Recently I was reviewing transcripts from a training program I facilitated with a colleague on how to become a successful professional speaker – a six figure a year speaker. I had to smile when I read our recommendations. Not only are they spot on, they hold as true today as the day we hosted the training. Some things never change.
Granted, I didn’t always know the things I know about professional speaking. Actually, prior to 1994, I knew none of what I know about the profession.
My career shifted over 15 years ago when I began getting paid to do keynote presentations as well as corporate training sessions. I have made a fabulous living as a speaker. I have also seen countless individuals come and go in the industry due to not building a solid foundation in their business.
As with virtually any industry, you have people who flood into the world of professional speaking with stars in their eyes of all the fame and fortune they will experience. They mistakenly believe all they have to do is have a great speech and the rest will take care of itself.
Within a year, many who thought it would be a walk in the park to build their speaking business are out looking for other work.
The fact is, whether one speaks in the traditional sense of keynote presentations, corporate trainings, and conference breakout sessions, or one uses the Internet to generate revenue as a speaker, there are some key essentials that must be put in place in order to succeed.
One is to become visible, get known within a market or markets, know how to promote yourself and be able to stand out in the consumer’s mind.
Granted, there is always the exception to the rule, but generally speaking, there are specific things that must happen. Among them is to focus on growing your database. Without a solid database, you are making the job of building your business tougher than it need be.
There are countless ways to do this. During a live presentation you can have a giveaway in which audience members fill out an entry form or drop a card in a basket. At some point during your presentation you select a few “winners”.
If you‘ve been on the Internet for even the shortest period of time, it is very likely you have opted-into someone’s database in exchange for something they offered such as an eBook, MP3, teleseminar or report. This is called an ethical bribe.
This is a “must do” if you speak professionally online. Some people might wonder what speaking professionally online means. If you host teleseminars, teleclasses or webinars and there is an exchange of money, you would be considered a professional speaker.
Unfortunately, lots of people are throwing together online events without the proper training, but that is a topic for another discussion. Back to ethical bribes to build your database.
If you want to make the job of building your business easier, keep this question at the top of your mind, “How do I grow my database with highly valuable and responsive potential clients?”
This is not a onetime event. Rather, this is something you need to incorporate into your overall business activities. If you are not doing something on a daily basis to gain visibility within your market (and building your database is definitely part of this) you are likely leaving a lot of opportunity and money on the table.
To learn how to gain massive visibility online register for my FREE teleseminar called, How to Gain Massive Online Visibility for Little or No Cost. Thursday, December 17, 2009 – 3 P.M. Pacific.