Dream of?
Once you are crystal clear on WHO…
3. Create a Compelling Tagline
Before you come up with a name for your summit, brain storm a compelling tagline that solves a problem. Ours was…”Build a Brand, Start a Movement.”
I knew what results Andy and I could get for people. So we lead with that. I used the Google Keyword Planner to do some market research to see what long tail phrases people were actually searching.
No need to guess these days.
In our case 720 people a month on average were searching “how to build a brand” and another 880 people a month on average were searching “how to start a movement.”
As you can see in the above image, the suggested bid for advertisers is $4.92 a click for a Google Ad for “how to build a brand.”
This is how we validated our tagline.
4. Name your Virtual Summit
You need a compelling name that explains what your summit is all about. At the end of the day, a virtual summit is more than just an online event. If executed correctly, it is an amazing product.
Brainstorm a list of potential names. Follow your intuition. Ask yourself, “Is this name THE name of a solid brand and will my target market understand it?”
If so, rock on!
5. Outline the Flow of Your Virtual Summit
One of the foundational exercises Andy and I have our clients implement is “Prison to Paradise.”
In this context, “Prison” being defined as where your target audience is prior to your summit. What does their world look, sound and feel like? What problems are they experiencing?
“Paradise” being defined as where your target audience will be after your summit. What does their world look, sound and feel like? What solutions will they now have?
Remember, a good virtual summit is all about creating an experience and results for your target market.
Once you are clear on what “Prison” your target audience is in and ultimately what “Paradise” they want to experience, ask yourself what do they need to know and do to get from their place of “Prison” to “Paradise.”
This exercise is crucial to go through because it gives you the framework from which you can organize how many speakers and topics you need.
Some deep stuff right?
Here’s an example to make this clear.
With the Movement Marketing Summit, Andy and I know our target audience are experts and those who want to leave their corporate job and make money from a message that is burning inside them. They are or will be authors, speakers, coaches, trainers and consultants.
Their “Prison” is they are overwhelmed, confused on what marketing strategy to implement, when to execute and ultimately they needed a game plan or playbook.
Their “Paradise” is having an online platform where they are growing their email list every single day and can create they level of income they desire through fulfilling work.
As a result of knowing this, Andy and I thought through everything they would need to know and do to achieve their version of “Paradise.”
Things such as…
How to Identify Your Passion and Purpose, How to Get Clear on What You Want, Break Through Limiting Beliefs, Creating a Product and Service, Creating a Home Page Money Machine and multiple promotional strategies like Facebook Marketing Secrets and Instagram Marketing to name a few.
The real question is…”How can you use this framework to create a virtual summit your target audience will thank you for creating?”
6. Build a Professionally Designed Landing Page
It should be well branded and allow people to see what they will get if they join.
Create this before you even reach out to your potential speakers. This let’s them see your vision and know you’re taking it serious.
Here’s an example of the Landing Page Andy and I started out with for the Movement Marketing Summit.
7. Create Your Dream List of Speakers
Once you know the topics you need, compile a list of speakers.
Be like a kid. Let your imagination run wild.
When Andy and I first started compiling our list, we wrote down people like Wayne Dyer, Brendon Burchard and Frank Kern. Don’t put any barriers on yourself. You’ll never know until you try.
When Andy asked Michael Port at his Heroic Public Speaker event, he didn’t know if Michael would say yes. He took a chance and to our surprise said, Yes!
Here’s the full strategy Navid taught us. You need to have several tiers of speakers. A, B and C Listers.
A Listers are people who have a huge audience and are the top thought leaders on a topic you need on your summit.
B Listers are people who have a good sized audience, are seen as an authority and on their way to be a top thought leader in a few more years.
C Listers are people who have a get message and content, have a smaller audience but will hustle to help you get the word out.
Who is it for you?
8. Reach out to your Speakers
Don’t over complicate it. Just ask.
Here’s the main thing though…know what you want from your speaker before you reach out.
Know what topic you’d like for them to speak on, how long their interview or presentation will be and how you can make it a win for them.
Always lead with making it a win for them.
Here’s an example of how we reached out to Peter Voogd.
It started with a simple tweet and then went to email. Here is my first email to him and his response.
One mistake people often make is sending an email or Facebook Private Message like the following…
Don’t do that.
When you reach out like this, it shows the speaker you have not done your due-diligence and makes you look like an amateur.
Be a pro. It’s your job as the host to know what experience you want to create for your target audience. It’s your event.
Okay. Enough of my rant.
You Can Do This
If you implement the 8 steps I have outlined and focus on creating a summit that solves a problem your target audience is having, you’ll be welcomed with open arms and be well on your way to having some of the best guests in your industry.
The key is to organize it and do the work like a pro.
Everything needs to be executed with excellence. Notice I did not say perfect. I said excellence.
Trust me. Andy and I took tons of imperfect action. However, we executed to the best of our ability at the given moment.
Hosting a virtual summit is a lot of work. I’d be lying to you if I said it wasn’t. However, it’s a ton of fun, you’ll learn a lot in the process, build an audience and make some sales.
The other thing it can do, if you play your cards right, is position you as an authority in your industry.
Remember, birds of a feather flock together.
If you are the host of a summit with top experts in your industry, guess how you start being perceived?
As a top expert.
Andy and I interviewed 50 Elite Entrepreneurs like Michael Port, Sue B. Zimmerman, Wendy Lipton-Dibner, Viveka von Rosen, Martin Shervington, Roberto Candelaria and many, many other amazing people to equip you with the Playbook to building a brand and starting a movement.
Why spend years of struggle and tens of thousands of dollars, when you can learn from the best of the world?
GET IT CHAMPION!
Relationships are everything. They change the game in life and business.
The only want to build them is to have great conversations.
I’d love to hear from you.
Leave a comment below with your questions about hosting a virtual summit and how you think you can create an epic experience for your target market.