We learn the best by asking questions to those who have real-life experiences and knowledge in their field, which is why each Friday is reserved for Q+A on the "BossSquad Radio Show" with Brand Expert Kubi Springer. This week, our Instagram Live viewers submitted questions during the show, which were answered on air by Kubi, shedding light on important topics, such as positioning, public speaking rates, client consistency, and career advice.
1) How do you position yourself as a specialist?
It is important to remember that specialists get paid more money than generalists, so you always want to to aim be a specialist in your field.
Hone in on your niche offering. Ask yourself: Where is there a need in the marketplace for my gifts and talents? You could be proficient in something, but there is a chance that there is no need for it at this time, so you must take the time to identify what you are good at and where you fit into the market.
Find your tribe. Your "tribe" can also be called your target demographic. Who are the people who not just need your product or service the most but have the right amount of money to pay for it?
Be consistent with marketing. The more you are consistent, the more customers will buy from you because you are familiar and trustworthy. Dance in your lane and deliver one key message. The way you deliver your offerings may change over time, but your message should always be the same.
2) How much should you charge for public speaking?
Speaking is an industry in and of itself. If you are a speaker and someone contacts you for this service, you need to charge. However, this does not apply if you are an entrepreneur and you are using the speaking platform as a marketing tool. If this the case, you should ask yourself: How is being onstage going to drive sales?
So, how much should you charge for speaking engagements? The answer is: as much as you want. But before you send off your proposal, there are a few things you should consider before attaching a price tag:
What are your topics? Set yourself apart from the rest by having problem-solving topics prepared to pitch to the organization.
Where is the evidence? Before you are hired to address an audience, the potential client will want to see proof that you have mastered the art and skill of speaking. Here are some tools that can help you book that gig:
Promo (or "Sizzle") Reel: This is a short, edgy promotional video of you on various stages. It can include music, b-rolls, clips of the audience, and flashy words.
Speaker Reel: This is where you show you onstage in a totality of a speaking engagement. These are important because it shows your speaking structure, personality, preferred tools, and ability to command a stage.
Media Kit: A media kit is a pack of information highlighting your bio, popular topics, client logos, appearances, testimonials, and more.
Speaker One-Sheet: A speaker one-sheet is a one-page document that condenses all of the media kit information.
Be ready to negotiate. You want to let the marketplace know you come with a price tag. But what happens if a client rejects your standard fee? If they say they don't have it in the budget, ask them to give you a number in their comfort zone. You then follow it up with this statement: "What are you going to give me to the equivalent of what you cannot afford to pay?" This can come in the form of an advert, social media promo, shout-out on a show, etc.
3) How long did it take you, Kubi, to build your reputation and gain a steady, consistent stream of clients?
"The truth is my career and business started out of necessity. I didn't set out to be an entrepreneur or run a marketing agency; I wanted to be a phenomenal brand marketing specialist. So, my whole career started off as an intern and then a freelancer, and I didn't launch my business until I had too many clients as a freelancer that I actually had to launch my business. It was literally demand that drove the agency to launch!
On building up your client base, Kubi goes on to say:
"...80% of your business should come from repeat business. That means that the customers that you do have: Those customers should be treated so well that you have a retention strategy. If people are not coming back again and again to your business, there may be a problem with your product or service or a problem with your retention. In other words, you are not putting the energy or the resources into retaining customers. So you want to think about your strategy not just for new leads, but how do you keep the ones that you have."
So, what's the bottom line?
"If I was mentoring you, I would say 'brand building takes time.' Yes, you want to make a profit and drive revenue, but you ultimately know that your gifts and talents are here to serve the world. It's really important to remember that, because during the difficult times where you're trying to build clients, you have to hold onto why you are doing it - not that it has to pay your bills or your mortgage or your rent, but because you know that your gifts and your products and your services are really going to add value to the world you have been your tribe and your world."
5) What is the biggest career mistake you, Kubi, have made?
"I think the biggest career mistake that I made was not believing in me enough earlier in my career. The first ten years in my career, even though I was doing amazing things, I felt like a fraud. I had imposter syndrome. And that comes from not believing in your own source, I didn't believe in me the way that I should have. I internalized racism and sexism, and I thought that being black and being female was my hindrance. And actually, it wasn't until my mid to late 30s that I began to appreciate that being black and female is my superpower. It is the thing that separates me from my competitors, who in my industry are predominately males in their 50s and white. So I think the biggest mistake in my career and the thing that I teach people about is really own your superpower. And normally, your superpower is the very thing that isn't super! If I just would have held on and believed in myself earlier, I probably would have made more money quicker."
6) What tips do you have for someone who wants to start a career in marketing?
Get mentored by the best. If you want to build a sustainable, solid career in any industry, you want to sit at the feet of greatness. Get an internship, a mentor, accountability groups, and online memberships where you learn from the business. The reality is that success leaves a footprint. You want to know whose footprint you have to follow, whether you are buying their book, listening to their audio, making them your mentor, or joining the membership groups. Invest in your career enough to learn from them.
Invest in your career before it starts. Don't quit your job before you are ready. As Kubi says, "Make your 9-5 the investor in your 5-9". Invest in your business or side-hustle through your paycheck, resources, training, and contacts. Once you have built it up enough to pay your bills, then you are ready to start a full-time business.
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READ: I Am My Brand
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