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Today I’m thrilled to have Navid Moazzez on the show. Navid is someone who randomly reached out to me to take part in one of his virtual summits. And because we have a ton of mutual friends like Natalie Sisson, Grant Baldwin, Jd Roth among others, we started chatting.
That’s when I was introduced to the amazing world of virtual summits. Navid is a virtual summit expert and he makes a living putting on online conferences.
If you’ve been following me online, you probably know that I had my first live event in May called the Sellers Summit which was a huge success.
But after talking with Navid, he has really opened my eyes to the world of virtual events and hopefully he’ll blow your mind as well.
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What You’ll Learn
- How to get speakers to agree to take part in a virtual event
- How to get people to attend
- How to make money off of a virtual summit
- The exact flow from start to finish for one of his events.
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I’m Steve Chou, and today we are talking with Navid Moazzez, the founder of navidmoazzez.com and an expert on virtual summits. Now in this episode you’ll learn the keys to running a successful online conference, and how to leverage a virtual summit to blow up your email subscribers while earning lots of money at the same time.
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Intro: Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast. We will teach you how to create a business that suits your lifestyle, so you can spend more time with your family and focus on doing the things that you love. Here is your host, Steve Chou.
Steve: Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast. Today I’m thrilled to have Navid Moazzez on the show. Now Navid is someone who randomly reached out to me to take part in one of his virtual summits. And because we have a ton of mutual friends like Natalie, Susan, Glen Baldwin, J. Roth among others who I have already had in my podcast we actually started chatting.
And that’s when I was introduced to the amazing world of virtual summits. Now Navid is a virtual summit expert, and he makes a living putting on online conferences. And if you’ve been following me online, you probably know that I had my first live event in May of this year called the Sellers Summit which was a big success.
But after talking with Navid he has really opened my eyes to the world of virtual events, and hopefully he’ll blow your mind as well. And with that welcome to the show Navid, how are you doing today man?
Navid: Thanks so much for having me, it’s a pleasure to be on.
Steve: Yeah so give us the quick background about just your online endeavors, and then how you got started with online summits in the first place.
Navid: Yeah, so it kind of kicked off in 2013 around mid June, and I started actually interviewing people. And the first interview I ever done was with Pat Flynn, I had no experience going into it. But one thing led to another, started interviewing more people and as you hear I’m not native US citizen, or native English speaker.
So what I did was to actually interview people, it felt much better to just learn how to put together these interviews, and also pretty much the document that on my blog in the very beginning like my entrepreneurial journey pretty much. And that led to me putting on a podcast kind of it because I heard a lot of people doing this. John Dumas had a lot of success with Entrepreneurial on Fire around that time. And then I — it took me a little while to do this, but in 2014 I launched Lifestyle Architects Show.
And it was good in the beginning, it built some great relationships and also then it led me to pretty much stumbling across virtual summits. But it was because I didn’t grow my email list that much from my podcast, and I didn’t really generate that much money in the first place from this, but it was as I said good for relationship building. But then I hosted my virtual summit, I just learned a lot about the process of putting one together.
I had no experience with it, but it took me a few months to when I somewhat crossed the summits first with health summits kind of that’s how I got into it, because they were actually making a lot of money, but also growing their email list at the same time and that was very compelling to me. And then I learned about it, and then in November of 2014, not forgetting my first virtual summit, the branding summit more or less because I wanted to position myself as a personal branding expert.
But that I can talk a little bit about it, it was quite broad, if I would have done it over today; I would have probably gone way more niche than I did there. But the essence of it was that I interviewed some people pretty much like my podcast, and then put together this event and people could sign up for free, but then in the backend I sold them all access pass.
That’s how it was in the beginning and I got some great results even from this first one. Before the summit I only had from about 18 months of blogging and podcasting, I had a round 900 to 1000 subscribers. And they were fairly engaged, but then with the virtual summits it took things to a whole another level.
I grew my list, the first one there about 3000 subscribers, and I generated $20,000 in profit, which was just mind blowing to me, I had never had that success ever before. And then it enabled me to quit my job and move abroad, that was late 2014. And then moving into 2015 I got to leave this lifestyle I’m living now, and at the time of this recording I live in Cancun, but I have lived in Barcelona and some other places. I have been in the US, that’s how I got connected more with Natalie as well lived in San Diego for a little while. So that’s how I got started.
Steve: So when you first started interviewing let’s say Pat Flynn, you said that was your first interview. Did you have like a business at that point or were you just designed to put together a podcast interviewing people?
Navid: Yeah, it was not the best, I can I mean kind of in my mind I thought okay I’m having a business, I told people I’m starting this business. I guess more of a side project because I had a part time day job. I was working part time at the bank, I also had — I was in law school actually, but I then a few months after I started my site I dropped out.
And I didn’t have nay success with my business really at that time more than building relationships and making an affiliate sale here and there in 2013. But I still decided to drop out and just have my part time job at a bank, and that just paid the bills, it was not anything fancy. And then I took it from there pretty much, that’s what I did in the early days.
