What do you do when you feel like you've been doing a lot of work to put yourself out there speaking, but it's not actually driving leads? I recently got a question around whether or not guest speaking was a big fat waste of time. Today, I answer this question head on and share insights on what I learned in 2020 (including how many guest speaking events I did in 2020). Plus share specific questions to help you troubleshoot when you feel stuck.
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Is guest speaking a waste of time? And hello, you're asking a speaking coach that question so you know my answer is going to be no. But is it? Here's the thing, guest speaking could be a big fat waste of time. What she says? How the hell is Heather saying that when she believes that guest speaking is a strategy? Well, friend, before you can answer this question for yourself, you have to say, do I know what I want speaking to do for my business? Oh my goodness, I can't tell you how many conversations I see in private Facebook groups with people saying, 'hey, I want to get out and be a guest,' 'Hey, does somebody want to be a guest inside of my program?' And so often you see people doing interview after interview on podcasts or guest speaking after guest speaking, meanwhile, they have no money in the bank, their email list doesn't have anyone on it, and they can't get anyone to buy my program. I may have just hit a nerve there, if you are fit in that category where you feel like you've been doing a lot of work to get yourself out there. You've done the podcast interviews, you're doing the Facebook Lives every week, but it's not working. It's not actually driving lead so of course it steals like guest speaking is a waste of time. Or maybe you're thinking or maybe you're hiding behind the safety net of saying, I'm doing the activities, but it's not working so of course, it's the process that works. Well let me give you a couple questions to help you navigate this so you can troubleshoot what's not working, if you are in that bucket or if you are thinking about adding guest speaking into your business. Let me give you a quick few qualifiers, these questions are going to help you make sure that you do it the right way and you don't waste a bunch of time expecting to get leads back in your business but then sitting there lonely, waiting, and not being able to pay your Kajabi bill. Let's figure out how to do this with intention.
Well, hey friend, welcome to another episode of the Heather Sager Show. I'm Heather and I believe that people don't connect with marketing, they connect with other people. So if you want others to see you as a go to authority, you've got to start showing up using your voice and sharing your message with intention. So consider this show right here your new playground to become an influential speaker so that you can actually start making strides towards that dream on your vision board. Let's go.
Well, hey friend, welcome back to another episode of the Heather Sager Show. Happy Happy Holidays to you! What epic year we have had. In today's episode, I'm gonna do a little reflection to share with you what worked and what didn't in terms of live and virtual speaking in my business in 2020. And we'll take the lessons learned into next year because hello, things are gonna stay virtual for quite some time. This episode is inspired by a question I got recently, which is, 'Heather isn't just guest speaking a big fat waste of time?' It seems like there's a lot of hoopla around putting together a presentation, and pitching, and booking and trying to do all these things. Wouldn't my time be better spent in other areas of my business? And friend, I'm going to answer this question directly head on today and give you some insights around what I learned this last year. But before we dive in, if you're new to the show, welcome! Super excited to have you here. Be sure if you're thinking about speaking in 2021, note that it is virtually, you're going to want to have a plan. You are going to want to have a frickin plan because I don't want speaking to be a time waster for you. Every ounce of energy you put into driving more visibility and more leads in your business, it should have a strategy behind it and if you would like help developing what your speaking strategy is, and how to actually fill your programs with actual qualified leads, people who want to work with you, I believe you could do that through speaking. If you want to learn how to fill up your programs by being a guest speaker, even if you don't have a large following, be sure to head over to heathersager.com/masterclass. I'm going to teach you how to do that in my free training how to build your authority as a speaker without second guessing what you say so head on over and grab that, heather sager.com/masterclass.
