You Need to Stop Giving It Away!

You Need to Stop Giving It Away!

A lot of entrepreneurs have a money mindset that keeps them from making what they are worth. I don’t want to talk services or products today, I want to talk about events. You need to stop trying to fill events for FREE!

How many times have you downloaded a Free Giveaway and not used it? Or, been invited to a meet up group and woke up a bit tired and decided to blow it off? If you had paid a significant amount of money for either, you may have thought twice about using the download or getting in the car and attending? I that is a YES!

So why are you trying to fill your events by giving it away. Your time, energy, venue, food, beverage, handouts, etc. cost money. Figure out your costs and add them into your ticket price. You can just cover your costs; or make a bit more on top. Did you know that Southern California has the highest “no show” rate in the country? Why? Because people in LA wake up and if there is an accident on the 405 or if it is raining; they don’t leave the house.

If they don’t have “skin in the game” they will find a reason NOT to attend. So make it worth their time and energy to show up. Figure out what that cost would be? $10 a ticket, $20 a ticket or $197 a ticket. You need to determine the right amount for your audience. How do you do that? Go to similar events in your area. What do they charge and what do they offer? Make your’s offer so juicy that your ideal clients won’t think twice about registering.

When they Don’t Pay, they Don’t Show! Don’t give them the choice.



VIP’s Need to Feel VIP!

You are all excited to attend your VIP day/weekend; you have paid a premium price to be there, purchased plane tickets, transportation costs and hotel accommodations. You went out a bought a few items of clothing so you could make THE best impression on your coach and the other attendees. With your new journal in hand you arrive early for the continental breakfast only to find plastic containers of mixed fruit and a cardboard box filled with Costco muffins. You pick up your flimsy paper plate and plastic fork and get some nourishment down and try to keep your expectations high. No coffee and only water greets you in the back of the room. Your VIP lunch experience consists of food delivered from a local restaurant and presented in aluminum containers with plastic spoons. You end up not feeling too VIP by the end of the day.

The content of your event is important, the venue is super important. Don’t ruin all your hard work by going cheap on the food. I have spent thousands of dollars attending VIP Days, Weekends and Masterminds only to be served pizza out of a stack of boxes or little to no food at all. The cost of the event should be represented by the location, food and total experience. If your guests stomachs are empty, they cannot focus on the message you are sharing.

There are ways to save money on your F&B without making it look like it:

  • If you must purchase the food and beverage from the venue work with them to find ways to keep the cost down, but not the quality. Have your guests do breakfast on their own and just offer a nicer luncheon menu. Or have breakfast and then lunch on their own.
  • Bring food in from an outside caterer or restaurant. This is the best option; your cost of the food will definitely be lower. The key here is presentation. When the food arrives, replace it into nice glass serving dishes and platters. Dress up the table, layer with table cloths, place items at different heights. Presentation can make an inexpensive meal look top drawer!
  • If you are using plastic plates and utensils, spend the extra money on the higher quality items.
  • Beverages: Individual drinks (sodas/water bottles, etc.) place them in containers filled with ice, don’t just put them on a counter in rows. Purchase cartons of ice tea and pour into glass containers. You can use beautiful pitchers or glass dispensers. Fill them up with water and add sliced lemon, cucumber or strawberries. Your guests will be impressed.
  • Don’t forget the guests with food issues. Make sure you have options for vegans and vegetarians; items that are gluten and dairy free. If you can find out prior to the event what those “special requirements” are, you can make sure those issues are handled. You don’t know mad until you have been confronted by a guest with food requirements that are not met! Don’t go there!

I always talk about the “experience” of the event, food can make or break that experience. Sit down and walk through your event from a guest perspective. If you make those small adjustments, you will be sure your VIP’s will not only feel special, but want to come back again and again. Getting a client to sign up for an event or coaching course is hard enough, don’t lose them over paper plates.

Here’s to a great year of great experiences.

If you would like to be a VIP in my community, sign up HERE

Pay-to-Play, Really I have to pay to speak on your stage?

Pay-to-Play, Really I have to pay to speak on your stage?

Why should I have to pay to be on someone’s stage?

I hear that all the time. If you are a speaker and you have said this more than once I ask you to please read this blog. I think I can answer help you understand why?

First I want you to think about the dinner party, birthday party, social gathering you recently planned. Got it in your head? If you haven’t planned a party for yourself, maybe your child. Got it now? What were the steps you went through?

