Ryan Foland speaks with Lauren Pibworth, a marketing expert who focuses on helping speakers find the right events, connect with event organizers and build great marketing material.
Ryan and Lauren Pibworth have an in-depth discussion filled with practical advice on what a great speaker website looks like, and the ins and outs of whether you need one, and how to make yours great so that you start getting booked for more paid speaking events.
Listen to this podcast to find out:
- How to build a speaker website that actually gets you hired to speak.
- How to articulate the value you can offer to the event organizer, and audience.
- Why you need to avoid building a complete ego-centric website (and a few other big no-nos)
- What a sales funnel is and how to use them to build your speaking business
- Practical advice on creating a speaker reel that gets watched and generates leads.
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Lauren Pibworth: This is Lauren Pibworth, and I have just had an awesome time with Ryan. We really delved into what it takes to build a speaker website that helps you get more gigs, make more money, spread your message.
We talked about some amazing things including making sure that you're marketing to the people who are paying you, right down to the brass tacks of exactly what needs to be on your homepage and the order it needs to be there.
I hope you have an awesome, awesome time listening! Thank you so much.
Ryan Foland: Welcome to another episode of the World of Speakers. I am here with a guest today, who is going to share what she does to support speakers who are spreading their message around the world.
Now, Lauren Pibworth is our guest today, and I am meeting her for the first time.
We could make up a back story that we've met before— where should we pretend that we've met Lauren?
LP: I say we met in a coffee shop.
I had a latte, you had an espresso.
You were desperate to have someone to fill this spot right now, and said, "Hey, come, come speak on my podcast!" And I said, "Okay, let's talk about dogs."
And so we're here, but we're not going to talk about dogs.
I'm more of an Americano guy, so that's okay.
We all have a back story and you are highly referred from actually a few sources, as we put out some feelers, because you're doing something unique out there.
It's not that you are speaking as much as you are helping to facilitate those people who are speaking around the world.
I'm excited to get to know you, learn about how you are famous for building websites that are speaker-centric, as well as helping them develop a plan around their brand and marketing.
That helps the speakers focus on what they're good at— which is spreading their message.
How did you get involved in this crazy World of Speakers?
LP: I've always loved people who have this desire to change the world, but I'm going to back up just a tiny bit from that.
Eleven years ago, my husband who works in the IT field, came home with all his belongings in a box, because as you know it happens with IT professionals.
“Company A” buys “Company B” and there you go.
RF: Technology changes and so does the jobs.
LP: And so does the staff, exactly.
He came home with all his belongings in a box, and I said, "Don't worry honey, I have been nominated for employee of the year at my advertising agency, everything's awesome."
A week later I came home with all of my belongings in a box.
We kind of looked at each other in shock for a moment, and then we just kind of agreed that this was an opportunity.
We were going to look at it as an opportunity, instead of a blow.
I decided that I was going to make a list of the things that I love to do the most, the types of people I wanted to be surrounded by, and the things that I wanted to really support in this world.
After a very long and detailed checklist, I came up with “speakers”.
I come from a background in advertising and marketing.
I'm also a sommelier, before I got into advertising I taught food and wine and flavors, and I am a huge Ontario wine buff (they actually make good wine here, don't let anyone tell you different.)
RF: That is no joke.
I have I would say an unrefined palate. I can't tell the difference— I can tell the difference between red and white, that's about it.
Much respect to you. I always think people that have great palates, have great intuition and great senses in a general topic.
If you can pick a part of 2012 Bordeaux against a 2010 something, it's like “Wow, you've got some sixth sense in your taste buds.” Mad respect for that.
I will have you order my coffee the next time we go out, and maybe I should question myself about the Americano at this point.
LP: It's all in the beans, like it's all in the grapes.
RF: I like it. And it's all in the words, at the end of the day as well.
LP: Yes, absolutely.
I decided that speakers was really where I wanted to focus.
