Public Speaking, Blogging and Email Marketing – What Is Your Voice?

Public Speaking, Blogging and Email Marketing - What Is Your Voice?When you are public figure (and I am feeling like everyone in business is moving in that direction with the advent of blogging and social media), you have to be interesting. Your blogs, emails and speeches have to convey something that ads to the conversations that are happening online and in the real world.

Back in the old days, like 10 years ago, everything that a company produced marketing-wise was “corporate”, whether that company was a tiny little entrepreneur based enterprise or a massive conglomerate that was snapping up the competition left and right. The “brochure” was created, agonized over, re-worked and then stood proudly as a testament to THE COMPANY, a perfect piece to give a prospective buyer or client.

Then in about 2008 blogging started. At first people were confused…who cares if you had oatmeal for breakfast and NO business would ever be caught dead having a blog. Blogs were stupid.

Fast forward another couple of years and now blogging isn’t looking so stupid anymore. Some really big name companies are utilizing the power of the RSS feed and the fact that they can build an email list to market to and all of a sudden blogging is cool.

Here we are today. Social media means that you need to be, well, social. Posting internal company pictures, showing the process of your business and communicating with prospects and customers in a very “UN-Corporate” way. The masses have risen and there is no barrier to them. They want to see more than what you have so carefully crafted on your brochure. In fact, they are so busy with all their online stuff, they don’t have time to even look at your brochure!

Why Does All This Matter?

So this history lesson is nice, but what is the point? The point is that in years past, you could present whatever kind of front to the world that you liked. You could have a glamour shot taken and use that as your business card picture for 10 years, who would know?

Today, you are on the Facebook with a million pictures from events and other things you are doing. If you are a speaker, you are taking pics of the airport, posting stuff from the front of the room and generally documenting everything AROUND your speaking events on Instagram.

The world wants to see behind the mask and know all about you…and if they like what they see, they will sign up for your email lists, speaking events and read your blog voraciously.

The one thing about all this access is that it makes being fake impossible. You may WANT to be cool and polished, prim and proper, but then someone will post a picture of you on Facebook making silly faces and jumping around in your jammies.

We meet A LOT of people who want to avoid that happening by hiding behind their business Facebook page, cutting their “real” life off from the social media world. Seriously, this is just not going to happen today. Even if you are not on there, people are posting and commenting and sharing abut you all day long and it is better to be part of that conversation than to not have a voice!

Stop Worrying and Stay Real

So a number of years ago I had a great client who was super fun to work with. She was friendly and bubbly in person and her email messages reflected that in her writing style. A single missive could contain 10 exclamation points, two smiley faces and portrayed her joy of life.

Then came “the day”. I assumed she was ready to fire me as the tone of her messages turned dour. There was no life in them anymore, just the facts ma’am. After a couple of weeks of this, I had to call her and ask what was up (it was driving me crazy). Well, come to find out, she had hired a coach and the coach said she needed to clean up her emails and make them more “professional”. Gone were the smileys and exclamation points, and they never came back…sigh.

What is your voice?

From being interested in people and watching them A LOT, I have found a number of different types of writers and speakers. Here are a few that I notice…

Effusive and caring – This is the message I got when I joined Chris Brogan‘s affiliate program…”I’m SOOOOO excited you decided to help with being an affiliate marketer for all my various offerings.” It felt personal and that he really was talking to me because it was not boilerplate, perfect and proper. Chris is a very open communicator and that shows in his public speaking, email messages and his blog.

Vulnerable and openBrendon Burchard is a public speaker who really shares a lot about himself personally. He is caring and really interested in the people who belong to his tribe. His email message for Christmas was, “love you Happy Holidays!!” Now I would NEVER send that because it would not be congruent with who they meet when I speak or talk on my blog, but for Brendon, it was COMPLETELY understandable!

Grouchy and to the pointGary Vaynerchuk is one of my favorites! He is blunt and cusses a lot when he speaks. There is no mincing words here, he is very passionate that there IS time to do everything you want for your business if you will just, “Stop watching fucking Lost.”

Now, I am sure that Gary V. offends some of the people in his audience. They are not motivated in the same way I am so the message starts to sound like yelling or nagging instead of as inspiring and “get off the couch and do something”. Brendon is not one of my favorites. He IS high energy (which I like) but a little too touchy feely for me. That said, his message is so good that I stay on his list so I can still consume it when I am in the mood.

