It’s time to cut to the chase – it is what every speaker wants. It is the golden secret to get more gigs and make more money. Let me disappoint you immediately. There is no free ride or simple one time tweak that will make you a millionaire speaker. Being a professional means you work at your craft. It means you treat your business like a business and invest in yourself and in your marketing and business as a whole. There are, however, some things that you can put into practice that will get you a LOT closer and help you get hired more!
The old adage of ‘speakers speak – get out there’ can only work if you first have something to say. Am I saying your talk has to be polished and perfect, of course not (and between you and I, the day you think your talk is completely perfect is the day you have stopped growing and your career may be in jeopardy), but you do have to have something to talk about? You need to be an expert at something. You need to have a ‘wheelhouse’ or a list of topics that work together. You may be able to ‘talk about anything’, but as soon as that “just hire me, I will do anything you want” message gets out there your credibility is gone. There is no way you are a master of every topic, so you are now seen as a jack of all trades, and most know that a general handyman is very different from an architect.
My colleague Jane Atkinson hosts an amazing podcast for Wealthy Speakers, and I love this episode with Elayne Frose in particular when it comes to understanding your wheelhouse.
It’s not rocket science. You may be hired once if you are an average speaker with good marketing, but you are not going to enjoy the massive income booster that is a repeat and referral business. If you want to get hired more, be a better speaker. Invest in presentation style coaching, learn to incorporate humour in your talks by taking some improv classes, find your own way of commanding a room. Do what feels right to your brand and do not let a presentation coach turn you into a “carbon cut out” of themselves. Never lose your authenticity on stage, it is more valuable than you may understand.
Common website mistakes like having no contact information (or burying it on a contact us page and forcing decision-makers to go find it) will kill you. If you want to get hired more, make sure your phone number, email address, LinkedIn whatever you use to communicate with your buyers is prominently displayed on every single page. You can have it in your navigation bar, or use a stationary widget as I use on the side of my website.
I like to repeat it in the footer as well, just in case someone missed it the first time.
Should this even be here? Logic tells me, no, but experience tells me yes. I have been contacted by aspiring speakers who want help getting booked and have no website, and are still using email@example.com as their email address. If a high-end speaker site is out of your reach at the moment – then at least have a LinkedIn profile and a Facebook business page that showcases your talent and topics, and I mean at least. If you want to get hired more, you have got to start treating speaking like a business, not a hobby. Businesses get invested in. Invest in yourself and your speaking business.
If the investment is an issue, consider the Emerging Speaker Website package for a budget-friendly but supercharged option to get your business going.
Your bio is not a boring list of all the things you have done. It is not your resume. I like to have 2 versions of my bio – a short version (100 words or less) and the ‘regular’ version. The short version will be used by promoters and will often be required when you are a featured speaker in a program. The longer version can be featured on your website for those that love to do research and need all the information before they make their decision, but understand a long bio will not often be read. Your bio, along with everything you write in your marketing, should encourage people to lean in, and want to get to know you better. Your bio is not only about what you’ve accomplished, but it should also be about who you are and what you value.
Your biography is NOT your introduction by the way – read my blog post here to understand the difference.Not having a video on your speaker website is bad, but having a bad video is worse. Click To Tweet
Usually, this tip would read “use video” – but I had to insert the word good. I decided it was necessary when I was shown a speaker’s sizzle reel that included shots of the audience yawning and the speaker walking out of the frame. Your video is a tool that decision-makers will use to help them decide if you make it to the shortlist – and how much further you will go after that. Not having a video is bad, but having a bad video is worse.
Too often I will check out a potential client (yes, of course, I do research on you to see if we are a good fit before I work with a client, and so do decision-makers) and I will see a LinkedIn profile that has not had a post or article in months or a Twitter account that still shows ‘the egg’ and was obviously abandoned a year ago. Or I will check out their personal Facebook page and read their political views posted in a very judgmental way, or even worse, see nothing of ‘them’ on the page and it is a litany of “my latest program” and “buy now” calls to action.
There is a reason we call it SOCIAL media – it means you are deciding how much of your personal information you are allowing the world to see. If all we see is a ‘hunter’ out there prowling for gigs, it does not make us prone to choose you. Desperation has a very unique scent and it is not pleasant.