I started this agency, I honestly thought when I first started, that I was going to spend my life building power points and doing all of the back end support.
I realized as time went on that I just had so much more to give.
It allowed me to really step into the speaker management things, understanding more than just, "Yes we're going to talk about website," more than a website, what does the speakers' business look like and how can I help them build the marketing in order to support it.
How can I help them make suggestions to make their business even better, more profitable, so they can get on more stages and spread more messages and ultimately pad their pocketbook a little bit more.
RF: I've got a pad of paper and a pen here, and I am ready.
I really don't hear people talk a lot about a speaker's business.
It's almost like there's this perception that you are a speaker or a professional speaker, but you're building the blocks behind this and creating almost a process, I would assume.
The most work is in getting that first gig.
What if you can build a business model and a marketing model that actually allowed you to monetize your existing gigs and work that referral part, referral engine as part of your process, while you're marketing and getting the new gigs at the same time.
That just makes sense to me.
RF: Did you draw upon your background with the advertising agency, and you sort of developed this over time, was this a certain methodology?
How did you come up with this process, or your process that you help people with?
LP: Well, in the marketing thing, I absolutely drew on the agency.
My specialty is copywriting and brand development.
As far as making sure that you're talking about the right message that people want to hear and will pay you to hear, because that's really important.
In ten years of interviewing, meeting planners and decision makers, and just looking at the way other people, other speakers do business, I'm also the marketing share for the Canadian association of professional speakers, so I have access to a huge number of speakers who are at all kinds of different levels, and in caps, we share everything.
I've learned from the best about some amazing business models. It's a matter of choosing the type of model that works best for the individual client.
RF: I love that.
You've taken your opportunity to see— it sounds like both sides of the fence right, because you have the speaker and you're involved.
You've been able to interact with these speakers that have business models that they have spent their entire lives figuring out, and they're able to share it.
But you've also spent ten years intervening to people who are putting on the productions.
It's almost like you're not only in the tasting room, but you're actually in the back where there is mixology— what's the right terminology for the mixologist for the wine?
LP: It would be viticulture.
RF: Okay, good, I like that. You're not only in the viticulture, but you're also in the tasting room.
Do you think that's given you this unique perspective to kind of see the 360 view on what's needed to become successful, as someone who is trying to grow a speaking business?
LP: Absolutely, and if you think about it, any business you are going to interview your clients to find out what they love about you.
I went and interviewed people and organizations and bureaus, and all kinds of things to find out what are the questions that they're thinking, when they're getting ready to make that decision.
What is on their plate, how much time do they have, and all of that stuff, because there's no point in creating marketing material be it a website or a one sheet, until you understand the thought process of the person who is getting ready to make the decision to hire you.
RF: I am going to keep going back to this visual of wine, it's almost like you are visiting the wineries, you're talking with the growers, you're probably even visiting with the little bugs that are crawling on to determine what is the— because there is some bugs that help and some bugs that hurt.
I don't know if everybody looks at it as this 360 approach, but it smells almost like a market validation process.
It sounds like you're doing the investigative work to ask the questions, so that all of the marketing, all of the branding is targeted towards that specific— I guess insider knowledge that you already know from the people who are looking to pay for people, who are going to speak or share certain ideas.
LP: And that's absolutely true, because if you think about it, one of the most common speaker website or speaker marketing mistakes I see, is that they are marketing to the audience. Because the audience is the one who's clapping and telling them how awesome they are.
But they forget that the check is not being written by the audience. Every single time I develop any marketing material, I think about the person who actually did the hiring.
When we write something, it's when I speak to this audience they do this, and when the audience does that, then they feel or they take action on that.
When the audience takes that action, than the corporation gets this benefit. You're not selling how the audience feels, you're selling the benefit of the outcome of your talk.
RF: Wow. Are you sure that you are not a programmer? Because that sounded like some serious binary code decision tree matrix— if this then that, if this then that, so you're saying, you're really cracking this code, you're looking at the source code is what you're doing.
