podcast cover episode

75. How to Use Virtual Summits to Grow Your Business With Bailey Richert

4 December, 2019
The Bean Ninjas Podcast
The Bean Ninjas Podcast
75. How to Use Virtual Summits to Grow Your Business With Bailey Richert

Want to grow your business using virtual summits? Bailey Richert shares her expert tips.

In Episode 75 of the Bean Ninjas Podcast, Bean Ninjas CEO Meryl Johnston talks to Bailey Richert about how to use virtual summits to grow your business.

Episode Highlights

Want to grow your business using virtual summits? @baileyrichert shares her expert tips on the @beanninjas podcast. Share on X

01:00 – Bailey Richert’s backstory
02:19 – Bailey’s first virtual summit
04:37 – What is a virtual summit?
06:31 – Benefits of a virtual summit
08:52 – Building a relationship with your audience
10:16 – 3 phases of building your virtual summit
12:33 – Virtual summit Tool recommendations
16:46 – Promoting and pricing your virtual summit
21:48 – Virtual summit launch lessons
27:14 – Getting in touch with Bailey Richert

Learn the foundations of financial literacy and using Xero with Meryl.

Download Virtual Summit Launch Tips + PDF Transcript

Virtual Summit Launch Tips

  • Before you start planning your first summit, think about what you want to be known for. 
  • When planning your virtual summit, pre-record your interviews. 
  • Whilst some summits last for 21 days, better to start with 3-4 days. It’s hard to keep somebody’s attention for long.
  • Make your content in all forms and formats (video, audio, text, visual).
  • Have plenty of offers, discounts, and contact your audience personally to keep them updated.

Additional resources:


Bailey Richert’s backstory 


Welcome to the Bean Ninjas Podcast, where you get an all access pass to see what happens behind the closed doors of a fast growing, global bookkeeping and financial reporting business.

Meryl Johnston:

This is episode 65 of the Bean Ninjas Podcast, and today I’m talking with Bailey Richert. We’re talking about all things virtual summits, and by the end of the podcast I felt really inspired to run my own virtual summit for Bean Ninjas. 

Whether I have the time to do that or not is yet to be seen, but either way, it was a really interesting episode and Bailey lays out a step-by-step framework that you can use to run your own virtual summit, and also has lots of tips along the way about what to do and what not to do.

Hi Bailey, and welcome to the show. 

Bailey Richert: 

Thanks so much for having me.

Meryl Johnston:

I’m excited to chat with you about all things virtual summit today. Before we get into that, I’d love to hear a little bit about your backstory, and how you got into virtual summit.

Bailey Richert:

Sure. Well, the very first virtual summit I ever hosted was my now annual Infopreneur Summit.

This came about around the time that I was actually starting my coaching business, so some of those listeners who know a little bit about my backstory know that before I was a coach, I was doing info products in the travel niche. That’s where I got my experience, in the information product world.

I did that for a few years and I decided for several reasons we don’t have time to get into, to switch over into coaching and at the time though, even though I had, I’m sure lots of your listeners can relate to this, even though I had the life experience, the knowledge, and the passion about how to create, launch, sell info products successfully, and I knew that I could succeed as a coach, I was starting my business from scratch essentially, because the audience of travelers that I had was not the audience of potential business folks I needed for my coaching business.

So, I really didn’t have a lot of the assets that I needed to have a successful coaching business when I was just getting started. I had no email list, I didn’t have the credibility, the authority, any of that stuff.

I definitely started doing all of the mandatory slow things. I created my website, started my blog, all of that sort of stuff, but listeners I’m sure know that that can take a really long time.

I was just surveying my options and saying, “What can I possibly do that could potentially help me grow my business to a level of sustainable success more quickly?” 

Team meetings

First virtual summit – The Infopreneur Summit 2016

In general, in broad terms, the answer is that you need to be doing JV partnerships and relationships with other people in your niche. There’s so many different options available for that. 

So, I landed upon a virtual summit.

I did not invent the concepts of summits, they’ve been around for a really long time. I’d even been a guest speaker on a couple of summits before, and after talking with some summit hosts that I knew who had done their own, I learned about how beneficial they can be for their business, and how exactly they’re put on and all this stuff.

I decided to go ahead and launch that, so my first summit was the Infopreneur Summit, 2016, and it was a huge success for my level.