Stop rounding off the corners!

There are a million ways you can present yourself. You CAN be incredibly cultured and demure. You CAN cuss like a sailor and drink beers during your talks. You CAN be sincere and open, spilling your guts out for everyone to see.

What you HAVE to be is honest. If you are not a sliced-white-bread Yankee who wears alligator shirts and drives a “beemer”, don’t try to play one online. Today we have to make sure that our online life matches who shows up when we speak or make videos or blog.

If you have not found your voice yet, ask your 5 closest people what they think of you. Ask them to pick 5 words that describe you and your style and then run with it. I will tell you, being “real” means that half of the people will love you and half will hate you, but the ones that love will do so completely, signing up for your newsletters, watching your videos and attending any talks you give.

I KNOW, being yourself seems scary but honestly, it is the only way to go!

Authority Marketing – Branding and Launching Authors, Speakers and Coaches

Authority Marketing - Branding and Launching Authors, Speakers and CoachesAuthority marketing is my absolute favorite kind of marketing. This is where we take a person and help shine a light on their business, brand and products. Sometimes this takes the form of information marketing (like online classes courses or ebooks), but mostly we are working with authors, speakers and coaches trainers to leverage their interesting-ness to grow their networks and database so they can sell their stuff, get rumps in chairs for events and generally get amazing opportunities because of who they are.

So how does one go about conducting Authority Marketing?

Step 1 – A clear message

First off, you need to have a clear sense of your areas of skill and expertise. Many of you may be working with a business or success coach and we LOVE that because it means you have taken the time to plan out your message, developing a clear sense of your strengths and have put together information about your business.

For speakers – while I would love to tell you that you can make a great living by speaking alone, today’s world demands that you have a following BEFORE someone will have you in to do a keynote AND that you have a back end of products or services that you can sell as a followup income stream (more about that later).

For coaches – coaches come in all shapes and sizes and may not have to be AS visible to the general public. For coaches the key is to be very high profile for your target audience, whether they be on social media, at trade shows or in other venues where you customers go, which leads us to…

For authors – having a published book (or two) is a powerful driving force and this is your sweet spot. Having put pen to paper and written a volume of work, you know your message and are ready to sell it and yourself to the marketplace.

Step 2 – Knowing EXACTLY who your target customer is

Too often I find that authors, speakers and coaches want to be everything to everyone. They have a message that they think will translate well across a multitude of industries and they want the world to know what they are doing. Hmmmm, that rarely works. There are very few people who are universally loved and hired. It is best to have a group in mind so that you can do a targeted, cross platform campaign to reach decision makers in your chosen field.

For speakers – This one can seem weird to speakers. Say you talk about time management, well that could apply to business as well as consumers like Moms who need to organize their homes. What you need to think about is who has the money to pay for a $5,000 keynote address or $1,000 a day business speaker. It is better to target organizations and channels that have the money and inclination to hire speakers.

For coaches – This is a hard one because it is about positioning and making sure you are giving great guidance for your clients. In my industry (marketing), coaching is less about hand holding them through a new brochure and more about helping them craft a message and develop products. That said, most of them think they need branding help or to do a new media kit. You need to make sure your message is about what they want to buy and then your coaching is filled with that but also what they NEED.

For authors – Now this is where it gets a little trickier for authors. On the internet, oftentimes people are not looking for what your title or genre is, they are looking for help. So you need to talk about and be found for the SYMPTOMS of what ails them. In my world, I talk about writing a good email subject line, and then segue them over to using our email services if they are overwhelmed.

Spreading your message

So now we get down to the meat of it. Authority marketing is about growing big networks, growing your database, creating raving fans and generating sales leads and prospects. So how do you do that? Here are but a few ways that you can start to build your internet city…

Speakers and Coaches - Internet Marketing HubA blog – if you are still on the fence about having a blog, as a speaker or coach you have to get off right now. Sending out regular bits of information into the interwebs is the only way to generate the kind of linking potentials that you need to make a dent in the vast amount of data out there. We recommend posting at least twice a week with keyword targeted posts.

Facebook – Some of our speakers and coaches think that they can “do the Facebook” and leave it at that. Mostly that doesn’t work for a myriad of reasons, foremost being that Facebook changes the rules frequently and makes it impossible to put together a cohesive and long term strategy. What works today may change tomorrow. That said, as a speaker or coach, you need to be out there as a profile (person) as well as a business page (also of your person, but with the functionalities of having a bigger following).