You're not selling to how the audience feels, you're selling to the results or the outcomes that the audience has, which is really what the organizer is going to want and be willing to pay for.
LP: Exactly. If you think about it, especially keynoters or even workshoppers, when they're putting together their programs for the organization, they are having the call with the meeting fund of the organization saying, "What is the outcome that you want?"
That's what ninety percent of the speakers that I talk to are doing.
I'm just helping them refine that so that when you look at a speaker website or any website really, you should be able to look at and go, "Oh, they can help."
Because we've immediately identified the problem, we've shown that you are the solution, we've shown that other people like what you do, and that you know what you're talking about.
Honestly, when you drill it down, a website is a conversation with people who don't care if they hurt your feelings.
RF: I like that. It's a one sided conversation, you and I need to get a coffee over this communication concept, I have called the 313 and I think we would both get super jazzed other than just the caffeine being in our system. The 313 is a concept that helps people really speak to a targeted audience.
I tell people, "I don't care what you do," and they sometimes get offended. I say, "Seriously, I don't care what you do and nobody cares what you do, they only care about the problem that you solve."
If you are solving a problem that I have, then I'm very interested in that problem.
It sounds like you're doing the same thing, where you're addressing the problems that the actual organizers have, and when you address someone's problem, people are interested in learning if you can solve it.
It's kind of called a permission based pitching, but you are applying this to a website, so you are building a website to showcase, "I as a speaker can solve this problem."
LP: Exactly, and that whole concept works whether you are a corporate speaker like a keynoter or a workshop and delivering one piece of content, or if you speak to sell, because you're still delivering the answer to a problem, it's just a different audience.
Because when you speak to sell, you're actually talking to the people who will buy, but when you're a keynoter, you're delivering it to the person that made the decision to bring you to their stage.
RF: This is a great transition into sort of this website concept. I don't know whether it's the dos and don'ts, or whether it's a step by step process that you use.
If you had a chance to sit with somebody for ten to fifteen minutes and help them understand the importance of certain elements in building a speaking website, how would you step someone through that process?
LP: It's funny, because the very first thing I say is, "If you don't understand what you're selling, to whom you're selling it to, and why they would pay for it, stop marketing." Just stop.
RF: I hear something similar, people oftentimes come to me for help a social media, and they'll say, "I want to leverage social media," I say, "Okay, what do you want to say?" And they'll be like, "No, I want to leverage social media."
It's like, "Listen, you can't explain or amplify a message if you don't know what the message is in the first place," and that's why I always tell people, "You've got to be able to look someone in the eyes and tell them what you want to tell them, and then we can amplify that online."
It sounds like a very similar concept.
LP: Absolutely. Ultimately we start with clarity.
When we do a website, the first thing we do is to make sure that before we start working on your site that we actually understand your brand promise, that you can articulate your value in any situation, but especially on your site. That's step one.
Step two is figuring out kind of what you want your website to do. Everything has a purpose, everything has a function, and yes I want my website to get me a ten thousand dollar an hour gig— that's not where we start.
You don't walk up to someone in a cafe and say, "Hi, would you please have my child," you may want to kiss her first.
And really kind of map out the sales funnel, what is the process with which your customers are buying from you now, and what's the outcome.
How do you want that to change and what are your goals?
Just mind map that out, so that we understand that there is a call to action on every page, but what is that call to action going to be?
Do you want them to download your one sheet? Do you want them to book a free consult? Do you want them to join your list, because you've got an awesome video marketing program?
What is it that you want them to do, in order to move forward and purchase with you. That's kind of step two.
RF: Just to kind of recap, to break it down to the most simplistic form— you're first asking people why it is that they are online or trying to do, "Why is it that you want to speak," right?
LP: Why do you want to speak, what do you want to say.