We only came out, I say “only” in quotes, we only came out of that summit with a few thousand dollars in profit, but for me that was perfect, because I was literally growing my email list from scratch. I didn’t have all these marketing dollars to throw into, so the fact that I was able to launch something that was a minimum viable product, that came out profitable, and then I realized all my mistakes and started learning more about how I could improve my funnels.

At that time, I was just getting started with ClickFunnels, there was so much to learn, and I was able to then put on my summit a second time the next year, and we quadrupled our results in almost every way.

We went from getting about 1000 people on the summit to over 3000, we went from a few thousand dollars in profit to many more. I remember in that summit, I don’t have the case study in front of me, but we did I think over 16 to $20,000.

It’s hard to remember, that was years ago, but we did amazing on that summit. I said, “Okay, now I think I’ve landed on something that works here,” so we ended up doing it again and again and again, and kept seeing similar, fantastic results that keep getting better every year.

It’s such a pleasure to be able to also use this annual summit as a way to test different things as well, test different things in my summit funnels and with my audience, and see what works. It’s a really good thing for my business overall, for sure.

Meryl Johnston:

It’s interesting when you were talking about your 2016-2017 results, when I was doing research for this episode, I saw on your website that you’d been really transparent about your results and had a profit and loss statement there really showing revenue, expenses, the affiliate or joint venture fees. I found that really insightful and interesting in terms of what it actually looked like from the numbers perspective.

I’d recommend that listeners go and check that out, and we’ll put a link to that in the show notes. If we take it back a moment, what actually is a virtual summit?

I think a lot of our listeners would already know, but there may be some that don’t.

What is a virtual summit?

Bailey Richert:

At its core, a virtual summit is an online conference, so if you think about what a real conference is, you’re going to buy your ticket, fly to a hotel, stay there for a few days, listen to speakers on stage, take notes on what it is that they have to teach, go home and then try to implement that into your business and your life.

Basically, a virtual summit does the same thing, only instead of people having to travel to a hotel, you’re just going to be putting on those presentations online so that your audience can watch from home. It means that you’re providing a way to serve your audience such that they don’t have to travel anywhere, don’t have to spend money on hotels or anything like that.

If you’re putting on a virtual summit, then you would be the host, and what you’re going to do essentially is you’re going to reach out to different peers or colleagues in your niche, and you’re going to ask them to do interviews with you. Now, on a normal conference, people might be giving presentations on stage.

With a summit, it’s usually an interview type situation.

You’re going to ask these individuals to do interviews with you, some will say yes, some will say no. Those people that say yes, you pre-record the interviews.

A lot of people think summits are done live. Almost no summits are actually done live.

The technology these days to do live video is just still not good enough, plus sometimes speakers can be flaky or things happen in life and they don’t always show up and that’s not something we want to risk either, so we pre-record all the interviews.

And you’re going to set up then a registration and sales funnel for people to be able to come through, register to get information about how to watch those interviews, and then you’re going to put them online in a particular place online, a website, for people to be able to watch those interviews for a limited period of time. You don’t just post them online and never take them down.

You try to give the feeling that it’s a “conference” and a conference that people travel to, you go see the presentation, if you missed it, you missed it, it’s over.

Online, we usually leave them up for a little bit longer, maybe 24 hours per presentation, but it’s a limited time sort of event.

Here’s a video that explains what a virtual summit is and why you should host one:

Meryl Johnston:

And you touched on a couple of the benefits when you were talking about your backstory and one of those sounded like if you’re starting a new business and you don’t have an email list, it’s a great way to really build connections and build a list and grow quickly.

What would you see are some of the other benefits?

Benefits of a virtual summit

Bailey Richert:

Definitely, there’s tons of benefits. In fact, a lot of people have asked me, “Well, I can understand the benefits from the perspective of the viewer. They get to watch all these free interviews with the speakers, they get to learn a lot, those speakers are probably giving away lead magnets, so they get to download a bunch of free stuff, and I understand the benefits for the speakers. They get lots of exposure, they potentially get some new people on their email list, but as the host, what are the benefits for that person that does all the work putting on the event?”

I constantly have to tell people that the host actually is the one that receives the most benefits.

Now, the first thing that most people think of whenever it comes to the benefits of a virtual summit is the email list growth. Because the whole idea behind a summit is that you’re going to be leveraging the guest speakers to help promote your event to their audiences.

