When 2019 began, the idea of a technology consultancy for professional speakers remained just that: an idea. Three aspiring speakers and entrepreneurs had just begun to piece together SpeakerFlow and strategize how to maximize their talents to provide the most value. But how do you get started, when your idea is an entirely new kind of business? The answer is in the people.
Let’s Meet the Team
First up to bat was Austin Grammon. Utah native and co-owner of TrafficCrafters digital marketing agency, Austin brought unparalleled knowledge of operations and organization. Having worked with speakers in his previous work with karmaSpeaker, he already knew the speaking industry, including where in most speakers’ businesses they needed organizational help.
Next up was Taylorr Payne, Minnesota resident and marketing master. The other co-owner of TrafficCrafters, Taylorr brought extensive experience in website development as well as exceptional knowledge for making your presence known digitally. As an aspiring speaker, he also brought a unique approach to digital advertising tailored to speakers.
Finally, the third and last piece of the puzzle was Max Warren. Based out of North Carolina and a long established salesman for other professional speakers, Max knew the speaking business inside and out. It was largely thanks to his extensive experience that SpeakerFlow grew at such a rapid pace!
Where Are They Now?
Now, seven months since the idea for SpeakerFlow was suggested, the business has exploded into a team that’s partnered with the National Speakers Association. Branded as “the singular source of holistic evolution for thought leaders and their businesses,” SpeakerFlow is quickly taking the speaking world by storm. After all, it’s hard to beat a business based on honesty, complete transparency, and good ol’ dedication to their clients.
Today, I met with the founders of SpeakerFlow to learn more about their decision to branch into the speaking industry and what drives their success.
Their Story in Their Words
“How did you get your idea for SpeakerFlow?”
Taylorr: I think the idea came from seeing the speaking industry and their need for technology and automation. Many of them are solo-entrepreneurs, and they don’t have large teams running their business for them. They need to create content and be onstage more, but running a business is still a full-time ordeal. We noticed that technology and automation could be used for every part of their business. Whether it be operations, sales, or marketing, and we realized that really their technology is being underutilized. For many of them, their software is being put up on a shelf and they’re never even touching it. For others, they’re paying for their software without ever fully optimizing it. In my and Austin’s experience with TrafficCrafters, we knew there were ways we could solve this problem.
“So, clearly you guys have experienced an immense amount of growth since you originally started SpeakerFlow. To what do you attribute your success?”
T: Listening to speakers’ needs and understanding the market fit was a big part of what’s made us successful. We need to provide value to the industry because of our own values but also because we’re aspiring speakers ourselves.
Austin: We also understand that we need to provide value first and build relationships first. Honestly, I think most of our success comes from the relationships that we’ve built rather than our skill set. We toss around the saying at that ‘The lifetime value of a relationship is greater than that of a client’. I think that mentality at SpeakerFlow has set us apart.
“To expand upon that, aside from building relationships, what would you say that your mission is for SpeakerFlow?”
Max: The mission is ‘to combine cutting edge technology with sales, marketing, and operations expertise to create the optimal business experience for speakers’. That’s why we called ourselves SpeakerFlow, initially, because ‘flow’ is the psychology of the optimal experience. We want SpeakerFlow to create the optimal business experience for speakers.
“Let’s dig a little deeper into that. Internally, how would you describe SpeakerFlow’s company culture? How do you guys operate with each other and your growing team?”
T: We actually live and die by our eight core values for the company. To just go down the list, the first two are ‘Always be candid’ and ‘Strive for balance personally and professionally’. The third is ‘Aim for the flow state’. Again, this is because we’re SpeakerFlow, so we try to eat our own dog food there. Next is ‘Be here now,’ so just really understanding the importance of being in the moment.
A: The fifth is ‘Make space for both compassion and ferocity,’ and what that means is that there’s this balance. As said earlier, we need to do what we have to, to help people succeed. However, at the same time, we need to make sure that we’re driving with ferocity, so our business can grow, too. The sixth core value is the ‘four c’s’: ‘Be cunning, clever, curious, and creative. Seventh is ‘Lead with grace, humility, and gratitude’. And, finally, the last two are “Altruism over egotism’ and ‘Don’t take yourself too seriously,’ or ‘Be a ray of ‘funshine’’ as we like to say.
M: Really the whole idea of our company culture is more focused on giving back. At the end of the day, the money will come. We’re all vested in the speaking industry and working to become professional speakers. If we can provide value now and really help the industry grow, then we’re really contributing to global evolution. If we can help speakers run their businesses efficiently and predictably and bring more revenue through the door, ultimately, their message is reaching more people. That’s extremely important to us.
“As you’re working to help speakers spread their message, then, what services or skills do you guys offer right now?”
A: We offer a six and a 12-week consultancy that runs through operations, sales, and marketing technology tools and systems. We then automate the minutia so that speakers are less focused on the physical running of the business and more focused on creating content and sharing their message. By the end of the consultancy, it’s our goal to have saved them hundreds of hours per year.
T: Really, the consultancy is geared towards saving them time, year over year, and bringing that value back to speakers. We also want to provide, by optimizing their technology, the reassurance that the company is running predictably and efficiently.
“For the clients you’ve served so far, in your ‘beta’ group, how many hours do you think you’ve saved them?”
T: Right now we’re seeing more than one hundred hours saved per year. For one of our most recent clients, we saved over 200 hours per year, monetarily about $13,000 per year.
“Looking forward, rather than looking at what’s happening right now, where do you see SpeakerFlow in one year? Where do you see SpeakerFlow in five years?”
A: In one year, we expect that the consultancy will be really honed in. As we continue running our beta testing over the next month or so, we’ll continue to get feedback. Ultimately, our goal for a year from now is that the consultancy, front to back, will be completely optimized and more or less automated so that we can run it predictably. We want to make sure our business is running as optimized and efficiently as those of the speakers we consult. We want to be a good example.
T: And, in five years, we expect SpeakerFlow to have developed tools and technology rather than be selling tools and technology on behalf of software partners. We’re hoping to meet all speaker needs within one central hub of software rather than having a billion different tools. We also want to provide a system that’s automated front to back, so speakers aren’t missing sales opportunities. Of course, we’ll also still have our own framework for providing marketing or additional consulting, so we can always be there to help, even after the consultancy is over.
“What would you say makes SpeakerFlow unique compared to other speaking businesses and why did you choose the speaking niche?”
T: We realized early on that the speaking industry is very underserved, technologically, and speakers are tight-knit because all of their businesses are different. Because of this, they’re okay with having conversations, growing with each other, and not being competitors. Really, the fact that there are cookie-cutter business models in place for speakers was kind of absurd to us. With SpeakerFlow, we believe that like each speaking business is unique, and we need to be able to tailor a consultancy to those business models so that they’re getting the most for the investment that they’re making.
“Do you have any ongoing partnerships? Do you plan for partnerships further down the road?”
A: We are extremely humbled by the opportunity to partner with the National Speakers Association after Mary Lue Peck, the CEO, reached out to us. This partnership not only lets us offer NSA members discounts but also keeps us connected to the NSA as we continue to grow the business.
T: We’ll also be looking at any other speaking associations and bureaus, and software tools, technology, or processes that are valuable to the speaking community. Ultimately, we want to build relationships with people so that we can provide that value to our clients.
To learn more about SpeakerFlow and how they can take your speaking business to the next level, book a free strategy session! Feel free to also check out their “Frequently Asked Questions” page, for more information.
If you’re looking for a team that is as dedicated to you and your business as they are enjoyable to be around (and I can vouch for that, personally), your best match is only a click away. 🙂