RF: Okay, and then how do you go about it? I always think of things in who/ what/ when/ where/ how/ why, it all sort of boils down to that.
It sounds like first with a clarity understanding the purpose, understanding outcome and the goals of your audience, and then you're mind mapping this, that's almost the how you are going about it.
RF: You mentioned the word "funnel", and I know what it is, but I still don't think everyone understands completely what it is.
When you say that it's all about the funnel, or you're building a funnel, would you break that down into layman's terms?
It's understanding how a customer interacts within your business, how they move within your business.
If you think about it almost as a relationship, the first thing you do likely is introduce yourself.
Then you might shake hands.
Then you might engage in the next part of the conversation.
How would that work within the sales process?
The first thing that's going to happen is they're going to land on your website.
They're going to decide whether they like you or not.
When you shake hands is that shaking hands going to be, "Give me your email address," or is it going to be, "Really cool blog content." ?
How are you going to gently move people through the process of working with you?
That makes sense?
RF: This goes back to the conversation of the coffee shop. You don't just meet somebody and have a baby, you've got this whole process.
The funnel is the steps in building a relationship, but it's tough when you're not live in that conversation, and so the funnel facilitates this process within a website that you can almost guess and help follow your user through a certain process, and basically put roadmaps up or help to —
LP: Help to guide them.
RF: Give them snacks along the way.
LP: Yes, help them understand how to get the best value out of their time with you.
RF: This is all reverse engineered from what the actual speaker wants, but deeper than that, if he or she wants to get paid, then the whole operative is around the person, with the person with the wallet that's making the buying decisions in the first place.
RF: Okay. It's not just get us a template of a website and throw it up and put a nice picture of you up there, and put all of your speaking accolades, and then just assume that it will work.
LP: You can absolutely do that... if you don't want to make any money.
There has to be some thought involved in this, it's not just “oh, that's a pretty template.”
RF: Okay, you got the clarity, the purpose, you know your goals, you're helping to sort of create this, understand the mind map of someone, and helping them create a funnel and then what?
Is that it, can it be as simple as that, or does it get much— I bet it gets more dynamic.
LP: It absolutely can get more dynamic, if you want a website that is going to build with you, because the next thing we talk about, when I'm working with my clients is the components of the site.
The average speaker has a homepage and about page, a meeting planner page, topics, videos, blog, just the basics.
When you've thought about the business behind speaking, then you get to think about what additional elements could I add, do I want to have a membership site?
Is my content so good that people will pay me nine bucks a month in order to access my amazing content; is that one way that I can monetize what I'm doing. Or, am I in the middle of writing a book?
Okay, when your book launches, you need to have a really good list and a plan in place to promote it, so let's build that piece into the website, because I know what your long term plans are.
RF: You're planting the seeds for the grapes of the wine that you want to grow down the road.
LP: Absolutely, absolutely.
RF: Do you think people in general or speakers, do you find it that they're not thinking that far ahead?
LP: They are, but I don't think they know how to articulate it.
I think they know in their head what they want, but they don't know how to make that happen.
I'll give you an example.
Sarah says, "I just want to make sure that I have a constant way to talk to my people and to really give them value, but I don't want to give it away for free all the time."
That's really the only thought that she had, so it took someone like me to say, "Okay, so what this is, is the beginnings of a membership site, you have so much information, and you want to be able to provide tools, but you're tired of giving away your intellectual property for free."
"So what if we built something into your web,site so that when they hire you to speak, they automatically get this access to this repository of amazing stuff. That's a value add for them to book you while you speak, but you also want to be able to serve people who can't afford your 10 thousand dollar price point. So why don't we create something to help nurture them until they're ready?"
It was that thinking, they know what they want but they don't know what they want.
RF: Right, like people want wine, but they don't realize that it takes a lot of behind the scenes work to do that, and you can have a certain taste or an appetite.
But what you're really doing is you're helping them think ahead of time, you're helping them nail down what they're doing, who their market is, and then looking for that longer term play.