If you have 30 guest speakers, now all 30 of them probably aren’t going to promote. Just the reality is maybe half of them will, if you’re lucky.

About half of the people that you have on your summit might promote, let’s say that’s 15 people. Maybe they, if we’re being very conservative, have email lists of 1000 people.

So, think of how much traffic you could be driving into your funnel, and at the very top of your funnel, people have to register for the event with their email address, so that’s how you’re going to be growing your email list.

Another one of the benefits is revenue. Normally on a virtual summit, we sell something called an all access pass.

That’s the frontend offer in your funnel, the first thing you’re going to try to sell to people. The all access pass is just a membership area, almost as if you were creating an online course.

But instead of you creating videos for your course, it’s the interviews from the summit.

Remember how I mentioned that a summit is limited time access to the videos live for free?

People have an opportunity to pay for lifetime access. Plus usually in that all access pass, we beef up the value by adding in bonus interviews with the speaker, maybe MP3 downloads of the interviews, so people can listen on the go like a podcast.

You could do the notes from the summit so people could read the major takeaways, even transcriptions which are super easy to get, but really high value.

Building a relationship with your audience

You want to put all of that into a package called the all access pass, and you’re going to be earning revenue from sales of that. Other benefits of course include you reaching out to all of those speakers and forging new relationships. 

It’s the perfect opportunity for you to reach out to those people in your industry that you have been not really connected with but you know who they are, and you want an opportunity to work together, but none has ever presented themselves before. That’s a really fantastic thing.

Especially because if you do a good job at forging and building those relationships during your summit, then when the summit’s over, you can continue that working relationship in other ways.

You can ask those speakers if they wouldn’t mind doing a JV webinar with you, or something like that. Then of course, there is the visibility that you’re going to get and the new opportunities that come out of that as the host.

You’re going to be doing the interviews on the summit and that means that conservatively, if you did about 20 minute, half an hour interviews with about 30 guest speakers, the viewers are going to be watching about 15 hours of content, video content, with you, where you’re interviewing the guest speakers. They’re going to start to know you, like you, trust you.

It’s really wonderful to build up that relationship with this brand new audience that you have, where people are going to start to respect your authority in your niche.

Even aside from that, think about what it’s like on the homepage of your summit when your face is right next to other people’s faces, your guest speakers, on the homepage, right? Where people are opting in for the summit.

You’re in a sense leveraging the authority that they’re bringing to your event. Maybe their audience knows them and there’s some inherent authority there and they don’t know you, but on that homepage, they’re going to see your faces next to one another, and there’s this assumption that you’re friends, or that you know each other, or that you’re colleagues, you’re at the same level of authority.

You’re kind of borrowing the authority of these speakers as well. There are so many different, incredible benefits that you can get as the host of a virtual summit.

Meryl Johnston:

If I was a business owner, I’ve decided, “Yes, I want to host a virtual summit,” I’ve started reaching out to potential speakers and had a number that have agreed to come on and share their content and potentially promote the summit as well, what next? We’ve talked a little bit about doing interviews to record the content, but what are some of the other steps involved in delivering the summit?

Bailey Richert:

Sure. So, I actually have a 12 step process for how you launch a virtual summit which each one of those steps is divided into three different phases.

The 3 phases of building your virtual summit

We have phase one, two, and three, because I say that it takes approximately 90 days, which is three months, to launch a summit. Each month is a phase.

In phase one, that’s the planning phase. You’re going to sit down, and you’re going to figure out the logistics of your event.

Exactly what is the summit going to be called? What’s the theme of the summit? What’s it about? What’s the domain that you’re going to host your summit website and funnel on? Things like that.

You’re also going to figure out who it is that you’d like to invite on your summit, you’re going to start reaching out to those speakers, and if you can, definitely start recording those speaker interviews as soon as possible. A lot of people tend to push that off, but you really shouldn’t because it ends up taking a lot longer than you realize, and even after you record, there’s a lot of things that have to happen to that video.

You need to edit it, you need to upload it to your video host. You need to maybe add some graphics, like a video thumbnail picture on the front. You may want to get them transcribed, add subtitles, things like that.

Then we move into phase number two, which I call the creating phase. This is very tech heavy.

This is the phase where you’re going to be creating that virtual summit registration and sales funnel. You’re going to set up the online membership area for people that do purchase the all access pass.

