222: Advice for New and Aspiring Speakers

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Ever thought about taking your passion for speaking and turning it into a profitable business?  Imagine yourself being on stage, sharing your expertise and captivating audiences, sounds like a dream come true, right? Well, it could be. But only if you do it right.  

If you’re thinking about starting a speaking business, the first thing you’ve got to understand is that it’s possible. It won’t happen overnight; it might even take a year or more. But it’s possible. If you believe you are an expert at something or your knowledge can help others, that’s all you need to start. But remember, it’s a journey. And like every other journey through life, it won’t be easy, but it will all be worth it in the end.

Know Who You’re After – 01:57

Always be crystal clear about who you’re after from the get-go. It could be college students, entrepreneurs, or women in leadership. Just know who they are and build a message around them. This is by far one of the most important parts of being a speaker, yet most new speakers fail at this. If you’re just starting out, find your ideal target audience, write down who they are, what their trials look like, and how they’d benefit from your message. 

The thing about knowing who you’re after is that it helps ensure your message consistently resonates with them. And the result is always a boost in engagement and more speaking opportunities down the road.

As they say, the riches are in the niches. So you don’t have to try and serve everybody because you’ll end up not serving anyone at all. 

Start with One Signature Talk – 04:21

The fastest and easiest way to create a name for yourself is by having a signature talk. This is a topic you could comfortably cover in a single talk and deliver value throughout. Make this topic the core message of your brand and build from there. Speak about it in several stages to perfect the message, and only then can you add other topics to your portfolio. This is not to say that you cannot speak on other subjects as a total newbie. All I’m saying is that the best ROI for exposure is a single topic that you’re really good at.   

Be Prepared to Be Rejected – 06:09

Rejection is frustrating. That’s why being rejected is undoubtedly one of the biggest fears in people’s lives. This is also why we often don’t take chances. But the thing is, rejection is everywhere, especially in business. People will reject you, so be prepared for that because it will come. 

However, I believe there are so many reasons why people might reject you, and most of them are not even your fault. It could be budget issues or the wrong timing. What you can do after a rejection is dust yourself up and continue showing up as your best self. So, keep improving; the right opportunities will come, trust me. 

Be Ready and Willing to Invest – 10:24

Here’s the thing, not investing in your business will cost you time, money, and growth opportunities. I probably don’t need to remind you about this, but so many new speakers don’t really invest in their speaking business. As a speaker, investing in your business is a lot different than what normally happens with other small businesses. So you probably don’t need a new studio office when you barely have a website. 

There is always room for growth somewhere in your business, and it’s your job to find out. If you’re unsure about where to start, start by investing in books, coaching, health, and courses that level up your skills like copywriting. I also believe investing in your speaking business does not always have to be about spending money. You can also invest your time in building relationships. But just do something.

Business Growth Takes Time – 14:10

The unfortunate reality in the speaking business is that success takes time. All the prominent speakers I know built successful brands over a long period of time. Think of it this way; it takes time to determine what your audience wants. What your brand positioning is all about. How to keep the audience engaged throughout. How to market effectively. And it’s only when each of these critical elements is fine-tuned that you can ever start seeing some success in your business. Most people hardly ever get them right on their first, second, or even third time being on stage. So, be patient.