5 Circles: Should I run a telesummit?

should I run a telesummit? how to make a telesummit successful.

Have you ever wondered “Should I ___insert marketing method here___?”

Welcome to the 5 Circles Series – a special series of blog posts dedicated to answering that question. In each post, we’ll cover a marketing method commonly in use today. Everything from telesummits to webinars, celebrity affiliations to main-stream publicity will be analyzed in these posts. Finally, you’ll have a resource to help you determine not only whether or not you should proceed with a particular marketing method, but some tips, tricks, and pitfalls to avoid along the way.

All of the analysis done here will be based around the 5 Circles of Marketing – collaborative, earned, broadcast, event, and social.

These are the strategies I have used to build multi-million dollar brands. They are the same strategies I used to grow my coaching practice from scratch to 6 figures in less than 90 days. And now, they are yours to enjoy!

So, in honour of the Start Something Telesummit kick-off tomorrow – should you run a telesummit?

Marketing Circle: Collaborative/Event

Use this method of marketing if you are not currently using a collaborative or event based promotion strategy (see the 5 Circles post again if you’re not sure.) This will fill a gap in your marketing, and reach more of your potential clients and/or customers.

Best-fit Archetype: Supporter/Facilitator

Do you love organizing things? Does it bring a twinkle to your eye when you connect people to each other? Do you love sharing the work of others, helping people get value from others? Have you always been the “planner” in your group – the one who does committees, runs events, organizes clubs and groups, and runs the itinerary? If so, the telesummit method may be very well suited to your skills and your passions!

Secondary Archetype: Expert

If you love taking centre stage and sharing your ideas, if others consider you to have strong opinions, if appearing on mainstream television, giving keynote speeches, filling auditoriums and touring the country as a well-renown genius sounds appealing to you, you are probably an expert. Experts love the spotlight, they love talking and sharing about themselves and their ideas, and have minimal issues speaking to large groups. Experts are well suited to be guests on telesummits – being interviewed, rather than doing the interviewing.

How does it work?

Essentially a telesummit is a series of interviews or special presentations. Your role, as the host or organizer, is to collect a group of individuals who are all knowledgeable around the topic of the event, which you set around your desired target market’s needs. You request that they either give a presentation or record an interview with you on the topic. Then you broadcast these pre-recorded interviews out using streaming software or by sharing the MP3’s (similar to a podcast) to the registered audience.

It is common practice to request that the experts participating in the event help you share and promote. This is how the event builds your business and your database – you have a large number of experts congregating at once, all sharing the event, and everyone registering to hear the experts speak. This is, essentially, a database building strategy (not a customer acquisition one) – and it will add 100’s or even 1000’s of new people to your database.

Best Practices:

  1. Know your target market. If you understand your outcome (the result your business sells) and whom you provide it to (your target market), you need to think of a burning question or pressing problem that your target market faces. Common frustrations are time and money. Create a topic that will attract the right new people to your audience – those who are struggling with the problem you solve.
  2. Set aside a lot of time. Don’t try and launch a telesummit in a week… You’ll need at least 2-3 months to do this properly. Your very first step is to start reaching out to experts requesting an interview or presentation. Once you have reached out to at least 30 experts for your event, begin working on your landing page (the page people will use to sign up for the event.) Continue emailing experts, organizing and recording interviews, and promoting the event right up until the last day.
  3. Do not – please! – schedule your event in a way that no one could possibly get value from it. The point of a telesummit is to bring together experts and provide mountains of value to your new audience members. If you’re doing 1 hour presentations, and you schedule 6-8 of them a day for 2 weeks, how is anyone in your target market going to have time for that?!? Keep the commitment low and the value high – that will build you a big base of new, engaged subscribers (rather than a huge base of people who unsubscribe as soon as the event is over.)
  4. Get help. Seriously – do not try and run a telesummit and your regular business all on your own. I tried it… And if it hadn’t been for the grace of some amazing individuals taking part in the event, it all would have come crashing down. I eventually brought on help and everything smoothed back over. Get. Help. Hire a VA, get your sister to respond to emails, hire someone on Fiverr.com to edit the interviews, and anything else you might need. You’ll need the help.
  5. Chase after the big names – and the cool, obscure people. My telesummit included people who have been featured in places like MSNBC, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and Fast Company. It also featured a strategist and planner who still gets clients from Craigslist, a copywriter living in Costa Rica, and a former engineer turned coach and Law of Attraction expert. And as much as I loved interviewing the big, mainstream names, it also felt really, really good to help expose the work of these individuals who had smaller audiences to a new and excited group of people. Karma, bro!


There are two major pitfalls you want to avoid if you’re going to take this on yourself:

  1. Do *not* wait until the last minute to get your technology/streaming set up. Have backups for your backups and get your technology set up and ready at *least* one month in advance.
  2. Do not rely solely on the experts for marketing and promotion. Use one method from each of the other 4 circles to promote the event, and drive your own registrations. You get out of this what you put into it.

So that’s it – you now have a pretty good idea if you should run a telesummit, and some tips, tricks, and cautions to be aware of along the way. Watch for the next post in the series, and subscribe to updates if you haven’t already – the next post will get dropped in your inbox automatically.

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An ex-corporate marketing maven gone rogue, Cheryl Woodhouse is a Business Growth Mentor and Certified Master Law of Attraction Practitioner who helps small business owners to use their business growth as a tool to design their ideal life – one that includes plenty of profit. She has the uncanny ability to pinpoint the perfect business model for your goals, using your unique skills and abilities as a guide to create a strong foundation for your success. She then uses her mad skills in marketing to eliminate the overwhelm and frustration in your business, guiding you to choose 5 highly profitable core activities, and ditching the rest. You can find out more about your ideal marketing methods on her blog at CherylWoodhouse.com