Why Your Website Isn't Getting You The Gig!

Why Your Website Isn’t Getting You The Gig!

As a speaker, coach or consultant, your website should work like a sales representative. Out there hustling to get your next gig. If you haven’t had at least a handful of leads come in through your website, leads that you’ve converted into paying gigs, it may be time to ask the tough questions and see if your site is actually doing its job.

Consider the following reasons why your website might be letting you down:

1. You have the wrong testimonials.

Jane Atkinson tackles this in her excellent book The Wealthy Speaker. Here’s what she had to say:

What you want for testimonials is for them to answer the question: ‘What changed as a result of John Smith’s presentation?’ That’s what you need to ask your client to write about.

I couldn’t agree more. Most testimonials read like a stripped down greeting card. “So and so is a great speaker who delivered a thoroughly enjoyable presentation.” That’s nice, but it’s hardly persuasive.

Think in terms of the results that were achieved since you were booked. Did sales go up? Has morale visibly boosted? Get specific and plant the seed of ROI in your future client’s head.

You might want to seriously consider walking clients through writing the kind of testimonials that you need, maybe even providing them with a template when you request a testimonial.

You ARE requesting testimonials and not just waiting for the client to do it on their own, right?

2. You don’t have a GOOD video.

This is another point hammered home in The Wealthy Speaker. You need at least one GOOD video on your website. Notice the emphasis on good. What’s the big deal with video? Put yourself in the shoes of a meeting or event planner seeking out the best speaker for hire. They are going to look at a lot of speakers and they’re going to want to process the gist of these speakers quickly. Video is the best way for them to do so.

Amidst all of the reasons you should willingly open your wallet wide, make one of them your website (I promise I’m not just being self-serving here) and make the other one your video. Find someone who specializes in speaker videos. It’s a different animal than commercials or short films. Once you’ve got a killer video, put it in a place of prominence, front and center, on your website.

Seriously, it should smack people in the face and make them want to hire you!

3. You haven’t made it easy for people to hire you / work with you.

Larry Winget has really nailed this part of his website. The second link in his menu says ‘Hire Larry’. In case you miss that, there’s another prominent link just a bit further down on his home page. Once you click on that section, there are links to download his introduction, photos, and other press materials. There’s a hard-to-miss button in the sidebar that walks you through the next steps. Gee, I’m starting to think that this Larry guy is open to being hired for public speaking gigs!

People want to be guided through this kind of process. You’ve shown them where the answer lies, now hold their hand as you cross the bridge together. Might I suggest a big button that says “Hire [insert your name here],” or something similar? Make sure you include a resource section where your new client can download everything they need, including a speaker introduction/bio and a press kit.

Sharing these kinds of resources on your site shows that you are a professional who has thought of everything (or close to it). People find this so reassuring that, when all else is equal, these resources could actually be the tie-breaker.

4. Your photography is weak.

This one is pretty obvious, right? You know you need professionally shot, up-to-date photos that reflect your personality? You know that getting your buddy to snap some iPhone pics isn’t how the pros do it? It’s such a no brainer! Hell, I feel silly for even bringing it up.

5. It’s just flat out bad!

This one is tough. It’s subjective and when things are outside of your area of expertise, it’s hard to know what you don’t know. Design is, of course, aesthetic; it appeals to emotions and sets up a look that says credible and professional. Design also exists to facilitate functionality, allowing for booking speakers and consultants, connecting via social media, and reading and sharing blog posts.

I’m not going to share my philosophy about what design is and isn’t. My suggestion is that you never go too long without putting your site through the wringer. If it’s been more than eighteen months since your site got a serious tune-up, bring in a pro, get your site audited to see what’s missing. Bone up on WordPress and choose a nice looking theme.

Just do something! Make it a priority to have a continually improving site and keep your foot on the gas.

Your Turn!

I would love to know what you thought about this article. What did I leave out? What changes have you made to your site that have yielded positive results?

