Get Over It!

March 1, 2019 | Leave a Comment

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I hear this constantly .. “I’m uncomfortable and find it hard to sell myself!” My initial response? Get into another line of work! And I’m only half kidding ..

I’m not being rude, I am being a realist. In order to get speaking gigs, you are the one who has to reach out to prospects and convince them you can make a difference in their business.

Another question I’m often asked – “Doesn’t it sound better if I’m not the one making the call?” In a word, no. And I think it’s a cop out if this is your thinking. You are the one with the intellectual property. You know how to talk about your information better than anyone else. That said if you hire someone to make calls on your behalf, you still must be the BEST at doing it!

A reality in speaking businesses is that staff comes and goes. It’s a revolving door. Ask any veteran who has had staff and they will agree with me – they may not like it – but they’ll agree with me. I’m not going to go into why this is, that’s another post!

You must always be the best at selling your programs because you are the constant in your own business. The closer the client can get to the speaker the better. If you have staff doing outbound marketing, they must always let the prospect know that you are happy and anxious to talk with them and answer specifics about your program.

So, I’m still uncomfortable selling myself. What can I do? You can review earlier blog posts that I’ve written on selling, positioning, qualifying and practice technique. You can hire me to help you do it! (My favorite!) Another option that works well and I always suggest when I work with speakers – shift your thinking.

Shift your thinking.

Clients  hire us to “move the needle” in their organization in some way.

  • Increase profits
  • Raise productivity
  • Increase employee engagement
  • Drive shareholder value

Instead of selling yourself, think of yourself as a commodity. You’re actually selling your intellectual property aren’t you? That’s what people are buying – the difference that you make via your speaking services. Sell like a commodity and you’ll become more comfortable with the process. Use phrases like:

  • What would it look like if ..
  • Would it make sense to ..
  • How would you feel if your people .. (Thanks to Phil Jones for this!)

In a nutshell, you need to do everything and anything you can to make yourself not only comfortable, but terrific at selling!

The bad news? It’s up to you. The good news? It’s up to you. Happy selling!

Copyright 2019.. Lois Creamer. Lois works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and fully monetize their intellectual property! She can be reached in the following ways:

Email: Lois@BookMoreBusiness.com
Twitter: @loiscreamer
Phone: 314-374-4007
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BookMoreBusiness
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/loiscreamer
For more information on Lois’ business check out http://www.bookmorebusiness.com as well as http://www.bookmorebusiness.tv!
Sign up so you don’t miss a blog post at http://www.BookMoreBusiness.com/blog

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Filming Your Programs

February 22, 2019 | Leave a Comment

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Have you noticed that many times when you go to give a presentation you find a client ready to film it without previously requesting permission? It’s happening more and more. What to do? We all know that we need good film for promotional purposes, but …

You are in an intellectual property business, and you must do whatever you have to do to protect your ownership of your own property. Therefore, I suggest that you always be prepared for this situation. How to do it?

Carry a taping agreement with you at all times. Put down a few restrictions on your letterhead and have it with you when you travel. Now, I’m not an attorney, but here is what I suggest you may want to include on a simple, non lawyer-type agreement.

  • Client to provide you with a master copy of the film within ten days.
  • Film may not be sold in any manner or for any reason. (If anyone is going to sell the presentation and make money from it it’s going to be YOU!)
  • Film may be viewed by employees of group that hired you only. No one else.
  • Film may be used in house for a period of a year, 3 months, 6 months (or whatever).
  • Film may be used by you as a marketing piece, product, to advertise, or in any way you wish to use it.

Simple? Yes! I want it to be simple and not seem too off-putting to your client.

When you have your copy of the film review it. Ask yourself:

  • Would it make a good video or digital product?
  • Would it make a good audio product?
  • Could you pull out clips that could be used to promote yourself on your website or on YouTube?

I think product is a terrific thing! Nothing like turning your computer to find that people have ordered products on your website! Love it!

Further, these days you really need to be in the product business. The days of using merely speaking for income are pretty much gone.

So, be prepared! If you are, you will protect your rights and you may even make extra profit by having an agreement. At the very least, you will be positioning yourself as a professional!