Because, if you write a book and then think about a list, you're stuck, right?
LP: Exactly, exactly.
RF: What are some of the mistakes? I'm sure you scour the internet and cyber stock speakers to understand— cyber stock in a nice way, to check out what they're doing on their sites.
Are there any top three “no no’s”, big “do-not’s”, so that I can listen to this go to my website and see if that's something I've done and consider removing?
I'd say one of the top ones is having your site the all about you. "I am this, and I am that," and, "So and so said I was great, and then they said I was awesome, and the audience clapped" and— big deal.
You're not articulating their problem, and you're coming off as incredibly egocentric.
That's not what decision-makers are looking for.
The other thing would be to not actually, to have so much copy that they get confused.
You've got maybe eight seconds on the home page for a decision maker to decide whether they're going to invest time in learning about you or not.
So if you've got a multitude of copy on your homepage and it's not quickly and accurately answering the questions that they're asking, that's going to be a large error.
And I would say the next piece is just not— this is going to sound awful, but I see so many with spelling mistakes, grammatical mistakes and just really poor branding, really poor colors on the web.
Bright yellow may be your favorite color and it reminds you of sunshine, but it's just not going to work on a website as a main color, it's just not.
Just not understanding, and you know what— speakers know what they know about what their expertise is, they don't know what their expertise is not.
One more thing I just wanted to say is marketing yourself as, "Look at me, I'm a speaker," instead of marketing yourself and saying, "Look at me, I'm an expert in what I do and I happen to speak."
RF: I happened to speak about it, okay.
You talk about number one tip of what not to do is to talk about yourself, have it be super egocentric on what you do, "I did this, and here's a picture of me," but how do you build your website not being super egocentric?
Are there any insights to that process?
LP: Absolutely, it's not focusing on “how awesome I am”, but “how well I solve a problem.” And it really comes down to building a site that is expert focused and not speaker focused.
RF: I love this, this because this is just when I talk with startups, I tell them, " I don't care what you do, because you can tell me all day about you and your product, but until you identify that whatever it is that that does, solves a problem that I have, then I've got interest."
And you're saying that you've got eight seconds to get that first impression for them to invest more time. Which I think is unique, because if ultimately you're trying to get them to invest money, you first have to get them to invest time, and you have a very short window when it comes to your website.
LP: Absolutely, absolutely. It's being incredibly clear on the value you deliver and articulating their pain point and how you fix it, and then they'll invest the time with you and learn about you, but until they look at your website and go, "Oh that's interesting," right, and what interests us more than ourselves.
I am not interested in people who stand there and talk about just who they are, I want them to be interested in me.
RF: Are you the type of person that thinks it should just be the big long parallax scrolling front page—
RF: Okay, tell me about that.
LP: I hate parallax, forgive me, I hate parallax.
RF: And for those who don't know parallax, if we keep scrolling and scrolling and scrolling and it's just all one page, right. What are your thoughts on that?
LP: Your homepage is there to capture your readers' attention in order for them to delve deeper into your site, so if you don't have a deeper into your site to go, it's just not going to be good enough.
Let's just quickly talk about what traditionally goes on a homepage.
If you've got a really awesome speaker reel, I say lead with that.
I like to see that in the header with your brand promise with it, and what I mean by that, is instead of having the thumbnail that YouTube shows when you uploaded it, I would create a custom graphic, with the little video icon so the custom graphic would have you and helping speakers step up, market their greatness and impact the world in a bigger way.
Than you would click and it would go into the video about you in fact doing that.
RF: Catch you, so no thumbnail that's just automatically generated from YouTube and has funky position, but an actual custom thumbnail that's got a tagline that speaks to the problem?
LP: Yes, but just make sure when you upload your video, you upload a custom thumbnail.
