by Wendi J McNeill
Public Speakers: Are you a generalist or specialist?
Some will say Generalist because they “think” they can reach a wider audience hence producing a full schedule and higher income…I disagree. We all have heard the saying you can’t please everyone and such is the case even when you’re a speaker. You have a very unique gift and a solid knowledge base and you’re meant to serve only one type of audience, you have something to bring to a very specific group of people that will change their lives for the better. Now, granted if you’re a motivational speaker and are at celebrity status then you can choose to speak to whomever you like, but for most of you you’re not at that level in your speaking.
You need to specialize in one area and become an expert and well-known in this area only, this is so important and I can’t stress it enough. The trouble most speakers run into is that they are spreading themselves out way to far and with too many audiences and this causes frustration, disappointment and a big dent in your pocketbook.
If you can really niche yourself and know whom your meant to serve and who will benefit the most from it then you will grow a successful speaking business and much quicker. The bottom line is if you can determine your target audience, find the people who have the power to pay you and build relationships then you’re going to see your speaking business skyrocket.
I will use Charli Jane for example. We offer speaker services to public speakers, coaches, authors and entertainers…but I only coach speakers who are in their first 3 years of business. So I have determined my market: Public Speakers, Coaches and Authors and took it one step further and narrowed in on the speaking industry with beginning speakers only (first 3 years)
Say for example you’re an expert in helping moms, that’s wonderful but what type of moms? Stay at home, working, professional, single moms, moms raising teen daughters, moms with children of disabilities? And what kind of help will you give them? What will be your solution? Will it be how to successfully raise children with disabilities? How to connect with your teen daughter? How to take care of themselves when they’re so busy taking care of the family? Do you see where I’m going with this? You pick your market and then you narrow in and target a very specific group that has a very specific problem that you have a solution to. Trust me there are plenty of Associations, groups and organizations, more then you could ever imagine for every possible niche.
I do also want to forewarn you before you make the jump into a targeted market that you do your research, make sure it’s a paying market because although you may have a deep passion in one area it may not be something that will pay you right now. Research before you invest endless hours and hundreds of dollars in a market that just isn’t going to pay you.
This is one of the most important steps in beginning your speaking business and also for speakers who have started but are finding they’re not moving forward, possibly you are too much of a Generalist instead of a Specialist. Dig deeper and you will find that targeted audience you are meant to serve.
What are the benefits of being s Specialist? Many, such as you will become the chosen speaker in your niche market, the one they will call upon when they need a speaker. You have an answer, a solution to bring to a very targeted audience…find it and deliver it and you will see your speaking business grow quickly and your income soar. You will become known much quicker, you will build your credibility within this market and you definitely will have a fuller schedule.
Not sure what your niche is? Look at your own experiences in life whether it be personal or business, you do have something special to share and something that is meant to be only shared with a targeted group of people.
If you have trouble defining your niche, who you’re meant to serve, where to find them and if it’s a paying market then I am happy to assist you. Stay focused, set goals for yourself, make a plan, do your research, stay dedicated and you will do great things and help many…just don’t give up!