Samantha King is an amazing online course mentor… and she ran a summit. A profitable one, too! In it, she’ll share her experience, what she learned, and how she’s using that list build to serve her audience.
If you want to hear a real story from a real person who ran a real event – THIS is the episode you don’t want to miss.
Discover How to Come Up with Your First Digital Product Idea In As Little As 15 Minutes with Samantha's Free Guide
Alyson Lex 0:02
If you've thought about hosting a summit, and you're not sure what it really looks like, what it really looks like, we've done a couple of episodes on what it's like to build a summit or how to successfully build a summit. But we thought we would bring in our client, our friend, the amazing teacher turned online course mentor, Samantha King because she hosted a summit. It was awesome. And we helped her do it. And we wanted her to just talk about the story, talk about the process, and share a little bit more about it. So Samantha, thanks for being here with us.
Samantha King 0:36
Thank you so much for having me. I'm excited to talk about this with you guys.
Alyson Lex 0:41
We are super stoked. So I want to just dive right in. Tell us a little bit about the premise of the summit your business just kind of give us the background story.
Samantha King 0:54
Yeah, well, as you said, I'm Samantha King, I'm a former teacher turned online course mentor. And really what I do is help online course creators, sell their courses. And you know, I do that right from the curriculum design, making sure it fits in your sales Foundation, your suite of offerings perfectly. So it's generating leads for other products and offers that you have. But the most important thing that I think gets missed with this is the idea that you know, if you want to sell courses, then you need to get to work. As soon as that course outline is done. Building your authority, making sure that you are the go-to expert and your audience sees you that way. And that you're not stuck in the friend zone. Which really, you know, brings me to the summit that we all worked on and were featured in together which is friendzone. To authority Island,
Jennie Wright 1:50
I have to tell you that the name of that summit, totally was so cool. I had so many people say oh my God, what a really interesting name for summit. And when Alyson and I came on board to help you with it, we were like, I'm not sure this name is going to work. To be honest, we were like not sure this is going to convert. But it did. And it's so it was such a cool title. I've had clients, other clients who have actually shown your summit to go, I just love this. I just love the name of it. It's so cool. So what was the goal for you for hosting the summit? What was the thing that you wanted to accomplish?
Samantha King 2:25
So I really wanted to obviously show my attendees how to go from this friend zone, and we don't see that word used a lot in business, but we end up in the friend zone with our audience, you know, people will come to me, people will come to both of you and go, they're not converting, they're not engaging, they're not taking action. Yeah, cuz you're in the friend zone, every time you ask them for a sale, they're quiet, you're in the friend zone, right. And so that was really about taking them from this friend zone place, and showing them the different things in their business that they can do to start getting to authority Island instead. But as a business owner, my goal was to generate more leads and grow my email list, which this summit did in in full force.
Alyson Lex 3:10
I think that that's probably like, the big goal of every list build is to generate leads and grow your email list. Did you have any other goals that you wanted to meet? That maybe were secondary to that primary goal?
Samantha King 3:26
Yeah, of course. I mean, we had the VIP package and, and Jenny, Jenny, when she was helping me, you know, create the summit and really talk about the format of it. We talked about how to monetize it. So we had the VIP packages. And so there was also of course, yes, I wanted to, to, you know, upgrade people to VIP packages from the free ticket. And I think that, you know, that was really, of course is important, because, you know, we're running businesses and our businesses are filled by money, I can't, you know, I can't feed my family on leads. But the way to actually make money is to, you know, get those leads. And I think the other thing that was really important for me is that Jenny and I knew that going into it, that the people that were currently on my email list, were not the right people. They were not the right people. Because I was pivoting my business like I think many of us have done in the last two years. And, you know, they, they, they weren't engaging in the content, they weren't getting excited about it. And so you know, it wasn't just like, grow my list for my leads, but it was also, let's make sure we have the right people on that list, which was the other, you know, huge piece of the Sonic.