That's what they're going to see on YouTube right, because in order to be— this is a bit of a geeky, but in order to be mobile friendly, it needs to be the thumbnail from YouTube, just make sure that you control what that thumbnail is.
RF: Now on the speaker reel, how important is a speaker reel to showcase on your website?
Obviously it's important, but for people who are beginning is that one of the first things that they need to really focus on compiling?
LP: No. If you've got a really awesome speaker reel, it's really important.
And if you've got a really lousy speaker reel, throw it away.
RF: This is the golden advice right, I like how you're right down to the brass tacks, "You want to build a website, you got to tell me what you're doing first; you've got a speaker reel— if it's crappy we don't want it."
I love this, this is good, tough love, this is what we need right, because you're so focused on only what you know, and that's what helps have somebody from the outside like a coach or a guide slap you around a little bit and kind of gently nudge you towards the right direction.
LP: And I am very gentle, we only have fifteen minutes so I am doing best I can.
I do still want you to have a speaker reel, but understand that your speaker reel just like your website is going to evolve.
What I would have you film today if you are a beginner, be more of, "This is my passion, this is why I do what I do," it might have testimonials, it would be more of a credibility passion piece than,"Look at me up on stage, look how beautiful and amazing I am and the audiences love me."
RF: Right, okay.
LP: You want to start with that, then you want to make sure that the problem that you solve is front and center.
Then you want to move down and you want to see the different ways that you solve it.
It could be keynotes, consulting, that kind of thing like, "Tell me about the problems."
Then I want to know if you are any good, so then I'm likely going to put some kind of a testimonial piece in there.
Then I finally want to know, "Okay well you're good, who are you, do I actually like you?"
That's where your bio piece comes.
I also like to incorporate some kind of opt-in, but if you don't have a really good opt-in, then we're going to move it to the bottom of the page by the footer, if you don't have something of incredible value, don't take up your real estate on your page by having it front and center.
I like to have a call to action button on the side.
I only work in Wordpress, it's a floating widget that has like "book a consult with me" or "download my speaker sheet" or whatever that first step in your relationship is going to be. That needs to be visible on every page as you scroll down, so they don't miss that opportunity.
Make sure that your phone number and your email address are in the header on every single page, don't make it hard for people to find you to give you money.
And if you're really active on social media and doing awesome things, include your links.
If that's not your focus, don't bother.
RF: What are your thoughts on bringing the feed into your site, to have widgets that show your most recent tweets or your most recent Instagram posts.
Do you believe in just having the buttons for them to go to the actual sites natively, or do you like to see that feed in that activity if somebody is pretty active on it?
LP: If they're pretty active on it, in general, it's not the decision maker who's going to click on that.
If you've directed people to your website and they're in your audience, they are going to be following the feed to see who's talking about you right now, that's how I would use feed.
RF: I like this track, the question I think for people to ask that, that's a nice little moment there for me is it, who is this useful for, is it useful for people that are in the audience that see you and want to follow up, or is it useful for the person that's going to hire you to get you in front of that audience in the first place?
You are saying people tend to cater to their audience, the people that they are talking to, but the real big takeaway is you're really talking to the person that brings you to that stage.
LP: Absolutely. Trust me, if they have enough money to bring you to the stage, if they were decision maker of that capacity, they don't have time to go through your Twitter feed.
RF: Right, I think that's interesting.
Understanding that the website is a crucial part of this sort of your online branding, how do you help people leverage that to build their business?
Do you also work with helping to drive traffic to the site, or there are creative ways that you have people incorporate and drive traffic from live presentations to it?
Do you have fancy approaches of sharing your website with organizers— let's assume that we've taken all of your advice here and now we've got a website that is thumbs up by you, then what?
If you print out your website and stick it to a tree in the middle of a forest and no one sees it, it doesn't do any good.
LP: That's the whole key, right, you've built this amazing, amazing beast, and now you want everyone to come and experience.
And you were saying, "Do you do this, or this, or this, or this," and then the answer is, “Yes, I do all of those things.”
