I met Mandi Stanley this summer at the Mississippi Writer’s Guild Conference. She gave a brilliant talk on how to wow an audience. Immediately, I knew that my blog readers needed to hear her tips. Read on to learn her strategy for staying booked and join us on February 27, 2013 at 12:00 PM CT (Think Chicago) when she visits our Write Now! Mastermind class. The class is free, but you need to sign up on our Write Now! Mastermind page to attend.
In the late 1990s—way back in the last century—I was traveling full time as a speaker and trainer for the American Management Association teaching business writing, technical writing and grammar-for-grownups seminars. Our five-cities-in-five-days routine looked something like this: fly out on a Sunday night, work Denver Monday, Salt Lake City Tuesday, Boise Wednesday, Portland Thursday and wrap up in Seattle Friday. Then we would turn around and do it all again the next week in five different cities, perhaps the East Coast this time.
Blessings abounded during that time, and I was privileged to see much of this great land that I wouldn’t have been exposed to otherwise. Soon after my husband and I moved from Kansas City to Memphis, though, we discovered we were expecting our first baby. We had been married 11 years, and this was a long-awaited, much-anticipated turn of events. I knew there was no way I could continue the five-cities-in-five-days routine as the mom of a newborn. Our baby would certainly appreciate a mother who did more than just check in on Saturdays!
After I completed my contract with AMA, I launched Mandi Stanley Seminars in 2003 and took control of my calendar. I knew I wanted a sabbatical from traveling for at least the first eight to nine months of my son’s infancy. Enough people had spoken wisdom into my life, advising that you never get that time back. I listened.
One professional speaking sage—and veteran mom—analogized that when your baby sleeps, your speaking enterprise sleeps. When your baby begins to crawl, your business will start to crawl again. And when your baby is up and running, then your business should be up and running as well.
Nine months off the road can mean death to a speaker’s business, however. I didn’t want to have to start again from zero. It could take more than six months just to get that speaking schedule ramped up again. So, I made one of the smartest moves of my professional career. I hired an expert.
Enter Mark LeBlanc of Small Business Success. Mark is a small business consultant from LaJolla, California. He taught me how to keep speaking opportunities “in the pipeline” while on my self-imposed maternity leave. His strategy ensured I wouldn’t have to start from scratch once I was ready to start speaking and training clients again.
That was early 2003. Here we are in 2013, a decade later, and I STILL adhere to Mark’s marketing strategy unfailingly today. Compliance is key. I have never faltered, and that discipline makes a difference.
Mark taught me a four-pronged marketing strategy to keep clients calling my office and dates on the calendar. All I have to do is follow his advice “once a month, every month.” When The No-Panic Plan for Presenters was published last year, I adapted the strategy to schedule book signings, readings, and a traveling tour to share my published subject matter expertise. Authors and speakers alike can profit from some of these same promotional strategies.
During the Write Now! Mastermind Class on February 27, I’ll specifically share the four-pronged marketing strategy I use. Participants will:
- Choose their own four promotional strategies for their latest writing projects
- Learn how to fully leverage the “showcase” strategy
- Gain ideas for organizing a 20-minute book talk
- Shift back-of-the-room book sales to a front-of-the-room mindset
- Discover some surprise presentation tips from the pros
Mandi Stanley, CSP, holds the distinction of being Mississippi’s first Certified Speaking Professional. Her first business book, The No-Panic Plan for Presenters: An A-to-Z Checklist for Speaking Confidently and Compellingly Anywhere, Anytime was named a Finalist in the Career category at the Next Generation Indie Book Awards in 2012. She tweets @MandiStanleyCSP. www.MandiStanley.com