In the last episode we talked about the “MindStory” we need to get to 7 figures. In this episode, I’m talking to Jane Atkinson of The Wealthy Speaker. She knows that, in addition to mindset, there are 3 main strategies you need – in order to get to 7 figures. If you’re stuck at a lower level of income than you want, then getting these 3 strategies in place can make a HUGE difference.
Benefits of listening:
* How to “pick a lane” versus trying to solve too many problems for your clients
* Make your work flow easier with tried-and-true systems
* How to get the right team in place using Standard Operating Procedures
1:30 – How Jane moved from being an agent for speakers to building The Wealthy Speaker
6:10 – Why people are afraid to niche and what it costs them
11:30 – A specific Customer Relations Management system for speakers
18:45 – What it looks like to get a team in place
CRM’s for Speakers.
https://speakerlauncher.com/webinar-get-your-crm-working-for-you/[Text Wrapping Break]
Karma’s 14 day trial (could be extended to 30)
Wealthy Speaker School:
Connect with Carla Rieger:
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/carlarieger
Twitter – https://twitter.com/carlarieger
LinkedIn - https://www.linkedin.com/in/carlarieger/
This is episode 43 strategies for getting to seven figures with Jane Atkinson. You’re listening to the mind story speaker podcast for influencers in business who know that the mindset part is about a hundred percent of your results. Wanted to interview Jane Atkinson today, founder of the wealthy speaker. She has over three decades of marketing experience in the speaking industry. Agenting some of the top speakers in the world and she now helps emerging speakers, intermediate and a seasoned speakers build their business. In fact, I coached with Jane back in the early two thousands and it made such a huge difference to my success. And so I really wanted you to hear what she had to say. So already you Jane, thank you for being here.
Oh, I am so happy to be here. And when you say early two thousands, that was a long time ago. That’s what it
long time ago. But it was a real turning point in my business. So, uh, like one little thing Jane says could make a huge difference. So listen close.
Yeah. Get your pencil. Exactly. So you have a phone,
a few tips for people about what you think has made the biggest difference. And I, I know you’ve worked with a lot of very successful speakers, so
what would you like to start with? Well, you know, the overarching thing, which I think you’ve talked about before on your podcast is really the whole mindset piece. I used to think that mindset was, you know, 50% of it or something like that. Now I believe it’s 100% and I’ve been doing all of this work on my own business and we’re S we’re going, it’s really exciting to commit to something that really stretches you. And so why not go for seven figures? I mean, why not? Why not you? That’s I guess the question. And I always thought, Oh, Jane, you know, you’re just the one who pushes everybody else out there into the spotlight. You’re not the one that needs to be in the spotlight or needs to earn X number. And I thought, well, why not? After a while, I kind of scratched my head, wait a second, why am I making all these other people rich and not myself? So I had to actually move myself towards a place that was ready for it. And mentally you need to be prepared.
Yeah, absolutely. And you have to sort of see yourself there first. So how did you make that leap from seeing yourself doing that?
Well, I think that committing is probably the first step and then once you really commit to what that needs to look like, I think one of the things that I think can hold us back is the idea of how much work it’s going to take to go to 10 times your business. So I’m a part of Dan Sullivan’s strategic coach and they talk a lot about the 10 times idea and 10 times really scared me when I first got into his program. And then I realized, Hey, wait a second, I’ve already 10 times my business once. Why couldn’t I do it again? And I am not working. I’m very, very, um, kind of clear and boundary oriented with my time. And so what I have imagined for myself, the vision is that I continue to take Fridays off, that I continue to either record two or three podcasts or have a free or buffer day on Mondays and that I only coach from 12 til three Tuesday, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
None of that is going to change. And the difference comes from all of the other things that I’m putting in place to scale. And those are the things that we can talk about next. It’s, you know, positioning and systems and team are really the key three key ideas I think to scaling. Yeah. And I like what you said about, uh, you’re kind of looking for evidence in your past. Like you did it before. You can do it again. I call that memory management where you look for evidence cause mostly we’re scanning for evidence that it’s not possible that we can’t do it. Exactly. And, and really when you think about it, did you think you could write a book? Did you think you could, you know, build $100,000 business? Did you think? All of these things and, and um, really just think about all the things that you’ve accomplished in your life and go back to the thought that got the whole ball rolling.
Right? One point I said to myself, Hey, I’m going to charge people for what I know because everybody wanted to pick my brain on how I had made so many speakers successful. You know, I was out in Vancouver, worked with Peter legs, so people in Vancouver, Oh, how did Peter double his business last year? Sh, you know, show us how you did that. And then I went down to Dallas and I worked with Vince placentae and we doubled his business every year for three years. And Oh, how did you do that? And a lot of people down in Texas would say, can I take you to lunch and pick your brain? And so I thought someday I’m going to charge for this. That all began with a thought, a vision. Sunday I’m going to charge for this and become a coach. So I start to take action.
