Today we’re going to talk about virtual events and how to make money with live virtual events, which is an especially timely topic because of the state of everything that we’re in right now. First of all, for those of you who are new to me, these GSD dailies, we do them daily, every day, 10:00 AM.

I have been considering moving it a little bit to the afternoon for our Pacific PST folks. We have a lot of clients on the other coast and I have gotten a couple of requests like, “Hey, can you do these things daily? Because I have questions and I want to ask questions but you do them at 10:00 AM and I’m not getting up for you.” That kind of thing, which I get. This is GSD dailies, this is number 40. We’ve been doing this for two workweek months.

My name is Jason Drohn and my specialty is in helping people create and sell online. Create programs, create digital courses, create coaching offers, whatever, and then selling those things, getting traffic, all of that stuff. That’s been what I’ve been doing for the last 14 years to some degree in one way or another.

virtual events

Money Making through Live Virtual Events

Today we’re going to be talking about making money through live virtual events. Now, we’ve had a lot of clients and a lot of conversations in the last couple of weeks because people basically with COVID, wiped out the entire live event model. If there was a live event that was supposed to happen in the last couple of months or if there’s a live event that is going to happen in the next couple of months, then obviously all of those people have pivoted to digital.

With digital, comes to the software, cameras, audio, mics. It’s a whole entirely different process. Then there’s promotion, there’s the lack of logistics, and hotel, and airfare, and all that other stuff. But what has happened is it has turned these virtual events into really, really, really big deals.

We’ve had several clients who we’ve built out like Zoom funnels for them, or webinar event funnels, or telesummits. It used to be telesummits, now it’s more like a webinar summit.

Different Ways of Generating Revenue

What we’re going to do today is we’re going to walk through some different ways of generating revenue from this live virtual events model. There’s a number of that you’re going to be able to take out of it.

1. How to be able to pull this off in your business

If you have events that you want to do virtually, you can pull it off and you can generate revenue with the virtual events by basically sucking buyers out of the virtual room.

2. Grow your brand from people’s experiences

Another way to do it is you can use what I’m about to teach you to grow your brand from other people’s experiences like, aka, the Oprah model. So you can go out to industry experts and say, “Hey, can you help me put on this virtual summit and share your expertise, which props me up because I’m the event host.” So that’s point number two.

3. Selling first and deliver after

Then point number three, the other thing you’re going to be able to take out of today is selling something first and then delivering it after. Basically, you sell this workshop and then you deliver it over six or eight weeks, or six or eight sessions, or whatever. So any questions you have, go ahead and just drop them in the comment box and I will check those out. But we’re going to get started here.

How to make money with live virtual events?

As I said, we built a lot of sales funnels that have worked in one way or another where we ended up moving everybody into a live virtual event, and then we use a breakout room for one-on-one sales, or we do an add to cart at the very end which drops people into an order form. There are several ways you can do this, but there’s one particular method in particular called the summit series that I think you’re going to like. All right.

Summit Series

Basically, these live virtual events, they’re brilliant moneymakers if you are or aren’t an expert, or you don’t have an audience already. That’s the key. You don’t have an audience or you have an on-demand audience.

You have an audience that is in a city and you usually go to that city to get in front of them, or you have an on-location event and then you do a six-week promotion around that event to get people butts in seats, then this model is going to work for you pretty well.

Now, a webinar series, a virtual conference, a telesummit, a summit, it’s all a series of where you organize experts around a specific topic and then you interview them, or you share the stage with them. You bring them on, you put them in front of a room full of people. And oftentimes that room full of people is created from the other people’s audiences, so you might have 10 guests and everybody mails them the same thing.

Well, you get to suck up all those leads and then these 10 people showcase their expertise and then sell something at the end. Or if you have an audience and have distribution, you can teach and train your buyers through webinars for their question and answer functionality, fulfilling the product in a live session or a live setting.

Basically, you get on, you sell that thing, your thing that you’re going to sell. And then you say, “For the next 10 weeks, we’re going to do 10 boot camp classes where I’m going to walk you through step one, step two, step three, step four.”

You’re creating the product while being paid to create the product. You can turn around and sell that thing digitally afterward. It’s a painless process. I mean, it is. It’s pretty easy to get started, you don’t need to have a whole lot in the mix to get this thing done. You don’t necessarily even need to have relationships, you can reach out to experts in the field.

What to do if you’re not an expert?

There’s a couple of qualifications that we’re going to go through that I usually tell my clients to look for so that they know that they’re a good fit.

Here’s how you set that up. If you aren’t an expert … as in you aren’t an expert, you don’t have an audience, you don’t have a list, this is a new thing for you. We’ve had clients do it in some wellness categories, we’ve had some clients do it in leadership and B2B kind of stuff, we’ve had some folks do it in the survival space.

