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June 11, 2021

214: 7 Steps to a Million Dollar Virtual Event [Liam Austin Interview]

214: 7 Steps to a Million Dollar Virtual Event [Liam Austin Interview]

Looking to make a splash in your industry? Virtual summits might just be the best way to do so toady. Perhaps you have registered for such a summit which had one or two dozen speakers, or maybe you have spoken at one.

If you have done webinar marketing before, a virtual summit can help provide exponential value to attendees and benefits to your business.

If you are intrigued by the potential or running a virtual summit or event for your business, this episode is for you. I interview one of the thought leaders in the space, Liam Austin, where we discussed:

  • which virtual event is right for you
  • how to sell more of your signature offer from your event
  • how to get recurring revenue on autopilot

This interview actually influenced me to begin preparing my own virtual summit which I hope to unveil in the near future! If you are interested in launching your own virtual summit, in addition to reaching out to Liam, make sure you check out HeySummit [affiliate]!

Also, if you are a fan of the podcast and want to join my free monthly group coaching session, send your screenshot to neal@nealschaffer.com Thanks!

Key Highlights

[4:21] Introduction of guest speaker, Liam Austin

[7:09] Evolution of Virtual Events

[8:22] How Liam Austin Started Doing Virtual Events

[9:03] Liam Austin's First Virtual Event
Liam's first virtual summit was the LinkedIn Success Summit where he discussed how to generate leads and prospects from LinkedIn. The event was a success and it helped him get authority over the audience.

[13:52] How to Find Influential Speakers for Virtual Events?

[15:01] Ideal Opt-in Rate for Summit Events
What strategies can help an event get a high opt-in rate? How to make your attendees think about the benefit they will get from attending the event?

[18:03] Steps on Setting-Up Your First Virtual Event
Liam shared the important steps to do if you are to start your first virtual event. He highlighted the importance of doing research, setting goals and expectations, and strategies on how you can convince attendees to go to your event.

[21:22] How to Negotiate with Event Speakers

[23:00] Determining Type and Size of Your Virtual Event
Are smaller events will be more ideal than bigger events in today's situation? Determining the type and size of your virtual event will depend on your client's needs and goals and where you are more comfortable doing it.

[25:21] Repurposing Live Content
How can you use your content from Virtual Event and repurpose it as future content?

[30:52] Ways on Generating Revenue from Virtual Event Content
Liam shares recommendations on getting and giving value to your audience during and after the virtual event.

[33:55] Liam's Advice on How to Get Recurring Revenue from Doing Virtual Events

[35:05] Importance of Turning Live Video Content into Evergreen Content

[38:42] Why Considering Event Topics and Product Is Critical

[40:56] All about Liam Austin's company and How He Helps People and Businesses

[46:08] Liam's Advice to Everybody

Notable Quotes:

Go out there and just test it, try it.  But word of warning. It's addictive. 

It's about providing value and helping people just realize like, yes, this is for me, yes, I need help on this. And I want you know, more of this.

With the influx of virtual events, now we need to stand out, we need to do something different. We can't just be, you know, another cow in the field, we want to be that purple cow.

Connect with Liam:

EntrepreneursHQ: https://entrepreneurshq.com/
Liam's LinkedIn Profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/liamaustin/

Transcript

Neal Schaffer:

