Recently my husband and I enjoyed a week of sun and fun on the 9th Annual Marketer’s Cruise, where we were part of a group of 450+ business owners and marketing professionals on a ship in the Caribbean for networking, meeting new friends, and spending time with old friends.
Because this is a group of marketers, some who are seasoned, but very many newer folks, there are strict rules about what is allowed and what is not in terms of connecting with people during and after the cruise to “sell your stuff.” The definition of “cruise spam” is clear. The rules are:
- Don’t blast everyone with your message, whether via email, social media, or even by dropping your business card by every room associated with the event (yes, someone actually DID that! At least we knew who to steer clear of!).
- Don’t add anyone to your mailing lists who didn’t specifically asked to be added, and especially don’t go through the directory and/or addendum to add people who included their email addresses as part of their profile.
- No overt selling, unless it comes up in conversation that someone tells you directly they are interested in your products or services and they specifically request to know more. Believe me, people will tell you if they are interested in what you have to offer and then the door is open.
The rules are made very clear both in welcome messages sent to each cruiser separately and to the group by means of our private Facebook community, as well as spoken out loud several times on the ship itself by the group coordinator and travel agent, Captain Lou. The rules boil down to STOP selling and see how you can help add value to someone else’s life.
That’s where things get fuzzy. How exactly can you add value? What if, as you’re going through the directory of all the people who attended, you read a bio of someone you didn’t meet on the ship (easy to miss many folks when there are more than 450) who, based on their info looks like they could be a great fit for what you offer? How can you take the conversation off the ship and outside of the Facebook community to see if there is some interest?
What led to this particular blog post was a spammy Facebook private message both my husband and I received yesterday. I described it and asked in the Facebook community:
So, is it considered “cruise spam” for my husband and I to have received the same exact “buy my stuff” private Facebook message from someone neither of us is friends with here and someone neither of us had any conversation with? Or is that just to be assumed as “follow up” (albeit it bad form & poorly done) by someone in a group of marketers? Overall I’ve been impressed with the personal follow up and connection, but now I just feel like I need a shower.
After confirming comments from Anita and Sarah that the message would indeed be considered spammy, one kind and forgiving soul, Scott, suggested maybe the person sending me the spammy message was new, but as it turns out, this person is far from new and even appeared on stage at the event, so theoretically should know better. Why I decided to write this post today is other commenters asked what is the best way to connect, summarized nicely by this question from Susan:
“So any suggestions on how to connect beyond the cruise without being spammy? For fear of being spammy, I haven’t really connected with a lot of people on the cruise that much after the cruise. I would love the connection because I want to know what they do, what are their upcoming events, projects and how we can help each other.”
And then our fearless leader even chimed in, Captain Lou himself, saying others may also be able to benefit from my thoughts. And here we are!
True Connection 101
How you connect with others after a business event of any kind, depends completely on the kind of interaction you had while at the event itself. What follows are my suggestions for how to do that in a way that builds a relationship, whether you buy from each other or not.
Situation 1: Met the person, had a conversation where they expressed interest in what you do as a potential product or service for themselves or someone they know:
This one is the easiest by far. If a person says, “I’d like to talk more with you about this after the event,” that’s your open door. Send an email, private message, or make a phone call to talk with that person more. In the message or at the beginning of the conversation remind the person how you met and a little about your conversation. At longer events and/or where there are hundreds of participants, while we all like to think we are memorable, it’s nice to help the other person connect your name and your face with a reminder of your conversation.
However do NOT simply add that person to your email list without asking first. Better yet, give that person your card and tell her how she can add herself to your list if she would like by offering something for free, for example.
Situation 2: Met the person, hung out for a little while, but business didn’t come up or no direct interest was expressed in what you do.
Let’s say you sat next to a person at one of the shows, or sang karaoke together, or did a cruise excursion to the same place and enjoyed your conversation enough that you decided to check out your new friend because work really didn’t come up. Look for the person in the directory of attendees, visit his social media page, or even Google him or otherwise find his website. Connect on social media for sure. Then if it feels like there might be a good fit, send a private message or email that looks like this:
“Hi John! I really enjoyed hanging out with you at the shore excursion to the Mayan ruins on Belize. I’m sorry we didn’t run into each other much the rest of the cruise. First, I wanted to send you this photo I took of us [or of you and your wife or whatever…].
Second, I had a few minutes to visit your website today and it looks like you’re up to some cool things. I loved your blog post about [be specific about something on his site that you really did like so he knows you’re not just spamming; actually comment on the blog post first. Or watch a video and comment. You get it.]. That got me to thinking we never did get around to talking about business. I don’t know if you had a chance to look at my website, but it’s YourWebsite.com and I thought, if you’re up for it, I’d love to talk to you about what you’re working on. Maybe there’s someone I can connect you with, or a project you’re working on that I might be able to offer help with in some way, and vice versa. What do you think? Of course I understand if you’re busy, and either way, it was great to spend some time with you and look forward to talking more soon!
– Your signature
PS Based on your website [post recently on Facebook, etc.], I think you might enjoy or find value in my free report [webinar, checklist, mp3, whatever…] Title That Would Make Sense to This Person. You can get it here: LinkToYourFreeGift.com
I would not send a link to my calendar at this time. Yes, it would save time if the person wants to say yes, but it presumes too much. If the person emails back yes and does not send you his calendar link to schedule, then send yours. If the person replies back with a no thank you, or a not right now, then stay connected on social media.
Situation 3: You did NOT meet the person or you met only in passing.
With hundreds of people, it’s not likely you will meet everyone. But if you’re looking for leads from the event and don’t want to offend anyone, or worse, get banned from the group, here’s one way to connect.
First, visit the person’s website, blog, or social media accounts and comment on posts, share, retweet, pin, etc. Second, connect on social media. Third, send a PERSONAL message that goes something like this:
We didn’t have a chance to meet each other / or have a conversation on the recent marketers cruise, and now that I’m looking through the directory of attendees, I’m wishing we had. Although between my hubby and I loving all the fun shore excursions and the shows on the ship, I didn’t get to Pizza and Profits until later in the evenings. I’m really sorry I missed you, because as I was reading your entry in the directory you mentioned that you’re looking for help with [be specific, using the same language they used] and that’s just what I do for my clients.
