I recently had the chance to talk with Navid Moazzez from Virtual Summit Mastery, about using virtual summits and urgency to build your list and your profits.
Watch the video or read the transcript below!
JB: Hey, this is Jack Born founder of Deadlinefunnel.com and today we have another case study with a successful Deadline Funnel client. I’m extremely excited for this conversation because we’re going to be talking about virtual summits and I have Navid Moazzez with us and he’s an expert when it comes to virtual summits. That’s what he teaches. It’s what he does. And so we’re going to dive into that. We’re going to be talking about things that work with virtual summits, who they’re for, mistakes that people make, and things like that.
We’re also going to be talking about using urgency inside of virtual summits and maybe even how to evergreen a virtual summit. This is a topic I’m really interested in. So Navid, great you have you on the call.
NM: Thanks so much Jack for having me. This is great. Deadline Funnel has changed a lot for me for my last summit. I’m so grateful that Cody actually told me about … I knew about Deadline Funnel, but I think Cody Lister just kind of … I introduced him to virtual summits, it was more like he was using it for his content promotion summit, and I was taking it to the next level on a list building school I hosted in 2016. So, happy to dive into any of that today.
JB: Cool, cool. Well, yeah so you mentioned Cody. That’s Cody Lister who was on another interview that we did and he really was very generous for sharing exactly how he ran his virtual summit and he credited you with a lot of what he did successfully. So tell us about your business. Kind of give us the context of how you got started in virtual summits and maybe let’s take it from there.
NM: Yeah, so it always starts with a struggle, right? That’s how it was for me. I had the podcast, that’s where I started. I did a lot of that and blogging, but I found that didn’t really grow my email list that quickly, and I wasn’t generating that much money. And then I stumbled across, I think it was from some health summits or whatever it was, that I saw they were doing really successful summits where they were growing their list and they were generating actually a lot of money as well from those free summits, but on the back-end they were profiting.
And then I was studying that a lot and actually hosted my own summit in 2014 without any prior knowledge or experience. I just walked through their funnels and actually studied what they did, and re-engineered that. And then I had some great success in my first one, the branding summit. I generated about 3,000 email subscribers and $20,000 in profit from that first summit, which enabled me to quit my job and move abroad, and then I got so many questions, some other people asking me how I hosted summits, and then I start teaching them and having clients and eventually Virtual Summit Mastery was born, which is my premium flagship program today.
JB: What are some of the purposes for a virtual summit? Is primarily to create revenue or is to really get known in the marketplace and possibly build your list?
NM: Yup, it can be a little combination because when I started they had different stages and what I love about summits can work at any stage of business. It can work in any market as well. I’ve even seen it be quite successful for software companies. Teachable are doing one currently at the time of this recording. I’ve seen Drip by Leadpages, they’ve done one.
So I see a lot of software companies in addition to more experts and thought leaders, who are doing summits to expand, but I’ve seen people who are starting out, too. They can use summits really successfully, and I’ve seen people who want to grow from let’s say a high five-, six-figure business to seven figures. They have used summits as well. And I was at that stage in 2014 when I wanted to level up. So I said I want to be known in the marketplace, I did a summit, but I also wanted to grow my list and I didn’t have a product at the time, so the summit actually became my product.
And I sold an all-access pass in the back-end of the free summits. So, people sign up, I am sure Cody actually walked you through the funnels, so people sign up. It’s free to sign up for and then on the thank you page, that’s where Deadline Funnel comes in, which you can talk about, but then on the thank you page then you upsell them to an all-access pass to have like $67 to $97 typically. It depends a little bit on your market, but most of the time we’ve [seen] $67 to $97 works pretty well, and $67 being that kind of sweet spot for where you should have the Deadline Funnel and then it goes up to $97.
You can profit right there even if you don’t have a product yet, that can be your first product and then you can actually serve your audience you’re building with that summit, and then launch a course or promote an affiliate product to them. So there’s so many benefits there in addition to just the influencers you get to meet, and they can become your partners and friends as well.
JB: Very, very cool. So yeah, let’s focus on the front-end of the funnel. So when … I know that this is getting kind of in the weeds, but I’m curious about this part. So the summit is free for someone to sign up, and I think the way that most people set it up is that if you sign up you’re going to get the details about when these different events are, and if you attend all the live events then it’s completely free, right?