Virtual events virtual summits day long, three day long week long virtual events with a few speakers or even a dozen or a few dozen speakers. You've heard of these virtual events? Have you ever considered hosting one for your own organization for your own benefit? If you have or even if you haven't, but you want to hear about the potential you're in for a treat, on this week's episode of The maximize your social influence podcast. Welcome to the maximize your social influence podcast with Neal Schaffer, where I help marketers, entrepreneurs, and business owners grow their businesses using innovative marketing techniques, leveraging the concept of digital influence throughout digital and social media. Hey, everybody, welcome to episode number 214 of the maximize your social influence podcast. My name is Neal Schaffer, I am the host. And well I'm here if in case you're new, I'm here to really help you leverage digital and social media marketing through the unique concept of influence based on concepts from my best selling book, the age of influence, but also all the work that I do with all my various clients as a fractional cmo. So before we get to today's topic, and it is going to be an interview with one of the true thought leaders in the space that I've known for several years, I just want to remind you, and I talked about this in last week's podcast, but I decided you know what, every podcast or most podcasts or seem to have communities for their podcasts. If you know, I still do have a maximize your social influence Facebook group, I launched the LinkedIn group. But I really feel that in order to create true community, there has to be some skin in the game that brings us back to that community. And that's why I created a membership community, which is for a small nominal monthly fee, but it's called Digital first, and you can find that on my website. Neal Schaffer calm, if you click the membership button or group coaching button, you'll be able to find out more about it. And I just launched this in April 1. So if you're interested in getting that sort of group coaching slash mastermind experience, I urge you to check that out. But for those of you that are not part of that membership, I wanted to give you a feel as to what that is about by creating a community here of podcast listeners, specifically, on last week's episode, I said, Hey, you know, I could really use your help. If you have gotten value from my podcast, I would be honored if you would write a review. Wherever you listen to podcasts, I know that most of you listen on Apple podcasts, but there are many listen on on Spotify or iheart radio or, you know, wherever it is, I'd really be honored. And I said, You know what, I want to create something special for all of you that do end up reading reviews. So I've decided going forward every month, I'm going to have a free group coaching session. For those of you that have written review that have supported this podcast as a way of thanking you, and really by you doing a you're putting a little skin in the game, and I'm putting a little skin in the game. And I want to really help you out. This is I love to serve, I really love to help others. I love to help businesses, this is going to be the easiest way to do it. Obviously, if you're a member of my membership community, I can do it on a more regular basis. But I'm committed to having free monthly group coaching sessions. Obviously, if you're in my digital first community, you'll be able to join these as well. But I'd like to be able to help as many of your listeners as possible. So really easy. Write your review, post it, take a screenshot so that I know what you ideally use a username that is identifiable that is you and send it to me at Neal at Neal schaffer.com. Go to my website, if you need my spelling, I'll put my email address in the shownotes as well. I'd really love to hear from you. And every month you're going to be pulled together with people that I will be inviting to these monthly group coaching sessions sounds like a deal. I'm really excited about it. And in all honesty, I get most of my ideas and creative juices by helping others. So not only by your reviewing the podcast, you help me but also allow me to coach you in whatever facility or whatever that means on a monthly basis. It helps me out as well. So that is my proposal to you. Now, let's get into the meat of today's interview. We have Liam Austin. Now Liam is over there at entrepreneurs hq.com you're gonna hear a lot about his company. But I was a virtual speaker on one of Liam's virtual summits several years ago, and I actually talked about it, I think it was back in 2017. So I actually talked about it in this interview. And since doing that with Liam, I've just seen all sorts of people come out with virtual summits. I have spoken on many virtual summits. I have also always considered doing my own virtual summit over the years since Coronavirus. We've just seen even more of these virtual summits, I do believe they add value, even though there are a lot of them out there. And I am in the process right now, of really planning my own digital first virtual summit really showcasing those people that are in my community that are doing great things. But I will also have open invites to other of you others out there that are listening, that want to participate in this as well. So be on the lookout for more information about that. I'm saying this because once I say it in public, I'm really committing to it. So this is how you're going to help hold me accountable. But today, we're going to talk about all these virtual events, which type of virtual event might be right for you how to sell more from that event, and actually how to get recurring revenue on autopilot from the event. Now, if you're a big business, maybe the recurring revenue isn't as important as having content that can generate leads on autopilot. So it really whether you're a solopreneur, or you are a large enterprise, I think that the advice will be equally applicable. I've got really excited from this interview, I hope you do as well. So with no further ado, here is Liam Austin. Hey, everybody, welcome to another episode of The maximize your social influence podcast. It's really special when I get to interview someone that I connected with several years ago, and we collaborated on a virtual event, I believe it was called entrepreneurs, HQ, you're gonna have to correct me if I'm wrong, Liam. And man, this was several years ago. And we've been out of touch. And since then, I've seen his name. And I mean, he does these events, like I don't know, it seems like every month he has a new virtual event going on. amazing speakers. I know he's crushing it. And when he reached out to me asking to be on the podcast, I was thrilled, because I know he's gonna have a lot of value. I want to learn a lot from this gentleman. His name is Liam Austin. Liam, I know, it's almost like midnight, where you are. So we're going to try to keep this short. I appreciate your you're drinking some orange juice there to try to get the sugars going. But and welcome to the podcast. And please. I mean, that's how I remember you. You know, what, what are you up to these days?

Liam Austin:

Yeah, well, thanks for inviting me along, Neil still doing virtual events, six years strong, they've started being a bit more popular these days, but means that our audiences are getting bigger, which is also a good thing. And they're getting a lot more interesting, a lot more software and tools and experiences are now being held virtually, which is super cool. Being that yes, it's almost midnight, here, I'm in Europe. But you might notice by my accent, I'm an Australian and Aussie from downunder, which is even further away. At but most of my clients are in the US. So this is kind of normal for me. So I'm used to staying up late for my us clients. So people in the northern American area, but I've just finished up a virtual workshop, actually, with with some of my people on how to generate more referrals for your virtual events that for any type of lead magnet or free gift or webinar that you're hosting. So yeah, it's been it's been good fun to be seeing how virtual events have changed and evolved over the last few years and even accelerated over the last year or so.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, so when you got started, and you were saying several years ago, you know, I always thought about doing my own type of event like this, I think Social Media Examiner in the Social Media Marketing World, they did these Facebook success summits. And it's like, how do you even I mean that the technology has been around. But it was really, really hard to do until you had the emergence of something like a summit. And maybe you're gonna talk about that. But it's really made a lot easier. And a lot of the tools are there now that if you wanted to do it, it's possible, right? But six years ago, I mean, you needed to have a user's manual, you need to piecemeal technology together, what drove you out of all the other things you can do what drove you to virtual events five, six years ago, and it was so hard to launch?

