That’s right! Season 1 finale of Technically Speaking is here.
In this episode, Taylorr and Austin recap the 53 previous episodes. Covering the highlights, the takeaways, lessons learned, and amazing resources that were shared.
They also cover all the exciting things happening at SpeakerFlow so stay tuned until the end of those updates.
We’ll be back 11/2/2021 with episode 1 of season 2.
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Read the Transcription 🤓
Taylorr: Holy crap. Season two.
Austin: Yeah. I can’t believe we’re here.
Taylorr: Can I start the show that that way? Is that the right way to start a podcast episode?
Austin: I think we’ve started, I think we’re already doing the thing, so I think we just got to commit.
Taylorr: I think so. Man, I cannot believe it. What is this episode? 54. We really didn’t choose a pretty number for this episode, did we?
Austin: Yeah. I feel like there maybe could have been a little bit more forethought here, like end on 50, we are so close.
Taylorr: Or 52, at least that’s one every week for a year but we just really had to go to episode 54.
Austin: We’re overachievers so I think that’s what it boils down to.
Taylorr: Messy actions, man. Messy actions.
Austin: Messy actions. Yeah. For sure. We’re going talk about that a little bit today, I imagine.
Austin: So, man, yeah, a whole season behind us. We had some really cool people on the show too.
Taylorr: We sure did.
Austin: Can we just sit and acknowledge the fact that some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met came on the show with this last season. Feels like it might be hard to top it with the next one.
Taylorr: I don’t know. There’s a lot of cool people out there.
Austin: That’s true. Guess we didn’t max out that meter yet.
Taylorr: Yeah, no and I hear you. It was honestly like… I can’t believe how much we learned just in the year of running the show as well. All the people we got to have a conversation with, talk about the journey of a growing business and the different mechanisms that actually run that thing. Systems and sales and the marketing, we touched on so many different aspects and we brought so many cool perspectives to the table. It was just so exciting to hear how there’s so many different paths to the similar outcomes.
Austin: Yeah, exactly. There’re a million permutations for how somebody got… In fact, that was one of the most common things that we heard from our guests is like people come on, we’d ask where they came from and you’d be like, most of your guests say this, but I kind of just stumbled into it. Think about it. In fact, we had a few episodes that were specifically about the journey of becoming a speaker. I don’t know, one of the people that comes to mind right away is Simon.
Austin: Simon T Bailey.
Taylorr: Simon T Bailey, right.
Austin: That guy Disney executive turned professional speaker, what a crazy trip. Do you remember that Disney story? Can you recap that a little bit? That was wild.
Taylorr: Yeah. From what I remember and Simon correct me if I’m wrong here, man, feel free to reach out, but he was working for Walt Disney resort. You can’t talk to any journalists and a journalist ends up hitting him up and he just asks a question like, so where do you see yourself in 10 or 15 years? And Simon said something along the lines of, well, I plan on being the president CEO of Walt Disney resorts and they printed it. And so, I think it was kind of at those moments, Simon, we mentioned to us that he was kind of thinking about going off and doing his own thing. And so, he did for a while, but it took him a while to get there and especially building that seven-figure business that I think a lot of us strive for. It took a lot of patience and iteration and learning and he really uncovered in that episode. I remember just how laser focused you have to be to get to that outcome.
Austin: Yeah. And how often he iterated too. You mentioned that as one of the things and that dude, what every 10 years picks a new word this entire brand around?
Taylorr: Yeah. I think the first one was brilliance, right. Brilliance then spark. Spark, sparking individuals and man, when you’re able to take your message and turn that into one word, one thing that you help do, like Simon’s brilliance back in the day, pulling brilliance out or helping people recognize their spark, the things that ignite them, it makes it so simple for people to understand and easy to buy from you and easy to understand impact and it’s no wonder why it’s easy to build a scalable business at that point.
Austin: Well, especially when you’re like him too and you just take massive action. You leave Disney? No problem. Let’s just go start a business and go all the way. And he really burned his boats so to speak…
Taylorr: Yeah. I remember that.
Austin: When he started that business, which, yeah, super great. He’s not the only one too that did that. Jon Colby.
Taylorr: Jon Colby, right.
Austin: He’s another person that came to mind. I mean that dude, he really just went for it. I remember there was this one line where he was like, I’m a man. I believe in God, I believe in destiny and basically, I just went for it. There’s also that other analogy where he was like, you’re swimming in a pool and holding onto the, of the pool and you just have to take a leap out and start treading water really, but ideally you figure how to swim and then you can go a long way, which is crazy. Jon is a cool guy. I like that episode.
Austin: Plus, I love that he did the thing that he was just passionate about double down on improv. That’s a good episode, by the way, if you have any interest in improv, that’s…
Taylorr: Jon Colby.
