How to Begin Your Speaking Career

How to Begin Your Speaking Career

Speaking in Fort Lauderdale, FL at the Geralda Larkins Innovate Summit.

You know that you’ve been given the gift of empowerment and translating knowledge into speaking. You are ready to become a speaker. How do you begin a career as a speaker? Let’s answer that today.

So we’re going to start with a very short answer to a question.

Question: How do you begin a career as a speaker?

Answer: You don’t.

Let’s run this back to my personal story as how I became a speaker. I didn’t start a speaking career. I just simply began speaking and helping others through my voice. The most successful speakers speak from experience and life. I want to give you 4 winning tips to expand your influence as a speaker if you want to travel the nation and world speaking to others.Become successful in an area of your life that you can speak on.

Tip #1: Become successful in an area of your life that you can speak on

Great speakers are made from great stories. They speak from experience. You need an area of experience you can offer your expertise in. Get what I did there? Speakers have the ability to take the listener from a starting place to an end place. You are guiding the listener on a journey. As a speaker, you also want to have diverse topics you can speak on within your area of expertise. Start speaking and put out content showing your expertise. Make sure the content is good and that you record in a well-lit area.

  • Start a YouTube Channel where you begin to share your insight on topics
  • Post video content on IG TV, Linkedin, FB Page sharing your insight
  • Update your Linkedin page to include your passion for speaking and be sure to share insightful encouragement on Linkein in regards to your expertise
We look exhausted. This was me after 4 weeks of leading a 2 hour training (per week) on Dropshipping 101 for small business owners. This was in Wilmington,DE and was sponsored through the Women’s Business Center.

Tip #2: Prepare yourself to be booked

A speaker has a voice. People should be able to hear your voice and connect it to a face and a name. This means that your website should contain a speaker page with the following things:

  • Once you begin to establish speaker engagements: Add photos from speaking engagements, testimonials, and logos from organizations and events you’ve spoken at
  • Speaker Reel – this is a video showing clips from speaking engagements and sharing testimonials from others who have heard you speak
  • Booking Form – Include information such as name, organization, date(s) and time of event, address, expected amount of attendees, topic that they wish for you to speak on, ect.
Speaking in Atlanta,GA at the Confessions of A CEO One-Day Experience by Ty Lewis.

Tip #3: Upsell Your Speaking with Products

Never go to a speaking engagement without a way to leverage it somehow. Speaking for free isn’t a career. That’s a hobby where you don’t want to be paid for your skillset and that’s not what we want to do. I am the crusader for packaging your passion. When you go to speaking events, have product that they can either invest in physically or digitally. Here are some speaking tips on monetizing your stage.

  • Use a text keyword system where you can provide a keyword for people to enter in order to receive a special deal in their seats. Example: “I’m so excited about being here and my team has prepared a special bundle deal just for you. Simply text “speaktoday” to 12345 to get the exclusive link.”
  • When you obtain a speaking engagement, ask if a table will be provided where you can sell your products/services. Make sure your table has a way where people can sign up for your email list to stay in touch with you. You can also use the text keyword idea to promote quick sign-ups. Make sure you have a nice vendor table along with a way to collect payment (PayPal or Square reader). If you have a Shopify store for your e-commerce, use the Shopify reader. If you offer services, membership, or other services be sure to have some postcards and reading material people can take with them so they can learn more about what you offer.
  • 24 hours after the event, enter the emails from the event into your email marketing or lead system and do follow-up. Don’t allow people to forget your presence. This is apart of great branding. Send an email thanking them for being apart of your speaking experience and then be sure to offer a next step for them to take action – purchasing a book, course, ect.

Tip #4: Make great relationships & become a better speaker

If you want to keep yourself in the zone of speaking, nurture great relationships. If you want friends, make yourself friendly. Introduce yourself and support other people’s events.

  • Join a professional networking group on Meetup and meet new people
  • Connect with organizations and see how you can speak to their employees, students, volunteers, ect.
  • Reach out to event hosts and learn how you can become a speaker. If they say that they don’t accept speaker requests, move to the next event host. Don’t get offended. Every event has their own process of how they select their speakers. Remember that relationship is everything.
  • Join a local Toastmasters club in your area to strengthen your speaking skills
  • Make genuine connections with people and find ways to collaborate and partner in order to expand your influence

I hope that these four starting tips will help you walk in a successful career as a speaker. More tips and strategies are coming soon. Did you find some insight from this article that you can use to grow your speaking career? Have some tips and more ideas to share? Share them below in the comment section and let’s discuss!