Steve: So if we step back a little bit, given that you didn’t have any prior success or a really large audience, how did you convince someone like Pat for example to go on your show?
Navid: Yeah, in the beginning actually it was I guess I looked for an opportunity there, I think that’s a good way to see it. He actually needed some people to interview him. He actually invited people from his audience to interview him for — yeah his book coming out, his first book Let Go. And he invited people, and I just — I didn’t think he would get back to me. I just thought he would probably get a lot of people reaching out to him.
And I’m sure he did, but he still accepted my invitation, I just was very genuine with my approach. I told him I have been following him for a while. I’m sure he recognized my name since I had been commenting quite a bit on his blog too to just show that I actually read his stuff. I knew what it was all about.
And then I interviewed him, I had no experience. I was like kind of put together the interview. I probably should have done some practice rounds before, but I hadn’t. So it was just like going into it, and I guess that was a good thing that I did. I got just a head start, I didn’t even have my site before I reached out to him. So it was he put the pressure on me to actually launch, because I had been procrastinating for quite a while before that.
Steve: So what are some of the benefits of putting on an online event as opposed to a live event? Like what are some of the pros and cons? Because I have done a live event now, and I’m just curious did it ever cross your mind to do live as opposed to virtual?
Navid: Not at that stage, now I’m more and more. I mean I have actually had a mastermind and stuff like that. So I see the power of live events too, you can connect in person, all that kind of stuff. So it’s very good, but in terms of like the business growth and growing your email list, I think a live event would be very hard to see the same results there for growing your list.
I mean that’s one of the biggest benefits I think of why you should even consider hosting a virtual summit. You can be at the very, very early stage of your business, or you can even be more seasoned. I mean I have helped people starting from scratch grow their email list to a thousand or a few thousand people, where even people like Henry Both takes his — he had 12,000 subscribers when he came to me. And then from his summit he got over 30,000 opt-ins.
Steve: It’s crazy.
Navid: So yeah so it’s like email list growth is one, but also like you can create — I mean the problem is if you are starting out you don’t have a product, but from this virtual summit you can actually bundle up the recordings with some irresistible bonuses and sell that. So that’s like creating a product pretty fast without you doing the heavy lifting. Well you have to put together the event, but you just have to pull out great information from your speakers.
Like when I interviewed you for my upcoming summit listing building school. I mean we just had a great conversation, I just asked whatever I wanted to know for the summit, and that’s what you have to do for it. And then you bundle this up, yes people can you watch it for free during the summit for a limited time, typically like 48 to 72 hours. But then when this time is up you still sell the recordings and you can also — what I do even when they signup they still on this thank you page right after they signup they have the opportunity to purchase right away.
So you actually generate money before the summit even started which is pretty cool. So I really like that too about summits, also the relationship building I guess that goes both hands. When you are doing a live event versus a summit you can still build the relationships. But I guess you can do it on a bigger scale with a virtual summit if you have let’s say 20 to 30 speakers for your first one, and also like the affiliate partnerships you build.
I saw firsthand what happened when Chandler put together his summit. He had some decent launches before, I mean they were not bad. But then with the summit he actually got more people entered word to promote him because it’s easier at least from my experience to get people to promote three events like a virtual summit, than it is for someone else to promote your course, that’s a big benefit I have seen.
I see this first hand now when I’m reaching out to people, it would probably be harder for me to get someone to promote my Virtual Summit Mastery program rather than promoting my upcoming summit list building school. It’s just what I found I have way more partners onboard for this summit than I have for my course.
Steve: I guess one question that I have is let’s say you are like a nobody in the beginning, right? And you want to put together a virtual event, like how do you get speakers to agree to take part?
Navid: Yeah that’s a great question. I mean you have to think a little bit from their perspective, like what do they really want. Of course it’s harder to make it a really big way and you cannot say hey I’m going to promote you to my email list and all that. That’s a little bit harder. But if you have an authentic approach and like you are reaching out to them, like you are building even a relationship beforehand I always say build authentic powerful relationships before you actually need them.
I think that’s something I have done from the very beginning, so when I actually came to the branding summit I didn’t have that much experience leading up to it or that much of success. But then a lot of people like Natalie Sisson, like Selena Soo and a lot of other people, they lined up to promote me, because I’ve added so much value to them beforehand so….
Steve: So give me an example of — so how did you approach both of these people in the beginning?
Navid: I mean for example with Selena Soo it’s interesting because I reached out to her, I think it was in 2013, I wanted to interview her. Actually she said no a few times there, I reached out, followed up again, follow up again I believe she didn’t have time for some reason, she was doing other things. And then I got her onboard for an expert run up post, that’s kind of the first time actually she said yes.
I think I got an introduction there too. And then one thing led to another and I guess it wasn’t around a few months out for my summit she saw what I was putting together. And then she first said she has to check her schedule. And then she finally said yes, so I guess patient, a little persistence followed up and then she said yes eventually, because I added value to her, I like reached out to her, I sent quite a bit of traffic her way this expert run up post I put together.
