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Looking for a Quality Speaker? Put Your Money Where THEIR Mouth Is!

Looking for a Quality Speaker? Put Your Money Where THEIR Mouth Is!

By Christy Lamagna, CMP, CMM, CTSM

All event strategists know that content is king, so when we bring in outside speakers we need to do our homework and recommend wisely. As is the case with all things event strategists do, their actions yield the highest quality results that align with the event’s goal. In this instance, an accredited speakers bureauAll event strategists know that content is king, so when we bring in outside speakers we need to do our homework and recommend wisely. As is, the case with all things event strategists do, their actions yield the highest quality results that align with the event’s goal. In this instance, that means reaching out to an accredited speakers bureau and leveraging their expertise.

For those who are not as calibrated in their process, an internet search for ‘motivational’ or ‘professional’ speakers may start the process. Perhaps a visit to YouTube for clips of speakers is the preferred route, with an obligatory click on cute puppy videos along the way. For some a query to colleagues gets the ball rolling.

While both methodologies may result in booking the same speaker, not all paths are equal. For those who opt to do the legwork and cut out the middleman, the road is longer, uphill and full of bumps. Speakers’ bureaus are like Convention and Visitors’ Bureaus; at your disposal, designed to make your job easier, staffed by professionals and not fully utilized or understood.

It is critical to remember how we are offended when other people think they can do our jobs. Let’s not be guilty of that same mistake by imagining that if we can search the internet we can find a speaker just as well as a professional can.

To better understand why a professional speakers’ bureau really is the way to go, I interviewed Sue Falcone, founder and CEO of, “Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau.” Here’s the first of three excerpts from our in-depth and enlightening conversation.

Christy: Why should I use a speakers’ bureau rather than find a speaker via Google or references?

Sue: I believe that communicating what speakers’ bureaus really are, and the value they bring is key to being able to be the “go to” resource for securing the best speaker for an event. Here are three questions we ask perspective clients:

  1. Do you want to save time, money and resources?
  2. Do you want peace of mind with less stress knowing your speaker is going to be remarkable and you will be a rock star for choosing to work with a speakers’ bureau?
  3. Did you know that speakers’ bureau fees are paid by the speaker – not you – so therefore all the time and services a speakers’ bureau provides is free to you?

Christy: Is it more expensive to use a speakers’ bureau?

Sue: Cost is the biggest concern about the perception of using a speakers’ bureau. Many bureaus structure the pricing so their commission comes out of the speaker’s fee. Speakers are willing to pay the bureau out of their speaker’s fee to cover the representation, negotiations and follow up work.

To note: some bureaus do charge a fee, so ask up front whose responsibility it is to cover booking fees.

Christy: What is the difference between one speakers’ bureau and another? Are you all selling the same thing?

Sue: Many speakers’ bureaus have become “speaker listing bureaus” rather than ones who actively work to secure events for all speakers they represent.

Christy: What should an event planner – or a speaker – look for as differentiation in a bureau?

Sue: I have a screening process and require the speakers I represent to sign an agreement as to how I will represent them, and what we agree to do. Knowing they are marketable and are booked through my bureau they not only represent themselves, but also my company.

Did you enjoy Looking for a Quality Speaker? Put Your Money Where THEIR Mouth Is!? Check back in on Thursday, May 10th for part 2.

CEO, Sue Falcone, recognized the need for a speakers bureau that would represent professional speakers, and provide the perfect speaker for clients who sought the best for their events with a personal “hands on” custom touch.

From a former corporate executive, to becoming a professional speaker and author being hired, and creating a distinctive and unique speakers bureau representing speakers for hire, she gained the experience and expertise needed to give a full service experience.

The Two Words That Can Shift Your Company!

Do you remember the very first car you owned? The one you bought with only your money? Can you recall the make and model? What color was it?

Now that you have that image in your mind, what was it like going to sleep that first night? Did you check on the car in the middle of the night? Did you clean it obsessively? Did you tell others they could not eat in the car? This is called ownership. Ownership is a feeling whereby what you see as yours is wholly different from what is not yours.

The rental car test.

Let’s compare the feelings towards your last rental car to the feelings towards your first car. Can you even remember your last rental car? What color was it? I am guessing the feelings you had for your rental car are not even close to the same feelings that you had for your very first car.

