A few weeks ago, I ran my very first freelance virtual summit.
I. Was. Crapping. It.
As someone who isn’t naturally organised, organising a summit seemed like a really overwhelming, scary project. But I also wanted to do something exciting for National Freelancers Day, with brilliant speakers who could really share something special with this lovely freelance community. In the end, I had over 120 people sign up!
Want to see how I did it? Here’s a step-by-step guide to how I did it (and it’s surprisingly simple, thanks to a few online tools)
Prefer to listen? Catch it on The Freelancer’s Teabreak podcast! You can hear it on iTunes, Spotify, Libsyn, Podbean and Stitcher.
How to run a virtual summit in ten steps
- Choose a date. This was easy, as I knew I was going to hold it on National Freelancers Day. I started organising it a month before!
- Reach out to the speakers you want. I had eight, which was perfect for a one-day summit, but if you have more, you can make it a two-day event (or maybe even three!)
- Create a Facebook pop up group. There are plenty of platforms you can use for the talks, but FB was the easiest to set up for me, and it was free!
- Create a sales page. I used a WordPress page, using the Elementor page editor, and created a sign up page in ConvertKit. I included details of all the speakers, what attendees would get out of it, and added details of what would be available free. Attendees got free access for 24 hours. After that, all the recordings were made available in my Freelance Lifestash (via Teachable), which was available on special offer.
- As I use Teachable, I was also able to give all the speakers an affiliate link for the Lifestash, so if they shared it they could make a percentage of the sale.
- Promotion! I promoted it to my email list, social media channels and the speakers also shared on all their channels. The day before, I released the schedule for the day, along with the social links for all of the speakers so people could get to know them better.
- I also sent reminder emails to those who had signed up, the day before and the day of, with a reminder about the Lifestash offer.
- The big day! It all took part in the Facebook group, in Lives. I jumped on initially with a welcome video and coaching task. Then the speakers all took it in turns during their slots. The majority of these Lives were solo, so it was all relatively simple. Several of the speakers also gave away prizes during their sessions, which was a great way to encourage live attendance.
- Now the coolest tool of all. I set Repurpose.io (affil link) up to take all the Lives, upload to YouTube as unlisted videos, so I could download them or embed them in Teachable later. One of the videos didn’t upload, but there is a hack if you don’t want to automate it. I can’t tell you how much of a relief it was to know they were all uploading in the background.
- Finally, I closed out the day, reminded everyone of the offer if they wanted forever access, and left it up until midnight the final day. An email went out the following day with the offer. I then closed the group (removing all members).
That’s it! The majority of it took place in Facebook, making it easy for people to access. There are some things I’d like to try next year. Facebook Ads for one, and a longer lead up time. Podia also looks amazing. And I totally forgot to post about it on my blog! But for a first go, and with relatively low costs, I’m pretty happy with that!