Same with Natalie, I actually took her 30 day blog challenge on very early stages and shared my results with that, and always that was a good pretty much case study for her. A case study is also a great way to build a relationship with someone that you think it very close almost like a friend if you are building rela — and even if it’s a more of a busy person like Ramit Sethi you can build a relationship if you are like a case study for whatever they are doing, because all influencers are out there they need more case studies for whatever they are teaching, whatever they are selling, right?
So that’s one way I did it quite a lot. And also just finding ways to add value wherever I could pretty much, that’s what I did. And obviously some of the people I reached out to they were also cold, but when you have some people may be getting some introductions for a summit, then you start to snowball, because then you see a friend on the list there. And then you say yes eventually to more and more people getting on there. So that’s kind of how I started, and then eventually for this first summit I got 88 speakers onboard, it was…
Steve: That’s crazy okay. Yes so I noticed like in the email that you sent to me you said these people had already agreed to do it. And then I noticed some familiar names that I knew personally. And so that influenced me to agree to it as well. So it sounds like you are really good at social engineering, have you met any of these people in person before asking them to speak?
Navid: Yeah, a few let me see who I – Yeah Selina Soo I have met in person. I forgot exactly how to reference, but there is a few — most actually I haven’t, I’m pretty sure I haven’t like for example Ryan Levesque, I haven’t met him in person. Ryan Lee actually I met him in person once. I think that helped a little bit to get him on board, but then actually he followed me a little bit even though from a far kind of, because he was in the very beginning doing a lot of virtual summits, and now he is endorsing what I’m doing which is pretty cool.
So he is in my community, he is helping out there from time to time. So it’s been good to get his endorsement, also it was easier to get him on board this way. And also it helps I guess to get other people on board by having such strong names, right?
What I advice to new people is just something I call the ladder strategy. Start with people you know first, or if you have someone in your network that knows someone, get introduction, that’s always the easiest way. And then work yourself up this ladder and then eventually you can get to even bigger and bigger and bigger names.
And it’s not always — you don’t need that many big names if you are just starting out. Actually it’s sometimes better to have some B&C. Let’s just kind of it’s not really that just like a ranking among them, but it’s just like it’s pretty clear, it’s the A list is everyone knows someone in your industry. So they might be harder to get, they might only need two, three maybe four of those, and they will be a big driver for your summit.
But the B&C list is they are more likely to share your summit with their audience because they are not as busy, like an A list is you might you want to build a relationship for years sometimes. And sometimes they will share it, it just depends on how much they connect with your message, or how much of a good fit this is to their audience. And obviously their busy schedule, some of them schedule their promos like six to 12 months in advance.
Steve: Okay, and so what are the benefits to the speakers for example?
Navid: Yeah, so one thing I will do a lot of the times at least, they can for example share a freebie on the summits, that could be a one way if they are not selling something…
Steve: Like a lead magnet you mean?
Navid: Yeah, pretty much a lead magnet so they can grow their list from it. I’ve seen depending on obviously how popular the summit is and also how well this lead magnet is featured. Like that’s also good for a summit host to actually make this lead magnet stand out a little bit, so they can actually — people can actually click on it and make sure the links works.
I’ve seen summits where actually my link didn’t work to my lead magnet, and that’s — then people can’t even check out my website which kind of sucks. But so that’s one way to just do that, and I’ve seen summits where they also let the speaker sell. Like Morrison [inaudible 00:17:16] had summits where they had like a presentation, and then at the end they had a really great offer so they could sell there. And that works also well, obviously that’s typically works best for live summits though.
What I recommended in the very beginning is to actually to be pre recorded mixed in with some live elements like maybe a kick off hangout where you do a live session. And then maybe a closing webinar or keynote where you can maybe summarize the summit or sell even a course which we can get into, but that’s one benefit.
Also another thing I do for my upcoming summit, if it’s a good fit then I pretty much talk to the speakers. I get on a pre call with them, I think that’s pretty much would be the two just to see if it was a good fit, or we could talk about, but also if it sounds — because if it’s a really good fit, then I try to do some training afterwards whenever it works with my schedule and their schedule.
And that’s also a pretty good benefit to them if I can promote something to my entire audience afterwards. That’s how I got some of the bigger names to much agree to promote the summit. So that’s…
Steve: If you have no audience to begin with like how do you convince the speaker that — yeah?
Navid: That’s a good tip, but I think what you can do is to actually say I’m growing my audience with this summit, and then I would be happy to promote whatever you are selling afterwards. And obviously you have to make sure that it’s a good fit, so you don’t do that to everyone. But if it’s a really good fit and you really want that speaker, I mean if you are growing your email list with thousands or few thousands of people from this per summit, I mean you have an audience to promote this influencer too.
And I’m sure they will be happy for you to promote the launch or maybe a webinar to your audience, and that’s something that can work I think really, really well when you are just starting out. In some cases some influencers what I found they also want to give back a lot of the times like Ryan Fishkin, I had him on for the branding summit. And he said like if he doesn’t say yes to someone just starting out in some cases, there might not be another moss.com.
So he actually wants to give. Some influencers they are more strict with that, but he obviously has a multiple of eight figure business, and he says yes to a lot of people which I really respect, because he is the one who started out, so he wants top give back. And that’s why I think it’s just good to reach out in a very authentic way.