Liam Austin:

Yeah, well, so we had a bit of a community on LinkedIn, which was 90,000 members strong How was called out of the Small Business Network was a quite an active community. And it's now the largest group on LinkedIn for small business owners. Small Business Network has over 200,000 people in there now it grows by about 200 people per day. I think that's right. 200 per day. And yeah, so it's a great lead source for us. I just wish LinkedIn would do more with their groups, but that's another conversation. But yeah, we started off with people in that group, just act saying, hey, Liam, like, can you do more with this community like it's, we want to connect more we want to learn from other people. We want to generate more leads. So I started off by running small 90 minute virtual workshops virtual web. webinars really, webinars are virtual seminars, right? So I've been doing these virtual event for them 2014 2015. And I quickly realized that the one that was the most successful that they were most interested in was generating leads on LinkedIn funny because they were a LinkedIn group practice. So my first event was the major event. So our first virtual summit was the LinkedIn success summit, how to generate leads and prospects from LinkedIn. So from that event, we had 15,000 attendees, which meant I built my email list to 15,000 people. And mind you, I've been running these smaller virtual events for for probably about a year by then. But they weren't really moving the needle very much like we were trying to run these, like virtual workshops every week or so. And getting media 15 to 20%. Sign up right from the group. And then they wouldn't necessarily show up for the next one. So it led to about, you know, anywhere between 20 to 200 people per one of those events, but it was kind of very slow moving. And it was a lot of work because we're running these smaller events every week. And we had to find new experts to talk about or new speakers as well as new content or for me to teach so. So I decided, like, hey, LinkedIn is like the obvious topic where people want more information on, let's bring together all the top experts in the world on LinkedIn. And we did our best at that we got 35 people, we got LinkedIn influencers who had been, you know, with that LinkedIn influence a badge provided by LinkedIn, on as a speaker, we got lots of other consultants and experts who are generating leads themselves off LinkedIn, but also for their clients to come in and teach. So yeah, that led to 15,000 people being added to my email database. People started seeing me as a bit of an authority a bit of an influencer, when it came to LinkedIn, even though I was just the host of this event. Yeah, yeah, I mean, but I did know quite a bit. I mean, I had one of the largest groups on LinkedIn for small business owners. But at the same time, I wasn't doing much with it. And I certainly wasn't doing as well, or doing as much of it as some of the experts I had on but just by being associated being put on the same stage, virtual stage right on my LinkedIn success summit. As these other experts, it automatically elevated me to an expert. And as part of that I wasn't, I was interviewing or being involved in hosting those presentations, or those panel discussions, which meant that whatever session and attendee visited, they were seeing me, and they're all getting to know me, like me, trust me, that was done to understand my authority or influence on the topic. And I had this group of 15,000, people who got to know me, and wanted more of my offerings, my products, my services, my events. So that's really how we got started with doing these virtual events with the LinkedIn success summit really being the one that kicked off everything in a major way. And ever since then, I've hosted 17 major, large virtual summits myself. So when I say large, it's like 20 plus speakers, on average, on average, we get about 10,000 people to those bigger events, but then many smaller, like, you know, 90 minute workshops and webinars, seminars, and live virtual events to

Neal Schaffer:

you. Fantastic. So you're talking about the LinkedIn success summit brought back to memory and I went into my emails where he were talking, it was actually the content marketing success summit, back in the spring of 2018 that I was on. And at the time, you were saying, Hey, I did this one before on LinkedIn, you know, I'm pretty sure it's it's going to be you know, content marketing, similar type of speakers, similar type of audience. And yeah, I mean, you did is everybody listening? And I want to get into some sort of the advice that we talked with, you know, we covered today but I immediately think everybody listening is like, Okay, I'm an authority in something. I'm gonna bring together all these people and I'm just gonna rock my email list and obviously, there's ways to generate revenue as well, but I think you're gonna go into but isn't the number one question that someone is going to ask now. Now, obviously, three four years ago before Coronavirus, these sort of what we call virtual summits. Now, we're a lot fewer in between then there's obviously a lot of competition today compared to that, but I know that I still get ping to be a guest on a lot of these. So how does one if they had the idea, how does one go about finding speakers and really finding influential speakers for these events? Because those are the ones are going to attract obviously more people, but what advice would you give One,

Liam Austin:

I think, yeah, with the influx of virtual events, now we need to stand out, we need to do something different. We can't just be, you know, another cow in the field, we want to be that purple cow to bring up that that book. So how do we how do we stand out? And one way is, well, there's so many, like smaller mini events going on, that maybe last for 90 minutes. What if we brought together all the top influencers in one industry all together in one room, and we had 30 speakers at that event. And when we now compare, say, one of those big virtual summits versus a workshop, we can see that for both of them, for an audience perspective, I still have to give away my name and email address, if it's a free offer a free ticket to the event, I still have to give that away as a minimum to get access to the event. One is just like a 90 minute workshop. The other is a multi day, maybe it's a three to five day event with some of the top influencers in the marketplace. And it's that fear of missing out like everyone's part of it, all the influences are there, I want to be part of it. So we do see a difference in our opt in rates for those types of events because of the value that's being provided in return for just get a free opt in, right, a free ticket, a name and email. So with our summits, we typically see between 60 to 75%, opt in rate with those. Yeah, huge right and typical lead magnets. Today, I was doing research on these earlier for a workshop I was doing five to 15% is normal for a lead magnet. And some of those some better performing ones, but out summit typically generate 60 to 75% opt in rates. And for our clients as well. There's a minimum standard that we have, which is 50% or above, for our virtual summits. And that's because of the system that we've got set up there to provide that high value in return for just gonna enter in your name and email. Whereas the 90 minute workshop and webinar, there's a lot of those, right, so it's a lot more difficult maybe to convince me to hand over my name and email and actually show up to that. Because it doesn't really stand out of the crowd, it's not really a purple cow. So those opt in rates are lower than that. So depending on what your call to action is, and what your promises, it should be really strong promise and a promise of a result of why should they be attending this virtual event in the first place? What will I get out of it? What's the benefit for me? Like, that's all the attendee cares about? Right? Like what's in it for me. So making sure that you're able to create that promise really strong will attract the attendees, which will also attract your speakers to come in and be involved in that. So how do we get those speakers? Make them? Let them know?

