How a year can change an entire business plan and process. A few of you may know that while I have had my business strategy business for a while I was simply an online marketer. In 2011 no one in Vancouver had even heard of Bosco Anthony or paid attention to what I had to say. Yet I was in business for years and had gained a ton of experience in online marketing consulting to an international market. I had decided to take on a personal choice and move my market to a local brand and scale. My goal in 2012 was to build a household name for myself and expose my personal brand into Vancouver. Like many marketers I had tried different approaches over the years and some had little or no impact at all.
I took the advise of my mentors and tasked myself with hitting the speaker circuit. I approached many meet-ups and network’s to proposition a speaking opportunity with little or no interest. Some of the big meet up organizers were quick to cast me aside and ignore my emails or attempts to speak. It was only when a meet up group called EIO have one of their speakers call in with food poisoning, I was asked to fill the spot. This wasn’t my first keynote but it was packed with content and the audience was impressed at how much content I was giving away in 40 minutes.
Within weeks I was asked to fill more events and be a part of some talks being held in the city and was starting to make ground as a speaker with a ton of content. I had done my research and realized my approach was different and refreshing to listeners. My changing presentations and versatile topics made impressions to many who heard me speak. I did not want to be labeled as a one hit wonder with one presentation nor did I want to ever sell on stage. While I started to get followers and attention some of the competitors would advise me against giving away too much content. To this day my abilities not to sell from content has put me in a different bowl of smarties where I do not hang with the kids drinking the other kind of Koolaid.
So in January 2012 I made the conscious decision where if I could not join them, I would beat them at their own game. I built and launched my very own meet up group where I headlined many different topics. I chartered unfamiliar waters where I boldly spoke on 3 different topics on any occasion. I started to turn heads when I would launch a free keynote talk hours or days before my competitors were offering similar content where you had to pay for the content. Despite what I was told I was on a mission and this got me recognized by some of the bigger meet ups in the city and groups and was voted one of the best speakers at Freelance camp. Overtime the footage of the keynotes got me bigger opportunities and by the fall I was preparing to speak at three major events.
I kicked off social media week, shared the same stage as Gary Vaynerchuk at the convention centre and was part of the speaking roster for Social Media Expo at the same respective venue. This built and exposed my brand to hundreds of businesses, brands and companies. Those three events elevated my playing field and did so much for my brand that to some degree I did not really have to do any more marketing for 2012. To end the year I was listed as a content authority and my business blog was nominated as one of the top company blogs for the social media awards in Vancouver.
Brands were paying for me to speak at their customized company workshops. Companies were in need of my consulting and my goal for local exposure was starting to see success more than I could ever imagine. The best thing that could ever happen to my brand is the building of a social tribe where interaction, loyalty, resource and engagement were the key factors to helping me elevate my brand.
This year, meet-ups that had never heard of me in 2011 have asked for me to speak at their groups, the people who turned a blind eye to me want me to headline an event and it is a lot easier to push the envelope on the speaker circuit. Make no mistake its a hustle at first but it does pay off. I hope my story inspires you. One of my good friends said to me at a recent lunch that she recognized that I really worked my socks off at attaining local exposure through hard work, sleepless nights and hustle.
The secrets to my speaking success are very simple. Before you take on this route or journey remember:
- Speaking gets better with time and practise
- Test new things and don’t be afraid to be in the limelight
- Work the crowd and show passion energy and sincerity
- Tell your story and show emotion
- Treat every keynote as if it were your last
- Change your presentations
- Do your research and deliver current, fresh and newer content
- Avoid being a one hit wonder
- Engage and interact with your audience
- Do your homework and become a perfectionist when it comes to presentation, delivery and content
- Use social media to engage the audience and network
- Test the boundaries and spin everything in your favour
- Show passion and have fun
- Become a regular and a content authority
- Deliver solid content
- Be yourself, sincere and humble
- Loose the ego and talk to people at their level
- Let the audience becomes the heroes
- Inspire, Teach, Motivate, Connect, Smile
- Take them where they have never gone before
- Lead, do not follow
While my speaking might not be a style for everyone, while I might have critics for my works, while content might not be everyone’s cup of tea this is me and take me for who and what I am. This is my story and it takes a lot of courage to put yourself out there. You might have a ton of knowledge but if you end up taking a seat judging others, you are simply an observer. This blog is for those who seek more than just the limelight. This is for the person that want to bring exposure to their brand, win over a following and influence a tribe… Here is to you my friends
Hustle, Hard work and character were the essentials to my speaking success in 2012… I hope this rant will aid you in your ventures!