May 15, 2015
When you’re starting a new business, one of the biggest hurdles to overcome is getting your first few sales.
Without a track record, it’s difficult to get those early adopters to gamble on your product or service. It’s a big risk for them, which typically means you give it away for free (or close to it) just to get those first few clients under your belt.
But there is a better way…
After I sold my dotcom and wrote a book about it, I started public speaking and teaching workshops about entrepreneurship and business on the web.
My goal at the time was to become a paid speaker and write more books, but after hearing so many horror stories from business owners about web designers and marketers, I decided to go back to my roots and OnlineStir was born.
At the time, I didn’t realize what an important role public speaking would have on my new business. In fact, I was so oblivious to its importance that I stopped speaking after I launched OnlineStir, which was a big mistake in retrospect.
Looking back now, it’s easy to see why it was a mistake: Our first 5 clients came as a direct result of my previous speaking events!
Every one of them saw me speak about websites and online marketing so when I launched OnlineStir it wasn’t a risk for them to be my early adopters because they saw me as the expert already.
A year later, we’ve finished 25 projects and we’re working on 8 new projects and several ongoing marketing campaigns as I write this.
And out of all those projects, 90% either came as a direct result of my previous speaking events or as a referral from someone who saw me speak.
Talk about a blinding flash of the obvious (or BFO as Chuck Blakeman calls it)! If 90% of our business came from my speaking events, WHY DID I STOP SPEAKING?!
I have no good reason. I could tell you I was busy building my team and the business, but that’s just an excuse. The best reason I can think of is that I didn’t understand how important it was to my business…a common mistake made by many business owners.
If you haven’t started your business yet, put together a presentation on your topic and offer to speak wherever anyone wants to listen. This will help you lay the foundation for your new business so you’ll hit the ground running after you officially launch.
If you’ve already started your business, it’s time to make use of your most valuable marketing tool: YOU! And that’s exactly what I’m going to do!
Next Friday, I’m booked for my first speaking event in nearly a year. I’ll be talking about “How to Get the Website You Want: 7 Questions to Ask BEFORE You Hire a Web Designer,” and our host has opened it to anyone who wants to attend.
I’ll send out another email early next week with all the details, but if you’d like to go, it’s next Friday at 7:30AM in Thornton. Yes. It’s early. But it’ll be worth it!
Tell us what you think.