That is because you don’t feel ownership of the rental car. Yet you are just as responsible for the rental car as you are for your own car. You have to pay for it if you wreck it. You have to pay if you scratch it. But when it is yours, the feeling is quite different. You may feel responsible for the rental car, but you will never feelownership.

Now let’s look at how the feeling of ownership applies to our companies and our role as leaders.

Ownership beyond the founders.

Would you rather your team members treat their projects and your clients like you treat your rental cars? Or, would you rather they treat their work the way you treated your first car? Which one of these is likely to establish the kind of problem-solving and innovation that you need to activate new levels of company growth?

You want them to treat their work, their projects and their departments, as well as the client experience, in a way that fosters ownership. In fact, after years of coaching leaders of hyper-growth companies that are growing at 200 percent (or even 400 percent) in a year, they have clearly made a shift that slow growth companies have not made. The shift is a transference of ownership that goes beyond the founders or the business owner to the whole team.

Recently, I had a chance to talk one-on-one with 51 CEOs of the fastest growing private companies in America. On average, these companies have grown 2,731 percent over the last three years. I asked them questions about their challenges to hyper-growth and what their teams looked like in sales and marketing.

But one question seemed to really open up the conversation to the foundation to their revenue growth: When the company growth goals are big and bold, how do you get employees to take responsibility for the company goals at an individual level?

This one question has been an obsession of mine. So much so that I have shifted my entire business around the idea of hyper-growth and the six disciplines that drive fast-growing companies. In fact, I look at how companies that are growing fast have cultivated the entrepreneurial spirit inside the company.

The insights by these fast-growing visionary leaders have shown me the path. Let me share with you the one concept that makes the individuals inside the company take complete responsibility for company growth. It is two words…

Own It.

The visionary leaders I talked to said that they get employees to “own it.” This relates to everything they do and how they behave. Ownership inside of the business beyond the founders is essential to our current economy. Decades back when most workers were following a prescribed list of steps day-in-day-out, all you needed was for them to take responsibility. They would do what needed to be done. They would be there for their eight hours and not have to think of work beyond their time at work.

Now, however, the problems that businesses face to continue to be competitive and to serve their customers requires a new level of thinking. The challenges and innovations to grow are not solved in eight hours. The brain is solving the problems when away from the work too.

Many of the companies have built their culture to reinforce a sense of ownership. Here are a few examples from the more than 50 companies included in this study.

Neeraj Singh, CEO of BigBinary, whose company has grown 537 percent in the last three years, said that in the early days of the company he would work on projects from beginning to end. Now he says, “Our employees have a sense of ownership with the projects that don’t require me to be there as much as I was.” Singh can focus on leadership instead of doing the work.

Carvana is a disruptive force in buying cars and has grown 7925 percent over the last three years. Their CEO, Ernie Garcia, shared that ownership comes from the team being part of the mission and vision of the company. Garcia said, “Our employees know they are creating value in the world and contributing to the business. This gives each person a sense of ownership.”

Don Caroll, VP of business development for Vantage Point Logistics, creates new opportunities in the world of logistics through its employees. They have a phrase that drives the whole company: Own it. This is about owning your piece of the business. Caroll said, “Our growth over the last three years of 3422 percent comes from employees that ‘own it’ in every way.”

Beyond responsibility.

If you want your company to serve your customers the way you would, your job as the leader is to get them to feel ownership. Ownership is more than responsibility. In fact, you can say that the gap between responsibility and ownership is similar to the difference between how you treat a rental car and your very first car. Think about it.

Gene Hammett, Keynote Speaker, Best-selling Author, Proven Business Consultant, and Founder of Top, Award-Winning Podcast, LeadersintheTrenches.com.  “Gene is a professional who captivated our audience during our annual business conference. I highly recommend catching him on stage”.    Lena Requist President, ONTRAPORT Author of new Best-seller “The Trap of Success”  To have Gene at your next event click here:  Book Gene Hammett.

Top 5 Tips for Communicating with Your Millennial Colleagues

Communication is a foundational item in every aspect of our day-to-day lives.

Yet, it is an aspect that we tend to take for granted especially in the business world.  In my role, where I help companies understand and leverage their millennial talent while also helping millennials develop the communication and leadership skills necessary to one day lead the business world, I have noticed that there tends to be a massive generational divide on communication.

