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Make sure you stay protected and profitable amid the pandemic.
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5 min read
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These unprecedented times have definitely been a monkey wrench for the speaking industry. With conferences getting cancelled, mandatory social distancing and limitations on public gatherings, speakers — like everyone else — had to pivot and get savvy quickly to stay ahead of the curve. However, many are feeling stuck and finding it hard to remain profitable and generate income.
No need to fret, help is here. As a speaker myself, I wanted to share four ways to get your speaking business back on track so that you can continue to make impact and income. And in doing so, not only creating a new norm for yourself but creating a win-win situation for all parties involved.
1. Keep touching base with former clients and new prospects
This is where your database comes in clutch. Reaching out to former clients and letting them know that you are there to assist in adding value any way you can (especially digitally and remotely) can make a huge difference for your business. Many corporations are still providing virtual trainings and workshops for their various teams and departments. They are also still bringing in guest speakers for their virtual events. So, reaching out to former clients and letting them know that you’re still able to offer valuable virtual content can make it very attractive for them to hire you again.
Related: 8 Basic Public-Speaking Tips
While reaching out to former clients is very important, it’s equally important to reach out to your potential prospects. Those are the ones that you haven’t worked with yet but who are also looking to hire individuals who can add tremendous value to their organizations and teams, virtually. Sending weekly or bi-weekly emails to your database offering them nothing but value can yield you some pretty nice results.
2. Start converting most (if not all) of your content to a digital format
One of the new norms that uncertain times can produce is a heightened demand for digital services. Companies all over the world are looking for consultants, coaches, trainers and speakers to provide high-quality presentations and workshops for their teams. There’s never been a better time than now to convert all of your content into digital services. Companies are even willing to license your courses for ongoing training on various topics. I know that many speakers love travelling the world and making impact, but this is a good opportunity to build relationships and build your business with literally no overhead or travel expenses involved. Everyone gets to sit in the comfort of their virtual offices and still obtain tremendous value.
3. Get very savvy with virtual teleconferencing platforms
Since the new norm has gone virtual, it’s imperative to get savvy with knowing how to navigate the various platforms available because many companies are using different ones. The more popular ones that most companies use is Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, ezTalks, Star Leaf, GoTo Meeting, Airmeet and Cisco WebEx. My favorite one is Zoom, but I guess it’s all a matter of preference. Some basic functions that you should be very familiar with as a speaker include but are not limited to:
- Screen sharing;
- Muting everyone to avoid background noise;
- Changing your background (if necessary); and
- Keeping an eye on the chat room for important information, questions and engagement.
Another very important thing to keep in mind while you’re focusing on all things virtual is making sure that you have a good microphone, a good web cam and very good lighting. Try making your virtual office look as inviting and as vibrant as possible. Your audience can still feel the energy.
4. Create valuable content that’s sharable to grow your influence
Valuable content has always been king, and now more than ever it’s very important that you’re putting out content that your potential clients are looking for. My mentor, and one of the greatest motivational speakers to ever walk the planet, Les Brown likes to say, “Never let what you want to say get in the way of what your audience needs to hear.” In other words, listen to what your clients’ needs are, what problems are they having, what are some of their pain points, and what solutions can you bring to the table. Putting out content that addresses these issues will not only cause your followers to share this valuable content, but it’ll eventually get your phone ringing and your inbox filled with inquiries.
Related: 14 Proven Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills
As training programs and events shift online, companies are searching for strategies to quickly convert instructor-led training to a virtual format. This means that as a speaker, the faster you can pivot and get ahead of the curve, the faster and more profitable your speaking business can grow and expand. It’s always fun learning new things and solving new problems.
Cheers to your new digital future, and remember: Content is king.