4 Tips for Getting the Most Out of An Online Summit

Online live-streaming technology continues to improve.

As a result, more and more online summits are taking place, including summits focused on the world of writing and publishing.

In June of 2016 alone, both Chandler Bolt’s Self-Publishing Summit and Jesse Krieger’s Book, Branding and Business Building Summit brought together dozens of writing and publishing experts.

If you haven’t yet participated in an online summit, you can think of them as a virtual conference. Summits usually feature presentations and interviews with industry influencers delivered via a series of live webinars over several days or weeks.

Online summits offer a variety of ways for attendees to learn and grow. Here’s how you can get the most out of the next online summit you attend.

1. Engage with the Presentations, Take Notes, and Ask Questions

While many summit presentations feature a product pitch of some kind, this often only comes at the end of a presentation otherwise filled with valuable information. Presenters choose to take part in summits because it’s an opportunity for them to get in front of a new audience and demonstrate their expertise. As such, they’ll often deliver excellent information in hopes of wooing new fans and clients.

The best way to take advantage of this high quality information is to take notes. Don’t just passively view the presentations like you’re watching a television show. Instead, look for specific information applicable to the challenges you’re currently grappling with and the goals you want to achieve. Record that information via note taking, and then put the advice and strategies into action following the summit.

Another way to ensure you get the most out of the presentations is to ask questions. One of the most valuable aspects of live webinars, as opposed to recorded training videos, is the audience’s ability to interact with a presenter who can tailor responses to the specific needs of the audience.

Many experts are busy individuals who may not have time to answer a question you send them via email, so take advantage of the webinar format of summit presentations to get insights and education you might otherwise not have access to.

2. Identify Influencers

When I first started learning about book marketing, I kept reading about how I needed to identify influencers in my niche. I remember thinking, “I’m totally new to this space, so how am I supposed to figure out who the influencers are?”

I soon discovered online summits are the perfect place to identify influencers. If someone has been invited to participate in a summit, they’ve likely built a large platform, developed a strong following, and/or reached a certain level of expertise and success in their chosen industry. As such, they are the people you want to follow, learn from, and engage with as you continue to grow your author career.

I chose to hire Derek Murphy of Creative Indie to design my book cover for The Page Turners: Economy of Fear after seeing his presentation at Jim Kukral’s 2015 Author Marketing Summit. I was conscious that I wasn’t only hiring an incredibly talented book designer, but also taking the first step towards developing a relationship an influencer in the indie publishing world. That relationship never would have happened if not for the summit.

3. Purchase Products

Many summits are designed to build-up to the sale of a big product (like an online course) by the host at the summit’s climax. Presenters will also, at times, make offers during their summit presentations, usually at a discounted price with bonuses thrown in too.

If a particular summit presenter resonates with you, or if the product they are pitching addresses a need you have, the summit can be a great opportunity to make a purchase, usually at a discounted rate. I’m a big fan of online courses and, as a lifelong learner, I always go into summits with an eye out for new learning opportunities.

4. Network

One of the biggest missed opportunities for a lot of people who attend summits is the chance to network with other writers.

I know so many aspiring authors who feel isolated and who yearn for a community of people who share similar goals. Summits are an excellent place to make those connections. (As is my group coaching program.)

Most live summit presentations include a chatroom filled with people who share common interests, and many summits also include a Facebook group. Take advantage of these chatrooms and groups to begin developing relationships with other writers as well as reach out to influencers.

As live streaming technology continues to get better and better, there’s only going to be more summits for you to take part in. Make sure you use these tips to ensure you get the most out of them!

grey backKevin T. Johns is an author, writing coach, and ghostwriter. He has helped hundreds of writers from around the world get ideas out of their heads, onto the page, and into readers' hands. Get your free copy of his short guide for authors below.

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