Austin: Listen to that one. Yeah. That was a good one. Who else comes to mind about their journeys?
Taylorr: I have to mention James Taylor. I mean three years from not being a speaker to running a seven-figure speaking business. There’re only a few ways to do that. James, in that episode uncovered the unfair advantage he had was really the level of marketing that he knew to kind of get things off of the ground. Luckily some exposure to the music industry as well, kind of growing up and kind of just knowing how the event space works, but it was systems for him. It was structured marketing and sales process and, on top of that too, he really broke down knowing his fee right away. He knew his lane, he knew his fee right away, he had that laser focus that we talked about with Simon and that massive action Jon has as well with the marketing efforts and the sales efforts. It was a process, and he was able to replicate that from past experiences. What an awesome, awesome message for exactly what we do here.
Austin: For sure. He wasn’t the only person that mentioned that either. I think about Glen Guyon, he’s another person he didn’t start off with the same type of leverageable resources like James did with his music industry background and his deep level of marketing and everything. But he just went right into systems and structure and process and did the thing. In fact, he even hired a team relatively early on that helped him sort of step back from the stuff that he didn’t like doing or wasn’t as good at doing, didn’t want to learn how to do. Yeah. It’s wild. So, look, there’s all these different stories that we’ve talked about. And this is one of the things that we were trying to figure out, Taylorr and I, as we were deciding what we were going do with this finale episode. And so, we started thinking about like what the core pillars were that helped people become successful. And I think we’ve done a pretty good job at identifying five major areas that our guests tended to sort of gravitate to that helped them be successful. There’s like stagecraft piece, how you actually deliver for your clients.
There was the mindset, like what it takes to actually build a business, but starting with the inside. And then there’s obviously sales and marketing efforts and then sort of the unifying area, which was systems and all of the different moving components that you can use to make those other areas easy. So, we figured maybe we would just recap across those five different areas. So that starts with stagecraft. There’re a few people that come to mind here, Kristine Schoonmaker. She was awesome. Being clear and concise and cohesive with your messaging. That’s like one of those things that doesn’t and get talked about it enough and let’s be honest here, a lot of the people listening to the show are speakers being…
Taylorr: Being concise.
Austin: Concise. Maybe not the most natural thing for a bunch of storytellers, but man, it’s so important.
Taylorr: Yeah. And what I loved about the episode with Kristine is she really like also not only talks about how clear your messaging needs to, but that it needs to drive action. That’s going to be a common theme here guys, but like the messaging drives some action. They want you to take some action. And she talks about that. Stagecraft isn’t just about delivering the message, the thing that you’re passionate about, although she certainly highlights that it’s also about driving that action forward. So, I really love how she brought that out and think she’s also connected with especially when it comes to like the stagecraft piece, how to connect with an audience. She really outlined a framework that would allow you to take your message and then communicate that back to an audience and make them feel that passion as well and I think that kind of adds to the value of you showing up as a speaker to any event.
Austin: Yeah. Oh yeah. For sure. It’s sort of along the lines of Rich Mulhalland too, one of the more recent episodes that the missing link between your content, your passion, and then actually creating results for the people that are there. Connecting with your audience in a way that they get value out of it.
Taylorr: That’s right.
Austin: Yeah. Rich is a crazy guy too. Can I just stop… Rich I love you. If you’re listening to this…
Taylorr: That story, yea listening, right.
Austin: Man, I will never forget about his lobby with a blow-up doll receptionist, toilet instead of chairs.
Taylorr: Oh, my goodness. I feel like I stepped into the Twilight zone with that episode and it was awesome. Came out alive.
Austin: For sure.
Taylorr: And I just want to recap this, the missing link, the whole idea of this, and I think Kristine talks about this as well, is that a lot of speakers will just want to deliver a message, especially if you’re just starting out or you’re aspiring because you feel like you’ve got a message or maybe you’re just trying to get the business off the ground. A lot of the motivation when you first get exposed to this industry is the message that you have to share not the actions you want people to take as a result of that. And that’s kind of Rich’s whole point that you need the messaging yes, but you’ve got to have the action involved. If that audience isn’t transformed after you’ve gotten off of that stage, we haven’t done our jobs.
Austin: Yeah. For sure. And you can do that too in a way that feels authentic. That’s another one of the reasons that I love that episode with Rich is how much you talked about just being yourself. Because the thing is too is even if you’re very actionable, there’s all the horror stories of the boring three-hour workshops where people were yawning the whole time, you have to pair outcomes with, I want to say entertainment, but I don’t know if that’s the right word. You just have to communicate it in a way that excites people and that connects with them on an emotional level as well as a practical level. And there’s so many other ways that you can do that too. I was thinking about Jeff Civilico, shout out Jeff man, what an awesome episode. And he talks about that too. And in fact, he even has this one part where he’s talking about what happens before his speaking events, where he’s trying to connect with the audience beforehand, by going in and asking what they need and making suggestions that will better help people get the content and the value out of the sessions and I thought that was really cool. Emceeing is also just kind of a fascinating take on how you can do this.
