Have you ever had a friend or close family member recommend a product or service? I’ve had a friend recommend a product or service on several occasions, and most of the time, I’ve gone on to purchase said product or service.
Their success stories were all I needed to give them a try myself.
I’m not alone, either. The stats show that when someone close to us recommends a brand, nine out of every ten of us are likely to trust that brand on that recommendation alone.
That’s the power of word-of-mouth marketing.
The good news for you is that you can leverage the power of these so-called “success stories” as a speaker.
Whether you sell products off the back of your speaking or offer services such as coaching or consulting, incorporating success stories into your talks and marketing materials will help you build the trust and connection with your audience you need to secure a sale.
But how? What is it about success stories that makes them so powerful? And what the heck do I mean by success stories in the first place?
The Power of Connection: How Success Stories Can Build Trust With Your Audience and Boost Speaking Revenue
Here are the minute marks that cover highlights in this episode:
What Are Success Stories for Speakers?
(3:31) In the context of speaking, success stories may take several forms. In short, they are similar to testimonials. However, they usually include more detail, such as how you helped a client overcome a specific problem.
For instance, imagine you’re a business coach who wants to showcase your expertise and attract potential clients. You might tell the story of how you helped a struggling entrepreneur turn their business around by implementing a new marketing strategy.
You could share specific details about the challenges the entrepreneur faced, how you identified the problem, and the steps you took to address it. You could also describe the outcomes of your work, such as an increase in revenue or customer satisfaction.
But what if you don’t work with clients directly?
That’s not a problem.
Instead of helping people, you could use personal case studies.
For instance, you might tell the story of a time when you had to negotiate a problematic contract. You might share the highlights of the negotiation, the tactics you used, and the results you achieved.
So even if you’re right at the very beginning of your speaking journey, there’s no excuse not to include them.
So now you know what constitutes a success story, why are they so important?
Why Are Success Stories So Powerful?
(5:17) Success stories work in several ways to cement trust and start that positive snowball effect caused by word-of-mouth recommendations.
So let’s cover some of the main reasons why success stories are so powerful.
They Help Develop Empathy and Mutual Understanding
(5:40) If you can’t create empathy between you and your audience, they will never be interested in your message. You have to take them on a journey (not just in your time on stage, but in your marketing materials) to help them develop that mutual understanding and sense of shared feelings.
To use the example above, perhaps you’re giving a speech to a group of young entrepreneurs who are currently facing the same challenges as the person mentioned in your success story.
By showing them that you understand what they are going through and have the solutions, they are more likely to trust you, have confidence in your abilities, and seek your advice.
They Position You as an Authority and Expert in Your Field
(6:37) If you can stand up on that stage and show how many people you have helped with your skills or knowledge, you’re in a much better position to be an authority figure in your field.
Remember, no matter your angle for speaking, if you’re not the “go-to” guy or gal in your niche, people aren’t going to be as interested in what you have to say. When you’re armed with dozens of engaging success stories and personal recommendations, your audience will feel as though they have no choice but to listen to what you have to say.
They Help You Leverage the Power of Word-of-Mouth Recommendations
(7:20) Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, success stories give you that powerful word-of-mouth recommendation effect. And yes, it still works even if people in the audience don’t know the person involved in your success stories.
Yes, they might not have the same level of trust in you as they would if a close friend or family member had recommended you, but they will be more likely to mention you to their friends and colleagues if they know you’ve had success in your field.
Plus, the more success stories you share, the more likely you will be remembered (and therefore recommended). You will leave even the most skeptical audience members thinking, “There’s no smoke without fire – if she’s helped ALL of those people, she MUST be good at what she does.”
Success Stories: A Hidden Gem in Your Speaker Toolkit
(8:23) Successful speakers use various tactics and strategies to help engage their audiences (both while on stage and while marketing their services), but one of the most important is to use success stories. Having people recommend you is one of the most potent and impactful things you can do for your speaking career.
Better still, the more success stories you share, the more people you get the opportunity to help, and the more people recommend your products or services to others. This self-fulfilling snowball effect can propel your speaking business to new heights with minimal additional effort.
So your key takeaway is to go away and incorporate success stories into your talks and marketing channels. It doesn’t matter if the success story has to be about you; it will still help you connect with your audience more deeply and build trust.
So go ahead and develop at least one success story to add to your repertoire right now!
If you want to learn more hints and tips to set your speaking business on the right path, don’t hesitate to join our private Facebook Group, Breakthrough Public Speakers. It’s a thriving community of over 3,000 members, all sharing their tips and tricks to help you achieve your speaking goals.
We look forward to seeing you over there!
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Resources & Links
The Charli Jane Speakers Club – Learn more.
If you’re ready to get on more stages you’re in the right place! We provide members with 5,200 – 10,400 speaking opportunities a year! Yep, you heard that right! There is something for everyone. I also created a program called The Booked Solid Success Path. It goes hand-in-hand with the speaking opportunities. Plus, an amazing community and more!
Episode 140: The best way to manage and organize your speaking leads.
The Breakthrough Public Speakers Community – Join us here.
My team and I are inside this community helping you, encouraging you, and supporting you through your speaking journey… along with 3,000+ speakers!
I hope you enjoyed the training episode.
Every week I release a new training episode to help you launch and grow your speaking business.
Keep Inspiring! – Wendi xo
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Meet Wendi McNeill
As the Founder and Owner of Charli Jane Speaker Services®, Wendi has been “Opening Doors of Opportunity” for speakers since 2002.
Charli Jane Speakers provides speakers with support, exposure, tools, tips, speaking and media leads, coaching/learning programs, and much more to assist them in growing their speaking business. Learn more about Wendi
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