Neal Schaffer:

Like for the very first one, right, when you did that first LinkedIn success summit, that was probably the hardest one, because you didn't have a track record. Right. People never heard of you, you know. So for the nobodies that are listening, that want to be the influences in industry and bring them together. How'd you do that man?

Liam Austin:

Yeah, so it was really strong, like promise of what this summit was going to deliver also how I was going to achieve that. So I was talking about, well, this is how many people I'm expecting to be in attendance, this is how we're going to get these people to be in attendance. So if you want to be in front of 10,000 people, then you want to be a speaker. And I'd already ran some webinars and maybe say if someone's posting a podcast, or they've interviewed someone for a blog post, or they've just had some kind of conversation with some kind of influencer before they've got an initial relationship with, that's who you should be reaching out to first. So that's what I did. I reached out to a few people who are already invited to run a virtual seminar or webinar workshop to my list over the past 12 months. And I said, Hey, I'm thinking about doing this. I would love you to be involved as one of our, you know, first speakers or early speakers. I also dangled the keynote speaker in front of a couple of people, right, incentivized a few of them, but based on what I wanted to achieve what I wanted to do, I did get some nose but I got a I got a lot of yeses as well, based on the promise of Well, what's in it for me as a speaker, and so I was talking about how I was able to support them in their most important endeavor for the year their most important project, how could I help them? Maybe I could promote that as part of the session or I could talk about that or weave that in without being salesy or promotional because I don't like that with my events. But with maybe something that was a follow up gift or campaign so for instance, a lot of things we do with almost all over the fence now as we give a goodie bag away for everyone that attends so it's a virtual goodie bag. And essentially what it is, it's just an email. You don't need any fancy software or tools to do it. It's just an email with a list of gifts that the speakers are giving away. So they give away their free lead magnet. Maybe it's a free coaching call or free report, download guide, whatever it is. And so they're able to generate leads from that. So that's part of the promise. And when I got a few noes from people, by the time those first few people had said, Yes, I was able to put them on the website and word got a little got around that, you know, there was some something happening here, there was a lot of influences. Some of the top people in the market, were speaking at this event, we're getting some momentum. And I actually had a couple of people that had said, No, kind of come crawling back to me, this is all my first event, saying, Hey, is that offer still on the table? I know, I said I was busy, or whatever their excuse was, which might have been legitimate. But I, I've heard that, you know, I was speaking to, you know, my colleague over here, and she says she's speaking on it. So I want to, I'd love to be part of it too, if there's a spot to open. And so as long as you position, package it in such a way that there's incentives and rewards for your speakers to be involved, and they can see how it's attractive for them to be part of what you're creating, then it should be an easy, yes. So it's all about you're setting the scene up properly.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, two things I just want to talk about there for the listeners. So I guess number one, when you reached out to people, you did have a platform, you did have a 90,000 person group. So you could say, Hey, I think I can convert X percent. And maybe I have a campaign budget or with every new speaker, I expect they're gonna bring it. So I think you have that. But the way that you negotiate it with the speakers to me is influencer marketing is influencer outreach, like any, like any brand that wants talking to an influencer? What's in it for them? How can you make them happy? How can you help, as you said, How can you help them reach their objectives, whatever it might be. And I can see how you were very successful with that mindset. And I wish more brands and hopefully everyone listening will do the same if they're considering that but but let's move on to the nuts and bolts of this. So obviously, Speaker recruitment is an important part, I love the advice you gave of just Hey, if you've ever interviewed someone had someone on your podcast on your blog, someone that you saw speak or someone that you you know, heard at another event, if you have any sort of tangential relationship, they can obviously be be people you reach out to. But I want to start with, you know, let's take a step back. And we talked about the different types of virtual events and which one is right for you. So in 2021, when this podcast episode is being published, you talked about the shorter and the longer, the shorter being, you know, the 90 minute 60 Minute Webinar workshop, the longer being 123 day with, you know, 1020 3040 speakers, I'm assuming today with the competition in the market, although it requires a lot more work, you're still going to recommend the bigger event or is there still a reason that companies should focus on smaller events? Or are there other types of virtual events I'm missing?

