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Ever wondered what a summit producer really does? 

It’s not what you think! Sure there’s the tech and some support, but it goes way beyond that in terms of making the summit individualized and successful. 

In this “interview style” episode, here how Jennie recently supported Alyson on her online event as a summit producer and the details into how that worked.


Episode 26 – How to Work With A Highly Paid Expert (and get the most out of your investment)
Episode 21 – Leveraging Your Time With Outside Experts (or how to let your help help you)

Our transcript hasn't been proofed, so there will probably be some errors. Sorry about that!

Jennie Wright 0:07
What people think I do as a summit producer, and what I actually do, are two completely separate things. There's a perception with list building and lead generation and summits. And what I do as a summit producer, which is not only what the whole thing of what I do, but it is a very large component. And I thought about doing a real about this, and I thought about trying to make it entertaining. But I'm just not that kind of girl. So I want to have this conversation. And I've got Alyson Lex here with me, my good friend, my co host for the System to THRIVE podcast, and the person who's most recently gone through this process with me, because I have been able to coach and mentor her through the process and produce her event with her. So I've got Allison here, because she just went through it. And I want to understand a little bit more and have somebody else talk about what I do versus what the perception is. And I think Allison can see both sides of this point. So I'd really, really like her insight. Allison, thanks for sharing this with me today.

Alyson Lex 1:11
Of course, and one of the things that you mentioned is you produced it with me. And I think that is the biggest thing. It's not. I mean, yes, we can get into the nitty gritty of this, the coaching and the encouragement, and the direction and the strategy and the implementation. And we can do all of that. But for me, I think the biggest benefit of working with you on this was I did not feel like I was flying totally solo. I had someone with me, someone that understood what was happening, someone that could say I've been there, I've seen this, here's what to expect to just kind of give me a leg up, instead of me trying to figure it all out on my own.

Jennie Wright 1:58
So I kind of wanna ask you, what did you think of summer summit producer did? Or does?

Alyson Lex 2:06
Well, that's kind of a loaded question, because we are so close. So I kind of knew what you did for clients. But I didn't realize how much I would lean on you for the non strategy stuff. And I'm sure that all clients are different. But of course, I knew I needed your help with strategy and pricing and what I what do I put in the VIP and who do I target, and all of that. I did not expect that there would be we call it ledge talking talked me off the ledge on things when I was freaking out or spiraling or upset. You were encouraging. I didn't expect that. Even though I knew about everything that you did. And I'm not sure that all summit producers do that. I mean, really, if I look at the marketplace, I think, well, summit producer is going to actually just do the stuff. I'm in charge of the strategy. I'm coming up with the ideas I'm putting in there kind of making my vision come alive. But what you do, I think, is more than that.

Jennie Wright 3:15
It is and it's out of necessity. Because what you find when you work with somebody who produces summit, is there is the hard tools, the hard skills, the strategy, the implementation in terms of building out whatever funnel, also any sort of speaker management, which I personally don't do, but I encourage and I share how my clients can do it. All those little things. But then there's that little stuff, the soft tools that have to be learned. And depending on where you are in your business, those soft tools are different. Allison Allison has been in business for a long time herself tools that she needed worked on were different than somebody who's launching a business using a summit. But what is intrinsically the same, is the fact that I have to be the person that does the ledge talking. That happens more often than you think. And everybody's ledges different. And everybody reacts differently. So what's odd is knowing how to bring people back in the ledger isn't necessarily a bad thing. But there is the occasion where it actually does happen. So what people think I do, and versus what I actually do is different. But what do people think I do is I tell you what to do I tell you when to launch I you know I build out the work back calendars or whatever the case is. And then you know we go do the thing. A lot of people who build out events, expect that you will know the host will know all of the gamut like the entire thing and will say go do this and go do that. The reason that I've developed this other side, the soft skill side, the strategy side of this support side is because when I originally started summit all Did was the implementation for what I was seeing is I was seeing my clients have imploding moments. And they needed that and they weren't getting it from the coach or they weren't getting it for the summit program that they purchase for X amount of dollars that's in kajabi. That they're, you know, just going through module by module, there isn't that support? It's very, you know, do this step one, do this. Step two, just do this. Step three, do that. And it was a big missing.