If you want to know a little more about me, you can see me on page 268 of the addendum. I even created a special gift just for cruisers called, “The Marketers Cruise Guide to Speaking and Profits.” You can pick that up for free at http://FeliciaSlattery.com/cruisegift.
I took a few minutes to visit your webiste [blog, LinkedIn profile, YouTube channel] and really like how you [be specific and give an honest compliment]. Also, I noticed a couple of things you could quickly and easily change that might make a big difference for you. I made you a super short video showing you what I mean that you can see privately here [use Jing or another screen capture video to add value by sharing immediately or don’t make a video, but offer a suggestion.] I’m actually doing a free webinar on that next week / or / if you’d like to talk a little more about it, I’d love to connect now.
You may not hear back right away, or at all. If this person seems like a good fit, you can copy the same message into a social media private message or email (whichever you didn’t use the first time) and suggest that with all the filters in place, you wanted to be sure the person received your message. If you don’t hear back again, and the person honestly looks like a good fit for what you do, move them to your offline direct marketing campaign path and send a print newsletter, your book, a post card, a direct response letter, or something else. Make it personal. Make it about them. Offer a specific solution to a specific problem they may have.
Situation 4: You want to know more about someone’s services (without feeling spammed).
No one likes to feel sold to, but everyone like to buy things, especially things we want and need. If you meet someone you think has a product or service that could help you, you can simply join their email list to see what they send, connect and follow them by paying attention on social media, or if you’re ready for the “big guns” of sales that some marketers use, tell them directly and ask for an appointment to talk more about your needs. Before the conversation, be clear on what EXACTLY you need, how you want it delivered, and what your budget is. Then it’s your job to see if the product or service is a good fit for your needs and the business owner should be listening to you to determine if you are a good fit for them.
Under no circumstances:
- DO NOT: Have an assistant copy and paste the same generic message over and over again, whether it’s in email or on social media. Even if it sounds sort of personal or is written by someone who knows how to write copy, it’s still spam.
- DO NOT: Send unsolicited “here’s my free stuff” messages without any reason related to the person you’re “reaching out” to.
- DO NOT: Treat anyone as a number or just “another lead.” Every number in your funnel represents a person; a human being with needs and wants, hopes and dreams. They deserve to be respected, even if they don’t want to buy from you.
Finally, I’ll end with a story. My husband, Brent, and I met a wonderful couple, Dutch and Vanessa, on the cruise. We spent several evenings chatting, hanging out, and just having fun. If you’ve been married for any length of time, you know it’s rare to find couples friends, where the husbands have things in common, the wives have things in common, and even the opposite husband and wife have things in common. That was us with Dutch and Vanessa.
Naturally, the topic of business came up a few times with Dutch and Vanessa, but it was simply where the conversation went, rather than any one person trying to sell another. During one part of our conversation, after Dutch told me more about what he does for his clients, I suggested maybe we could talk about him helping me. And what he said next will stick with me for a long time. In that moment, he could have moved in to set up an appointment or tried to sell me on the spot. Perhaps instead, he could have been preparing me for a let down that maybe my business isn’t at the volume that his company requires or that we might not be a good fit, but he said,
“I don’t know if we will end up working together or if we won’t. But no matter what happens with work, I’d like to stay great friends.”
Doing business is about creating authentic connections and real relationships so we can help each other succeed.
Anything else just makes you look like a jerk out for only yourself.
First, I didn’t love the tone the reporter took about the industry that has inspired millions of people for decades. Throughout the report, her tone of voice said she wasn’t convinced that what we do to teach, motivate, encourage, and inspire others was somehow legitimate. Her incredulous, “Your BEST year EVER?” reply to the owner of a Chicago speaker’s bureau and her challenge to Wayne Dyer, “What do you say to people who think this is all just a bunch of baloney?” were telling, and frankly, a bit unsettling. Not that I would have wanted her to be a cheerleader for our industry, but a little journalistic neutrality would have been better for a story that was not presented as an expose of any sort.
And how Dyer answered the reporter’s challenge, was of course classic motivational wisdom. He quoted Henry Ford’s “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right,” and then told her that if she or others see a lot of baloney, they must be attracting a lot of baloney into their lives. BOOM.
Beyond that, the piece had some useful information for professional speakers in it.
One lesson is from the speakers bureau owner’s perspective, who gets 15 new speakers inquiring about having his agency represent them per month, and almost NONE of those speakers fit his criteria of “very good, great, or excellent.” He says he’s not there to be people’s friend and almost proudly admits that he’s crushed a lot of dreams. That means there are a WHOLE lot of speakers out there thinking they are good enough to be paid the big bucks, (this bureau has speakers at the $20K+ level) but in reality, are not even close to having the skill they need to succeed.
That is in line with what I see in the trenches of speaking all the time. Far too may speakers are disproportionately worried about their marketing far more than they are concerned about improving their craft, stage presence, story-telling, and entertainment value of being on stage. There are some well-known speaker marketing people who will tell you to put your speaking skills into a box and put them off to the side while you work on your marketing, in essence telling you to ignore your PRODUCT.
You see, if you get paid to show up and speak, your speech and performance is your product. And if your product stinks, no amount of slick marketing can cover up that fact. Good marketing can get you hired, but if your product isn’t top notch, you’ll never get any referrals, testimonials, repeat business, or “back end” business – things like a juicy consulting contract, or physical book and product sales.
In fact, in the story, you’ll see the second piece of important information about how to succeed as a speaker: you’ve GOT to be entertaining. Now this story focuses on being funny and talks about how you should literally time yourself between big laughs and have no more than two minutes between them. However, if you’re an inspirational speaker, or an instructional speaker, or a faith-based speaker, think in terms of an emotional impact mixed in with the laughs. We are there to create an experience for the audience members.
On the other hand, there is another group of speakers who believe if they only hone their craft better, if only they could deliver that one-liner of a joke with better timing, or pause in just the right spots, they will get more gigs, and so spend far less time than they should on their outdated marketing materials, never writing those books, or not creating any products to serve the audience.
