September 22, 2014

6 ways to make money as a speaker

6waySpeakerIf you hang around at public speaking seminars, in forums and LinkedIn groups, there’s one question you hear over and over:

“How can I get paid for speaking?”

Starry-eyed speakers dream about becoming a millionaire-speaker, gracing stages across the country.

Traveling via limo from one awe struck audience to another (fresh from a bouncy blow out or hot shave backstage, natch.) Like 80s supermodel Linda Evangelista, they won’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day.

The reality? Slightly less glamorous.

Corporations and event organizers have felt the recession squeeze and cut speaker’s budgets to keep their events in the black. Professionals are staying home, rather than enjoying company-funded junkets like the good old days.

Here’s a more likely picture of today’s professional speaker: schlepping a pull cart full of materials from one Radisson ball room to the next, earning fees that work out to slightly less than minimum wage when you include travel and prep time.

But don’t despair! These challenges mean that you might have to get a little creative in order to make bank as a public speaker.

Here are six ways to get paid for speaking:

1. Charge a fee.

Pretty straightforward, right? Set a fee for your time and get it.

For a lucky few, this is reality. Event organizers and corporate contacts already know your reputation and are willing to pay to have you share your message with their audience.

The reason this is challenging for many speakers is that conference organizers reserve the five figure fees for the keynoter – a well-known name (New York Times bestselling author, former athlete, political figure, CEO.) These headliners are expected to draw attendees, based on their name and reputation alone.

The breakout session speakers get paid in “exposure.”

To get a fee for speaking, you have to build a reputation as someone who delivers strong value during your sessions (testimonials and referrals required, people!)

Then, find the organizations that pay speakers. (Psst, here’s a list of ways to find speaking opportunities.)

2. Get a company to sponsor you. 

Sponsorship is a way for companies to get their name and message in front of a very targeted audience.

You provide the content, the sponsoring organization pays your fee – everybody wins!

3. Speak for free and “enroll” audience members into your marketing funnel, where you’ll eventually sell your services.

This is the approach that consulting firms and bigger ticket service providers tend to take. If you’ve signed up for a webinar sponsored by, say a webinar service like Citrix, you know that sooner or later a sales representative will call you to ask about your webinar service needs.

You can do this, too. But to make it work, you have to have a solid system for follow up. It’s most effective when you have a bigger ticket offering, because it may take weeks or months to get a new client from the event.

Savvy organizations use speaking as part of their long term strategy. Having company representatives speaking at meetings and conferences promotes the company’s name and image and keeps it top of mind for potential buyers.

4. Sell services from the stage.

If you sell a service, whether it’s consulting, coaching, website design, accounting or legal advice, you can make an offer to the audience.

A colleague who’s a fantastic speaker does something super simple: at the end of her speaking sessions, she makes a very low key offer (it’s delivered in 60 seconds or less) for a discounted coaching session.

The offer expires at the end of the event, creating urgency. She typically gets 5 to 15 takers, depending on the size of the event, which makes speaking profitable and it brings people more deeply into her message and her business.

5. Sell a book.

A book is that magical tool that does double duty: being a published author helps you snag the speaking engagement in the first place and provides you an income boost after you speak.

When audience members get value from hearing you speak, they want to extend that experience by taking a little piece of you home with them.

6. Sell a product.

No doubt you’ve heard a speaker give a talk and then offer a training program on six CDs. This happens most frequently in the motivational and personal development worlds, but don’t rule it out for your topic. Whatever you do, you can create a product that will help audience members who want to learn more.

Maybe it’s a guide, a set of checklists, an interview series or a training that goes deeper into your area of expertise. There’s no better time for a person to buy than when they’ve just heard you speak.

What’s the best choice for you?

Here’s the answer we all hate: it depends.

On you.
What your business or movement offers.
What you have created or can create.
What’s comfortable for you.

My advice is to give yourself options and be flexible. You may not be able to sell your products at an event, but you can find a way to collect information and follow up (immediately!) afterward. You do you.

Your Fame Boosting Assignment:

Go through this list and pick one way that you’ll make money as a speaker.

Think through the steps, and make a list of what you’ll need in order to put that option into action.

Then step onto the stage, superstar. Your fans are waiting.

Want to jump start your public speaking? Start here.

The no cost tool that gives you an unfair fame advantage

When you’re busy becoming famous in your field, you should use all the shortcuts you can find.

