“I’d love to find someone to sell me.”
That’s a statement I hear about once a week. But from what I’ve seen over the past 20 years, it’s easier said than done. Having been in the role of agent for the first 10 years of my career, I understand it well.
The job description may include: Sales, marketing, customer relations, database management, gig management, product management, and so on… it can go all the way down to feeding the office fish! (Thanks Vince).
The key to hiring successfully, I believe, is on the front end. Making sure that you have the right person and then training them well.
Here are the steps:
1. Preparation: Ensure that your business is streamlined (sales and marketing systems) and that you can sell yourself. You may have some work to do on your positioning, focus and marketing.
2. Timing: When you are losing business because you can’t handle all of the opportunities, that is the perfect time to hire. Asking someone to “launch” you is much trickier because you may not have a big budget to fund the start-up period (6 months minimum).
3. Finding Staff: A great place to find a staff person is in your audiences. If someone greets you enthusiastically after your presentation, take that opportunity to build the relationship. Other places to find staff: church, networking events, social media, thru friends and family, etc. Refer to The Wealthy Speaker 2.0 Chapter 7 for a list of traits, job descriptions, pay rates and where to find staff.
4. Finding Agents: If you are looking for someone with serious experience, there are a number of great speaker agencies (ie: SpeakersOffice and CMI). If you Google “Speaker Management”, you should find them. But beware and make sure they are legit. There are more and more people in the “make money from speakers” business than ever before. Some agents may expect a monthly fee plus commission.
5. Training: When you hire staff, spend time on the front end to ensure that they understand how to sell you. Have them attend several speeches and listen to your conversations with people afterwards. Have them shadow you on the phone with clients. See my note below about my new staff training program.
Hiring someone to help you is best done when your business is running smoothly to begin with. The pressure of hiring someone to “save” you can be overwhelming for that person. Take your time, and do it right.
See you soon Wealthy Speaker.
PS: I’m so excited to announce The Wealthy Speaker University’s newest course for Speaker Staff. Check out the details here:
One of the greatest moments at this year’s Oscars was when Jennifer Lawrence, who won for “Silver Linings Playbook,” fell up the stairs on the way to her acceptance speech. During the subsequent standing ovation, she said “you guys are only
standing up because I fell and you feel bad. That was embarrassing!”
This girl is real. She doesn’t take herself too seriously. That’s what we want to be as speakers. People who can laugh when we stumble.
On the other hand, Anne Hathaway is a terrific example of poised and polished, but guess what? Nobody likes her!
Some of my favorite moments during speeches are when someone handles a potentially awkward situation with grace. Fire alarms, cell phones,technology failures, hecklers, etc.
Now, I know you all have a dozen stories to share, so I’d like to hear your best one. Will you post it as a comment below please?
Bottom line, “real” sells.
Coaches Questions: How can you engage your audiences more by being real?
PS: I’m getting some really great feedback on our new 90 Day Catapult program. Check it out here if you
think you’d like to boost your career quickly!
Are you spending your time effectively?
For instance, you’ve been around the block in the speaking industry and emerging speakers are calling (for some of you, weekly) to ask if you will have a coffee with them to help them get launched.
Is this a good use of your time?
I’m all for mentoring, but I think you have to be realistic about how much you can do.
Many people, because they get so many calls, start to think, “hey, I should get into the speaker mentoring business”. But as most will tell you after an attempt, your time is much better spent booking high fee engagements.
So let me give you an easy strategy. (And put in a little plug for myself at the same time).
When responding to the coffee request – “I’d love to have coffee, however, I do get many requests and can only take on 2 mentorships per year. But I would like to help, so let me recommend a good book and a coach who specializes in exactly what you need.”
(This book was written for this exact purpose, why reinvent the wheel?)
COACHES QUESTION: Be thinking about how much time you are spending on non-revenue generating tasks. Can you delegate them or farm them out?
See you soon Wealthy Speakers!
PS: Did you know that I have two ways of saying thank you for referrals?
I do have an affiliate program in place, let me know if you’d like the link. OR, for every
speaker that you send who signs up with me, YOU get a coaching session for yourself.
Check out my referrals page for more information on how you can get some time with me,
at no cost to you!