The story’s main point is that the speaking business is healthy and growing and there is room for the best speakers to succeed. Your bottom line: allow time in your business to develop BOTH your marketing AND your stage presence and speech and you will be able to make a very healthy living.
Note: For some reason, this video cannot be embedded. You can view the whole story on Vimeo here.
WE DID IT!!!
Yesterday I launched my new book, Kill the Elevator Speech: Stop Selling, Start Connecting. The image you see here started as a screen capture sent to me by Facebook friend and reader, Frederique Murphy, founder of Mountain Moving Mindset, international speaking and consultant based in Ireland.
Last night I finally crashed shortly after the midnight totals came in here. I was wiped out after all the work I did this week in preparing for the book launch. So I am VERY grateful to Frederique, who was thoughtful enough to grab a few screen captures of my rankings in the early morning hours.
As you can see, we hit #1 AND #2 on Amazon’s Hot New Releases list. For some reason Amazon counts the Kindle book and the physical book as two separate titles (I have no idea why), which is why I was able to be at both the top two positions.
Here are a few other stats from the launch:
The highest best-seller ranking we hit was #2 in it’s category. This image is from my iPhone snapped overnight.
You see, my (very lofty) goal for this book is for it to hit the New York Times Best-Seller List. This internet launch was only phase one. Phase two begins in earnest after Thanksgiving when I start the national media promotion. So if you happen to have any contacts with folks at any of the big business networks, I’ve been interviewed on TV and can certainly handle myself in an interview. Plus, I’m passionate about this message that we should all just stop it with the elevator speech (or elevator pitch) once and for all.
The good news is people are loving the book! It currently has a total of nine reviews, ALL are 5-stars!
In the meantime, there are people to thank. Many thousands of them, actually, but I’ll name just a few here.
First, to those who made me graphics throughout the day to help support the book launch, Joe McCready and Craig Carpenter. Joe handles my Facebook page for me and is always coming up with awesome graphics. Craig, well, he just happened to send me a private message in the middle of the day yesterday, about something totally unrelated, and then a few minutes later surprised me with the awesome quotes.
Also, a big thanks to Anita Johnson, Paul Taubman, and Ruth Martin, my tireless help desk manager, webmaster, and virtual assistant. If you’ve ever scheduled an appointment with me (or want to have me on your podcast, radio show, or TV segment!), Ruth is the one who makes all that happen (along with making sure I see and eventually respond to emails!). And If you’ve ever had any difficulty with my websites, Anita has been on the case, getting you taken care of, while Paul makes sure things are clean, backed-up, and secure every month.
Speaking of websites – less than 24 hours before the book launch, my main website went down. Ka-put. Within two hours of a phone call to Regina Smola, everything was back up, running good as new. If you ever have any issues with your WordPress website, Regina is someone you WANT to know and have on your team. I am grateful to know her.
And finally, the person who worked until 3 AM the night before (really the morning of!) my book launch, designing everything, making everything work and run beautifully, is Debra Lloyd. She made some of most fun graphics I ever had in my business, as well as doing SO MUCH more. Being British, she had to add the queen’s crown to the keep calm graphic, and she’s also responsible for the graphic at the top of this page and many (MANY) others. I am in deep gratitude for her hard work on this project. You can see more of her work on Facebook, and I will be using all of her graphics as we go along. I don’t think I can ever thank her enough, but it might well include sharing a bottle of wine the next time we’re in the same room!
And most of all, YOU! For the dozens (possibly hundreds) of people who shared my book on your social media profiles, for the people who gave me quick and early feedback about the launch page, which helped me to make it better, to the private email support, to every person who picked up a copy (and in some cases several copies as gifts!), THANK YOU from the bottom of my very grateful heart.
Now I’m getting offline for the rest of the weekend. I need a break :-).
“Picture them in their underwear.” Um, no.
“Picture them doing something demeaning like scrubbing the toilet.” Really?
“Picture them naked.” Gross.
All of the above is nonsense and ridiculous advice I’ve heard at one time or another on how to get past a fear of public speaking.
When I pull it out of context like I did in the title of this post, well, you can see the ludicrousness of telling people to imagine others in their underwear, and so forth.
Those who don’t know any better are well-meaning. They are trying to help. The idea, of course, is that theoretically, anyway, when you picture your audience members in a compromising or less-than-powerful position, you supposedly feel more powerful, and therefore better and less afraid.
You know what makes you feel more powerful? BEING more powerful in your own knowledge of what you can do for others. KNOWING that what you do for people, that your message, can truly change someone’s life for the better, whether in a tiny way or in a HUGE way.
If you are sure that you offer value to people who pay you, if you have happy customers, and if you know speaking is a powerful way to spread your message and attract new soon-to-be happy customers so you can help them with your God-given talents, but have felt held back because of fear, I invite you to a webinar I’m calling, “Get Over It! (Your Fear of Speaking.)”
Tomorrow is Halloween. There is no more perfect day to address something that feels scary, but that you still want to do – and GET OVER IT once and for all.
Now, I can’t promise that by listening to a webinar you can immediately conquer your fears forever on the spot so you are never afraid at all of speaking again (and be skeptical of anyone who says they can – that’s some pretty hypey stuff), but I CAN help you look at your fear in a different way. I CAN motivate you and inspire you to help the people who NEED you. And, just as importantly, I can give you PROVEN techniques that have worked for the thousands of people I have taught them to over the years.
People come to me privately all the time to ask for this kind of help. I want to help you, too, so you no longer have to listen to wacko advice about picturing people in their undies. Sheesh. Here the long link to join the webinar:
Tell all your fraidy cat friends, too! We’ll have some fun and maybe banish that fraidy cat feeling and empower you to speak!
I’d like to introduce you to Faydra Koenig, America’s Crisis Coach.
Faydra is a fantastic coach who I met in the past couple of years and during that time, as we’ve come to know one another mainly through social media, but also at live work events like NAMS and this past weekend at our mutual friends’ wedding, we’ve easily moved from social media buddies, to her becoming a client of mine when she purchased my speaker one-sheets, and, most importantly, now, friends. We text, we chat, we talk about shoes and clothes… real girlfriend stuff.