Alyson Lex 5:27
Yeah, I call it a spiral moment. Right? Like, okay, this is I'm on the ledge. And if I go over, I'm going to spiral and you pull me back. So it's funny, I actually didn't have a full spiral moment this time, because you were, we were so communicative about, especially the closer it got, the more we were in contact about it. Not that we're you know, we're hashtag transparency, we're in contact a lot. But it's a lot of memes and jokes back and forth. This was I was talking to you more about my upcoming event, the closer it got. And you were really adept at recognizing when that ledge was looming. Um, but then also it was, it was really nice to not have to worry about, like, okay, you told me this needs, you need to start promoting this day, cool. You need to do this today. Cool. Like, it was really nice for you to say, this is where you are. And this is where you could be if you do this, so I need you to do this.

Jennie Wright 6:37
Absolutely. And there's, there's, there's a difference there. Because those are the moments when we get close to promo. So a summit building out a summit can take three to four months, I like to take four to five months, because I don't like it to take over your life. And Allison knows how much this took over her life. And what it was able to do. I mean, she was you know, it wasn't overly overwhelming. But there were moments, right. So there's certain peaks and valleys and building out an event like this. There's the peaks, which are the happy moments and the valleys, which can be the spiral moments or the trigger moments. And it's what happens at both that matter. But what happens more in the valleys is what can lead to the next peak, right. So if we, if we spend a lot of time in that valley, if we experience a lot of frustration, then we're not going to move to the next thing. So I always, you know, although I know Allison very, very well, this is something that's easily transferable to other people where if there's something that's happening that's causing that confusion, or that overwhelm, or the, you know, the valley, the spiral moment, whatever it is, getting the person back on track, if you catch it early, takes a lot less time than if you let them ruminate in it. And then you have a problem. So as an example, I talk to my clients once a week. But that doesn't mean I'm not there. So I noticed things. And I, there's lots of little triggers that come up for different people. And we all Funny enough, a lot of people have the same sort of triggers that happen and I can sort of see it coming. And people react similarly in certain situations. And I can go, oh, we're getting there, something's you know, kind of happening. Some people go really, really quiet. I call that cubby. Some people get really choppy with the way they talk. Right? So they get short. And that means they're, you know, feeling overwhelmed. And they're experiencing like, I can't handle more than this. So I'm just going to answer you with the least amount of words as possible. Other people start getting incredibly verbose, and they actually start talking incredibly negative. And it can be very personal sometimes. And that's somebody who doesn't know how to express their emotions in a more linear fashion in terms of like, this doesn't relate to you as a person, this relates to the process, and I'm struggling. So I don't take any of this personally. But I've had to develop the skills. And early on, I didn't have those skills. Because I was, you know, I'm a little bit of a bleeding heart, heart on my sleeve kind of person. And I would, I would sort of take that personally, I think it was personal. But I know that it's not and you develop different mechanisms to dealing with people like that. And the goal is to get you as quickly and without as many valleys as possible to your success point. That's the end goal. So the question I want to ask you, Allison, is one,

Unknown Speaker 9:26
would you do it again? And then two?

Jennie Wright 9:29
If you did it again, would it be helpful to have somebody to help you produce the summit again? Or do you like do you have it you can do it, you know, hands off, no worries.

Alyson Lex 9:40
One I'm already planning on it. So be on the lookout for coaching conversion 22. Two, I wouldn't dream of doing it without support to the point where not only do I want to make sure that I have you there as my producer. But also talk to you beforehand about who else might we need to add on to the team? Or, you know, how can we train up my VA what needs to happen to actually give me more support? because like you said, it does take over your life a little bit. I did six, about six months of planning. And the closer you get, the more it takes over. That's normal, you told me that. I would like to be even more prepared next time, I feel that I came off, I was very, very prepared very, you know, you gave me an incredible timeline with deadlines that spaced it out, I'm doing some personal work to help me, you know, be a little more on top of things when it comes to that sort of thing with lots of moving pieces. There's a reason I don't project manage. Because the lots of moving pieces, I get overwhelmed. And you're talking about, you know, the the three different types of people and I feel like I was those three different types of people all at the same time. So how can I get more support? What else could be either taken off my plate managed better, done differently? And I know that that strategy that we'll come up with, in that planning period,