NM: Yeah, you can have it pre-recorded or live, but it runs as if it’s live. So there’s a set period of time, let’s say four to seven days typically. Something like that is a good summit, with 20 to 30 experts. And I tend to say that summit is like a webinar on steroids because it’s instead of just featuring one expert, maybe you’re partnering with someone with a webinar and they are promoting to their list. With a summit you can partner with 20 to 30 experts, and let’s say a handful of them promote your summit to their email lists.
They introduce you to their audience. That’s pretty good. So you actually grow your list with, per expert you have on, hundred to thousands of people come into your summit at any given time, and if you are more seasoned, let’s say you are … Or they have a lot of relationships, so you have a solid business, you can get tens of thousands of leads from one virtual summit.
From my last I got 26,070 people coming in and 2,100 customers for list building school, and I credit a lot [of] that success, actually in terms of the customers at least, to Deadline Funnel because we had that $67 offer on the thank you page and it converted like crazy. In the beginning when I had just my own list, it converted like 16%, 18% or something like. Then I think when everything was over, it was around 9 to 10% or so.
JB: To the cold traffic, 9 to 10?
NM: Yeah, not really cold, but it was affiliate traffic and Facebook traffic I’d say, and then dropped a little bit from there and my warm traffic, for my own list was the highest, but still with affiliate traffic was really high, and even the more … We actually profited from the Facebook ads as well on that low end $67 offer, which was really impressive, and then we obviously made a lot more profits since I had my … I had a premium program on the back-end as well.
So that’s [also] something you can think about doing, as well, if you’re watching or listening to this.
JB: So that premium product, did you sell that after the summit was over or was that on the tail-end of the first purchase?
NM: Yeah, it was after… I don’t think it would work as well to do it right after a $67 purchase. They’re, “Hey, here’s my $1,000 course.” That would be a little bit pushy. I mean maybe someone could make it work, but I think I wanted to build a little bit more trust there at least. Could work with a one-click upsell after $67, but then it has to be closer to the $67 offer not like a big jump in price range.
We did it right after the summit was over, the only thing that I probably would have done differently today, is to have left the summit as a big lead gen, and getting sales for the summit in that case, but then afterwards I probably would have waited a few weeks to be honest to let the list … We have build a lot of trust here. Don’t like lose that with a big promo at end, which you get a lot of unsubscribes. I would have rather have a lead-up period, especially since I was not 100% connected to virtual summit mastery.
Yes, it helps with list building, but some people might not see it as that immediately. So I would have just had a bunch of case studies and stuff like that I shared after the summit. And then maybe leading that into either a Jeff Walker-style launch or I would have done like a webinar or something like that. For this one I did a webinar and we’ve done really well with that it’s just that I’m always constantly improving, so I’m trying to see where can we make improvements on this process. Because kind of I invented to actually promote something after summit.
Most people they just use summits as a lead gen, maybe sell an all-access pass and that’s it. And then maybe months afterwards, they promoted something, which is great but you can profit immediately and spend a lot more on advertising if you have that opportunity to have something in the back-end as well.
JB: Cool, so to sum up you might wait a little bit more time, like two weeks or so after the summit is over before…
NM: Yeah, two to three weeks I’d say. I mean I’ve tested a little bit. Chandler Bolt, which is one of my other big case studies, he hosted self-publishing success summit. First one was back in 2015 when I really was involved and then a second one in 2016 as well, but he actually hosted, I think it was like a 10-day summit, and then right afterwards or the very last day, he had a webinar sell his premium course, Self-Publishing School. In that case, Self-Publishing Success Summit and the publishing school were so directly related and he actually got incredible success by doing that, and I think he had like $120,000 or $130,000 from the summit.
And then he had the rest … Like he got in total $370,000 revenue. So he had over $200,000 basically coming in from just people buying his course from like a four-day webinar promotion, which is pretty incredible, right? So we have the summit getting that in and he didn’t use Deadline Funnel by the way. That was before we starting using this, and I can just see the all-access pass sales could have gone up a lot. Yes, it’s a little bit less than the $97, but you get so many more sales by you saying, you know, this urgency on the thank you page, which I’m really excited about.
JB: So just to get into the details, when someone comes in and they’re reading the details, because initially they’re thinking, “Okay, I’m just going to register for this virtual summit, this looks exciting.” And then on the thank you page you’re telling them, okay you are … First of all, language-wise, are you saying, “Okay, you are registered.” Or do you language it like, “Your registration is almost complete.”