I go get trained as a C ETI coach and I go on from there and learn how to do it. And that 15 years ago it feels like it feels like ancient history that that happened. But really it starts with the vision and then you need to just start taking steps. Yeah. Little baby steps, which is good. Yeah. Cool. All right. So yeah, let’s start with those strategies that you talked about. So we’ve got positioning and systems and team and positioning. I think probably you referred earlier to the idea of picking a lane, uh, being, becoming known for one thing in your work that you do and the more you, um, water down your lane and try to be all things to all people, the less you’ll become known for one thing. And I think it’s really important that, uh, maybe you own a word or maybe you’re just known for kind of solving one problem.
That’s enough. If you are known for solving five or six problems, I think you’re going to have a hard time. Um, getting up in fees. There are people who are jacks of all trades who are out there making very, very good livings in the business and you can make $150,000 a year if you want to being a GoTo person for a client. Oh you need team building? Sure, I can do that. Oh, you need a communication or I can do that. Oh, you need, I dunno. Um, performance, I can do that. But the more ex expert you can get at your idea, I think the more you can charge. Yeah. And why do you think so many people resist doing that fear? That goes back to that mindset piece again. Um, people are afraid that if they take a speech off of their list on their keynotes page on their website that, Oh, but what if somebody wants that and I don’t have it on my page?
Well, it’s not something that’s serving you. Every time you do a speech that’s off brand for you, you are moving your brand in a direction that is not helpful to your longterm goal. And I think it really takes a lot of um, brave and you know, kind of flexing that no muscle to be able to say to something that somebody, I’m sorry, that’s not what I do. Right. I know. I know somebody who’s better at that than I am. Let me go ahead and refer you to them. Yeah, yeah, I think so. And invariably, as soon as you say, okay, that’s my lane, somebody will call and they’re going to test you. You’re going to test that no muscle and see how strong it is. And if it’s flabby, you’ll, you’d be like, Oh, sure, I could do that. Now there’s a difference, Carla, from somebody at the beginning of the building their business and needing to pay the rent and needing to pay the mortgage.
I get that. But just really be aware that when you’re further along, every time you do a piece of business that’s off-brand, often it will be more work and often you’ll resent it when the time comes to go and do it and it is not serving your empire longterm. Yeah, exactly. Okay, good. That’s super important for everybody. So that’s positioning. We can check that box done. Now the next one is systems. No doubt you have in your business created a lot of systems, uh, because it’s very difficult to grow without them. So everything that you do should be systemized. If, if a client reaches out to you, sure you’re going to customize what you say back to them based on what they’ve asked you for. But there could be two paragraphs that go into every single letter that goes out your door or every single email response.
And those are all created custom responses so that when you’re doing things they can be done as quickly as possible. So what’s your CRM? Where are all your customers housed? You know, there are people who can get to a hundred K business by having it all in an Excel spreadsheet. But I’m afraid that’s not going to last for much longer. It’s really something that you’ve got to be able to search your database. If you want to go into your database and say, Hey, I just did this great engagement for the insurance industry. I’m going to go into my database and search all my insurance clients. You need a very good field marked industry in your database to be able to do that type of thing. And you can be really, really productive when you have a solid CRM working for you. And then leads aren’t falling through the cracks.
Systems like that must be in place in order for you to grow and they can, they can attach, you know, maybe you use East speakers, they can flow in and out of East speakers that can keep your calendar, that can keep all of the event details. I mean it’s designed just for that. So why not use that combined with your CRM and really make sure that everything is going in a place that’s typically out on the cloud so that you can have other team members. I’m working on it with you and you’re not the, you know, if your laptop crashes then you are not out of luck. Everything is out on the cloud. Yes. And do you have any you recommend? Well we like a karma CRM for speakers and I can send you over link for that if you’d like. They do. Um, some nice things for clients of mine.
They give you a little extra time on the trial and things like that. And um, there’s a couple of more that are emerging and I’m going to do a podcast with the gentlemen from speaker flow who, um, have come to me to show me something new that they’re cooking up. And so once I learn more about that, then I can share that with you as well in Lincoln. If you do show notes, we can put it in there as well. Sure, sure. We’ll be doing a podcast with them. And I have done a webinar on, um, uh, karma for speakers as well, just to show people the possibilities. Being able to see, for instance, how much money you have in your funnel can be very calming when you haven’t had the phone ring for a week or something like that. You’d be like, Oh, wait a second though.