Part of that comes from the initial discussion when we talk about your marketing plan and what you want to do.
The process of bringing to your site is going to be unique, depending on who you're talking to, where they are, right, how much time you have, how much money you have in order to invest in this.
And understand that you pay for things in time or money, so you're either going to do it yourself and spend a whole lot of time on it, and it may or may not be done really really well, there's a reason why I don't make my own wine.
Or you're going to invest in having someone do that. There's a whole bunch of things I look at with my clients.
Are you familiar with Dan Martell?
RF: It doesn't ring a bell.
LP: He is an amazing YouTube entrepreneur, and he's got a beautiful program called the "Authority Engine" that really takes videos and allows you to repurpose them in multiple, multiple ways.
We've got his permission, we actually implement that type of process.
We can work on your social media strategy, we can help you— I talked at the beginning of the call about follow up, so what processes can we put in place that involve your website to keep people coming back.
Can we automate an autoresponder series that goes out after you finish your talk that invites them to do something else with you.
"I had such a great time doing this, here's some awesome resources that will fit with the kind of thing that we just talked about, so that you're keeping yourself top of mind, without being intrusive."
RF: And just the idea of giving people reason to come back, the concept of automation as well as there being multiple options.
That might be the challenging part for people is they want to think that there is a one size fits all answer, but it sounds like there is not, and it goes back to how you even start the conversation before you build anything. And it's what are your goals.
With your experience in dealing with so many, are there a certain number of strategic outcomes that are typical?
Like you said, you have the subscription site, you have the keynote large dollar speaking, you have the book.
Are there any other main classification to help people identify if they still don't even know what that is for them? Or is it truly that there's just everybody is a unicorn, everybody's unique?
LP: Everybody's unique and if you're not sure, go through your testimonials, read your testimonials and really listen to what your clients are saying about you, listen to what they have appreciated about you.
And look at that with a different eye, look at that with, "This is what they really loved, but I only really did that with that one client, look how much they loved it, and I wonder if I can take that and build that into something different."
Use the low hanging fruit, people who already love you will tell you why.
RF: That almost goes back to your original concept of asking questions in the first place, right?
It's a great idea to look at your testimonials to see how to better serve everyone.
I would imagine as people start their speaking careers, they might be a little all over the place because they're taking as many opportunities as possible.
But from a branding perspective, to funnel all those down into one, that communicates that you're solving a problem and addressing that, your testimonials are people sharing the problem that you solve with them.
RF: When it comes to building a killer speaker website, just like you don't want to make your own wine, you've got to get some help.
Now do you encourage people to try this on their own until maybe they hit themselves in the head on their monitor enough?
Do you suggest people go out to hire professional out of the gates, where would you guide people if they all of a sudden are now inspired to do something with their site or change their site?
Is this really the thing that you can't make your own wine and you'd suggest to get professional help or are there still people who can create it on their own and have success with it?
LP: If you are a marketer and you understand marketing, and you've already got a really firm grasp of what it is that that you're doing and how you're serving, chances are you can probably get through it yourself.
You may need help with the technology aspect, you may or may not, but if the things that we've talked about are new, if the ideas of, "Oh that's a really neat, I wonder how that would happen," then I would say not not to try it on your own.
RF: Right, probably good learning curve there.
LP: Yeah, there's a huge learning curve. But I might also say if you're just starting out, maybe you don't need a website yet.
RF: Interesting, okay.
Here's a question— is it better to have an actual website that's not as good as it could be, or not have a website and really focus on launching something that is exactly what it needs to be?
LP: When I started, I wanted to position myself as an expert.
I heavily invested in my branding and in my website and it really, really helped me.
But I also was able to have the money to do that.
If you're honestly, if you're not making anything yet, and you're really just wondering if speaking is for you, I would say leverage the free platforms.