Okay, now let's dive into the big question is guest speaking a waste of time, and hello, you're asking a speaking coach that question so you know my answer is going to be no. But is it? Here's the thing, guest speaking could be a big fat waste of time. What she says? How the hell is Heather saying that when she believes that guest speaking is a strategy? Well, friend, before you can answer this question for yourself, you have to say, do I know what I want speaking to do for my business? Oh my goodness, I can't tell you how many conversations I see in private Facebook groups where people say, 'hey, I want to get out and be a guest,' 'hey does somebody want to be a guest inside of my program?' And so often you see people doing interview after interview on podcasts or guest speaking after guest speaking, meanwhile, they have no money in the bank, their email list doesn't have anyone on it, and they can't get anyone to buy my program. I may have just hit a nerve there. If you are fit in that category where you feel like you've been doing a lot of work to get yourself out there. You've done the podcast interviews, you're doing the Facebook lights every week, but it's not working. It's not actually driving leads. So of course, it feels like guest speaking is a waste of time. Or maybe you're thinking or maybe you're hiding behind the safety net of saying, I'm doing the activities, but it's not working. So of course, it's the process that works.
Well, let me give you a couple questions to help you navigate this so you can troubleshoot what's not working, if you are in that bucket. Or if you are thinking about adding guests speaking into your business, let me give you a quick few qualifiers. These questions are going to help you make sure that you do it the right way and you don't waste a bunch of time expecting to get leads back in your business but then sitting there lonely, waiting, and not being able to pay your kajabi bill, like let's figure out how to do this with intention.
Here's what I want you thinking about. If you don't understand how you're going to measure success of speaking, of course, you are not going to get the results you want. And what I mean by this is so often, entrepreneurs just think that magically putting your face out there, if I could just book the big podcast, if I could just get on a stage in front of people, people could just hear me speak, then my business will be transformed, then I will have a flood of leads and everything will be gravy. And hey friend like that could work. But let's not just throw out like imaginatory, is that a word? Imaginatory? I'm going to make that a word, just like these big crazy ideas hoping that it will play out. Let's actually be strategic here and connect the dots. The first question I want you to ask yourself is how will you measure success with speaking? And let me be clear on this, I think the mistake that many people make is they go, oh speaking has to equate exactly to sales. So let's just sell from the stage. Here's the thing, I'm not a big believer of somebody who's selling from the stage is their top strategy. I mean, if they want to do it great. It's just not a strategy that feels aligned for me and my business.
I quite frankly, am turned off by speakers who are always selling from the stage. It's a platform that I believe that there is a time and place to sell from the stage. I think it's sometimes like, especially if you're hosting your own live event and you're pitching a high-end coaching program, have a phenomenal event that has value whether or not they buy your pitch. But yes, it's appropriate for you, if you have a low-cost event to sell your product. Same thing on a webinar, as long as you have great value. Yes, you can sell from the stage. But I believe that speaking is far more than that. You have to understand how you're gonna measure success. Are you gonna measure success through gaining leads? Is it going to be booking sales? Are you going to measure success by getting paid to speak? Are you going to measure success by just getting your name out there? This is something that I want to bring up here for a big hot moment.
So when I look at my 2020 speaking schedule, looking back here in 2020, I spoke at 30 events or to 30 guest speaking appearances. That is in addition to my weekly podcast, in addition to my Facebook Lives, in addition to all of my platforms, but on guest stages I did 30. For some of you that might seem like a bajillion, for some of you, you might be like, oh, that's not very many. For me, it was a perfect number for this year because holy crap balls, this year was crazy town. So how that broke out in my business is I did 15 live interviews, so mostly on podcasts, but a few of those were on Facebook shows. I did seven live workshops, meaning I went live in someone's group or in someone's program and did a training. I did three pre-recorded guest speaking, so trainings. And then I did five live in-person events. We both know that in-person events went down the pooper after March. So in the first quarter, and I think I did one later in the year at a very small mastermind. But the rest of those four were live in-person workshops and keynotes that I did for companies in the first quarter. So that breaks down to 30 speaking events.