Liam Austin:

Yeah, so we focus really on three main ones, the the small, 90 minute workshops, the larger multi day summits. But there's everything in between there, right, when we introduce different elements, so they can be recorded sessions, they can be live. So depending on the client, so normally, I'll have a conversation with the client and see where they're at. If there's someone who's just starting out, maybe they're not comfortable on camera, or doing interviews or presentations, cool fire noise, it doesn't have to be live, we pre record it. And let's just do a 90 minute workshop. Right? So all we need to do is create three batches of content, 30 minutes each, and we've got our 90 minute workshop. And this could be a free workshop, it could be a paid workshop, with all my virtual events, I like to generate leads. So even if they're not able to pay for it, or this is not necessarily motivating them enough to pull their wallet out, they can we still get the lead, right. So give them some kind of form of element of a free ticket offer. And we look at three different ticket offers. So we've got our low ticket offer, sorry, a free ticket offer, which is obviously free the free ticket, the low ticket offer, which is a small priced offer maybe 17 to $97, even more than that up to $200. Then you've got your mid range, which may be your online course or program $2,000 and then your high ticket offer which may be your 12 month long coaching program 10k and above. So there's always these steps in terms of where do you ultimately want your client to get to, and this will also depend on what type of event you may want to run. So being a podcast about influence if you really want to build your ad or influence an audience and that's a priority for you then I will lean towards a virtual summit, because that's what virtual summits does, it brings together all the experts in the market, you host them all. You get seen alongside them, it elevates your authority and status to that level and even above, because you're the person who has brought together, you've been the conduit, the organizer, being able to bring all these experts together, like who is this host of this event. So if you're looking to build your influence and audience summit is a great way to do that. And to build your email list. That is fantastic way. There might be some more other questions, I'd want to ask the client to see whether it's a good fit, because maybe it's good to start with one or maybe even two workshops, 90 minutes long, get comfortable familiar with it, and then move into something bigger, like a virtual summit or something in between.

Neal Schaffer:

So it sounds like by what you're taught, and thank you for that answer made a lot of sense. It also sounds like you also work with businesses and entrepreneurs that not only want to do live events. But when you get into the aspect of Well, let's do a 90 minute event do 330 minute episodes. Those could also be modules, that could also become part of a course. So I'm assuming that part of what you do as well is repurposing that live content, for course content and even using the live event as a you know, as an introduction to the course. Is that something you've evolved into the last few years? Super cool question, man.

Liam Austin:

Yeah, so the workshop. I mean, I just wrapped up a workshop. Now it was a paid workshop. So I got paid for running that 90 minute workshop. So it's not like a webinar where it's, it's just free the whole time. I mean, this one, particularly, I didn't have a free ticket offer. But I could have just invited someone to say, the first 30 minutes of the 90 minute or in this case, it was a two hour long workshop, because you can be flexible. There's no hard or fast rules on this. But there are some metrics that we know work better based on, you know what your end goal is. So when you create content, absolutely, you can package it up and sell it forever, especially if it's recorded. So this workshop I just recorded now I hosted a live I pre sold it. So if it wasn't going to sell, I didn't need to run out, I didn't need to create it right. It was validating it by getting paying customers. So I knew it was going to be worthwhile. So yeah, I ran, I hosted it. And now I know that it's proven, I'm going to sell it for the next few years. It's called the referral mastery workshop, right. So it's just 90 minutes, two hours, in this case, two hour long workshop. And I'll record it recorded at all templates, scripts, and even a tool that people get access to as part of the workshop that they pay and get access to. So it's a brand new product. Now, I'm able to go and sell. And I've done this with all of my summits as well. So 17 summits that I've hosted in ran, I ran them once, like back in 2018 when we did the content marketing success summit together, but the 2015 LinkedIn success summit six years ago, I'm still making sales today. from that event. I pretty amazing and across all my events. So these are lead magnets as a free ticket offer. I'm building my email database, I build it over to over 100,000 people that have gone through and attended my events over the years. And then they turn it into a paying customer view low ticket offer, they move up to your mid tier and then your high tier offer, right? So every single thing that you do can be repackaged up and repurposed and sold. So we even combine some of the the events and bundle them together and sell them individually. And we've I've personally interviewed over 400 speakers at my virtual events, which means there's almost an unlimited way I could package those individual sessions together and create an unlimited amount of products, programs courses that I can sell as mini workshops or mini courses and programs. So yeah, even if you're doing a podcast like these could be repackaged and sold based on Well, here's extra additional material templates worksheets. And I have that could be created from that. And so we have everything that I do and that I encourage my clients to do is to create something that takes people on a journey through to buying their high ticket offer. That should be the end goal. And what are the steps what needs to be created and sold? What are the steps in the journey that the client needs to take in order to reach that high ticket offer and then just create those steps and create multiple offers every single one of those steps or if one doesn't appeal to them then maybe the next will or maybe the one after that but it doesn't have to be creating offer offers to refer just repackaging repurpose, repurposing, like, super good question, man, I love that.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah. And I think you know, video when we think about repurposing content video is the easiest one, to repurpose, right? I mean, you could make audio out of it. You can, you know, create cheat sheets and workbooks and templates and swipe files, and it all goes together with the video and the video, you could be recording live, right, and then repurpose now that that's awesome. I'm curious, when we were planning this recording, you were talking about advice on how to sell more of your signature offer from your event. So I'm doing a webinar. It's a free webinar, it's lead generation for me, but I want to push an offer, what is the advice that you'd give me to make that live events become a more powerful source of revenue? from getting people that will buy into that offer? I'm sure you've done a lot of this, you have a lot of metrics and a lot of experience, what would you recommend today?