Taylorr: Well, speaking of improv too, we were just talking about Jon Colby, I know we were talking about Mark Levy here in a little bit, but think about when you’re an emcee. You kind of have to think on your feet, you have to pull people up potentially, create segues, it is pure engagement. The whole point, correct me if I’m wrong Jeff again, but I feel like one of the points of having an emcee is to create that cohesiveness between sessions at an event. And what that means for the person buying an emcee is they’ve got to create that engagement so that by the time the last person gets off stage, that excitement is at the same level for the next person that gets on stage. And I just learned so much about how to connect with people, both virtually and I think live just from having that emcee perspective.
Austin: Yeah. Rob Ferre built on that.
Taylorr: Rob Ferre, right.
Austin: The virtual side of things. Yeah.
Taylorr: And gamification, right.
Austin: Right. Exactly. And engagement, getting people involved. That’s part of the whole thing with both Kristine and Rich Mulholland as well. You have to have people engaged and participating in the thing and that makes things stick as well. We know that the more senses that we can tie together when we’re trying to communicate something, the more likely it’s going to stick and so, I think it’s really easy to just on purely the content itself and I love the engagement stuff that comes with kind of the emcee mindset in a lot of ways, because it forces people to participate, which makes the information more sticky, which is cool.
Taylorr: Yeah. Certainly. And I think what’s interesting is this entire year we’ve never really had this sense of let’s call it gamification because I know we talk about this in that episode with Rob. Gamification is often when in the live settings it’s like workshops and training where we have people stand up and exchange sheets. It’s like breakoutey rather than keynotey. But in this virtual world, we can now introduce games and I think Rob touched on that a little bit and it. And it’s not that you have to have… you’re not playing jeopardy with these people up here, like it’s anything complex, but you’re doing simple thing and he provided a ton of tips of how we can all just take audiences with just little gamification that kind of creates that engagement and it was like such an opportunity, I think that Rob was talking about with how virtual added more inventory to the calendar for all of us and opened up these other ways that we could create an engagement, especially to these larger audiences.
Think about the beginning of COVID where everyone was like, we lost all of our engagement. The hardest thing about virtual is keeping people engaged. And it’s like in live, people are like almost forced to be engaged cause they’re live and kind of in the moment but who knows actually, if they’re engaged. The benefit of virtual that we’ve had is chat and active participation and video and all of these other mechanisms that give us a feedback loop on stage and I think Rob really nailed it on the head that with this whole virtual thing, we’ve now really got a new layer to our stagecraft.
Austin: Yeah, that’s true. And that’s as it relates to the audience, that’s true for decision makers as well. One of the other cool people that we brought in on this topic was Mary Tilson, who talks about how you can expand the way that you engage with your audience members to different revenue streams. And that not only helps drive home the audience participation engagement side, because you’re able to share your expertise in other mediums, but on the decision makers end, you’re also able to for one, make more money, which is cool, but also go deeper with each of your clients and help them go through an entire journey along the way, which not enough people talk about, I don’t think.
Taylorr: No. And, and the label that we’ve used, the phrase that we you’ve probably heard us say over the, the series of the episode is a value ladder. It’s most people don’t… like clients, they’re hiring speakers, experts really to come in and help solve a problem. This is why Rich talks about helping take massive action and encourage them to transform, it’s because they need to solve a problem. But we all know, what’s that percentage? It’s like a hundred percent in, 10% stays basically with speaking or just any kind of education stuff so it kind of has to get locked in over time. It’s kind of like those apps recur, that drop that content over time to keep that engagement. The challenge is that speaking just doesn’t keep enough education stuck with us and so the client, if they’re really trying to solve a problem, they might want you to go deeper with them like consulting or deeper trainings or drip content afterwards.
These other ways you can create money but also provide deeper impact for them because you can actually solve their problem. And I think Mary really alludes to that whole idea of if you can bring someone through a progression of value ladder, speaking, and then maybe some training and then some coaching and then some consulting or whatever your value ladder looks like. Not only are you going make more money as a business, but you’re going provide more impact, be more solutions oriented for your clients. And I don’t know, even as a business owner myself don’t want to shop for one thing, a bunch of different places. I want somebody who knows my problem so well that I can just work with at whatever capacity they have available to me. And if that’s only speaking that kind of sucks because I wish I could go deeper with them if I wanted to.