Let me tell you, when I look at all of these, each of them had a clear strategy. The live in-person ones, those were paid speaking appearances. So I collected a speaking fee for each of those. Check mark. Boom. Success. For the other ones, the podcast interviews, the live workshops, the pre-recorded things that I did as bonuses in other people's programs. I measure success in a couple different ways. Way number one is yes, of course, I would love to have leads but that is not always my central strategy. For me, a huge part of 2020 was positioning. What do I mean by positioning? I need to get my name out there more so people start noticing Heather Sager. She's a speaking coach that you want to work with. I want people to start seeing that. So I need to have activity to showcase that I'm a big freakin deal, as are you, my friend. So part of how I measured success in 2020 was my engagement with my audiences. What I mean by that? Every appearance that I did in 2020, I shouted it from the rooftop, on my Instagram stories, on my Facebook, on my email list. Even on here, I published some of those interviews on my podcast. I wanted to make it known, Heather is a guest speaker and here is me in action. Oh, by the way, here's me speaking on the same stage as Tarzan Kay, oh, by the way, here's me speaking on the same stage as Tyler McCall, oh, by the way, here's me speaking on the same stage as insert other person here. I'm associating myself, positioning myself as a premier provider for my audience.
So here's the thing, speaking isn't always about directly driving leads. Sometimes it's about elevating the perception your existing audience has for you. So you'll be able to post on your Instagram stories, Hey, I just finished an interview for the XYZ podcast, can't wait to see that come out here in the next couple months. Keep you posted. Boom, little piece of content dripped showing credibility and authority on your Instagram stories. Months later, when it's released. I'm super excited for this podcast interview, it went live, here are a few bullet points, boom, drip it out to your audience. Authority piece pulls them closer to you. Then maybe again, in a couple months, you publish that same interview on your platforms, three times, one appearance, all of which you are elevating your position and authority with your audience. This to me was a very, very important strategy for 2020. And if you follow me online, you probably saw this in play. In fact, it might be one of the reasons why you invest in my programs.
So I want you to think about how will you measure success. If you measure success solely on revenue and leads, that is one way to do it and I definitely recommend that you track those things. But I also want to encourage you to think about what are the other ripple effects of speaking and how will that serve your existing audience and attract new audiences to you? So question number one, how will I measure success
Question number two, this isn't just like pie in the sky. Oh, it feels great to tell people we speak, you have to track your results. So question two, how will I track my results? Okay, so what do I mean by this? Friend, you need a tracker. Not to make this all like, yeah, I'm gonna boil it down and get geeky here for a moment, your business needs to have a tracker. Your speaking needs to have a tracker. So for me, I do my tracking, you can do it in either Google Sheets, Excel, I use my project management tool for this so I use monday.com as my project management tool. I have a list of all of the speaking appearances that I have, that I've done, and I have coming up. It's what we call my visibility tracker. So it's where I keep track of the podcasts or the events that I am targeting to get on their radar to pitch. And it's a list of all the things that I've already done. On here we're tracking different things. We're tracking to make sure that we follow the process to ensure the content I deliver at that event is intentional and helps me hit my goals. It also helps me track the results of those. So meaning, specifically, we track our Instagram following before and after a live event. We track our email list, specifically our opt in that I share at that live speaking event, before and after. We're looking at those metrics to see exactly how did the dial move from that event? Sometimes it doesn't move at all. Sometimes it moves in a big way. But you have to figure out what are you going to measure? And that's based off of like the question, What am I going to measure? But now you have to track it, right? It's one thing to say, I want speaking to create more leads. But if you don't actually pay attention, then yes, you might just be wasting time. Because if you're not tracking the results of what you do, you actually can't quantify where whether or not your energy into things is serving you. So I want you to think about one how you get to measure it. And two, how are you actually going to track those results? Because if you're not tracking it, you can't answer the question, whether or not you're wasting your own time.