Business Profile: Free Range Concepts

Business Profile: Free Range Concepts

(Featured Image from D Magazine) Noonan (Left) and Sepkowitz (Right)
One of the things that I want to begin highlighting are amazing and unique churches and businesses that I come across during my travels or through interaction via the digital space. For those of you who follow me on social media, you would have seen that I was in Houston recently. I visited a few spots that had very amazing behind-the-scenes business stories. If I’m enjoying a place as a customer, I love to research the story behind it. While in Houston, I went to Bowl & Barrel for a night of fun. It was definitely an experience. It’s like the southern version of Lucky Strike that we have on the North East. However, Bowl & Barrel is just one of the businesses within Free Range Concepts. When I read up on their other businesses, I was blown away. They have been truly creative in creating experiences for those who think that they are just coming for a bite to eat. It’s more than that if you’re stopping by a restaurant owned by Free Range Concepts.

Free Range Concepts | @gigihepburn

 

Business: Free Range Concepts

Profile Description: FreeRange Concepts’ founders, Kyle Noonan and Josh Sepkowitz, have a combined 20 years of experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry, including hospitality management, operations, acquisitions, divestures, and new store openings for multi-million-dollar concepts.

 

Free Range Concepts

 

Includes: Bowl & Barrel, Mutts, The General Public, The Rustic

Owners/Partners: Kyle Noonan and Josh Sepkowitz

Sector: Restaurant Management & Hospitality

Started: 2012

Cities: San Antonio, Dallas, Houston

First Year of Operation: $350,000

Second Year of Operation: $6 Million

Now: More than $20 Million (reaching corporation status) #BizGoals

What I love about this company is that they proved that you can indeed do business with people who are close to you. They never made decisions unless they agreed as a team. Sepkowitz handles the financials and the real estate portion while Noonan handles the branding and the operations. Sepkowitz was an investment banker on Wall Street before partnering with Noonan. Noonan came from operating and opening up locations under the Pappa’s brand. So imagine what happens when two people with this kind of experience comes together? The numbers that they’ve reached then aren’t so surprising. The one thing that I really admire is how they have the ability to turn something really amazing and make it a viable business. Ever had an idea for a business and thought it was a really good idea? They figure out what those good ideas are and make them into multi-million dollar businesses.

 

Free Range Concepts

The Concepts Broken Down

  1. Bowl & Barrel: Boutique bowling alley & tavern dishing locally sourced American eats, craft beers & cocktails.
  2. Mutts: Casual eats & craft beers served concession-style on a dog-friendly patio, plus an off-leash park.
  3. The General Public: Modern gastropub featuring elevated comfort classics, cocktails, wine & craft beer.
  4. The Rustic: Down-home venue with locally sourced American eats, Texas brews & an outdoor patio with live music.

My Takeaways

  • Use your experience and passion to do what you know you have the ability to do
  • Research and use tools to make that good idea something that can position you for success. Just because it’s a good idea doesn’t make it a good business move. If you’re going to go all in and take that risk, make sure you have some backup via research, funding, and more to make a solid move. Don’t be an idiot.
  • Approach the market with something unique and build the experience around your center focus.

 

Free Range Concepts

 

Some of their secrets include the following:

  • Talk to your customers to figure out what they desire as you create new concepts for business
  • They stay in their lane when it comes to their roles as partners

 

Want to read more on Free Range Concepts?

Article #1: http://www.dmagazine.com/publications/d-ceo/2016/january/freerange-concepts-kyle-noonan-josh-sepkowitz

Article #2: http://www.dallasnews.com/business/business/2014/12/04/freerange-restaurant-owners-get-ready-to-roam

 

Question (#LetsTalk): FreeRange Concepts has proven that unique business ideas can work. How have you used your creativity to create unique aspects for your own business or church?

Review for #MyPromoBox from VistaPrint

Review for #MyPromoBox from VistaPrint

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8lQ5pKSiCYQ
Here is my review of #MyPromoBox by VistaPrint. #MyPromoBox is a box of promotional goodies that VistaPrint sends you every month built by a profile that you setup on their site. You can choose colors, upload your logo, provide your tagline, address, and images that you upload representing your brand. Every month they will send you items built from that profile. These were the items that I received in #MyPromoBox.

What are your thoughts? Would you subscribe to a service like this for $29.99? Do you think it’s too high or too low or the perfect price? Do you like how they send you various items per month that they pick or would you rather be able to pick your items?

