Innovative Growth Strategies for Speakers Amidst COVID 19

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In the first week of September, I invested five days of precious time in learning from the best of best from the speaking industry. 

We were attending the Asia Professional Speakers Convention 2020 virtually. It was a phenomenal experience, massive learning, and loads of new connections and friendships. 

During this event, Josh Linkner and Peter Sheahan spoke about “Innovative Speaker Business Strategies for the Changing World.”

We all know that the world around us is changing rapidly. We are quickly moving towards a zone where we would need to shed off many old habits, tools, strategies, and techniques of doing business, to survive and thrive amidst this chaos. That’s precisely Josh and Peter spoke about. 

In a 30 mins long casual conversation, they gave so much value that only this session was worth investing $ 99 for it. 

Lessons from the session:

Peter said, “everyone thinks growing a speaking business has become radically different now with the COVID 19, but it’s not. The tactics and strategies might have changed, but the principles haven’t changed at all.”

According to both, speakers must concentrate on the quality of the product, positioning of their message, distribution of their message (directly, through other partners, or creating magnetic pull strategies for prospects to find them). Also, they must know the difference between the meeting planner and the economic buyer knowing how to keep both happy. 

Josh said, “treat a speaking business as a fishing business, not as a hunting business.” Speakers should be ready to put themselves out there as many ways possible compared to focusing on only one channel. 

Get your niche and positioning clear.

It matters how do you answer the question, what do you speak on? Does it address the PCT? 

PROBLEM – What is that one burning pain of the prospect that you solve that no one else does? 

CREDIBILITY – Why should prospects come to you? Why are you the best person to solve their problem? 

TRANSFORMATION – What is the result after you have helped them solve their problem? How does their world change after you deliver your work? 

Take some time out today to think about these answers and sharpen your niche and positioning. Don’t try to be all things for everyone. Develop your thought leadership in just ONE thing. Should you need any help with that, you may check out Speaking Niche Mastery. 

Deliver quality every single time.

Remember, every time you deliver well, you land up in more work. Hence work on your delivery. Keep working on making your delivery better than before every single time. Look at your offering, does it offer unique, and surprising truths? Or are you delivering the same old message that you have been offering for many years? 

People need to hear surprising truths even more now; they need hope and positivity along with action-oriented talks. Just motivation may not cut the bill anymore. That doesn’t mean that your old message isn’t relevant anymore. Proactively ask what their primary and secondary objection is and then revamp your offering accordingly. 

Give value way beyond expectation.

If you are giving a 30 mins talk, can you provide a worksheet additionally with it? Can you do a follow-up session with it? Can you make it interactive? Stack up value so much that the prospect finds it easy to justify your price to their company. 

Focus on proving value by going deep. Impart practical and doable advice that will make your audiences act. Remember, your 30 mins talk is your window to make a real difference in their lives. Starting with storytelling to going deep with practical insights, what else value can you offer to your audience? 

Treat this as a business.

Sounds obvious. But let me tell you it’s fantastic that Josh and Peter reiterated this. I find so many speakers, trainers and coaches treat this as a secondary source of income, even worse like a sidekick or hobby. 

Well, if you genuinely want to make a difference in your speaking business and make an impact, you must treat this as a business. Like Josh said, “treat this with same vigour and seriousness as you would if you were in a law or medicine business.”   If you genuinely want to make a difference, get serious and get real. Be dedicated, be disciplined, put your heart and soul into it. Like every business demands to evolve with time and needs, evolve your offering as well. Upgrade yourself for the virtual world. Make significant adjustments to provide the best for your clients.

Strategies to grow your speaking business even during COVID 19

Both Josh and Peter suggested these strategies to thrive your speaking, training, coaching business during COVID 19 times. 

  1. Risk-free packaging. Are you minimising the risks of the unknown downtime of the internet? Are you creating a recorded version of the live talk and sharing it with clients, should there be any internet breakdown? Are you having multiple backups, so minimise the risk of technical glitch that may occur? 
  1. Provide an immense amount of value. Are you packing a massive amount of value within the same budget? Can you do a talk and a Q&A? Can you follow that up with live podcasting and distribute that to the participants? How about a focus group follow up session? 
  1. Focus on in-depth knowledge and concrete transformation. Having either deep practical experience about a topic or have a celebrity charm to keep people attentively listening on zoom call. What is your focus?
  1. Make your sessions more interactive and authentic. Unlike the stage, talking from a virtual world is way more intimate for audiences. Most probably, they would listen to you from their homes. Therefore, make your sessions more active, inclusive, personal, authentic, and interactive. Make it two-way communication instead of one-way communication keynote. 

Finally, if you genuinely want to thrive in your speaking business, please be human, give more and have a mentality to serve your audiences and partners. Instead of squeezing out money for every minute spent, share, and give more.  

A couple of things to avoid as a speaker, trainer, and coach:

Don’t grow too big for your boots. Don’t start acting like a jerk, just because your popularity has increased. Be humble.

Plus, set your fees in a manner where you think you can win 70% of the businesses.

I truly hope you grow leaps and bounds even during this lull time using these above strategies.

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