Jennie Wright 4:40
That was a big piece. I remember really clearly when we looked at your list, and we looked at your open rates, we looked at all this stuff. And we determined really quickly that you know, your current list just wasn't there, right? It just wasn't going to participate in this and that's where, you know, planning these things out first really, really helps us it really helps us succeed. And you know, you absolutely knew at that point that you had to look for a different avenue, you had to figure something else, right? So you know, you knew who you wanted to have on your list. And you knew that you wanted to create an event. So you had to know that you had to speak directly to them, can you? Can you tell me a little bit like, share who you had, and then who you wanted.
Samantha King 5:24
So I had many women in business, I had, you know, they were service providers. But they weren't people who were thinking about creating a course. And they weren't people who necessarily were at that point where they were like, Canvas this, this program, or course isn't, I'm telling. And I need help. Because I think that's such a key thing, right? You have to be very humbled. So like for me to be able to come to you, Jenny, and say, Look, here are my goals, right? I want to, I want to get leads, I want to increase my list. But I'm going to be honest with you, the people on my list right now are the wrong people, we need to, we're going to need to do some work there. You know, that's a humbling thing. Because you have to admit to yourself, like, I've got this list, but it's not doing anything for me, right. And so the people on my list weren't necessarily ready to admit that they were also people who, you know, weren't going in the same direction I was and weren't, they're not really interested in building their business and building their authority in the way that I'm teaching. Right? Because as you guys both know, I don't say like, hey, yeah, go network, spend 50 hours a week, you know, networking, coffee dates, that's not my thing. My thing is here, let's figure out how to use other people's platforms in the online space to grow your business, as well as some of the other stuff that I teach. So you know, there was also that where they just weren't interested in doing it the way I was going to teach them how to do it. And so you know, that was it was bringing to say goodbye to them.
Alyson Lex 6:51
It is freeing, and Jenny and I have talked about that a lot about lovingly letting people go. And wishing them nothing but the best but saying, I can't help you with what you want. Earlier, or you know, a few sentences ago or paragraphs ago, you mentioned that it's humbling to come and ask for help. And you're right, it is it is a humbling experience as someone who understands how to grow and how to market online, what made you willingly take that experience and reach out to Jenny and I for help with your summit? Yeah, and I think it's
Samantha King 7:27
also about like, it's not just asking for help, but it's also being ready to say like, this isn't serving me and I need to look outside myself to solve it. Right, because a lot of the time we don't want to we don't want to tackle the fact that something's not working because we put all this time into it. Were really for me, it was more, I want this to be successful, I want to get on the right track, I don't have time to mess around. And so it was very much like for example, Alison, when you and I met I was like hey, like I need to talk to you about the copy. And I said it's not just it's not just the conversion copy for the upsell to the VIP package. It's even just the free copy. And we talked about my opt in rates for other free downloads and lead magnets that I had done and I said to you like look we're looking at like 20% and that's not that's not a very great opt in rate especially when we look at our summit numbers and what we got and so for me it was very much like I am not a copywriter This is not my zone of excellence. I want this to convert I want to get the right people on my list because I have plans and I have products and offers coming up that I need the right people on my list for and if all my other you know opt in and landing pages for only for free product, we're only getting a 20% conversion, then it's time to get somebody who actually knows what they're doing so I can focus on what I do.
Jennie Wright 8:58
And that's you know, that's awesome because it's not where we always start out and sometimes we have to go through that process of having something converted 20% before we realize that we need some support so what do you think may have happened if you tried to launch this summit completely on your own because you are completely capable? I want everybody know you know the tech, you know how to write you know how to do video, you know how to do speaker management, like it's not outside of your ability to do this because you are skilled. But what do you think would happen if you hadn't?
Samantha King 9:31
I think a couple of things would have happened. I think I probably wouldn't have necessarily finished it because working with Jenny had a built in accountability in it. I definitely would not have reached out at the level for speakers that I did. And I think that having speakers and I had a great group of speakers who all promoted and brought you know, they're absolutely a game to the promotion as well as the summit itself and engage with people during the summit. I would not have done that. And and that was amazing. key to success? And I think absolutely the conversion not. And so those two things would have brought the traffic down. Right? And then the conversion, right, I would have had another summit where the sales page converted 20%. And you know what, I have gotten the right people there as well. And so I think that that's very key because Jenny, as you know, I think we converted at about 80% on the opt in of the summit
Jennie Wright 10:27
Alyson Lex 10:28
Right, you know, a
Samantha King 10:30
few difference. And, of course, by having my speakers that 88%, these were speakers that I picked, who I knew had my target audience sitting in their audience. So it was 80%, which is a great conversion rate, but 80% of the right people. And Allison created copy that was going to that spoke to me, we worked on it together to make sure that it was you know, it was it was me, but it also attracted people who were like, yes, I'm having this problem, because those are the people that I'm going to be helping.