Bill Gates Didn’t Work Harder Than You

Bill Gates Didn’t Work Harder Than You

I know. It sounds crazy. It’s the truth though. Bill. Warren. Oprah. Beyonce. Sheryl. Sophia.
Anyone that you look up to who have made great strides in business eventually worked smarter not harder. I’ve seen many quotes that say “Beyonce or _____ has the same 24 hours as you” or something to that effect. We believe that if we negate sleep and “hustle” into the night that we will become successful. This is the farthest thing from the truth.

Point One: Wisdom and Application is what scales business not “hustle”.

It is a common fact that you have to work hard. We could talk all day but that isn’t something to applause or hand clap about. Hard work is the foundation. However, what happens past that? Past the networking, social media campaigns, great marketing strategies, ect. It’s the wisdom. The reason why many are frustrated when it comes to your business is that you’re discovering hard work isn’t enough. You have to get REALLY good at what you do and you have to make it appeal to enough people to turn your hobby into a business. Many business owners are working hard but their revenue stinks. Slaving into the night using the same techniques and strategies aren’t working anymore. It’s time to change the game plan. In order to do that you need to do the next step.

Point Two: Relationships and not just networking.

Who doesn’t love to network? If you’re a business owner or in corporate, networking is essential. Actually, everyone networks in some form or fashion. However, relationships are what build monumental partnerships. It places trust and builds something greater than just a handshake. You aren’t meant to connect with everyone. However, I truly believe in divine partnerships. I believe that there are people out there that have been “marked” as the keys to the next level in your business. Each level requires different relationships. You need to learn how to further your business beyond what you just see. You need to be with people who are thinking futuristically about the industry you are in.

Point Three: Scale, Sell, or Stay Where You Are (The Choice is Yours)

This is something that I’ve been talking about more and more. Not every business is meant nor created to scale. Every business is different. For instance the mom & pop shop that sells pizza down the street may never scale into a franchise. However, it wouldn’t hurt expanding to a few more locations. Maybe they don’t want to. It’s good to know what your end desire is and build it out from that. Many small biz owners that I know just want to make a few hundred grand as a “dream”. I know that because I look at how they work. They are working and building their business to stay as a small business with only a few employees. Watch how you’re building your business. Are you building it to grow or stay small forever? Do you want to be the one packaging all of the orders or just in one location or are you building with growth in mind. I believe that small businesses are the cornerstone of America’s economy. However, it’s important that we do learn how to scale our small into something that will last for a long time. Not every business has the goal to stay forever. Maybe your intention is to sell your company to a larger company. Is your company growing in that direction? Know what you want and grow it the way you have laid it out. Otherwise, you’ll stay in the same place forever. Who wants that?

Point Four: User Experience

The best companies in the marketplace have capitalized on ensuring that their customers/clients are having an awesome time. The greatest in business have learned how to give the customers what they want or create something that the customer doesn’t even think they need and turn it into an obsession. Learn how to do that. Learn how to make something people want and need in their lives. Businesses are meant to fill voids or create voids people don’t even know exist. That’s the goal. That’s how you build a business from a garage to a multi-billion dollar company. You create something that you’re good at and you work it until people can’t deny your greatness.

(Originally written for BusinessBabesOnline.com)

Starting A Mug/Journal Business

Starting A Mug/Journal Business

https://youtu.be/kwyVqe-t8CI
 

Hey guys! My goal is to upload and provide as much content as I can per week. With blog posts going out twice a week, I wanted to mix it up with some videos. I received a question from a friend who wanted to learn more about starting a mug and journal business. This video includes what I learned when I started my own business. If you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube channel, be sure to do that today!

Link: https://www.youtube.com/genesisdorsey

Sites Mentioned

Purchase Mugs & Journals in Bulk
(Look at total pricing, some companies charge for setup fees, ect.)
1. Discount Mugs: (Mugs) https://www.discountmugs.com/
Discount Mugs (Journals) https://www.discountmugs.com/category/custom-personalized-journals/

2. 4Imprint.com: (Mugs) https://www.4imprint.com/tag/110/Ceramic-Mugs
(Journals/Notebooks): https://www.4imprint.com/tag/119/Notebooks-and-Journals

Purchase Mugs in Small Amounts
1. York Photo: http://www.yorkphoto.com/SearchResultGrid.aspx?CategoryID=3340

Dropshipping + Print on Demand (Print & Ship)
1. Printful: https://www.theprintful.com/
2. Print Aura: https://printaura.com/
3. Spreadshirt: https://www.spreadshirt.com/ (Pays you according to their payment system. You do not receive your money immediately)

Self-publishing Your Journal
1. Blurb: http://www.blurb.com/

Family Matters: Establishing Family Meetings

Family Matters: Establishing Family Meetings

I’ll never forget it. Maybe it was about 10 years ago. My mother grabbed The World Is Flat and slapped it on the table.
“It’s time for family meeting”, she said.

