Speaking is not difficult for me, and I believe I have some great messages to share. But you have to figure out who will pay you money. I had an idea, I had a product—me— but I didn’t have a market.
Years ago I connected with a group that did a lot of training around relationships. The group used to run our Oklahoma marriage initiative. There was a lot of grant funding, so I did a lot of subcontract work with groups.
But in the midst of that, I wanted to share my own message! So I had to figure out who would give me cash for that effort.
While hunting for someone who would pay me for my message, I landed upon the Oklahoma HR conference. They had an open call for speakers, so I thought to myself, “I can go do that.”
That got me in the door, and it went surprisingly well. If you’ve not hung out with HR people, they tend not to be the most exuberant individuals. They don’t have as much zaniness to them as I do. So they liked me, and it went well!
Not only that, but they started introducing me to the companies they worked for. I thought to myself, “You know what? I can hang out in this world!” So I found a market through the Oklahoma HR, and I’m still a big fan of their community.
Then I said to myself, “I should go to other states! Every state has an HR organization.” So I started reaching out to these other organizations, because my thought was that all I needed was one client from each speaking engagement, and it would pay for itself. So my marketing became speaking at HR conferences, because everyone in the audience was a potential client.
Getting in front of a room of potential clients is a huge opportunity! What are you doing to get in front of a room of your potential clients?
It made a big difference in my business, because that organization that was having me do training around relationships lost their grant money! But I’d already started building my business by getting in front of rooms filled with my potential clients.