I could talk for days on how to build a speaker website that sells (wait, I do just that) so I can’t not mention it here. There are so many things to take into consideration when you build your website, but first and foremost remember you are building it to appeal to the people hiring you – not necessarily to your audience. The difference, the audience members are the ones receiving the message, and yes – they need to be thrilled, but the person who hired you. The company that paid you to get a specific result is the person you absolutely must deliver for and they are the ones you need to speak to in your marketing.
I have written quite a few blogs about the elements that are necessary for a good speaker’s site. Feel free to check them out.
There is a lot of debate going on about the relevancy of your Speaker One Sheet. Are meeting planners using it? Do I need it for bureaus, and what about corporations? The bottom line, some decision-makers will find it immaterial and will never look at it. Some will print it out and throw it in a file, and some will use it to present you as a prospective speaker to their organization. If those people can’t find it, or you simply do not have one, you are not going to make that shortlist. Never make it hard for people to hire you! Give them every tool, every opportunity to say yes, and your One Sheet just might be the tool you have that the #2 candidate did not.
What do I mean by ‘be seen’? I mean remain on your target client’s radar. Produce great content through blogs, videos, podcasts or articles. Write for magazines and newspapers. Get as much publicity as you can by being interviewed on other professionals podcasts or TV shows. Try inviting your favourite clients to be on YOUR podcast to showcase something cool they have implemented. Leverage your publicity.
Remain alive and vibrant and excited about what you do and the people you serve. Never forget, your purpose is to serve brilliantly. If you are speaking to hear yourself talk, you are in the wrong business. Every successful speaker I have ever met speaks because they have a passion for something burning a hole in their soul, and they have to let it out. They want to serve with passion and excellence, and they want to be paid for their service.
So go ahead, be excited without going over the top. Look for ways to add value to the lives of anyone you meet – even if that value is a simple smile or a #PibworthHug. You never know whom you are talking to at a party or networking function. You never know who will catch your enthusiasm and want to join you in your mission.Read More...
A lead magnet or Irresistible Free Offer (IFO) or “opt-in” is something that you give to your ideal customers/clients in exchange for their contact information. Typically, people are very protective of their contact information so your lead magnet must be strong enough to entice them to hand over that information.
There are several things that your opt-in should do if you want it to be irresistible:
Here at Pibworth Professional Solutions, one of our most successful lead magnets is “Top Tips for Creating a Speaker Website that CONVERTS”
This lead magnet does well converting visitors to clients for a variety of reasons:
And THAT is how to create a great lead magnet!Read More...
Something new this way comes… A new WordPress editor tool called Gutenberg.
And if you are like most of the population, ‘new’ can feel either a bit scary or like a new challenge.
But the good news is, it isn’t scary, or particularly challenging. I have found it to be very intuitive, with a few ‘quirks’ that are easily overcome. Think about how you felt when you updated your latest software, and things weren’t where you felt them (ahem – Microsoft) and at first, you may have felt a bit bewildered, but as soon as you started using the software, and took a moment to look, you found them and were happy once again. This update is easier than that one.
The initial look can be a bit off-putting without the ‘normal’ ribbon we are used to, but you soon realize that all of the elements are here. The main difference is that this editor now breaks up your posts into ‘blocks’. instead of one long post where you insert elements into one writing area, now you have the opportunity to create ‘sections’ or blocks and format them
To add a block, click on the + sign (or, as you will discover, just hit enter and a new paragraph block will appear). There are several types of blocks.
One of the things I am most excited about is the new media and image capabilities. Images are So easy now. Simply click on the image block, and drag and drop your image. No more adding it to the library first, this drag and drop feature automatically uploads your photo.
But there is more. Ever wanted to add more than 1 pic side by side? For many, that was a nightmare because you had to resize the images just right, and often they would also cause issues with mobile friendliness. Now we have a new ‘gallery’ feature that allows you to add several photos side by side, or beneath each other. Just drag them where you want them and voila!
But there is one feature I am not as excited about – and that is video. Here’s why.
Just as you can drag and drop images into your posts – you can now drag and drop video and audio files. It sounds amazing – and easy – but please don’t do it!
You see, when you drag and drop your video and audio files, they are automatically uploaded to the library and 99% of the WordPress hosts and sites cannot support that size of
Instead, embed your videos using YouTube or Vimeo or Amazon S3 as you always have. Simply add a block and scroll down until you see the embed section and click on (who’da thunk) the icon for the thing you want to embed.
While I remain very excited about the functionality of this new editor, one large concern remains. How will this new editor work with the existing plugins on your website now? The very backbone of WordPress is changing, and every single plugin will have to adapt. Change is good, but make sure there is some thought to it.Read More...
