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What is an online summit and how can you host one successfully? Learn how creating an online summit can help you grow your audience, generate leads, and increase revenue.  

Are you an online course business entrepreneur looking for new strategies to help you sell your online course, all while changing the lives of your students? You’ve come to the right place.

Watch our free video below with HeySummit’s CEO Benjamin Dell to learn how you can maximize clarity and build sales by creating your own online summits, and build off of what you’ve already created with your online courses.

What Is An Online Summit?

So what is a summit in the first place? There are a lot of technical things and jargon that can be delved into here, but here’s what it really comes down to: video content that is delivered online. It can be presented live or pre-recorded, and it’s typically centered around a single theme or cohesive set of subjects around a larger topic.

Online course creators are great online summit creators due to already focused and expert at producing video content, editing and delivering. Most online course creators already do a mixture of live and pre-recorded content, and their courses are centered around a particular theme. There are just some slight tweaks and tactics needed to be employed in order to approach creating an online summit with the most value.

How An Online Summit Differs From An Online Course

Online courses and online summits are very similar in their design and execution, but there are some key differences. First of all, a summit will usually be more than just yourself or a co-course creator talking to the camera. Typically anywhere between 6 and 30 experts will be brought in around a specific topic for an online summit. There are also some alternative revenue models that you can actually introduce which are hard to do in the traditional online course space. This is because online summits lean towards a slightly different way of thinking, people believe that their content is more valuable. There are a lot of revenue opportunities that are quite common in the summit space, such as all-access passes and sponsorships.

Online summits also allow all of the talks to be completely independent, so you don’t need a “through-line” for every speaker to be connected to each other. Typically with an online course, you elevate from module one to module two, but with an online summit, they generally can be all independent in their own right. This means you don’t need to think so much as a producer about how they all tie together. If you structure things properly, with an online summit you also have the potential of being paid before you even start.

Sponsorship is a powerful way to get authority and alignment with some of the work that you’re doing, by using known brands in the space. It’s a great way to make money since they’ll pay you for that privilege. Having sponsors is a great way to boost confidence in yourself and your business, while it also gives you capital to do some extra marketing. Think of doing some giveaways, create some free goodies, or keep the funds as a source of extra cash flow!

Running an online summit allows you to further build your authority in the online course space. You are now actually being seen as the person that’s bringing all of these various speakers together under the same topic. This means you’re now seen as the facilitator instead of just the person that’s delivering the content from your online courses, which is key!

Why Online Course Creators Should Host Online Summits

When you host an online summit, you are not responsible for having to create the content yourself. You might decide that you’re going to run one of the talks as well as host, but don’t feel obligated to. Running an online summit can be seen as a bit of a holiday from some of the other work that you might be doing with your online courses. It’s a perfect pairing with online courses because it further boosts your authority, when you ensure that some subject matter from your courses is carried through to the summit.

Running an online summit also helps prove how effective you are at educating and inspiring over video, even if you’re not the person that’s actually doing the talk. By being a host or facilitator of a successful online summit, your attendees will start associating those feelings of success and knowledge with you. They’re going to start trusting your ability to inspire and to educate online, which is really powerful in developing relationships. You also get to build really powerful relationships with your speakers and potential influencers in the online course space, which is a huge asset for you and your business.

Online Summits Are Revenue Opportunities

The bottom line is that online summits provide a wide range of revenue opportunities that online course creators may not be aware of. They also open up different revenue models that wouldn’t quite work in the online course world, such as a VIP Access style pass, or other things that allow your content to be more restrictive in terms of how you make that video content online.

Before you start your online summit, make a decision around what the primary purpose of the summit is. If the purpose is to drive revenue, you’re going to lock your content and wrap it up as paid for access, which would go hand in hand with the VIP Access style pass. If the purpose is a marketing play, as a way of driving traffic to your online course and fueling your authority, then perhaps you do want to think about making it available online.

There is a huge amount of opportunity just waiting out there, and online course creators are uniquely positioned at the forefront here, with the skills and content required to actually pull off a successful and profitable online summit.

Watch the video featured at the start of this article to get all of the key things you need to know when creating your first online summit! Want even more strategies for getting started creating your own online course? Download the free Thinkific guide to creating and selling online courses!