However, I find that the people who have the ability to effectively communicate across generational lines can cut through any perceived differences and achieve success.

The wonderful thing about communication skills is that even if it is not one of your strengths, with a little work and effort, you can reap the benefits with your colleagues and employees.

Here are my top 5 tips for communicating with your millennial colleagues and employees:

Learn to listen…REALLY LISTEN.  

Many people confuse the definition of the words “hearing” and “listening”.  They assume that the two words are interchangeable.  Unfortunately, they are not the same thing. When you truly listen to another person, you aren’t just hearing the words that are said. You are taking in the entire moment.  You are noticing not only what is said, but how it is said, what is not said and most importantly, the body language of the speaker.  All those elements combine to tell you the full story.  If you are merely going by the actual words you heard, you are missing out.

A study by the famed researcher, Albert Mehrabian found that only 7% of what is communicated is done through the actual words used.   Leaving an incredible 93% of the information conveyed to non-verbal forms of communication.  By learning to truly listen to your millennial colleagues and employees, you are conveying respect and letting them know that their thoughts and opinions matter which leads to a sense of loyalty.

Short = Sweet.  

When writing to communicate with your millennial employees shorter is better. For instance, if you are writing an email to one of your employees and you start out by asking how their weekend went and then start in on the funny story about your dog, you have already lost them.  It is best to be direct, succinct and keep out unnecessary information. What would take your written communications to the next level would be to include bullet points of pertinent information that will allow them to easily scan the information from their cell phone.

Be constructive and consistent with feedback.  

Millennials are widely known to want consistent, regular feedback from their managers. Many managers cringe at the very thought.  The feedback doesn’t need to be extensive. Millennial employees want to know that they are moving in the right direction and a few constructive words from you, as their manager, can keep them going or help to avert
crisis.  Many managers only give feedback when things are not going well.  The feedback tends to come from a place of anger and/or frustration and often makes the receiver of the feedback feel as if they are being berated.  Managers who are consistently communicating constructive (both positive and negative) feedback tend to have teams that function at the highest levels of efficiency and productivity.

Don’t make assumptions.  

Assumptions tend to get us in trouble, yet as humans, we make snap judgments all the time.  Whether we mean to or not, it happens.  We have a need to categorize people. Over the years, the media has built a reputation for the millennial generation usually consisting of adjectives like: lazy, entitled, job-hoppers.  Of course, you can find a million anecdotal examples to back each of these claims among others.  But in reality, not every millennial conforms to these assumptions.  In fact, a 2012 study done by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics refutes that job-hopper title.  According to their data, millennials stayed in their positions for 3.2 years versus the Generation X cohort at the same point in their career at 2.7 years.

Assumptions in the workplace can be dangerous.  At best, they keep us from uniting as a team.  At worst, they can drive wedges between colleagues and eventually bring down team morale.

Be honest about your shortcomings.  

It is quite common not want to share your shortcomings or (dare I say) failures with the world.  Nobody likes to put them on parade.  However, those shortcomings also make you human.  Millennials, in particular, relate to our innate flaws.  Once you start sharing those flaws, the millennials around you will start seeing you as transparent.  As a bonus, millennials tend to relate transparency to trustworthiness.  When you have employees that trust you, their levels of productivity increase.

The amazing effect that communication skills have in the workplace is that when communication is done well, it can make an incredible impact on any business situation. But when communication skills are lacking, that too, can have an incredible impact on any business situation.  Without a solid foundation of good communication skills, companies will struggle to not only be productive and efficient, but also to be profitable.

Good communication skills are the key to making everyone feel heard and respected. Implementing these top 5 tips will increase your ability to work with colleagues and employees regardless of their generation.

Amanda Hammet- Keynote Speaker, and Author
Amanda was given the nickname of the “Millennial Translator®” after one of her presentations to the very audience the business world is trying desperately to understand-Millennials!  She helps companies understand, develop and leverage their millennial talent while helping millennials develop the communication and leadership skills necessary to one day, lead the business world.  To have Amanda at your next event click here:  Amanda Hammett 

“I Would Outsource Brushing My Teeth If I Could!”

There is a seismic shift happening in the workforce and only a minority of CEOs and entrepreneurs seem to be aware of it.

