Let’s face it. You have a message to share with the world. The desire is burning deep inside of you. Speaking and transforming lives are your calling.
Friends and co-workers always tell you it’s time to start sharing your wisdom with the world.
Sometimes you feel like you are working hard in a thankless job. You are hoping one day you can tell your boss to kiss your rear end and walk away.
You want your life to matter. You want to make a difference with your gifts and talents. You want to obey God and start reaching out.
But, somehow, you feel trapped. You feel like the caterpillar that’s stuck inside the pouch. You’re struggling to burst out of the cocoon and fly.
But, you keep pushing and struggling to break that silky pouch without success. Somehow, you feel like you are running out of time. Am I right?
What’s the problem? Why can’t you just push through and start living your dream? What’s stopping you? The answer is…
Overwhelm. Fear. Uncertainty.
Fear and confusion have their grip on you. As a result, you don’t know what’s the first thing to do to start. You have way too many options.
God is calling you to make a contribution to humanity. On one hand, you want to obey the call. On the other, you are afraid and somewhat confused.
Perhaps you are like Moses. He kept saying he stutters and lacks the skill to lead the people out of Egypt.
You are building a case to prove God that you are not good enough. My friend, you already have the staff in your hand. Some of you know what I mean.
Can I tell you something? Your reluctance to proceed is all because of your fear.
Here’s the first thing I want you to understand:
Stop Worshiping Your Fear!
As you already know, you cannot serve two masters at the same time. It’s either you trust God or your fear.
Don’t let your thoughts hold you captive in a prison of your making. The key is to start. The actions you take are the cure for your discouragement. Read that again.
I know many of you are my coaching clients. You are already out there speaking. But most of you have yet to start.
What you are about to learn here will give you clear directions on how to get going. But it’s not just for beginners.
If you are a pro on the speaking circuit, this will be golden to you as well. It’s the kind of information I wish someone would share with me early my speaking career.
The thing is, seventeen years ago when I started speaking, you would do just fine without the formula you are about to learn. But things have changed dramatically.
Are you ready to dive in? Great!
1- Choose A Topic That Solves A Specific Problem
It’s not enough to get on stage and share stories, and feel-good words.
Whether you are speaking at a corporation, a non-profit, or school, you HAVE to solve a problem.
That’s why you must set a certain expectation the moment you get on stage. Make sure they understand your topic is the solution to a particular challenge.
It may be poor customer service, low morale, low productivity, or change resistance.
A non-profit might need ideas to raise money, recruit more motivated volunteers, etc.
A school might need help with bullying, peer pressure, career orientation, college preparation, etc.
I go through my attention-grabbing opening to make sure they are present in the room. Then I mention the title of my presentation…
No condition is permanent! Then I would say…
“How many of you agree with me we are living in some stressful and overwhelming times? Would also agree that rapid and disruptive changes make it harder to have a joyful day in the workplace?”
Then, I would let them know what to expect in the next 45 minutes.
Alright, this is not about how to deliver a spellbinding and mesmerizing presentation. In a moment, I’m going to share with you why knowing the problem is important. I will also share how to use it to get speaking engagements.
For now, ask yourself, “What problem my topic or message solves?”
Keep in mind people are willing to pay to get rid of problems. Of course, they want to feel good as well. But, they are more interested in improving their condition.
The school that is about to lose funding needs someone to help them improve behavior and grades.
The solution can be as simple as inspiring the students to focus and set goals.
By the way, lack of focus is a huge problem for high school and college students. Heck, it’s an issue for all of us.
2- Come Up With A Solution Framework
After you choose your topic, you need to create a structure. That’s how you position yourself as the thought leader and authority. That’s how to command respect and significant fees.
A framework is a blueprint. It’s how you offer a step-by-step formula to achieve a particular result or solution.
Come up with 3 to 7 steps for the blueprint. A good example is Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People
- Habit 1: Be Proactive
- Habit 2: Begin With The End In Mind
- Habit 3: Put First Things First
- Habit 4: Think Win-Win
- Habit 5: Seek First to Understand Then to be Understood
- Habit 6: Synergize
- Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
Do you see how simple the framework is? Companies all over the world are using it to train and develop their teams.
Yours doesn’t have to be seven. It can be three or five. It’s up to you.
Your framework can serve as the basis for a good outline for your book and products as well.
Each step or module is like an onion. Keep peeling the onion to uncover the sub-topics or sub-chapters.
3- Choose An Audience
Okay, you chose your topic or message. Now you need to choose a target market or an audience with the problem.