Twitter – Twitter is my absolute favorite for lead generating speaking events. I have been hired more from Twitter than from anywhere else! That said, it is just a part of my overall online persona and believe me, once they see my 140 character tweet, they then do a search for all my other internet real estate to get details.

Google+ – Oh the apathy that humanity has for poor little Google’s network. To the general population, Google looks like it is a loser, to marketers who understand universal search, it is a gold mine for sharing content and generating page one links.

LinkedIn – In some instances LinkedIn can be a valuable tool for generating speaking leads and clients. The blessing and curse of LinkedIn is the time that has to be spent talking one-on-one with people either in messages or groups. The leads you get are great, the reach you achieve can be very small.

YouTube – You must have video. Within a couple of years initial contact with your brand is either going to be through a video or a picture. I joke that if someone finds my blog first I am toast because my 1,500 word articles will drive them away. That is why I have videos that show some of the info and then drive them back here for more information. Now, I have recently started being in the videos more, but if you have a face for radio and want to do videos, it will be okay too!

Pinterest – Darling of the social media world now, Pinterest is great for presenting your pictures, sharing quotes, socializing and is a MUST DO so that you can take advantage of what is still an early adopter advantage. Growing a following on Pinterest is still relatively easy as people are looking to make friends, in a couple of years that will not be the case!

Blog commenting – Attracting the attention of decision makers becomes easier if you are actively commenting on their information. In addition, blog commenting is a great way to generate some traffic to your blog.

Guest posting – If you are going to be an authority, one of the most effective ways is to offer to guest post great content for an already recognized industry leader. You should have a plan in place to contact and follow up with guest posting opportunities.

Minor Sites – Gone are the days when you could have a one site internet empire. It is important to have diversification of your message across multiple internet properties. One that comes to mind in this category is is Seth Godin’s Squidoo which does not have the SEO love that it once did, but which is great for promoting books, courses and digital products. Another, for our speakers, is SpeakerWiki where you can post your speaking credentials.

Database – all of this spreading the word is nothing if you don’t have a marketing database to capture you leads with. You need one that will allow forms for multiple product sales funnels, some sort of payment processing system, and the ability to send digital deliveries and autoresponders. You need to write followup messages that sell and inform and set up a bi-weekly email newsletter to stay top of mind for your followers.

Authority Marketing Wrap-up

So now you are set to start taking over you social media empire, here are a few final tips:

  1. Don’t try to be perfect, just be you. There are going to be a lot of people telling you how many times you have typos or bad videos. There are going to be people who disagree and who are disagreeable. Just maintain your grace and your personality and you will be fine.
  2. Don’t try to make it happen all at once. You cannot grow a stable internet city by throwing man-hours at it. You can’t buy likes or followers, well you can but now there are tools to see that you did and it makes you look like a schmoe. Google, Facebook and the rest can tell if you are growing slowly and consistently over time or if you have just dumped a ton of content and money in. Starting a new blog, could be a few months before you will get any Google traffic (no matter what those make money online guys say!)
  3. Get help. Seriously, this is a full time job in and of itself. While I am a HUGE proponent of you doing your writing and videos yourself, the day to day following, liking and friending is better done by someone who knows what they are doing. We spend about $10,000 a year in training and attending conferences just to keep up with the latest techniques.

Thank you for reading! If you are a personality (author, speaker or coach) who wants to make a name for themselves, please give request a Free quote and we will get back with you lickety split! If you are a coach or trainer with clients who need to build these kinds of cities, please give us a call to find out about our partner programs! (727) 505-5384

Speaker Training Tips – How To Make Your Sound Better

Speaker training tips come in all manners but this one is hitting close to home. I did a quicky screen capture video that I popped out in a couple of minutes to have for the YouTube and a blog post. While I am a HUGE proponent of launching something without taking a million takes to get there, I did have one watcher call and say that the sound was a little distracting and could he give me a couple of pointers to make it better next time? Sure!

Voice Presentations
guest post by James Todd Shiffer

Original video posted about Twitter Marketing For Small Business

This video posted above is very informative and done very nicely, although a couple things that I did notice that Tara should have done differently.