The most innovative companies are already experiencing substantial benefits as the role of the W2 employee is changing rapidly.

In today’s hyper-competitive business landscape, getting things done faster and cheaper could mean the difference between turning a profit or going belly up. Entrepreneurs and small business owners have no choice but to shift from a “Do it how it has always been done” mentality to one that asks, “How can we work smarter, not harder?”

We must adapt to a much more flexible, almost on-demand structure to get everything done within budget.

My entrepreneurial journey is a true testament to this movement. In my last business venture, I found myself in a tough spot: Money was extremely tight, and we encountered significant product challenges. In order to pull it together and grow, I had to stretch my dollars further. I had to accomplish essential business tasks while still driving marketing and sales. My stress level was through the roof, but the only way I knew to make it work was to put in even longer hours.

When I met with a colleague who opened my eyes to the wonders of outsourcing, I was blown away. He showed me how to get innovative marketing and sales projects done for pennies on the dollar. What I, and most business owners, thought would cost thousands of dollars, he was doing for a few hundred dollars―or less! I couldn’t get home fast enough to figure out how to replicate his results. After five hours of research, I discovered a whole new world that would change my trajectory as an entrepreneur. It also dramatically changed how I execute in my personal life.

I realized the opportunities for efficiency and speed coupled with monetary savings are substantial. It’s not just about low cost. It’s about velocity of execution, getting work done two or three times as fast. With online platforms, you have instant access to millions of low-cost and highly talented firms, contractors and freelancers from around the world. With no overhead or marketing expense, they perform incredible work at unbelievably low prices. The “instant gig” economy of virtual on-demand workers is revolutionizing how businesses can and will operate.

Through outsourcing, I got more than US $10,000 worth of marketing and sales services for US $500, propelling my company forward almost overnight. I began outsourcing almost every aspect of my business―website development, telemarketing, graphic design, lead generation―you name it. Not only was I getting more done for less, but I had more time to focus on growing our operations. Soon I was even using creative growth hacking strategies like data scraping and data mining, two of the most powerful concepts I discovered, to grow my business at a very low cost. Such strategies enable you to create highly-targeted lead lists for pennies on the dollar.

And it’s not just marketing and sales. Even work such as Autocad drawings, financial modeling, recruiting, data management and 3D renderings are being done for a fraction of the cost and twice as fast.

And it’s not just international. Many of the firms and contractors are in the U.S. where talented executives with corporate backgrounds can now earn just as much if not more working from home on their terms.

In just a few months, our business was back on track, and I continued to build my skills. When I asked around, I was surprised to find that only 10% of entrepreneurs and business owners knew these freelance platforms and unique tools even existed. I knew this information would be the basis of my next business, where we would share our “addiction” to entrepreneurship and lean growth using these techniques. Over the past four years, as I have worked with business owners, I am always asked the same question: “How can we get started with outsourcing?”

Here are three tips that I share with my clients and audiences:

  1. The key to growing a successful business is to find an advantage and exploit it before your competition does. Typically, businesses run from the inside out: Most work is done internally and a few specialized projects are outsourced to freelancers. However, running your business from the outside in can save you money and increase productivity overnight. Outsourcing or automating repetitive tasks can free up time to build other critical components of your business. Outsourcing is a booming industry, even inside the U.S.: Forbes estimates that by 2020, 50% of American workers will be freelancers―making getting work done easier, cheaper and faster.2.
  2. Build a virtual team with a broad range of skills. Whether you need a website developer, graphic designer, content writer or marketing manager, it’s important to assemble a team of freelancers. Identifying tasks that are major time or money drains and outsourcing them can be the most effective use of your resources. Also, having an experienced “virtual business manager” to manage your team of freelancers can make outsourcing as seamless as possible. The unfolding business landscape will favor those who use freelancers to keep a leg up on the competition.3.
  3. Explore online tools to stay ahead of the technology and business curve. Hundreds of new tools hit the market every day―all engineered to make life easier for us. Spending an hour each week trying out one new tool can help you stay on top of the latest assets for business growth. Almost any area of your business can be improved with a tool. For example, Mouseflow tracks how web visitors interact with your website; Bond creates hand-made cards for customers; and Dashlane securely stores a company’s logins and passwords so you can safely share them with freelancers and outsourcing teams.

