Telesummits have become a very popular business building tool.  When executed correctly, a telesummit can quickly increase your credibility and visibility.

Let’s start by clarifying what a telesummit is.

A telesummit is an online multi-speaker event that assembles a series of experts to talk about a specific topic. The speakers are interviewed by you and the online event is launched over the course of a series of days for a large audience.

Telesummit interviews are often pre-recorded (for scheduling ease), while some other brave souls choose to interview their expert speakers live.

Most interviews are done by telephone, while some have ventured to doing Skype video interviews. For a first-timer, I recommend an audio interview. It’s easier to manage.

Having completed my first online event earlier this year, The Healthy Entrepreneur Event, I wanted to share with you the top 5 common mistakes first-time telesummit hosts make so you never make them yourself.

Mistake #1: Not being “All In”: It’s reality check time

How you approach your telesummit is key to your overall success. The biggest mistake I see first time telesummit hosts make is to be flippant about a telesummit project. “Oh, I can put one together in a month, no big deal.”

Don’t fall into this trap. A telesummit, even small in size, requires preparation, organization, clarity and a team to be done correctly. If you aren’t ready, willing, and able to devote a significant amount of your energy per week to making this project a success, and at least a few thousand dollars, then wait until you are or forgo a telesummit altogether.

If you know that a telesummit is in your future, ask yourself right now: WHY? Why is this the right time in your business and why does this medium speak to you? Are you passionate about helping others overcome their struggles through this online medium? Are you willing to be of service to your audience more than you care about your list size growth?

Always remember, a telesummit is a heart project first, a numbers project second. (Tweet This!)

Mistake #2: Trying to do it all yourself

A telesummit is a large undertaking with multiple moving parts that require a multi-skilled team to ensure its seamless success. Bottom line, you’ll need to hire your own “dream team” to pull this off well and not lose your sanity in the process.

Depending on your own level of expertise and how much of the work you’ll want to do yourself, your “dream team” will involve:

a) a Virtual Assistant or Online Business Manager for the administrative and technical aspects;

b) an awesome copywriter to create copy that magnetizes your opt-ins;

c) a graphic designer for the header and visual elements of your sales pages and;

d) a coach to guide you through the process.

The people you hire should resonate with you and your message and should have experience working with telesummits.

Mistake #3: Not following up with your speakers’ marketing promises to you

You build your list in a telesummit event primarily through the SOLO emails that your speakers send out to their lists. Access to your speaker’s lists is the funnel that grows your list size quickly – period!

It’s your job, therefore, to ensure, when you invite your speakers, that they commit to sending a solo email to their list, and set the date for that email release.

It’s also your job to then follow-up with your speakers closer to the launch date to remind them of their commitment.

Sometimes, despite their best intentions, your speakers may forget to send out their solo emails because it fell through their marketing plan cracks. You can usually avoid this painful mistake with simple follow up.

As an added follow through on your part, it’s a good idea to subscribe to all of your speakers’ email lists to ensure that their emails go out when they committed to send them out.

Mistake #4: Not Having a Clear Marketing & Monetization Plan

The sky is the limit as far as your telesummit marketing is concerned so be creative and don’t just rely on your speakers to market for you. Reach out to as many people, organizations, blog radio shows and colleagues who will spread the message about your event. Social media is a great resource.

Once you’ve gotten these amazing new people on your list, you’ll need to have a strategy to start engaging with them in an authentic way. You must provide value to them so they will stick around and don’t opt-out. Your telesummit is just the beginning of a know-like-trust relationship you’re creating with these people.

As part of the organization of your event, decide what program you will offer your new list of high quality prospects. In this way, you will continue to monetize from your event long after it is over. Too many people completely overlook creating a list nurturing strategy as part their overall telesummit plan. Don’t fall into that trap. You’ll be leaving money on the table.

Mistake #5: Being Unprofessional

Think of your telesummit as your “coming out party” to the world. You will be judged by how well you present yourself as well as the overall quality experience that you give your audience. Therefore, be professional and set aside the right time, the right people and the right resources to do a great job with your telesummit by providing an outstanding user experience.

This will make your speakers eager to collaborate with you in the future and will make your new list excited to be in your world.

Priscilla Stephan is a speaker at this year’s Online Summit. She is also the creator of RockYourTelesummit.com and the Rock Your Telesummit Program, a step-by-step system that shows entrepreneurs how to build and host their own multi-speaker telesummit from concept and setup to marketing and monetizing without having to sacrifice their health or sanity in the process. After hosting her successful telesummit, where she tripled her list size and grew her visibility as an expert in her field of holistic health, Priscilla created the Rock Your Telesummit program to help other entrepreneurs have the same success by avoiding the pitfalls many first-time telesummit hosts make.

You can download a copy of Priscilla’s Free Report: 15 Do’s and Don’ts to Create a Telesummit that Rocks.