Why spend hours creating blog posts, videos, podcasts and newsletter content that languishes, alone and ignored?

It’s a beast to get your message to the masses if you don’t have the speaking gigs lined up.

And getting the attention of someone who’s already talking to the audience you want to reach? Priceless.

Luckily for you, future A-Lister, you can find out what’s popular, where the speaking opportunities are and who’s already talking to your perfect peeps. All in 10 minutes or less. For free. 

And free is always a beautiful thing.

This little miracle is BuzzSumo.com, a service that’s so good, I wanted to keep it all to myself. Just like online marketing expert, Larry Kim said:

I was initially a little reluctant to write this review, because BuzzSumo has become nothing short of my secret weapon when it comes to keeping on top of what’s going on in our industry. 

Here are three ways to use BuzzSumo to boost your fame factor:

1. Find the most popular topics

If you pump out content on the reg, you might find yourself struggling for something new to cover on your blogs, videos or podcast episodes. That’s where BuzzSumo can help.

Type your topic in the search box.

You can filter by type (handy!) which separates articles, infographics, videos, guest posts, interviews and giveaways.

BuzzSumo shows you the most popular (most shared) stuff online.

What can you do with this genius information? So, so much people! When you know what people already like, you can do more of what works.

Need an infographic for an article you’re writing? Bam! There it is. And you didn’t have to spend $1200 or 36 hours creating it. (Just be super cool – give proper credit and links.)

Example: find catchy headlines and create your own material using one of those as a model.

Use BuzzSumo to find popular content & great titles

Use BuzzSumo to find popular content & great titles

I searched for the topic, “public speaking.” Check out the #1 most popular article above, “What To Do 15 Minutes Before A Presentation” on the site, BusinessInsider.com. Because I already know that headline was popular, I can use the headline formula when writing my own post.

“What to do [time period] after a [event]” becomes…

“What to do 24 hours after a Presentation.”

“The one thing you must do 3 Days Before Your Next Speaking Gig” 

“What to Do One Hour after You Book a Speaking Opportunity”

2. Find speaking opportunities

How to find speaking opportunities with BuzzSumo

Find speaking opportunities with BuzzSumo

If you’re a speaker, this is huge: you can get speaking opportunities delivered right to your web browser with BuzzSumo.

In the search bar, enter phrases like “Call for Speakers” and “Call for Presenters” and your topic. You can filter the results to get only the most recent or collect them all to build your own roster of events.

3. Find influencers

BuzzSumo also lets you search for influencers – people who are active online, talking about your topic and have a big following (of your exact right people.)

Use BuzzSumo to find influential bloggers, companies and journalists in your topic area.

Use BuzzSumo to find influential bloggers, companies and journalists in your topic area.

Start by clicking on the big Influencer button at the top of the screen.

Enter your topic (I chose “public speaking.”)

Again, you can filter by type to see only the bloggers, journalists or “regular people” (love that one!)

For each result, check out their online stats and profile – is this person a public speaker, a trainer? Does she specialize in a particular niche, like real estate? There’s so much gold here!

Let your influencer stalking befriending begin!

Your Fame Boosting Assignment:

This week, check out BuzzSumo. (Relax, there’s no commitment – you get 10 searches before you even have to register for the free account.)

Pick one of the three tips above and take action today. In 10 minutes you could have your next three blog post titles, have applied for a speaking opportunity or connected with an influencer who will change your world.

C’mon, superstar. Get on this ridiculously valuable tool and use it to shine, shine, shine.

Slideshare: 5 ways to use this new & improved fame boosting tool

Famous in your field: 5 ways to use Slideshare to boost your fame onlineWith the major social media sites being swamped by marketers and paid promotions, are you wondering where an aspiring A-Lister can go to get a little love online?

I gotcha covered here:

It’s Slideshaaarrre! (Please read in Oprah’s announcing voice.)

Now, maybe you’re thinking that Slideshare.net is the ugly stepsister in the online fairy tale, but you’ve got to give this hidden beauty another chance. What started out as a place to share powerpoint presentations is growing into a bona fide media hub.

Here are a few reasons to give ‘er another look:

  • Slideshare is one of the top 150 sites on the internet. Lots of smart people visit the site to find information about topics they’re interested in.
  • With Facebook becoming a pay-for-play gated community, Slideshare is still a playground with plenty of open space for you to run.
  • Uploading presentations or documents to Slideshare increases your digital footprint, increasing the chances of someone finding you or your message.
  • Slideshare lets you build up love for your brilliance. Views of your uploads compound over time. Yesterday’s tweet, Facebook post or LinkedIn update might be in the digital graveyard, but Slideshare keeps your uploads fresh and visible on your profile, no matter when you uploaded them.

