3 Key Things a Speaker Must Have!

In today’s business world there are 3 key things a speaker, or anyone operating a business, must have in place!

◊     “The List” of your clients/customers with a CRM system to manage it
◊     Social Media Strategy
◊     Automation of your entire business

These are so important, however we don’t see many people sharing about them, or if they are no one seems to be listening.

We are not fans of taking the “personal touch” out of our business relationships; but putting in place and maintaining these three things are the key to managing your time, resources, and meeting your goals.

Everyone shares all the time: “I don’t have enough time to do it all” Why is that?  For most it means not having a simple plan in place to keep you focused on doing the “right” things, which doesn’t mean “all” things!

Just as “everyone” is not your client, you have to determine who you are, what you do, and with whom you want and need to do business with.

Once those key pieces are in place then you can get these three things up and running, so that you are free to be able to do what you do best!

John Wooden was so right when he said: “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over? ”

Is now the time to get it right before you get any further along, and will have missed some great business opportunities?

Sue Falcone
CEO- Remarkable A Speakers Bureau

 

 

 

 

 

Time to Join a Speakers Bureau?

Recently I was asked by a well known marketing person, “when should a speaker think about joining a Speakers Bureau?”

I didn’t hesitate or blink an eye and said: “when they are already booking themselves consistently for paid events!”

That led to the next question: “what does a Speakers Bureau really do for a Speaker?”

With over 250 different speakers bureaus currently listed in the United States,  most are thought of only as a listing service rather than as an extension of a speakers’ marketing plan. The major benefit is that the bureau handles the billing and contract negotiation with the event planner.

This is why it is so important for a speaker to know how a bureau operates before they sign on and enable someone other than themselves to find and book speaking engagements for them.

Our interview continued with the question: “what should a speaker ask and have in place before they actually reach out to a speakers bureau?”

I agreed to share what we feel is key to a speakers’ success in choosing a speakers bureau.

  • Realize a speakers bureau does not take start up speakers, they have to be consistently booking themselves for paid speaking events.
  • Check with their speaker friends to see which ones they are listed with.
  • Ask them if they are happy with their bureau.
  • Determine how the speakers bureau will handle the billing and event contracts for them.
  • Understand there is no better booking agent than themselves, however a speakers bureau can give them more traffic and increased bookings.
  • Have a business plan where they see a speakers bureau is not a replacement for their marketing plan, it is only an extension of it.
  • Be very cautious about signing with a speakers bureau that wants a speaker  to be exclusive with them.
  • Determine how they are going to do business with a speakers bureau.  A lot of bureaus now do not have a signed agreement in place with the speakers they represent; but look at it this way, shouldn’t a speaker want one? As a speaker they have one with their clients, so why shouldn’t they have one with someone who is representing them to a client?
  • Make sure they have a total package to offer a speakers bureau, which they should already have in place, and includes:
    –   Being a paid professional speaker for at least two years
    –   Fee structure range
    –   Evidence of consistent bookings
    –   Social Media strategy in place
    –   Marketing materials- one sheet, professional photos, professional video clip,
    recommendations from clients,  list of paid clients, updated website, anything that would help a speakers bureau market them to event planners.
  • There is no guarantee a speakers bureau can get them bookings right away- timing is everything.
  • Know event planners seldom look to a speakers bureau for just one speaker, they usually want 3-5 speakers to look at before making a decision.
  • Choose a speakers bureau that has their best interests at heart, and wants to develop an open relationship of mutual cooperation.

This was a valuable interview experience for both of us.  We came away knowing most professional speakers and event planners still see the value of a speakers bureau, and want to work with those they “know, like, and trust.”   It is a great way to add increased bookings and marketing to a speakers’ business model.

Sue Falcone is the CEO of Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau. She has come full circle in her experience of being a former Corporate Executive that hired speakers, to becoming a sought-after speaker and author being hired, to now representing some of the most Remarkable speakers on the Planet for you to hire.  Sue is a well respected thought leader in the industry of professional speaking.

 

 

 

Are You in the BUT Mode?

How often do you use the word ‘but’…?

It is a powerful word when used occasionally to introduce something contrasting with what has already been mentioned, and, according to author Sean Dsouza, it can also become a defensive excuse for not taking responsibility for what happens in our lives!