Jennie Wright 11:24
agreed, agreed. And Allison, give yourself a little bit more credit than that you you weren't a hot mess in any way, shape, or form before you even think that you had the you are actually one of the ideal people when it came to tasks. Because if I said something was happening, and I wanted you to do something, then I wanted you to, you know, and you were like, yeah, sure, no problem. Totally got it. And you would actually go and do the thing. So there was a lot here in the way that you were working, which is great. And the valleys that you did experience were quite normal. And that's okay. those are those are growth opportunities, right. And when you're working with somebody who has some difficulties with the project management side, or perhaps some issues in terms of maybe they have ADHD, or they have, you know, different kinds of attention deficit, or they have any other neurological things that are happening with them, that has to be built in, right. So that's a real consideration. And that's not something that gets considered by somebody who's just going to be your implementer. Right, they're not necessarily building that in. And when you work with somebody who produces an event, they have to understand that so one of the first things I do when my first calls with my clients, is I asked them, are you taking a vacation? Do you have like, Where are your kids at? You know, are you diva? Is your sister getting married? Are there anything in terms of the personality stuff like, tell me what your opportunities are? Tell me what your struggles are, in terms of, you know, project management or things like that. I asked those questions so that I can be more flexible. You know, I realized early because I was trying to get Allison to do this in about four, four and a half months. And I realized, and she realized, which was great, because we were able to adjust that this was going to take a little bit longer for her because we were creating too much overwhelm, there was a lot going on. This is you know, we were still in pandemic times, at times her son was home, there was a whole, you know, thing where her son got exposed to a possible exposure to COVID at one point, and he was wanting for two weeks. And that really screwed up the timeline a little bit, there was a lot going on. So building in I call them the whoopsies. So being flexible and malleable and having those oopsie moments of going, Okay, we need to we need to adjust. And I'll say one other thing about this. There are coaching programs out there. And there are coaches out there that say, stay in the moment, stay on the stuff that you're in, you know, book a date and don't change it, it's in concrete, don't move it, you know, and they make you feel like you're the problem. And then you're at a deficit for wanting to make the event more your own. And I will say that I don't like that. You know, Allison is an incredible communicator. And she's really great at connecting with people. So I flat out told her, you're doing panels, right, you're going to communicate, you're going to have 10 or even 15 experts, and you're going to be doing these really cool panels. And I think we have to make those summits really intrinsically around the person and their personality.

Alyson Lex 14:26
I think too, so I moved. Pardon me, I moved my summit. I was originally going to have it in May of this year. And it just wrapped up a couple days ago. It's June. I moved it by just about three weeks, three to four weeks. Because I was able to look at myself and say I'm overwhelmed. I'm retreating. I don't want to do this. It's too much. I need to move at and Jenny and I talked about it. And I said what do you think if I move it and she said you Okay, she got it. I mean, we had a conversation, it wasn't just a moving the summit, okay? It was a conversation about it. But by allowing that flexibility in the strategy from the get go, I will fully say that it was a better event in June than it ever had the hope of being in May. just flat out, that's just the way that that extra month I needed it. Not just for the actual time, but for the mindset of it. And the nice thing about someone who's just who's not just producing or implementing, but who's coaching and strategizing and wrapping it all together, is that you are seeing the whole person, you're not just seeing the summit host. I think that's really important. And, you know, one of the things that that you did, that really meant a lot to me, and I know that it was both as a friend, and as a client, if you will, was, you know, you know about pardon me, I don't know what's going on my throat, I think I'm allergic to cicadas, but you, you know, we've talked about my struggles with ADHD and the neurodivergent stuff that's been going on in my own head. And so you started researching it. And you started following some people on Instagram that teach about it in adults, not children, and you did it in an effort to understand me more, so that you could better help me not just as a friend, which is a very cool friend thing to do either way. But from the client side, it really made me feel seen and valid. And that is, is something I think that's really important to understand is it's not just about like, this is my, this isn't my first one. It's my second one. But the first one was so long ago, it doesn't count. This is my first real summit that I've really done with this kind of effort and energy and intention behind it. And so with a level up moment it's a it's a huge mental shift. it you know, there is a new even warned me about the little bit of emotional letdown after, right. So like right now it's, you know, it's Saturday, my summit was on my last day was Wednesday. I'm like, Well, now what? Like it's over, this has been six months of my life, and it's over. And it's, there's a little bit of a will crap process that I knew was coming, that I actively work to mitigate, because I knew it was. So even just having the heads up of all of the emotional and mental stuff. And, you know, I don't want to sit here and sound like oh my gosh, this was a six month traumatic experience. But it is a big part of your life. It's a big part of your business. It's a big step, especially if it's one of your first, I will feel very prepared going into my next one, because I've been through it. But I also know that it's still another step. So it's still going to bring up stuff. And to have someone on my side even just to be venting post for a minute now and then is a good thing as well.