I would say make your LinkedIn profile amazing, make your business Facebook page amazing, as amazing as you possibly can, and make a bunch of your branding and languaging mistakes there, before you invest it in a website.
RF: Another platform, I don't know if or how familiar you are with it, but SpeakerHub who actually sponsors this show, has an interesting layout for somebody who can showcase and highlight their speaking experience into a platform that is kind of already laid out for you, which is kind of nice as well.
I agree it's different than a website, but it might be another existing tool that's already set up where you're basically putting your information.
LP: Of course, that kind of went without saying. I should have said it.
Absolutely, use the tools that you have and spend your time doing in person networking.
Don't waste your time building something that's not going to work for you, use advantage of the free tools at your disposal and get out there and speak, get out there and refine your message.
Before you invest in marketing yourself, make sure you're a good speaker.
RF: Yes that is the brass tacks right there, and the best way to become a better speaker is to speak more.
It's about honing in that craft because how are you going to get somebody to pay for something, if you are not an expert or you're not at that caliber to earn honorariums that are good, high, lots of zeros on them.
LP: Exactly. I get so many new speakers coming to me and asking me to build them a website and the very first thing I say is, "If you can't articulate, if you can't tell me what you speak about—", "Oh I speak about anything." Oh that hurts my ears.
First invest in really good speeches, invest in speaker training, invest in becoming really, really good at what you do, and figuring out what it is that you do.
Because ethically, I can't market you until you're good.
RF: Yeah, you're not in the business to put lipstick on the pig. You need to have a pig that's already sexy and ready to go.
LP: Exactly, and you shouldn't be working at this level, until you're a really sexy pig.
RF: Right. I've had a lot of fun here, and I'm excited to go explore your site a bit more.
What is your site so people can— it'll be in the show notes, but just to tell them where to direct to get more information resources about what you do?
LP: Absolutely it's pibworthps.com, and there's a whole bunch of information.
I'm a very active blogger, so there's all kinds of blogs on, for those who really do want to do it themselves and just want to learn.
There's blogs on how to get great testimonials, how to write a biography, what needs to go into your speaker website, all of that kind of stuff the general information is there, so go in, learn absorb, and let me serve you in whatever way I can.
RF: That is awesome, and if we were to find job social, is there a certain platform that you are most frequent on or that you enjoy being connected with on?
LP: I like Facebook. Pibworthps.
RF: I don't hold that against you, I hate Facebook, I'm a Twitter guy, but there's enough for everyone.
I don't think everybody has to be on all platforms, you really should enjoy any type of communication you do, and so that'll be great.
This has been a lot of fun, everything from wine-making to the brass tacks about your speaker website, even understanding there's a certain point at which you should invest to a site based on your skill level, knowing what to do at that point can be something where have somebody else help you make the wine, and you as a past sommelier, you are also a websitammanier, I think, and can sniff out and have a palate for the good, the bad, the ugly.
I would suggest anybody listening I'm just going to throw it under the bus here to maybe shoot you an email with a link to their site, and you might be able to assess pretty quickly some low hanging fruit for them to improve.
Because again, the more speakers that can have a site that helps them get paid to go out and spread the message, the more messages are being spread around the world.
At the end of the day, whether you are paid or not— my passion is helping people to voice whatever they think is going to help change the world for the better, and that's something to pay for, because we've got enough problems out there.
I commend you for helping to solve the problems for the people who are solving the problems.
Excellent, well, very cool, thank you so much and I'm looking forward to staying in touch, and i'll see you on social, but maybe not on Facebook.
LP: I'll find you on twitter.
RF: Alright, thanks so much, we'll talk to you soon.
LP: Thank you.
A bit about World of Speakers
World of Speakers is a weekly podcast that helps people find their own voice, and teaches them how to use their voice to develop a speaking business.
We cover topics like: what works versus what doesn't, ideas on how to give memorable presentations, speaking tips, and ideas on how to build a speaking business.
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