You’re going to make sure that your affiliate program for your summit is working, because that’s one of the ways that we incentivize speakers to promote, is by giving them affiliate commissions for any referral sales that they make. You’re also going to be setting up the landing pages where you’re going to be showing the videos live, during your actual live virtual summit launch.

That’s very tech heavy, and then in phase number three, which is the launching and promoting phase, you’re going to focus solely on promoting your virtual summit. We promote for about three weeks, sometimes maybe four weeks, and leading up to your event, which is the final week of all of this, I do say our virtual summit should be about three to four days.

A lot of people think that virtual summit need to be these really intense events. I’ve seen people do summits before for 21 days.

But I think that’s a little silly, because the reality is that it’s very hard to keep somebody’s attention for 21 days, and it’s even really hard to keep somebody’s attention over the weekend. People are usually watching summit videos live when they’re at work, because they’re bored.

We see really high attendance on Monday mornings, and then the attendance drips off over the course of the week.

Then, over the weekend, people have decided, “Well, I’m done with that. That was enough content. I got the maximum value out of that, I’m going to go to my child’s soccer practice today” and come the next Monday, you’re trying to get them interested again in your summit, that’s still going on, and their lives have just moved on.

I think a summit definitely being Monday to Wednesday, Monday to Thursday, is usually just right.

Meryl Johnston:

Is there a particular tool that you recommend to do all of the tech side of things?

Video summit tool recommendations


Bailey Richert:

Yes. I am a diehard ClickFunnels user. I have been using ClickFunnels ever since they came out.

They came in 2014, I got on early 2015, and ever since then it’s been really wonderful to keep building my business with them. But the reason that I really love ClickFunnels for virtual summit is that I know that so far, even in this interview, we’ve been talking about a virtual summit as a conference, right? 

But the reality is what it all boils down to is that funnel, that registration and sales funnel that I’ve been mentioning, where people are going to have to input their email address, and then go through the sales funnel where you’re going to try to sell them the all access pass and any other potential upsells.

From the perspective of growing your email list and making revenue, the virtual summit funnel is the most important part of your entire virtual summit. I know that the actual event is also important, but at the end of the day, people often, this is a mistake people often make, is that they wait until the event to start doing the selling, but that’s a huge mistake because after people have registered, they’re really interested in the event, you’ve captured their attention, they’re already in your funnel, you need to start selling to people then, now.

If you wait until the end, you’re already going to be getting less people watching the live event than have registered. Throwing some numbers out there, but if you had 1000 people to register, you would be lucky if 50% actually showed up for the “live” event.

That means that you’re then only selling to 50% of the people whose email addresses you collected. That’s kind of silly.

So, going back to the tech, the ClickFunnels platform I think is one of the best you can use, because it is made for sales funnels. A lot of the other softwares out there that I’m seeing these days that are coming out to do virtual summit just really don’t compare in a number of ways.

They don’t compare because they’re not sales funnel software, so they’re not giving you the abilities that you need to really create a good, effective marketing sales funnel, first of all.

They often will charge you based on the number of registrants that you have, so the price to use the software goes up the more people that you get registered, which is definitely a bummer. Nobody wants to have that.

I’ve noticed that on a lot of those softwares, one of the ways that they entice you is by saying, “Well, we’re going to make a summit super easy, and we’re going to do a lot of the heavy lifting.”

One of the things that I’ve noticed is that it’s a huge mistake for a summit host to think that the technology is going to do all the work for them.

Let me give you a perfect example. One of the things that people often make a lot of mistakes on with their summit is relying upon the guest speakers to do all of the promotion.

They kind of get really tired going through phase number one and phase number two. There’s so much tech to do, there’s so much recording to do, they’re a little burned out, and then when they enter into phase number three about the promotion, they just let it go and they say, “Well, I’ve done my part, it’s my speakers turn to do their part.”

That’s just not how it works. This is your event and you need to be leading the promotional charge that entire time.

Some of these softwares will claim that, “Hey, we’re going to make it a lot easier for the summit host because we’re going to create this dedicated area for the speakers to log in, and grab promotional images, grab their affiliate link,” all this sort of stuff. It’s going to make it a lot easier.

But the reality is people are lazy. So guest speakers are not going to login to a special area to get all of the affiliate stuff that they need, so if a speaker just goes, “Hey yeah, if you want to promote, all you have to do is log into this complicated password protected area and grab the things, and share,” they’re not going to do it.