And the numbers just keep growing the longer your work is on the site.

One of my clients has been on the site for five years and has 25 uploads. Altogether, these presentations have been viewed by 53,760 people.

One presentation alone is about to break the 10K mark. That’s no small feat, when you consider that these are not just 140 characters, they’re entire presentations, packed with your ideas and advice.

And now it gets even better.

Slideshare is owned by LinkedIn, which is investing resources into making this site bigger and badder by the day. New features were just announced and will be rolling out one per month, starting in September.

  • Analytics – So you can who’s viewing your slides, how they found them and where they are.
  • Tricked out profiles – customizing your home base on Slideshare used to be a premium feature, but soon everybody will be doin’ it.
  • Multimedia – while it used to house Powerpoint presentations, you can now (or soon) upload video, documents (hello, magazine articles and blog posts) as well as infographics.

Wondering just what the heck to upload on this wunder tool?

Here are five ways to use Slideshare for your business or platform:

1. Explain an industry term.

This does two things for you: it helps potential customers find you and it shows them that you’ve got something valuable to share. Don’t assume that everyone knows what you know about your field or industry!

Slideshare example

This example explains two related terms that architects use all the time, green building and LEED. It’s fantastic because they’re industry-specific terms, but plenty of potential clients find them confusing.

2. Publish a How-To Guide

A Powerpoint/Keynote presentation is the perfect delivery vehicle to give step-by-step visual instructions.

3. Post a List

The top ten superfoods.

The five habits you must cultivate to live to 100.

The 25 most influential people in [insert your field here.]

Everybody loves a list. Fact.

4. Post a presentation you’ve already delivered.

Easy peasy. You’ve already made the preso, right? So use it again!

It boosts traffic and generates links to your website. Because Slideshare automatically creates a transcript that appears right below the slides for every presentation you upload, it’s a great SEO (search engine optimization) boost for those keywords you want to “own.” Snaps for simplicity.

5. Post your blog.

You’re gonna like this one, people. All you need is a freebie tool from PrintFriendly.com and you’re 60 seconds away from posting your blog to Slideshare.

And why not? Slideshare averages 60 million unique visitors a month and 215 million page views. Need help? Jump over here for a quick tutorial.

What are you waiting for? Get over to Slideshare and let your light shine, A Lister!

Your Fame Boosting Assignment:

Set up your free profile on Slideshare.net. If you’ve got a presentation you’ve already delivered, upload that baby!

The Ultimate Guide to Turn Media into Mania (and it won’t cost a thing)

autographWhen you’ve got a media hit – whether it’s an article published, an appearance on TV or a mention on a blog – you want to make the most of it.

But once the next issue it out, is it just “old news”? Or can you continue to get mileage from it?

You know what I’m going to say, right?

Don’t let that hit languish in cyberspace or tattered on lobby coffee table, like a shy kid at a dance, waiting to be noticed. Be a diva and demand that it be seen!

Here are eight ways to make the most of articles, media appearances and mentions:

1. Create or add it to your As Seen In section on your website homepage.

Boost your credibility instantly by showing where your thoughts and expertise have been featured. (Don’t hate on local coverage – it may actually hold more sway for your visitors!)

2. Add the As Seen In section to your marketing collateral:

Mention it in your bio, your company overview and put those logos on the back of your business card. Get that good stuff errywhere!

3. Send out snippets of your coverage in your newsletter, with a link to the article or video.

Who knows? You might need to add a whole In the News section to share the good stuff happening in your world.

4. Write a blog post about it. 

Share your your good news and the behind-the-scenes experience. We all love a good story and your readers are curious – they want to know how you did it and what was like.

How did it happen? Were you nervous? What did you think when you first saw the item, “live”? Who’d you tell first?

5. Mention it in another blog post (with a link, natch)

When it’s relevant to another post, you can mention your coverage with a link.

“…advice I shared in [drop media outlet name here]

6. Put it on social media:

  • Share snippets from the article as status updates.
  • Show your excitement about the media opportunity.
  • Send out a link to the item.
  • Quote yourself! These are now super simple to do with apps like InstaQuote, QuotesCover, PicMonkey or Canva (if you’re fancy.)
  • Post an image of the article, publication, or a screenshot if it’s video, with a link to the article.