Austin: Yep. For sure. It’s so funny because every single person that we just mentioned with stagecraft really kind of alluded to that major idea, which is that you need to basically meet people where they’re at and create solutions and outcomes and Mary’s whole point is you can do that through ways that are beyond just speaking. And we say this all the time, this is why we call this type of business and expert business rather than a speaking business, because speaking is just one sort of component to all of these different ways that we can be delivering value and sharing our expertise with people. And the stage is obviously super important, but there’s even flavors of the stage. I think people typically associate speaking with keynoting, but there’s workshops, there’s breakouts, there’s trainings where we do prolonged periods of time and then even adjacent to that coaching consulting, all of these things…
Austin: Right. They all fit into the same category and they all have this common thread here, which is that we’re solving problems, it’s just through various mediums that allow us to do that. Now, this kind of speaks to our second pillar in some ways, which is mindset, how we actually look at running this type of business. And we had some really cool people that came in and about mindset too in various ways like Neil Mullarkey for example, shout out Neil he’s an improv guy that has a very storied background…
Taylorr: From whose line is it any anyway?
Taylorr: Oh man. Amazing skits too. I think we put some skits in the show notes even of that episode. But yeah, he talks about like improv, and how the idea of it is that we can let go and be present. Like we can improve our people skills. He touches on humor a little bit, he touches on this idea… he kind of compares it to jazz because improv is a little similar, but the idea of improv and jazz is that things aren’t structured, there’s not a recipe for how things go. And so, what that means you have to let go of any expectation of any result whatsoever and then with the improv layer you can add in humor and build that relationship more quickly, it really just… I don’t know, I feel like it resonated with me about how that dance works. You and I are skilled sales people, we’ve been in sales for a long time and I don’t think until that episode, I really had a label for why that dance is so effective. And it’s because in that moment it’s all about improv. It’s just connecting in real time being present, letting go of any expectations and just meeting that person where they’re at.
Austin: Yeah. It’s a shortcut to building that relationship that’s too.
Taylorr: That’s right.
Austin: Yeah. I love shortcuts too, there’s not enough of them. And this is one of those things too. I’ve always been attracted to improv. I remember telling Neil about this while we were recording or maybe after the fact…
Taylorr: He emailed me afterwards. I think he’s going follow up on this episode asking if you stopped attended an improv class. So, you’re going get it again. You’re going have to take that class.
Austin: Neil, I didn’t do it. And it’s a fear thing which is hilarious because the whole point of improv is just letting go of that and being willing to just say what needs to be said. Improv is just an interesting thing to me. We had a few different people that came and talk about Jon Colby too, referencing back to him a minute ago. Improv is just a cool way of looking it life really in a lot of ways. There’re some other mindset folks who brought in and especially around the idea of relationship building and sort of the service mindset I think that leads into this. Dr. T for example.
Austin: Tharaka and that guy, by the way, is on a war path. He just had a TV show launch out there in the UK, he’s doing the thing, which is really cool. But anyways, he talks about one of the things that helped him be successful was this mindset of being service oriented and focusing on building the relationship above everything else. And I don’t know, I think that it makes sense. Dr. T has a way of making complex things simple too, which I appreciate about him. That’s something that he actually teaches himself, but he lives it as well, which is really cool.
Taylorr: Yeah. I like how too… he just talks about going for it. He talks about like how naturally we’re just all resistant to change and we just have to take the action and just bet on ourselves a little bit. And betting on yourself. That’s probably the summary of entrepreneurship.
Austin: That’s true.
Taylorr: Yeah. Oh, and then we brought in Karen, Karen Allen. Overcoming challenging things. The stop and shift model.
Austin: Yeah, man. Okay. So, for one thing, if you want to experience what it’s like to be told a really great story, go listen to that episode.
Taylorr: Go listen. Yeah, for sure.
Austin: Karen had me jaw dropped at one point. I told her in the episode, I think one of the best storytellers ever, but that stuff often shift mentality that she talks about is huge. And here’s the thing as an entrepreneur, when you’re betting on yourself, you’re going to fail and probably a lot and probably really hard a few times and so you’d need a good way to keep your mindset in check when that happens. Taylorr, how many times have we had an existential crisis while running this business or other businesses? [cross-talk 20:14].
Taylorr: Like I count so many. I think my expectation was that there was going be a midlife crisis and that was it. And I wasn’t even excited for that. And I’m ready for it.
Austin: For sure.
Taylorr: I’m prepared at this point. I’ll just put it that way.
Austin: Yeah. Well, you got to be able to get through it too and Karen, a good job at that. One of the things that I like about Karen too, is this idea of being self-aware and taking care of yourself as sort of an adjunct to that. Because that’s really where it starts. As you run into challenging things, you need to be able to take an inventory of yourself and how you’re feeling and how it is that you’re going to shift to a more positive or productive, I suppose, mindset.
