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Speaking Engagements: Every Agency Owner’s Ace in the Hole

Stereotypically, speaking engagements may seem reserved for high-profile authors, nationally recognized experts, and former presidents. And while not as obvious, marketing professionals should seriously consider how securing the right speaking opportunities will not only elevate brands but they also hold the key to developing successful business opportunities. A common misconception about speaking engagements is they only serve to build a personal brand for thought leaders or authors. As an agency owner, your goal is to establish credibility with your audience. And by presenting at a conference or trade show with an audience of prospective clients and referral sources, you can successfully demonstrate your insights and expertise. In today’s world, when a single tweet, post, or video shows your brand to the rest of the world, booking the perfect speaking gig has never been so invaluable. Securing Multiple Speaking Engagements There’s no one right formula for securing the ideal speaking engagement. There are several different tactics to try, with speakers’ bureaus being a great resource. And most big conferences have an open call for speakers. So you can pitch yourself as someone with something an audience is hungry to hear. Aside from these more straightforward methods, do everything you can to prove your expertise and give people a reason to book you for their event. I’ve written a weekly column for Iowa’s business journal for more than a decade, and my weekly podcast has passed its two-year mark and shows no signs of stopping. Both serve as evidence to conference planners: Not only do I have relevant content, but I can also knit thoughts together in a coherent way to teach and inform. The key is to establish your credibility so you’re invited to do the same thing on [...]

By |July 25th, 2018|

6 Questions to Help You Find Your Tribe

We make many choices that mold our personalities, but none are quite as important as the people we choose to be around. As motivational speaker Jim Rohn put it, we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. This doesn’t mean you’re not the architect of your personality — you just need to make smart choices about those surrounding you, or your tribe. Choosing good company can be a tricky balancing act. We need many things from our friends and associates, including competition, honest feedback, moral support, and good judgment. I am a competitive person, for instance, and like to surround myself with people who make me want to push a little harder or reach a little higher. Alone, I might not feel the need to make that extra effort, but with the right people around me, I have the energy to go further. Rarely do I find one person who has all the qualities I’m looking for, but that’s normal. You need an inner circle of people who complement your strengths and help you improve your weaknesses. You don’t want people who tear you down or diminish your accomplishments out of jealousy — you want a group that helps you discover the best version of yourself. Ask the Right Questions to Find Your Tribe So how do you cultivate the right group? Fortunately, it’s not as hard as it sounds. You just need to ask the right questions to identify the right people to help you grow. Start with these six. 1. Who inspires me? Who makes you want to be a better leader, a better coach, and a better person? Is this person excellent at what he does? It [...]

By |June 14th, 2017|

What your agency employees want from their boss

Have you ever wondered what your agency employees want from their boss -- AKA you? I just spent two days with a room full of account executives, teaching them how to add more value to their agencies and their clients. As part of the conversation, we talked about improving employee relations and the difference between what they think their bosses want from them…and what you, agency owners, truly do want from them. It's an eye-opening experience for them to say the least.  But then I turn the tables and ask them what they want most from you -- their boss. What I always find fascinating is that "more money" is rarely mentioned. Here's a partial list of what your best AEs want from you: They want to learn from you, your past experiences and work They want to keep learning and for you to give them access to workshops, webinars, etc. They want to get smarter in terms of how business works, not just marketing They want to know you're running the business in a fiscally responsible way They want to work someplace that is vibrant and has a fun/cool factor They want the "this job isn't M-F, 9-5" to work both ways But the number one thing, time and time again that I hear they want most -- they want you to notice their work, their effort and express your appreciation for them going above and beyond.  They work hard and part of the reason they do it is because they want your trust and respect. We all know, as agency owners, that we get going so fast that sometimes we forget to say "thank you." This is a great place to start when [...]

By |January 28th, 2013|

Tired of being treated like a vendor? Stop acting like one.

Agency owners and staff alike have been complaining to us for several years about the growing number of clients – including existing clients – who insist on employing the agency as needed, rather than maintaining a long-term working relationship. In other words, using the agency as a temporary source of specified services, rather than as a valued advisor. If you're tired of jumping through purchasing department hoops or being one of many agencies at the table -- there's a way out.  This doesn’t have to happen to you.  But you need to be willing to make sue changes. It's time to start acting  like an advisor and resist being mistaken for a vendor. How many times have you heard that if you look like a duck, act like a duck, etc., people will treat you like a duck? Maybe it's time for us to stop walking around, quacking! There are three key reasons why agencies are being treated like vendors today – one largely beyond your control and the others totally within you control. What you can't control The reason that's largely beyond your control is what's happening in businesses today. Many of them are experiencing workforce reductions and cost cutting because of the economy's ongoing struggles.  Unless you have a magic bullet for the economy -- you're going to have to find work arounds for this challenge. What you can control The reasons totally within your control are the willingness of agencies eager for income to behave like transient vendors, rather than being and presenting themselves as valuable long term advisors. The second reason that your agency gets stuck in vendor mode is that agencies have been hiring “nice” account managers whose focus in [...]

By |May 14th, 2012|
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