If you are a speaker and your business is up and going at all, you can quickly find yourself wearing any or all of these hats (and more):
- Public Speaker
- Marketer of Your Speaking Services
- Information Product Developer
- Shipping Manager
- Customer Service Manager
- Order Taker
- Travel Planner
- Website Designer
So, you have to ask yourself which of these hats you should be wearing. Where should you be applying your time and efforts to maximize your speaking business? In other words, how can you achieve leverage?
When you are starting out there are certainly some things that you will need to do for yourself. You should have
an understanding of all the processes involved with your speaking business.
But, if your business is growing, you will quickly find out that too much of your time is being spent on the mundane tasks—preparing event materials, running down to the post office or UPS, packaging things together, making travel arrangements, etc.
This means you are probably not spending your time where you get the biggest bang for your buck—marketing your products and services and doing the actual speaking.
So when is the right time to outsource any of the non-key tasks? Ultimately, you will have to decide when that time is for yourself. But what do you value your time at? $50 per hour, $100 per hour, $200 per hour, more? Then how long does it make sense for you to be spending your time doing $10 or $20 per hour tasks?
If you are spending an hour per day running products to the post office that is one hour you are not investing in your real bread and butter. And what is your opportunity cost? The time you are spending on a $10 an hour task is time that is lost forever.
When you are spending time working in your business rather than working on your business then opportunities will slip by without you even noticing them.
There is a time when outsourcing certain tasks makes perfect sense—both from a time management standpoint and from a financial standpoint.
So, when is that time right for you?
As you work to grow your speaking business, if you think you can do it all yourself, you are only kidding yourself. There are probably many things you are doing that you should really outsource if you want to grow your business even faster.
Virtual assistants are available to handle many of your routine tasks. This can allow you to focus your efforts on the more valuable activities of speaking, sales and marketing and product creation. Services like UpWork, Freelancer, and Fiverr can be utilized to help with product creation. Ghostwriters can write content for you.
But outsourcing is not the only way you can get leverage for building your speaking business. It is not the only business “amplifier” available to you. At some point in time, it may make sense to hire an actual employee.
Also, software tools can be considered business “amplifiers.” A software tool that allows you to automate a process that saves you time on a regular basis is also a business amplifier and this further allows you to leverage your time.
You will definitely want to have in place an excellent email autoresponder follow up system that can communicate with your prospects automatically. You simply pre-write and load into the system your messages and much of your follow-up work is handled automatically for you.
There are many systems available—Constant Contact, aWeber, Get Response, Infusionsoft and even my own Red Oak Cart (see http://RedOakCart.com).
An email autoresponder system becomes especially valuable once you have built up a large following. There are times when you will want to communicate with your followers (what marketing legend Dan Kennedy calls your “herd”) and autoresponders are the way to go.
Another consideration regarding leverage is making sure that as you grow your organization you have in place well developed and documented processes and procedures. Your staff, whether they are actual employees or virtual assistants, should be well-trained and do things in a consistent manner.
Spending time constantly redoing things or being so unorganized you waste time trying to find the things you need are both productivity killers. These are not the ways you want to leverage your efforts.
By its very nature public speaking is a leveraged activity. When you are speaking to many people rather than just to one you are employing leverage. But also think about
how you can use tools like pre-recorded webinars to deliver presentations for you automatically that do not require you to travel somewhere in order to deliver your message.
Once you have honed your live presentations to where the response to your call to action from your presentation whether it is the sale of a product or service or simply an invitation to join your email list—has been maximized then definitely look at pre-recorded webinars as a valuable way to further leverage your time.
Remember, only you can decide what tasks and when things should be outsourced in order to leverage your time more effectively. There may be some things you love doing so much that you want to continue doing them even though you know they are probably not worthy of your time. But it is YOUR speaking business and you are the one calling the shots.
We know a guy who is a speaker who also sells products online who loves running down to the post office every afternoon.
It is his mental break from the rigors of his day. And that is okay—he is his own boss.
Another big-time speaker we know loves to do his own graphics and his own websites. And has so for years. (You might even know who I’m talking about.) He continues to do them because they are tasks he finds enjoyable—even if they are not necessarily the most efficient use of his time.
There is a term bantered about frequently in the information marketing world called “repurposing.” It means taking content you have already creating and using it again in other ways.
For example, when you are a speaker you might have a stage presentation recorded. You can have that presentation transcribed and turned into articles you can use to help
market your speaking services. Or maybe you can burn your presentation to a DVD and sell it as a separate product. So people can experience your presentation without you having to do it live. Both are examples of repurposing.
Repurposing is just another example of leverage. Rather than starting with a blank slate every time look at the content you have already created. Figure out how you can reuse it in your marketing or as a product that you sell.
So, in summary, keep in mind that leverage can come from many different sources:
- Automated Webinars
- Repurposing of Content
- Standardized Processes and Procedures
If you are serious about building your speaking business then you will want to employ many different business amplifiers. Leverage is a critical component of building any business, including your speaking business.