Because of the Virtual VIP experience, I have a whole new routine where I spend like 30 minutes a day prospecting. It's made a huge difference in how many talks I have been able to line up.
I joined in July of 2021 because I’ve actually wanted to be a full-time speaker for a number of years. It’s always been a side gig and I knew at some point I would transition, but timing is everything right? I decided over the summer, okay it’s time to get serious about this and go for it. I was introduced to The Speaker Lab and in a matter of days I signed up. As soon as I made the decision to invest in myself and learn the business side of professional speaking, things started happening. I’m on a path now where I am confident I will be doing this full-time sooner rather than later.
One of the first things that was a big a-ha for me, and a big takeaway, was when we had to narrow down our focus and our niche.
Before working with Erick I was one of those people who thought, oh, I can talk to everybody about anything. That’s the direction I was going. So, having to seriously think about, okay, so what is my experience, what problem do I solve, and who is my target audience? Instead of just trying to speak to anybody, having to really identify and articulate those things was incredibly beneficial .
A lot of people who think they can speak to everyone about anything – like I did – tend to struggle getting booked and paid for events. I totally understand that there are so many different audiences and I have been speaking to several of them. But narrowing it down to one really gave me the confidence to be able to say, okay, this is where I’m going to focus. This is where I’m going to spend my energy and this is what I’m going after. Instead of just throwing darts at the wall and hoping anyone – someone – would hire me.
Erick gave us a lot of good tips around networking, communicating, and finding gigs with potential clients. Before, I didn’t really truly have a way of keeping up with contacts. I’ve been in sales myself and know you have to keep up with contacts, however, I wasn’t doing it for my own speaking business. That was another a-ha moment for me.
Erick also taught us how to create an abstract. As part of a homework assignment, I had to create and submit one, so I decided to also send it to some of my contacts. On the same day, within a 30 minute period, I had two speaking engagements booked! Plus, I have some other things that are in the works right now that are going to allow me to focus on my speaking career, full time. I would have never thought to send a formal abstract to someone. So there’s actually a recipe, a step-by-step process, that he teaches us. And that process is what is making all of this possible. It’s scary and exciting all at the same time.
My new normal as a professional speaker boils down to this: there’s a lot to do. I think people sometimes think that being a speaker is easy. There’s a lot of prep work involved. I’m spending a lot of time – a lot of nights and weekends – writing my talks.
So I believe my new normal is working the plan and going after the business I want. For years I just thought people would come find me – that I’d be discovered. But in the real world, it means putting ourselves out there and doing the work to be recognized as a professional.
Because of the Virtual VIP experience, I have a whole new routine where I spend like 30 minutes a day prospecting. It’s made a huge difference in how many talks I have been able to line up. Before it was hit or miss – I may have gone months without speaking. Today, I’m seeing just how important reaching out to my contacts is for continued growth. It’s a great new normal!
Virtual VIP with Erick it’s perfect for anyone who wants to get into the speaking business. People who, like me, know they want to make a career of speaking but just don’t know how to start. Before going through The Speaker Lab, I felt that a lot of these things were common sense, but it’s really not. You quickly realize that getting enough gigs to make it a career is a skill just like any other and that skill needs to be developed.
Eric is so available to us. If we have just an off-the-wall question about our business or a talk we are planning, we can Voxer him and he responds very quickly. It’s truly an added perk of being a part of the VIP program. You have that one-on-one coach available to help answer questions, as they come up.
I appreciate this program and I appreciate Eric tremendously.