One of the things that I do in order to get my speakers to constantly promote is I send them personal emails every single Monday, even if they’re really short, letting people know what the status is, how much more time they have to promote, what’s going on, and I always put their affiliate link in that email.

I always attach their email swipe promotional images, or any other really valuable assets they need to promote this summit, as attachments.

I don’t even put them in a Google Drive, because for people to have to take a couple extra clicks to go to a Google Drive, find their image, download it. It’s too much work.

No one wants to do it. People want to have everything ready, so going back to the tech and bringing this conversation full circle, a lot of people are relying upon these summit softwares to just do the work for them. “Oh, the speakers will just log in, or I’ll just click these couple of buttons and it’ll all be great.” The reality is that’s just not how you’re going to get results.

So, I have found that I don’t really support a lot of the current summit softwares out there that are specific for summits, and I would rather see summit hosts invest in really good all inclusive software like ClickFunnels, that’s going to give you everything that you need to create a really fantastic virtual summit, marketing and sales funnel.

Meryl Johnston:

A couple of follow-up questions related to working with the speakers. Do you have a recommended rate in terms of revenues, share split, that you would suggest when you’re reaching out to the speakers?

Promoting and pricing your virtual summit

Bailey Richert:

Yes. I always give my speakers 50% of every all access pass that they sell. I also give my speakers 50% of the upsells in the funnel as well.

I know that isn’t always the case for some people, because if an upsell is $1000, maybe you only want to give 30% to your speakers or something. But regardless, whenever it comes to the all access pass, I firmly do support 50%.

I know that that’s a little bit higher than industry standard when we’re talking about doing affiliate promotions or commissions for online courses, evergreen courses. That’s usually 30%, maybe even 40, but you have to remember that your virtual summit is a limited time live launch, and you really do need to rely upon those speakers to promote as much as possible for you to be successful, and you need to incentivize them to want to do that.

It’s important to show them that you actually do value their promotions and to reward them appropriately.

Meryl Johnston:

When you’re pricing the all access pass, do you have any tips around picking the right price for your summit?

Bailey Richert:

Sure. Well, you have to remember that the all access pass is a frontend offer, which means that you’re expecting some people to make that purchase almost like an impulse buy. For many people, there’s a lot of cold traffic that’s coming through your funnel.

People don’t necessarily know you yet, so you’re going to have to make an offer to them that is very high in value and not low in price, not insanely low, not like $7 or something. But maybe 50 to 100 or something like that. 

I sell my all access pass for 67, but I also have to explain that there’s different pricing tiers. First of all, I actually sell two different versions of my all access pass.

One is just the videos plus the bonus videos, plus the MP3s, maybe a little bit of extra value. And then the second version has all of that, plus the notes and transcriptions.

My two versions are 67 and 97. However, that is the fast action offer pricing. So, something that I started adding into my funnel a couple of years ago was this 20 minute fast action offer.

Immediately after people register for their free ticket for the summit on the homepage with their email address, I presented them an opportunity to buy the all access pass, and I give them a 20 minute fast action offer. I use deadline funnel, this tracking software inside of my funnel, to make sure that that’s an authentic, real 20 minute fast action offer.

If they decide not to purchase, they get locked out of that offer, they can never buy that at that price again, but they can always buy the all access pass. They’ll just buy it on the “regular” price order form, not the fast action offer.

Now, here’s another thing about pricing, is that you can actually increase the price on that regular priced order a form a couple of times leading up to your summit, because a summit is a limited time event that has actual dates when the summit’s going to be happening, and so therefore you have some built in times and dates when you can increase the price legitimately. Like, when the summit begins and when the summit ends, for example.

You can send emails if you’ve done proper email segmentation, you can send emails to everybody who reduced for the free summit but didn’t buy the all access pass yet, and say, “Hey everyone, the price is going to be going up tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. when the summit begins, and that means that the all access pass price is going to go up $30 or $50, and nobody wants to have to pay more for the same value, so why don’t you grab your all access pass tonight?” Send a couple of emails like that.

You can do the same thing at the end of your summit as well. “Hey, you watched all this incredible content all week. I know you want lifetime access because some of the interviews you probably missed. Some of them you want to go back and rewatch, and guess what? We’re increasing the price one final time when the summit ends, tomorrow at 10:00 a.m., so why don’t you grab the all access pass for the during summit price now?”