I hate the idea of speakers settling for fewer gigs for less money. If there’s anything I can do to help make your site better, even if it’s just providing my two cents on what you’ve got, then hit me up!

Why I Build Websites For Speakers

Why I Design Websites For Speakers

The story about why I create websites for speakers and coaches is one I’ve been meaning to tell for a long time.

I’ve worked on websites across the board, within a lot of different industries. I’ve worked on websites for lawyers, dentists, retail, churches, authors, and restaurants. I could have chosen to focus any number of industries. Several, though, I made the decision to focus on websites for speakers and coaches.

We know from Simon Sinek that “why” we do things is really important. Here’s my “why”:

In 2012, I was struggling. I was two years removed from setting out on my own. Even though I’m good at what I do, I wasn’t attracting the right kind of clients and was making little more than enough money to pay my bills.

That’s when I came to my “get it right or get out” moment. I was either going to figure out how to turn my business around or I was going back to the corporate world. To help me sort it out, I hired a business coach who was specializing in helping tech-driven companies (it was this guy).

The difference was night and day and it was immediate. Right away I put some practices in place that turned things around for. My rates went up. I started attracting better clients. I ditched a lot of bad habits and picked up a lot of great new ones – habits that are still a major part of my business today.

I was really blown away by the impact my coach had on my business and knew then that the people who make a living by helping others really DO make a difference.

My business coach went on to make speaking a big part of his business. I was able to return the favor and help him with his website and help him get more speaking gigs. I know that he went on to do some amazing things, (and is still doing amazing things) helping businesses from the stage, in small part because of the work we did on his website.

A good speaker is really someone who coaches from the stage. I like the idea of helping people that make a business out of helping others. I like to think that I’m helping speakers extend their message beyond the stage and helping coaches extend beyond their sessions. I like to think that, by proxy, I can claim a very small part of all the breakthroughs that those in the coaching community are so great at prompting.

I’ve spent enough time around speakers to realize that they are a different breed. As a result, speakers and coaches need a different kind of website than the rest of the world. I enjoy honing in on the nuances that come with a speaker/coach website. I’m getting better and better at dealing with these nuances and I’m committed to serving “my people.”

My questions for you? What do you deal with as a speaker or coach that’s unique to your profession? What are the challenges that you’ve had to face with your website and branding?

I love hearing from people who are in the middle of it all, so send me an email and let me know!

7 Ways To Nail That Speaker One Sheet

7 Ways To Nail That Speaker One Sheet

Crafted and distributed well, a speaker one sheet is a crucial item in the arsenal of any professional speaker. Think of your one sheet as the executive summary for your speaker packet or PR kit.

It’s a simple enough document. It shares what you do,  the benefits of booking you and, if you’re booked, exactly how the engagement will go down. I’m sharing my seven tips for nailing that one sheet and landing that great speaking gig. Follow these guidelines, and I’d be willing to bet you’ll tack on at least one or two extra speaking engagements in the coming year.

Setting Up A Stellar One Sheet

1. Resist the urge to pack it to the gills with information.

White space is kind of a big deal. You need it to call attention to items of emphasis, rather than overwhelming the viewer.

There’s only so much space available on an 8.5 x 11 page, so you’re not going to be able to tell your life story. Instead, you’ll need to make some hard decisions about what to include.

Make a hierarchy of your content in order of importance. Save the stuff at the bottom for your expanded speaker packet or your website.

2. Definitely include a professional photo.

Seriously, I don’t want to catch any of you trying to get away with a cell phone pic.

Hire a pro to take that photo and make sure you’re represented like a professional, then use your favorite shot conspicuously on your one sheet.

3. Position yourself as THE sought-after authority.

You’ve been featured on NBC, CNN, the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post? That’s impressive! Include a small section resembling “as seen on,” then include some high-res logos to really showcase where you’ve already been featured.

Not quite at that level yet? That’s okay. Instead, opt for a glowing testimonial from someone (preferably in upper-management) from the most well-known organization that had you speak.

4. Let people know the benefits of working with you.

Did a company report increased profits or productivity right after working with you? Play it up!