Copyright 2019.. Lois Creamer. Lois works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and fully monetize their intellectual property! She can be reached in the following ways:

Email: Lois@BookMoreBusiness.com
Twitter: @loiscreamer
Phone: 314-374-4007
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BookMoreBusiness
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/loiscreamer
For more information on Lois’ business check out http://www.bookmorebusiness.com as well as http://www.bookmorebusiness.tv!
Sign up so you don’t miss a blog post at http://www.BookMoreBusiness.com/blog

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Using the “Backdoor Method” to Sell to National Associations

February 12, 2019 | Leave a Comment

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One of the best opportunities in the speaking business can be presenting at national associations. They can be challenging to obtain as well as frustrating, but worth the work.

Everyone in the audience may be a prospect for your presentation, products and ancillary services. If you target market, association business can add a real momentum to your sales and marketing.

You can always Google and find associations in your target, you can even buy into lists. Note: you don’t have to buy into an association list to find prospects. In fact, I suggest you save your money and search online.

I call my approach to selling to associations the “Backdoor Method”. Here’s my process.

Ask each private corporate client or business what associations they belong to. You’ll be amazed. Most belong to several associations. If you’re a fit for your client, you’ll be a fit for their association. Here’s how to do the “Backdoor Method”.

  • After every program, ask you client what associations they belong to.
  • Ask if your contact if they would be willing to be an advocate for you and email  information directly to the association program committee. By information, I mean the information that you would send to a committee. Typically this would be a great one sheet, bio, high resolution photo and a link to some video of you speaking.
  • Ask your advocate to share that you recently worked with them and did a great job and would like the committee to consider giving you a slot at their annual meeting.
  • See if there is anyone you should follow up with. Note: typically there isn’t. This is why this market can be frustrating. If they’re interested or need more information, they’ll let you know. If they aren’t interested you’ll hear nothing. Further, if you want to be considered the following year you need to do this exercise all over again since they get rid of information each year.

Of course there are other ways to approach national associations. See my blog post, “Lets Play the Association Game” http://bookmorebusiness.com/blog/time-to-play-the-association-game/.

I hope you’ll give the Backdoor Method a try. Let me know how it works for you!

 

Copyright 2019.. Lois Creamer. Lois works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and fully monetize their intellectual property! She can be reached in the following ways:

Email: Lois@BookMoreBusiness.com
Twitter: @loiscreamer
Phone: 314-374-4007
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BookMoreBusiness
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/loiscreamer
For more information on Lois’ business check out http://www.bookmorebusiness.com as well as http://www.bookmorebusiness.tv!
Sign up so you don’t miss a blog post at http://www.BookMoreBusiness.com/blog

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Speaking Industry Outlook 2019

January 18, 2019 | 1 Comment

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The speaking industry, like others, is facing constant change. How you as a speaker can adapt to that change will dictate your success. Here are some things to think about.

The Events Industry Council, Washington, D.C., has released the preliminary results from its third Economic Significance Study and report “the top-line results reveal increases in the number of attendees, the number of meetings, and the direct spending related to these meetings.”

MICE reports “With the slowdown in world economic growth, the Inbound Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE) Tourism Industry has also suffered a certain impact, but still maintained a relatively optimistic growth, the past four years.”

AMEX meetings and events outlook for 2018 – “The report is largely optimistic about the state of the meetings industry, noting that attendance continues to grow—especially in North America, where conference and tradeshow attendee levels are anticipated to increase by 1.8 percent in 2018.

AMEX meetings and events outlook for 2019 –

“Despite steady growth, there are a number of unique challenges meeting planners are facing today. Budgets are not growing as quickly as attendees’ expectations. Hotel and air prices are on their way up while commission rates, often used to fund meetings, are heading down. The European Union’s Global Data Protection Regulation is requiring event owners to scrutinize their data security and attendee privacy policies”

Travel professionals are putting an emphasis on the fact that female business travelers face unique risks while traveling compared to their male counterparts. It will be interesting to see this addressed.

What we know are that clients are seeking more interactive programs. They are asking speakers to use their social media channels to publicize meetings. Virtual programs continue to have a role but don’t seem to be replacing in person gatherings.