Last week when I saw her and we were talking business, she was so excited about what she has been able to do with my speaker one-sheet templates product, that I asked her if she’d record a quick testimonial for me, which, as you can see below this post, she did. Today I shared that testimonial on my personal Facebook profile, on YouTube, and will soon put it on the sales page because it’s a great, heartfelt testimonial that speaks to a challenge many folks have.
And that’s when things got interesting.
Apparently, one of my social media contacts, who clearly considers himself a “competitor” of mine (I always look for collaboration; there’s plenty of business fish in the sea to feed all of our businesses), saw Faydra’s testimonial. Within minutes of me posting the video, Faydra sent me a private message asking if I know the guy. I did meet him once, but I can’t say I really know him.
And that’s when she shared with me his message. I’m removing any part of that message which would identify him because who it is doesn’t matter. It’s what he did that provides the learning opportunity. This is copied word for-word (there’s a lesson right there… don’t do something in private that you wouldn’t want on someone else’s blog!). Keep in mind two things:
– I wrote a book called 21 Ways to Make Money Speaking (note his “21 ways” he will help her)
– I do each and every thing for my clients that he offers to help with
Dear Faydra, I just saw your video about Felicia.
I am very impressed with your heart and the way you think and how you present yourself. You come across quite powerful and I am very clear that you really love speaking, teaching, training, making a difference in the lives of people.
I can help you do those things all over the world through keynote speeches, seminars, the internet and weekend retreats etc. Know this…..It is, indeed, a very rewarding, uplifting…..even thrilling path to be on! And it can be VERY profitable!
You become an important asset to the world….way beyond your wildest dreams. If you do what I show you to do, you can create and enjoy the reputation of a very influential, world class speaker and trainer….and make a lot of money doing it. I will help you become a master at P P M. Packaging, Positioning and Marketing.
Below are 21 things I will give to you during your time with me. I have paid out about $250,000 for all this knowledge and experience and have over 25 years of real world experience that I give to you. I will teach you everything you need to know from A to Z.
I will help you implement all of it so you can launch a speaking, training, serving, mentoring career in 90 to 120 days and be functioning at my level within a very short time frame. I will help you implement all of the things on this list through one-on-one mentoring in person and via the phone, SKYPE, internet etc..
1. How to Package yourself as a top expert and a professional speaker so people will be impressed with you and want to consider you for their speaker, trainer or mentor. 2. How Position yourself to act, walk and talk like a celebrity or expert/authority so as to command ultimate respect and high dollars for your services. 3. How to create a promotional one sheet/brochure. I will write this and help design this critical, one sheet/flyer as it pertains to features, benefits and sizzle. (You already have this) 4. How to create a compelling website that is designed to sell you to companies who are looking for a speaker. 5. How to create a compelling DEMO Video that “sells” you. 6. How to get top dollar for any and all of your services and products. 7. How to charge a $15,000 fee for speaking engagements….from the beginning. 8. How to write strong promotional letters you may use. I will do this for you as well. 9. How to create audio and DVD programs to sell…. quickly…within 14 to 45 days. 10. How to sell product at the back of the room. This can be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars to you. 11. How to Market yourself as a professional speaker via direct mail and the internet. 12. How to get speakers bureaus to represent you. 13. How to create publicity, both paid and free, and media exposure for yourself via articles in print media and radio and television talk shows. I will also provide names of experts who may help with this. 14. How to promote public seminars. 15. How and where to get the names of companies and associations that hire speakers. 16. How to put together and conduct highly profitable weekend retreats. 17. How to get on going consulting and training contracts. 18. How to sell yourself and your products on the internet. 19. How to design of a powerful, selling landing page for your products. 20. Teach you with how to create and have a strong, interesting and compelling stage presence. (You already have this. I will just tweak if necessary)
I will do all this for a one-time fee. My new office number is 123-555-1212
Joe Blow Mentor and Author of the #1 Best-Selling Book And several best-selling audio programs Sold in 50 countries
Testimonials – 4 lengthy testimonials that included the personal email and phone number of each of the people in mentioned.
Before I share with you Faydra’s response, let’s talk about what’s wrong with this.
- It’s all about HIM HIM HIM except for a very short sentence at the beginning, which comes across as empty flattery. When you look at the language, you can see he is highly impressed with himself so she could be “functioning at his level.” Dude is on an ego trip and clearly is looking down on his not-so-hot prospect.
- Zero Homework. Had he actually taken 2 minutes to look up Faydra Koenig, he’d see she is already quite an accomplished speaker, sought-after media personality, and published author of 6 books. His approach to her was ALL wrong.
- He completely ignored the fact that SHE IS ALREADY A HAPPY CLIENT of someone else, for whom she went to the effort of making a testimonial video. That’s like a Republican political candidate trying to get a vote from a campaign donor for their Democratic opponent. Why? The odds are very low she’ll decide to get speech training from someone else.
- Copy/paste marketing. If you’re sending a direct response post card, for example, or a mass email, then, yes, the message needs to be general to people who represent your ideal clients. But when you’re writing to another single, individual person, consider having a personal message. It’s a lot like how the elevator speech doesn’t work to create a connection. Giving a contrived non-personal message in a personal setting is NOT effective communication.
Now, let’s look at Faydra’s awesome response, which, as you might have guessed, I have received her permission to use :
While I am unable to say Thank You for your unsolicited and lengthy sales pitch, I would like to offer you some advice from America’s Crisis Coach.
I am working under the assumption that business tactics vary from one business to the other and that it is entirely possible that your standards differ from mine.
Where I come from, one doesn’t ask to sleep with someone on the first date. Rather, a bit of courtship, some dinner and ample amounts of wine are customarily provided before the big leap to seeing ones’ knickers.
Assuming that we had met organically and you had no idea that Felicia and I were, in fact, close, I might not have had such a strong reaction to your faux pas, but the truth is you used her social media post as a way to try to lure me away from her as a potential client. Where I come from, we call that espionage, which is not unlike girl-code. Both would be treasonous to act upon.
