Once a month as SmallBizLady, I conduct interviews with experts on #SmallBizChat LIVE. The show takes place on the 4th Wednesday of every month from 8-9pm ET and is streamed live on my Facebook fan page, my YouTube channel, and Twitter page. This is excerpted from my recent November 2019 #SmallBizChat LIVE interview with business coach for speakers Jane Atkinson @janeatkinson, CEO of Kool Kel Marketing Kelvin Joseph, and Disaster Avoidance Expert, Dr. Gleb Tsipursky @gleb_tsipursky.
As a business coach for speakers, Jane’s specialty @janeatkinson is to help speakers identify and move past the things that may slow business growth. .We help speakers at all levels develop and launch their business, solidify their brand, speaker marketing, and message, and monetize their keynotes or workshops. Under her signature training program, The Wealthy Speaker School, she offers online courses, community, coaching, and masterminds to help speakers at every level of the journey. Getting paid well to speak is our business! For more information www.speakerlauncher.com.
SmallBizLady: If I’m thinking of adding speaking to my business as an income stream, what’s the first thing I need to do?
Jane Atkinson: Pick a Lane – that’s part of our first step in our proven three-step process to building a successful speaking business that we call: Ready, Aim, Fire. Picking a lane requires you to really hone in on exactly what your topic of expertise is and who your target audience is. For example, Mimi Brown was working full time when she launched her speaking business. Over several years she slowly trimmed back her offerings realizing that becoming known for one expertise was powerful.
SmallBizLady: Why is following a process like Ready, Aim, Fire important for someone starting out as a speaker?
Jane Atkinson: My system works because it essentially walks you through each step of the process of building a successful speaking business. Clients who have followed this system and put in the work in each step of the process have gone on to build 6 and 7 figure speaking business.
Building a speaking business isn’t any different from building any other kind of business. You have to put the foundational pieces in place. This is our ‘Ready’ phase. Basically we are developing clarity around what we are selling. We pick a lane, define our target audience, develop marketing language and decide on your fees. Once that is in place, you move into the ‘Aim’ phase where we develop the marketing (ie: website). And only then do we ‘Fire’. Rolling out to the market is the most important piece, but we don’t want to do it before we have our clarity and marketing in place.
We recently launched The Wealthy Speaker School, an online platform that walks you through each phase of the process with lessons and worksheets to help you put everything you need to start a speaking business in place and start getting paid.
SmallBizLady: Is ‘speaking’ the only way to create income as a speaker?
Jane Atkinson: Absolutely not! Speaking on stage should be just the beginning of the income stream, it’s the rainmaker that spins into all of your other offerings. Successful speakers earning high-incomes have learned the power of creating spin-off business from the speaking gigs they are booked for. The keynote leads to consulting, coaching, podcasts, webinars, online courses, large scale training contracts, etc. We might start with a speech and then develop the follow-on services later. Or, maybe people who already have the business model around another offering, like coaching, then decide to add speaking to the mix to help promote the core business. Getting paid to speak in order to promote your business is the ultimate formula.
Kelvin Joseph is CEO of Kool Kel Marketing. Kelvin helps companies from new startups to Fortune 500s maximize their sales by executing a marketing strategy that will communicate their “Kool.” INC Magazine recognized Kelvin on their Top 30 Entrepreneurs Under 30 list the same year as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Kelvin is a LinkedIn B2B Marketing Influencer, Sports Marketing Strategist, and American Advertising Federation Trendsetter. For more information www.KoolKel.com
SmallBizLady: What is the best way for small businesses to grow their sales?
Kelvin Joseph: Make friends before you need anything. Awareness, Likability, and Trust are the foundation of relationship building. If you try to establish all three in one piece of marketing content, advertisement, email, or an initial meeting then you will lose. Don’t rush it. Bill collectors only speak to people when they want money. Don’t be that guy. Allow your humility to exceed your ability as you provide value without expecting anything in return.
SmallBizLady: Why is it important for small businesses to attract new customers instead of chasing them?
Kelvin Joseph: If you call me then you are a salesman, but if I call you then you are an expert. People trust experts and it speeds up the relationship-building process. It is also better to be introduced then to introduce yourself, which is the reason why referrals convert into sales faster than almost any other opportunity. Your marketing strategy should communicate your “Kool.” The Kool is the unique passion and value proposition that fuels revenue growth and brand loyalty. Customers are drawn to businesses that are Kool.