We always see a little bit of a spike in sales when it comes to that as well. Now, one of the things I want to say about the pricing is I mentioned 67 and 97 for my fast action offer.

But that’s because I’m in the “make money online” niche. I’m a business coach, right?

So, that’s what my audience is willing to pay. I’ve also refined that price over several years with my audience.

I have a summit student who is hosting her own summit, and she is primarily serving stay-at-home moms.

She has also about 30 speakers on her summit, but she prices her all access pass at $29 and she’s absolutely killing it. She’s doing great.

That’s because she knows her audience. She knows what price point they are willing to pay.

It’s really important for you to just take into account all of these factors whenever you’re figuring out price, and to remember that the goal of that all access pass is to get someone over the psychological barrier of spending money with you. Once they spend some money with you and make a purchase, two things are going to happen.

First, they’re going to go through the rest of the funnel and potentially buy more stuff, because you’re going to give them really awesome deals and your upsells and things like that. That’s the first thing.

But then also, once they’ve overcome that barrier to spending money with you, and they’ve received their all access pass and they dive in, and they see how much insane value you’ve given them for the low price that you charge them, they’re going to have a positive buying relationship with you.

And that’s a good thing, because even if they don’t buy one of your upsells on the summit funnel, that’s all right. Now they’re going to be one of your customers and we know that it’s six times easier or so, that’s just an anecdote, but it’s one of the things that we say in the industry, so I don’t know if it’s exactly six, but the concept still stands, but it’s way easier to sell to somebody that’s already purchased from you than to make a sale to somebody that’s never bought from you before. Just keeping in mind all of these factors when pricing your all access pass is really critical.

Meryl Johnston:

I had another question for you. Earlier in the interview, you mentioned that you had a lot of learning from your first couple of years of running summits, and I wondered if you had any stories about that?

Anything that went wrong, or lessons learned from those couple of times that you ran a summit.

Virtual Summit launch lessons 

Bailey Richert:

Oh, definitely. We could honestly do an entire podcast interview just on the mistakes that I’ve made over the years because there have been many.

Just as there are anytime you do something new in life, or in business, but one of the ones that I often point out to people is this really huge mistake that I made actually. I was trying to get this really interesting influencer on my summit, and I was able to get her own the phone and we talked about it and she seemed really excited about the summit.

There was a miscommunication where when we ended the call, I thought that she had agreed to participate and said yes to being a speaker. But then she told me later that she wasn’t agreeing to participate, she was just showing interest and being supportive.

There was some huge miscommunication there, and anyway, the point is that I had made a mistake, because not only had I misunderstood her, but I had started advertising her involvement before I had actually recorded her interview.

When she saw that I was advertising her involvement, but we never recorded yet, she was very upset with me and said, “I hadn’t actually agreed to be a part of it.” I said, “Oh, I thought you did.” We were able to sort it out in the end, and I’m very grateful she ended up did being on the summit.

I salvaged the relationship, and everything was all right, but it could have been way worse.

Those are the kinds of things that are unfortunate, but are also potentially reputation ruining, right? We never want to put ourselves in those kinds of situations intentionally.

I think one of my, the biggest lessons that I learned from that encounter, that moment, was that people, especially whenever you’re in the industry that I am where most of your speakers are going to have personal brands of their own, people are so incredibly protective of their personal brands, of how they presents themselves online, of who they choose to associate with, and we really as hosts, and just as fellow businessmen and women, need to do as much as we possibly can to respect and honor that.

So, I think that most of the speakers would say that I have done a really good job of that in years since, because I put different things into place. For example, I never just search the internet and find pictures of the speaker.

I always get their official headshot or any other images that they want to use directly from them. I always make sure that I get their bio directly from them.

I actually will send them preview versions of my published pages before they go live, to verify that the way that I’m writing about them in their job titles, their website, their images, all that, is in line with how they want to be presented.

Doing all of this before things go live has been wonderful, because not only do people feel that they’re being respected, I’ve had several speakers comment on how they appreciate that, but then I’m able to stop myself from making any big mistakes. If one of the speakers says, “Hey, that’s not right” or, “I thought we were doing this instead” or something like that, there’s no harm, no foul, because nothing’s been published, nothing’s been promoted, nothing’s live and I don’t have to worry about, what’s that phrase? Having egg on my face, or something like that.

