On the Road to 10k: Summit Series, Partnerships & Interviews

Imran Esmail Virtual Summits Leave a Comment

Another two weeks are down and I want to update you guys on the progress of this launch.

Launching a product is SERIOUS business and I've been overloaded with the amount of things going on to get it off the ground.

Here's a round up of where we are at:


We had a breakthrough this week when Varun (@ivarunseghal) came onboard with us to help us with the launch.

We've put Varun in charge of reaching out to anyone that can partner with us on this launch.

This takes the following forms:

Guest Posts

Obviously, if no one hears about our summit and course launch, we won't get any traffic and therefore no sales.

As a result, I have asked Varun to look for guest post opportunities on any blogs that cater to designers, bloggers and content marketers in general.

His process generally is pretty simple:

  • Search for the top related blogs,
  • Find an email on their website or using VoilaNorbert
  • Pitch them a list of content ideas Eugene and I have already discussed
  • Follow up because these people are naturally busy

Here's our tracking on Trello:


Here's our email script we use:


Hope all is well.

I'm reaching out to you on behalf of Eugene Cheng (cc'd here) and wanted to check your interest in having Eugene do a guest post on your blog on SlideShare marketing.

Through his 16 presentations, he's got 2million+ views and generates 400+ leads a month just from one of those presentations.

He's considered an expert on SlideShare and LinkedIn has him as a Keynote Author on their SlideShare platform.

His profile is at: http://www.slideshare.net/itseugene

He's done guest posts on several top-notch blogs. Some samples are:

1. 3 Dead Simple Ways to Get Traffic on SlideShare – SlideShare Blog
2. How to Get Paying Customers with SlideShare marketing – KissMetrics Blog

We'd love to hear back and have the opportunity to collaborate.

Thanks, Varun

So far we have guest posts lined up with:

  • KissMetrics
  • SlideShare
  • Duct Tape Marketing
  • ConvertKit
  • Firepole Marketing
  • Traffic Generation Cafe
  • PageWiz
  • BoostBlogTraffic

We have someone who is going to help us with writing so this process should hopefully become more manageable going forward.

Bonus Offers

We want to boost the value of our offering and the best way to do that is find related partner apps that will let us include a discount or free trial period in our product.

So far we have:

  • PageWiz (@pagewiz_app) – 30 day free trial (Value $29)
  • Creative Market (@CreativeMarket) – 20% off all products

If you are launching a product, make sure to round up as many related companies as you can find. It's a win-win in that they get exposure to new customers and you get a valuable addition you can pitch to your buyers.

Joint Venture Partners

The biggest win you can have with a launch is finding JV partners that have an existing audience related to your offering.

You bring them onboard and every referral they send your way, they get a cut. We are doing 50% and have really hit this hard the last week.

So far we have:

  • Hugh Culver (@HughCulver) – professional speaker coach (12K email subscribers)

We will be hiring someone else to help Varun go at this full-time as we lead up to launch as these JV partners already have warm relationships with their audience who could benefit from our product.

Again. Win Win.

Summit Series

Next up, we put up the Summit Series website. F*** Yea!.

Check it out —


We have pictures of all our speakers, asked them for biographies and finished off the page best we could with the information available.

It's important to start with anything and you can edit as you go – but you need to start collecting leads 1-2 months in advance or earlier.

Don't go for perfect. Just get it done.

Going forward, we'll keep adding to it with specific dates for our speakers, more social proof (this is where the guest posts come in) and bonus offerings we can list.

Oh yea and here's our exit opt-in:


We use ConvertPlug on ThemeForest ($21 and no reoccurring fees like SumoMe).

Course Landing Page

Next up, our course landing page is up – it's kind of just a place holder because we're going to make a long form one that people can really get excited about closer to launch.


But again having something up and collecting leads is WAY better than just leaving it empty. We can always spruce up the page as the launch moves on.

Expert Interviews

Over the past 2 weeks, we've done 3 expert interviews with people that have had great success with SlideShare.

They are:

  • Conrad Wadowski (@conradwa)
  • Dave Gerhardt (@davegerhardt)
  • Jake Wengroff (@jakewengroff)

Again these interviews do three things for us:

  • Give us credibility that more people are having success with SlideShare
  • These experts may come to share our summit when we launch
  • Increases our course value as you can get the interviews only when you buy

Our First Webinar

We ran our first webinar with Eugene to test the waters and see what gets people excited about our product.

Webinars convert really well into sales so when we get our advertising efforts up to snuff, we will probably run a few more of them.

You can catch the replay here:

Contest Winner

We closed our contest off and the results were ok – we finished with 154 leads for $278 as no one really took the bait on the bonus offer.

Congrats Guilherme Salomé (@guilhermesalome)!

If you run a contest – really make the prize irresistible and follow the advice given by Bryan Harris (@Harris_Bryan) on his blog (@VideoFruit).

Facebook Ad Fails

I started running Facebook ads this week just to test the waters. Advertising is really hard to get right as people just ignore most ads on their newsfeed.

You really have to get the messaging perfect now and almost develop a relationship with your readers – that's why re-marketing to your audience if so important.

Here's the best performing ad I ran:


Here is our ad results:


Click to enlarge…

Anyway, as you can see only one ad converted to any leads but that was at almost $4 per lead. WAYYY to expensive. I need somewhere in the ballpark of $2 per lead or less.

Targeting is super important and Facebook will show you if you have poor targeting if your relevancy score is low (mine was 3 or less).

Anyway, onward and upward – I'll have more posts in this series to let you guys know how things are going – hopefully you are learning what it takes to launch as I go along.

Let me know in the comments what you want to know and if this is helping you guys.