  1. Set the date
  2. Set a Budget
  3. Decided on a venue (your home, or other location)
  4. If another location, secured and gave a deposit
  5. Made an invitation list
  6. Set a theme
  7. Sent the invitations out (Eventbrite, mail, email, phone calls, personal invitation)
  8. Planned the menu
  9. Planned the decorations
  10. Secured the entertainment
  11. Received RSVP s
  12. Cleaned the house or made the final payment on your venue
  13. Followed-up on those individuals who did not RSVP
  14. With number of guests in hand, made final menu and grocery list
  15. Shopped for food, plates, cups, utensils, drinks or hired a caterer
  16. Set up the event (in home or other): decorated; set-up food/drinks.
  17. Party Favors: purchased and put together
  18. Opened the doors for all your guests.
  19. Entertained
  20. Said goodbye, then cleaned everything up

Those are just 20 things off the top of my head. What I didn’t put on there is how many of your guests did not answer or RSVP? How many did and then canceled the week of the event, or that morning? How many still did not show? Now you have all the food, drink, party favors and more left over because you counted on them to show and they didn’t.

Now take those 20 things and multiply them by 10 and you have an event checklist. The host has to handle all that as well as put out a large amount of money for the location, food and beverage, name badges/lanyards, swag bags, goodies, staging, lighting, videographer, photographer, audio visual, insurance; get the picture.

When you have the opportunity to get in front of an audience of your ideal clients; put on a nice outfit; show up the morning of the event and network, get handed a microphone and then introduced to the stage and be brilliant; don’t you think that’s a great deal. You don’t have to organize the event, fill the event, pay for the event. You just get pretty and show up! I think paying to do that is a no-brainer.  I would do that all day long.

Now do you have something to sell from the stage or give away? Don’t ever walk off the stage without getting something from your audience. If they say you can’t sell from stage, offer a free give-away and grab up everyone’s emails (they are gold). If you are selling, make sure you know the audience and the speakers also selling from stage. If everyone is selling to the audience, you may want to give something away; they will be so happy they are not being sold to they will give you their emails. Then get them in your nurturing campaign. If everyone is selling large dollar items, maybe offer a lower priced entry item. Remember if you are on the stage 45 minutes or less, please don’t try to sell a product or service over $1000. People need to fall in love with you and feel you can change their world, business or help them overcome their challenge. That takes time. It’s better to get them into your world at a lower price point.  You can up sell them at a later date for a larger program.

Now if you have done the pay to play and know your conversion rate, then you can do the math. If you spend $1000 to speak onstage for 30 minutes; then convert 20% of the room, it is money well spent. Let’s do the math: 100 people, convert 20%, that’s 20 people. Your product is $499; you sell 20 people then receive $9980. Minus your cost to speak, your profit is $8980. Not a bad day’s work and you don’t have the stress of hosting the event!

Now don’t go into debt paying to be on stage; but if you have it in your budget, know your numbers, you could build an amazing business using other people’s stages.

Now I don’t want to hear you complain any longer!


Photo Credit:
Photo of: Craig Duswalt, RockStar Marketing Bootcamp
Photographer: Lori Zapata Photography

Do You Want to Be a Speaker & Grow Your Business On-Stage?

Do You Want to Be a Speaker & Grow Your Business On-Stage?

If so, there a so many things you need to know before you step on the stage. Here are just 3 of my Top 10 Tips:

  1. What type of Speaker are you:INSPIRING/MOTIVATING/ENTERTAINING/ INFORMATIONAL? You may think this is a simple question. “I’m an empowering speaker helping entrepreneurs have total work/life balance” (INSPIRATIONAL)  Well let me tell you there are a lot of those speakers out there. What makes YOU different from the rest? What are you going to impart to the audience. Will they have tools to use after they have heard from you (INFORMATIONAL)?  Are you there to make the audience have some fun (ENTERTAINING)? Know your niche and your messaging and make sure it is clear when you walk on-stage.
  2. Know what you can do on-stage! Are you just inspiring the audience, or are you able to “sell from stage.” NEVER sell from the stage if you have not approved it with the host and/or event planner. Make sure it is in writing! There is a very fine line between sharing and selling. If you are allowed to sell from the stage, please make sure you are not “selling” the entire time you are up there. The audience wants tangible information, make sure you give, give and give some more. They need to fall in love with you in order to buy into what you are selling. Think about the speakers you liked. What did they do to keep you engaged? Did they sell? What did that look like? Who didn’t you like and why? If you can’t sell from the stage, can you give a “free gift” in order to collect emails? Remember: everything needs to be in writing so everyone is clear on what is expected.
  3. Get Moving:Whenever Chris Rock performed as a young comedian, he would stand stock still in front of the microphone. After the veteran Eddie Murphy caught Rock’s act one night, Murphy gave Rock some solid advice. To keep the audience’s attention, Murphy said, get moving. Rock has been stalking the stage ever since. Amy Jen Su and Muriel Maignan Wilkins, who report this anecdote in their book Own The Room: Discover Your Signature Voice To Master Your Leadership Presence, write: “Movement arouses the central nervous system. Our eyes follow movement. [When you move on stage] the audience can’t help but watch. Conversely, when you stop, the sudden absence of movement is compelling and creates emphasis.” Your body movements need to match your messaging and enhance the “story you are telling.”