Obviously don’t just reach out to everyone. Don’t mass email everyone like you just got to make sure that it’s very authentic. And something can work well and my student got Seth Godin on this way. And she sent video invitations, and she made sure she read pretty much every set of books. And it was just in a very good way.
Seth he says no to pretty much all summits, at least from what I’ve heard of. He even said no to being on my podcast in the beginning, so I know that for a fact, and then I think her approach was just good. He could I guess feel that she read his books and all that stuff, I think that matters a lot, and then he said yes even though maybe he didn’t get too much out of being on her summit, but still he said yes because of her approach which really matters.
Steve: Okay, so how do you get people to attend then?
Navid: Yeah, so the big thing there is actually to — especially if you are starting out, you don’t have a big budget for Facebook ads and all that kind of stuff is to get some of your speakers to promote to their audience. And I think that’s not the first thing you should think about, the first thing you should think about is to have this — make them feel that this summit is really good, like think about the design, it is going to be killer, you know think about the speakers you have on there.
Also think about how you are presenting them on the summit, how the ink you use, or the presentations on the summit. They are going to be really good. I think if the sessions are great, the speakers are more likely to share it, because they are doing pretty much the audience a disservice by not sharing it.
I’ve had many, many examples like that when a big name, he said, “I can’t promote this time.” And then after our session he is just, ‘Hey is there a way I could share this to my audience?” I mean that was after the interview, I didn’t really push him, I don’t really require speakers to promote to their audience. I actually make it pretty low key for them to decide if it’s a good fit for their audience or not.
I usually want the speakers on there because I mean I’m curious to know more about whatever they have to say on the topic not because they have a big audience. That’s pretty much how a lot of people approach it though. They have a little speaker contract, and a lot of fine line in that contract where it says, “Hey you got to promote to your audience in order to be part of it. You need a minimum of 5,000 subscribers to participate.” I mean I never do that; none of my students do it either.
Steve: That would be a big turn off actually.
Navid: Yeah, and I think even speaker contracts, I mean there is a big debate on this, like you know you own your content or not. I mean I’ve never had a problem with this, and I don’t really put together speaker contracts anymore. I don’t like it, and I don’t even sign them anymore. I spoke to Ryan Lee about this recently. He says they are kind of dead.
I guess it depends on the industry, if you are like in a more professional field like you know maybe a lawyer or attorney putting together a summit, yeah you might want to think about this, but I find at least in my industry it is more about the relationship rather than making it so transactional, so you have to sign a lot of contracts.
I pretty much treat it more like a podcast interview. That’s how I think I make the speakers feel more welcome to be part of it and not just being part of something bigger pretty much, so I think that works well.
Steve: When you send out the virtual summit stuff and get people to attend, it is free right?
Navid: Yup, it’s totally free to attend, and that’s kind of — we have a landing page. We have some information there on the landing page, and then you would have a thank you page, and that’s when they actually is thank them for signing up obviously, and then we have a page there with they can purchase the recordings. They can also purchase there some of the system bonuses.
I think where people make a mistake these days is to not have a strong enough offer. I mean already they positioned their summit completely the wrong way. I think that’s when it doesn’t convert, because we’ve seen conversions anywhere from 5, 6% in online marketing space up to even 20% sometimes for the all access pass, and that’s from people who sign up for free.
Let’s say we have 30,000 people sign up for the summit, that would mean if you have a 6% conversion rate, 1000, 800 people will buy, I think. If I’m not, my math is not bad there, I think that’s correct, and so yeah, so that’s pretty good conversion rate. You probably wouldn’t get that from a regular launch for just if you have 30,000 people on your list, it would be very high to get 6% to purchase right, so …
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Can we back up a little bit. So you structured so that the content is free, so what are they paying for exactly?
Navid: Yeah so they pay for like getting access, this is limited time. If you want own the entire package with recordings, audios, maybe transcripts, and transcripts is optional. I didn’t do that for my first summit, but it could be a good idea if you have some extra money to put on transcripts. Then you have also some other bonuses, let’s say from speakers, let’s say a Facebook group can be other things too, I mean I have of courses even from some speakers.
I even trade, I had like my old summit, I spoke to one of my speakers, and she had of course a lead magnets. Like okay, you can use my branding summit for your brand. She has like a branding course, it was a perfect fit, and she just gave me her lead magnets course which is a few hundred dollar value. My summit is a few hundred dollar value, was a great fit, and then I could include into her course for my summit, so it is a good swap if you can do that, that works pretty well.
Even some — I was on Teachable summit, they actually got speakers to just contribute. I didn’t really get anything out of it, I mean at least from what I can see. I mean I got some conditions from the sales I brought in, but other than that I just offered pretty much my course for free on their summit, so I guess that works sometimes to just ask someone, and they might do it.
If it’s a good fit, maybe they have something they are not really actively promoting so much out there. I wouldn’t do it with a flagship course though, but I have definitely got speakers to just contribute their courses and other things, books, and different things they have to offer.