People don’t act without first asking “what’s in it for me?”

Remember, this thing is going to wind up in the hands of people in a position to hire you. When that happens, they needed to be motivated to make the call.

5. Spell out how working with you is going to play out.

You have to strike the right balance between detail and brevity here. Let people know what topics you’re willing to cover. You need to make sure they get the picture, and you must do so succinctly.

6. Include a call to action.

I’m a big believer in putting calls-to-action on damn near everything.

You have an ideal outcome in mind, so ask for it to happen!

Be explicit and ask for the viewer to call you or email you to book you for their next corporate function. And, this is kind of a no-brainer, but make sure your one sheet has your contact info on it.

7. Get an extra set of eyes on it.

Ideally, you would have a professional designer take a crack at this but sometimes that’s not necessarily feasible. At the very least, put it in front of someone who might not know what you do all that well and get their honest opinion. If they can recite back to you accurately what you do and who you serve AND give you a favorable first impression, then you’re off to a pretty good start.

Speaker one sheets are one of my favorite documents to design. There’s so much opportunity to reflect the speaker’s personality and really enforce a personal brand.

If you’re stuck on where to go with your one sheet, let’s have a conversation. Reach out via phone or email. I’d love to hear from you.

The Very Best Branding? It's Personal!

The Very Best Branding? It’s Personal!

When it comes to running a successful business, I’m of the mind that the more personal your branding, the better?

It’s not personal, it’s business …

Watch any cutthroat big business flick and you’ll hear some iteration of the quoted phrase above. For some reason, the only one that comes to mind right now is not so cutthroat, as it’s a rom-com. You’ve Got Mail. LOL!

The More Personal The Branding …

Personal branding. It’s one of those very buzzworthy, ever-so-clickable phrases we see scattered quite often through our social media feeds.

We hope to clear a bit of confusion attached to the phrase, if that’s okay with you. It’s very important that brands remember the following:

All Brands Are Personal Brands!

Brands aren’t just big business anymore. Even when a brand is built around a company, it’s got to be personal. The better the brand, the more they understand this.

Why? Because consumers do business with PEOPLE they know, like and trust. When real people are seen as part of a brand, it’s easier to build and maintain that knowledge, affinity and trust. The best brands maintain a personal relationship with their audience and clientele, individually and as a whole.

Brands must be seen for their human beings, real people, not faceless apps and web tools!Click To Tweet

Making a personal connection amidst all the marketing noise is a must in order to stand out and stay on message.

Branding must personalize the experience for consumers and prospects.

Consider this, what do you want a potential prospect to remember upon hearing/seeing your name?

You want them to feel a connection to you, your company, your brand. You want any reaction upon hearing/seeing your name or company name to be positive. You hope that when a friend, co-worker or acquaintance mentions a product or service need, those that know your brand will readily share with whoever is doing the asking.

The best brands maintain a personal relationship with audience and clientele, individually and as a whole.Click To Tweet

In order to leave that positive impression, you’ve got to personalize the consumer experience, online and off. Consider the following:

  • Is your brand message cohesive across all digital real estate? This means your web site and all of your social accounts.
  • Do you effectively and actively engage in discussion and conversation with your consumer audience online? Do you respond to comments on your blog, queries on your Facebook page and quick questions on Twitter?
  • Do the images you share match your brand message in tone and appeal?
  • Do you continue the conversation after the initial question is answered or discussion is over?
  • Do you look at and possibly share or comment on what your followers are posting?
  • Do you check back in to see if all’s still well a day later? A week later? Beyond?

The Best Branding Connects On A Personal Level

When your brand makes a personal connection with a prospect – another person, by the way, you’re more inclined to make a sale, or, at the very least, warm up a cold lead.

First impressions are incredibly important, especially online. If your brand comes across as robotic or automated in its online interactions, you might not get a second chance to make a good first impression. There are plenty of other brands who’ll get it right the first time.