EXTRA TIP: Stop speaking on stages where the audience is NOT your Avatar. It is a waste of your time and the audience will wonder why you are speaking to them.

Want to learn more about speaking on stages, join us August 16th in Thousand Oaks for my Summer School for Speakers. It’s going to be a real learning experience you won’t want to miss.

How’s that New Years Resolution to “Speak on Stages” working for you?

How’s that New Years Resolution to “Speak on Stages” working for you?

I don’t know too many entrepreneurs who do not put on their resolution list to “Speak on More Stages.” Was it on yours? Are you speaking on stages? Are they the right stages?

In the past 4 months I have worked a lot of events and witnessed first hand the right and the wrong way to speak on stages. I have also been approached by speakers wanting to get on my stages in all the wrong ways. In addition I have searched for seasoned speakers for several large conferences only to find no appropriate information. There are things you MUST have in place before you can truly embark on a profitable and successful speaking journey.

Here are my top 5 things YOU NEED to know or have in place:

  1. Updated Headshot: Please look like your photo! It’s not that you have to be beautiful, not even an issue, but if your picture is from 20 years ago, your brown hair is now grey or bleached blond and you are 50 pounds heavier; you need a new headshot. The production company will be promoting your participation and if the guests walk in and see a different person on the stage; it will make the event company look dishonest. I know we all looked better in our 20’s and 30’s but I am not the same person I was then as I am now. You only have your integrity and if you are lying to them by using an old picture; you lose the trust factor.
  2. Speaker One-Sheet: This does not have to be professionally produced, you can do it yourself or go to fiverr and pay a slight fee to have it done. Make it as easy on the production team as possible and list 3 Top Topics you can speak about along with a quick 2-3 sentence description. Put logos of the companies you have spoken to and add a few testimonials from people who have either hired you to speak or heard you speak. Your picture and a short bio should also be included. Links to your website, your contact information, etc. should be there as well. MAKE IT EASY ON US PEOPLE.
  3. Video: If you want to speak on my stage, I better see you speak on other stages. Not everyone is a good speaker (we know who those individuals are). A 20 minute speech can sometimes feel like an hour when the speaker is not engaging. If you can’t walk, talk and entertain; bottom line,  I don’t want you in front of my audience. So if I can see you speak to a group (no matter the size) and get a sense of your personality, knowledge base and stage presence; that is a win!  If we live in the same area, invite me to one of your presentations to hear you live. Always put your video links in your speaker packages and emails so all the production team has to do is click and see your brilliance immediately.
  4. Know the Rules: Nothing makes an event host and the production team madder than people who don’t play by the rules. If you have 20 minutes you better be done in 20 minutes. Watch the timer, practice your speech and know the timing.  If you were told you could not sell from stage, DON’T SELL FROM STAGE, or the back of the room. If you have a table at an event; it is expected that you will be selling something; but don’t think it’s a given for you to offer from the stage if it was not agreed to in advance. Just ask the question “What am I allowed to do from stage?” They will tell you exactly what you can and cannot do. If you go against the rules, I can assure you, you will not be asked back. Remember an Event Producer/Coordinator/Planner, whatever you call us, have more than one client. Mess up with one client and who knows how many stages you just lost the opportunity to speak on.
  5. Show Up Right! Make it easy on the host and show up confident, positive and professional. I don’t care if your dog ran away, your kids are having a bad day, you had a fight with your spouse, or you drank too much last night. It’s not about you, it’s about the audience. Whatever you have to do to get in the right head-space you need to do it. You have either been paid to speak, or paid a pretty penny to speak, or you are being given an opportunity to grow your business for free. Whatever the circumstances, you show up with your “A Game.” Dress professionally, you are not only representing your own business, but you are representing the production company as well. This is not a high school book report and you just rolled out of bed. Think about the event and the environment and dress the part. If this is a retreat you will not be wearing a 3-piece suit; but if its a corporate event, you better be wearing a suit/dress or business attire. Show up early; be a part of the event, network with the guests.  Don’t isolate on a table for speakers and only interact with other speakers. Be approachable. The best speakers I have seen come to the entire event and mingle with the audience so they get to know them before they get on stage. When they offer their “sale” the audience already knows them. Stay after you speak to answer questions and close more sales. Don’t think you are a celebrity and once you are on the stage you have to get in your limo and leave. Be generous, kind and authentic.