Steve: Interesting, so the people who attend, they get it free, but they have to watch live right?
Navid: Yeah doing so, exactly, so let’s say we start promoting it to your own list, you will start 3 to 4 weeks out just to, if you are doing Facebook ads or you know letting your list know a little bit earlier, that’s always nice, I tend to do that, and then with affiliates and other partners I ask like speakers, then I start around 2 weeks out. That’s what I’m doing for my upcoming summit.
I started like 2 weeks out to promote it, and then it ran since you have like running the affiliate promotion, and then people are going to sign up. If it is a pre recorded summit they can get access. If someone purchased this even on the thank you page before it even started, they can get access to everything that’s available currently in a membership area, so that’s how we do.
It is like a course in membership area and then when the summit starts, yes then it starts you can maybe have a chat or Facebook comments below the pre recording, introduce that. That works really well, we have seen that. My next summit is actually a hybrid; I’m doing live sessions plus a lot of some pre recording sessions as well, so that’s how I’m doing it a little bit differently.
Steve: The money that you make is by selling the all access pass, is that correct?
Navid: Yes, that’s one way to make money. I have a student who made like worth $20,000 in sponsorship. It’s like he made half sponsorship in addition to everything else he made, yeah like I think 70,000 from all access pass, and $20,000 in sponsors.
He was in the insurance space, he had no email list when he started out, grew his email list by 3,500 people, and then from the all access pass I think he got like 460 plus sales or so which comes out through on $70,000 and then 20,000 was in sponsorships, and some other things, but he was in the insurance space, and they tend to pay quite good money.
Also another thing there he was the first to market through the summit, so for professionals it is a fantastic opportunity to do summits like I guess real estate agents, like even attorneys, and different things like that. They can do summits, and just crush it now because a lot of people they are not doing it.
Steve: Okay, so let’s — I’m sure some of the listeners out there aren’t really that familiar with like the flow of virtual events, so personally I’ve never actually attended one. So can we just walk through the exact flow from start to finish for like your last event for example?
Navid: Yeah totally, so I can just tell you what happens, so let’s say you would promote this to your audience, and then your audience they sign up. First they go to a landing page where they can sign up. There is an opt-in form there, they sign up, go to a thank you page, and they are there, they have the opportunity to purchase. They can also pretty much say, “Okay I don’t want to purchase right now.”
They have the option to actually watch the summit sessions live when they go live during the summit, but then after they sign up they get a welcome email. That’s the welcome email thanking them for signing up, and they have I guess you’ll have some information there, maybe the sessions page.
You also have – you’ll have another link to the all access pass, maybe having some reasons why they should even consider it. I mean they can watch it right now, that’s a big benefit if you are doing pre recorded, so that’s how it starts. Then you might have a sequence, a little sequence when they have signed up, you know having a few emails there, how can they get the most out of this summit.
That would be one email, maybe if you have some surprise gift you can share that with them. That’s always good, and also even when they sign up you can also have maybe an e-book or something you want to give them just for signing up. That also tends to do pretty well, so they get something for signing up initially. That tends to convert a little bit better from what we have seen, and then …
Steve: Just curious before we go on, what is the advantage of pre recorded versus live, like why even bother doing the live stuff?
Navid: Yeah, I mean it depends I guess, if you have done really well with pre recorded once for Chandler for example. We did pre-record for the self publish success summit. I mean we had a live kick off hangout like the initial like the Sunday before we start interviews and all that on a Monday, we had like a kick off, and we tend to get a lot of sales there. That’s where we mix in some live elements like a kick off, and then we had at the end like a live element.
That’s it, other than that everything else was pre recorded, and we did around 30,000 opt-ins and $370,000 in revenue. That was last year. I think this year he did even more following the same system, so that works really well, but I think with the live one it just — I think it creates — people can like ask questions right there. It’s very powerful, and if you let’s say you want to have some kind of offer or something else on the session, or like do something fast action bonus, it just works better with live.
I was still very compelled when Teachable did theirs live, and I saw a little bit what they were doing. They did like massive classes, like presentations, like webinars pretty much, but tailored to their summit. They also have some panels, so people can come in there and ask questions live, and I think I really like it.
It is just a little bit more time consuming to do it this way because you have to also plan all the sessions. It’s a little bit tricky to make sure, okay can this person do it this state, and some people might change it as you go, so that’s what I’m seeing now a little bit, but I really enjoy it. I think I have even more to report after I have done my first one. I did it for a client not too long ago for Jesse Klinger, and he worked really well.
People can like come in there, they could ask questions in the chat, and they really enjoyed it, so both can work. It just depends on your preference, but if you are signing out, definitely do pre recorded first with you know just one or 2 live elements, and then that’s about it. You can still do pretty well there.
Steve: In terms of the live stuff, what platform do you use? Is it just Google hangouts or?
Navid: For me I like Google hangouts, it works for the most part at least. I haven’t had any real hiccups, some people have more than I do I guess, but it works great, it’s free which I like, so you can pretty much embed that on a page to codes for the YouTube video. You just embed it on a page and that’s about it. You can stream it; you can have a chat below like chat wing or something like that, it works great.