Jennie Wright 18:21
The thing about going from summit one, and thank you for sharing all of that, because you're there's a lot in there to unpack. And I'll get there in a second. But with it being summit one, we're going to call this summit one to summit to working with a producer. What happens in summit two, and you'll find this out because we're doing one together? Is it in summit to your experience changes because we now go for up leveling. So that's how I have, like repeat clients. That's how I do multiple summits with clients. Because it's not just one and done. Now I know you, you know you as the client, and what can we do to take it a step further, I know what Allison's capable of on the client side now, because I've worked with her on this different level. And now I know what I can take her to now I know where I can tweak Now I know what needs to be done. I've taken notes on the opportunities that we saw that were happening, I saw and again, I was trying to really learn this, this ADHD, you know, neurodivergent I really was trying to uplevel myself as a person, as a friend but also as a coach. Because since working with Alison I've actually signed to more clients who are ADHD and I know that this process is going to continue and I have to have malleable skills in order to support those people. They need different skill sets, and then you different support, then non ADHD non you know, people who are struggling or experiencing or living with these different issues and or these different opportunities. I actually don't want to say their issues because actually it's pretty cool what ADHD give people the the creativity is insanely cool, I actually find it pretty amazing how people with with ADHD can really, really create some amazing stuff in these focus points that they have. And, and then the interesting side of things on the other side, so I actually find it quite fascinating. And what I want to say is, if you're working with a summit producer, and you're happy with the person that you worked with, look at what you can do for that second summit, because again, there's that up leveling, and then opportunity. I will say this, that summits are not cookie cutter. Okay, it's not 21 experts over 21 days, over, you know, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, which was the model number of years ago. And it was, and I'm just gonna toot my horn for all of 10 seconds, it was about four or five years ago, when I discovered that everybody was doing the same darn thing. And it needed to change. So that's when I was creating Summit 2.0, this was this more custom, bespoke whatever you want to call it, where the summit revolved around the ideal client, more than the model. And the process revolved around the host more than the model, you know, which meant that you could, if you were a yogi, and you wanted to do a summit about deepening your practice of yoga, then we could include things like 7am, sunrise yoga, and we could include things like a morning meditation, and we can include things you know, if you were one of my clients was, you know, she was more like the boss babe thing. So we did get, you know, grab your wine and get online at seven o'clock at night. So there's different ways that you can do this, and make it about the person because the more you, the more you make it personal and focused to the ideal client, but also personalized from the host, then it really, really works. It's not one of these cookie cutter things that people complain about with summit's if someone's a bit around, and they sometimes have a negative connotation. Which is true. So and somebody you know, there was a point where Allison was like, I don't want to do this. But after the fact, and here's my next question for you, Allison, we'll wrap it up after this is what you felt, you know, because you had some you had some preconceived notions going into it, when it was done, and now that it's over, what would be your best set of advice for somebody who's looking at doing a summit, but is unsure about it?

Alyson Lex 22:33
Sometimes, you have to do the things you're unsure about. If it's something that you're considering, and you're unsure, because you think it's going to be hard, or you think it's going to be uncomfortable, or you think that it's going to be time consuming. Do it anyway. Um, you know, one of the things that, that I have to do sometimes is let myself be dragged kicking and screaming, whether I'm dragging myself or letting someone else drag me, because I logically know it's good for me. But I'm stubborn. I am a stubborn person. So sometimes you just have to say, I'm going to kick in screen throughout this whole process, but I'm going to do it anyway. Okay. If you're unsure, because you don't know that the return will be there that you don't know that this is something that's a good move for your business. That's a strategy question. And that's something that you need to have a conversation about, preferably with Jennie or someone like Jennie, who can help you determine that, because, you know, I feel like if you are considering a summit, chances are your business would be ready for it. But there are considerations to make. Do you have the processes in place? Do you have the ability to handle what, you know, sales that happen as a result, that sort of thing? I have calls booked on my calendar for weeks. Do I have the opportunity to handle that? Yes, I do. I have what I need in place to handle the calls the sales that might result? The increased exposure, the connections that I've made, because the speed the experts and I we're connected now. Like we're doing stuff I've got gone live in one of my experts group every week. Now he asked if I would please do a live show in his group every week, half an hour on copy. Yes. You know, another expert has has mentioned that her clients might need copywriting let's talk about that. Another expert is you know, hey, let's do this. Hey, let's do that. So is my business at a point where I can handle those opportunities? Yes. Great. You know, do I have The the tech back end necessary or the budget to set one up? Right? Like that's a consideration. If you're working on a $1 budget and you need $10 of tech, we might need to think of, you know, you might need to think about that. And that's a conversation to have with Jenny. I had it. I used it. Yes. So if it's emotional fear, growth, you know, fear of putting yourself out there fear of getting told no, all of that, do it anyway. If it's hard strategy, logistics questions, have a conversation and see if those questions are valid. Or if you can overcome them and solve them, I

