As a marketing/PR __________ [keep reading to find out why that's blank], I often feel like one of my friends who once told me about her place in her profession, "Don't take this the wrong way, but it's hard for me to go to meetings where I can actually learn something. At the point I'm at in my career, I know almost everything. Most of the time, I'm taking notes on how the presenter could improve their material." So, her meeting calendar is well, fairly - if not wide, open.
That's how today started out for me. Was it really worth taking four hours to go hear someone else talk about growing your business? Then, my professor/research angel spoke up and said, "You don't know everything - especially about marketing a speaking business AND you do like to get dressed up and be with people. Besides, you need to get out the house. It's February and all activities have been canceled for two out of the last 10 days." So off I went.
While I won't go into all of the wonderful little encounters that only happen at one of these kinds of NSA-IL events, I will tell you what I told a client when he asked me how I was when I got back: "Really, really great."
So . . . who was the speaker?
That's me with Mark LeBlanc, current president of the National Speakers Association and author of "Growing Your Business." Mark flew in from southern California. Being a farm boy from Fertile, Minnesota, I hope he felt right at home in our snowy tundra. He says he's in the middle of the best year of his life and if his audiences follow his advice, they may beginning one of the best years of their own.
Top 10 Takeaways from my 16 pages of notes . . .
- Three reasons for failure: lack of clarity, lack of congruency and lack of consistency
- Hosting the Achiever's Circle weekend event is one of the best decisions Mark's ever made
- Become known to a single market - could be dentists, lumberyards, banks, schools, hospitals
- "The more focused you are the easier everything becomes. You tend to get what you focus on."
- Take a defined period of time to research a market: 90 days to 9 months
- Throw away the concept of a calendar year and think month by month
- 50% of all people hate the title "consultant" - this explains the blank space in the first line of the post
- Strip away titles - this is very liberating and dissolves pre-conceived notion
- Talk about your results and outcomes instead - I help business owners find their perfect client match so they can expand their customer community [just made that up to give you an idea]
- Give away a showcase/free speech once a month to your target audience
Mark recommends When God Winks: How the Power of Coincidence Guides Your Life by Squire Bushnell. I ordered this book and Mark's - and I dropped the title mantra mantle, which makes it so much easier to be open to learning and talking about what you do for your clients, rather than what people call you..
Try taking away your title and let me know how it works for you . . .