Have you ever said “I would love to be living my dream, but I don’t have the money and opportunities others do?”  Or how about this one, “I have applied everywhere, but everyone says I am overqualified?” This one, which is specific to our industry, “I was the perfect speaker for that event, but they don’t pay speakers anymore.”

Or the classic, “I was the best candidate for the job, but I knew they wouldn’t hire me because of my age.”

What messages do these “buts” say about the person proclaiming it, and how are others supposed to react?  Words say what our mindset is feeling, and to keep in this mode is very distracting to others and can become devastation to the success we seek.

Is it possible to have a life with “no buts?”  Want to make a change? Here are some ways to begin:

  1. Recognize that you are being defensive and not taking responsibility for your actions so that the ‘buts’ win, both in your words and life.
  2. Take a look at your mindset and see if you are fixed on the failures or learning from the daily growth experiences that failure brings.
  3. Check out who you associate with. Do they allow the ‘buts’ to take over their mindset and words?
  4. Make a choice and decision to change.

Two words I am working at deleting from my own and others’ conversation and mindset are: ‘try’ instead do or do not,  and ‘but’ instead use and. Will you join me?

Sue Falcone
CEO- Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau

Is ‘Rest’ Important in Your Life?

rest-1Merry Christmas everyone, and hope you are having a wonderful holiday season.  As we take time to spend with family and friends living out the true meaning of the holiday, anyone find it hard to actually take time to “REST?”

Why is that? Medical science tells us we are more creative, productive, and will live longer when we value our ‘rest’ time as much as we do the hours we spend at work.

As a CEO of a thriving company, and a person that was brought up to love to work as my identity; resting is a struggle. Anyone else in the same situation?

According to the latest figures I am not alone. We, in America, are working longer work weeks, for longer span of our lifetimes, and feel resting is a luxury we cannot afford.

During this beautiful Christmas season of 2016 and beyond I am making a choice to not be like everyone else.  Can we choose to see the value of rest, and plan how we are going to make it a priority going forward?  This is not a matter of New Years’ ‘resolutions’, it is a priority of health, business success, wellness, and security.

Some tips to consider are:
1.      Find your worth and security that is not based on your work and achievement.
2.      Prioritize better and plan time for rest.
3.      Set definite work hours and quit on time.
4.      Organize your work and work space.
5.      Exercise regularly-no longer using work as an excuse not to do so.
6.      Spend time resting with your family and friends with no guilt.
7.      Spend less time in front of the TV which suggests we need to work more.
8.      Do something every day you love doing that is not related to your work.
9.      Create an easier lifestyle that focuses on the important and not the image of
always having to be working.

Wishing for you and your family, a wonderful Christmas, where you begin making a new way of life, where rest is valued and see how your work life becomes easier and less stressful!

 “I heard the bells on Christmas Day, their old familiar carols play, and wild and sweet the Word repeats, of peace on earth goodwill to men.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

 Have you heard the bells lately?

Sue Falcone-CEO
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Sponsored to Speak- by Julie Austin

sponsors2Like any industry, the speaking industry was bound to change. Anyone who has been in it for the past few years has seen it change dramatically in a short period of time. Now about half of all paid speaking jobs are free ones.

In other words, meeting planners will pay the people to sweep the floors at their events, but don’t pay the very people who are the heart and soul of the conference. Sometimes they simply don’t have the money in the budget.

After hearing this enough times, I decided to use my problem solving skills and 20 years of sponsorship experience to find another way for speakers to get paid without having to sell from the stage, which they won’t let you do anyway.

I started asking meeting planners if I could get my own sponsor. That way they get a good speaker for free, the audience isn’t “sold” to, the speaker gets paid, and the sponsor gets in front of their target audience. It’s a win-win for everyone.

Speaker sponsorship is a great way to add extra income to your paid speaking jobs, or you could create your own speaking career using sponsorship. There are two ways to make money from speaker sponsorship. One is to find sponsors for those free jobs. They are easy to find. Meeting planners always need good speakers who are willing to speak for free. Get the meeting planner to pay your expenses, and the sponsor pays your speaking fee. Then you promote the sponsor at the same time you are promoting yourself as a speaker.