This is certainly what led to my own Mid-Life Business Crisis (MLBC).
After 15 years in the speaking industry, I thought ”hey, I should do something different”. That was what led me to believe that I could indeed straddle two lanes (which I could not) and write the Frog book.
The Frog Whisperer: A 3-Step Approach to Finding Lasting Love was born out of crisis. I really wanted a change of scenery. But as I wrote in detail in The Wealthy Speaker 2.0 – it was a big mistake! A big lesson which led me back to my
earlier premise that you can’t straddle two lanes and do it well. (Plus, you need to have a pre-existing fan base in order to sell books).
For details of my brilliant MLBC mistake, check out Chapter 2 in The Wealthy Speaker 2.0.
So what’s my advice for people who are looking for a change?
Try to find it within your niche. Starting something from scratch is a tough, uphill battle and many of us (sorry) don’t have the youthful energy to pull it off. When you play within your umbrella, change is easier!
My friend Joe Calloway has had a crisis or two in his thirty years in the speaking industry. We’re
going to talk about reinvention, crisis and how to move through this business with grace in our teleclass next week.
Join us for: Becoming A Category of One
Date: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Time: 1-2pm Eastern
Admission is free for Wealthy Speaker book buyers, University members and clients.
One of the things that struck me was Dan’s take on recognizing achievement.
The theory is that while some people look backwards to see how far they have come, others look forward towards their big goal and never really feel satisfied (because there is always more to do).
Let’s say you have a goal to speak 50 times a year and you’re sitting with 25 engagements on the board. Do you focus on the fact that you booked 25 or that you still haven’t achieved 50?
Which one are you?
I know that I have the ability to look at things from the negative standpoint. Years ago one of my speakers got 200 great evaluations and 2 negative, and I honed in on the negative.
So I’m working on that!
After reviewing last year’s Wealthy Speaker University launch, I successfully graduated nearly 30 people. But 2 people dropped out half way through the year. So my goal? It’s to focus on those 30 graduates and the fact that two years earlier, the University didn’t even exist. I must focus on what was accomplished and how far I have
(BTW, We still have a few spots in the University which starts next week). http://wealthyspeakeru.com/
Q. When measuring success, will you focus on how far you have come or the vast distance between you and your ultimate aspiration?
By focusing on your achievements, both big and small, you will find that you are happier and more committed to success in the future.
See you soon Wealthy Speakers!
PS: The Wealthy Speaker University has 5 spots left in the Master program and 6 spots left in the Bachelors program. Click Here To learn more……
It was the early 90′s and I was working as a temp at 3M and waitressing at night. I had nearly finished my contract with 3M’s marketing department and was thinking about what was next.
One evening I stumbled across Les Brown’s PBS special entitled Live Your Dreams. I was hooked immediately and watched it over and over again. Les talked about being resilient, steering clear of negative people, and using books and information as a form of power.
I decided right then and there that I would go and work for a motivational speaker. And as synchronicity sometimes works, it was only a matter of weeks before I had a job as Director of Marketing for my first speaker.
Looking back over a 20 year career, first as an agent, then as a coach, I can honestly say I could not have chosen a better field.
The speakers I represented early in my career were fantastic mentors and role models. The bureau I worked for in Dallas was a phenomenal wealth of experience. Some of my best friends in the industry are people I met at my first NSA conference over 18 years ago in Washington.
I have been blessed to coach some of the smartest and most talented people in the world and because of them, I have owned my own company for over a decade, written 3 books, and get to live the life of my dreams.
Thank you speaking industry. I don’t know where my life would have gone without you!
See you in the New Year Wealthy Speakers!
PS: Do you have people or an industry that you want to recognize? Please post your comment below to say thank you.
In the world of professional speaking market positioning can influence your overall branding.
Definition of market positioning:
“An effort to influence consumer perception of a brand or product relative to the perception of competing
brands or products. Its objective is to occupy a clear, unique, and advantageous position in the consumer’s mind.”
The ability to really influence or persuade perception can start with a brief introspective of 3 branding components.
