Although I'm a successful and well-paid speaker now, it wasn't always that way. Here are the top 5 mistakes I made that slowed my progress. I'm hoping that by sharing them, you'll reflect on your own speaking goals and make the changes needed so you can have success sooner rather than later.
- I didn't want to sell! I'd attended conferences, seminars, and workshops where the speaker was hard sell. I didn't want to be pushy, threatening, intimidating, or use guilt as a way to get people to buy my products or services. What did I do instead? NOTHING! I thought that if I offered great content, people would naturally flock to me and want to buy; WRONG!
- I had only 1 product/service to offer. I unknowingly created my own peaks and valleys. I had one offer which was working for me personally. It was time intensive and, because I was directly involved, the number of people I could have as clients were very limited. It also limited the options to potential clients and it only one price point. To expand the ways in which I could help others (while increasing my income), I focused on creating several other offers that had great content and limited my time commitment. Pairing the amount of content with various price points made a big difference in my bottom line without taking up more of my time. I'm now able to help more people based on their needs and affordability.
- Being too cheap. Heart-centered entrepreneurs have a tough time asking for money. I'm not sure if we don't understand the value we provide, or if we think that cheap pricing means more people will buy. After watching my clients get great results over and over again by implementing what I was teaching, I finally raised my price on private coaching. Surprisingly, MORE people signed up because they believed they would get more for their money. Same content. Same personal attention. Same time commitment but increased profits.
- Telling rather than sharing. In the beginning, I shared facts: Graphs, Charts. Statistics. Guess what; no one cared. My ideal prospects did not respond to this style of presentation. I studied the art of storytelling and replaced the 'cold facts' with warm stories that engaged my audience. I learned to touch their heart through painful examples they could relate to. Then I demonstrated how someone applied one of the solutions or ideas from me and how it impacted the person's life. I finally learned that people don't buy products or services, they buy RESULTS!
- Lead generation. As I mentioned in #1, I had this image of people surrounding me after my talk, handing me their cards, and asking me to please follow up with them. Adding a link to the last PowerPoint slide was completely ineffective. It wasn't until I created an offer that had been seeded throughout my talk, AND I had a sign-up form in the hands of each attendee BEFORE my presentation, that I started experiencing significant results and success. Deliver great content, seed with a relevant free offer, and make it easy for people to sign up with a form given directly to you... that's how you start building a fantastic stream of hot, new prospects.
There are people right now who are struggling to find the solutions you provide. Speaking to groups filled with your target market can help them find you faster and easier.