Alyson Lex 11:05
I have to say, this is the first time that I've heard the final number. Holy guacamole. Hey, that is so cool that that opt in rate is so high. And I think Jennie is that the highest one we've gotten
Jennie Wright 11:22
that is the highest. So that's a so yes, the answer is yes. But it's also the highest one that we've maintained. So normally what happens in a summit is in the beginning, your OPT in page converts at like 40 or 50, maybe 30%. And then it kind of peaks up a little bit, and then maybe goes down a little bit. But this maintained the whole time above 80%. And then not only that, and then we're going to talk about it a little bit later. But the take through rate to upgrade to the VIP, was similarly, bananas. So we can talk about that a little bit later. But yeah, it's this is the highest converting summit that I think I've ever done. And I've done over 300.
Alyson Lex 12:05
So and I think that that's not just the copy. And that's not just the design. And you know, of course, my ego wants to take all of the credit for Jenna and myself. But it really comes down to having that clarity that you came to it with Samantha, understanding exactly who you were going after. And being very crystal clear, not only about why you wanted them on your list, but what was going to happen with them after what your plans are. And you know, Jennie talks about, talked about it earlier that planning for success, setting yourself up, allows the strategy to go in a way that makes it more successful. And so you can help more course creators get the sales that they want, ultimately, that's what you deliver to people is help them get those sales.
Samantha King 12:55
Right. Yeah, and I think it's so key to you know, when when we look at the successes of it use, like you said, there was the planning, of course, the speakers and all the hard work they put in. But that's also something that Jenny helped him with throughout the process was finding the right speakers, because you know, you can put in a Facebook group, hey, I have a call for speakers, but you have to find the right people who are going to bring what the magic that my speakers brought. And it's also to, you know, when you said the design, like it's not just the design of like, the graphics and what they're gonna look like, or the design of the run of show, as Jenny calls it, like how everything's gonna run. But it's also those little things like on the sales page, how are we going to how are we going to lay things out? And then, you know, when it comes to the actual, like a day one speaker page? How are we going to lay that out for success? And the beauty of working with Jenny was she tested all of that? And I don't have in my in while I'm running a summit, but also I'm like I don't that's not my zone of excellence. It's not my area of expertise. And when you're running a summit, you don't have time to check all that stuff, like is it converting? Should we make a tweak on this page, like how does, right and so that was really you know, from your both of your experiences in running these summits and seeing what works and how things convert. And the most important thing that I see with professionals out there who are trying to work even in the areas that you're working in is that they're not focusing on conversion. They don't have the numbers to back it up. And they're not they're not able to say like, I can tell you right now that when you lay out your page this way, it's going to convert because out. Sorry, Jenny loves numbers, right? It's going to convert 15% that less better than this one over here, right?
Alyson Lex 14:46
Absolutely. And you know, we've never it's so funny. You're like, yeah, you love numbers. We don't like to give hard data because everybody's audience is different. Every client comes with different everything but the truth certain ways are going to convert better than others. And you were awesome. So what was it like working with us? Was there anything that surprised you about either running a summit or working with someone like us? Or any of it?
