If you want to grow your business, one ideal way I have found to do that is through speaking engagements. If you have a niche area of expertise and want to reach an audience — in a group setting — that is your ideal client base gathering them all in one room to talk with them is a great way to make the most of your time, money and efforts.
When you’re sending in a speaking request you will be asked to supply a bio to the group for whom you will be speaking. Do you have a business bio at the ready? If not, here is information you will want to add to it:
- Keep your audience in mind. What portion of your area of expertise do you want to highlight? Make that prominent in the bio you submit. If you’re being asked to speak at a conference, it might make sense to inquire as to the make up of the audience itself — its interest, business or trade and the conference theme.
- Look at LinkedIn profiles of those in your profession and see how they present themselves. Use their profiles as inspiration for your bio.
- Brainstorm on your top three qualifications and what inspired you to hone in on those qualifications. In other words, what sets you apart from the competition. What makes you the most qualified person to speak on the topic of XYZ Widgets at this conference.
- Keep it short. While you don’t want to short change yourself when attempting to sell yourself on a speaking engagement, you don’t want to send a 5,000 word manifesto of your experience since grade school. Touch on the most salient points and those points which, again, highlight your qualifications for speaking to this particular audience.
Take time today to write your business bio — you never know when you’ll need it!
When someone calls your office do they reach a real person or an automated voice mail system? Do they have to click through a menu in order to real a live person? If that’s the case, you may find that you’re turning some of your prospects off.
What can you do to encourage prospects to call you back? Here are some of my tried and true methods:
- Answer your phone during working hours. Yes, you may take off for the lunch hour, but for the most part if you’re sitting at your desk you should answer you phone.
- If someone is calling you, answer the phone with a smile in your voice.
- If you’re calling on a prospect, make certain you speak clearly and also make certain you leave your phone number more than once so they don’t have any wonder at what your number was.
- If you leave a message, don’t ramble. Get to the point. Write down your points if necessary. Don’t waste a prospect’s time by making him or her listen to a long message before you get to the point.
- While you may bring with you an impressive resume, you don’t need to drop every name of every client into your voice mail. There will be time to share that information when you connect.
- End the call with a “call to action.” Whether that call to action is, “I will call you back at 2 pm,” or “I’d love to hear from you and I will be in the office until 5 pm to discuss your XYZ need,” you should leave them wanting to call you back with a plan of action in mind.
Before you make your next call to a prospect, listen to your own voice mail to see if it is inviting when a prospect calls you and whether it shares pertinent information.
There aren’t too many times when I make a sweeping statement as it relates to business ownership, but when it comes to blogging, I believe that every business could benefit from having one. Why? There are myriad reasons, but I will share my top three here:
- Your blog is a platform to share your unique knowledge and expertise. If you are the expert in your field, then you need a platform on which to share it and your blog is the ideal place for that knowledge-sharing. Provide your readers with hints and tips that are in your area of expertise and that will help make their lives easier.
- Use your blog to announce specials, promotions, coupons or other deals you may be offering. While you will also want to share that information on your social media platforms, use your blog as the jumping off point.
- Ask your clients or potential clients questions and use the blog as a platform to answer them. If even one individual writes to you, they are in the midst of a pain point and if you can offer a solution to that pain, they will continue to look to you as the resource.
Consider, too that adding a blog to your website — and updating your blog regularly — means that your website will keep being ranked by Google. That is because Google loves fresh content and “rewards” you for it by keeping your site higher in the search engines. PS frequent posting isn’t the only way to get your site found — you need to employ quality SEO, but that is the topic for another blog post.
As business owners we must track and monitor our business efforts so we can tell whether our actual efforts are yielding results. How, though, can you determine what you should be measuring? What are your key performance indicators? That isn’t a trick question, but most businesses have different variables that they want to, or need to, track.
Here are a few items you may want to track for your business:
- Determine your business goal. Is it to bring in X number of new clients? Do you want to make X amount of money is sales? Put a number to it then you will know what you’re tracking and whether you’re achieving what you’d hoped.
- Break the goal down into achievable steps if necessary. If, for example, you say you want to bring in 50 new clients in December, it might be best to break that down by the week so that you’re not tempted to put off bringing in those new clients until December 31.
- Make sure you’re comparing the results with the goals you’d set. If you’re not achieving them, take a step back and determine why. Were the goals too lofty? Did you truly not work hard enough on achieving them? Procrastination can be the death of many-a-goal being met.
Your business success can hinge on whether you’re setting goals. If you don’t know where you’re going and what you consider to be a “successful endeavor” how will you know if you’ve arrived?