Adopting a “creative mindset” can be your secret weapon in building a stronghold in your industry. When it comes to starting or expanding your business, the sky’s the limit. Thinking outside of the box and being willing to try a new strategy goes a long way toward outpacing the competition.

Brad Stevens is a Lifetime Entrepreneur, Sought-After Business Speaker, Founder & CEO of Entreholic , Award-winning Author, and Blogger.  As a lifetime entrepreneur, Brad’s business acumen was sparked in third-grade with his very first venture, a toy rental company. Brad graduated Magna Cum Laude from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with concentrations in Finance and Marketing. With an infectious passion and energy, Brad has become one of the most respected authorities on creative growth, business automation, and increasing the velocity of execution through leverage. His fresh and unique content has made him a sought-after speaker by business organizations, CEO Peer Groups, and Fortune 500 firms. Click here:  To Book Brad Stevens for Your Next Event



5 Words to Avoid in Your Social Media Posts!

Here are 5 types of words that I want you to think twice before using in your social media.

Why so important in social media? Because you have a much shorter time to make an impression so you want to make a good and intriguing impression, fast.


 1. Avoid words that focus on the negative.

Words like:

  • Can’t
  • Do not
  • Unfortunately
  • Impossible
  • Mistake
  • Problem

That doesn’t mean your prospect client doesn’t have a problem you want to (and can) solve. It means you need to word it differently.

Instead use words like:

  • Your benefit
  • It’s best to
  • Success
  • Value

Show you understand where your reader is coming from and how your service benefits them to keep reading, to sign up, to click, or to buy.

2. Avoid using the words THING or STUFF or IT.
I actually wrote this sentence in this post and had to go back and change one above because I realized I used it when I could have been more specific. Always, always, always be specific. Be clear, tell your followers what you want them to focus on so they have clear takeaways.

What was the sentence above I had to change?

Tell me what you think of the difference when I followed my own advice…

Before: Show your reader how it benefits them to keep reading, to sign up, to click, or to buy.

After: Show your reader how your service (or product) benefits them to keep reading, to sign up, to click, or to buy.

Small difference but a big one nonetheless. Don’t you think?

3. Avoid the word REALLY.
This word is a descriptive crutch. Just like a lot, and very. If you are describing something that you want to emphasize and you can’t think of a good adjective then grab your thesaurus or go to thesaurus.com (my personal fav) to get inspiration. Or just delete the word altogether and your sentence should be strong enough to stand on its own.

Example: You really need to buy my service if you are suffering from a lot of fear that posting on social media is difficult and are very nervous about spending money on ads.

Change to: Buy my service if you suffer from fear that posting on social media is difficult and you are nervous about spending money on ads.

Just removing those words made your statement much more clear and powerful!

4. Strike out “I believe” “I think” and “I feel” , from your posts.
People assume the words they read are the author’s opinion, unless you are quoting a fact. Using these “I” statements sounds wishy washy, reduces the power of what you are saying, and leads to a decrease in your perceived expert status. So don’t do this, instead just take those words out of the equation and let your sentence stand on its own.

Example: I believe you should revamp, revitalize and renew your LinkedIn profile so you look professional and polished.

Now take out the “I believe” and notice how the focus stays on the reader and you sound much more persuasive!

What do you think?

5. Never use the word JUST.
I read a fascinating article recently. The author talked about some personal research she did on the word just. She found that a much higher proportion of women used this word in communication.

  • “I just wanted to check in on …”
  • “Just wondering if you’d decided between …”
  • “If you can just give me an answer, then …”
  • “I’m just following up on …”

The author (Ellen Leanse, Business Insider) makes a fantastic point about the word just and why women seem to use it more. This word is a way of asking permission, showing deference to who you are talking to (whether they deserve it or not), and most often dramatically reduces the power of the communicator who uses it.

Striking this one word from the sentence strengthened the sender’s message and clarified it too. Isn’t that something we always look for in communication? I know I do.

So I challenge you to take a look at your communications you send today and see how many justs find their way into your emails, and then delete them!

I bet you will feel a little more powerful and confident in your request, and just might (will!) get a faster, clearer response.

Want another word list to keep handy? Here is a great one: 297 words and phrases that rob your writing of power. Check it out!

