Where the Heck is My Harvest?

By Jane Atkinson

The speaking industry is somewhat similar to farming.

We plant seeds, we fertilize (some more than others :), we weed out the wrong clients, and then we see the harvest. Imagine the farmer walking out into the field the day after planting seeds and saying “hey, where the heck are my crops?” Ridiculous right? But many speakers, plant one or two seeds – or sometimes no seeds at all – and expect the phone to miraculously start ringing. The speakers who have their phones ringing have been planting seeds for years by giving speeches (and getting spin off) and by doing marketing, or some combination of the two. Are you expecting a full harvest without planting the seeds? Or would you like to increase your harvest? If so, here are a few steps:

1. Check that your soil is rich and ready. This means, making sure that you are prepared to go to market. That your speech is awesome and your marketing materials are ready, effective, and clearly spell out the value that you offer.

2. Plan your crops. Map out your 1 year marketing calendar. Use a 12 month board and plan to ‘touch’ your clients in some fashion (e-mail, direct mail, articles, etc.) at least 4 times per year. You may also plan to target a specific group.

3. Plant the seeds. Once you have mapped out your calendar, start touching clients on a regular basis and following up with phone calls. It’s all about timing. When the client is ready with a need, you will have communicated with them several times and if your services match their need, they’ll call on you.

4. Weed the crops. Don’t be hesitant about taking people off of your list. If they never book speakers, or will never use your services, then save the marketing dollars for someone who is a better fit. The more honed your list, the better. 5. Consistency = Harvest You should see some results of planting within a few months, but once you have a couple of years of seed planting under your belt, you should start to see things popping up more consistently. There might be a point when you can stop marketing, or you might have to keep it going for years. (Seriously take a look at your speech if you aren’t getting good amounts of business by year 3.)

One of my clients just hit pay dirt (7 bookings) with a mailing he did 2 years ago, so it can take time! Being out there speaking is a great way to build momentum – and plant seeds. If you aren’t getting 2-3 spin off from each engagement, then get some help with your speech. Check out our newest CD of the teleclass done recently with the brilliant Patricia Fripp for some excellent speech tips. https://www.speakerlauncher.com/individual.html

Happy Harvest!