The other way is to create your own speaking jobs. Put on your own events and get one or more sponsors to pay for it. This is how I got paid the very first time I spoke in public. I put on a job fair and made $2500 from sponsors. I got to deliver a 30 minute speech and made money without having to wait for a paid job. $2500 isn’t too bad for a first speaking job!

When other speakers started asking me how I got paid when they didn’t, I decided to put together a directory so that speakers and sponsors could meet each other for possible sponsorship. I then put together a 4 hour webinar to teach speakers how to get sponsorship and how to work with sponsors so they want to keep sponsoring them. It also includes dozens of ways to create unique speaking opportunities and ways to promote them. It comes with a one hour private coaching session, all templates, free crowd-funding, and a free one year listing in Speaker Sponsor.

Yes, the speaking industry has changed. But now you have more opportunities to create your own path as a speaker without having to wait for the phone to ring!

julieblackpic
Julie Austin is an Award-winning Speaker, Author, and Inventor/Innovator  with an International NASDAQ Winning Product.
To book Julie for your next event call us at 888-766-3155.

 

 

Go for the True Followers!

googlecanlearnSocial Media can work for any business if the right strategy, mindset, and work ethic is in place!

We have seen many people jump into Social Media thinking they do not have to interact or communicate with those that choose to follow them, and by just putting great content out there they will received increased business!

Or on the other hand, we have seen those that will not touch Social Media, stating there is no data indicating that it helps anyone at all, it is too time consuming, and a waste of time! Tell that one to the thousands that are seeing success every day!

You do not increase or grow your business by the quantity of the numbers you have following you, it is by the quality of people you have that are liking, sharing, and interacting with you that really counts.

Social Media makes it easier and faster to develop relationships with true followers, fans, and friends.

Make conscious choices of who you follow, and who you allow to follow you! Everyone is not your target audience, only those that like, trust, and want to get to know you!

Don’t write off Social Media as a fad, or that it doesn’t work for you, until you check out how you are approaching and working at it.

We believe in the value of Social Media both for those that are working or wanting to work for others, and all business owners!

Let’s choose to do it right!  Love to connect with you if you want to build a relationship where we can help you, and you see how you can help us.

Our friend, Zig Ziglar, had it right when he shared:
“You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want first!”

Have a Remarkable Social Media Week!

Sue Falcone
Founder and CEO
Simply Sue Speaks
Global Booking Agency

 

 

What’s the Choice? Change or Progress?

Dean Lindsay changeHappy Fall everyone, and things are certainly changing all around us!  From our weather to our clothes, we have to make some definite daily choices to keep thriving and  going.

Is it any different in our business world?  Change is happening daily, are we joining in or ignoring the facts?  It’s easy to keep doing the same things over and over again, but does that bring about improvements and better ways to do those things?

Our company is founded on “creating simpler and more successful lives”, so where does change come in? It’s not always simple to change or even think about it, but what are the benefits?

Ever met those people that felt change was not for them, and they seemed to ignore what was happening right in front of them? They seemed to be just drifting through their days and even complained that life was hard!

Change is a need and once the choice is made, it’s time to find the right experts to help develop a plan of action to improve, progress, and move towards the future while keeping the focus on keeping it simple and yes, FUN!

We love connecting people with the right experts to help them experience change and become more successful, while we also have to go through the same processes as do each of our clients!

We are preparing to announce some majors changes in our company, and we know what we have had to: look at, feel, experience, ask about, put in writing, and even plan to announce and promote it the right way.

One of our Remarkable Speakers, Dean Lindsay, showed us this about change:
“Change is Inevitable, Progress is a Choice!”

We are glad we listened to Dean’s message and made the choice of taking the time to understand how to progress and not just attempt to change overnight!

How will you handle the inevitable changes that arrive?

Sue Falcone
Founder and CEO
Simply Sue Speaks
Global Booking Agency

 

 

“How Passionate Business Storytelling Makes a Message Unforgettable” by Kelly Swanson

Your StoryI was speaking to a group of hotel managers in a program on how to motivate their employees to provide better customer service. In the opening, I pointed out that according to a 2016 Gallup poll, only 34.1 percent of American workers are engaged in the workplace.

And then I told them a story. It was about a woman I had heard singing as she worked in a hospital, and how I had heard her voice all the way from the parking lot. “Some sweet morning, when this day is over, I’ll fly away.” They were loud, staccato, jubilant notes of a life well lived.