What does the above mean for you? It means that content reigns. Purely motivational or inspirational fluff will not make it. Many of you have heard me say that you need to describe your programs as “high content, motivational in style and tone” if you insist on the “M” word. If you do, “motivational” becomes a style choice, not a content choice.

Corporations and associations are looking for programs that will do one of these things:

  • increase productivity
  • profits
  • performance, communication, employee retention
  • increase shareholder value

This means if the outcome of your program affects one of the above, you’re more likely to be hired. You’re also more likely to be hired if you can offer clients information, tactics, techniques and strategies that can be applied immediately. Clients basically hire you to create a change in behavior.

The economy is good, but shaky. Many corporations are making record profits. Many feel uncertainty may lead to a recession in 18 months or so. We’ll see. However, lead times will still be short. Clients have a “wait and see” attitude when hiring outside experts. They wait to ensure they are addressing current concerns, so they drag their feet and wait until the last minute.

What does this mean for you? It means that even if your calendar looks lean now, things can change quickly. It also means we better be good stewards of our money or we won’t have a business.

A personal thought. My hope is that awareness about the lack of diversity on platforms continues to grow. People who make decisions need to make sure their platform reflects the audience makeup. More women, more people of color.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed, our calendars open, and our negotiation skills keen!

Copyright 2019.. Lois Creamer. Lois works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and fully monetize their intellectual property! She can be reached in the following ways:

Email: Lois@BookMoreBusiness.com
Twitter: @loiscreamer
Phone: 314-374-4007
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BookMoreBusiness
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/loiscreamer
For more information on Lois’ business check out http://www.bookmorebusiness.com as well as http://www.bookmorebusiness.tv!
Sign up so you don’t miss a blog post at http://www.BookMoreBusiness.com/blog

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Speaking Industry Outlook 2018

February 13, 2018 | 1 Comment

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The speaking industry, like others, is facing constant change. How you as a speaker can adapt to that change will dictate your success. Here are some things to be aware of.

The Events Industry Council, Washington, D.C., has released the preliminary results from its third Economic Significance Study and report “the top-line results reveal increases in the number of attendees, the number of meetings, and the direct spending related to these meetings.”

AMEX meetings and events outlook for 2018 – “The report is largely optimistic about the state of the meetings industry, noting that attendance continues to grow—especially in North America, where conference and tradeshow attendee levels are anticipated to increase by 1.8 percent in 2018.

What we know are that clients are seeking more interactive programs. They are asking speakers to use their social media channels to publicize meetings. Virtual programs continue to have a role but don’t seem to be replacing in person gatherings.

What does the above mean for you? It means that content reigns. Purely motivational or inspirational fluff will not make it. Many of you have heard me say that you need to describe your programs as “high content, motivational in style and tone” if you insist on the “M” word. If you do, “motivational” becomes a style choice, not a content choice.

Corporations and associations are looking for programs that will do one of these things:

  • increase productivity
  • profits
  • performance, communication, employee retention
  • increase shareholder value

This means if the outcome of your program affects one of the above, you’re more likely to be hired. You’re also more likely to be hired if you can offer clients information, tactics, techniques and strategies that can be applied immediately. Clients basically hire you to create a change in behavior.

The economy is good. Many corporations are making record profits. However, lead times will still be short. Clients have a “wait and see” attitude when hiring outside experts. They wait to ensure they are addressing current concerns, so they drag their feet and wait until the last minute.

What does this mean for you? It means that even if your calendar looks lean now, things can change quickly. It also means we better be good stewards of our money or we won’t have a business.

A personal thought. My hope is that awareness about the lack of diversity on platforms continues to grow. People who make decisions need to make sure their platform reflects the audience makeup. More women, more people of color.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed, our calendars open, and our negotiation skills keen!

 

—–

Copyright 2018. Lois Creamer. Lois works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and fully monetize their intellectual property! She can be reached in the following ways:

Email: Lois@BookMoreBusiness.com
Twitter: @loiscreamer
Phone: 314-374-4007
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/BookMoreBusiness
LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/loiscreamer
For more information on Lois’ business check out http://www.bookmorebusiness.com as well as http://www.bookmorebusiness.tv!
Sign up so you don’t miss a blog post at http://www.BookMoreBusiness.com/blog

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