Samantha King 15:17
I think, yeah, there was to run to run a summit that we ran that was successful. I mean, that it was a lot of work. But, you know, working with Jenny and having her, you know, I think it was like, every week, we were talking via email or either on a call, you know, keeping that accountability through, because Jenny will tell you, like, a lot of stuff comes up in my life that I'm dealing with. And so keeping me you know, focused and on task is super key. I think the other thing was, you know, the fact that there was so much because you guys work together, there was so much that could be quickly, you know, you guys would chat about it come to me with my options, and then I could just make a decision. Right, which I think was super important. And I think the biggest thing too, is that for me, it's it's that return on investment. So people go Okay, well, you know, like Jenny said, I can run a summit, I can write my own copy, I can do this myself, I don't necessarily know if this summit is going to make any money. So do I really want to invest in other people. And for me, I came at it from a perspective that I have tried different things on my own. I know, I know my life, I know, I need help keeping me focused, I know that this was my conversion rate on my last couple of lead magnets, these landing pages. I know that if I invest, I'm going to get back. And that was the key, right? The return on investment from, you know, what I invested in working with you guys came back at 100% latgale. Right. And that's only in this immediate summit. That's not just including all the all the the dominoes, we just set up that as I move forward and start to as I say, harvest all those leads, what that return on investment is going to be
Jennie Wright 17:01
exactly and let's talk about let's talk about ROI. Let's talk about results, you know, numbers that you're comfortable sharing, you don't want to share anything you don't want to share. But talk to us about that you say you got 100% ROI, which means for me all the money you put in, you got out. So what does that look like for you? Did you close clients? I mean, I know what you got in terms of VIP sales, they were unbelievable. So talk to us a little bit about that.
Samantha King 17:31
Yeah, the via I think the VIP sales we did excessively well on I think we made about $3,000 us on VIP sales, which you know, to me is a fantastic number. And it really, it really brings in the people who, you know, are serious about making change. And the biggest thing is we have the two tiers for VIP. We talked about the pricing, and that was also something that, you know, Alison was instrumental in figuring out okay, how are we going to package this? How are we going to sell it? And what should the pricing be? And Jenny and I really spent time talking about the audience and, and you know, what, what, what would be a good pricing strategy for this audience. And it was a fantastic, it was a fantastic experience. And I think, you know, then there was closing clients, there's also the clients that I know, are still to come, and the clients that are sitting on my list, and they're ready to go as I start working on the next paid offer. And I think that's the key, right? I mean, there's I closed clients, I shared with you that the VIP number which was I think a little bit over three grand us. And then there's the dominoes, right, and that is the clients that are still waiting, the clients who have taken advantage of certain things that were part of the VIP package. There's also the social proof that you get from it, because a lot of the time for me, I'll say, hey, I'd love a Google review after I talked to somebody. So even if somebody was on the phone with me for 15 minutes as a result of that there's a social proof that I can put into that now into the next time that I go to run the summit into the next time I go to sell something. So I think it's really about you know, yes, there were monetary returns on investment. But we also have to look at what do we have as a result of the summit that is setting us up for the next piece. And on top of that when I run the next summit, there are things that I'm now going to have that I can change how I monetize that later. Right. And that's the beauty of it because, you know, the sales page is done. Right. Now it's about Okay, Allison, this is what I'm going into the next time. Let's talk about the sales copy. We need to get them there. Hey Jenny, here's what I'm going into next time. Let's talk about the strategy to get them there. helped me find some really great speakers and Of course, let's be clear, Jenny, Jenny didn't go out and pitch speakers. I was pitching speakers. But I could bring her a list that says, Okay, here are some people, here are my thoughts. What do you think? Do you think these are the right people for what I'm going for. And it's that expertise that you both brought to the table, the nuances of it, right? Because everybody's always focused. Like, for example, let's talk about, like, if you're focused on social media marketing, and you're like, Oh, I'm going to go on Instagram, I'm going to post the same stuff, I post on Facebook, on Instagram, if you have an expert who understands the nuances of the platform, they're going to tell you, that's not how Instagram works. And that was the benefit of working with the two of you, it was like, this is how a summit works. This is what works this is what doesn't, this is the landscape.
Alyson Lex 20:43
I really love how you have set that up. And there are parts that you haven't even mentioned, right, your list growth now makes you more attractive for that next year of other people's platforms, you have met all of the speakers, and maybe they're having you on their podcasts or on their summits or, and so not only are the dominoes in the form of the lists, or the social proof or any of that, but it's also in that more generalized visibility that can really be hard to get in, in a way that positions you as an expert. So I really love that you brought up not just the hard numbers, although those are awesome. I love numbers. So would you do this again?