It seems that privacy breaches are everywhere and the world is responding. Just as Canada shook up the online marketing world when it implemented The Canadian Anti-Spam Law (CASL) a few years ago, the European Union has now introduced its own set of requirements when dealing with data the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). And again, for many, the law feels convoluted and hard to understand. There are plenty of grey areas that are open to interpretation, and while we do need to comply (this new regulation goes into effect May 25, 2018), we don’t need to immediately and completely cull our lists. Here is a link to a checklist that this blog was based upon. https://gdprchecklist.io
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer and this blog post is based on my own research and interpretation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and e-Privacy Regulation. You are advised to seek legal counsel that specializes in the GDPR and e-Privacy Regulation to ensure that your company conforms to these regulations. GDPR is complex and interpretations vary.
Let’s take a few moments to unpack this law in plain language.
First – the GDPR is mainly about personal data. All types of personal data, whether gathered online or in person. That means the regulations apply equally when someone opts into your free offer online, joins your newsletter, or drops their business card in a bowl at your booth at a tradeshow.
Personal data includes: names, email addresses, physical addresses, and most people agree it includes IP addresses and other info collected automatically (usually collected by Google Analytics). It also includes any type of processing and information that you’re adding to your contact database. This could be information that you collect automatically, through an opt-in on your website or any other collection method. (ex: surveys, questionnaires, etc.), or through tagging or segmenting in your CRM database. These activities are included because you are effectively “monitoring” what people are doing.
The GDPR applies to any relationship or transaction (commercial or free) where one or more of the parties is in the EU. It is not based on citizenship, it’s based on where they are when you are interacting with them. If you are a Professional Speaker, or really anyone who markets online who is based outside of the EU, you must comply with the GDPR when we are interacting with or collecting data from people in the EU. That means if you offer any product or service to anyone in the EU, either paid or free (which means a lead magnet or audience follow up counts) or if you monitor the behaviour of people in the EU (and if you have Google Analytics then there is a good chance you are).
There is a grey zone here though – what if you don’t know you are collecting this information? It is possible that although you are not actively marketing to people in the EU, or even outside of North America, you cannot control who finds your website, clicks on your facebook add, refers you to a friend, and so on. Remember, the law is not based on the citizenship of the person who interacts with you. but on where they are when they make the connection. Honestly, it feels like overkill in my opinion, but we have to follow the law. That’s why they call it a law. 😉
#1: Data shall be processed “lawfully, fairly, and in a transparent manner.”
#2: Data shall be “collected for specified, explicit and legitimate purposes.”
#3: Data processing shall be “limited to what is necessary” for the purpose.
#4: Data shall be accurate, kept up to date, and correct.
#5: Data shall be kept so it identifies a person “no longer than is necessary.”
#6: Data shall be “processed in a manner that ensures appropriate security.”
Well, it means you will need to make some changes across the board, but don’t panic, it is not the end of the world.
Gone are the days when you can automatically add someone to your email list because they downloaded a freebie. (I know, that stinks.)
Ultimately, to be added to your email list, a prospect must specifically and affirmatively agree to be added to your marketing list. And you may not require that they join your list to receive a freebie, attend a webinar, etc. Instead, we have to sell prospects on the value of being added to our list. That means consistent producing content that they find valuable enough to sign up for separately.
The new consent standard applies to your EXISTING list. Come May 25, you cannot email your existing contacts who signed up through a lead magnet.
First, segment your list. Hopefully, you have collected your prospect’s location and can easily segment that way. If not, you may have to go through your list individually. If you do not know if they are from the EU, you must treat them as if they are. You want to segment the list because you are going to treat these people differently for a bit.
Then re-engage. The subscribers not under GDPR rules will see no change in how you communicate, but you are going to have to try to re-engage those who do fall under GDPR. Don’t send consent emails to those not under GDPR rules, and I strongly urge you to spend some time nurturing those who DO fall in the new category because unless you give them a compelling reason to stay, you are likely to lose a good number of these subscribers. Make sure that you have a system set up so that when someone does consent, you are taking them off this special “EU-non consent” segment of your list and moving them on to an “EU confirmed consent” list. You will want to send multiple “consent” emails and make them enticing. The trick will be to get people to open the emails. Use catchy and well-planned subject lines.