Steve: In terms of the membership part, like obviously all this has to be behind the pay wall, so what do you use for that?
Navid: I use WishList Member and I have also Infusionsoft. Obviously, so I use that for my shopping cart in affiliate program, but just recently I was in talks with both Teachable and Thinkifics, so they have this course platform. What I’ve seen is that you actually can put all your interviews in there too, like all access pass of your summit.
You can actually just have it on let’s say Thinkifics, and it’s pretty easy to set this up. They also have a simple affiliate program, they have shopping cart, and the only thing you need other than that is an email service ride like ConvertKit for example, and you are good to go. That can be very inexpensive.
Usually these platforms you probably find a deal or something like with Thinkifics or Teachable, and you can sign up there and do it. I mean that’s the best way for a beginner, because you don’t have to think too much about the tech then. The only thing you have to do is to have your free summit, that would be I guess on a WordPress website, and I even created for my students like a template for this because I have found that was a big hurdle like a tech and making sure the design was good.
So I just have my designer like design a good template, and now they can use that with like Thrive content builder. I think Thrive is great because it is so easy to just create the pages in there, and it is also very affordable rather than use something like ClickFunnels where you have like a monthly fee. It can also work, but again you have to pay it monthly, and if you are starting out maybe you want to limit your cost a little bit.
Steve: Okay, and so let’s say I want to throw one of these myself, what is the step by step here? Do I first go after the speakers?
Navid: Actually that’s definitely not what I recommend right away. That’s a mistake you will make to just, “Hey I’m going to start reaching out to my speakers.” First get really clear obviously in your topic, define your profitable virtual summit theme. Make sure it is specific, make sure it is niched. That’s the first step there, and you know something for you would be pretty easy I guess since you already maybe do something like the Seller Summit but taking it online, that would be a good idea.
Then the next thing is to position your summit for success like seeing if there are other summits out there. I mean if you are the first to market or first in your industry to do this, it is a little bit easier like the insurance agent summit. I mean he crashed it because I think one of the reasons at least, it was a great event and all that, but he was first, so people were like really excited.
The speakers they shared a lot, and he had other affiliates, some people on board to just share this out in this industry, so that worked really well like having a great hook. If there is other events in your industry you can think about how you can have maybe different speakers on board, maybe a slightly different hook like for example with Chandler some it was pre recorded.
I did one similar with Jesse Klinger, a book business and brand building summit, and it was a live summit, it was a little different hook there, you know a little different way we marketed it, and what it was all about. Essentially people could get similar value from them, but it’s like people could attend live on his, so it was so different, and the funny thing they ran about the same time, but both were pretty successful, so that …
Steve: How many people actually get to attend 10 live versus buying the pass?
Navid: You mean on the free one?
Steve: Yeah just curious.
Navid: Okay, so if you have like a lot of people, let’s say a big summit like Chandler’s, like 30,000 people, I think you get per session, it dips a little bit, it dips from the first session you typically have the most people attend. There you would get at least a few thousand people watch, I mean in total you get a few thousand like 5, 6000 people watch. We have data a big summit, and then it goes down a little bit.
When it comes to buying the pass as I said, if it’s 30,000 opt-ins they can get at least 1000 plus people buying the pass. I mean that’s — then obviously you have a pretty good conversion rate if you do that, and if you even have a back end they can increase that conversion rate even more, because that’s where we saw like for example $370,000 in revenue didn’t only come from the all access pass. About $110 to 120,000 worth from the all access pass in that case, but then the rest was from his course, so that’s …
Steve: Okay I see, so you had other offers.
Navid: Yes, so it was kind of at the end we had a very aligned offer with the summit, and people would just upgrade or took the offer there, yeah.
Steve: Let me ask you this, so if your things are pre-recorded, but you are displaying them like conference star where it is only on a specific time, do you have software to manage that, or are you just like cutting and pasting YouTube onto a page?
Navid: Yeah, so if it is live obviously then I use the Google hangouts just in embedded, but if it’s pre-recorded, I tend to use Vimeo. People associate YouTube sometimes with free, so I tend to like to upload it to Vimeo, so it only works on that page I want to display it on, or this website. I would have it during this time, and people still — I haven’t had any problems with people complaining over this or anything like that, and people still purchase the pass even though they are available for let’s 48 hours doing it.
You are not saying that hey this is live sessions or anything like that. You can have it like different times you want to go live, but I suggest keeping it simple. Make all the sessions if it’s pre-recorded, go live let’s say in the morning in like 10AM eastern or something like that, and then you just let them go live, and that’s it. You can monitor the comments a little bit, but that’s an easy way to do it the first time. Don’t complicate things too much.
Steve: Okay, so just everyone has access to everything for 48 hours, and then you shut it down, and then you sell the all access pass.
Navid: Yeah, but the all access pass is always available even from the beginning when you start promoting the summit. That’s kind of I guess how we did a little bit different to then. So a lot of people they might start selling the all access pass later, but when people — right away when people sign up, they are prepped to their deal, they are excited, and they might purchase right away that we see a big turn of people actually purchase right away when they sign up from the free one, and they just upgraded right away because maybe they don’t have time to watch everything.