Taylorr: Yeah. I found that true for myself too. I think I had a learning lesson there with Karen, because for me personally, I think I’ve ebbed and flowed in the entrepreneurship journey of how much I do self-care. And what I’ve noticed is that the further I get away from that, the less I aware I become about my state and how that affects other people and my mindset and how that’s affecting my work. I become in a vacuum basically of not paying attention to my own self. And I think it locked in for me that self-awareness and self-care really go hand in hand.
Austin: Yeah, they absolutely do. It’s something too that you have to pay attention to. It’s an active thing to be self-aware. It’s not passive. The subconscious is powerful too. That brings up Wayne.
Austin: Wayne Lee.
Taylorr: Yeah. That’s right.
Austin: And what an awesome conversation with that guy.
Taylorr: Subconscious barriers, removing those like self-limiting beliefs and iterating on what work. One thing that I loved about Wayne’s conversation is he talks about how we have this need to be busy all the time and he talks about perfectionism a lot, I know we also talked about that with Dr. T inside of that episode and how that kind of hinders us, but basically this idea that we need to be busy, we need to keep doing more work, we need to make this thing perfect and we’ve all heard that word, busy work. It’s not about needing to be busy; it’s about being impactful. And if we don’t get rid of those self-conscious or subconscious limiting beliefs, then we’re not going have the impact that we desire to have and that’s going create that congruency that we would feel, you know, running the business.
Austin: Yeah. There’s something about intentional that leads to being impactful too. And it goes back to this whole thing, paying attention. In fact, if I could summarize the most important mindset that somebody could have when they’re starting this business, it is just being self-aware. Just being able to pay attention to what’s happening inside you and how you’re impacting others because of that and ways that you can improve that. And it’s a challenging skill being self-aware is not… in fact, not even is it challenging, it’s not very common. There’s not that many people that are good at being self-aware and paying attention to what’s happening inside of them.
Taylorr: Yeah. I think it’s just kind of awareness period. I know we’re going talk about sales and marketing and systems soon, but being aware in sales calls being, being actually aware and intentional with your marketing messaging, with your stage craft, I think self-aware is the right word because you’re the one that’s initiating all of that, but it’s being aware of all of those things and being intentional with all of them that really makes a difference, not just doing things haphazardly, but making it intentional.
Austin: Yeah. For sure. You’ll have way more impact that way. That’s kind of just the bottom line. Well, okay. So, so far, we cover stagecraft and mindset. The third major pillar then would be sales.
Taylorr: Wow. What a rich topic for…
Austin: I know.
Taylorr: Season one.
Austin: Yeah. We had a bunch of amazing people come in. Holy cow.
Taylorr: Oh, it kicked it off really heavy right away episode. Was it two with…?
Austin: Yeah. David Newman.
Taylorr: David Newman. That is right. Yep.
Austin: David man, that guy, he’s such a wealth of knowledge.
Taylorr: The three reasons why you’re not getting your fees, what are they Austin?
Austin: Ignorance, self-worth, which I think probably goes into self-awareness too and process.
Austin: Not having a good enough plan.
Taylorr: Plan. Yeah. Sales process marketing process. I love the first point there, ignorance, because I remember in that call, we talked about not knowing our market. So, so many people will lie, especially again, aspiring, starting up categories, those who haven’t assessed who’s out there in the market actually excelling these things, but not of benchmarking their fees against anything or their offerings against things, they’re messaging against things like we’re ignorant of the market so we undervalue ourselves and we think we’re not valuable, but because we haven’t done the research or been exposed to enough things to understand where our value is actually at. And I feel like that is absolutely where it begins. Any business that you, or anything that you sell, understanding the market, the competitive research that you place yourself in that right bucket right away.
Austin: Yeah, for sure. Well, that’s how you get premium fees right out of the gates too, like James Taylor.
Taylorr: That’s right.
Austin: He was good at that’s as one of the benefits that he had when he was first starting his business.
Taylorr: Well, I guess which the second point is so valuable, the self-worth.
Austin: Yeah, that’s true. Nobody can decide what your value is except you. It’s funny because David talked about sales from a mindset perspective mindset. He’s really the perfect person to segue between those two areas because all three of those things are mindset things. Maybe process, you need to have a way of doing things and so that’s action oriented, but it starts with the mindset of knowing that a process needs to happen. And it’s the process only exists because we just don’t have the mental bandwidth to do it without a process.
Taylorr: That’s right.
Austin: Yeah. David Newman, man. What an awesome guy. If you want some good sales inspiration, especially if you do more than just speaking consulting, coaching and so on he’s a good person to listen to.
Austin: Who else comes to mind with sales?