Above all, make sure the market has money to pay you. After all, you provide a transformation or solution to a pressing problem. You deserve adequate compensation.
Besides, it’s hard to make a significant impact without money. The more money you make, the more you can afford to reach more people.
If your market doesn’t have money, go with the sponsorship model. Look for companies that want to reach your market. And let your solution be the bridge that connects them.
Maybe you have a solution to help high school seniors thrive in college. Your target market would be high school seniors.
Maybe your framework can help boost morale or reduce stress for insurance agents. Maybe you are targeting call center employees.
For me, the insurance industry is my primary market.
Aflac is a big client. I have spoken in 38 states for them. Well, I should say territories instead of states. They tend to split the big states into separate regions and areas.
The reality is, everyone needs motivation. Everyone has problems. But, if you want to speed up the process and start landing speaking engagements fast, you gotta define your target market.
That doesn’t mean you will turn down requests from any group. No. Sometimes I speak for the real estate industry and many associations’ annual conferences.
But, you will get more gigs more often when you choose a primary target.
That way your marketing materials will be more magnetic. You will stand out more. You will command attention faster in a crowded marketplace with a gazillion motivational speakers.
Does that make sense to you?
You can have a secondary market as well. But, keep it simple. Go after one primary market. I don’t want to you complicate this process.
4- Create A Marketing And Positioning Tool
Earlier, I mentioned the need to solve a problem. I also promised to share with you why and how to use it to promote yourself.
At this point, you want to create a piece of content that offers a sample of your solution or transformation. You are now ready to create a compelling and powerful marketing tool.
Make a list of 3 to 5 ways to solve a particular problem. Insert the target market in the title. Example:
5 Ways Insurance Agents Can Reduce Stress.
5 Ways School Principals Can Get Rid Of Bullying.
Create a special report, CD, or DVD with the list. You want to create all three of them. Don’t worry. It’ s a lot easier than you might think. Here’s how to create all three at once.
- Create the video for your DVD
- Extract the audio from the video for the CD
- Have someone transcribe the audio for the special report
Now, if you love writing, you might want to reverse the process. Write the special report first. Then copy and paste it in this Online Teleprompter on your computer. Read it while standing in front of your video camera. Next, extract the audio from the video.
5 – It’s Time To Launch Your Campaign
Once you have your physical things, you are ready to market. That one piece of content is your marketing weapon to secure speaking engagements.
You want to go after free speaking engagements so you can get some platform experience or hours. Okay, let me clarify something here.
There’s no such thing as free speeches. You are marketing on stage. You are there to promote yourself for paid opportunities.
In fact, you should start marketing to the Civic Clubs (Optimist, Kiwanis, Rotary, etc.) and companies at the same time. Go here to find a list of Civic Clubs.
Next, make a list of 50 companies you want to speak for in your city. That’s what I call “your target 50” Yes, start in your local area first.
Send your DVD, CD, and Special Report to some key people within the organization. Make sure you also include a cover letter and a one-pager.
Notice I didn’t say 500 companies. Why?
Okay, there are two reasons for that. The first reason is to save you money. It’s more inexpensive to mail to 50 people. Do you agree?
The other reason is that I want you to go for many touch points. You will get better results mailing to 50 people ten times than mailing to 500 people once.
It’s not enough to reach out one time. You will need at least seven or more exposures.
Send the special report, CD, and DVD via the post office one week apart. You also want to send a few emails each time you mail to follow up and make sure they receive your package.
Once they consume your content, you’ll be ready to get on the phone to close some deals.
Often, if you do a good job defining the problem, they will book you without a phone call. Provide you give them a taste of the solution.
Oh, I forgot to mention that the purpose the report, CD, and DVD is to sell yourself. So, you must make you there’s a call to action. Mention you are ready to join forces with them to help solve the problem.
At this point, you may be thinking, “why not put the video, audio, and report on my site?” Great question!
By all means, put them on your site. Do so for the people on social media and search engines. But, let me share this with you…
Your prospect arrives at work. There’s a hand addressed package waiting for him or her with a CD or DVD or a report.
In the meantime, there’s an email waiting for him or her among one hundred others with a link to watch a video.
Which one will get top priority?
That’s my point!
Your package is NOT competing with any other packages. Especially if you write the address on the package with a blue pen.
The best part is, your face or name will stay in front of them for a long time. Why?
People do not throw away CDs or DVDs that promise them to solve a problem.
That said, you still need to send the electronic (email) version in the mix.
I’m hoping, you get the main idea. It’s a simple process. I challenge you not to complicate it.
I’m not sure if you really get the steps I shared with you. Let me know if you have any questions.