Tales of a Tele-Summit

This month, my fellow rezoomers, I’ve decided to take you on my journey toward hosting my own tele-summit. Yes, you can too! You know you have the content one needs to host it, you are unafraid of the technology required for set up and you have the colleagues who will help you make it a reality. So, in the next few paragraphs I will fill you in on the secrets I learned while planning my first tele-summit.

As an Internet user and tele-summit attendee, I thought tele-summits had to be as user friendly to the host as they were to the listener. Everyone is doing it. Participants, who sign up for tele-summits, gain oodles of knowledge while the host becomes widely known as an expert in their field. It has to be easy, right? Information is given and credibility received, but at what price? I discovered it is not only about being a willing tele-summit creator. You have to have dogged determination to learn a whole new language in order to join the big tele-summit boys.

The beauty of Rezooming our legal careers is that we are not bogged down by years of, ‘this is how it is done.’ Rather, we can ask, “Why not?” and do it with a 21st century flare. As I walk you through my first foray into the tele-summit vortex, realize, you too can do this, have fun doing it and sign up to do another, if you accept your limitations and get the support you need.

Ignorance is bliss.

I stumbled into creating my first tele-summit by accident. I thought I only needed great content and buttons to push on a web page to make it all come to life. In fact, that is exactly what the coach I was working with to build the tele-summit said to me. (I taped our meeting so I know I am not delusional). I created the Free Conference Call account, set up my six interviews and wrote the copy for my ad, my thank you email, my follow-up reminder emails and my offer for purchase of the audio after the initial 36 hours of free listening.

It was up to my Webmaster to create the user pages that brought all this to life. Now, as this process unfolded, I was faced with two dilemmas.

  • First – My Webmaster is a personal friend.
  • Second – A tele-summit was way more complicated on the back end.

My Webmaster is not just a personal friend, she is a dear friend, whom I love and want to remain friends with for years to come. She created and has been running my website platform from the onset and on a shoestring. Her work was always timely if not instantaneous. She knows everything about doing websites and tele-summits. She is well aware of the time involved in creating a tele-summit.

I decided to run this tele-summit without really speaking with her. I had no idea it was as complicated a process as it is. My guide on this journey simply said to me, “Do you have a web person?” I said, “Yes.” They said, “She can do all this for you.” I said, “Right.” I never grasped the amount of technical work ‘all this’ required. I blissfully thought it was like posting a blog. I dove into the deep end in ignorance of what it would mean to her and the consumption of her time.

I didn’t know the difference between a platform, a server or an application. Aren’t they all the same? No. Doesn’t it take as much time to launch a tele-summit as it does to post a blog? No. Well how could that be?

Even for a very fluent Webmaster, the coding necessary to set up a tele-summit is time consuming, way beyond the 5 minutes it may take to post a blog. It is not about the content really….that may be the easiest part. It is about the technical support needed by a provider of the tele-summit to get that content to market. It is akin to picking lettuce at the supermarket. It’s simple right? Yet before that lettuce got to market, it was planted, watered, received sunshine, fertilized, harvested, packed, shipped and put on the grocery shelf.

Think of a tele-summit as a head of lettuce going to market. Easy to pick once the parts are in place. Not so easy to pick if the back end is not in place to make the front end look easy (and we wont even go into the support needed in the back end at each segment of the lettuce’s journey…God’s involved numerous times)!!

Rest assured getting a tele-summit to the Internet is easier than getting a head of lettuce to market, but not by much. Only kidding. It is simple if you surround yourself with people fluent in all areas of the process. Find someone who does this back end work because they love it. It is their magnificence. They would code all day, every day, for free because they love to see their creations fly due to their simple (to them) code set-ups.

Once you find these people, which is easy to do if you belong to some of the groups of entrepreneurs I’ve mentioned in several of my prior blogs (Savor the Success, In Good Company, Entrepreneurial Women’s Network, Client Attraction, Business Networking International to name only a few), reach out to them and their client base and find out how they work and how their experience has been with the tech provider.

Hire your tech support based on your gut feeling. This is the feeling you get from speaking with the provider and their clients. Don’t hire someone because they come highly recommended by others if you can’t communicate with them. Be wary of hiring someone who has no references. If you decide to hire a newbie, who is starting out, just like you, and with whom you feel the kismet, recognize you may be their first client and you will need more face time to assure all of you are on same page. Supervise while you learn ‘on the job’ with the newbie. It will enable you to know what you prefer as a process going forward and nip any issues in the bud.

The tele-summit coder is only one of the keys to a successful summit. However, even the best content, if undeliverable due to coding errors, spells disaster. Flaws that may arise from faulty coding, not faulty content, will fall on the host of the tele-summit. Remember this when you are hiring your right hand person (short hand for coding and application) and writing your content. This is your baby. The successful content and presentation is a reflection on you, not on the tele-summit coder. Supervision of both is your responsibility

Funny, we have come full circle now.

My original premise is correct, it is easy to plan and put on a tele-summit if you have the right content to draw attendees. Now you know you need to keep your current IT staff appraised of what you are planning to do and/or find the right support staff to do the back door Internet coding. As a 21st century Rezoomer, we need to stretch ourselves, hire the best team we can find and/or afford, then help them help us provide the content and process we know will make a difference to our attendees and our practice.

Don’t be afraid. If I can do it anyone can. Initially, I felt it seemed simple to run a tele-summit. Then it was overwhelming! After reading this post I hope you know it can be done if you understand the inner and outer workings of the web system and seek IT partners who will help make it run smoothly.

Create your Rezooming nirvana, via an Internet tele-summit, by sharing content on a subject you are fluent in on a platform you are no longer afraid of!

All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.

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