There is so much more that I would love to share with you in this blog and so many people I would love for you to learn from. That is why I am offering a 1-Day Workshop titled Summer School for Speakers. If you are serious about having a speaking career you need to be in this room. I have brought together experts in this field who will share the ins and outs of speaking on stage; how show up confident and professional; how to share “Your Story” to engage the audience and finally, how to dress  and present yourself in the best possible way. Find out more information at Summer School for Speakers . 

Let’s make those New Years Resolutions a Reality!

How to Pay for Your Event Before You Open the Doors – Part 4

How to Pay for Your Event Before You Open the Doors – Part 4

Sponsorships – Turn Yourself into a Race Car Driver!

You see race car drivers, their cars are covered with advertising as well as their jumpsuits; these are all money making opportunities. You can do the exact same thing at your events. There are many sponsorships and many levels you can offer so that your potential partnerships will choose the level that works for their budget. With their sponsorship (cash) they then receive marketing opportunities, for example:

Title Sponsor: $ Largest Amount

  • 45 Minutes on your stage with opportunity to sell
  • Full Page Advertisement in your Program
  • Company Logo on all marketing items
  • Company Name: Sponsored by: on front cover of your program
  • Recognized on Event Page and all social media posts
  • Prime Location for their display table (could offer double the size)
  • Name on Swag bag (location you determine)
  • Their marketing items included in the swag bag
  • Thank you them from stage & Listed in the top spot in the Thank You Page in Program

Lunch Sponsor: $ Cost of the Lunch + profit:  Figure out the cost of your lunch then add a profit

  • 10 Minutes in front of the luncheon guests
  • Full Page Advertisement in your Program
  • Lunch Sponsored by _________ on all marketing items
  • Lunch Sponsored highlighted on Event Page & Social Media
  • Prime Location for their display table
  • Their marketing items placed at all tables at the luncheon
  • Signage on all tables: Lunch Sponsored by ____________
  • Listed in the Thank You Page in the program
  • Their marketing items included in the swag bag

Coffee Break Sponsor: $ cost to cover the coffee break price with a little profit added. You can do this same thing for a Dessert Sponsor

  • 1/2 Page Advertisement in the program (placement your choice)
  • Coffee Break Sponsored by _____________ on signs at the coffee station
  • Listed in the Thank You Page in the program
  • They can also add promotional stir sticks/cozy’s etc. at their own cost
  • Vendor Table

Other types of sponsorships:

Registration sponsor: Name is placed on the back of all name badges.

Centerpiece Sponsor: You choose what you want to put on the tables; they pay you to cover that price. Or this can be a trade from a florist who brings in the centerpieces. You then can raffle them off.

Pen Sponsor: The cost of the pens for each guest with the sponsors name on them, plus a bit extra.

These are just some of the types of sponsorships, there are endless opportunities. These are all the Race Car Sponsorships; now for your Personal Sponsorships.

If you are a speaker and are in front of numerous people every month; you have a great opportunity for sponsorships. You can have your hair, make-up, clothing, shoes, favorite drink. Think this is crazy, not at all. You can promote your hair dresser on your social media; place their name on your marketing items and all they have to do is make sure your hair is great. This can be cut and color or a blow-out before your events. Think about how many times people come up to you and say “I love that hair cut or that color?” Why not use that opportunity to promote your hairdresser.

The same thought process can be used for make-up and clothing. If you have a specific “brand look” and love a specific store, or on-line company. Why not ask them if they would like some free promotions. You will make sure you wear their products on stage, in your Instagram photos and Facebook posts noting their clothes and their hashtags. All they have to do is give you your clothes for free. It’s a win-win.

I am only hitting a few of the ways to use sponsorships. Take a few minutes and think of strategic partnerships that you currently have and how to turn them into your sponsors. List the opportunities for the sponsors and divide them into your sponsorship levels. The larger the audience the more your can ask. You will be counting your profits way before you start filling your room.