Profitable Virtual Events: Your Speaker & Influencer Getting Blueprint

Note: This is the part of our “creating profitable virtual events” 7 part deep-dive series.  If you missed the intro please click here to get started >>

In the last section, we went over the two types of events that are most effective.  We broke down sample results & showed you “where the money lives”.

Now in this section we’re going to talk about how to get the right influencers involved so you can maximize your results.

Fast Action Recap:

  1. Determine exactly WHO you are talking to based on which target will get the biggest transformational value out of what you already sell/do.
  2. What are their biggest problems & how can you solve them?
  3. Determine what style of event you wish to hold & at what points you will monetize
  4. Now… let’s dig into the massive red carpet of industry celebrities you’re going to start palling around with 😉

Building a list of potential speakers is always a good time.  Not only can you hammer through it quickly, but you can also go a little crazy with the names!

Beyond that, once you know exactly how to do this, building your list can be super fast & easy!

When done correctly, your speakers can become a HUGE source of traffic & sales for you.  On top of that, they can also become life long business assets & affiliate partners.

I’m not kidding: you’ll want to nurture these relationships as they can produce incredible opportunities & income long into the future!

With that said, it’s important you do this right.  So before I take you through those steps, let me start by crushing your diamond encrusted hopes & champagne popping dreams:

If you’re not already a big name in your market… if this is your first (or second) virtual event… DO NOT waste time going after A listers right now. (meaning “yet”.  There’s a time for this later!)

What do I mean by A listers?

If you’re in the business world those would be names like Gary V, Tony Robins, Lewis Howes, Grant Cardone, Oprah and on and on and on.

These are folks who have spent YEARS building massive empires & who IF they were to say “yes”, would require huge speaking fees to show up.

On top of the fees, most all of them have a “will not promote” clause.  Because they don’t want to dilute their own platform & because their name already caries so much weight, almost none of them will ever mention they were part of your event.

Unless you have a multi six or seven figure promotional budget set aside for events like this, it’s simply not worth the time, effort or cost to go after that level of person.


I’m hoping this makes sense.  It’s not a “no, never” situation.  It’s very much a “not yet, grow into it” situation.  The more of these you do & the more you grow your influence & platform the more likely it’ll be that you end up speaking at the same events they are!

There is zero joking in that last statement!  What you’re doing with your virtual event is a HUGE step in building a platform that will help you command top dollar in speaking fees when you keep growing it!

For now, even if you’re a higher up midlister yourself, it still makes A LOT of sense to go after the people in the middle.  Those who already have a platform but haven’t quite reached “apex predator” level.  You can then sprinkle in a few bigger names as icing on the cake if you like.

The reason I’m telling you all this is because after helping clients reach out to thousands upon thousands of speakers, in 100% of the cases this philosophy produced the best results.

What Sort Of Speakers To Go After:

Start by taking a look at your platform (if you don’t have a big one, don’t sweat it, you’ll see why in a second).

  • How large is your email list?
  • How large is your social following? (break down by platform including TikTok)
  • How many video/podcast interviews have you done?
  • Do you have a book?  Is it published?
  • What sort of endorsements do you have? (can even be great testimonials)
  • Have you been featured in the media?

Start by listing all this stuff off.  And like I said, if you don’t have much to work with just yet, do not stress.  There are ways around it.

By doing the fast, above exercise you’re going to give yourself a pretty good idea of where the most “yes” responses will live.

When you start you’re speaker reach out sequence, you’ll want to go for people who are at your level or just a bit higher.

Example: If you have a total of 15,000 social followers, look for those who are between 15,000 – 25,000.  You can even try reaching up to as high as 50K for this first round if you like.  But you’ll want to avoid anyone with millions.  All too often they won’t promote AND they will want to be paid up front.  

Why Does This Method Work?

While yes, you can end up getting some folks who could be quite a bit bigger than you are now, this method works well because people at your level will quickly see the value of working together.

“The rising tide raises all ships” would be the cliche of the hour for this one.

Going for people who are obviously working to grow their platform, are active on social media & who need more exposure to grow their businesses will be not only more likely to say “yes, I’ll do it” but also willing to promote more frequently!