7. Mention it on your email signature (if you have multiple articles or mentions, rotate them biweekly or monthly)

If you’re a Gmail user, you’ve got it covered with Wisestamp, a free Gmail extension that lets you promote your latest article, blog post or media mention.

8. Email your prospects

Maybe you have a short list of potential clients or customers that you know should work with you. It could be that your latest published article or appearance on local TV is just the shot of social proof they need to take action.

Send a short email:

Greetings!

[Friendly intro sentence or two.]

[Comment on something about them - an achievement, a change in their organization, etc. LinkedIn is great for this finding information like this.]

I wanted to catch up with you and share something fun that’s happened recently. I was featured/published in [link to media outlet] talking about [topic], and I’d love to get your ideas on this/your feedback.

Your Fame Boosting Assignment:

Dig into your archives for a media hit and do just one of the things on this list with it.

Ready, set, make your mark!

Public speakers: the three-step formula to get booked solid

Wanna speak more? Use the simple three step formula to get booked solid.

Wanna speak more? Use the simple three step formula to get booked solid.

Let’s start with a story.

I call it, “A Tale of Two Speakers.”

Let’s say that their names are Aidan and Steve.

Aidan is dynamic. Bold. Charismatic.

His speaking magnetism could out pull Tony Robbins, Steve Jobs and Oprah. (*Gasp*)

At the end of his talks, he’s mobbed by audience members wanting to buy his book and to schedule a (paid) coaching session with him. Each time that he speaks, at least three people in the audience recommend him as a speaker for future events.

It’s partly due to his message – it resonates with almost everyone and doesn’t apply only to a particular occupation or niche.

It’s mostly due to his charming, confident delivery and how he makes his audience members feel.

Then there’s Steve.

Steve is dynamic, too. Audiences also love his energy, empathy and wit. Each time he speaks, about 20% of audience members buy his book and a few sign up for his upcoming coaching event.

Who is the more successful public speaker?

Aidan speaks 5 or 6 times a year. (He wishes it were more, because that’s how he spreads his message and gets most of his clients.)

Steve? He speaks about 25 times a year.

What makes the difference between these two speakers? It all comes down to one thing – consistent marketing.

The best speakers, the most charismatic personalities get gigs without asking. But consistent marketing is the great leveler.

The speakers who get booked the most use a system to market their services, week in, week out. And so they speak, usually as often as they’d like.

A few months ago, a VIP List member named Ed, wrote in asking, “How easy is to break into public speaking?”

Well, Ed, it’s not hard, but to get booked for speaking opportunities before you’ve built your cult-like following, you gotta #werk!

There are three ingredients to create this Magical Mudslide of Speaking Opportunities cocktail:

  • Networking (online or in person)
  • Asking for the opportunity
  • Following up

Wanna make it easy on yourself? Create a system:

1. Research.

Schedule a certain day of the week, or time that you’ll research new opportunities and contacts. (Or give clear instructions to someone on your team to research new speaking opportunities each week.)

Steve tracks organizations and opportunities on spreadsheet. His college intern assistant updates the spreadsheet with new organizations or events and any new information about existing organizations.

Steve and his intern have a status update meeting each week. This keeps Steve up to date and keeps his speaking funnel full.

2. Reach out.

Call or send an email to these meeting organizers/event coordinators/new contacts and offer yourself as a speaker.

Include enough information to demonstrate your message’s fit with the audience and your skills.

To cover the consistent part, commit to doing it regularly. Once a week, every other week…you do you.

And set a number for yourself! “Each week, I will reach out to three new organizations or contacts.” Then, during your scheduled update meeting (even if the meeting is only with yourself), you can track your progress.

3. Follow up!

The fortune is in the follow up, my friend.

Anyone can send out a burst of emails to contacts and event organizers, but you’ll probably still be w-a-i-t-i-n-g for that reply while the Steves of the speaking world are getting booked.

Meeting planners, association staff and organization volunteers are BUSY. Help them pick you by staying in touch on the reg and showing that you’ve got exactly what their audience needs to improve their lives.

Here’s another genius nugget from Steve: during each of his speaking engagements, he asks the audience about other groups that could benefit from the information he shared. Then Steve’s assistant follows up with those people to book more gigs. Moneymaker.