When it comes to better #branding, make the first impression a personal one!Click To Tweet

Not sure if your brand’s actively connecting with prospects and current customers on a personal level? Give us a shout. We can set up a consultation or complete an interaction audit.

Branding & Business: Let's Get Pessimistic!

Branding & Business: Let’s Get Pessimistic!

It requires boundless optimism to be an entrepreneur, almost to the point of being self-delusional. No one is disputing how important optimism is when branding and running a business. And no one is suggesting that moping or falling into a self-destructive funk is smart business. Okay?

Now that we’ve got that out of the way …

Have you ever considered looking at your personal brand through pessimistic glasses? It could do you a lot of good.

Branding issues resolved with the glass “half-full” approach?

Since we’ve been old enough to understand the concept, we’ve been taught, “think positive and good things will happen!” While this is true on some level, there’s a benefit to being a pessimist that people rarely talk about.

Pessimists go through life better prepared, with thorough plans in place in case of disaster. While an optimist sees only sunny days ahead, the pessimist is prepared for hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, and the apocalypse.

Ultimately, preparation is what turns mortals into superheroes. So, how does this relate to personal and business branding? What if we:

  1. ASSUMED that no one in your target audience will get you and that no one will understand what it is that you do. You would have to make sure that your message is not just clear, but damn clear.
  2. ASSUMED that your target audience wants no part of what you sell. You would need to go overboard with a brand with built-in defenses against sales objections and come from a point of persuasiveness.
  3. ASSUMED that everyone in your target audience is going to take one look at what you do and hate your guts. You would make sure that your brand positions you as an irrefutable expert in your field, someone who transcends personality conflicts with the ability to straight up solve a problem.
  4. ASSUMED that your brand will fall well short of reaching the number of people you need to reach. Well, then, you would just have to make sure that your brand converts at a higher percentage for the people you do connect with.

Be positively pessimistic

Keep the sunny disposition as you deal with people and as you make plans for the future, but plan as if everything that could possibly go wrong will go wrong.

The extra planning will bring you serenity in times of anxiousness. Trust me, this is coming from a compulsive worrier!

How does your brand stand up against the worst-case scenario? We’d love to talk about it.

Don’t feel like leaving your brand woes for all to see in our comment section? We understand. You can easily schedule a 15 minute complimentary strategy session to discuss and discover how your brand stacks up.

What’s So Great About You?

What’s So Great About You?

Feeling stuck on the bio for your “About Me” page? Worried that you don’t have ten TV appearances and seven advanced degrees to showcase? Feeling pressured to have lots of pizazz? Or egotistical because you’re talking about yourself?

This all gets easier when you write in service to your audience.

How do you do that? Offer them a story that they can relate to, a thread that mirrors their own challenges, and shows them they can get through it with grace. You’re not going to squeeze every piece of experience you’ve ever had onto the page. Be willing to let some of your valuable experience go, when it’s not in service to your people.

Here are five (5) questions that will get you there.

Who is your audience?

This can be an easy question. It can stop you in your tracks. Let’s say you’re a speaker who targets middle management about leadership challenges.

What are the 3 biggest challenges your audience has?

This is key. What do your people think about all day long? If you’re the middle management speaker, your audience wrestles with being understood by their bosses, leading when they report to someone, managing people (they might be new at it), resolving conflict, and supporting their team without becoming their parent.

What has happened in your professional life that reflects similar challenges?

Your audience wants to see that you’ve been through something similar. With our middle management speaker, she was promoted from middle management to VP level at Target. The business was struggling with lackluster customer service at several of its stores (total hypothetical here)! There was lack of communication between the customer service reps and upper management, and this showed in how they acted toward customers. She was placed in charge of turning this around.

How did you resolve issues/challenges in ways that build your credibility?

So what’s the happy ending to your challenge narrative? Our speaker developed a process to effectively hire, train and manage the reps for an entire region. Upper management was thrilled with the results, and it helped that she figured out how to keep them in the loop throughout the rollout. The program was so successful, her process was adopted by Target corporate for the entire country and she was promoted. She clearly understands the intricacies of being in middle management. And that is her audience. Yes!