Samantha King 21:32
Yeah, absolutely. And I think we're already like, we're already planning to do it again, here at it at my at my office, and it's going to be something that I do again, because the beauty of it is is that you know, we have this huge conversion rate, we we got a great number of leads, but also let's talk about like the conversion, the retention, the retention of the people on my list. So I also want to say like we didn't, it wasn't like they came for the summit. And then they opted out and ran, right, we had a 70% retention rate. So if all those leads that we kept 70% of them were like, I want to be here, I want to stay here. And that's the change I needed on my list. And so will I do a summit again? Absolutely. Because there's nowhere to go. But up. But a big key of working with the two of you is that Jenny and I sat and we were like, Okay, how can we make this better next time? What was missing? Right? And so we kind of already know, you know, these are the places we need to invest time and or money into later. And I think the key is understanding that, you know, working with you guys the first time Yeah, now I know how to do a summit. Yes. Now the sales page is done for the summit. But how can we make it better? How can we make sure that the summit, and the sales copy comes together nicely, to increase the return on investment for the next time, and increase the impact for my audience, because they are out there being told that you get your winning course topic idea, and it's all uphill from there, there's this whole like Field of Dreams thing going on, if you build it, they will come and as you as you guys know, that's not true, you have to do work, you have to bring traffic in, you have to bring in the right traffic, and then you have to be able to convert, however, that looks like. And that's a lot.
Jennie Wright 23:25
That's a lot. And I just, you know, you've been, you've been given us a lot of love, and we appreciate it, we want we really want to show and showcase you but also showcase what it's actually like from the client side because Alison and I can talk about it, ad nauseum. But until you're actually the person doing it, and I will say this, again, summits are easy, but they are not simple. They're hard work. They take time, they take time away, you know, they they take time out of your day, you know, they they take time from what you're doing your work, I mean, sometimes I'd get an email about Samantha's a night owl anyways, but I would get like these lady emails and stuff like that. But it does take time. Again, it's easy. It's just not simple. But it's worth doing because you can get these kinds of ROI. So before we kind of wrap up this episode, we have a little surprise that we want to do for you. And this is to talk a little bit more about you in this experience. So we're going to turn the tables. And we're going to talk about how we felt working with you on this experience. And we saw you come through with us. And I want to say that Samantha is literally the ideal client. There's a million factors as to why she is the ideal client, one of them 100% being that she listens, right. So you know, Samantha and I hit it off right from the get go after the first time that we talked, but at the same time. Usually when you're working with a client sometimes they're like, yeah, that sounds really really good. And you're not sure if they're actually going to do it. Well. Anything that Allison and I suggested to Samantha she was like Yeah, okay. No problem, I'll do that. So everything we asked her to do in terms of up leveling, like we literally looked at her, you know, she had, she had an opt in page from a previous summit. And we're like, we don't think that's gonna convert, we need to change it. And she's like, okay, and she wasn't married to it. She wasn't like, Oh, no, but I love it. And I got it. She was just like, okay, let's throw it out. What do we do instead? Right? You know, and, and we were like, well, the coffee's a little bit. She's like, okay, let's just do better than right, and so on and so forth. And same with social, we were talking about social and she was like, Okay, I don't have a problem with that. And the other thing that was really, really big is that she trusted our expertise. You know, when we came to Samantha, and said, Hey, we think you should, or we suggest that you could, she's like, no problem. And that made us feel very validated for all the work and effort that Allison I put into what we do, and the up leveling that we do constantly, to try and make a good client experience. And it was just incredibly gratifying to have a client that was like, No problem, I'll do that. And it was just, it was wonderful. So I'd like carbon copies of Santa came, please. Thank you.
Samantha King 26:09
I just bow down to the experts. All right, because I think the biggest thing, and like I said, it's humbling, but it's also about realizing that that's not my area of expertise. And I know what my results were before, and I want to level up, and that's why you're here. So let's get it in the way and let you do what you do.