Bam! Full speaking schedule leads to full client roster.

Your Fame Boosting Assignment:

This week, set up your system to book speaking opportunities. It doesn’t have to be fancy! Schedule a regular recurring time slot on your calendar to research, reach out and follow up. If you believe in your ideas and your message, you owe it to us to get it out there.

“I think you should be serious about what you do because this is it. This is the only life you’ve got.” Philip Seymour Hoffman.

Media Lingo Cheat Sheet – Magazine Edition

You want to be published in magazines, right? Having your wise words appear in a publication is a sure-fire way to boost your fame factor.

Famous in your field: media lingo cheat sheet - magazine editionBeing published is a credibility builder; after all, if a magazine editor thinks your story is important, then others will, too. (Plus, you get “As Seen In” bragging rights.)

Between print magazines and online publications, editors are jonesing for digital stacks of new material to fill their content quotas.

But – and I empathize with you here – you feel a little intimidated. Publishing is a different world, one with a lot of jargon.

I’ve got you covered with a media lingo cheat sheet. This one’s specifically on magazines.

Keep this cheat sheet handy, A Listers! It will do two important things for you:

1. Knowing what these industry terms mean will help you save time because you’ll know right away which publications to spend time on.

2. You’ll increase your chances of success by approaching the publications that are the best fit for the magic you have to share.

(Yes, I know there is loads of magazine lingo that I haven’t covered here. What I’ve highlighted are the terms that you need to know to research and contact publications. That other stuff is for people who want to work in the magazine/media industry, not us regular folk.)

And now that you’ve got this handy cheat sheet, you can approach editors with article ideas, in just a few easy steps.

Pitch

Pitch is a term you’ve probably heard often, even if you weren’t quite sure what it meant. A pitch is a communication (email/phone cal/letter/fax) created to deliver a story idea to a member of the media. “The pitch” is sometimes used for the story idea itself, too.

Editor 

An editor controls the content that goes into the magazine. At some publications, it’s also the person who reviews and edits the copy (the written material) for publication.

Editorial calendar

An editorial calendar is the listing of planned themes, features and topics for upcoming issues of a magazine or online publication. These calendars are often made available for advertisers (so that ads can be targeted), and may also be made with writers in mind.

Look for an editorial calendar on your targeted publication’s website, either on the writer’s submissions page, or perhaps even on pages targeted toward advertisers. That way, you’ll know what stories or articles to pitch.

Media kit

A media kit is a multi-page document that magazines use to promote themselves and to sell spots to advertisers. The media kit often includes the editorial calendar, information about the magazine’s readership and circulation. If you can’t find the editorial calendar on the publication’s website, look for the media kit – chances are, the editorial calendar’s included.  

By-line

A byline is the credit line for the author of a story. It can appear before the story, as typically does in newspapers, or at the end of the story. Important note: when you’re researching publications to pitch or to publish an article, find out if the outlet accepts by-lined articles. 

Some publications have a staff of writers and don’t accept contributions. That’s why you should never write your article before you’ve gotten the go-ahead from an editor!

Contributing editor              

A contributing editor or writer who is not magazine’s staff. It can be a writer who’s work is regularly published in that magazine or an expert in the industry who occasionally shares insights.

My by-line (or author box) as a contributing editor for ASPIRE magazine

Sidebar

A sidebar is portion of a story that is relevant but not necessary to the body of the story, such as data, a glossary, or a deeper explanation of a concept mentioned in the story. Usually it is set apart from the body of the article by a box or screen to make it stand out.

Editors dig these extras, so if you can offer sidebar material with your article, do it!

Masthead  

The masthead is the box that gives contact details of editors, publishers, and senior reporters in each publication’s issue. 

Different publishers put this information in different places: often it’s on the first few pages of the magazine, sometime on the contents page  and less often, on one of the pages near the back of a magazine.

Circulation 

A magazine’s circulation is the number of copies circulating on an average day, including subscriptions and news stand sales. Circulation is different from readership, which includes the publication’s circulation, multiplied by the average number of people who read each copy. For example, a magazine delivered to an office is often passed around among several people.

Frequency

Frequency is the the number of times a publication comes out in a period of time, such as daily, weekly, quarterly, etc.

Reach

A magazine’s reach is the geographic area of the audience and the number of readers who can access the publication. This is an especially important term to know if you are doing any advertising. Understand that the reach is the potential number of readers, not the actual number of readers. 