Anyone who doesn’t give the necessary consent by May 24, should be deleted from your list. Remember, even storing or deleting their info is “processing,” so this work needs to be done before May 25, 2018.
As mentioned earlier in this article, you cannot force someone to join your email list just by downloading your opt-in – so – there now has to be a clear distinction between your opt-in and your email list. What I suggest is that you deliver your opt-in and keep that list separate, then further down your marketing funnel, you pitch them to join your list.
The long and the short of it is this, follow the rules, but do it wisely and consider the options. Are you ACTIVELY using your marketing list? Do you send regular correspondence through those lists and do you nurture those leads? This is a lot of work to do in order to become compliant if you are not USING the customer data. You may have something else to consider. Either use the data well and actively market to these prospects or consider giving your opt ins away for free without gathering data. It goes against everything in my marketing brain to suggest it, but I have worked with Speakers for too long not to bring the idea up. If you have a product to sell, yes you need to build a list. If you never email the people on your list, do you need it?
If you have Google Analytics installed on your site, it is considered your data processor and you are responsible for making sure no personal data is collected. This article outlines the steps necessary to make that happen. http://www.blastam.com/blog/5-actionable-steps-gdpr-compliance-google-analytics
The fact that I had previously been an amateur sommelier came up at a recent convention of the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers. I was there speaking about marketing and building websites that get gigs, and more than a few people were fascinated about what on earth got me from there to here.
I started my wine career in retail. I managed several wine stores for a major Niagara, Ontario winery. I taught sales training and product knowledge and helped train managers and sales reps alike. I fell in love with flavour and started taking courses and really refining my palette. How food and wine interact, how even subtle differences can drastically effect flavours were fascinating to me. It was a magical time. It was also over 20 years ago and that passion has never faded.
During my tenure, the company bought another winery, and I had my first taste of re-branding. The original company was not known back then for exceptionally high-quality products. It was an average winery producing Ontario table wines, and we were taught to sell by comparing our products to wines from other countries (remember, this was over 20 years ago – and the Ontario wine industry did not have the great reputation it does now). For instance, “You like French wine? You will love this one…” It was a decent product, but it did not stand out from the competition. It had no ‘product image’ or brand reputation of its own on which to stand.
When that company bought a winery with a reputation for producing amazing, Ontario award winners, the whole culture shifted. Now we talked (and learned) about the grape variety, the palette feel and finish. This new product line has a reputation and a following. It was a brand to be proud of. It was a huge change. The retail stores changed their look and feel. We received new signage and we revamped the way the stores looked, but it was so much more than that. Their pitch completely changed. Their body language changed. They stood taller handled ALL of the products with reverence, not only those from the new winery.
Now my staff recommended food to go with their customer’s purchase, they added on high ticket items like ice wine because they were so proud of the product they were selling. We attracted a different clientele. We were still the same people, technically still the same company- but now our customers perceived us as having higher quality wines overall because we now carried products from this well known higher end winery. It was an amazing real-life lesson that offered me a glimpse into creating a customer perception (a brand) that I experienced from the inside out. I wanted to know HOW that worked. I was fascinated.
When I left the winery, I spent five amazing years working in the advertising world for a very large firm in downtown Toronto, and I believe I learned more in those years than I ever did in school. I worked with some brilliant men and women and soaked up their knowledge like a sponge. I worked on new business pitches for several large and Fortune 500 companies, and was able to participate in the strategy sessions that occurred long before the graphic artists were given a brand brief to form a concept. I learned the power of brands, of words and images, and of how they all work together to create a sexy package.
So that’s it. My journey from wine to marketing in a nutshell.Read More...
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Lauren truly is service oriented. A positive voice of calm, a strategic marketing visionary, a dedicated provider of value, Lauren is committed to her clients' success 100% of the time.
The PibworthPS team built my new custom website (which I am happy to say has been instrumental in producing increased bookings). I have received several positive comments on the design, and I was impressed by how responsive they were to my ideas and needs.
I was looking for a marketing-savvy team to help create a new website around my rebrand. I thoroughly enjoyed the process of working with her designer, Caley. Even though we never met in person, communication was fluid and seemed effortless. Lauren and her team not only made it happen but made it better.
Lauren Pibworth is a consummate professional who knows the art and craft of website design and marketing. She is an exceptionally good listener and “translator” of my thoughts and ideas, which allows me to then benefit from her expertise and end up with a professional website that looks and sounds like me.
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We have found them to be responsive, and easy to work with.