Public Speaking: Are you a Generalist or Specialist?
As professional public speakers, we offer expertise to our audiences, specialist expertise. Some speaker will brand themselves as a generalist, thinking they can reach a wider audience, fill their schedule, and earn a higher income. I have to disagree. We have all heard the saying you can’t please everyone, and such is the case when you are a speaker.
You have a very unique gift and a solid knowledge base, two things that will only serve one type of audience very well. You have something to bring to a very specific group of people that will change their lives for the better. If you are a motivational speaker with celebrity status, then perhaps you can speak to whomever you like. But chances are that most speakers are not at that level. We have to find our niche, those audiences who need our expertise.
In order to brand yourself well, you need to specialize in one area of expertise and work to build your audiences and your name in this area only. By spreading yourself too far, trying to speak to too many audiences, you and your audiences will become frustrated and disappointed, neither getting as much out of engagements as they should.
You determine your target audience, your paying clients, and your relationships depending on your specialization and expertise. If you can really niche yourself and know those you’re serving, you will grow a successful speaking business quickly. Build your name as a trusted expert in your niche, build those relationships with your clientele, and watch your speaking business skyrocket.
As an example, let’s look at Charli Jane. Generally, we offer services to public speakers, coaches, authors and entertainers. However, I only coach speakers who are facing their first 3 years of business. I have determined my market and narrowed my service and expertise to a very specific beginner clientele.
Perhaps you are an expert in helping mothers. That’s wonderful. But what type of moms? There are hundreds of ways of motherhood – stay at home, working, professional, single. There are mothers raising teenaged daughters, mothers of children with disabilities. What kind of help will you give them? What is your solution? Will it be how to raise children with disabilities? How to connect with teen daughters? How to take care of themselves when they are so busy taking care of the family? There are so many different angles to motherhood. Pick your market and narrow in, targeting a very specific group with your expert solution.
As a speaker, one of the most important steps in beginning or growing your speaking business is to specialize. If perhaps you feel your business is not moving forward, consider that you might be too much of a generalist. Dig deeper and find that targeted audience to serve.
If you are not already a specialist and after reading this piece are looking to specialize (good for you!), do your research. Ensure that your targeted market is a paying market. Though you may have a deep passion in one area of expertise, it may not be something that will pay you at the moment. Do research before you invest in a market that will not fill your booking calendar.
Take a look at your own life experience and find that something special that you have to share. This is where you will find your specialization. If you have trouble defining your niche – who to serve, where to find them – then I am happy to assist you! Reach out, and we will work on it together.