Invite an Expert and get an affiliate commission

They go in, they email these experts and say, “Hey, you are an expert in …” Like survival. “You are an expert in modern guns …” Or something, like, “So can you come on in and teach my audience for an hour about what they need to look for in a rifle.” Or whatever. You go to somebody else and say, “You are an expert in gardening.” They come on and teach my guests about gardening for an hour.

“At the end, you can sell your own thing, you can sell your product, you can sell your service. And the only thing that I ask is because I’m exposing you to these thousands of people, then I get 50% affiliate commission.” Not only do you, the event creator, get the list, you also make money because you’re sharing affiliate commissions and you’re selling the downloads, which we’re going to talk about in a minute. What do you do?

You email or call your experts in their chosen industry, you ask them if they’d like to be interviewed for your teleseminar series, your webinars series, your telesummit, whatever that ends up being. If they say yes, ask them if they have an email list. You want them to have at least 5,000 people on that list per presenter. So if you have 10 guests on your telesummit or whatever, then you want to reach at least 50,000 people. So each of these guests is going to mail their list of 5,000 or more people inviting them to your virtual events.

You’re going to be generating revenue by selling downloads, affiliate commissions, and then you’re getting the list of everybody. Tell them they can sell their digital product in the last five minutes of the call, and then you get a commission. So that if the thing they’re selling is $1,000, then you make $500 commission from the thousands of people that you put in the room for them.

You’re organizing this event. I mean, that’s really about it. And then you’re attaching your brand and your persona, your identity, to the event and then propping it up by all the guests you’ve invited on.

Now, after somebody commits after one person commits, one expert commits, when you ask the next person if they’d like to showcase their expertise and share your stage, then what you want to do is you tell them that this person’s already on board. So, “This person’s in, would you like to be in too?” And then they start falling like dominoes. The hardest one is the first one. And then after that, it’s pretty easy to get folks in the mix.

You want to write emails that your presenters can send out to their lists for hour virtual events, you want to tell people of the call or the webinar, and then give them the affiliate link. So you want them to give … When they invite somebody, you want them to mail through your affiliate link so they know, A, that they mailed. And then, B, how many sales they sent.

virtual events

You want to make attendees sign up on a homepage or a landing page, adding people to your list. On the Thank You page is where you make your offer. You want to sell the downloads or the recordings of all of the sessions for $47, or $97, or $27. It just depends on what you want to do, but just allow them to buy the downloads in case they miss the live event. And if they don’t buy the downloads, then they’re shut out a lot. Like they missed the live ones and they didn’t buy the downloads, you don’t replay them. They passed on the opportunity to buy the downloads.

They can buy the downloads at any point, but you don’t give the downloads for free. You’re organizing the virtual events for free, you invited the guests for free, you let them sign up for free, you let them attend the event for free. But you make money from the downloads and the affiliate commissions.

Now, for each call in this telesummit, you can either stack them all in one day. You can just boom, boom, boom, boom all eight calls and this is a two or three-day block of event. It doesn’t have to be that way, you can wedge yourself in there. Maybe you have in the morning, you have a couple of guests in the afternoon.

Structuring the Virtual Event

1. Remind the attendees about the Call

There are lots of ways that you can structure this virtual event. But for each call, what you want to do with your list is you want to make sure that your entire list knows of the call a couple of days before the event. You want to remind the attendees about the call, then send another email the day before, send an email right before the event starts.

2. Send a link of the download page for payment

And then the day after the virtual events, you want to link to the download page for payment because you’re not giving them replays for free. But what you’re … “Oh my God, it was such a great call. And these are some of the tips that were shared. Boom, boom, boom, boom.” Little features of the benefits blog. And then, “Click here to download your copy of yesterday’s events.” Or after if it’s a multi-day virtual event, you might sell the whole thing as a download.

Of course, you package that stuff up and you can sell it forever for $997 as its course with maybe transcripts in it or something like that. We’ve talked about transcriptions a lot in our GSD dailies. All that is if you’re not the expert. If you’re not the expert, totally fine. You’ve leveraged other people’s expertise. If you are the expert, however … And most of the people watching this, there’s a lot of experts in the mix here. If you are the expert, what you want to do is you want to put together your training outline.

For example, you’ll be doing a webinar a week for the next six weeks covering six topics. Then buyers are invited to attend live to get trained up and ask questions. And following the webinar, they’ll receive the webinar replay link. After the entire program is done, all the recordings are going to be added to a page, and then you’re going to sell access to that course on autopilot forever.

You sell the thing first, then you use the event to record all of your material. And then afterward, you sell the whole course in a big box course. And then basically, you’re going to be selling a series from a webinar, so you want to make sure to charge for any downloads. That’s the thing.