Okay, that brings me to question three, which is the big one, which is how will you improve your process? How will you improve your process? So, first and foremost, if you're not tracking and didn't have measuring, you already know, right now, easy way to improve your processes is to start measuring, right? But if you are measuring or say you start measuring, and you go by a couple months, let's say, you book a guest speaking event, you get on a podcast, maybe you just get a few under your belt, the question starts becoming you're looking at it going, huh? Okay, it's not really moving at the pace that I want. Well, now you can start asking questions around how to make it better. Here are two questions, I'll give you the bonus that you can ask to know what to do differently. So number one, I would ask myself, is it the right audience? Was I in front of the right audience, meaning that the audience at the event or the podcast you were speaking at, did it actually align with who you serve. Let me give you an example of this. This year, I did a lot of speaking for friends of friends or students in my program, who wanted me to come into their programs and talk about getting confident on camera, how to get over your fear of the camera and show up more on Instagram stories.
Well, let me tell you this, like so they were friends or colleagues or clients so of course, I did it. I wanted to do that for them. But it doesn't necessarily directly correlate to my core program, which is Speak Up to Level Up where I teach people how to create a signature talk, so that they can book guest speaking events that actually drive results back into their business. So knowing that, yes, it was my audience, but the blood of the audience members weren't necessarily the the person who would want to move forward and buy my product. They weren't quite there in business. I knew going into those, I wasn't going to have huge conversion results. Those people weren't going to be jumping to opt in to my freebies, that correlate with my program Speak Up to Level Up. If I wanted to improve the numbers coming out of those speaking events, I could ask the question going, Okay, maybe I do less speaking around that topic and for those audiences, and instead focus on audiences who are closer to the kind of entrepreneur that would want to be thinking about guest speaking their business right now. Does that make sense? So thinking about that piece?You want to check yourself by going, am I in front of the right audience?
Question number two, that I would ask if you are in front of the right audience, but your numbers or your results are still not where you want them, you have to ask yourself, Is my content, the right content, and this friend is the biggie. We're not going to solve this problem today. But you can least or ask us asking yourself questions around how to improve here. But what I find is most entrepreneurs talk about topics that are correlated to what they teach, but they are not directly aligned to what they sell. And the challenge that happens here is you do a really good job educating your audience, but then you educate them to go get help from someone else, because they don't actually understand what you do.
My solution for this I talk about this all the time, I believe that having a really strong signature talk is the secret to combating this issue. When you have a signature talk, you know that your content directly aligns to the revenue generators in your business. You know that you are giving enough information where you serve and add value but not too much for you overwhelming or solving all their problems where they don't need you anymore. You have to be able to find that balance when it comes to guest speaking. So if you are having challenges converting your audience or actually driving results, I would highly start thinking about what would it take for me to design and create a signature talk that actually serves as a magnet for my audiences to want to work with me. It also serves as a magnet for more people to want you to be a guest speaker. But I would start thinking about what would my signature talk about need to include so that other people were jumping to want to work with me.
Okay, this is a lot of information thrown at you, but it's to get your mind thinking about, okay, let's chalk up 2020 to whatever, right. It's pretty much gone, it's done. I want you to think about what works for you. If you did guest speaking last year, honor it. What works for you? What are you not going to do again? And how are you going to adjust your strategy in 2021 to get the results that you want? So remember, if you want to make sure that guest speaking is not a waste of time, but an actual driver for true leads in your business, ask yourself these three questions. One, how will I measure success? Two, how will I track the results? And three, how will I improve my process specifically, make sure that you're in front of the right audiences with the right content.
And Hey, friend, if you want to get some help with this inside my free masterclass training, I actually give you my magnetic talk formula, which are the elements needed to have a damn good signature talk so you can grab that free training which you can binge on right now at heathersager.com/masterclass. Jump in it get the goods you need to start creating a phenomenal signature talk and start attracting true leads in your business to fill your programs and let's make 2021 the year that you get seen. All right, friend Happy, Happy Holidays to you. And I will see you again in the next episode.
Hey, friends, thanks so much for listening to today's episode. If you liked what you had to hear, and you're looking to make a bigger splash with your brand online, then you've got to check out my brand new free video training. You can get it over at heathersager.com/minitraining where I'm going to teach you the three speaking strategies that every online business owner needs for this virtual world here in 2020 hint You don't have to be some big pro speaker to make speaking work for your business. Go grab it now. heathersager.com/minitraining and I'll see you on the next episode.