Wow that crowd-how to public speak to get clients

The snoring audience

Has anyone ever fallen asleep during a presentation that took you hours to prepare? Has there ever been an abyss of loneliness at the end of your speech when not a single person comes up to you? Are people gazing off into space a few minutes into your intro?

I must admit that all these things did at one point happen to me during my 7 year career as a coach who speaks publicly both to find new clients and to grow my brand visibility. I have, however, learned a few tricks along the way and I’d love to share them with you.

Start with a bang!

The biggest impression I know how to make when I speak is to tell a phoenix rising story that’s as personal and painful as it can get. The caveat here is that it has to relate to the topic of the talk. You don’t want to talk about your painful divorce at a fertilizer’s convention. On second thought, maybe you do…

During my “Attract not Attack: A Gentle Way to Get Clients” seminar, I tell the humiliating story of how my first networking event ended up in a fiasco of a woman telling me that she felt ‘attacked’ by my sales pitch. Upon hearing of my angst and the tools that I used to turn it around for my business, you can be sure that the audience was primed to hear more. Personal stories engage, connect and make you more accessible. Just like everyone in the audience, you make mistakes too.

Give it all away

I’m a proponent of the school of ‘giving it all away’. This means, tell everyone the best of everything you know for free. Don’t hold back the better ‘stuff’ for paying clients. In my experience when people get amazing value from your content, they’re going to be even more jazzed about working one on one with you.

Don’t leave the offer on the table

Most small business owners I meet who do any public speaking are missing this strategic opportunity of getting new clients. They don’t make an offer from the stage. This offer, of course, can be an invitation to sign up for a complimentary session or a newsletter or even to actually buy. When a speaker who has a captive audience can’t or won’t use the opportunity to connect further with a strong and specific offer from the stage, I call that a darn shame.

So I beg you as a frequent audience member to please use these tips at your next talk so that you can wow me and everyone that I’m sitting next to.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

5 Things to Un-Learn From School

School Badges

School Badges (Photo credit: psd)

Remember killing yourself to do well in school? Well I don’t know about you but I did. My parents told us school was important. As a small business, this article makes some very good points about forgetting all that you learned in school!

1. If you only do what you’re told, you’ll excel.
To be above average, or to achieve better than average results, you must do two things:

  • Do what others are willing to do, and do it better, and
  • Do what others aren’t willing to do

Otherwise, you’re just average.

2. Being micro-managed is to be expected.

Don’t expect someone to trust you to perform a task or service–and give you money to perform that service–until you’ve proven you can be trusted to perform that service.

Answer questions before questions are asked. Demonstrate your value before you are asked to prove your value.

3. Your time off is the highlight of the year.

If you feel you endure the workweek just to get to the payoff of the weekend, you’re in the wrong business. Find work you enjoy; then you won’t see time off as a chance to finally do something fun but as a chance to do something else fun.

4. Getting criticized means you failed.

Criticism is a chance to learn–and this time you’re getting paid to learn.

Never complain when someone pays you to learn.

5. Success is based on toeing the line.

If you want to achieve different results you’ll have to think and act differently. Do your homework, think critically, and don’t be afraid to create your own path.

via 5 Things to Un-Learn From School.

Remember that life is very different after graduation. Conformity is death to a small business. You need to be better, faster and different in all ways to stand out. Do yourself a favour and forget those lessons you learned in school so you can shine as you grow your business in leaps and bounds!

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

Your Story Is Your Marketing Strategy

When you’re a small business, you ARE your business. So to market it properly, you need to engage your clients’ hearts and minds with the wonder of who you really are. Here’s a great article about that:

Tell your company’s story.

Everyone likes to know the story behind the story, especially when there is an underdog or a hero involved. I was recently talking to the owner of a collections agency who told me he started his business because another company bought the one he was working for, and asked him to let go of most of the team. Rather than doing that, he himself quit and started his own company, brought the entire team over to his new venture, and successfully avoided firing many people. Learning his story helped me see the kinder side of a business that otherwise seemed heartless, and I immediately felt myself rooting for%2

via Your Story Is Your Marketing Strategy.