NM: Yeah, so actually this could be live, depending on when this [interview] goes live. We are actually setting up my current … My list summit, list building school, we are [going] to make it evergreen and Deadline Funnel obviously plays a pretty big role in making it evergreen. And so maybe depending on when you go to Listbuildingschool.com we’ll actually be live and you can actually walk through and see what we are doing with this.
But yeah, on the thank you page we are actually having a small message there up top or something where we say, “Hey, you are registered, but don’t close this page.” Or something. Basically telling them, “Hey, this is important. This is urgent.” And we also stack the offer there, so let’s say the recordings obviously of the summit, we offer that there. We also have some very interesting bonuses. So, it’s an irresistible offer so people like, “Okay I can grab this. It’s 67 bucks. It doesn’t really matter.” So they grab this, their one time off … It’s not a one-time offer, but it’s a very urgent to just … It’s a one-time offer in a way that they never see the $67, but then it goes up to $97 again pretty much.
JB: This is kind of detailed, but how much time have you been giving people on the Deadline Funnel clock to make the decision?
NM: Yeah, we have tested a little bit. Cody I believe he’s using 14 or 15 minutes. I also use … I think we use 14 or 15 minutes. You can test a little bit there. Depending on industry, also industry is really important that if it’s … They’re not as seasoned with these kind of things, like they might not even recognize the Deadline Funnel there on the page. Maybe you don’t need the countdown. Maybe you have to test different things, but you could still use Deadline Funnel to get the … To redirect them, you can have a message there.
You just have to see a little bit. So it’s in a way that you don’t come across as too pushy to your people and so maybe in some industries could be good with 30 minutes to them a little extra time if they’re not very tech-savvy it could take them that long to actually check out. You know?
I get these messages sometimes that, “Hey, I’m in the checkout here, but I’m actually not really. I don’t know if I’m going to have time to read this page.” Some people are like that. So you might want to give some extra time, but I like the 15 minutes. We got a few people who said they might need extra time, but we didn’t actually use the Deadline Funnel on our check out pages. Because we kind of, you know … If they go there they are likely to purchase, but at the same time you could use it on your checkout pages if you want to. So if you want to do it actually real the entire way, feel free to do that, but I feel that people are on the checkout page they will actually most of the time if they take their time to go there.
JB: Cool, so what was the next question … Oh, so what are some of the mistakes that you see first time virtual summit students making?
NM: Going too broad with their summit is a big mistake … And I can give you an example. Let’s say they are in the health and fitness industry. There’s some competition in that industry, but if you’re going with a health summit or a fitness summit or more broad, it’s not going to do as well. So I like to give this example with the women’s strength summit. She could have gone with a strength summit, which is a little bit more niche than just a fitness summit, but she went with a women’s strength summit and did a lot better because of it.
And now she might not … She doesn’t have to appeal to everyone either, that’s the beauty of it. She appeals to the right people and she got incredible results, about 20,000 people sign up to her summit the first time she did it, and over $60,000 revenue. So [that] was pretty good success. Again she used the event to go into a new market. She had a fairly successful blog, but used that to go into new market and being really niche. And that’s what I see with a lot of my students, niching down until it hurts. Then they’re setting themselves up for success and also if they want to position themselves faster as an expert, it’s going to be much easier to do that.
If you’re not [a well-known name] in online business, don’t do an online business summit for example. He might be able to pull it off since he has a course on the back end for it, and he has a lot more authority in that space, but you’re starting out, don’t do that. And even if you’re not just starting out, do a more niche summit. You’re going to be better off with that. Even Chandler did the self-publishing success summit. Was kind of specific to his course, and that makes sense. And think of how you want to use the summit as a starting point to build momentum furthering your business.
JB: Cool. Are there any other mistakes that you see first time virtual summit students makes?
NM: I would say also with the design of the summit to just keeping it … Like not trying to reinvent the wheel and that’s sad … Like we give people in my program templates like exactly what you see on Listbuildingschool.com or similar to what Cody uses. We give people something similar so they can pull this off without being a techie or a designer. Because I find that when you’re going to position speakers on your summit, or influencers, then they want to look good. They want to look good next to their friends, or peers in the industry. And if you have a crappy design or something like that, it’s not going to be very good for your brand.