Everything in this telesummit, teleseminar, webinar series, you want to make sure to charge for the downloads unless you’re giving the downloads or the replays for free because they’re promoting something else. Your downloads are the gold in this model.

If you are using the virtual events, the virtual summit, to then sell a big box thing, a mastermind program, a coaching program, any of that kind of stuff, then you can give the replays away for free if you want. Or you can charge a couple of bucks for them. You can charge 97, 197, 297, or whatever. That’s fine too.

If you have other experts and vendors in the mix, you want to make sure to charge you an affiliate commission, or you want to give them an affiliate commission on any of the sales that they send. And then you also give them affiliate commission on the downloads that they send too. So they’ve incentivized two ways. They’re incentivized by promoting your downloads, and they’re also incentivized by the sales that they’re going to make because they were on your event.

It’s not just the current sales because you’re going to be selling these replays forever, so they are going to continue making money forever. For as long as you’re selling, then all of their affiliate promos, all of their promotion at the end of each of their recordings, that’s all on a video somewhere.

They are going to be making money from this event for a long time. There’s a lot of ways to generate revenue and generate brands, to generate your brand, to build your brand, to generate an audience through this model. Now, if you find that you’re doing a virtual event to sell something like you’re doing a two-day event that you’re then going to sell a $3,000 program or a $5,000 program or whatever, there are some different ways that you can do that. The biggest one being, just like …

The call to action is, “Sign up for a strategy session. Sign up for an action plan call. Sign up for a quick start call.” Whatever. Whatever that call to action is you, you don’t want to call it like a sales call. You give it a cool name, you know what I mean? But that’s your call to action. “Hey, sign up for a call. Fill out this application. Fill out this form.

Tell me a little bit about your business. Tell me about what you do, and then we’ll have somebody then book a time on my calendar. We’ll have somebody call you back.” So that’s one way of doing it. The other way to do it now is, in the real world, IRL, or at live events, basically what happened was, you’d have a two or three-day event, and then you would express some interest in like a back of the room program.

You might go to the back of the room to buy something, or to fill out a form, or to book a time on a coach’s calendar where you’re going to be sold something. Or you’re going to have the conversation to invite you into a mastermind program, a coaching program, or whatever. In online, you can still have that. Zoom has this feature called Breakout Rooms. What happens is you can have a Zoom call or a Zoom event, and then the person presenting, they can … you can break people out into rooms, no different than a breakout room in a live event.

You have your big main room and then you have a couple of little side rooms, and you break interested buyers out into those side rooms. Sometimes, the more popular model is you put all those buyers in the same room, the same thing in Zoom. You can put all of those buyers in the same Breakout Room and then you can ask questions, or they can ask questions and give feedback and everything else.

The hot buyers, just buy. You can drop a link. So there’s a lot of commonalities between doing this life and doing it virtually. And the virtual model, the nice thing, you don’t need the virtual event, you don’t need the food and beverage costs, you don’t need the venue, you don’t … there are lots of benefits to it. It can happen anywhere, nobody has to travel to you.

What a lot of our clients have been doing is doing these little free preview events and the free preview ends up selling into a bigger one like a multi-day event. And that might be a three-day event, a two-day event. It might be 497, it might be 30 bucks, it might be free.

A big multi-day event where you’re just loving on somebody and then you’re making the pitch during that multi-day event. And you might have other speakers, and you might not have other speakers. It might just be you talking at your computer for her for eight hours, which I’d probably scratch my eyeballs out.

Like yesterday, I was on the phone for like eight hours and I was like a zombie afterward. Afterward, I’m like … I gave it like my computer, everything I possibly could yesterday. Do you know what I mean? I started in the call, then we did some dailies, then we did some … But anyway. But you can invite people in, you can invite guests in, they can help bridge the gap between you do doing the virtual event.

You don’t have the energy of an audience to carry you through. And that’s the biggest thing is you don’t have people … You can see people. Like on Zoom, you can see people’s faces, or on GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar. GoToMeeting especially, you can see webcams, you can see people’s faces if they have their camera-enabled.

But at the same time, you don’t get the energy, the physical transmutation of energy because you’re sitting in your office. It’s one of the reasons why I like to stand at my standing desk for these things. So not having the energy means you have to plan guests, you have to plan your time a little bit differently.

It’s just something that you have to take into consideration with these virtual events. You can still block everything a multi-day sequence and then deliver in that multi-day sequence, but you’ll probably want to have breaks, lunch breaks in there. Maybe you want to broadcast a certain amount of it through a stream yard as a live stream. You want to pull the curtain for some of it where you protect some of the information.

You do that part on Zoom so that at first you can do a live stream broadcast. Then you do like a Zoom broadcast with breakout rooms. It’s just interesting and you just got to think through how all of it is going to be delivered. Then what your offer is going to be.