Alyson Lex 26:26
I think what you really did is you, you took any ego, and you replaced it with passion, because you're all in on making this the best it could be. And that shows in the way that you're like, hey, I've reviewed this, I have these couple of changes here my thoughts, what are you thinking, like, we get the videos, and we make the changes, and you're like done, and it just, it's seamless. And so you're passionate about getting it out in the world. you're passionate about actually helping your people do what you say you're going to help them do. And you knew that this was the vehicle to get you there. And because of that you were willing to just grow and uplevel and keep going and you still are which is awesome. And yeah, I would like carbon copies as well.
Samantha King 27:16
You're really there's only one Samantha King. But I bet there are other people who want to bring that passion to their audience and see the value in the expertise you to bring to it.
Alyson Lex 27:32
Thank you. So talk a little bit about where our audience can find out more because building authority online does not require a bunch of coffee dates. tell tell our people where they can, can get more info.
Samantha King 27:49
Absolutely. I mean, we've always got something going on, over at authority Island calm, but I always say to people, the best way is to connect with me on Instagram. At its underscore Samantha Kane, you can learn on your own or with the community over there. We also have if you'd like the community feature, there's a free Facebook group. And of course, as always, as you guys know, there's also my YouTube channel where I explain everything you need to know about creating your online course and selling it in five minutes or less. So the best thing to do is head on over to my Instagram feed, click the link in my bio, and everything you need is right in there.
Jennie Wright 28:32
She's not kidding my friends. Oh my gosh, it is right there. I've been on her YouTube channel. And just FYI, I ran a course before I met Samantha, I am going to run another course. But knowing what Samantha does, and knowing and watching some of her videos on YouTube, I know that I need a complete overhaul of my entire course curriculum. And there's only one person I'm going to so just say, right, and we're gonna have all the links to everything that Samantha was talking about in our show notes. So don't forget about that. Before we wrap up, we're going to give you four really quick takeaways, I'm going to start off and the first thing is is that sometimes we don't feel like we can tackle all the things like we know that something isn't working in our business, but we're not sure what it is or we're really not ready to realize it we just think that if we keep throwing money at it or keep throwing something at it, it'll keep working but when we do when we do realize that we just don't have time to mess around anymore. That's when we put up the you know the white flag and say can I please get some support? Can I please get some help? And your business can transform when you do something like that.
Alyson Lex 29:32
Alright, my number one thing that's meant the did right is getting crystal clear on not only who you're going after, but what's going to happen after they're on your list, building out that journey for them so that everything is so much more targeted. Hmm.
Jennie Wright 29:51
What I love more of what Sam did right on this is that the result of the summit was literally setting up the next piece and the next piece and the next piece. So we did a summit, you know, then it went into a five day challenge. We're working on other things like Sam Smith is working on all the different things that are leading away from the summit, but they're helping her harvest those leads, and keep in communications with those leads to help her retain that 70% retention rate that she talked about earlier, super impressed.
Alyson Lex 30:19
And the thing that made her so successful is she got rid of the I have to do everything, even if it's not in my wheelhouse mentality, which is the CEO mindset of the world. And it is probably one of the biggest keys to any business success. Be willing to admit when it's not something you're great at, find somebody who is to get to help you whether that's, I don't care if that's graphic design, copy, I hire people to clean my house for that very reason, because I suck at it. So get rid of it if it's not in your wheelhouse, and be willing to admit that about yourself and your business. Absolutely.
Jennie Wright 30:59
Samantha, just want to take a second to say thank you so much for doing this with us. We really love getting your perspective from the client side. It's it's an insight that we don't always get, it's certainly not one that we've had on the podcast before. So thanks for taking the time. absolutely happy to do it. Perfect. And thanks so much for listening, everybody. If you want to hear more about how alson I can help support you in your summit. So you might be able to get some awesome results. Just like Samantha head on over to System to thrive.com Check us out and hit the contact page or the Connect with us page. Work with us page. I can't remember the name of the pages. Allison knows all the names. So go over there. Check it out, connect with us. You can book a call. It's completely free and we'll connect with you there. Thanks so much for listening, everybody. We'll be back again soon answering another big question.