I would no sooner be influenced by your lengthy testimonials than I am by your disingenuous remarks about my powerful presentation- neither of which scored you points. If anything, they had the opposite affect whereby I contacted Felicia promptly to alert her to the fact that you are cat fishing her clientele and she should not only publicly out you, but that she should deny you access to anything she posts on social media.
While I certainly value appreciation for my speaking ability, I am offended that you assume that I am lacking the cache that you claim to be able to help me find. The fact that you did zero research before reaching out to me shows me that you are void of many business skill-sets that will help you in your business.
I fear that your business may be in crisis and as America’s Crisis Coach, I would love to offer you my services to help you master marketing, social media engagement and help you grow your tribe, just as Felicia has grown hers, into a loyal base of men and women who are devoted to your services.
Until then, I offer you this advice- do not solicit customers by watching your competition and casting a wide net. Consider building the know, like and trust factor and you may be amazed at the caliber of clients who come your way.
Faydra~ America’s Crisis Coach
I live on the opposite end of CA. About 10 hours away. BUT I am not opposed to meeting up with you.
Now that you’ve read her fabulous response, here is her equally fabulous testimonial video:
Is it good to have happy, loyal, amazing, brilliant clients? Yes it is. And if you’d like to become one of my happy, loyal, amazing, brilliant clients, send me an email, give me a call, or say so in the comments and I’ll be in touch in a non-smarmy, personal way!
Have you ever received an obnoxious sales pitch on social media that made you feel like you needed a shower? Share your experience in the comments below.
Question: Which came first, the book or the speech as a marketing tool?
Answer: It doesn’t matter! They are both fantastic and you can use both to sell the other!
It doesn’t matter what you do in your business. Being successful boils down to one thing: getting people to pay you for your products or services. Even if your main source of business is referrals, those referrals still need a way to discover what you’re all about. How do you do that? There are only two primary ways: in writing or by speaking. Everything else is an offshoot of those two basics.
Think about it. Even if you don’t have an official speech or you haven’t written a book yet, someone is going to email you or call you. And then you’ll have to answer in writing or by speaking to them on the phone or in person. Or they are going to Google you and run into your website where there is writing and hopefully video of you welcoming them. So let me ask you this:
Are you busy?
The answer is a big, huge, OF COURSE YOU’RE BUSY!!
So one more question: If you’re busy, why not leverage what you’re already doing to make your marketing and your life easier?
As a speech trainer and communication consultant, I’ve been on stages everywhere since the very beginning to market my own business. I started speaking in front of audiences of hundreds of people since the time I was 7 years old; so it’s natural to me. What wasn’t as natural was writing my first book. But here’s how I did it.
- Step 1: I wrote a bunch of specific blog posts about various topics I knew my potential clients wanted to hear more about because audience members were asking me the kinds of questions I answered in the posts.
- Step 2: Then I turned those blog posts into a fixed-term 12-week private membership site, which allowed me to fill in any blanks of tying that content together, as well as including specific activities members could do to help them implement the content.
- Step 3: I took the 12-week membership site content, and turned that into 12 chapters of a book, plus wrote an introduction and conclusion. I added a quiz on Communicating with Confidence for one of the chapters, had the whole thing edited, learned what to do next from Kristen Eckstein to get it into print and self published that baby.
I wanted to write a book because it’s been one of those life-long bucket list things for me. Plus, most speakers worth their fee have at least one book published. So now I had a book. But then, that’s when something interesting happened.
People started to ask me to SPEAK about my book.
And then at those events where I was the featured speaker, audience members would buy my BOOK.
Then people who saw one or the other or both started HIRING ME.
It was AWESOME! One led to the other and back to the other and so on and so on…
As I went on, I decided I wanted to have some better marketing materials. Because the book and the speech were working SO well for me, I wanted to get them in front of more people. What I needed was a Speaker One-Sheet (or Author One-Sheet, depending on if you wrote your book or your speech first! LOL)
The one-sheet is a printed single-sided, brief marketing piece you can put on your website as a PDF or print and send to meeting planners about your topic. It looks all fancy and professional-like, which is how you want to portray yourself as an author, speaker and consultant, in case you didn’t know.
Next came the problem of the proverbial cobbler’s children having no shoes (that would be me not having a one-sheet!).
I know that a one-sheet is an important marketing tool. But (luckily) I was too busy to go through the gyrations of having one made. Finding a designer that didn’t flake out AND who understood me and what I wanted, trying to figure out the look and feel I wanted to convey, deciding what to put on it, well, it was time-consuming. And I realized, I’m not the only one who doesn’t have time for even the things that I know should get done.
So I created these Speaker One-Sheet Templates (using Powerpoint of all things!), because I know how to use Powerpoint and now I can crank one out in mere minutes. No hassle. Dozens of other speakers and authors have been using them, too and they all love them.
Author Shelley Hitz said:
I’ve been needing an updated one-sheet for the speaking I do and have been procrastinating hiring someone. I personally bought one of Felicia’s templates and within an hour had my one-sheet ready and added to my speaking page! WooHoo!
These speaker one-sheet templates are fast, easy, and give you a professional way to be sure you are using the full power of the speaking – writing marketing cycle.
Quick… Which sport brings in the most money in the US: the Super Bowl? World Series? NBA Finals? If you guessed any of those you’d be wrong.
If you’re a professional speaker, or want to be, the answer to this question may just provide the insight you need to get your share of the $31 Billion sponsorship market.
Nightline’s Rebecca Jarvis reported last week on ABC News the US Open is actually the most lucrative sport in the country.
Check out these stats:
- The prize money for the male and female winners is $3 million dollars each.
- Last year the Open brought $720 million to the local NY economy.
- Over 700,000 fans attended; almost 9 times as many fans who attended the Super Bowl
- While tickets are affordable and can be purchased at just $20-$30 each, compared to the thousands for a ticket to the Super Bowl, the average income of tennis fans is $150,000 per year, while the average football fan’s income is much less at $94,000.
- One of pro tennis’ stars, Maria Sharipova, is the highest paid female athlete in the world and has been #1 on the Forbes list of women athlete earners for the past 10 years at $24 million per year in winnings and endorsements. Serena Williams, another pro tennis star, isn’t far behind at $22 million per year.