Meryl Johnston:

I thought we could do a quick little case study next and use Bean Ninjas, which is my business, a bookkeeping and financial reporting business, as an example, but applying it to professional service businesses generally. How would you go about picking a conference theme?

If I give you a little bit more background about Bean Ninjas, our niche is digital businesses, so people that have eCommerce stores, digital agencies, bloggers, and coaches.

So, because we have a number of different industries that we work with, but our overall theme is bookkeeping and financial reporting, how would you recommend going about picking the right theme for a virtual summit?

Bailey Richert:

Sure. Well, one of the things that you have to think about whenever it comes to a virtual summit is, “What do I want to be known for?”

Your event is going to get a little bit of notoriety out in the online world, so I mentioned that my virtual summit is called the Infopreneur Summit. Now, I’m a business coach for infopreneurs.

That’s what I call myself, that’s my job title, and so I actually teach on a lot of things, not just summits, in my business.

I teach on how to launch courses and sales funnels and things like that. Now, I could have done a summit entirely about sales funnels or courses or something, but I didn’t want to pigeonhole myself and just be known as the funnel person or the self-publishing person.

I wanted to make my mark as an infopreneur business coach, because my whole business is about infopreneurship.

I think it’s really important for you to think about what is it that we want to be known for? And then, what are your personal goals with the summit? Who is it that you are trying to attract?

Because remember, you’re not just going to be earning revenue, but you’re going to be growing that email list. So, if I were, for example, going to do a self-publishing summit, then chances are I’m going to be building up an email list from that summit of people who want to self-publish books.

So, it doesn’t make any sense for me to launch a program to them after the summit about how to launch their own online course, because that’s not what they came to the summit for, right? Even though I think in my own mind, “Well, they’re all related to infopreneurship,” it doesn’t matter, because those people came to the summit looking for knowledge about how to self-publish their own book, right?

I think you need to think about what is it exactly that we want to be known for? What do we want to get some notoriety for in the online space? What kind of customer are we looking to attract? Who do we want more of?

Then, what product or launch are we going to be having after or close to the summit, that we can then push all of these new email subscribers into? Whether that’s a course, mastermind, coaching program, services package, 21 day challenge, whatever it is.

You need to think about, “Well, I’m basically growing a huge list right before a launch,” ideally that’s where you’re going to make a lot of money after the summit, right? So who do we need to be bringing in here?

Meryl Johnston:

You framed that really nicely. It’s about thinking what’s the objective of the summit, and then working backwards from that to pick the right theme and to attract the right audience to the event?

Bailey Richert:

Mm-hmm (affirmative), right.

Meryl Johnston:

A couple of wrap up questions. The first one is where would be the best place for our listeners to get in touch with you, and the second is if you had anything else that you wanted to share related to virtual summit?

Getting in touch with Bailey

Bailey Richert:

Sure. Well, thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to share today, excuse me.

If anybody would like to learn more about me or get in contact, really my website, BaileyRichert.com, is the best place. If you would like to get some free resources about virtual summit including my 12 step process, resources I recommend, things like that, you can go to VirtualSummitSchool.com and download some free PDF resources and sign up for a virtual summit masterclass there as well.

As far as last things that I would like to share about virtual summit is one of the things that I was just talking to somebody about yesterday, and I kind of alluded to it in my last answer, so I wanted to expound upon it just a teeny bit more, is the fact that a lot of people think that a virtual summit is going to be this magic thing that’s going to be the answer, but the reality is that especially if you’re just getting started, chances of you having a six figure launch only from sales of all your access pass, is probably not very high.

When you think about your all access pass being a $100 product or less, being able to sell six figures worth off that is really a lot, and it probably is not going to happen for most people. But that doesn’t mean that a summit is still not worth doing, and it doesn’t mean that you can’t be really successful.

I think one of the things that people need to understand about how sales funnels work, the profitability of funnels, is that you are supposed to be breaking even on your frontend offer. Meaning that the amount of money that you make from the sales of your frontend offer in a funnel is supposed to offset the costs that you spent to create the funnel, to pay your designer, to pay for your ad costs, and things like that.

And then you’re supposed to be making your profit on the backend. Any upsells, getting people into your coaching.

Maybe you’re going to do, like I mentioned, a launch or something like that, immediately after your summit, that you’re pushing all the new registrants from your summit into. That’s where the actual profit comes from.

