List Building Strategies - Don’t Plan a Telesummit or Other Virtual Event Until You Read This

List Building Strategies – Don’t Plan a Telesummit or Other Virtual Event Until You Read This

Planning online events for list building is one of the things I help my clients with most – everything from marketing strategy to get the most sign-ups to setting up all the technical tools and webpages. In fact, I did one just a few days ago.

So when a client recently asked me about using a telesummit to grow her business, I had a lot of insider information to share. In this article, I’ll reveal my top 5 insider webmaster secrets about telesummits and other virtual events that most people won’t tell you about.

Telesummits are a series of teleseminars with a dozen or so speakers that is held over a period of time, usually several days. Other online or virtual events include the ever popular teleseminar, tele-class, webinar, virtual conference, and online workshops.

These virtual events are fabulous at helping you build a list of prospects and/or make sales because they are easier for people to attend than live, in-person events. You may have noticed the latest craze in the past year with telesummits. I’ve been getting invitations for them at least once a month.

But along with all the benefits of a telesummit, there are some cautions that many people aren’t talking about. Here are my top 5.

1. It’s a lot harder to plan than it looks.

A telesummit or virtual conference may be just a series of teleseminars. But make no mistake. They are a lot more involved than a teleseminar.

There’s affiliate program and links to set up, coordination of speakers, promotion for multiple teleseminars back-to-back, product and gift offerings to coordinate, shopping cart set up, recordings and back-up recordings, dozens of webpages, autoresponder messages to write and schedule… The list goes on and on.

If you thought this was going to be a quick and easy way to grow your list, think again. Planning a telesummit ranks right up there with planning a wedding or a live, on-site conference.

Which leads us to insider secret #2…

2. Get professional help.

Leesa Barnes of advises “I no longer believe that anyone should organize their own telesummit.” I concur. By all means, host a telesummit or virtual event, but have someone else help you with the organizing and planning.

On her site, Leesa goes on to say

“Do NOT underestimate how much time and effort goes into producing a telesummit. In a recent survey I conducted, 51% of telesummit hosts indicated that they spent anywhere between 6-15 hours per week organizing their own telesummits.”

You’ll need a team to help you, starting with an experienced virtual event planner, webmaster, and technical virtual assistant. These people will keep your expenses at a minimum because they know what to do and what tools to use to get maximum results.

So of course…

3. Use proven systems.

There are a lot of different options available to help you put on your virtual event, and I’ve tried several of them. Experience has shown that you want to use a proven system that your virtual event planner knows how to use.

This does not necessarily mean expensive event planning software. You may only need tools like WordPress, PayPal, AWeber, or 1ShoppingCart. The important thing is that your staff knows how to efficiently use the systems.

You don’t have time or money to waste on learning curves. The longer it takes to launch your telesummit, the more time there is for someone else in your niche to launch an event before you. Then you end up with unwelcomed competition.

Which leads us to secret number four…

4. Be one of the first ones in your niche to hold a telesummit.

Don’t have a telesummit when everyone else in your niche is doing it. A virtual conference is a novelty when the first couple of people hold one. But if you niche market is already having one or more a month, the market is saturated. Your prospects and clients won’t have time for all of them, and they may decide that yours is the one they don’t attend.

If that’s the case for your niche, I recommend that you wait a few months until the marketing fad is over and then hold your event. If on the other hand, no one has yet done a telesummit in your particular niche, the field is wide open for you. Just keep in mind that a telesummit will take weeks to plan properly. If the field is wide open, don’t delay.

And here’s my top insider tip that no one is talking about…

5. The list you build will be diminishing.

Yes, I know seems contrary to everything that’s being promoted about holding a telesummit. We are told that telesummits and virtual conferences are a great way to build a list quickly. But look at this logically, and I think you’ll agree.

The person who benefits the most from a telesummit is the host. They get all the registration names and email addresses. The speakers only get some of the attendees on their list when those people sign up for a free gift or purchase a program.

An event like this one usually has 10 or more speakers. So think about it. Your brand new prospect will not only be getting emails from you, they’ll be getting similar emails from several other people at the same time.

What do you think will happen? It won’t take long for them to get overwhelmed with email and start unsubscribing. At best, a new prospect will stay on only two or three out of the ten (or more) lists they subscribed to. So your list building efforts quickly become diminishing.

A Better List Building Alternative

Any form of list building takes time and effort to do it right, but it doesn’t have to be hard. It’s easy to set up an automated lead generation system that has clients calling you for appointments.

Use list building strategies like article marketing, video marketing, speaking engagements, and teleseminars where your expertise is presented individually, without being surrounded by competition. Offer unique solutions to ideal prospects who desperately need what you have to offer, and you’ll easily build a list of raving fans – not just a temporary big list of names.

My staff and I are committed to helping your niche see you as THE expert they want to work with. We can help you create irresistible offers, programs, and websites. Because it’s not just a website…It’s the Mother Lode!

To learn more about how our Mother Lode Website™ or other packages can help you grow your list, email me or call at 423-463-0003.


  1. Angela Minelli
    Apr 23, 2011

    Thanks for this article Karen! I had this on my mind and suspected a lot of what you said, so I’ll save it for many years down the road…:)

    • Karen Brunet
      Apr 24, 2011

      Angela, glad this article on list building strategies and telesummits was timely for you. And when you’re ready to have your virtual conference, you know I’m here to help you, as always.

      You go girl! And best wishes on your upcoming teleseminar “How to Detox Safely”.

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