Sound Mistakes Made On The Video

  1. She had her microphone too close to her mouth.
  2. She was talking directly into her microphone.

Public Speaking Training TipsTechnically, this is what went wrong!

  1. Being too close to the microphone can cause distortion
  2. While talking directly into a microphone can cause what’s called “sonic blast” an annoying popping sound that is created when you say “T”s & “P”s this and “blowing” into a microphone can cause damage to the microphone element, the diaphragm that is inside the microphone that acts like your ear drum.

Now with my experience as a 2 way C.B. radio operator and a licensed Amateur radio operator for about 20 years. I will explain the proper way to speak with a microphone, which there are two important things to remember.

How To Talk With A Microphone To Make Your Screen Capture Videos Better

  1. Hold the microphone about 3 inches away from your mouth.
  2. When you speak never speak directly into the microphone speak across it. You can accomplish this by either holding the microphone to the side of your mouth, which does NOT look pretty, but works or hold the microphone under your mouth below your lip line.

A way you can tell where you will need to hold your microphone is to test with you hand. Hold your hand around your mouth about 3 inches away and speak if you can feel your breath on your hand at all this will be the areas you WILL need to avoid holding your microphone, also try different spots around your mouth. Once you have found a spot that is comfortable for you next test this with you microphone to see if you end up hearing a “sonic blast” at all.

I hope this information helps you with speaking in public venues or like Tara did by making informative videos. Thank you for taking the time to read this and Happy Speaking!!!!

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Public Speaking Tips and Tricks

Public speaking is not as hard or as life threatening as it may seem. There are definitely some tips and tricks to make it less scarier and more effective.

Public speaking tips and tricksI have heard the old wives tale that people would rather die than speak in public, BUT for some people that is probably true.

This post is not going to give you silly ways to make yourself feel better about speaking in public (like picturing everyone in their undies). These are just some ideas to make it a little less scary.

Tips and Tricks for Public Speaking

Make sure it is all about THEM – My A NUMBER ONE TIP – If you do not do anything else, make sure you are rock solid clear that the only reason anyone wants to hear from you is to get help doing something they do not already know how to do! If you have the chance to give a one minute speech at networking, give them a tip from your industry. If you have an hour to talk, DO NOT take up the first 15 minutes telling about you and your background. Get to meat as quickly as possible.

Be enthusiastic about your topic – Have you ever been to a speech where the speaker seemed like they were unhappy to be there or pitifully shy? None of that matters if you are rabidly enthusiastic about your topic. I heard a guy talk about musical instruments once who was SO pumped up that I listened for almost an hour.

Handouts – I like to give and to get handouts. There is nothing worse than sitting in an audience with a great speaker and nowhere to take notes. Handouts keep people from freaking out that they are going to miss something AND provide a way for you to provide your contact information discretely. Also, if the computer dies, powerpoint fails or the electric goes out, you are not standing there talking about how good your speech would have been.

Powerpoint – I rarely do powerpoints, but that is just me. I have to tell you, I can tell if a speaker is going to be a dud based on how much they were obsessing about slides at 10pm the night before a speech. Seth Godin says it best in Really Bad Powerpoint.

Dress comfortably
– Notice I did not say professionally or nicely. If you are going to be enthusiastic about your topic and wow audiences, you cannot be feeling weird about your outfit. If you are a jeans kind of person, be a jeans kind of person when you speak (if it is good enough for Gary Vaynerchuk and Jeffery Gitomer it is good enough for me). HOWEVER, if you are speaking to a bunch of suits, wear a suit. Basically, you want to be genuine at all times.

Speak In Public A LOT
– OHHH, this a bad one for you shy people. Really, if you speak in public A LOT, you get less shy. Offer to speak at Rotary, your church, in your child’s classroom, at your place of work. The more you speak, the easier it gets because (honest), you never die and hardly anyone will throw things at you. In the words of my mom, act confident, no one can tell the difference.

Give Away Your Best Stuff – This is another powerhouse one! Giving away your best information can seem a little counter-intuitive. If you tell them how to do what you are selling, why should they buy? To me there are three types of people at your event: people who are going to do it themselves no matter how good you are and who will benefit from the knowledge, people who feel better for hearing about and who will do nothing either way AND people who are looking for someone to hire. The people who are looking for someone to hire want to know that you know your stuff. Nuff said.