1. Is Your Brand Sticky?
2. What’s Your Purpose?
3. Take the 15 Second Website Challenge.
A. Take 15 minutes and write out how you see your brand as being “sticky” or memorable.
B. Jot down your promise statement or tagline and then ask, “will it speak to my target audience?”
C. After taking the 15 second challenge, what will you now change on your site?
If you’d like to share your insights, we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Please place your comment below.
The Wealthy Speaker U is ramping up for a new session starting January 2013. If you are a seasoned speaker or even a newbie on the speaking circuit, consider investing in YOU!
The first session starts January 7th for the Emerging Speakers:
For the Seasoned Speaker, the first session starts January 9th:
For more ideas on “stickiness” check out the book “Made to Stick” by the Heath brothers.
Here are some tips for exploiting your brand:
1. EMAIL: Using a Gmail (or heaven forbid an AOL) email address instead of your brand.com or your name.com is missing an opp.
Every time people see your e-mail address, you have an opportunity to promote your name or your brand.
EXAMPLE: john@johns_brand.com VS. firstname.lastname@example.org
2. PRESENTATION TITLES: Imagine that you are hired by ABC Association to deliver a keynote.
Chances are ABC Association is going to promote that keynote for many months leading up. Imagine that the 500 or 5000 members of that association see your presentation title (which happens to be your brand) on several occasions. By calling your presentation something generic, you have lost this opportunity.
EXAMPLE: The Wealthy Speaker Seminar vs. Get Rich Speaking Seminar
3. BLOG/SOCIAL MEDIA: By using your brand in your Blog title and Social Media page titles, you are continuing to hammer away at your visibility.
EXAMPLE: Jim Harvey’s Presentation Skills Blog vs. Jim Harvey’s Blog
By exploiting our brands, we are one step closer to becoming known in our market and being positioned beautifully when our topic is needed.
See you soon Wealthy Speakers!
ps: The Wealthy Speaker University is starting to fill up and we haven’t started promoting it yet!
Check it out www.wealthyspeakeru.com
- It may be a personal brand, ie.: Dr. Phil, which may work if you have a large following who know you mostly by name….
- it may be based on your work (my preference) ie: Red Zone Marketing (check out what Mary Beth is doing, she’s really sharp) www.redzonemarketing.com.
A book title might also be a great brand. (ie: 7 Habits, Who Moved My Cheese, Purple Cow, Good to Great). You might not understand the title until you’ve read the subtitle. But a good brand can take on a life of its own.
The brand that I think used to work but no longer does is the “speaker based” brand. i.e.: John Doe, Leadership Speaker. This was effective 5-10 years ago, but as my good friend Brian Palmer of National Speakers Bureau says……
“clients no longer want to hire ‘speakers’, they want to hire smart people who happen to speak”
What’s your brand, and do people remember it?
Stay tuned for part II where we’ll talk about exploiting your brand.
See you soon Wealthy Speakers!
PS: The Wealthy Speaker University can help you with your brand, your website, marketing and selling speeches.
Two new classes start in January, click here for more details.
The late great Stephen Covey once talked about moving from Unconscious Competence (you’re good but you’re not really sure why you’re good) to Conscious Competence (you’re good because you planned it that way) **.
Recently on the golf course, I saw a change in my game. I used to swing and pray. Sometimes I’d hit the ball well – sometimes, not so much. But when I stopped to strategize exactly what outcome I wanted and how I had to hit the ball to achieve it, things started working better. This week I hit a chip shot from 3 feet off the green and rolled it about 13 feet into the cup for a birdie. I planned it, and it worked. It wasn’t just a fluke.
The same idea applies to your speech.
When you consciously craft a solid speech, and you deliver it with talent and precision – you are moving from “I’m pretty good but I’m not sure why” to “I’m great because I worked hard and crafted it that way.” Please note that I’m not saying your speech should be rigid or plastic, more like you plan great content and stories and show up authentic.
- Are you consciously competent?
- When did you last work on crafting your speech?
- When did someone from the outside help take your speech to new heights?
(Although speech coaching isn’t my wheelhouse, I do know some great coaches.)
Remember, there is no better form of marketing than a great speech.
See you soon Wealthy Speakers!
** Please note I’ve taken some creative liberty with Covey’s original idea.