Taylorr: Yeah. When you said process Linda, Linda Swindling talking about negotiating. She really broke down negotiating as a process as well, asking out outrageously and be bold and ask. Oh man, she just has these frameworks that make negotiation a little bit less intimidating. And how many conversations that we’ve been in, where you say talk to an expert and they say, well, if you could just get somebody on the phone, I can close them but then their fee is half? We just skip the negotiation because it’s a little bit uncomfortable. And so, I feel like having a process for negotiating and being able to ask out outrageously, hold your position, holds your fee. I know Jane Atkinson talks about this as well, maintaining your fee, stay in your fees. That’s just a skill that we all have to develop when it gets to sales. We can’t just focus on these little things like, oh, once I get them on the phone, I can close them that’s not good enough. Got to master getting them on the phone, got to master negotiating, got to master, setting up contracts, master how you get paid. You have to master each little bit of that and I think Linda shared a lot of light on that negotiation piece.
Austin: The bottom line is you’ll get what you want if you just ask.
Taylorr: Just ask.
Austin: One of the things that people have a hard time with in sales is just asking the question. And it goes into fear. I get it asking for what you really can be challenging and getting rejected when you ask for what you want can hurt, but you just have to ask and I think people will get what they want more often than they even think they will if they do just ask and negotiation has such a serious sort of tone about it, I think most of the time but it’s really not. It’s just being willing to speak in your mind and find a common ground that makes everybody happy.
Taylorr: Yeah. Totally.
Austin: Linda made it simple too, which I appreciate.
Taylorr: Speaking of simple, Phil, Phil Gerbyshak, simplifying sales. Guys, if you are looking to just simplify everything you know about sales, you got to go listen to that episode with Phil. He broke it down, I hate the redundancy here, but simply. It’s not this complex, do this, then this, if this, then that type of process, although it can be made out to be that way, it doesn’t have to be and talks about leading with value and building the relationship. There’s just nothing more foundational to learn than from that episode, I feel like.
Austin: Yeah. Oh, I totally agree. Phil has the benefit of somebody that can just sort of riff about things too.
Taylorr: Riff with the improv.
Austin: We had a couple of moments where he was just talking about what he would be saying to a decision maker, if you want some really good inspiration around what sales process needs to look like, go listen to episode with Phil Gerbyshak. It is fantastic. And plus, he’s sort of the guy, if you’re going talk to somebody about sales and marketing stuff, Phil is definitely high up on that list.
Taylorr: For sure.
Austin: Who else is high up on that list?
Taylorr: Meridith Elliot Powell. Well, what I love about that episode is because, look at it, we have to acknowledge the year and a half we’ve all been through. The most uncertain times, arguably any of us participating in this show right now and listening to this show right now have ever gone through. And I feel like Meredith again, made it simple, had a process for leveraging uncertainty and making it a core function of your business or at least providing a framework to make it a core function of your business to be able to adapt ahead of time so you’re not forced to adapt in the midst of that uncertainty.
Austin: Yeah, for sure. Which being able to think on your feet is really important, but if you can be prepared to think on your feet all, although that’s kind of a weird way to put it, you’ll be more successful. That’s just the bottom line and like this year has shown us that that’s exactly true. You really need to be prepared. And you know something else that I really liked about that episode with Meredith? Is she did as much as she could to be prepared for COVID, but COVID still caught her off guard. And she just went and did the thing. She just hit up all of her clients and shifted the way that she talked about delivering value and just did deliver value even without pay for a while right out of the gates and that ended up going full circle. It kind of goes back to that service mindset thing too. You just have to be prepared to do great work despite whatever is thrown your way. Adaptability matters in that space.
Taylorr: That’s right. And I really like that she was talking about changing before you have to. If you listen to your market close enough, you can get a sense of what’s going on. Now of course COVID that really came on like a switch, but it’s because she stopped and dialed and listened to her market about how to adapt so she could create the offerings that would be applicable for this gear and then be successful with it. Speaking about listening to your market, it’s probably a really good segue for the marketing section of all of this. Thank you very much. We talked to so many great people on the marketing front but really early on was Lauren Pibworth.
Austin: Yeah, Lauren. Shout out Lauren.
Taylorr: Hey Lauren.
Austin: Yeah, Lauren’s awesome. Lauren, I think nailed down a really important distinction to where, when it comes to marketing and messaging and connecting with people, so many people in this industry point their messaging towards their audience members, but really you need that clear, concise messaging going to decision makers, the people that can actually pay you.
Taylorr: Especially on the website.
Austin: Yeah. Right.
Taylorr: So many people go wrong.
