When you publish your book – or even before – you can use that book to get you on stages that might have been off-limits before. BUT going into it with a specific plan is essential to your success (much like anything else with your business, right?)
Bri Williams is here to talk to us about what authors can do to generate buzz for their book on the stage – and how to leverage those stage appearances into more book sales and more revenue.
See Bri’s Other Episode:
Episode 119 – The Secrets of Paid Speaking (even if you’ve never done it before) with Bri Williams
Alyson Lex 0:07
When you write a book, you're an author, you write a book to help build your business. One of the ways that that book can help you leverage your expertise, increase your audience is through the speaking gigs and engagements that you get as a result, but not everybody knows how to do that. Right? How do you leverage your book into those speaking engagements? And then how do you use those engagements to sell more copies of your book? That's why we have Bree Williams here with us today. We are so excited to pick her brain on this topic. Bree, thanks for hanging out with us. Um, at least they'll be back with you again, I love this topic as well. I'm very excited about this one today. I'm so excited. And I know the last time we talked it, you gave so much incredible information. So I know the same is going to happen today. I want to just dive right in with, you know, how does being an author having a book help with generating those speaking engagements? How does that happen?
Bri Williams 1:12
I mean, they kind of go hand in hand, the the thing that you need when you're up on stage is a core message, something that you want to share with people. And once you've already written that book, you're kind of ready to go and in fact, have an advantage over others who are still figuring out what it is that they want to share with their audience. And so in some ways, if you have authors listening to this, to this recording, they already have an advantage that they may not realize they have, which is good news, right?
Jennie Wright 1:44
Absolutely. And, you know, in order to sort of leverage these opportunities, you may have the book but what are you know, just as a follow up, how do they get started in sort of making sure that they can put that in front of something and or get more speaking opportunities? What's the next step?
Bri Williams 2:01
I mean, the first thing to do when you have your book is to take a moment to consider what are the core messages that you want to share, and create a signature talk around that. And I've recently worked with a book coach who has her own book, as you would imagine. And she was able to really simply follow a process of getting a signature talk together, because when you've created that book, you've already been through the editing process, you've really road tested a lot of the ideas, and there's a clarity there in terms of messaging that a lot of speakers have to work through, before they get their talk ready to go. So taking your book and looking at the core themes in that book, maybe it's an instructional, maybe there's a process or a framework that you share with other people, and maybe their belief shifts in there that are, you know, inspirational and motivational to an audience. So take those ideas, and create a list of all of the things that you could possibly talk about. And then think about what you're most passionate to share on because when you're speaking, you have the opportunity to infuse your words with all of those great things that you can do from stage. And pick, pick the parts that you're most passionate about sharing.
Jennie Wright 3:17
That makes a lot of sense. And it makes me lead on to the next question that we have, which is in order to create those opportunities. What should I be doing in order to do that after the book is launched? You know, we all know the stories of people pitching podcasters and saying, hey, my new book is out. And I want to come talk about it on your thing. And that doesn't seem right. That seems sort of selfish. But at the same time, we do want to be able to promote our you know, the books and things like that. What's the better approach? How do we? How do we approach people properly?
Bri Williams 3:47
I think if you're new to speaking that it makes a lot of sense to focus on one core stage, if you like in a stage in the way that I'm talking about. It may just be podcasts, it may be virtual summits. And and you may well have listeners that are thinking well, at any stage is a good stage if I'm trying to get on one. But the benefit of picking one stage in particular, even if it is podcasts, or Facebook groups or wherever it is picking one thing and sticking in terms of stage will help you grow your confidence in your message because every different stage has slightly different dynamics that you need to adjust to. And when you're starting out with speaking, you don't want to be doing all of those mental adjustments you want to be focusing on really creating excellence in what you're sharing through speaking. So you know your message, what you need now is to master your stage.
Alyson Lex 4:41
Do we need to wait for our books to be published before we start getting stages? I mean, I know that actually let me back up. Do we even need to wait for it to be fully written before we can start using it to speak on stages?
Bri Williams 4:57
No. is the simple answer no Create some buzz. And the thing that I would say in terms of podcasts and YouTube know this better than anyone is that the timing of your interview has no relation to when that will actually be released to the public. So trying to tie the message that you're sharing on a podcast to a book launch, for example, may not be the most successful way to do things. If you're just starting out with speaking, right? If you are a little bit more experienced, maybe you have a more organized way of timing that for your book launch, but what I would suggest is opportunities where you're speaking live, so that you know that when you're talking about things, the message is getting out there. As soon as the other thing I would say is that you don't have to finish that book at all. Use the speaking opportunities to gauge interest from your audience as well try out different topics, but also create some buzz for you as an expert. And also to be seeding this idea of well, the books not written yet, but it's going to be out soon. This is where you follow along on my journey. Or if you want to keep in touch if you want to see where this idea goes, come and follow me here, wherever here is for you.