Maybe they just want to own the pass because they see the value from it, and we tend to start either 67 to 97 dollar offer, and with a caveat you have to know your market. So if you are in a different market, you can even charge more, or maybe have to charge less depending on what people are willing to pay for an all access pass.
A great example is the insurance market, they actually can pay more than let’s say 67 to 97 dollar. They actually value it way more if you charge let’s say start with $147, but in another market maybe you have to start at $27 or $47. That’s just good because the pricing is just very strategic so I cannot give advice to everyone there.
Steve: Sure, so people can’t possibly watch all these in 48 hours right, and so that’s why …
Navid: I mean they could, I have people from my first summit, they watched 88 sessions, and they took notes the 88 sessions. Some people are hardcore fans, and some people do that, and they still might upgrade. I had this guy who watched every single session, he still upgraded to the all access pass actually, so because he may want to own it, maybe he may wanted to go back to watch it for some reason, so you can still get some of those people to buy, and it doesn’t really matter.
It’s good to get as many viewers as possible. It is good for your speakers to get; sometimes they get emails from them. That’s good for you and they might get clients from it, it’s also good for you as a host, so all these things are just beneficial.
Steve: In terms of the work involved are you the moderator for all these sessions, or do people just send you the recordings of the videos?
Navid: Yeah so you mean when I’m doing the interviews with someone obviously then I have to …
Steve: So you interview them?
Navid: Yeah that’s it even if I would do like a presentation typically I would be there even if it’s a pre-recorded presentation like with slides, I would be there because it is just more engaging that way. Otherwise it feels like oh they just sent this recording, there is no person there really, so I like to do it that way, and also for a live one obviously, you be there, you ask questions, take questions from the audience.
Steve: Okay, and, hold on, what do you do with this content after the fact? Like you mentioned you had 88 speakers and then it sounds like 88 presentations, and then now you have this. Do you keep the doors open for the ticket sales forever, or do you shut it down, and if you do shut it down like what do you do all this content that you have now?
Navid: Yeah that’s a great question, and I think there’s different things you can do, you can have like a sequence for it. The reason I didn’t do that for my first summit was because I kind of shifted gears a little bit afterwards, so I generally see that as a big part for my sales funnel which is important too.
If it’s not part of your sales funnel then because I thought first of all I would actually go into doing something with personal branding, then I happened to get so many questions about summits, so I created a pilot, and that became my main focus. But what I have seen some people do they give away let’s say 5 of the most popular sessions for free, and they can have a little sequence there like 5 emails or 6 emails.
You have a great sequence on your website, so they could do something similar like that, and then have sprinkling some pictures for the all access pass. Maybe have a great offer again, maybe lower the price to let’s say $97 or something, so you get some sales for new people coming in the door.
That’s a good way to just build, share some value, you have 5 interviews for free there or even like a PDF with some takeaways from the interviews. That can also be a great way to have from this landing page. You modify the landing page a little bit, and then have a sequence for it. That’s a good way to keep getting sales.
Obviously you have to get traffic to it, so you can mention this when you are on podcast, when you are writing guest blog posts, or maybe drive some pay traffic there if it makes sense to you. That could be ways to keep monetizing the all access pass, but other than that I also include my summit as bonuses. I can include it for future summits, and I’m going to actually do that for my list building tools, so if they purchase that they can get my first summit for free.
Also I include let’s say if I’m promoting something as an affiliate then I will include the summit, just like great content include that, because there is a lot of value, but the list keeps going there. I have seen a student, he published a book based on the summit interviews, obviously he polished it up, transcribed it, all that kind of stuff, but it worked well. It was called I think app or [inaudible 00:43:39] playbook.
She did app summit like in the app space, and they did really well. She became a bestselling author, obviously not too hard to do on Amazon, but still was great for her authority to do that, and that’s the way to do it. Also repurpose this when you are writing blog posts, you know if you want to horn in into that market, now you have a lot of content to just repurpose in other mediums.
Even put on YouTube some short videos, keep driving traffic to your summit. The list goes on and on there; you can do a lot with this content. I think, you know even I, I don’t do enough with it, it’s just like you should be doing more, especially if this is summit that directly ties into whatever the main thing you are selling.
Steve: Let me ask you this, and this is just something that just came to mind, like I have this podcast where I interview people obviously. It sounds a lot like the virtual summit that you are already doing, and you have a podcast you said too, right?
Navid: Yeah, I did it before, now I’m not doing it as much anymore.
Steve: You are not doing anymore, but I’m sitting on like 130 interviews for example, isn’t that like a virtual summit in itself?
Navid: It’s like a virtual summit, I mean as you hear it like your interviews are I guess more actionable than a lot of other people’s. Like in this space a lot of people they focus on like the story too much I think, and then it wouldn’t work as well for a virtual summit. I mean that’s worth a lot of practice too, and I think virtual summits they’ve got to be more actionable if you are all paying for this content.
