Online Summits, Worth it or a Waste?

Welcome to episode 308 of Hit The Mic with The Stacey Harris.

All right guys. It’s 308 and today we’re going to talk about online summits. Humblebrag here. I get asked to do a lot of these online summits, virtual summits where an organizer brings together 5, 10, 15, 50, it just depends on the summit, experts in their industries and does video interviews, audio interviews, and then offers them sometimes for free, sometimes paid, but usually the ones I get asked to be a part of are a free short term thing and then there’s a paid upgrade, so you can get the recordings or extended trainings or something like that.

Here’s the deal. They’re really common. I notice they’re making a resurgence now. They had gone down a little bit in frequency, I noticed, for a while, and they seem to be coming back. They can be really valuable, both from a listener participant perspective as well as a host perspective, as well as a guest expert perspective. They can be, in some situations, so today I want to talk about if they’re worth it or if they’re a waste of time. I really want to talk about that in three ways. We’re going to start with from a participant perspective, then we’re going to talk about from a host perspective and then we’re going to talk about it from a guest expert perspective because it really does have different checklists for each one on whether it’s worth it for you or not.

I want you to realize that all of the things that I mention here, all of the things that I talk about in this space, these are my opinions and it’s not the case of every summit, good or bad. Be cautious whenever you go into these situations where you’re going to be partnering with someone, or where you’re going to be learning from someone, or where you’re going to be bringing people in because that is a representation of your brand. Remember to evaluate these situations on a case by case basis, but let’s dive in. Cool?

Okay, so first we’ll talk about as a participant, online summits, worth it or a waste of time? It depends. Yes, that’s going to be the answer for all of them, but it depends. They can be worth it if, big if, you have the time and there’s something specific you’re trying to learn. I think in your first, I don’t know, definitely in your first year, maybe in your first two or three years, depending on how you’re moving through your business and what space you’re in, it can be really easy to fall into a habit of literally saying “yes” to everything when it comes to learning. Every free program, every free opt-in, every free eBook, and maybe even a lot of paid programs and paid summits and paid downloads and things like that.

It can get really easy to be like, “I need to do all the things so that I can be successful because so and so is doing this and they’re teaching so they must have it all figured out. I’ve got to do it. It’s the only answer.” I want you to really pullback on that because there legit is such a thing as too much information. There is absolutely such a thing as too much info and here’s the deal. A lot of that information is useless not because it’s bad information, not because the people who are teaching it are trying to pull one over on you, but because you spend so much time in this cycle of consumption that you’re not taking action. Make sure that you are consuming information that’s actually going to move you forward because you can take action on it.

Before you sign up for another online summit, make sure that there are people who you respect participating and there is content you actually need to learn and implement right now and if there’s not, but maybe there’s this one training and you were like, “I just know at some point that information’s going to be valuable,” here’s the deal. That information, it’s going to roll back around. When you need it, it’ll show up and if not, then make a note of the person and when you’re ready, search them out, but yeah, you don’t have to consume all of it. It really does depend. Now, on the flip side, maybe you open up this online summit email from either the host or one of the participants who’s promoting it and you’re like, “This is absolutely exactly what I’ve been looking for. I am so glad I got this email. Thank you universe for this showing up in front of me this week.”

Sign up, add the times to your calendar, treat it with the respect you would give an in person event, show up, engage, and then take action on it. Schedule a time to actually implement the things you learn, identify the sessions that you actually need to go to, schedule that. Schedule all of it and treat it like you would an event of any other kind because that’s where these things are actually valuable. That’s where these things actually move the needle, make a difference in your business, is when you use it, when you take action on it, and so as a participant, online summits, worth it or a waste of time? It mostly depends on you. I know, it sucks, but the ball’s in your court on this one.

Take it on a case by case basis and make sure there’s something that you actually need to use and then make sure you use it, okay? Number two, online summit, worth it or a waste of time to host? Here’s the thing. I’ve never hosted an online summit for one very important reason. They are a tonne of work. Like, a tonne of work when you do them right. Meaning, you research and get the best of the best experts that you can, when you have a clear idea of who you’re serving and what you’re doing, when you have a really solid marketing plan that you have the money to execute and the time to execute. They’re a tonne of work. They’re like launching any other kind of event. They’re like launching any other kind of product, really, and so make sure that you are ready for that.

Yes, they can do amazing things to grow your list. Yes, they can do amazing things to grow your revenue, depending on the structure of it, but they’re also a big investment on your part. Time and money wise. Be ready for that because it’s something that I think not enough hosts go into online summits being aware of and I have participated in some where the host was totally ready for that and full on knocked it out of the ballpark. They did a fantastic job and I’ve been a part of some online summits where both as a participant and as a guest expert, ball was majorly dropped because they just weren’t ready for what it was going to take to put something like that together.