Liam Austin:

Yeah, so our typical funnel that we like to recommend and works for a lot of our clients, so that, you know, there's some small changes and tweaks that need to be done, but depending on you know, your business and your tone and style, but essentially, we run that virtual event, if it's a seminar, or workshop, then we want to provide, like, real value across that period of time. And then it's a decision of Okay, do we make a pitch? Like an actual sales pitch during the event? Is it something that we're doing? post the event in the follow up? or potentially, it's a special additional masterclass or special invitation? Or it's a one on one coaching call, right? Does it happen during the live event? Or does it happen directly afterwards. And for a summit, where there's multiple sessions going on, or a multi day virtual event, it can be absolutely within it. And it could be a special even day, that happens post the event as well. So just like the webinar, it could be a special invite to another masterclass, post the event, and that's what we really like to do, we like to provide a lot of value and content within the actual webinar or workshop, and then look at moving people on to either a coaching call, or a master class, if we're trying to do this at scale. But with the with the coaching calls, we're gonna convert, it's going to increase our conversion so much more with the, with the webinar, or workshop, if we're trying to sell on that, then providing a ton of value, making sure that the offer is really well aligned with the value that we've been providing. And it's easy. It's an easy Yes, for people. So how do we do that is that is that a price point seeing is an easy way to get started a special offer that's only going to be available during this webinar. And we'll be ending immediately after the webinar ends or even the, within the 24 hours, just being really careful about you know how that lands with your audience and what you're trying to do. But you can also do a combination of all those things and, and just test and see what works really well for your audience. But we like to do yet a 90 minute virtual event through to a follow up event, which is pure value on either side, like the coaching call is absolutely pure value. We're making sure we're delivering for them. And if they want to, they can take the next natural step with us similar with the workshop or the masterclass that maybe follows the workshop, making sure it's pure value. If they want to take the next logical step with us, then then they can so it's not too salesy. It's just about enrollments about providing value. And helping people just realize like, yes, this is for me, yes, I need help on this. And I want you know, more of this.

Neal Schaffer:

That's really great advice. And I love how you focus on the adding value, there are so many that focus on the pitch. And it only works if you have the value, right? People tune out really quickly, or you lose any credibility you might have on your pitch if you don't provide that value up front. So I guess the net net is if you focus on providing the value, everything else is going to fall in place. And that alignment, obviously, but that's really great advice. So finally, you know, obviously, as you're speaking, I'm sure a lot of people that are newer to virtual events, even they've done webinars before, you obviously have a wealth of experience, and they're just so many different ways of doing this. Now, one of the ways like in b2b you think of webinars as lead generation, but obviously there's a way to generate revenue all the way to you know, repurposing that content and courses, but from a live virtual event perspective, this notion of getting recurring revenue, we have our sales and our product, maybe we're an influencer, an entrepreneur. We're doing you know influencer marketing, we're doing affiliate marketing. We're doing advertising and went to be great if we could start another little line of revenue from doing virtual events, recurring revenue on auto So you say that's possible, I'd love for you to give advice to the listeners as to how to do that.

Liam Austin:

Yeah, great. So, I mean, you're talking about webinars there. And you see a lot of people like just running the same webinar over and over again, because you know, it works and great, we're turning it evergreen. And live performs better than, you know, recorded. So let's keep doing it live. But it is a lot of work. So the way that I love to do it is create a create, say, a virtual event, a virtual workshop virtual summit, and do it live the first time launch it, and then turn it evergreen and sell it over and over and over and over and over again, month after month after month. So you create something once and then put on autopilot and let it go and sell itself yet send traffic and leads to it by paid ads or referrals or whatever the method that you have. Put people through that funnel, because it's proven it's work, you've automated it, right, you're tweaking each little step at each little stage, and making sure that you're improving it incrementally. So it's getting better and better and better. Because the first time you launch your virtual event, it probably will be your worst launch that you do. So once you've done that first launch, just look at your numbers, and then tweak it, send more traffic through put paid ads towards it, and see how those conversions keep turning into clients and just start improving at each stage of the funnel so that it grows and grows and grows. So once you start doing, say one workshop a month, you could do 12 of these a year, want maybe one or two virtual summits a year and maybe a few other types of virtual events in between that. And just so you know, there's about, I made a list for my clients recently with over 100 different session types and styles that they could run. So like from, say, live interviews, to presentations to panel discussions to Q and A's, there's over 100 of these different styles that I put together. So there's an unlimited amount of different virtual events that can be created in whatever market industry you're in. So create one, make another one, create one, make another one. And just keep doing that over and over and again, turning them on autopilot. Keep sending paid ads to it, especially if it's working if it's converting the funnels, moving, keep sending traffic through it keep paper getting people through onto your coaching calls and into your high ticket programs. And yeah, you'll you'll scale. And you'll do that quite quickly.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, that's I suppose really, the way to think of it is the live event, the virtual event, it's a product. So as you're learning, you sell that product, you know, during during the time that you have the event, but then you productize it afterwards and you continue to treat it as a product. I'm curious, have you really found every time you do an event that it goes on forever? Have there ever been times where you've gotten to the point where you've done what you could on the funnels, but for whatever reason, it just doesn't sell anymore? And you put it to rest? Or have you been able to generate enough sales on things from 2015 1617 that still will last for years? And I guess it depends on the topic, because certain topics change. You know, something about Google Plus, obviously wouldn't be selling today. But if it was an evergreen topic, I mean, can you really say it's evergreen revenue?