- Professionally done hair, make-up, nails and even custom-designed tennis dresses for the athletes are all par for the course (to mix sports metaphors) before competing at the Open and other major televised tournaments like Wimbledon and the French Open.
- Attendees will dine on 3-lb. porterhouse steaks (for $125 a pop) and French champagne served up by top brands like Moët et Chandon and celebrity chefs like Morimoto, who are there because of sponsorship dollars.
If you’re looking for sponsors for your speaking business, you may want to know details like these.
Because knowing stats like these and how to use them to speak to potential sponsors is the reason why sponsors will line up to give you money. They know the intricate details about their customers and target market and will pay big bucks to get access to your audience, of any size, that can deliver their message to those potential customers. The key? Knowing as much as you can about the people you are in front of and being able to effectively communicate that to potential sponsors.
I’m teaming up with Shannon Cherry to show yo all about it in our Corporate Sponsors for Speakers course. Go see all about it and get your share of the billions of dollars in sponsorship!
Professional speakers, beware. I hate that I have to write another post like this about scammers, but the pirates of the Internet are wreaking havoc in speaking world again.
The latest scam is a familiar take on a long-existing scam or con against professional speakers I’ve explained before. It seems as though too many good people heard about the previous scam, prompting the bad guys to make a few tweaks. Yet while the con artists have changed the names of the fake parties involved, it is essentially the same ruse. I hope you’ll read this post carefully, and share it far and wide so no speakers get caught up in the scam, losing precious time or money.
Last week a client of mine, who I will call Denise, posted inside my private client Facebook group how excited she was that she had been booked to speak for a church in England. Amid the congratulatory responses, I cautiously asked a couple of questions because there is a common con I still see speakers asking about in which a bishop at in a real church located in Jarrow, England invites unsuspecting speakers to present at a fake conference coming up soon.
Just as in the original scam, the scammers chose an actual church in England and even went as far as finding the name of the one-time lead pastor at that church. My client, “Denise,” has given me permission to share everything with you. including all correspondence, so you can protect yourself against the same or a similar scam.
The 6 warning signs you may be caught up in a speaking scam I addressed in an earlier post were present here to a certain extent; plus there are a few new ones I’ll share.
So here’s what happened. Each message is copied word for word, changing only “Denise’s” name and removing line breaks for space.
Message 1: We’re Interested in Hiring You.
The first thing that happened was my client received an email from her web contact form.
“Sent via website Contact Form
Revd Mark Duggan
BOOKING YOU TO SPEAK!!!
God’s blessing Denise, We hope this message meets you in good health.I am Revd Dr Mark Duggan, presiding
Minister of Bramley Baptist Church, Bramley Leeds, United Kingdom. We are pleased to inform you that we would
like to engage you for a speaking event here in Bramley Leeds at the Church conference coming up on the 25th, 26th
& 27th of October 2014. The conference is tagged: ‘Big things: How to start small’.
Please we would like you to convey to us your availability for one of the dates as it can fit in your schedule.
Also, please we would as well appreciate if you get back in-touch with us in ample time so we can start corresponding
Thank you and expecting to hear from you soon.
Revd Dr Mark Duggan
Bramley Baptist Church,
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim
the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
1 Peter 2:9″
Now Denise is smart. She’s actually an attorney. The first thing she did was to Google the church and the pastor’s name. Both of which are REAL. She was curious as to why the pastor was listed only in one place online she could find as a past leader, but being excited for the opportunity and seeing that the place was a real church, her ideal market, she proceeded.
Yet even from this initial contact there are some curious warning signs such as:
- The email the reverend used was a gmail address not associated with the church. However, when I visited the church’s contact form, I saw the contact address for email was using the church’s domain, firstname.lastname@example.org,uk.
- There was no Mark Duggan listed in the leadership or staff of the church.
- Upon closer inspection of the church’s website, I was able to find their upcoming calendar of events. I went to the October schedule and lo and behold no event was listed for those dates, even though it’s clear this church keeps that calendar very current with ALL meetings listed.
- At most churches, the pastor is busy with more minister duties such as baptisms, weddings, funerals, marriage counseling, addictions counseling, visiting the sick in the hospital, etc. They very rarely will be the first to reach out when planning any kind of event. That is an administrative duty, and even the smallest of churches has at the very least a lovely church lady volunteering at the desk to answer phones and help plan events. In larger churches, there are people whose full-time occupation is to plan events.
- There are some English grammar peculiarities such as the use of “in-touch,” which has no hyphen.
- NO ONE ENGAGES YOU TO SPEAK WITHOUT AT THE VERY LEAST A PHONE CALL FIRST! Even if the meeting planner was referred to you or you know the person, unless you’ve spoken at several of their events in the past, and even then – you usually have at least one phone call to discuss the details.
TIP: Copy and paste the body of any message you receive. This speaker wrote about being contacted in the same way back in 2012 with different names. If you go there, you will notice the same exact wording Denise received in her initial contact. Lazy scammers.
Message 2: We Can Pay Your Fee.
“Thank you very much for your profound interest in this upcoming conference, I have a few
more details to share with you so you can have more insight on the conference and what
the church stands for as a whole.
(Inaugurated in the 19th Century, the annual Bramley Lecture is given in Bramley Baptist
Church on some aspect of the life and work of Bede or of Anglo-Saxon history or culture.
The lecture is published in the year following delivery and copies can be obtained in
Bramley Baptist Church or from the lecture secretary) This is an age-long history of our
It is due to this age-long ritual of giving lectures that we have decided to keep lectures
going though the type of lectures has evolved over the years we are proud to say we are
keeping the hope alive! It is due to this that we are hosting the conference come 25th, 26th
& 27th of October 2014 with about 600 people in attendance and we are pleased to notify
you that you have been chosen by our Event Organizing Committee to speak at this event
on recommendation of a staff of one of our sponsors, the YMF outreach and after checking
your credentials and after reading blogs about you, we received the Lords direction to invite
you to speak in this event and we also believe you are as well more than capable to deliver
in this occasion, We have decided among the Event Organizing Committee to invite you to
Since I was inaugurated as the Presiding Minister of this esteemed church, God has being
helping us to keep hope and monuments alive and we have also being able to change the
face of Christianity, and the church having a whole lot of history attached to it, for one, the
site of the oldest stained glass and home to the then Venerable Bede (the scientist) and one
of the oldest churches in this part, we also have about the oldest organ in England as well
as the Saxon crypt and we also have an history with the river Don. You can check out more
about the church and its history at:
Apart from the conference coming up by October,The church is as well involved in a few
other projects. For one, the church has dedicated the new school building to the Most
reverend Benjamin Heagreaves,(The second-ever Minister of the esteemed church) in view
of his many achievements, the website is under-construction.