Austin: Yeah. That’s one of like the biggest mistakes that people make and also being able to identify and clearly communicate how you solve that problem, going way back to the stage craft thing, that is critical when you’re communicating marketing messaging as well. And that’s another one of those areas where people talk a lot about the storytelling and the background and the stuff that excites the audience but that is not the thing that’s going to get you, hired at least not most of the time. She also alluded to going beyond the keynote as well and knowing how you can plug into company beyond just the first initial thing, which for a lot of people is speaking.
Taylorr: Yeah, definitely. And driving action. I remember like a portion of that was just you need to tell people what to do when they’re on a website, and you got to drive that thing home. I think we talk about this too all the time in our coaching stuff, but it it’s like you get to a website and it’s, book a call. Chat now. Book Austin for speaking now. Book a discovery call. And it’s like, well, I don’t even know what to do now. You just got to have the one primary action. And I think it’s again about that laser focus, it’s about knowing what your market wants to hear, it’s about listening to them, it’s about guiding them to the right next step and man, I just love how simple that came across.
Austin: Yeah. I agree. Plus, like let’s not forget that speaking itself is a marketing vehicle.
Taylorr: That’s right.
Austin: Russell Pearson talked about that.
Taylorr: Russell Pearson. Yeah.
Austin: Yeah. He mentioned that. Well, this is something we just talk about all the time too.
Taylorr: All the time.
Austin: Speaking is maybe the coolest marketing vehicle on the planet because you get paid to do your marketing oftentimes. Can you think of a single other marketing vehicle out there that’s like that?
Taylorr: No. And let’s unpack that for a minute because people are like paid after their marketing, what do you mean? We’re talking about spinoff business about selling books and courses and extra thing to audience members if you can’t sell them higher ticket stuff, you get in front of an association with a bunch of decision makers that $10,000 gig you just landed is more spinoff business to market in front of more people. What an incredible opportunity we all have. To make ourselves visible through the thing we do well already. Crazy.
Austin: That was Russell’s whole point about attracting great clients too, is that your expertise will attract the best fit clients out there. That’s one of the components, he went through a bunch of them. That was a great episode, by the way. That was one of the more recent ones too so if you guys didn’t catch that one, you absolutely should.
Austin: There’s this one part where he was talking about the danger of referrals too. Wow, man, that one really hits home. Marketing is tough too, because I think so many people maybe have misunderstandings about what marketing and sales are really supposed to be doing for you and in our state of the speaking industry report, when we ask about marketing and sales efforts and what drives them the most business, what’s the number one thing people that report? Referrals and like that’s like barely even marketing efforts really.
Taylorr: It’s not.
Austin: It’s not predictable, that’s Russell’s whole point there is that if you just rely on referrals, you’re just any second away from your business drying up and going away. How many times did we hear about that happening during COVID?
Taylorr: Oh, it was like a switch, business evaporated just because the only mechanism we had was referrals and referrals an amazing stream of income. Yes. Amazing. It means you do a great work, should be very proud of those referrals, but get getting stuck in the trap of only getting referrals is well, a trap.
Austin: Yeah, for sure. It’s true. Well, and we saw that the people that didn’t just rely on referrals, they were still majorly impacted by COVID, but they bounced back faster because they just took control, they were already in the driver’s seat.
Taylorr: And I think they found a way to differentiate. Mark Leavy talks about this a bunch. In the midst of all of this, they found a way to differentiate, make themselves different, still visible stay top of mind and I really love that episode because differentiation, it’s not this incredibly complex thing. I feel like when I at least was first confronted with differentiation, I was trying to think of how am I different in comparison to 7 billion other people? But it’s not really about that, it’s just about how you stand in the market. You might have a similar differentiator as somebody else, but it doesn’t matter, it’s how you are positioning yourself differently than the rest when somebody gets to your content. And I feel like if you can communicate your value well Lauren alludes to, can stay visible like Russell alludes to, you can differentiate yourself like Mark alludes to, you’re going really build this engine by behind you.
Austin: Yeah, it’s true. And honestly, if you look at some of the more, I hate this word, but passive marketing vehicles available to you, like being represented by a bureau, for example, they’re looking for all of those various components, if you’re going to get to that point so it really starts with you being in control of that whole process and things that make you distinct. And if you want to attract the top dogs, quote, unquote, that are going to book you for you, you have to already be doing this yourself.
Taylorr: Yeah. Maria Franzoni unpacks that for us I think mid-season or so right. Bureaus need to be complimentary to sales, you need to know your differentiator, no bureau wants to sell you if you haven’t sold you regularly. Keyword.
Austin: Yeah, exactly. Which makes sense. Speakers are one of those industries that you can become a speaker by just saying you’re a speaker now, which is actually kind of a cool thing because it makes it accessible to anybody that feels called to do it. But if you’re going make it a real business, you have to be doing that and being represented by a bureau is a good way to say that you’ve sort of made it as a speaker and that’s not going happen unless you do all of those things and take your sales and marketing efforts seriously.
