Yes, I’m going there. I wasn’t going to, and then an idea so perfect came to me that I just had to. I had to because 2020 (20/20) is a perfect metaphor for what you have to focus on this year to make it your best year yet as a professional public speaker. So, pardon the eyesight puns and the overused visions-related references, but this 2020 thing has me ID-ing your must-dos for this coming year if you want to see your business grow and watch your reputation as the go-to expert in your field get solidified.
It’s all about CLARITY.
You have to get clarity before you can reach the next level and I’m going to lay key areas for you to focus on. It is top on my own resolution list to see my Members, Clients & Readers achieve their dearest dreams and greatest goals this year like never before. And I know getting clear on the following is the way to do it.
Here are the top things to achieve clarity in with regards to your speaking business and career.
CLARITY OF MESSAGE
I don’t have to tell you that you begin the journey of a thousand speaker frequent flier miles with your message. But what so many emerging speakers misunderstand is that their message must be simple, direct and easily engaged with and readily accepted by their audience. I’ve seen time and time again where speakers have a convoluted message which doesn’t truly reach the hearts and minds of anyone. What they have to say may be very meaningful to themselves, but their delivery is so muddled that they fail to connect to their listeners. Sometimes, you might have to hire someone to help you hone your message and sometimes, you will need to get clarity on it through trial and error. You have to get clarity, though, for sure, because without it, you lose that one most important element to success as a speaker – authentic connection with your audience.
CLARITY OF NICHE & AUDIENCE
A way to help you gain clarity with your message is to identify your ideal audience. This can also be called defining your niche. Whatever you call it, you have to dig deep and be specific in whom you are trying to help and what they need most from you. Think of it as that “one person” you are trying to solve a great problem for. Who will fill the seats and buy your programs and products? Instead of thinking in terms of thousands of people, think of that one person and then niche yourself to reach him or her. When you do this, you tap into universal truths and needs that can then be made available to larger and larger numbers at your events and online or with memberships and group coaching.
CLARITY OF ONLINE PRESENCE
You reach your potential audiences the best with your online presence. Gone are the days of word-of-mouth where two people meet up and one tells the other about this great speaker she had at her conference last year. But don’t lose heart. Now it happens in a matter of seconds via tweets, and likes, and shares. This is great news for you – but only if you have a clearly laid out online presence. Make sure your speaker website is planner friendly, and that there is true clarity in how you present what you do. And be sure to point people there whenever you meet them. You must manage your online reputation and brand. Neglecting what’s “out there’ on the web for even a few days, can be detrimental if someone decides to troll you and post negative comments. Perhaps, this year is your year to invest in your social media management team? You don’t have to be everywhere, but wherever you are needs to be on message, on brand and someone needs to be on guard making sure the haters aren’t derailing all the work you’ve put into this part of your platform.
CLARITY OF PURPOSE
Take a moment and answer this question: Why am I doing all of this?
If you can’t answer that question immediately, concisely and with conviction, then you need to take a step back and get some much needed clarity of purpose. The “why” of what you’re doing is the driving force behind the “how”, “when”, “where” and “what”. Everything grows from your ”WHY”. Let’s face it, you’ve chosen a very difficult industry to be successful in. Unless you’re famous already or already at the very top of your field, you aren’t going to make major money right out of the gate. You can build a satisfying and sustainable income with your speaking business, but it is going to take hard work, dedication, determination, sacrifice and you’re going to get hurt some, too. So why do it? For your kids? For your parents? For the notoriety? For your audience? For the chance to really make a deep and lasting difference in the world? Whatever your “why” might be, you need to clearly define it and then carry it with you everywhere you go. When times are tough and you’re feeling discouraged, you can look at that WHY and know it’s not time to give up.
CLARITY OF VISION
For many people, putting their vision into words can be daunting. It doesn’t have to be drudgery to define your vision, but it is key to your lasting success and forward momentum. Clarity of vision means that you know where you’re going. Now that you know your “why”, your vision can come into focus much more easily. You actually do see what your future self will be doing and how you’ll be serving others in your field of expertise. You’ll also see the fruits of your labor in terms of audience numbers, books published, your home, your car, your vacations, your meaningful ways to give back to your community and the world as a whole. Take some time this month and create a Vision Board and hang it on your wall. There’s a reason why this is the advice of so many achievement experts – vision boarding works. Do an online one with Google Docs or Slides, or grab your scissors and some old magazines and make a night of it with friends. Getting your vision clarified for this year will help you stay on track and inspired when you hit those road bumps and obstacles along the way.
Twenty-Twenty. 2020. 20/20. However you see it, your future is a bright one now that it’s coming into clear focus. I know this is your year to achieve at never before seen levels. You can so do this! And when you do, I’ll be here next January to help celebrate a fantastic year of successes with you.
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