Liam Austin:

Yeah, I think you can like these books that were written. I mean, you think of the Bible was waiting on the how long ago that was

Neal Schaffer:

a workweek. But yeah, you beat me with the Bible.

Liam Austin:

Yeah, like, like if you create content, and it's good content, and it's still relevant today. You can keep selling it and keep selling it years into the future. We ran two events on social media. One was the LinkedIn success summit. One was the Instagram success summit, both of those events should really be more annual events that were updated more regularly, because those platforms change. Yeah, in terms of like, maybe sales, for instance, sales has been occurring generations, right, decades, centuries. So there are certain things that will work today, and they will work next year, and they'll work the year after that. So as long as you're creating content that is evergreen that will work into the future in the years to come, then it's still relevant, people are still getting value, they're still getting results, then you can continue selling it. And that's how I'd approach considering the topics that you're creating and the products essentially, the events, you're creating our products, Neil has used to get suggested. So think about how that product fits into your value ladder and into the journey for your customer. And whether it's something that you can can Can you selling month after month, year after year?

Neal Schaffer:

That's awesome advice. Liam, thank you so much. I just wanted to add when you said there was like over 100 different types of virtual that is your lead magnet right there, my friend, you need to put that little ebook or cheat sheet. And I'm sure tons of people download it. Let me know the link. I'll put it in the show notes. But that's great. And, you know, I noticed we're doing this over zoom. And I noticed that there's a window that looks outside and I see the number of cars passing by are getting fewer and fewer. So I know it's getting there later. There's already past midnight. Really appreciate your time. Obviously, when we started working together, you know, I think the name of your company is entrepreneurs HQ I might be wrong. But you know, it's it sounded like at the beginning you were doing this for your own business. But now you're in the business of helping other businesses. And maybe some of the listeners listening are like this is way too complex. I just want to work with an expert and and just let them run the event plan the event. So tell the listeners you know about your company and how you help people and businesses.

Liam Austin:

Yeah, sure. So yeah, entrepreneurs HQ, we run our own virtual events, virtual summits, virtual workshops, and everything from short mini events through the larger multi day, conferences, retreats, boot camps, whatever name you want to throw at it. There is 100 different styles of sessions that you can run, I will create a lead magnet, that's a great idea nail. So that should be valid in the show notes, once that goes live. But yeah, entrepreneurs HQ, we've been running these events for ourselves, we know in terms of the conversions at each stage of the funnel, what we need, what needs to be done to hit our benchmarks and those KPIs to be able to turn that event evergreen so it can continuously generate revenue and income for us on autopilot. So we had clients reaching out to us asking, Well, can you help me do that? Right, so we've been helping clients to launch their own summits, their own virtual events, Carl, who runs the migraine World Summit. So in the health space, people suffering from migraines, he has over 100,000 people attending his event now annually. And he first started it, I think, in 2016, after following my advice, so I've been coaching him for the last few years, and he's grown it now to 100,000. migraine sufferers. It's the biggest conference in the world for migraine. So any migraine sufferers out there, go check out migraine World Summit. So I've been helping Carl just build his impact in the world helping loads of people. And at the same time, he's now being invited as VIP experts and on panels to discuss certain laws and things being passed by health practitioners around the world, because of his influence as the host of this event. Otherwise, I mean, he's a migraine sufferer himself, but he doesn't have, I believe any qualifications that would have brought him to that level without his his virtual event. So that's super cool. And there's other people that we've helped scale their virtual events from just bringing in a few 100 people, maybe even a few 1000, people say, eventually making millions off the back of a virtual event by selling their high ticket offer. So if you've got a $10,000 coaching program, or maybe it's a $40,000 coaching program, that works really well we've seen it work really well for our clients to be able to start with a virtual event that leads into their high ticket offer. So that you know, during the event, they're getting to teach and show their experience in how good they are at what they do. That audience gets to know like and trust them, and leads them into perfectly really, they're their high ticket offers, which can quickly scale to a million dollars just from the one event. And then obviously, you want to be running multiple events to really supercharge all of that. So yeah, we help coach clients through the strategy on designing that we've got a seven step system to help design that but with the ultimate end goal of that seven step system to create your predictable income system. So creating your predictable income system, which means there's a flow of traffic leads coming into your virtual van into your funnel. They're getting to know like and trust you and out the other end comes high paying clients for your high ticket offers your coaching programs, your services and your products and courses. And that is a steady flow of new clients every month, steady, predictable income stream as well for you, that continues to grow year after year. So that's what we do.