Tell Stories – Whatever you are talking about will be more understandable if you can give a framework with a good example from someone else’s success. Use anecdotes from people you know, articles you have read or “borrow” other great stories that you have heard, citing the source of course.

Last one, more an opinion than a tip. Talk about what you know. It is fine to have to do some research to flesh out your topic, but in general you should have a wide range of knowledge about your subject BEFORE you agree to speak about it. Nothing is worse than getting to the questions and answers part and being unable to talk about anything outside of what you had prepared.

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How To Get Paid For Speaking My Top Ten Tips

How to get paid for speaking courses are a dime a dozen. Each week I get an email or two that tells me that if I send them a hundred or a thousand bucks I will get all the information that I need to get paid as a speaker. Well I have yet to fine one that tells the truth about what it takes to actually succeed.

How To Get Paid For SpeakingI have been speaking in public for most of my life, mainly it is because I HAVE to tell people how to do things. In grade school I was in the class play, in high school I was a cheerleader and in my grown-up life I am public speaker. Here are my top ten rules for getting paid to speak publicly, in no particular order…

  1. Is public speaking in your blood? If you are shy, public speaking may not be for you unless you have a driving passion for it. I have a friend who speaks but who is almost sick before every event. Because she LOVES the result it is worth it for her to get up there and do it. Every time I “get” to speak, I wake up a with a little jingle in my step and can not wait for the day to get started!
  2. Do you rely on powerpoint? Almost every speaker that I have ever seen who agonizes over whether their Powerpoint is just right is bland, dry and structured. If you are going to use a Powerpoint, make sure to read Seth Godin’s Really Bad Powerpoint first!
  3. Do you have something to say? If you are buying programs to learn how to get paid for speaking and you do not have a topic you are already passionate about, heaven help us! I once listened to a fellow talk about musical instruments in a library. Now I am NOT a musical instrument fan, BUT he was so excited about them that he was interesting. If you do not know WHAT you are going to talk about yet, stop trying to figure out how to speak and figure out what to say!
  4. Dressing up is not THAT important! One of the first things that “those people” will tell you is that you have to dress a certain way. Suits or jackets for the men, skirts or suits for the women. One of the best speakers I ever heard was Gary Vaynerchuk of Crush It fame. He wore blue jeans, a hoodie and had tattoos. With all of the great information that he gave, I would not have cared if he wore his birthday suit! Dress in what makes you comfortable instead of dressing like a mannequin. If your content is great they will overlook anything else.
  5. Record or listen to yourself I have LOTS of tapes of my talks and I HATE watching them, but I do. I look funny, I sound funny BUT most important I say um a lot! Or at least I used to. It was not because I did not have something else to say, it was a habit. Another lady I saw speak said “actually” so much that I could not follow what she was saying.
  6. There is a LOT of schlepping One of the main things I think they leave out of how to get paid for speaking classes is that there is A LOT of free speaking before anyone will ever consider hiring you to speak. This is a good thing! If you got paid a bunch right off the bat you would not have the practice of speaking to the Kiwanas or the Rotary gang or even to your church group. You would not learn how early to get there or how to adapt to different microphone setups. You would not know how to hook up your laptop or how to call ahead and make sure the venue is set up right.
  7. $20,000 keynotes are a ways away When you start speaking, do not think you are going to get a pile of money. You need to talk to speakers in your area and find out what the current rates are. If you get paid ANYTHING at the start, count your blessings. I get between $150-200 an hour to give speeches and make about $250 an hour when I am doing a training.
  8. It is easy to get speaking engagements I know, you want there to be some magic secret as to how to get speaking engagements. I have found that telling every human you meet that you are speaker works. As does having a page on your website that says that. Not rocket science people, just hard work. Get out there to networking events, be interested and interesting and offer your services.
  9. Check your teeth and zipper before you go on stage Nuff said!
  10. There are tons of ways to get paid for speaking Even if you do not have people banging down your door to pay you to speak, you can use your speaking gigs to make money. One way is to “sell from the stage” – have something for sale that they can buy after hearing you speak. Add everyone at your events to your mailing lists and sell to them that way. Sell books, DVDs or other information products afterwards. In general, always know how you are going to monetize your speaking event!

Well there you have it! If you do these things you will be well on your way to being a successful speaker. If you REALLY feel like you have to pay $100 or $1,000 to learn this, feel free to make out the check to Tara L. Jacobsen, PA…:)

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