Growth Hacking Tip:

What we often do for our clients, depending on what market they are in, is piggy back an existing “fully loaded” social ecosystem as a “sponsor” of the event.  And because we also then promote it, we’re able to then “include” our email & social reach in with our clients.  This way, when they reach out for speakers, the potential reach numbers are a lot larger & a lot more people with larger platforms end up saying “yes”. 

Example: setup several relationship based events & used our “romance” ecosystem to boost response.  Because we had a subscriber base of over 35K and a social reach of nearly 600K those numbers went a LONG way in helping them get top level New York Times, USA Today bestsellers on board when they were starting with less than 300 fans and email subscribers under 2K!

The way you’d do that for your event is to reach out to news sites/ecosystems in your market.  Offer to promote them for free in exchange for a mention in their newsletter.

Where To Find Your Ideal Speakers:

Step 1: Jump Into Google
Search Previous Events/Conferences Both Real World & Virtual

  • You’ll want to search YOUR NICHE KEYWORD + Conference or Event
  • Make a list of all the conferences in your market for the past 2 years
  • Take note of their “speaker line up” link (the speaker listing may have a different name but it will be obvious)

For now you’ll want to simply copy/paste the links into a document (Word/Google Doc/Pages).  Right now we’re just doing some research.

TIP: During this time you can also make note of any marketing hooks you see that seem to really stand out.  Use those to create a “marketing swipe file” for later.

Step 2: Set Up Your Google Spreadsheet

  • What you’re going to now do is create a sheet based on the category of speaker/influencer you want to go after.
  • Set up a new tab for each
  • Example: Have a tab for each place you find someone (YouTube/Instagram/TikTok/Amazon/Podcasts/Bloggers/FaceBook/Other Events)

Step 3: Set Up Each Tab With The Following Info

  • Influencer name
  • Home page
  • Building Email List? Y/N
  • Social URL (column for each + column for follower count)
  • Primary subject
  • Email or Contact Page
  • Notes

I recommend getting at least slightly good at this part first.  Once you’ve done it 5-6x you’ll want to make a fast video of what you’re looking for.  Create a list of qualifications you’re aiming at & then hand this over to an assistant or VA

Here’s why: You are going to build a multi-tab spreadsheet with HUNDREDS of targets at the very least.

Why?  Because no matter how big you get it’s always good to assume the worst.  What I mean by that is even though we often got a 15% “yes” response when reaching out, I always assume I’ll get the finger more than the thumb.

(Take a sec.  That last sentence will make sense shortly 😉

“When in any reach out station you want to start by assuming you’ll get the finger more than you get the thumb” – Jonny Andrews (again. me.)

What you’re doing here is setting up what I like to call a “Target Rich Environment”.

While our reach out efforts, often boosted by promoting the event with our own ecosystems, we can often see upwards of a 15% “Yes, I’d love to do this” response.

But if you’re just getting started and have no platform, you’ll want to shoot for a 2% – 5%.  This is why I suggest having LOTS of targets.

How To & How Many Times To Reach Out:

Just like with everything in life, it’s the follow up that will get you win the day.

Do not think you’ll send 1 email to each person & suddenly have an overflow of speakers.

What you’ll want to do is be ready to reach out 3-4 times over the course of  2-4 weeks. (Depending on the market you’re in)

Below I’ll give you some examples, but here’s, overall, what this looks like:

Reach out #1: Day 1 – Week 1 – Go through whole list at a rate of 200 or so per day

  • Take notes on what day/time you sent the initial message
  • Update your notes if they respond with yes/no
  • Use colors to

Reach out #2: 5-7 Days After 1st Reach Out

  • Because you’re taking notes on when your 1st reach out you’ll know not to send the 2nd message too soon.
  • Wait at least 5-7 days after sending the initial Inquiry
  • Use a “just following up” style subject line
  • Notate what date/time you send it

Reach out #3: 1 week after reach out #2

  • You should be seeing a pattern emerge 😉
  • As it should take about 5-7 days to run your entire list each time, sending the 3rd follow up should be pretty simple.
  • Make sure you notate the date & time you send it

Final Reach out: 1.5 – 2 weeks after reach out #3

  • At this point if somebody hasn’t responded yet, they probably won’t
  • Use a “Last Time (promise)” subject line
  • Note on sheet date/time of this last message

Coming soon: example reach out email templates

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