Change is hard; even more so when it’s unexpected. The Covid-19 crisis has caught us all unprepared, and in fast-changing times like this, the key to business success and uninterrupted career development is the ability to adapt and turn adversity into opportunity.
If you’re a public speaker, you’re working in one of the industries that have been hit early and hit hard by the pandemic. However, that does not mean that you need to wait this out or that your career as a speaker should come to a standstill.
Here are a couple of things you can do during the lockdown to navigate your way through these challenging times and pivot from the coronavirus setbacks to professional success.
Circumstances have changed, but thankfully we live in the digital age, so you can still spread your message and reach global audiences online.
A lot of events have been cancelled or postponed, but also many of them have moved online. As a public speaker, you can maintain business continuity by pivoting from in-person gigs to virtual gigs.
The easiest way to get started with virtual events is to convince your existing clients to consider hosting the event online, instead of cancelling it. Note that if you haven’t spoken at a virtual conference before, this is a new product/service in your offering, so you need to treat it like one.
A lot of speakers are great on stage, but get stuck when they step in front of a camera, since speaking on camera and speaking in front of a live audience are two very different scenarios. So, before you offer your new service, make sure you have proof it works, gather testimonials, and develop your on-camera skills.
Suggested read: HOW TO BECOME A BETTER SPEAKER: LOOK & SOUND GOOD ON CAMERA
It’s true that the coronavirus has had a significant impact on most industries: a lot of businesses in retail, tourism, and hospitality have had to close their doors and put some or all their employees on furlough, or find new ways to do business, fast. However, some industries like delivery services, video streaming and eLearninghave been booming due to consumers’ changing needs, habits and daily behaviours.
As universities move their classes to the digital environment, companies replace their in-person L&D programs with virtual trainings, and people look for different ways to acquire new skills while socially distancing, now is the time to kick off your own coaching program.
Live coaching gives you the opportunity to connect with your audience, help your clients overcome their challenges and work on their dreams from the comfort of your own home, and even reach new prospects as now you can work with people regardless of their location and schedules.
Host your own workshops
Regardless of what career level you’re at, remember that many of the things you know and are good at are completely new to other people.
Organizing a workshop is a great way to build trust with your audience and deliver real value. The great thing about workshops is that they allow you to really get to know your audience and help you discover new opportunities to maintain customer loyalty and satisfaction. Moreover, if your clients like the workshop experience, upselling your other courses/programs will be easy.
Building a dynamic, engaging workshop consists of several steps.
The first thing you need to define is your target persona: are you going to be targeting beginners, or professionals in your field? Next, you need to define the workshop’s objective. To do this, answer this question: What am I hoping to achieve with this? What’s the outcome? Next, decide how much time you will need to achieve your objective, as well as whether you are going to charge money for the workshop or offer it for free for exchange for an email address and personal contact information. You might for example organize a free 1 hour workshop that helps beginner speakers develop their signature speech.
Once you know who you’re targeting, what you’ll be working on, and what kind of outcome you’re looking to achieve, it’s time to develop a content plan. Finally, you need to think about the technicalities: the equipment you’ll use, the payment methods, as well as what platform you’ll be using to deliver the workshop.
Together, we’re stronger.
Networking is essential for professional success, and my guess is, you already have a solid relationship with at least a couple of your peers.
Now is the time to use your network and work together with other speakers to help each other out.
Organizing a joint event will help you get in front of a different audience and increase awareness of your personal brand.
To avoid any misunderstandings, make sure you and the person you’re collaborating with have specified your roles and have a crystal clear vision of your goal and expectations.
Suggested Read: NETWORKING TIPS: 5 MISTAKES MOST SPEAKERS MAKE, AND HOW TO STOP MAKING THEM
Changing external circumstances don’t have to slow down your career. To ensure business continuity you need to be flexible and try new things leveraging the available technologies.
Not sure how to pivot effectively?
My branding roadmap, The Branding Secrets for Speakers will help you figure out what makes you unique as a speaker and how you can build a personal brand that stands out online and offline.
The eBook is suitable both for complete newbies and established speakers who want to fine tune their brand and move their career forward, even when the entire world is at a standstill.
Until next time – stay safe,