Be ready. It can absolutely be worth it as long as you give it the time, energy, and money you would the launch of anything else. That’s key. Again, it depends. I know it’s frustrating to hear that but it does. If you’re thinking about hosting it, have a really clear reason why you want to host it, what you want to get out of it, what you want to deliver, and then, map it out like any other launch. Get the help you need, get the resources together you need, start inviting people. I always suggest starting with your network. I’ll be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever … Yeah, I’ve never participated in a summit and I don’t participate in many, but I’ve never even given half a thought to participating in one where I didn’t have some relationship with the host, whether I’d been on their podcast or we know each other through a networking event or whatever it was, they were a client, I was a client, something like that.

Tap your network first, get the best of the best, lay out your plan, do it right. Give it the attention it needs. Number three, and our final spot, and what I suspect most of you want to hear. Online summits worth it or a waste of time, to be a guest expert? Guess what, guys? It depends. I know. I know. You now want to chuck whatever it is you’re listening to this podcast on right out the window but it really does depend. For me, the deciding factor always comes down to three things. Is it the right audience? Do I have some sort of relationship and respect for the host? Is there space on my promotional calendar? I get asked to do a lot of these where it just runs into something else I’m doing, either a big push for either my Backstage, or I’m already promoting something else through an affiliate setup or I am chilling in my audience because I have just launched something or I’m gearing up to launch something on the another side.

A lot of them just run into scheduling conflicts. That’s why flashing back to if you’re going to host one, start asking people early because they need to know. I get a lot of these emails where people are going to do it next month, like they’re throwing together this summit and it’s like, “No. My promo calendar for next month is already figured out.” Be aware of that as a host, but if you’re seeing these invites and you’re like, “I don’t know where that would go but I really want to do it because of the exposure,” because it’s always about the exposure, then no, the answer is it’s not going to be worth it because you’re not going to be able to give it the energy to promote it, you’re not going to be able to give it the space to promote it and you will always feel rushed and crowded by it. That’s just not a good place to lead from from a sales perspective.

However, if you’re saying, “Yeah, this fits perfectly in this window where I didn’t know what I was going to do and this is going to be great exposure, I totally respect the host, it’s dead on as my audience,” then absolutely. Then do it. It can be a great way to grow your list, it can be a great way to share value, it can be a great way to maybe make some affiliate revenue, again, depending on what the model is, and it can be a really great way for you to practice. Not so much practice, so much execute the presenting of your materials, especially if you want to be a speaker or you want to get into podcasting, or you want to get into doing webinars. This can be a great way to get comfortable doing exactly that, trying material, trying on timing, things like that.

Be aware of that because it might be a no brainer yes, it might be totally worth it. Again, for me, it comes down to having a relationship with a host, having the room on my promo calendar and knowing without a doubt that it’s my audience. I think that that third one is the most important. Is this audience going to be filled with the people who you want to be talking to? On the flip side of that, because you’re probably going to be asked to promote it to your list, are the people on your list a fit for this summit? Because if they’re not, you might have a hard time. I do have a segment of my list that I sometimes share this stuff with instead of my entire list because maybe I’ll have something else going on for the entirety of my list so that can be something that can be really valuable to do from a list segmentation perspective.

Again, you have to be able to answer those three questions to find out whether it’s going to be worth it or a waste of time for you. I’ve absolutely found there were summits that I hoped would be really fruitful and were a total waste of my time and then there have been summits that I’ve been a part of that were just awesome, they were fantastic. There was great value, there was a perfect audience, and it did great things for some targeted list growth and funneling to some specific offers I had. Again, with all three of these things, whether it’s worth it or a waste of time is really up to you deciding on a case by case basis what your business needs are, what your business availability is, and what your schedule looks like. Okay?

All right. I hope this was helpful. I would love to hear from you, so come on over to the Facebook page and let me know if you’ve been a part of a summit, if it was worth it, what your experience was, and I’d especially love to hear from those of you who have hosted them and the impact that that had on your business because again, I’ve never done one, because I just genuinely have zero desire to put that time commitment into one. Honesty, guys, that’s what you get on this show. Also, if you haven’t joined us yet, Hit The Mic Backstage, next Tuesday I’m doing a live training all around growing your list with free challenges. This is going to be a really killer training.

I get this question so often, not just in the Backstage community, but from podcast listeners, talking about free challenges, how to run them, if they can be evergreen, if you have to run them live, how to market them, how long they should be, and we’re going to cover all of that live, so you can get your questions answered as well next Tuesday. Make sure you are there. It’s going to be awesome, and full disclosure, you can literally cancel anytime. If you just want to check out this one training, come, join us, check out the training, see what else is in, enjoy 30 days in there, and then cancel. There is a button on the side in the menu that says “Manage Your Membership.”

You send us a note let us know that you want to cancel and it gets cancelled. It’s really that easy. There’s zero risk in being a part of it and you can get in for this really cool training. I’m so excited for this training. Okay, guys. I will see you on Friday.

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