Advertorial

The word advertorial is a combination of advertisement and editorial (articles.) Advertorials are print advertisements designed to look like articles. As with an ad, the advertiser pays to place the content in the publication. Advertorials aren’t necessarily bad things, but if the publication asks you to place your article as an advertorial, you should know that it won’t be free.

Your Fame Boosting Assignment:

Double down and get that article published! We’re turning your signature into an autograph.

How to NOT spend all day on Google (cool tools inside)

Famous in your field tip: use Talkwalker and Mention to keep track of your name on Google, competitors, clients and find opportunities.

Famous in your field tip: use Talkwalker and Mention to keep track of your name on Google, competitors, clients and find opportunities.

When you want to keep track of certain ideas, events or people, what do you do?

You could kill a couple of hours every week (heck, every day) cruising the web, checking out your competitors, following your clients, filtering the latest news on your topic.

Or, you could have those need-to-know gems delivered straight to you, automatically.

Google Alerts seems to be a goner. But not to worry – I’ve got you covered!

While there are lots of paid services that will monitor the interwebs for you, I want to tell you about two free services, Talkwalker and Mention.

1. Talkwalker.com.

Talkwalker sifts through Google, news, blogs and delivers alerts straight to your inbox or RSS.

It’s super easy to use. Just set up an alert for a name, a word or phrase, choose how often you want to be notified of results and you’re done! The alerts are already on their way to you. Snaps for simplicity.

2. Mention.net

Like Talkwalker, Mention searches Google results, news and blog listings and delivers the responses to your inbox. Mention’s alert service lets you connect your social media accounts like Facebook, Twitter and Buffer so you know – without logging in – when someone has talked about you. You can even respond, directly from the Mention alert.

Take note: the free plan is pretty lean – one user, one alert (keyword or phrase) and 100 mentions per month.

Want a few ideas for using alert services like Talkwalker and Mention? I’m serving them up for you!

Speakers/Trainers/Coaches

Create alerts for:

  • Calls for Proposals and your topic. Boom! Speaking opportunities, delivered right to you.
  • Colleagues and competitors who speak to similar audiences as you. When you see that another speaker is
  • Events where you’d like to be a speaker. You’ll get the inside scoop on early planning
  • Meeting planners and event organizers. Just pop their names as an alert and keep up with their business moves.

Business owners

Create alerts for:

  • Your best clients. You’ll know when their name appears in the news and you fire off a quick call or email. The result? You’re top of mind and they are glowing, ’cause everybody loves to be noticed.
  • Keywords and phrases related to your products or services.
  • Your company’s name.
  • Your own name.
  • Journalists who cover your industry.

Professionals within a company

Create alerts for:

  • Keywords and phrases related to your area of expertise. Knowing the latest discoveries and trends in your field can help you wow your clients.
  • Your own company. Did an analyst or magazine editor just publish something about your company? Or, ugh, a disgruntled customer? Resolve it, stat!
  • Your own name. Building your digital footprint is vital to a successful and satisfying career.
  • Your clients – both the organizations and the individuals you interact with.
  • Competing individuals and companies.

Your Fame Boosting Assignment:

Fire up Talkwalker.com or Mention.net right now, and set up alerts for your name, your company’s name, your top 3-5 clients and the topic you want to be known for (define it narrowly, please, to avoid being flooded with hundreds of responses.)

Let’s go superstar!

The one thing the most persuasive people all do

Famous in your field tip: Want to convince people? Tell a story.

Want to convince people? Tell a story.

When you really need to convince someone to buy what you’re selling (literally or figuratively), what’s your go-to strategy?

Hands down, the best way to persuade is through stories.

I hear what you’re thinking, “Hey, my topic or presentation isn’t a soft skill like networking or leadership, it is SERIOUS. I need to share a lot of data to be credible. My audience needs to hear every fact.”

Wrong.

You may itch to crush your prospect/audience/staff under a wall of facts, believing that you can force them into choosing your design, buying your product, voting for you, or following you, but when used alone, facts will fail.

Your brain craves stories

In Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds, author Carmine Gallo analyzed more than 500 of the most popular TED (Technology, Education and Design) to determine what makes the most effective presentations so successful.

Here, he shares why telling stories is essential to persuading:

Bryan Stevenson, the speaker who earned the longest standing ovation in TED history spent 65 percent of his presentation telling stories. Brain scans reveal that stories stimulate and engage the human brain, helping the speaker connect with the audience and making it much more likely that the audience will agree with the speaker’s point of view.

