In my blog post Getting Paid to Speak I responded to a number of recent inquires I have received about building a professional speaking and training business. In follow up to that post I wanted to share a little insight from one of the leading authorities in the industry. Meet the Speaker Launcher, Jane Atkinson. Full disclosure: Jane is my professional Coach. Has been from the start. She just released her new book, The Wealthy Speaker 2.0 which I would categorize as must read for emerging speakers. I recently caught up with Jane for a quick chat about the business and her new book. Her thoughts and a link to download a very generous excerpt of the book follow:
How can an expert get started (and get paid) speaking professionally?
I have a three part process called Ready, Aim, Fire. In the first Phase (Ready) we get crystal clear on what we’re selling (pick a topic/lane) and develop some marketing language around that. Knowing exactly what you want to become known for 5 years from now is the place to start.
In the Aim phase, we make sure that our website reflects our clarity. Your website should show people within 15 seconds how you are going to help them (that’s the promise). If I have to dig around your site to figure it out, chances are you will lose my business. Websites that position with “hire me I’m a speaker” are missing the mark. They should be about the client and the outcomes provided.
And then we move into Fire. This is where we roll out to our target market. We become known for one thing by writing articles, speaking at industry events, and through social media. We have a voice and become the authority within our target industries. This is when we start seeing the solid pay checks. Many people start in the Fire phase which is counter productive if you don’t have a clear lane or promise.
What prompted you to update the Wealthy Speaker book and release a 2.0 version?
Well, as you know, technology has changed our business dramatically over the past 5 years. For instance, the first version of my book talked about using one sheets as a marketing tool, and that’s outdated. We no longer use as much paper as our websites are the primary resource for decision makers.
Video has changed dramatically over 5 years. Where we once spent $10,000 on a great demo video, the YouTube generation has made it acceptable to show 2-3 minute sample clips instead of a full blown sizzle reel. And of course, the introduction of Social Media had to be addressed. I think people can easily be overwhelmed and not know what to do with social media, so I included an easy to follow strategy.
What are a few keys to success an emerging speaker should consider today?
I think doing the right things consistently is the key. Putting up a website isn’t enough, you have to drive traffic to it and generate sales through other channels. Becoming known in an industry as an expert takes time and a consistent approach. I recommend people put together a marketing calendar each year so that they can plan for continuous action. I also think that a book is integral for those who want to be considered “the expert” in their lane.
What is a Wealthy Speaker?
In the original book, the definition was someone earning more than a million dollars per year. But one person’s idea of wealth might be very different from someone else. Although I don’t earn as much as some of my top clients, I consider myself wealthy because I am in charge of my own time. I make money while I sleep, my business doesn’t run me, and I take every Friday off. Two years ago my brother passed away at age 53 with lots of money in the bank, but he didn’t get a chance to enjoy it. Since then, my definition of wealthy has changed.
Are there additional resources you’d recommend for emerging speakers?
I have tons of great content in a wide range of categories on The Speaker Launcher Blog . Check out your local National Speakers Association Chapter to see if they are a fit.