Sending out the invitation to you is by virtue of Gods bearing plus human
recommendation, We need you to use your wealth of experience to sensitize the
congregation, We organized this conference and workshop also in the hope of trying to re-
organize the Church and further extend our impacts, So we can have people listen and be
inspired by speakers like yourself on topics ranging from business growth , surviving in a
bad economy, Futuristic speakers , family matters, to healthy living, which is why we chose
you to speak at this event as a keynote speaker. Also this conference will as well mark my
four year anniversary as the Presiding Minister of this blessed Church.
The conference theme has been carefully chosen by the Lords’ inspiration due to the
backdrop of the present situation in the United Kingdom and this year’s conference has
been tagged. ‘Big things: How to Start small’
You can email us the keynote you would like to speak on as we would want you to be
convenient with the keynote topic so we decided it would be better you choose it yourself as
long as its motivational and inspiring! We will as well need your bio to put up on our
website and start to design posters as well as hand bills,
We are inviting you so you can inspire this people, teach them how to triumph over the
deflating effects of set-backs & self-doubt, how to break free from whatever is keeping
them “small”, and become empowered by their challenges, rather than victimized. And
most importantly, how to start great things with small efforts and steadfastness
We would like to know your standard speaking fee for this engagement as we do indeed
have a sponsor, So we can negotiate this I believe, Our fees are based on budget and we
are not based with our speakers fee, We budget for every speaker according to what the
Event Organizing committee deem fit, But we will also be glad to negotiate.
All travel arrangements such as Flight fare, Speaking fee deposit as well as Hotel
accommodation will be taken care of by us as soon as you honor this invitation. The events
committee will send you all binding documents including a Letter of Invitation and Contract
Agreement as well.
Email us in ample time any questions you may have so we can move ahead.
You are blessed.
Revd Dr Mark Duggan”
Now that she was hooked, they wanted to reel her in. The provided her with a website link to an actual church. Then included some unintelligible detail about a website being under construction. If yellow flags were not raised before, they most certainly should be now. A man who speaks as a pastor in English would have a much stronger command of the language, whether in speech or writing. “God has being helping” is not a typo. It’s awkward phrasing, as is most of the message.
Message 3: We’re Sending You a Contract
Denise responded with another thank you and asked for an appointment to speak via Skype. She also has an online questionnaire for meeting planners to help provide some details, which she pointed the reverend to. She also asked how he heard about her. He ignored the request to speak and never told her how he found her, instead replying:
“Thanks for the correspond.I received your meeting planner information packet and your
speaking fee i will have the events committee contact you and send you the contract
agreement so you can review them and sign.
The honorarium is something we can handle and we are really to make the commitment.
Thank you and anticipating to have you here in United Kingdom.
Revd Dr Mark Duggan”
(email signature was the same as above, simply removed for space)
Now at this point, as a professional speaker, any of us might be getting excited. They know our fee and can pay it. No negotiation, just ready to pay. But again, there’s that pesky English grammar thing. Hmmmm….
Message 4: We Can Pay You AFTER You Get Us Travel Documents
The con is starting to reveal itself in this message. They bring in another name and email address – this one an outlook address, also not using the church’s URL. I’m highlighting the wording of the next phase of the scam:
Thank you Denise Smith for indicating your interest to be our Guest Speaker at this year’s conference, May God forever be with you.
I am Roselyn Mark, President of the event organizing committee of the Bramley Baptist Church conference . We believe you have been notified by our Presiding Minister Revd Dr Mark Duggan, as we are in charge of the smooth running of this event and by God’s grace we are bound to succeed.
We are very excited to have you in this conference. The event organizing committee had a meeting earlier today to deliberate on getting you available here in the United Kingdom. We believe we serve the lord of Possibilities.Note you are meant to arrive a day before your performance as to get familiar with the audio/visual gadgets that we have in place, and to get used to the environment as a whole and also get to relax from the jet lag.
We have attached a formal Letter of Invitation and a contract agreement,please reconfirm to us your Mailing Address for our perusal and further action.
Please return a copy of the contract agreement duly signed by you for proper documentation. Print it out, sign and scan back to us(Keep a copy as well). We have agreed to buy your flight ticket and to pay your Hotel accommodation expenses. Also your Speaking fee which amounted to $7,500 USD will not be paid in full as yet, $3,750 USD deposit is to be paid as soon as you procure all relevant travel documents so as to avoid any disappointment and the balance will paid in cash upon your arrival here. You are informed to get across your Work Permit in the UK to us so your deposit can be approved according to our mandated regulation as well as your UK visa for travels. If you do not have the permit please let us know so we can make arrangements for the documents to be processed quickly as the event is at hand. But if you do have the work permit just scan and send to us.
Please check the attached documents, It contains your letter of invitation as well as your letter of agreement. We expect your response in regards the documents asap. Thank you and may God bless us all.
Ah ha! Did you see that? At this point, along with the contract which looked close to a real letter of agreement, but was very unprofessional, my lawyer client Denise realized she was being taken. Just to be certain, she went to the church’s website, and contacted them. As we already knew, there is no such event. She played along, and when she tipped her hand that she was an attorney and had some serious questions, suddenly she heard nothing again.