Now in terms of virtual events, I’ve had teleseminar series, summits, telesummits, webinars summits. It is where clients do $17,000 and generate 14,000 email lists in a week without any experience, and without being an expert.

They collect some people into a group. They get a bunch of yeses, everybody mails to a landing page. Then on that landing page, they get the email list and they get the revenue. It was a natural wellness kind of an offer. I remember it was like a legend way back when I got started, it was like 10 years ago. I got started 14 years ago. This had to be 10 or 11 years ago, and it was about this virtual summit and he made 120 grand. It was like 120 grand, 110 grand, and generated 40,000 subscribers in a month or less. He was a nobody and just absolutely crushed it. Now webinars series, they’re really quick ways of fulfilling a product without needing a lot of editing and set up.

That’s the thing, you don’t mind going live and you don’t mind an imperfect product being out there. Something that is going to have some ohs and ahs, and it’s going to have some missteps, and it’s going to have some editing weirdness, then life is a great way for you to go. Live is perfect.

But if you are a perfectionist and if you need your stuff edited, or you don’t feel right about doing stuff on the fly, then this is probably going to be a little bit difficult of a model for you. Because in creating products, if everything needs to go through an edit, then you’re not going to be able to do life or you’re going to do it live, and then you’re going to go through editing.

You might as well just go through the editing the first time out. Do you know what I mean? And then package it and then make sure everybody gets the experience that you want them to get. So it’s up to you. Lisa said, “I love selling from webinars, my all-time high on a single webinar was $46,000.” Which is awesome.

Nice work. “We run them all the time, and a great revenue generator.” Yeah. They are. Webinars have been around for quite a while. And what we have found is that the automated webinars work well. They don’t work nearly as well as live webinars, they never have. They never have.

I’ve closed 52% of an audience on a webinar before. That was my best and it was fun. You can’t do that automated webinar, people know it’s automated. Even if it doesn’t look like it is, people notice. But yeah, webinars are great. I think I have one more slide here. Oh, what you’ll need. The things you need to pull this off, you need website marketing pages. So we need a lead magnet sales page, the confirmation page.

I have done many, many, many things on funnels. A couple of weeks ago it was an entire week on sales funnels, so just go back in the archives a little bit. This is going to end up being a webinar sales funnel, automated webinars sales funnel. We would go through and walk right through it. Merchant processor.

Stripe is a great one. You’re going to need a shopping cart if you’re going to be selling something, SamCart is a great one. And a webinar teleseminar software. Zoom is great. I still kind of an old head so I still use GoToMeeting. People are like, “Why? You sent a GoToMeeting link?” Yeah, it’s still the best. So yeah. Lisa said, “We test the automated and never the same.” Yeah. The pre-show is a lot of fun, yeah. She says, ”

A pre-show before a live webinar to make that personal connection.” Yeah. There are all kinds of little tricks that we’ve done and I’ve seen people do. They play their big hype up, pump up music before they go. And Lisa says, “GoToWebinar too.” Yeah. You don’t get the same. You don’t get the same conversions from anything else. I’ve tried Zoom. Zoom has the Breakout Rooms, which is super awesome. You can … Yeah, the breakout rooms are great. I’ve seen a lot of people do an automated webinar in Driftbots and Chatbots. So there are lots of interesting ways to cut it up and slice it up.

Next week on GSDdaily

Does anybody have any questions about this? It’s a good topic to end the week, the virtual events piece. Lisa, thank you so much for commenting. I appreciate it. Let’s see, next week. So next week, what are we doing?

Next week we’re talking about associations, software, professional services, coaching, and consulting, and agencies. I’m not sure about the order, how we’re going to cut them up. So Wednesday we are doing software because I have a special guest for software, which I am so excited about. His name is Marrs, and you’re going to be excited once you meet him. And the rest of it, I don’t know.

I think maybe we’ll do coaching and consulting, which is the second or third time we will have hit on consulting in these dailies. It’s a relevant topic just because of where we are in the world. I think we’ll do coaching, consulting, professional services, software, then probably agencies, and then we’ll see.

Then associations maybe. I don’t know, we’ll see. All right. Anybody else? So if you have any questions at all, make sure to go to … Any questions, you want to book an action plan call where we can go through this stuff. Talk about your business, talk about sales funnels, talk about getting you some traffic, talk about offers, any of that stuff, I’m more than willing to go through, put together an action plan for you, and then figure out what you need and go from there.

That is always, that’s the most fun part of what I do. I love it because I get to network with other business owners who are out there in the trenches like me, who are hustling and trying to better their business, and their brand, and everything like me.

For Questions and Guide

It’s always a lot of fun and we have some great realizations through the mix. If there’s any question I can answer next week on any of the creation questions, go to for getting shit done.

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