You can go with a couple more stories like this, or just share a longer story that shows you understand a challenge similar to theirs and how you solved it. They’ll be wondering what your secret sauce is, and that’s what will get them to hire you.

What other training, education, background would show them you can support their challenges?

Well, you’ve done it. You’ve built some rapport. Now, bring in related experience and training for a slam dunk. Our middle management speaker went through an MBA program specializing in management and customer service. She completed a conflict resolution course, business leadership training, and even managed a bunch of volunteers at her local United Way for years. She really gets the pain and rewards of managing people.


When you are finished answering all these questions, you might notice that you haven’t included some qualifications that you think are valuable. It’s OK to leave them out. You’re starting a conversation here. Once you’re in contact, you will get to know each other better, and you can pleasantly surprise them with deeper experience, if it’s relevant. The bigger danger is that you overwhelm them with credentials. There’s no need. Speak to them with full regard to what matters to them.

Take all this and write a bio that is in total service of your audience. Ready? Set? Go!

*****     *****     *****     *****     *****     *****

Guest Author: Christina Frei

Check out her website | Follow Her On Facebook | Connect & Converse on Twitter

It Takes a Village to Launch a Web Site

It Takes a Village to Launch a Web Site

I completed a website redesign and set it up for launch yesterday. In typical fashion, the client shared the new site with his friends and peers online and presumably asked for a little feedback. Right away the client forwarded me an email from a friend of his who noticed a small glitch with the responsive layout.

Now, we try to catch every issue while in the pre-launch development stage. I pride myself in thoroughly testing development sites on desktops, phones, and tablets of varying sizes. Every now and then, though, something slips through the cracks and needs to be fixed after the site is launched.

How do you think I felt seeing this feedback from one of my client’s friends? I loved it. I thought, “man, it really is nice to have a network of people double-checking my work. It makes my job so much easier.” It also got me thinking …

It really takes a village to launch a website!

The whole point of a website? It’s there for the world to see as your digital marketing representative. So, doesn’t it make a lot sense that we should get “the world’s” feedback?

I learned very early on that my work has to stand up to critical eyes. Feedback, criticism, whatever you call it, is what sharpens the iron. It’s what makes our marketing go from good enough to great. To this day I’m immensely grateful for every flaw that’s ever been pointed out when I launch a project.

I’ve launched websites for clients in the past and didn’t see much sharing going on. Why? I don’t get that at all. If I put that much work into something, I’m damn sure going to show it off. This needs to be especially true for speakers since, by nature, speakers rely so heavily on self-promotion.

Even if it’s just your friends and family, you already have an audience. Use them. Launch to your parents, your siblings, your cousins, your bartender, past clients, current clients, and prospective clients that you’re talking to. Ask them to tell you what they really think about your new look. I don’t think this shameless self-promotion; it’s more like telling the neighborhood that you’ve remodelled your store.

The way I see it, you get two big advantages from this:

  1. You get extra eyes testing out your site and catching potential glitches.
  2. You get an excuse for an extra connection with people who might be on the fence about working with you or people who haven’t worked with you in a while.

I have a background in usability testing and let me tell you, companies pay big bucks to recruit users and have them go over websites with a fine-toothed comb. Having a network of people who can do that for you? That’s huge.

There is a BIG caveat here. Don’t let this turn into design by committee. Have you ever heard the expression that a giraffe is what you get when you let a committee design a horse? You’re just looking for feedback here, not turning over the keys to groupthink. You’re still the boss of your company, your brand and your online presence.

Not to get too philosophical, but the pursuit of perfection is part of what makes us human. The day we shrug our shoulders and decide that it’s all good enough is the day we lose our edge.

Your people are ready to give you feedback. Ask for it and embrace the results. It’s only going to help your brand.

What can your audience do to help you with your marketing materials? I want to know how other speakers are approaching this. Send me an email and tell me what your audience has to say about your website.