So a lot of people have this expectation that, “I can do a summit, I can sell my all access pass, and I should come out with an insane amount of profit from that.” But the reality is that that’s not really the case.

If you can become profitable from the sales of your all access pass, then you have definitely done amazingly. But at minimum, what we’re looking for is for you to come out breaking even.

So, if you take all of your expenses from the summit, your equipment, your ad costs, hiring your Facebook ads manager, all that stuff. You can pay for all of that from sales from your all access pass, then you have broken even.

The reason that that is a good thing, or that you have succeeded, or that it was a good summit if you did at minimum, that, is because what you’ve done is you’ve grown an email list for free. So, if you think about it, if you had to grow an email list, you were starting with zero and you were relying solely upon Facebook ads.

No summit, no anything like that, even if you were the most amazing Facebook ads person on the planet and you were able to get a dollar per lead, 1000 leads would cost you $1000.

So, you’re $1000 in the red before you’ve even done anything. Then, you have to try to sell people products to make up that money, so you’re already behind from the start.

But if you can break even on your summit funnel or any funnel where you sell a frontend offer that’s relatively small, and that pays for all of your expenses and costs, then what have you done? You’ve brought in all of those registrants into your summit, an email list of 1000 or 3000, for free, that you didn’t have to pay for.

So then you sell other products, upsells and launches and things like that, to that list, and that’s where all the profit comes from. I just wanted to fully explain that money a little bit more, and the financial planning of a summit a little bit more, so hopefully your audience appreciates that.

View this post on Instagram

When someone wants to learn a new skill, they have many different options available to them to learn. They could enroll in a college course or take an in-person class.  But today, many are choosing to learn online from infopreneurs. Why? They know that infopreneurs have themselves achieved real results in the real world. Infopreneurs teach practical application of knowledge and are motivated to get their clients results quickly. The people who want to learn from infopreneurs arent looking for a college grade. They’re looking to see how you did what you did in life and learn how to mimic your results quickly. How did *you* do it? That’s why to be an infopreneur you dont need a PhD, MBA or other advanced degree in business. You just need to have experience in your field, proven results of your own and the ability to get results from your clients, because that is what they want from you. Sure, you will continue to learn new business skills along the way. But see how you are more likely to learn those skills from other infopreneurs outside the classroom? That’s what your clients are looking for from you, too. Get started on your infopreneur journey today by downloading my free infoprenur toolkit at the link in my bio or by going to:https://baileyrichert.com/free-toolkit.html

A post shared by Bailey Richert (@baileyrichert) on

Meryl Johnston:

Yeah, I think that’s really important to be aware of, in terms of what you’re expecting from revenue and profit, and really some of the benefits of the summit. Bailey, thank you so much for coming on the show. You’ve shared so much value with the audience, really appreciate it.

Bailey Richert:

Thank you so much for having me.

Meryl Johnston:

Want to upgrade your financial skills and learn how to use Xero better? Here’s what Stevie, one of our past students, shared about her experience with our financial literacy for Xero users course.


I just wanted a simple way to understand it for peace of mind. I wanted to make sure that everything would be really plain English, easy for me to understand, and that if I had questions specific to my own personal circumstances, that I could have those answered as well, because that’s where I was feeling really lost.

I basically went from having no idea about how Xero worked, or how to read a profit and loss statement, or what a general ledger was, to feeling like I was comfortable with all of those things, and I really got to the point where I understood the financial health of my business.

Meryl Johnston:

If you’re someone who gets overwhelmed with the idea of going into your Xero file and not knowing what’s going on money wise with your business, or you just want a simple way to understand Xero and want peace of mind with your finances, our course might be the solution. Applications are now open for our financial literacy for Xero users training course, designed for non-accountants who want to better understand and manage small business finances. Head over to beanninjas.com/course to learn more about our financial literacy course, and to apply.

Want to learn the 3 phases of building a successful virtual summit? Listen to this podcast feat. @baileyrichert. Share on X @baileyrichert shares the reality of what it takes to launch a successful virtual summit. Listen now. Share on X

It’s easier to make a sale to someone who has already purchased from you than to make a sale to someone who has never bought from you before.

people think that a virtual summit is going to be this magical thing that’s going to be the answer, but the reality… is not very high.

The hosts rely on the guest speaker to promote their summit and rely on technology to do all the work for them. These are mistake.s

Contact Bailey Richert:

References and Links Mentioned:

Other Episodes