Today’s Post by Joe Farace
“If you don’t take the time to celebrate yourself, nobody else is going to do it”—Kevin Smith
One of the best ways to increase sales is to position yourself as an expert. Clients and potential clients love to deal with experts; people that are held in high esteem by the public and their peers. Now that people are starting to gather in groups again, here are a three tips on becoming an “expert”:
- Public speaking
- Membership in professional organizations
- Accepting awards
Becoming a speaker is easier than you might think. Start by contacting some civic and fraternal groups in your area and offer them your services. Especially look for groups that have weekly luncheons; they need 52 speakers a year so are always on the lookout for new talent. Some groups book through speaker’s bureaus and there’s probably one (or more) in your city. A Google search using the phrase “Speaker’s Bureau” yielded 3,590,000 hits for speaker’s bureaus across America organized by locale or subject. You might consider becoming associated with one of them.
If there are any tips to effective public speaking they are: Be prepared, Be concise, and Know your topic. Since you’re going to be talking about photography, you’ve got that third part nailed. If you spend a little time practicing, you’ll have the first two quickly under control. Surveys show that for many people the fear of public speaking ranks higher than the fear of death. So rather than being intimidated by this statistic, let it work for you. While looking at your audience, keep in mind that they’re pulling for you; the audience knows how hard it is to do what you’re doing. Don’t worry about being nervous; that’s natural and the extra adrenaline will help you do a better job.
Reward your audience by being interesting and don’t spend much time singing the praises of yourself and your studio. There’s time for that after the presentation. Be sure that your last words are: “I have a few brochures about my studio’s services available and will be glad to personally answer any specific questions you might have.” You’ll find it’s a lot easier to sell yourself if the organization has already positioned you as the expert.
If you enjoyed today’s blog post and would like to buy Joe a cup of Earl Grey tea ($2.75, Starbucks and Dunkin’s has raised their tea prices), click here. And if you do, thank you very much.