Have you found a great resource of words to use or words to avoid? Share with us in my LinkedIn group! I bet you will learn another smart business tidbit or two to use in your social media marketing plan. Join us!

Social Media Brand Strategist Speaker, Karen Yankovich is the CEO of Uplevel Media, LLC.  Having “been there and done that” in the arena of losing (and then re-finding) a focused approach to business and life; Social Media and LinkedIn Evangelist, Karen guides entrepreneurs to creating wealth by combining smart business practices with simple proven systems that develop and maintain strong customer relationships. She offers results oriented and expert Conversational Marketing strategies that position her clients to bring in instant results. Karen’s background includes over twenty years in the fields of information technology, marketing, and customer relationships, making social media her ideal niche. “I highly recommend Karen Yankovich as a speaker. She recently presented to our Texas Women in Business group and had our audience fully engaged with her incredible presentation on Profitable Social Media.”  ~ Megan Tull, Leadership Training Expert   To book Karen for your next event contact Sue Falcone at 888-766-3155 or click here:   Book Karen Today

It’s Remarkable How a Story Told Well Can Move an Audience to Action!

It’s Remarkable how a story told well can move an audience to action.

When I first met Christina Daves by Zoom, what I noticed first was her high energy and giving personality!

“OMG – you are phenomenal ” – “I had goosebumps” – “You made me laugh and you made me cry” – “I can do this!!!” These are all things Christina has heard after her presentations.

I laughed when I heard this: one gentleman waited in line for an hour and a half to have his book signed and take a picture with her. Afterwards he said, “I’d love to come see you speak again but President Obama just appointed me to head a task force in Cuba and my family and I are moving there next week.” WOW!!!

What Is it that Christina does to move her attendees? She engages with them. She relates to them. She IS them. Anyone in the room can do anything she’s done and by the time the presentation is over, she has transformed a room.

Much of Christina’s journey involves what it took to invent a product and then try to share it with the world (before she lost her house to a bankruptcy because she mortgaged it to manufacture her idea). One failure after another finally led to the break of a lifetime – winning Steve Harvey’s Top Inventor Competition on his Emmy® Award winning daytime show.

She’s not afraid of failure and she’s willing ask anyone for anything – ask her how she got Diana Ross to wear her product when she sang for the President or how a “guerrilla marketing” stunt landed her on the Today Show with Savannah Guthrie.

Life and business take guts and the willingness to make things happen. Christina shares all of this in her presentations.

Her ultimate business success came through the power of free publicity and her proven three step process that, when executed properly, is almost foolproof:

1) Be Newsworthy

2) Create a Great Hook

3) Find the Right Journalist

Then, combine this with a social media strategy and you have the recipe for success! This is what she calls her secret sauce. PR + Social Media = MAGIC. Because what we know for certain is that more visibility means more customers and more customers means more profits.

Christina holds nothing back and there are no excuses when she’s done to not getting massive visibility for a product, service, or brand.

I know you will love having Christina Daves at your events, and look forward to working with you to make that happen!

Sue Falcone
CEO- Remarkable! A Speakers Bureau

Speakers; Those Days are Gone! by Julie Austin

You’ve heard the stories. Seasoned speakers will tell you about how they used to do one canned keynote speech and make insane amounts of money on the “circuit”.

I know one well known speaker who was in the $10-15,000 range who got that amount consistently with no problem. But that was years ago. This same speaker has been asked to speak for free and has never recovered those glory days. Sure, she gets some paid jobs now and then, but things are quite different.

She, like many other speakers, are learning new ways to cope with a changing industry. Now she does free seminars and upsells a paid seminar, plus she sells her books and other services. She can still make $10,000 in a weekend, but it takes much more work, and she has to hustle for every penny.

Several other things have affected the speaking business, like the enormous amount of competition that’s entered the field. Every day I talk to former CEOs and celebrities who have sold businesses or simply want to try something different in their life. These are people who have name recognition.

That doesn’t even count the number of people who have been laid off from their corporate jobs or people who want to buy a lottery ticket into the business. Just like Hollywood, the field is extremely crowded with few good paying jobs. Certainly not enough good paid jobs for every speaker.

Okay, so that is the bad news. The good news is that with every disruption in an industry, there are opportunities to make money.