SmallBizLady: How can small business owners leverage LinkedIn Marketing?
Kelvin Joseph: LinkedIn provides a tremendous opportunity to establish yourself as an expert by producing original content and grabbing low priced (free) attention. If you have a well-defined niche and you learn how to communicate your “Kool” this platform will become your favorite. I have 40,000 high-level professionals following me with a secondary reach of 100 million people and I built this community with no monetary investment.
SmallBizLady: Why is event marketing so powerful?
Kelvin Joseph: Event Marketing does not have to be big. If you invite 10 decision-makers to dinner and introduce them to each other it makes you the Kool Kid from High School who hosted the party, which is better than trying to schedule 10 individual meetings with those same decision-makers.
Known as the Disaster Avoidance Expert, Dr. Gleb Tsipursky @gleb_tsipursky is on a mission to protect leaders from dangerous judgment errors known as cognitive biases by developing the most effective decision-making strategies via his training firm Disaster Avoidance Experts. A cognitive neuroscientist and behavioral economist, Dr. Tsipursky writes for Inc., Time, and CNBC. He is a best-selling author, his new book is Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters.
SmallBizLady: Why do you say that business owners should never go with their gut when making in business decisions?
Dr. Gleb Tsipursky: The biggest falsehood in business leadership and career advice is perhaps also the most repeated: “go with your gut.” Many business gurus and advice columns heap praise on those leaders who make quick gut decisions — about the direction of their company, whether or not to launch a new product, which candidate to hire. Sadly, the approach frequently leads to devastating results for our professional lives. When I was finishing up Never Go With Your Gut, the Equifax data breach scandal broke — in May 2017 hackers exploited a security flaw at Equifax and stole the credit information for over 148 million people. Even worse, the Equifax C-suite made the disastrous decision to cover it up. When the cover-up was inevitably discovered, it gravely damaged Equifax’s reputation, caused a large and lasting drop in the company’s stock, and led to the CEO and a number of other top executives being forced out due to incompetence. There are many regional and local-level scandals that are similar to the Equifax fiasco that doesn’t make it into the national headlines. Such scandals are typical of the kind of atrocious judgments that business leaders make when they go with their gut.
SmallBizLady: Are there any times in business decisions when it’s entirely right to go with your gut?
Dr. Gleb Tsipursky: Research and my own experience show that in some instances gut reactions can be helpful. When we were all tribes living in the savanna we had to rely on our gut reactions to evaluate fellow tribal members. Thus, if you have a long-standing business relationship with someone, and you experience a negative gut response to a new business proposal they’re making, it’s time to double-check the fine print.
However, don’t buy into the myth that you can tell apart lies from truths: studies show that we are very bad at distinguishing falsehoods from accurate statements. Research shows that on average we only detect 54 percent of lies. That’s a shocking statistic considering we’d get 50 percent if we used random chance. Only extensively trained law enforcement agents, such as the Secret Service, do much better than random chance at detecting lies (local law enforcement doesn’t do well).
Overall, it’s never a good idea to just go with your gut. Even in cases where you think you can rely on your intuitions, it’s best to use your instincts as just a warning sign of potential danger and then evaluate the situation analytically. Maybe that longstanding business associate just got some bad news about their family, and you were just misreading the situation.
SmallBizLady: Are there any quick decision-making strategies that professionals can adopt to overcome harmful gut reactions?
Dr. Gleb Tsipursky: To help my clients get the benefits of the latest research on making good decisions when they must act quickly, I developed a structured decision-making technique for making quick decisions well, which I call “5 Questions to Avoid Decision Disasters.”
Simply ask the questions below about all the decisions that you want to be “good enough.” By “good enough” I mean a choice that protects you from a decision disaster, but isn’t necessarily the best option since you are not taking the time to make a perfect choice.
- First question: what important information did I not yet fully consider?
- Second question: what relevant dangerous judgment errors did I not yet address?
- Third question: what would a trusted and objective adviser suggest I do?
- Fourth question: how have I addressed all the ways it could fail?
- Fifth and final question: what new information would cause me to revisit the decision?
It takes less than five minutes when the decisions is indeed good enough. It only takes longer if you discover the decision may well not be good enough. In that case, you’ll definitely want to avoid going through with your decision until you improve it to be good enough. You’ll save yourself hours and hours of work, many thousands and perhaps even millions of dollars, and much heartache and stress.
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