So if you’re starting out and can come out with a really great design, professional looking, you have almost everything is … You win there right away without even hosting your summit yet, so I think that’s a piece of the design professional, and also having kind of the … Thinking about the long-term. Some people don’t do that. They just want people to promote for them. That should not be the reason why you’re hosting.
They reason why you’re hosting the summit should be because you want to provide valuable content to people and if I have you on, and I focus on that you will share like some really valuable content maybe around agency, Deadline Funnel, all that. Maybe having a tutorial on this day on my summit, and then he’s feel, “Ah, I crushed it.” People will find this valuable.
Then you got to be a lot more likely to share this interview or this presentation with your audience. So that’s kind of something I’m trying to get to my students as well because I see a lot of people making this mistake that they ask you know right away in the first email they send to someone, that they should promote it and so on. But that’s not how we do it with my students. We focus on the long-term approach and we see a lot more of our influencers actually share our summits with their audience because they think it’s so valuable.
JB: So that was something I was going to ask. I’m glad you went there. So when you get an influencer that where you know they’re going to deliver really good content, you’re not hitting them up to promote it to a list it sounds like.
NM: Not immediately. I’m not like … Right away it’s all about building the relationship. You can even start a little bit before if you have the time. You can start getting on their radar. Maybe talking to them on Twitter, be on their list, or something like this. You know just add value that maybe you read their book, share it with them. You can be on their radar so when you’re reaching out to ask them to be on your summit is not such a big ask. You’re kind of already like online friends, so to speak.
I mean I never went to meet anyone in person when I first lived in Sweden, and then later like a few years later, I met a lot of people in person, but that wasn’t the case the beginning so had to make friends online, and I think that’s the case for a lot of people. So you can do the same thing and then when you’re reaching keep the first emails short. Maybe get on the call to get to know each other for like 10 to 15 minutes, and then you can also bring up on that call like depending on who it is. Obviously if it’s an A-lister … Like I mean I have this A, B, and C-lister. Doesn’t mean you are worth less if you are a C-lister and an A-lister.
Just like different rank in terms of the audience size you have. And an A-lister they might have been doing it a lot longer, but C and B-listers they are a lot more likely to share it out because they are still looking to build up. A-listers take a little bit longer I found, but if you can get on a call with someone, you can ask is it a good fit, and whatever you had in mind to do your summit in September, to shared this your audience. If it’s a good fit obviously.
So that’s how I did a lot for List Building School. Even people who didn’t really know me that well said, “Yes.” I think I had an 80 to 90 … Around 90% actually success rate in terms of people who shared the summit with their audience. So you know that’s kind of what I’m trying to get across to my students. To just have this approach to … Even if they don’t share, so what? You wanted them on because of their valuable content, so that’s what you should focus on first and foremost, and then you still get people who will share because of your authentic approach.
JB: And I’m curious, do you have your influencers, your speakers, do you have them sign a release form as part of the process?
NM: Great question. I knew that might come up, but actually I don’t. You wouldn’t have your friends sign a contract unless it was a consulting agreement or something like this. But for a podcast sent to you or something, maybe you will have a media release in your email, like that you own the content, but really if you … Most of the time if someone came to me after a summit and said, “Hey, you can’t use this anymore.” I mean I would probably, “Okay.” I would take it down because you kind of said, “Yes.”
Most people would know. There might be industries that you might have to explain a little bit more, but I would say in our industry, in the online marketing space, people are very familiar when you do a summit, you kind of under this understanding that you can actually be … The things you will be sold might come out in books, but that’s actually promotion for you because you can share, in your case Deadline Funnel, or whatever.
JB: Oh, absolutely.
NM: You can share that, so it’s not bad to be seen. I’ve seen some industry … There’s been some discussions in my community about this too, that some people they might think that, “Hey, I’m giving away my entire knowledge in 30 to 45 minutes.” But that’s not the case, right? If you only have 45 minutes of knowledge to share maybe you shouldn’t be charging so much it either.
That’s kind of my approach to it. Like, spend 45 to an hour giving all you got, you probably still have a lot more to give to people who want to take it further with you and buy it and pay you money.
JB: So if people want to get more information if they’re interested in doing their own virtual summit, I noticed on your website that you’ve got some free resources. So can you tell us about some of those free resources and where they can get them?