(Bryan Stevenson, by the way, is a civil rights attorney who successfully argues cases in front of the U.S. Supreme Court. His topic – incarceration and capital punishment – is anything but “fluffy.”)

But the real question is, did Stevenson’s talk persuade someone to do something?

Yep. After his TED talk, viewers were so inspired, they donated a combined $1 million to his non-profit.

Bottom line: stories work.

Three kinds of stories

In Talk Like Ted, Gallo shares three kinds of stories that you can tell:

1. Personal stories 

Stories about you. Things you’ve done. Experiences you’ve had and their effects on you. Challenges you’ve faced. Discoveries you’ve made.

2. Stories about other people

These can be stories from people you know, historical figures or people who’ve been affected by your topic. Share their struggle, what they overcame and how they did it.

3. Stories about brand success

Marketing expert Seth Godin and New York Times bestselling author, Malcolm Gladwell both tell brand stories brilliantly.

Gladwell’s TED talk on the nature of choice and happiness could been packed with a bunch of dry research stats. But would 4.7 million (yeah, I said million) people have watched it? Not a chance.

Instead, he wrapped his argument inside a story about spaghetti sauce. And it was deliciously fascinating.

Yes, you CAN use stories in serious, “boring” or technical industries

I met an architect recently who was vying to win a project designing a high-end nursing home complex. During the project interview, after his competitors had trotted out stats about how many architects they had on staff and the number of square feet of buildings they’d designed, Jay started off with a quiet statement:

“My mother is 79 years old.”

He paused, while every member of the selection committee stared at him, riveted.

Jay then told a two-minute passionate story about his family’s personal and emotional struggle with the idea of putting his mother into a nursing home. Through his story, he conveyed how deeply invested he was in creating a nurturing, safe and healthy environment that would appeal to the future occupants and their families.

Hearts + minds, won.

Your Fame Boosting Assignment:

When you’re getting ready for your next sales pitch, stage talk or team meeting, spice it up with a story or two. There’s magic in your mind…you just have to let it out.

5 steps to score local media coverage

Welcome to Famous in Your Field! Here’s your free weekly tip to boost your fame factor. (Be sure to sign up in the box on the right to get on the VIP list for free tips and training, delivered straight to your inbox.) 

Get famous in your field: 5 steps to local media coverage

Get famous in your field: 5 steps to local media coverage

Local media is often your first and best place to go for publicity. Because your local newspaper is in the business of covering local events and people, reporters really do want to hear from you. Fact.

Before you dismiss because you’re holding out for “something bigger,” take note:  those freebie papers stacked all over town typically have more local readers than the national dailies. Becoming famous in your field often starts with being famous in your own ‘hood!

Today’s fame booster is to find local reporters.

1. First, look up your local newspaper’s website.

Once you’re there, look at the different sections of the paper. Where does your news belong? Here are some typical newspaper sections:

News

Business

Lifestyle or Home

Entertainment

Sports 

2. Next, find the staff listing or instructions on submitting your news.

Often you’ll find it through links at the top or bottom of the page. If you don’t see a link or button labeled “Submit News,” look for “Contact Us” or “Help.”

Once you’ve found the department or staff list, look for reporters assigned to the “beat” where your story belongs. Reporters who cover a specific beat are specialists reporting on a particular issue, sector organization or institution over time. Examples of beats include crime, City Hall, higher education, business, or real estate.

(Crain’s Detroit Business gives its readers a snappy tutorial on how to get your news in Crain’s. The guidelines apply to almost any media outlet.)

3. Research your reporter.

When you’ve found the reporter who covers your topic or metro area, go back to the newspaper’s home page, and search for the reporter’s name. Read the last five articles to get a feel for the types of stories the reporter writes.

Make note of the topic and how the article is structured. If the story features a business, does it also include quotes from customers? Competitors? Critics?

The more you can provide the reporter a full package, the more likely the reporter is to write about you. (Journalists are overworked and underpaid, so the easier you make their job, the more often they’ll turn to you for stories and commentary.)

4. Organize your “extras.”

Before you submit your news item, collect the contact information and permission of others who can “flesh out” the topic. It may be a few customers or a local college professor who can comment on a trend related to your business niche or expertise.

Do you have high quality pictures? Video? Or is there a photo opportunity in your story? Having good quality images ups your chances of being included by a big margin.