At the time, I was 13. My brother was 12. I was trying to head outside and play. I had finished my homework and the sun was calling my name. However, that was the day everything changed our family dynamic. My mother and father introduced family meetings.

Family meetings are essential, at least in our family. You may call it old school but it has transformed how we function as a family. Even with life being different now, we still make time to all meet as a family and discuss everything imaginable. Here are some of the valuable lessons I learned through family meetings.

1. Family and business can mix if done correctly

Our family has a business in the education world. All of us contribute in some form or fashion. I left payroll about two years ago. However, in a few more years, I will return to take on greater responsibility as my parents get older. So even if I’m currently not there 24/7, I make sure that there isn’t a void that I am meant to fulfill. If you have children or work for your parents within the business, I’m sure we can relate in many ways. The one thing that I’ve learned is that lines must be established. Whatever role you serve in the office must be clear. I couldn’t pull the “Dad” card in the business meeting. My father always taught me that giving me the easy hand in the office would never make me the business woman I needed to be to run it in the future. When we had family meetings, we discussed everything pertaining to the office as a family. If we had ideas to contribute, we would present them to the group. There were several ideas that made it to the business side permanently like upgrading our site and implementing new marketing strategies. Even though my parents have a full staff, as a family, it’s still important to discuss these things as a private unit. It establishes trust in the tight bond that is there that only family can provide.

2. Family meetings are there as an outlet

There have been some “reality tv show” moments during some of our family meetings. However, that was what it was meant for. It was the permanent time in everyone’s schedule when we knew we could say exactly how we felt. Depending on how it’s laid out, we would have dinner together and have an agenda. We would have “open discussion” on the agenda at every meeting. That was when we let it rip. However, this was great because then we could also hear one another out and resolve our differences. Family meetings are a great format to resolve family issues and everyone is present.

3. It helped developed family culture

You may be great at developing a healthy company culture but family culture comes first. You can always start another business. You can’t start another family. The greatest thing that family meetings did was establish a sense of unity in where we were headed. Our lives as a family are all over the place. All of us are active in our own ventures along with staying together as a family. Getting everyone together in one room at a specific time can be challenging. However, it helped us become intentional about loving one another and respecting each other’s time. It helped us learn how to carry forth meetings professionally within the home. I’m not saying that we ran our meetings like a board room. However, we did pick books to read and my mother would print out pages from certain portions of the book and we would read it. John Maxwell became an easy family favorite. We also picked Malcolm Gladwell and have even brought in articles that were great family topics. We always focus on teamwork, communication, and love.

What if I don’t have kids?

The same things still apply. You don’t have to have children to set aside time with your partner and create some sort of family structure. Pick out a book to read as a pair and enjoy one another’s company aside from all the hustle and madness of the office. Discuss your schedules and your heart. What are you working on that you want to tell them about? What are their dreams? Are they still working on that idea they mentioned last week? These things matter.

Now what does this have to do with entrepreneurship?

Everything. Family dynamics are huge. At the end of our family meetings, we discuss what we have coming up for the week. If there’s an important event that one family member would like for us to support, we mark it. This is a great idea especially if you have a larger family.  I remember growing up and seeing my mother build their business. Soon, my father left his high paying job to support her. When it became the both of them, they explained to us the time that was being put into the business. Because of the family meetings and the right to express our heart, we understood the sacrifice they were making. Even in some of our readings, our parents connected them to their business. It helped us understand why they were doing what they loved. They brought us into the office and we grew up becoming a part of the not just the family but the business. This is why family meetings are important. It helps your children have an outlet to express their thoughts and desires in life period. It gives you a chance to share yours as well. As an entrepreneur it’s vital that we make time for our families.

Your first business is your home.

Never forget that. The return on the investment is greater than anything you could even find here on earth. Here’s to wonderful family conversations and yummy dinners!

So…tell me about your family traditions. Do you have a way for the family to connect on a weekly or monthly basis? Maybe we can get some ideas from one another!

See you at the top!

(Originally written for BusinessBabesOnline.com)