Taylorr: Yep, exactly. Right. And all of this stuff, guys, the journeys we uncovered, the sales, the marketing, the mindset, to sum it all up, it all boils down to having systems. A repeatable way of looking at things, handling things, something that provides an outcome every single time. It’s what your clients are looking for, it’s what you need in your business in order to sell, to market to get your mindset. So, let’s talk about some systems, Austin put a nice bow on this thing, shall we?
Austin: Sure. Well, okay. How about the fact that systems is an acronym? And we talked about that with Julie, Julie Holmes.
Taylorr: That’s right.
Austin: Save yourself some time, energy, money, and stress folks. Systems. They could be simple too. All of these different areas that we’re talking about can contain systems, but systems are in front of us no matter what. She gave the example of brushing your teeth. That’s a system every day, you wake up, you brush your teeth, boom, you’re taking care of yourself, you’re getting stuff done and it’s a habitual routine that you get to make a part of your day. And each different area of your business really should have some type of sit system and or process that’s going go along with it and give you the assist. Especially if you’re a solopreneur or you have a limited number of staff or people that are helping you out with this, this is the way that you make your time more leverageable because you’re not having to put creative energy into making things happen.
Taylorr: Yeah. And what I love about this whole conversation is I think we brought… Crystal Washington talk talks about how like systems, technology can be simple, because we get exposed to so much different tech we can use especially since we run, I would say most of us digital businesses. But Crystal really boiled it down because we asked a question like what type of tech would you focus on? And she says relational technology and anything that helps you build a relationship is where you should invest and anything that maintains it, makes it better, removes friction. What a simple way to look at how to prioritize the technology you have in the business.
Austin: Yeah. I agree. Beyond just the tech as well, one of the things that people need to get their arms around is that if you’re going to successfully get each of these different areas of the business that we’re talking about here, working in alignment, you need a system for the business itself as a whole. And Mary Kelly was the person to talk to there where we talk about creating a vision for your business, reverse engineering what actually needs to happen in order to get there. She gets really good, granular about having checklists for everything that she does not ever doing the same thing twice without creating a standardized process for making it happen. And this is one of those things that people get hung up on this and they also tend to spin their wheels if they don’t have this. A clear vision for where they’re going and a clear set of steps that they’re going to take in order to get there.
And based on that, that’s how you create the systems and processes and implement the technology and things that are going help you get there. All of this is pointless, every area that we just talked about, the stagecraft, the mindset, the sales, the marketing, none of it matters if you’re not clear about where you are and where you’re going. So that’s another good one. Mary Kelly, shout out to you. And plus, she dropped some of the best resources of anybody that drop re… okay. That’s not true. There were a bunch of really good resources. Mary Kelly’s were really good. What a season? Holy cow.
Taylorr: Yeah. What’s crazy is like we didn’t engineer any of these topics prior to this show, we just invited a bunch of amazing people that we know had specialties and we sat down earlier to construct this episode, we realized, wow, we talked so much about the journey, about the mindset, about the sales, the systems.
Taylorr: Yeah. All of it. It’s kind of serendipitous in a way. And I feel like I have learned so much. I think that’s a nice bow we put on season one, good finale episode. We are now into season two. I can’t believe we’re about to launch season two. We have a lot in store. We are now going be adding video to the show so you can find us on YouTube. We’ve always had the show on YouTube, but it’s been just a graphic of sots, but now we’ll actually be doing video so if you’re not already definitely go subscribe to YouTube. You can join our network. Talk about that in a little bit too, to get early access and our next season will be dropping November 2nd. So, November 2nd, that’s about what? A couple weeks away. A little break in between season one and two.
And also, we have some really fun stuff coming up at Speaker Flow. We are celebrating our new coaching program launch so if you’re interested in that, just hit us up and like I said earlier, if you want early access to the show, the video, all the content, a bunch of exclusive stuff head over to our network, university.speakerflow.com. It’s free and it’s our own social network of a bunch of experts looking to build a better business. As always, you want more mind-blowing resources like this head over to speaker.flow.com/resources.
Austin: See you next season.
Taylorr: Thank you so much for chiming in. I just wanted to take a second to thank our sponsor Auxbus. Auxbus is the all-in-one suite of tools you need to run your podcast and it’s actually what we run here at Speaker Flow for Technically Speaking. It makes planning podcasts simple; it makes recording podcasts simple; it even makes publishing podcasts to the masses simple and quite honestly, Technically Speaking, wouldn’t be up as soon as it is without Auxbus. Thank you so much Auxbus. And if you are interested in checking Auxbus out, whether you’re starting a podcast or you have one currently get our special offer auxbus.com/speakerflow, or click the link below in our show notes.