Had Denise continued along the path of showing interest and not realized she was being taken, the next message would have asked her for money so they could expedite her work visa. But here’s the thing: according to the British government website those coming from the United States DO NOT NEED A VISA AS A SPEAKER in the UK! Copied directly from https://www.gov.uk/check-uk-visa/y/usa/work/six_months_or_less
You don’t need a visa if you’re coming to the UK for activities allowed under the following visas:
- a business visitor
- a sports visitor
- an entertainer
- a prospective entrepreneur
- a visitor doing a ‘permitted paid engagement’ (you must have been invited to the UK because of your expertise) – you can only stay for up to 1 month
- However, you should bring supporting documents to show at the border.
From the UK Visa page, if you click on the links above, you’ll see if you choose to apply for a visa as a citizen of the US, you can, but it clearly states that if you are simply a visitor doing a paid speaking engagement you do NOT need a visa if staying for less than one month. If you would like to apply for a visa even though you do not need one, the fee is £83 (about $140 USD). Anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to steal your money. Those from other countries of origin, please check the rules for your country of origin.
Please do NOT let that happen to you.
Take a moment now and share this with the speakers you care about. Or even the ones you only like a little bit. We all can do our part to keep our industry as safe as possible from predators.
As the #1 best-selling author of 21 Ways to Make Money Speaking, this is one of the most frequently asked questions I get. And of course, there are at least 21 answers.
But before you can make any money as a speaker you have to do something first. Multiple choice question — What’s your pick for what to do FIRST:
- A: Good marketing? (Yes, but that’s not it.)
- B: Get training in good delivery skills? (Yes, but that’s not it either.)
- C: Develop a fabulous speech? (Getting warmer, but you don’t start there…)
You have to start with doing SOMETHING in your life or professional career that people want to know more about.
Look at the most highly paid speakers in the world today. Here is a partial list with their speaker fees:
- Rush Limbaugh: In 2013, the National Conference of American Proctologists paid Limbaugh $3.8 million for one speech.
- Donald Trump: Reportedly Trump received $1.5 million for The Learning Annex where he delivered 17 one-hour speeches in a 2-year period at real estate conferences and was paid that full amount FOR EACH SPEECH.
- Bill Clinton: Averages $195,000 per speech; with a high of $700,000 received twice for a local newspaper publishing company in Lagos, Nigeria.
- Tony Blair: Highest earning was $616,000 for 2 30-minute speeches in 2009 in the Philippines.
- Nicole Kidman: Was paid $435,ooo for a 25-minute speech to a group of Forbes Global CEO comference in Sydney, Australia.
- Alan Greenspan: Earned $250,000 speaking at a Lehman Brothers meeting after he retired as Chairman of the Federal Reserve.
- Peyton Manning, Richard Branson, Sarah Palin, Lance Armstrong, Al Gore, and more all make $100,000 for a speech.
So what do all those folks have in common? Clearly it’s not their politics. And it’s not what they do for a living. What they have in common is that they have become well-known for what they do in the world. They are athletes, politicians, entertainers, and business professionals who have accomplished something in their careers and people want to know more about that.
Of course, those people are also celebrities in their own right, which is another thing they have in common. If you’re not a celebrity does that mean you can’t be a well-paid speaker? Absolutely not! In fact, many working speakers make a living with their speaking (or use it as a major source of income). To be successful in speaking, you must have done something, studied something, accomplished something in your life that others want to know more about. It’s that simple. And it’s that challenging at the same time.
If you’ve long thought that you are born to be a speaker; that you have a message that’s inside you that you know will serve the world, start by taking a good look as your life and your accomplishments from the standpoint of a meeting planner. Why would someone put you in front of their audience? What do you have to share or offer that could impact people for the better? It’s your unique stories, knowledge, and experiences which will make you stand out, get booked, and be successful in the world of talented speakers.
Start by sharing those stories, knowledge and experiences in any way you can so meeting planners can get a feel for who you are and what you’re about. Here are a few ways to begin:
- Start a blog and on it tell your stories along with a lesson that anyone could learn from reading your story.
- Record a series of how-to videos or FAQ videos that showcase your knowledge using screen capture technology like Camtasia or simply PowerPoint (learn all about that in this free webinar).
- Turn the camera on and look right into the lens and tell one of your stories. Similarly to what you’d do in a blog post, this will share what happened, what you learned, and what others can take away from your story. Think of it as practice before getting on stage. Post the video on your speaker website, on your YouTube channel and on social media so people see it and share it themselves.
If you feel like you haven’t yet accomplished anything or have something of value to share with an audience, don’t be so sure. If God put the feeling on your heart that you have a message to share, then you do. It might take some serious reflection and journaling time, a little digging to get there, a bit of refinement of the story and the message, but you likely have SOMETHING inside you that needs help getting out. If you’re not sure what your unique genius is yet, it’s time to find out (and I have a free webinar which talks all about your genius factor that you can watch starting right this minute!).
What’s your story? What’s your message? I’d love to hear about it in the comments!
At last night’s 86th presentation of the Academy Awards, on the red carpet it was all about the clothes, the jewels, high fashion and “who are you wearing.” During the Oscars TV broadcast it was all about Ellen Degeneres, ordering pizza, taking selfies, and breaking Twitter. Oh yeah… there were some statuettes given out, too.
Today is now all about who wore it best and an analysis of the acceptance speeches. This year there were no big memorable moments like in 1999 when Roberto Benigni after just winning for best actor, was announced the winner of best foreign language film and triumphantly and excitedly climbed up and onto the arms of the seats and seat backs to bound up onto the stage, applauding his audience all the way (video here for that). Yet even so, there were some touching moments and wonderful speeches.
Yesterday, I promised to share the good, the bad, and the ugly of the speeches. Yet after watching, there were no real bad or ugly moments, just excellent and average ones. Plus, if you’ve been a reader for any period of time, you know I tend to be one for focusing on the positives.
So without further ado, here are my awards for The Best of Oscar Speeches from 2014:
Best Tribute to Mom:
Jared Leto, Best Actor in a Supporting Role for “Dallas Buyer’s Club.” Not only did Leto bring his Mom with him to the event, he thanked her in a sweet way by telling her story. He then had the audience’s attention for when he briefly mentioned the political and humanitarian cause, dedicating his Oscar to AIDS patients around the world.
What You Can Learn: Stories touch the heart and capture your audience’s attention and admiration. Start your presentations with a story and you’ll have your audience hanging on your every word.