Also maybe in your case you would focus on a specific topic like maybe you wouldn’t have me on your Sellers Summit obviously because I haven’t had an e-commerce store, so yeah it would be a little bit different. You can still do a really high quality summit, and maybe even do a little bit different so you would have let’s say people coming and teach with slides because you have the relationship, maybe it’s easier for you to ask them to do that.
That’s something you can definitely differentiate from a podcast even though you think, “Okay this might be similar.” It’s still not going to be similar when you do it, just doing in a different way for your summit and then you would be good to go.
Steve: In terms of a virtual summit plus a live event, the two don’t really mix right?
Navid: How do you mean there exactly?
Steve: Meaning like if you are going to do a live event you probably do not want to do a virtual event, would you say?
Navid: That’s interesting, I mean I’ve seen for example Social Media Examiner, they have Social Media Marketing World, that’s a big event in San Diego once per year. And they also have in the fall they have social media — I think it’s called Social Media Success Summit. And both really successful, I guess at least they are offline events that brings in millions of dollars in revenue.
And then they have their online event. At least from what I have heard they get like 3000 people, so purchase the pass because that’s actually a paid virtual summit or an online event. So they are doing that, I think it’s because they are not — simply maybe they are not interested to use the free model.
I would argue that if they used the free model they could actually get more people to obviously grow the email list more. Yes they have a massive email list, Social Media Examiner so it wouldn’t be — maybe that’s not their main goal. It’s always important to think what’s your main objective, what do you want to accomplish here.
So maybe they don’t want to dilute it with having the free one simply. But I think by having a free one they would get not only more email subscribers signing up for it, they will also get way more people to watch it and more customers.
Steve: So they charge right off the bat right, you can’t even — okay.
Navid: You cannot attend. So it’s like they have live presentations, and I think they have like customized presentations and all that kind of stuff, but you can do that for a virtual summit too. I mean you could do that for example if you have great relationship with your speakers and all that kind of stuff. And you can ask them that, maybe you wouldn’t be able to do that right off the bat when you are starting out, but definitely it’s something you can do later on.
And then you could do maybe have an offline event, but a lot of people they can’t attend that offline event. Maybe they can’t afford an offline event. And then you’re making it more affordable to people, you can reach more people and more people can watch this content. But then you can also have some great bonuses and stuff like that you’re bundling up. So you just mix the value even most people take action and they purchase, a very high percentage will purchase the all access pass or the premium pass of your summit.
Steve: Interesting. My last question actually involves piracy. Like what’s stopping some of the just downloading all the videos on the first 48 hours?
Navid: Yeah, I mean they could, right? I mean it’s not — if someone knows how to do it, it’s not that hard. I mean just plugging and all that kind of stuff to do it. But I think the people have some integrity and they really want to build a relationship with the host, or at least they value what they have created; I mean it takes a lot of time and all that kind of stuff.
You have recorded this and spending the time to do this, they will purchase if they can afford the $67 or $97 or whatever you are charging. You might also increase the price during the summit but initially it’s very, very inexpensive for the premium pass.
And I think people should just get on there. I have even problems with people. I have found my summit on some other sites they are selling and it’s just nothing — I mean you can do something. You can get your attorney or like some…
Steve: Yeah, it’s probably not worth the time.
Navid: Yeah it’s not too much worth the time for what it is, I mean if it’s not a big problem no.
Steve: Okay well cool Navid, this is very interesting and we’ve been chatting for quite a while. Where can people find more about what you do, and then learn more about how to run your own virtual summit?
Navid: Yeah definitely, I mean I have my personal website navid.me or navidmoazzez.com, you can just go there. I actually have I think by the time this goes live we’ll have like a free virtual summit course, you can just go through that. Signup, check it out, it’s going to be very valuable, it’s pretty much the process we just walked through here. And you also get my sevens step cheat sheet with just kind of the process all my students go through in my programs and so on.
And also I guess something you are part of Steve is my list building school, the virtual summit I’m hosting. So I guess you can have – I don’t know if you have your own link, I mean you can have — just make up your own link and where you can send people there if you want to the summit.
Steve: Okay yeah we’ll do it definitely. I’ll definitely put all the stuff on the show notes.
Navid: Yeah, sounds good, I’m looking forward to see some of you there as well too. Check it out, actually that’s a good way to learn how to do summits even though you might not be interested to get in my course or whatever it is right now. You can at least attend the list building school, this virtual summit Steve and many other Ashpa [ph] [inaudible 00:50:17] Patel, Ryan Lee, Ryan Levesque. We have so many great speakers on there. So you just check it out how it is, how I am running it.
Steve: Cool man, well thanks for coming on the show Navid.
Navid: For sure, thanks so much.
Steve: All right take care.
Hope you enjoyed that episode. Well I just threw my first in person conference at the sellersummit.com, I had no idea how powerful virtual summits could be. And perhaps I will give it a try sometime going forward. For more information about this episode go to mywifequitherjob.com/episode138.
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Outro: Thanks for listening to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast, where we are giving the courage people need to start their own online business. For more information visit Steve’s blog at www.mywifequitherjob.com.
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