If you are an author or a speaker, you should have a strategy. Both industries are very competitive. And, unless you manage to stay head and shoulders above your competition, you, as they say, are a “nobody” in the marketplace.
Toward that end, there are some basic questions you should ask yourself (or have someone else ask you) that, once answered, give you a clearer direction of where you are headed. They can also serve to position you as a thought leader in the mind of decision makers.
Some of these questions might seem impertinent, unusual or downright annoying. But there is a reason why you should not let another minute go by without getting started answering them. Here we go:
- Exactly what products & services are you selling? Do you know? Is it a “me too” product? Or does it disrupt the industry in a positive way?
- Why should someone buy your product/service?
- Why specifically should they buy from YOU?
- Why should they buy your product or service at your PRICE?
- Why should they buy your product or service NOW?
- What makes you truly unique? Why should media planners hire you or readers invest their valuable time reading your book?
- Who is your Target Market?
- Where do you suppose they hang out? A. Physically B. Online
- What hard cover publications do you think they read?
- What would be the ideal gig for you? Who would be in the audience? How large an audience would it be? What would you like to happen after you speak? A. Immediately B. Over the long run
- What marketing materials do you have? This should go without saying but, Do they cast you in a favorable light? Are the materials professional? For example, if you have video, make sure it is in a modern format (that means don’t give someone a cassette audiotape or VHS videotape in this day and age).
- Are you open to media appearances? You may say “Of course,” but have you been trained in dealing with the press? They can be brutal and make you look real bad if you aren’t sure what you’re doing or who you are speaking to. Believe it or not, they might lead you to believe they are going to ask you about one thing and then while you are on the air in front of millions of people, put you on the spot and ask you about something else. As you could imagine, it could be devastating for your career as well as your confidence.
- What are some of the conferences you attended in the past? Would you still enjoy attending them if you could?
- Would you say the attendees of those shows are in your Target Market?
- What specifically makes you unique? Why should meeting planners hire you?
- I know you say you would do keynote speeches… Would you also consider doing break-out sessions?
- Are you checking out your local convention center (if you have one) to see what conferences are coming up in the future? Perhaps you can speak at the conference (or be available as a substitute in the event that a speaker doesn’t show up). Wally Pipp of the New York Yankees once missed a game at first base. The person who replaced him became a legend. Known as The Iron Horse. Lou Gehrig played in 2130 straight games.
What’s your strategy? Do you have one? If not, you might want to start thinking one through by asking yourself these questions.
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