Since half of the speaking jobs out there are free ones, I realized I couldn’t work for free, so I decided to use my background in sponsorship to monetize those jobs. I started in the sponsorship business about 20 years ago when I was working on a TV pilot. My boss came in and asked me to find sponsors for the show, and then left.

I had no idea what to do. I had to figure it out on my own. I ended up going door to door pitching small businesses, and my naiveté worked in my favor because I funded the whole show with those sponsors.

This is why I’ve never spoken for free as a speaker. From day one I always had a sponsor paying the bills if a meeting planner didn’t have a budget to pay. The really good news is that there are tons of free speaking jobs everywhere. And meeting planners need good speakers, even if they can’t pay them. So most will allow you to have your own sponsor as long as it’s not selling from the stage, which this isn’t.

The reason I do small business sponsorship is because it’s much easier than contacting big corporations. Also, there are roughly 18,000 big corporations and over 25 million small businesses just in the US alone.

My first small business sponsor came from Europe and I got a $60,000 sponsorship from them. That was years ago, so that would be worth even more today. Most people think small businesses don’t have enough money to pay speakers, but you would be surprised. It all depends on the value you’re bringing them and how much they’re willing to spend.

The sponsorship business itself has changed in the past few years too. It’s become much more of a customized industry, and the players are changing. This is good for speakers since you have a lot of choices out there. And small business sponsorship is still in its infancy.

There are 2 ways to get sponsorship. You can either get a free job and find a sponsor for it or create your own speaking opportunities and find sponsors for them.

Either way, you won’t be waiting around for a meeting planner or anyone else to give you a job. You create your own speaking career. But there is a lot to learn. I am willing to share my knowledge to help you along the way!

Julie Austin is an award-winning author, speaker, and CEO of Speaker Sponsor, the only online directory for speakers seeking small business sponsorship. She’s been a keynote speaker for corporations such as Procter & Gamble, Novartis Pharmaceuticals, Northrop Grumman, and Cognizant Technology Solutions.

Her patented product, Swiggies, wrist water bottles, have been a NASDAQ product of the year semi finalist and are currently sold in 24 countries. Julie and her products have appeared on The Today Show, The Queen Latifa Show, HGTV, Lifetime, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX News, Inc. magazine, Fast Company, and the Wall Street Journal, along with dozens of TV shows, magazines and radio shows around the world.

Her new book “The Money Garden: How to Plant the Seeds for a Lifetime of Income” is currently available on Amazon.  To learn more and find out how Julie can help you with sponsorships; call 888-766-3155 today.

3 Key Things a Speaker Must Have!

In today’s business world there are 3 key things a speaker, or anyone operating a business, must have in place!

◊     “The List” of your clients/customers with a CRM system to manage it
◊     Social Media Strategy
◊     Automation of your entire business

These are so important, however we don’t see many people sharing about them, or if they are no one seems to be listening.

We are not fans of taking the “personal touch” out of our business relationships; but putting in place and maintaining these three things are the key to managing your time, resources, and meeting your goals.

Everyone shares all the time: “I don’t have enough time to do it all” Why is that?  For most it means not having a simple plan in place to keep you focused on doing the “right” things, which doesn’t mean “all” things!

Just as “everyone” is not your client, you have to determine who you are, what you do, and with whom you want and need to do business with.

Once those key pieces are in place then you can get these three things up and running, so that you are free to be able to do what you do best!

John Wooden was so right when he said: “If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over? ”

Is now the time to get it right before you get any further along, and will have missed some great business opportunities?

Sue Falcone
CEO- Remarkable A Speakers Bureau






Can Social Media Replace the Personal Customer Touch?

social mediaHow many times have you heard  “we don’t have to make commitments to speak with our customers anymore, we just text, email, or send them a DM on their Twitter account!”

Really? Is that the only way a vibrant growing business, association, or non-profit communicates with their customers now? How many of our customers are still wanting to live in the “good old days” when you contacted a company you got a real person, or when you entered your favorite store someone greeted and asked to help you?  I am seeing more and more complaints and it has nothing to do with the age or stage!

People are wanting that special touch, along with being in touch on all forms of Social Media too! How can we provide both?  Here are some surprising, startling facts from the Office of Consumer Affairs and American Express that we need to know in order to plan our business strategy. Remember  “without a customer we don’t have a business!”