Neal Schaffer:

Yeah, that's awesome. So that's Leah master entre. printers HQ, we'll put the link in the show notes as well. And needless to say, if you've been listening to this, when you think of all the different types of content that you could be creating for, you know, SEO for lead generation to sell product, you know, hopefully after listening to this, you're, you see that a virtual event should really be part of your strategy. Whether you do it once this year, whether you do it twice, whether you start with a 90 minute just wants to try it out, or you want to do a q4 30 person summit. It's really something you should all be trying out. I know, Liam, you've encouraged me to go down this route. Again, something I haven't considered a few years. But yeah, you think because there's so many going on, that people are sort of, you know, tuned out of them. But I guess it really depends on the niche. And there are so many Yes, doing a content marketing summit, there's going to be a lot more competition these days, but doing a b2b content marketing or a content market marketing for entrepreneurs, or just a slight little niche down I think you can offer a lot of value have a lot more targeted speakers target audience, I guess it depends on obviously what you want to sell as well. But a lot of food for thought. I'm sure my listeners will be reached out to you as well. So thank you so much, Liam, any any last minute advice you want to add? Or did we cover every, every little bit of you know, advice you wanted to give everybody?

Liam Austin:

Oh, yeah, we did cover a lot. I mean, there's, there's a lot more to this. But as you said, like go out there and just test it, try it. But word of warning. It's addictive. I've been doing for years now. And I can't I can't stop and it continues to evolve and get better and more interesting, meet great people, impact a ton of people's lives make a difference. I mean, that workshop I just ran tonight, we had I think 75 paying customers for that virtual event. And I'll evergreen it and there'll be hundreds of people that go through this over the next year. And it's a new product that I'll sell and there'll be a new one next month, right. And it's all building people through my value ladder into my coaching programs to help them do the same thing and create a life where I know if moltres the dream destination for everyone, but it's a little island in the Mediterranean 330 plus days of sunshine, really relaxed lifestyle. So I know when I finish work at midnight, I can not necessarily enjoy the sun. But when I wake up in the morning, it'll be it'll be there even though it's winter. And I've I'm kind of living really the life that I always wanted when I started this business. So yeah, I just want that for everyone else. And yeah, virtual events. Go out there test at trial. And hopefully Yeah, it'll build the same type of business and life that it has for me. And that may be business or life that you've been dreaming about.

Neal Schaffer:

Awesome advice. Liam, thank you so much. keep rocking it. And I'm sure we'll be seeing you around at one of your virtual events one of these days. So thanks again. Cheers now, I hope you enjoyed listening to Liam as much as I did. As the interview progressed, I got more and more energized and excited. And recently, I have started to create a partnership with Hey summit, who are one of the leaders in the technology that is really the backbone of many of these virtual summits. So I'll be interviewing someone from Hey, summit, this podcast very, very soon and be talking about more how I plan to use their technology. So that is just a preview for you. If you're interested, if you go to Neal Schaffer comm slash haze summit, you will be able to get a little bit extra in terms of free trial slash discount, should you subscribe, so make sure you click on that link. And I'm going to put it in the show notes. You must go through that link in order to get those additional benefits, which will show on the landing page. Okay, enough about that. I want to thank you so much for listening to the end. As always, I've seen this podcast really go up the charts in a lot of different countries, especially some of those countries that are really strategic and key to me, the United States, Canada, Australia. I want to thank you all I know currently in France, Spain, Denmark, Portugal, Finland, Slovakia, Croatia, right to say Croatia, sorry, Luxembourg, Belarus and Moldova. I want to thank you all for listening, your downloads, your listens really do make a difference. And on the topic of reviews, I also want to give a shout out to Ben J. ship. Now Ben j shop. Benjamin Shapiro also has his own podcast called Mar tech podcast. It's a podcast that I was a guest on a some time ago. I think at this point. It is a daily podcast, and martec podcast is also part of the brand new HubSpot podcast networks. I want to give a shout out to Benjamin and his podcast his review Neil's a true influencer amongst a crowd of talking heads. Neil social influence podcast is brilliant. I spent 20 years working in marketing I manage a marketing team. I produce a top 100 marketing podcast when it comes to the topic of marketing. I'd like to think that I know what I'm doing that said every time I listen to Neil, I come away with a useful and actionable tidbit to add to my arsenal. Neil is a truly marketers marketer. This podcast is worth a listen. Thank you so much, Ben. I look forward to reading your review next time on the podcast and once again, make sure you Take a screenshot, send it over to me Neal at Neal schaffer.com. And I look forward to learning more about you and seeing how I can help you in these monthly webinars free only for the viewers of this podcast. Hey, that's it. Once again, thank you, I wish you all the best. And once again, make sure you press that subscribe button if you enjoyed this episode. I do half my episodes solo. I do half my episodes interviews, I really try to create and provide you thought provoking thought leading and more importantly, actionable content that you can use to push your business forward. So that's it for another episode of The maximize your social influence podcast, wherever you're on the world, make it a great virtual. We're opening up but not yet. Social day. Bye bye everybody and sale and nada