NM: Sure, on my website, depending on when you are viewing this, but right now we have a virtual sign mastery blueprint, that’s kind of usually always available. You can grab that over at NavidMoazzez.com or Navid.me. And then also on Virtualsummitmastery.com we run a free workshop about two times a year, and … Depending on when you’re watching this again, then you can sign up and get access to this. But still there should be some free resources around my website about virtual summits.
You can see some case studies there too. Some of my successful students actually, in the past 12 months alone, we’ve generated hundreds of thousands of email subscribers and millions of dollars in revenue from summits and the backend. Some people are launching membership sites on the backend of their summits, courses, and affiliate products, and all that kind of stuff.
So if you are wanting to grow your list, how to build your authority, influence, and revenue, then I think it’s a really good way to do that with a virtual summit.
JB: Yeah, I’m very excited about it, and I’m talking with my team about putting one of these out as well. Which brings me to this question. Maybe this is a good place to end. How far in advance should someone be planning the summit?
NM: I would say depends who it is. I’ve had people have a bigger team. They might want to do it and maybe start planning in terms of their affiliates they’re bringing on. Started a little bit far in advance, like maybe five months six months, but it’s just planning stage. But I think for most people when they’re getting into it, three to four months. I have students who’ve done it in six weeks successfully, really well.
It just depends how much time you are spending on it, but I’ve had people have full times, they have pulled it off. I have people have several kids at home, they have pulled it off. So it’s really no excuse. I usually see when people coming to me and sometimes they say, “It’s going take me a lot of time,” yes it’s going to be hard work, but anything that has a very big ROI usually is hard work. Like going to do a product launch, it’s not easy.
I’m doing one right now for the Fall, so it’s going to be a lot of work we are putting in. We have copyright in all this, but when you are starting out you can just do it because you know it’s going to pay off for you. So I think for you and your team, Jack, is going to be pretty good. You can do some really cool things since you have a software and bundle that, the training and stuff like that. Similar to what Teachable and some companies are doing. I think you can do really well with this model.
JB: Yeah, we’re really excited and to that point about everything worthwhile requires effort. I mean we tell people that as well because Deadline Funnel and setting up an Evergreen Funnel takes time, it takes energy, but it’s the type of thing that keeps paying off day after day, week after week. So, yeah I can totally relate to that. Go ahead.
NM: No, I just said in terms of you mentioned evergreen, that’s where Deadline Funnel really comes into power. Yes, we are using it on live summits as well, like on the thank you page, but I mean you’re it on the evergreen some of you. Don’t only need it on the thank you page, but it’s also needed on the speaker pages to make it expire. So that’s something I’m really excited. We actually just starting to implement this even more.
Cody is running his summit evergreen right now. The content promotion summit, but we are doing a little bit more in terms of that Deadline Funnel. So it’s like more urgency there too, depending on when they click in the emails and stuff like that, and then we are making an entire process for my students how to implement this because it’s some technical things there, but it’s not anything you can’t do. That’s kind of the beauty. You’re doing this summit, but then you can actually have somethings that can keep generating sign-ups and sales. Let’s say you’re doing Facebook apps, well you can break on that so you can actually just get the ads for free pretty much, which is kind of the idea we have.
But also getting people who promoted my last summit, list building school, to come in again to maybe share it that list. So I can have ongoing traffic coming in, depending whenever they want to promote it they can just share because we already know that the funnel converts really well.
JB: Yeah, and you could even setup just like we talked about at the beginning, once you ‘evergreenize’ your virtual summit you can have that two week waiting period and then put them automatically into the campaign for say a promotion for your premium course. And so all of that could be automated.
NM: It could be automated, exactly. So that’s something I’m really excited about. We’ve never really explored evergreen too much in terms of my virtual summit mastery program. Right now it’s only like two times a year we open up to the general public. But that’s definitely something I’m considering to see how we can have … Because there’s all these people who want to join at other times, so I’m still feeling the struggle.
Yes, I want to have the two enrollments, a college class, but then also sometimes some … Maybe I want to let people in because they really want to do it. So they are action takers and I don’t want to hold them back from taking my course just because it’s closed right now. At least I feel that way. It’s just an online program.
JB: Absolutely. Yeah. So checkout Virtualsummitmastery.com and or Navid.me. And we’ll add those links to the page where this interview is. Navid, I want to thank you very much for your time and for sharing your expertise and your experience about virtual summits.
NM: Sure. It was a pleasure being on.