Did you know:

  • It is 6-7 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one.
  • For every customer who bothers to complain, 26 other customers remain silent. 
  • According to consumers, customer service agents failed to answer their questions 50% of the time.
  • 80% of Americans agree that smaller companies place a greater emphasis on customer service than large businesses.
  • In the last year, 67% of customers have hung up the phone out of frustration because they could not talk to a real person.
  • 70% of buying experiences are based on how the customer feels they are being treated.
  • Almost 9 out of 10 U.S. consumers say they would pay more to ensure a superior customer experience.
  • On average, loyal customers are worth up to 10 times as much as their first purchase.
  • 59% of 25-34 year-olds share poor customer experiences online.
  • Failing to respond to a customer either by phone or social media is perhaps the absolute worst thing you could do.

The current data supports that our customers of today want to be valued, and appreciated and will even pay higher fees to receive the best experience possible! How you do that depends on the customer.

My company loves Social Media and the valuable contacts, fans, customers, and friends we connect with; but Social Media cannot replace what we still love more which is: hearing their voices, seeing their faces, and enjoying quality time with them to be able to serve them in the best possible way that they so richly deserve!

Getting to know our customers is so important! Can Social Media do that for us?  Lots of times it can get us on their radars, but we still have to take the time to reach and contact them one on one either by phone, in person, Skype, FaceTime or Zoom.  They need to know we are “real people” interested in them first-not just in what they can do for our businesses!

The main part of creating that great customer experience is to make sure we follow-up and do what we promise and commit to them, or they will go somewhere else!
We hope you have a wonderful Fall season and a great rest of the year! Finish strong and keep in mind that giving the best customer experience possible is the way to having more referrals that you didn’t even have to ask or market for!

Sue Falcone
Founder and CEO
Simply Sue Speaks Global Booking Agency

“Thank” Your Way Through It- by Guest Blogger Lucy Wellmaker

Thank Your WayBy now, many of us know the benefits of being thankful and having an attitude of gratitude. Studies show that being grateful is linked to increased satisfaction, motivation and energy. Practicing gratitude involves finding and noticing things in our lives for which we are grateful.

While I am a big fan of a being grateful, I’d like to share a concept that is similar but very different. What I am suggesting here is that we give thanks for things for which we do not necessarily feel grateful.

One of my favorite movies is “Facing the Giants”. In it, a losing high school football coach tells his underdog team that they will do their best in all areas of their lives and whether they win or lose they are going to give thanks and praise.

Why would any coach want to give thanks and praise after losing a game? Maybe, because it works?

They didn’t stop at giving thanks. Giving thanks actually inspired and motivated them to do what they needed to do to change their situation. They faced their fears.

The coach pushed them even more and the team worked even harder to get what they wanted. In the end, when it really mattered, they won.

I know it’s just a movie, but I have seen this play out in my own life as well.

I am generally a naturally positive person. I see the glass half full. I look on the bright side of things. I don’t try to be this way, I just am.

So when I found myself making a list of things that made me angry and resentful I knew I needed to do something about it. Rather than shifting my attention to the good things going on in my life, I stayed focused on this list.

As I read each item on the list, I said “Thank you.” I did not feel thankful, nor did I have a reason to be thankful. I just said “Thank you”.

I was amazed at how quickly my mood shifted. I felt like I had discovered a miracle cure.

What I realized later was that I was tapping into something I know to be true. That is, that all things work for good even when we don’t understand them. It is when we trust this concept and just say “thank you” that we align ourselves with a powerful force that will get us through our seemingly negative situation.

Saying “thank you” doesn’t mean we become complacent and accept our situations as they are. It’s about acknowledging our situations as they are now, facing our fears and trusting that there is a reason that is somehow, someway in our best interest.

The change of heart that can be experienced by doing this is amazing! It really is a miracle.

It will fill you up and provide the inspiration needed to move you forward. In order for this strategy to work successfully, one must believe and have faith in it.

I invite you to give it a try.  Share your comments and let us know how it worked for you.

Give thanks and be well,

Lucy Wellmaker


Lucy Wellmaker is a Board Certified Coach helping others with work-life balance, discovering deeper meaning and living more on purpose. For information visit LucyWellmaker.com or call 336-540-0733.