Jennie Wright 6:13
What kind of speaking engagements should I be looking for? Or should authors be looking for that they can leverage? Is it conferences, you know, what are the details there? And how do we sort of make that happen?
Bri Williams 6:26
I have worked very recently with someone who has written a nonfiction book. And when she was looking for speaking opportunities she was going for initially, podcasts felt like a low hanging fruit in terms of those opportunities. But where she saw more success was in these events, conferences, and storytelling conferences, getting her audiences is women who want to write nonfiction books for their expert business. So we looked at where do those people hang out. And frankly, there are a lot of conferences and other kind of more like these events. And they've virtual a lot of them at the moment. But that opportunity to get in front of her ideal audience. And when we when we look at where the speaking opportunities are, typically we have like a bull's eye that we're aiming for. But there may be something that's once removed or twice removed, that has a lot of the elements that you're looking for in terms of your audience. And if you're just starting out with speaking, then perhaps you know, getting some experience with speaking is going to help you even if it's not the perfect, perfect audience. And so I would say you have to know where your audience hangs out in order to know what type of speaking gig is a good one for you. But like I said, I think the live ones. And I think the opportunity that we have now to speak virtually opens up so many more opportunities. And then if we're just focusing on in person events, and so it really does start with what's your book about and who's gonna? How do we get in front of them?
Jennie Wright 8:05
That leads me to a really good follow up. So you mentioned earlier that you working with somebody who wrote a nonfiction book, can we use fiction books to leverage for speaking opportunities as well? Or is it really more a nonfiction opportunity?
Bri Williams 8:19
I think I personally, I work with experts who are using speaking to market their business, or to provide an additional income stream for their books. And this is not to say that fiction writers couldn't use an actually already use and media opportunities, speaking opportunities to raise the profile of their books. Rather than just utilizing social media or paid ads, speaking is a great way to keep costs low, especially if you haven't made any books to get the word out there. And I could see how these principles would apply equally to fiction and nonfiction writers. And what I would say is different is that you may be able to leverage more PR type opportunities, which is not really my area. But I've seen nonfiction writers use PR very successfully as well.
Alyson Lex 9:13
I really like how you first that you know your lane, you're like, yeah, we market our business with our book. And that kind of brings me into the other half of this equation. Because we can leverage our book to get on stage. Yes, but can we leverage that stage to sell the book? How can we maybe think about doing that creatively? or What should we be thinking about?
Bri Williams 9:41
Okay, so when you're on stage, there are typically three options that you have. And it depends on whether it's your stage or someone else's stage as to which one of these options you apply, but it's either a no sell stage, it's a soft stone sell stage, for it's a full on sell from stage. So if it's your own stage, I mean Do what you like, basically, when you're on someone else's stage are typically playing by their rules. So what you'll often have an opportunity to, to do is invite people into your world. I mean, that happens very, very, very often. So having a really well rehearsed call to action that brings people to either your community, a lead magnet that might lead them to your book, or directly sharing your book with them. And typically be if you have author and your speaker biography, people know that you're going to want to talk about your book. And they may use that to direct the conversation if it's in an interview, for example, or it could be one of the reasons why they brought you on stage in the first place. So it's really about who's stages this, if it's someone else's stage, then abiding by the rules that they've got, but being very, very ready to call people to, to action. So where do they come and find out more about you, if not leading them directly to where they can find your book.
Alyson Lex 11:02
One of the things that Jenny and I talk about is bread crumbing. And this is where, For the uninitiated, this is where you, you mentioned things off hand. During your time on the stage and Brees done it really well here, you guys may not have even picked up on it. But she's mentioned the type of people that she works with a book coach, she mentioned, what she does, helps them level up by speaking. But she did it in a way that was just native to our conversation. But it lets you know, hey, this is what she does. You can do that on the stage too. Right? Like you can be like, yeah, my book I talked about this, but I'm going to really quickly go over the five steps in my like, you can just mention it offhand. Which works the subconscious Am I am I picking up a good point here?
