I began speaking on the platform long before there was Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and the now nostalgic voice that we eagerly awaited to hear, “You’ve got mail.”
Back in the day, the only way to get speaking gigs was to literally pound the pavement. I began right where most speakers started; as a complete unknown.
The year was 1994. I had just left my corporate job with GTE Health Systems. I was convinced all I needed to do was have the desire to speak and the rest would take care of itself.
Rough Times Ahead
Truth be told, I was in for a rude awaking. And yet, competition back 20 plus years ago was a lot less than it is today.
In the day there were fewer people who called themselves speakers. If you wanted to showcase your talent there were plenty of associations willing to let you present at their monthly meetings. Whether it be your local chamber, the local chapter of a women’s association or large companies in town that brought in experts on Fridays to present during the lunch hour, there was ample opportunity to get in front of an audience.
Fast forward to today and the playing field is a lot different. The “secret sauce” of showcasing your talent by offering to speak for free is no longer such a secret. Where you used to be one of a handful of experts who spoke on a particular topic, today there are dozens, if not hundreds, even thousands, of experts standing in line waiting for someone to say, “Sure, we would love to have you present on XYZ topic.”
Teleseminars Hit the Radar
At one point, many seasoned speakers realized they could actually reach more people and make a ton of money by offering teleseminars. It was around 2005 when I realized this was a literal cash cow. I could make tens of thousands of dollars by getting on the phone, teaching a topic and making an offer on the back-end. And I could do it in my pajamas because my audience would not see me with the platform of teleseminars.
Then came webinars. Those of us who were willing to muddle through the limited technology available back then could not only be heard, we could put up a slick slide presentation and add another element to our speaking.
Initially, the online ways to reach our market were as much of a novelty as were the in person showcase presentations, but it didn’t take long before lots of experts got wind of how big a market they could reach and how truly profitable this could be.
That was the great news. The bad news was this; people who called themselves experts, but really weren’t, got on the bandwagon and the market got really crowded and the quality of information went downhill.
Lots of newbies who heard all you need to do is showcase an area of expertise by getting in front of your audience came on board and quickly gave up because it wasn’t as easy as they had been led to believe. Even bona-fide experts became disillusioned and gave up way too soon because they realized they didn’t have it all figured out.
They would compare themselves with those of us who had been around for a decade or two (or three or four) and wonder why it wasn’t as easy as they had been led to believe.
Here’s a few reasons:
- They expected to hang their shingle and hoards of people would flock to listen to them regardless of how little effort they put into honing their craft.
- They hadn’t clearly honed an area of expertise that others would identify them with. They jumped from topic to topic never giving one thing a chance to grow.
- They were crappy presenters. This one speaks for itself.
- They put very little effort into gaining visibility and recognition. They were minimally known to the very people who could make the decision to bring them in for a speaking engagement or those who would put an hour aside to listen to them on a webinar or teleseminar.
- They gave up before they gave the process of building name recognition a chance to work.
- They didn’t differentiate themselves by writing a book (or books).
- They had no way to generate revenue on the back-end with products and services. They truly believed they would make their money solely from speaking.
There are plenty more reasons but these are some of the primary reasons experts who want to speak will fail. Sadly, there are plenty of people out there who claim you can make great money as an expert who speaks with very little effort. Any level of success takes effort. Anyone who tells you otherwise is wrong, incredibly wrong.
Visibility is a Must
The truth is, you MUST put effort into what you’re doing AND you have to gain name recognition for opportunity to come knocking.
One of the best ways to do this is by creating the environment to showcase your skill, expertise and knowledge. And to do it in front of those who give a darn.
It’s about you taking control of the opportunities in front of you. The best way to do this is by hosting what are called self-staged events.
As someone who has not only survived, but thrived, in the ups and downs of the economy, shifts in how business is grown, technology creating incredible opportunity and competition, I long ago figured out what a golden opportunity this can be.
Truth be told, if I can figure it out, so can you. And to make things really easy, I’ve put together a special report that walks you through the exact process of how to create your own cost effective events so you never have to worry about whether or not there is competition, what’s happening in the economy, what changes occur online, or any other factor that dissuades those not committed to using speaking to position their expertise.
It’s called, The Step-by-Step Guide of How I Make Over $100,000 a Year with FREE Presentations. It’s yours for the taking. Go to http://100kspeakerreport.com/. This report is perfect for speakers, authors and consultants.
And the next time you tell yourself the stories that prevent you from growing your business with speaking, read through the report to once again realize how really simple it can be….when your willing to do the work and stay in the game.