(Pro tip: be sure to get ‘em before you reach out to the media! Trying to stage photos or get them from another source will cost precious time. Before you know it, your story will be too old to print. Sad face.)

5. Increase your odds.   

Even after you have gathered as much information as you can from the web, you may need to call the paper for more info.

Here are some questions to ask:

  • What is the deadline for submitting news items and events?
  • How do they prefer to receive news releases: via online submission form? Email?
  • Is there a special web link or email address for submissions?
  • Should news releases be directed to the attention of a particular individual?
  • If they prefer email submissions, do they want the news release in the body of the email or as an attachment?
  • Do they accept photographs or only use those taken by their own photographers?
  • Is there a specific editor or reporter assigned to cover your field or topic? 

Your Fame Boosting Assignment:

Jump on Google and find the website of your favorite local publication. Follow these steps to zero in on the reporter who wants what you’ve got. It’s time for YOU to get found in the crowd.

You fascinate me (free gift inside)

Welcome to Famous in Your Field! Here’s your free weekly tip to boost your fame factor. (Be sure to sign up in the box on the right to get on the VIP list for free tips and training, delivered straight to your inbox.) 

How the World Sees You by Sally HogsheadDo you ever wonder what kind of impression you make on others?

What if you knew how others saw you, when you were at your very best?

I’ll bet that you’d be more confident. You’d have more clarity around what you do, how you do it and why it’s valuable. (Plus, you’d probably feel a bit happier.)

I’ve got the answers, right here!

Author and researcher Sally Hogshead studied more than 300,000 people to break down the hidden patterns behind communication and what types of messages are most likely to fascinate a customer or listener.

She created a quick online test, the Fascination Advantage, to determine the specific ways that an individual attracts and holds the interest of others. The Fascination Advantage is the first personality assessment developed based on the science of branding.

Now you might have taken a traditional test like Myers-Briggs, to understand your own psychology. What’s different about the Fascination Advantage is that while traditional “personality tests” focus on how you see the world, the Fascination Advantage tells you how the world sees you.

By knowing and using your Fascination Advantages, you’ll attract the right fans, followers and clients for your message or business.

Why do people need to discover their own value? Take it from Sally:

If you don’t feel confident about yourself, you play small. And when you play small, you lose. When you lose, you give up. We want people to play bigger, to play at their highest level, to become intensely valuable for the world around so they can make a bigger difference.

Here’s why I love the Fascination Advantage:

We spend too much time and energy trying to be different than we are. We try to “fix” what’s wrong with us and to fill in what we think is missing in our personalities. The Fascination Advantage highlights the factors that make your personality, your style stand out.

Once you know your Fascination Advantage, you’ll:

  • See yourself at your best
  • Boost your confidence
  • Hone your message
  • Know how to be your own best PR agent or just spice up your LinkedIn profile.

Best of all, you’ll be able to articulate to others why they should hire you (or book you as a speaker. Or promote you or buy your products. You get it.)

Sally Hogshead is publishing her new book How the World Sees You on July 1.

As a part of this project, she’s given me a special code (BL-LoriByron) to 
share with to you. The first 100 people who use it to take her Fascination Advantage® assessment will receive the assessment for free!

(The assessment is usually $37, but until July 25, 2014, it’s gratis.)

The best part is, you will trigger a chain reaction—a pay it forward situation. When you take the assessment using BL-LoriByron you will receive 100 assessments to share with your circle for free, too!

So how do you take the assessment? Simple.

1. Go to HowTheWorldSeesYou.com/YOU and use the code BL-LoriByron.

2. Once you’ve taken the assessment, Sally’s team will load 100 assessments into your new account. Rinse and repeat. (These would be great to share with your team, your colleagues or clients.)

When you take the Fascination Advantage online test, you’ll get a fun and visual report that details how your personality is uniquely hardwired to fascinate the people you encounter in business and life. There’s also a two-minute video, with Sally Hogshead describing your unique personality advantage.

Me? My Fascination Archetype is The Maestro – a combination of Power and Prestige advantages. Three adjectives that describe how the world sees me: ambitious, focused, compelling.

Your fame boosting assignment:

Log onto the website and take five minutes to get your own Fascination Advantage Report. You’ll be on your way standing out in the crowded marketplace.

More about you, please! What’s your Fascination Archetype? Take the quick test and tell me below.