Bri Williams 11:54
Yes, you say bread crumbing. I say seeding, we mean exactly the same thing. And that is, no one actually wants to receive a full on pitch unless they're signed up for that. What we're doing is building our authority or credibility, but we're also sharing specific details that can help people, if people are listening to this or any other any other talk really, they're interested in what you've got to say you're helping them out. It's a natural next step for them to think where can I find more information? Or if I wanted to know, more or different or how this applies to me, what do I do? And so what we're doing is essentially closing loops for people so that they're not actually sitting there thinking, well, thanks for opening up all these ideas or new perspective in my mind, and then leaving me hanging? No, it's that whole kind of that the seeding is really a gentle way of sharing your authority, but also helping, you know, I know that the three of us have spoken before about this is about people to people interaction, even if we're looking at a webcam lens right now, I know that there are many other people that will listen to this at some point that want to know, well, if this is, you know, going to help me out what do I actually do next. And that's what the speaker has the opportunity to do as well not leave people hanging. But also Yes, it is a win win for the speaker as well, who gets to share more of their experience. And I think the thing here is that it really does best represent how you can help people realistically specifically
Jennie Wright 13:29
made some really good points that I really, really enjoy what you're saying. And there's it leads me into my next question. And also almost the last question, how do we leverage these opportunities after the speaking engagements so that we continue to move things for, you know, sex, if we do the work, and we try and find a speaking gigs? And then we don't do anything afterwards? And it leads to nothing? So how do we leverage this post speaking gig? What are the right things to do?
Bri Williams 13:58
So one of the things that I've worked on with this book coach specifically is reviews, referrals and repeat business. So actually having a system in which you gather feedback from people, you get really great at asking for opportunities. So do you know of any future opportunities? Or would you be interested in having me back, you know, thinking about how you can make these connections in an organized systemized way. So that helps you ensure of future speaking gigs. But what I'd also think about is leveraging all of the speaking that you do so that you can create social media posts, put something extra up on your blog, share those videos and be a great person to work with as well. So be super generous to your hosts share their content, so that you're you are actually someone who could opt out back as well. So that generosity I think really drives a lot of a lot of the people that I work with because it doesn't feel a genius that that upfront like doesn't some of these feel a little bit self serving a little It's selfish. It doesn't have to be. In fact, it can be so, so generous because hosts need great content, they need great guests. And that's where you as a great speaker can come into the equation as well. And if you're not a great speaker yet, just remember that you've got to start somewhere, right? There's a stage for everybody. And you know, once you get yourself organized and focus on, what's that signature talk, what's that core message that I can share that really does naturally invite people to check out my book?
Alyson Lex 15:33
I don't think I have anything else to say I actually just have one more question is, which is where can we find out more about you? We'd love you know, this is not a hard pitch stage. But let's give a soft pitch and invite them to join your community and lead by example.
Bri Williams 15:49
I would love for people to join me in public speaking for entrepreneurs, it's my completely free Facebook group where I hang out and spend most of my time getting to know people. And likewise, you can get to know me ask me any questions in there. And I offer free training in there, and resources. So if this is the sort of thing that you want to work on, you can start to do that. today.
Jennie Wright 16:11
We love having Bree on the show. We can't wait to have you back another time. I'm sure we will. We just really enjoyed this topic with you. And we're excited to have you participate. So thank you so much for doing this with us today. Thank you so much for having me, I love this topic. Of course you do. And you're so good at it, you are the expert, less You are our go to when it comes to this. Also, and I have a couple takeaways to share with everybody today, these are things that we pull out of episodes like this, where we think that would be something of interest that would help you so my first one is focusing on one core stage, you know, every different stage has this dynamics that you have to get used to and you want to focus on creating excellence on that one core stage first, and then moving on to the next one. And I think that's a fabulous, fabulous point.
Alyson Lex 16:58
Oh, it's my turn. Okay. So mine is that when you create your book, or if you have an idea for a book, or maybe you don't want to write a book, but you still have this core message this core process this core program or system? or what have you. Figure out how you can translate that into the type of speaking that you want to do. How can you take that message and put it into an interview? How can you make it a 45 minute keynote? How does it work on all of these different stages or the one that you pick to be excellent with, because that's your signature message that you get to share.
Jennie Wright 17:41
I love that one. Also, when you're speaking, you have the opportunity to infuse your talk with words that will help with transformation for your audience. Look at it as an opportunity to serve and show your excellence and be able to create some change and some transformation for people. That's how they're going to get the most out of it. And that's how they're going to be able to take that information and put it into their lives or their businesses, or whatever. It's whatever it's going to be about.
Alyson Lex 18:10
And my last one is the call to action. You know, I love this part. really figure out how it's best to bring people into your community. Look at what Bree does. She said, This is my one place to connect with me. This is where I want you to be. This is where you're gonna get more from me, I can give you more you can connect. Have that and have it ready. So when people say how can I get in touch with you? There, it's ready. And then there you can invite them to take the next step.
Jennie Wright 18:41
I love that one too. I call this breed. Just want to take a second again to thank you once again for being on with us. We really appreciate everything that you've been able to share, and how you've been able to really effectively communicate what it's like to try and get speaking gigs with a book.
Alyson Lex 18:57
My absolute pleasure.
Jennie Wright 18:58
Thank you. Absolutely. So I just want to say thank you so much for listening to this everybody and please make sure you're following Allison and I for the System to THRIVE podcast, wherever it is that you're listening to episodes, and we'll be back again soon answering another big question.