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!
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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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Marketing Yourself as a Professional Speaker

October 20, 2015 | Leave a Comment

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I’m flattered that Henry DeVries of Forbes.com featured me in the following article. Hope you find it helpful!

http://onforb.es/1LmI0d9

Copyright 2015 Lois Creamer. Lois works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and avoid costly mistakes! She can be reached in the following ways:

Lois@BookMoreBusiness.com
Twitter: @loiscreamer
Phone: 314.822.8225
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!
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Why a speaker shouldn’t “speak from the heart” — and a professional shouldn’t focus on passion…

July 14, 2015 | 9 Comments

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I’m happy to offer a guest post by friend and colleague Scott McKain. Take to heart his message!

As another annual meeting of the National Speakers Association approaches, I’m reminded that this will be my thirty-second consecutive NSA convention. (I joined when I was nine. Or, would you believe, fifteen?)

While my busy speaking calendar prevents me from attending the entire event, it’s a time to recall one of the two best pieces of advice I ever received in professional speaking:

  • “Do NOT speak from the heart.”

Several years ago through NSA, I was connected with speech coach Ron Arden. While my career was progressing nicely and growing rapidly – I had already attained the coveted designation as a “Certified Speaking Professional” – I felt like I was ready to take it to the “next level.” Therefore, the help of a coach would be important.

Ron was the “coach’s coach.” The big names paid big bucks for his assistance. He had touched the lives and careers of heavyweights in the field like Brian Tracy, Ken Blanchard, and many more.

Arriving at Ron’s San Diego home, I was nervous – he had requested, and I had provided, several full-length speeches on video tape. I knew he had thoroughly reviewed my material, and that I was going to be receiving a significant amount of feedback.

Warmly welcoming me as I entered, he then hit me between the eyes with a question to burst my bubble:

  • “So, Scott…are we here to tweak and enable you to become a good speaker…or, do you have something more significant in mind?”

“Uh,” I stammered, “you don’t think I’m a good speaker?”

“You’re good enough for now,” he replied. “You have lots of enthusiasm – which is great in your 30’s, as you are today. It will be OK in your 40’s. By the time you reach your 60’s, your level of volume, pacing, and enthusiasm will become really sad.”

“Well,” I said, “I want to be the best speaker that I can be – and one of the best, if not THE best, in the industry. That’s my goal.”

He sighed loudly. “I was afraid you’d say that. It means we have LOTS of work to do.”

“Looking back, I know with total certainty that he was exactly right.”

Later that day he asked me the critical question, “Scott – what is the basis of your speaking? From what point does your program originate?”

I was ready with the answer: “Oh, Ron! I am sincere…I am no phony – I always speak from the HEART.”

Ron Arden rolled his eyes and said under his breath, “Good Lord, not another one.”

Aghast, I demanded an answer, “What is wrong with speaking from your heart?”

“You know something about film, Scott. Think of the most powerful, emotional moment you’ve ever seen an actor portray in a movie. Do you think that was a first take? You’ve seen Broadway plays – do you think the actor always has the same emotional composure and deportment every performance? Yet, they have to deliver the monologue to the audience exactly as they did on opening night. Where is that coming from? The heart?”

“Have you,” he continued, “ever given a speech when you had the flu…feeling under the weather?” “Of course,” I said.

“So, did you speak from the heart? Get up and tell the group that you were nauseous? Tell them – from the heart – you couldn’t wait to get back to your hotel room and go to bed?” “Of course not,” was my terse reply.

  • “Here’s the critical point,” he said with words that changed my life and career:
  • “WRITE your speech from the heart. DELIVER your speech from your skill.”

“That means that even when your heart is heavy, you can make the audience laugh. Or, when your heart is light, you can make the audience cry. When you are a master at the skills of your profession, you can create the results you desire, regardless of whether you’ve had a good day today – or a bad day. Because, either way, it’s not the audience’s fault what kind of day you’re having.”

“Wring out your heart as you write your content. Pour out every fiber of yourself as you prepare what you are going to say. Then, when you stand in front of the crowd, let the words you’ve written be from the heart – but do not make your performance dependent upon how your heart feels at that random moment.”

“The audience deserves your SKILL…not whatever condition your heart may be in at that particular juncture. And, they deserve the most skillful presenter that you can become.”

  • When speakers (or just about any other professional) fail, it is very seldom because they didn’t put enough “heart” into their presentation.
  • It’s because they failed to develop the skill required to do their job in an extraordinary manner.

I’m fanatical about basketball. I will promise you, there’s no one in the NBA more passionate about the game than I am. I love the game with all my heart.

  • So why am I not an NBA player?
  • Because performance at that standing isn’t just about playing from the heart.
  • It’s about having the skill to deliver at such a rarified level.
  • I’m not playing in the league because I’m not good enough from a skill level to do so. (No matter how passionately I love the game from my heart.)

“The hard – and critical – lesson I learned is that most people fail NOT because they aren’t passionate enough about what they do…it’s because they haven’t become skillful enough to create distinction in the marketplace.”

It’s one of the two greatest pieces of advice I’ve ever received about my profession. I wish more speakers knew it…more sales professionals delivered it…more corporate leaders grasped it…and more people applied it.

Regardless of your business, it’s great advice:

  • Write (or choose, or plan, or create) from the heart…speak (or paint, or make a sales call, or prescribe medical advice, or whatever you do) from skill.

“Distinction is crafted by people who innovate and create from the heart – then deliver what they’ve designed from richly developed skill.”

Scott McKain is an internationally known authority who helps organizations create distinction in every phase of business and teaches the “Ultimate Customer Experience.” He can be reached at Scott@ScottMcKain.com – 800-838-6980. http://ScottMcKain.com

Lois Creamer. Lois works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money and avoid costly mistakes! She can be reached in the following ways:

Lois@BookMoreBusiness.com
Twitter: @loiscreamer
Phone: 314.822.8225
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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