When the automatic glass doors to the building opened, I could see her standing there holding her mop as if it were a beloved dance partner, as if her faded cotton dress were made of the finest silk. I watched her all throughout the day as she touched the lives of many. In the cold antiseptic corners of that hospital I saw pain find healing, watched sorrow meet comfort, and saw hopelessness find hope all wrapped up in a faded cotton dress and comfortable shoes.

That day, a woman full of blessings who smelled of bleach showed me what service looks like—and it didn’t come in a list, but in an attitude. The program continued on, and at the end I asked my audience who among them could remember what I had mentioned earlier about the poll and the percentage of employees it indicated were engaged in the workplace. Two hands went up. Then I asked if anyone could remember the song the woman in my story was singing.

Almost every hand went up. Nobody could remember the fact, but everyone remembered the story. That showed me how facts aren’t tied to emotions—but a story is. It is the greatest tool we have to connect and engage. Are all stories equal? No. I’ve watched speakers tell stories that captivated the entire room, and I watched them tell stories that put everybody to sleep.

Just having a story is not good enough. Apply the following tips to your stories and watch what happens. Understand how and why story works. Once you understand the psychology behind stories and their impact, it gets easier to write the ones that are most effective for you.

It starts with an understanding that listeners don’t take action without first having a visual. Therefore, their thoughts are not stored as words, but as images. For your data to have a lasting impact, it must be wrapped in an image for the listener to truly connect with, store and access later. The story does all the work. The point drives it home. Story trumps data.

Stop looking for a good story!  So many speakers ask, “Is this a good story?” That’s the wrong question. Don’t go looking for a “good” story. Look for one that your audience will connect with. An experience they can relate to. Then work on making it a good story.

 

kellyswansonKelly Swanson is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, motivational speaker, author, and trainer on the art and business of storytelling in business. She has spent fifteen years entertaining, motivating, and teaching audiences how to harness the power of their story to connect, influence, and get results.  To book Kelly for your next event click here: http://goo.gl/DFvROG

Can Social Media Replace the Personal Customer Touch?

social mediaHow many times have you heard  “we don’t have to make commitments to speak with our customers anymore, we just text, email, or send them a DM on their Twitter account!”

Really? Is that the only way a vibrant growing business, association, or non-profit communicates with their customers now? How many of our customers are still wanting to live in the “good old days” when you contacted a company you got a real person, or when you entered your favorite store someone greeted and asked to help you?  I am seeing more and more complaints and it has nothing to do with the age or stage!

People are wanting that special touch, along with being in touch on all forms of Social Media too! How can we provide both?  Here are some surprising, startling facts from the Office of Consumer Affairs and American Express that we need to know in order to plan our business strategy. Remember  “without a customer we don’t have a business!”

Did you know:

  • It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.
  • For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent. 
  • According to consumers, customer service agents failed to answer their questions 50% of the time.
  • 80% of Americans agree that smaller companies place a greater emphasis on customer service than large businesses.
  • In the last year, 67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration because they could not talk to a real person.
  • 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.
  • Almost 9 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience.
  • On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.
  • 59% of 25-34 year-olds share poor customer experiences online.
  • Failing to respond to a customer either by phone or social media is perhaps the absolute worst thing you could do.

The current data supports that our customers of today want to be valued, and appreciated and will even pay higher fees to receive the best experience possible! How you do that depends on the customer.

My company loves Social Media and the valuable contacts, fans, customers, and friends we connect with; but Social Media cannot replace what we still love more which is: hearing their voices, seeing their faces, and enjoying quality time with them to be able to serve them in the best possible way that they so richly deserve!

Getting to know our customers is so important! Can Social Media do that for us?  Lots of times it can get us on their radars, but we still have to take the time to reach and contact them one on one either by phone, in person, Skype, FaceTime or Zoom.  They need to know we are “real people” interested in them first-not just in what they can do for our businesses!

The main part of creating that great customer experience is to make sure we follow-up and do what we promise and commit to them, or they will go somewhere else!
We hope you have a wonderful Fall season and a great rest of the year! Finish strong and keep in mind that giving the best customer experience possible is the way to having more referrals that you didn’t even have to ask or market for!

Sue Falcone
Founder and CEO
Simply Sue Speaks Global Booking Agency