Tell the story of your business, your product and most importantly of you. You can’t pay for better marketing than that.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!


Build a Community Around Your Brand and Reap the Rewards

Deutsch: Fans im Olympiapark München beim Spie...

Deutsch: Fans im Olympiapark München beim Spiel Deutschland – Costa Rica (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Raving fans for your brand make getting clients easier and cheaper. Social media didn’t exist a few years ago but now that it does, here are some ways to build some raving fans around your brand:

How do you build a community around your brand?

  • Your Small Business Blog: Blogs can be highly interactive. They can join them to receive new posts via RSS feeds and can be notified of new comments.  Prolific and interesting industry blog posting can create an engaged and qualified community that grows over time.
  • Your Facebook Fan Page: Facebook is be a great place for you to interact with clients and your community. By having a Facebook Fan Page, you can have people follow your business and experience your corporate story and expertise via the newer Timeline format. When Fans interact with your Fan Page, it also opens the possibility of bringing in new visitors that see their friends interacting with your page on their Timelines. This can help you nurture a continually expanding online community around your brand. The more followers, the more social proof that you are worth following.
  • Twitter: People who follow you on Twitter will see short updates from you and many of those can be responded to and re-tweeted. Those activities can grow the community by pulling in other interested Twitter users who could be led to your other online communities where associations and relationships will continually strengthen.
  • Google Places and Review Sites: If your business is local or regionally targeted, Google Places and other review sites can show people reviews and other information about your site. As people create their own reviews on popular online places, this helps you illustrate your expertise and helps you draw more visitors to your page.  Be sure to complete online profiles for review sites and address reviews — both good and bad.

via Build a Community Around Your Brand and Reap the Rewards.

Remember, just like how a newborn needs human connection to survive, so does your brand!

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

Turn Criticism Into Money

A toddler girl crying

A toddler girl crying (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It hurts to hear bad stuff about ourselves. Did you ever think hearing it from client could actually make you money though? I am in full agreement with the author of the article below.

Before, I was one of those cats who would throw the baby out with the bath water, and dismiss criticism when it came from someone acting like a jerk, or someone who’s own questionable behavior didn’t seem to position them particularly well to dole out advice. But you know when I got smart and upped my tolerance for—well, actually, thirst for—criticism?

When I realized deep down that incorporating the lessons from people’s criticism made me money!

via Turn Criticism Into Money

Take the free advice that your clients are giving you and run with it to the bank so that you can help your new clients by learning from those who were honest enough to do you a favour.

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!

9 Qualities of Amazing Entrepreneurs

When I was restructured a decade ago, my outplacement company gave me an assessment to determine if I’d make a good entrepreneur. I failed the test miserably, claiming I was too risk averse and required too much structure to be a happy entrepreneur. Today, I’ve quit my day job and I am a happy entrepreneur.

Here are a few qualities of remarkable entrepreneurs according to a new article:

1. They find happiness in the success of others.

Great business teams win because their most talented members are willing to sacrifice to make others happy. Great teams are made up of employees who help each other, know their roles, set aside personal goals, and value team success over everything else.

Where does that attitude come from?


Every great entrepreneur answers the question, “Can you make the choice that your happiness will come from the success of others?” with a resounding “Yes!”

2. They relentlessly seek new experiences.

Novelty seeking—getting bored easily and throwing yourself into new pursuits or activities – is often linked to gambling, drug abuse, attention deficit disorder, and leaping out of perfectly good airplanes without a parachute.

via 9 Qualities of Amazing Entrepreneurs.

At the core of my bliss is the ability to help people non stop. It’s the flexibility to work as much as I want. It’s the ability to spend my time with the type of soul centered, smart and innovative people who I’ve always wanted to surround myself with. What are the qualities that make you an amazing entrepreneur?

Need more chicken soup for your biz? Follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook or connect with me on LinkedIn –and let’s talk!