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These unprecedented times have definitely been a wrench for the speech industry. With lectures canceled, social distancing mandated, and limitations on public gatherings, speakers — like everyone else — have had to pivot and get savvy quickly to stay ahead of the game. However, many feel stuck and struggle to stay profitable and generate revenue.
No need to worry, help is there. As a speaker myself, I wanted to share four ways to get your speaking business back on track so you can continue to have impact and revenue. And in doing so, not only creating a new standard for yourself, but creating a win-win situation for all parties involved.
1. Stay in touch with old customers and new prospects
This is where your database comes in. Reaching out to past customers and letting them know you’re here to help them add value in any way you can (especially digitally and remotely) can make a huge difference to your business. Many companies are still offering virtual training and workshops to their various teams and departments. They also always bring in guest speakers for their virtual events. So, reaching out to past 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 past clients is very important, reaching out to your potential prospects is just as important. These are the ones you haven’t worked with yet, but are also looking to hire people who can add tremendous value to their organizations and teams, virtually. Sending weekly or bi-weekly emails to your database offering nothing but value to them can get you really good results.
2. Start converting most (if not all) of your content to digital format
One of the new normals that uncertain times can produce is an increased demand for digital services. Companies around the world are looking for consultants, coaches, trainers and speakers to deliver high quality presentations and workshops to their teams. There’s never been a better time than now to convert all your content into digital services. Companies are even willing to license your courses for further education on various topics. I know many speakers like to travel the world and make an impact, but this is a great opportunity to build relationships and grow your business with no overhead or travel costs. Anyone can sit in the comfort of their virtual offices and still get tremendous value.
3. Be very savvy with virtual teleconferencing platforms
As the new normal has gone virtual, knowing how to navigate the different platforms available is imperative as many companies use different ones. The most popular ones that most businesses use are Zoom, Skype, Microsoft Teams, ezTalks, Star Leaf, GoTo Meeting, Airmeet, and Cisco WebEx. My favorite is Zoom, but I guess it’s all about preference. Some basic functions that you should be very familiar with as a speaker include, but are not limited to:
- Screen sharing;
- Mute everyone to avoid background noise;
- Change your background (if needed); and
- Keep an eye on the chat room for important information, questions and engagement.
Another very important thing to keep in mind when focusing on anything virtual is to make sure you have a good microphone, a good webcam, and really good lighting. Try to make your virtual office as attractive and dynamic as possible. Your audience can still feel the energy.
4. Create valuable content that can be shared to increase your influence
Valuable content has always been king, and now more than ever, it’s very important that you deliver the content that your potential customers are looking for. My mentor, and one of the greatest motivational speakers to have traveled 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 customers’ needs are, what their problems are, what some of their pain points are, and what solutions can you bring to the table. Posting content that addresses these issues will not only entice your followers to share this valuable content, but will end up ringing your phone and filling your inbox with inquiries.
Related: 14 Proven Ways to Improve Your Communication Skills
As training programs and events move online, companies are looking 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, the faster and more profitably your speaking business can grow and expand. It’s always fun to learn new things and solve new problems.
Cheers to your new digital future and remember: content is king.