Jennie Wright 25:46
think it's a really good point you're making, there's that delineation between the two. And that is what can make this a really good process, right. And that's a conversation to be had with somebody, because you want to have that alignment. And you want to work with somebody who, you know, helps you feel seen and heard, understands where you are in your own personal journey. As a entrepreneur, you want somebody who understands your opportunities and the things that are your struggles, right, then you have to have somebody that understands that so that you can be best sort of managed slash slash directed into the right way of doing things. I have a client at this particular moment, who has an energy issue where you know, if she works too much on a certain thing, it depletes her energy. And she she needs to rest. Right? She's just she's has an autoimmune issue. And the summit is built around that the summit is built around her so that she can manage those different opportunities. We have to do the same thing with Allison, as well, with you know, everybody, everybody has their thing, and we can build it around us. But I want to say, so I just want to take a quick second to share some takeaways with this because I think I love takeaways. And I think takeaways are a great way to sort of sum up things. So my takeaway number one on this is really knowing yourself, but also knowing where you need support, and thinking that you can do all the things like Alison's a copywriter, right, and she did the copywriting for her summit, and Allison can do tech, she 100% can do her own tech, but I didn't want her to there's many reasons why. But one of them is is that she needs to focus on, you know, being the host of the event, it's very hard to be a host, when you're in the weeds, doing all the things, it's very difficult to be the host. And we had an example of that when Allison was in her summit, as we were getting close to launch, something had to get fixed in the back end. And Allison had to go do it. And it moved alson out of host mode and into in the weeds mode. And there was nothing we could do it had to be done. It was a you know, it was a thing that had to be fixed up and it was all hands on deck, we jumped in, we fixed it, it's all good. But until it was fixed, I also moved out of host mode and promo mode into fix it mode. So there's, you know, we have to look at those kinds of things. So that's my first takeaway. My second takeaway is, producers are there, there's different types of people and understand your needs, what you need in terms of support. If you just need the coaching, then just take the coaching, if you need the implementation, just take the implementation if you need both great, you know, and and be open to that kind of relationship. So understand your needs, which I think is fantastic. And then my last takeaway on this is, if you have doubts, don't sit and think about it for six to 10 months, or in this case several years. Sort of Alison, right. There's some there were some time there. But don't take that much time because, as Alison mentioned, this has been a business builder. It's not only gotten her VIP sales, but it got you know, there was an incredible list build on the back end, there was incredible joint venture opportunities created with experts. She's had opportunities to go live, there's been podcast requests, she's had people say let's JV on certain things. There's a lot going on. And Allison's seeing a lot of movement. There's a lot of plates in the air as a result of this thing. And she's up, leveled her skills, her interview skills up, leveled her, you know, her content creation skills have up leveled her ability to do certain things is up leveled, it even helped her concentration. Allison from a year ago, could not have done a live panel with 15 experts also being hosted live in a Facebook group, and managed to look at the comments and understanding I know this for a fact, because I did you know, I've done these things 1000 outside of a summit, and I've seen her struggle with that focus. But now she can do it like it's a skill. And that's a skill that she can take in other things. And I'm incredibly proud for her to be able to do that. So there's a lot of great things that came out of this. And I was just really, really proud to be that support for you to be that producer for you and to be able to work with you on this event and I can't wait for the next one. So thanks, Alyson, for sharing what you've shared Today, it's been really, really great, really informative. And I hope it helps other people understand the role that I actually do versus the perception of what I do. So thanks so much.

Alyson Lex 30:13
You're welcome. I'm sorry, I couldn't find the mute button. You are so welcome. And thank you for the support and excitement and I'll take a couple week break and then we'll start on planning 22 Absolutely.

Jennie Wright 30:25
Awesome. Thanks so much. Take care.



Episode 161 – The Biggest Needle Mover for a Successful Challenge with Stirling Gardner

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