There’s $500,000 sitting right there and the funnel, I’m okay, I’m okay. You know, even if a lot of these things drop off, I’ll still be fine. So, uh, sometimes it’s great to see, uh, where at what stage all of your businesses at and what’s close to closing. And it just reminds you of what’s to come. So I’ll send you a link over to that. Uh, that’s a webinar that we did with the CRM as well, if you like. Okay. That’s huge. And of course the date stamping is so important. So just say, we’re not looking at speakers right now, we’re looking at them in June. And if you do them now, it’ll just go in the, exactly. So you might have a field in your CRM that says, you know, what’s the planning month? Oh, they’re planning in June. I’m going to back it up and I’m going to say, okay, I’m going to call, you know, May 15th.
I’m going to tag them to say I’m going to start reaching out to them on May 15th and now I’m ahead of the game. Yeah, yeah. And then they love it. They love hearing from you then when they’re looking, but not exactly. Not exactly, but between now and then, hopefully you’ve sent a couple of things. You know, you might have, you might have a system that would be a camp pain that sends them, you know, three things. Hey, I thought you might like this or you know, reach out to them on LinkedIn or whatever. You might have a system in place that allows you to stay kind of warm to them between now and then. So that’s another system that you might build in. And what’s an example you’ve seen that works really well to keep you front of mind as a speaker without coming across as sort of pushy with them?
Well, if you get their permission to add them to your newsletter list, um, and the permission part is the key to that being not annoying. That moves you from the not annoying place to the annoying lace, um, that then dripping out great content to them is a good way to go. It certainly works in my world. We have a podcast that we drip out every Thursday. We have a newsletter that we do every Tuesday. And I’ve had people who said, no, Jane, I’ve been on your list for 10 years and finally I feel ready to work with you. You know, I’d like to hire you as my coat. Okay, great. So that was 10 years of nurturing that paid off for me and that’s actually happened, uh, several times where you’re just in the right place at the right time. And I think when you, uh, have something that is quality, valuable material that’s relevant to them, then they’re okay to stay on your list for as long as it takes before they’ll hire you.
Right, right, right. Yeah. Okay. Good, good. Excellent. All right, our last one, do you want to go to that last one? Now you’re his team and, uh, I really believe that this is something that I’ve learned more through strategic coach as well, is that team is kind of kind of the maker or breaker of how you feel in your business. So you know how when you have children or grandchildren, as we, as I do, um, when the kids are settled, your settled, when the kids are doing good, you’re good. Well it’s the same with your business. When your team is working well together, then everything is working well. I just said to you, the team is sending out apologies, you know, today because our team is just, we’re going through a little bit of a growing pain. We have a new member who is absolutely fantastic, but we don’t have the kinks worked out yet.
So what that lens to is growing pains at my end, you know, we’ve got five people and um, it’s really, really solid. But, and once it smooths out, it’s gonna be amazing. But if any one of those five leaves, now you’ve got a team disruption, Jen. And uh, the whole thing could go a little bit out of whack. The key to it is your systems. If your systems are really solid than anybody can step into place, open up the standard operating procedures and pick up from where that person left off. And that’s our next step is to document everything that we’re doing so that anybody could take over anybody’s job. Yeah. And say something about how you’re getting started with the documentation. I know lots of people go, Oh, I know I need to systematize, but I just don’t know how to get started. So any tips?
Well, we have a drive document, a SOP, standard operating procedures. And so each page would be kind of like titled so that you could search this document. It’s a word doc. And if you were like, okay, um, uh, somebody from our school wants to suspend their subscription, you know, you can be able to search schools subscription and you would be able to find the information. Step one, do this, step two, do this, you know, open up an Infusionsoft and dah, dah, dah, dah, dah. Go on from there. So we have it all documented so that it’s easy for people to find and it’s very searchable. I think that’s the key to those, uh, SLPs working is that it’s all documented, uh, in a searchable fashion. And did you create the document yourself or did you have someone on your team good or was sort of a joint project?
The people who do the job are the ones who document it. So everybody has different jobs. And now, um, my team leader Caroline, she, um, she’s really good at doing SLPs. That’s kind of one of her strong suits. So I may, I may have her review the whole thing when it’s finished cause all the pieces will be in place and make sure that it’s very, very smooth. And how many people do you have on your team and why did you have that particular type of person? Well, so we have five people, but they all have their own businesses. So I don’t feel like I’m feeding five families mouths, you know, that’s a bit of a burden I think somebody can be reluctant to take on and I’m no different. Uh, so I have a, an assistant who really, her job started out doing event planning and evolved into the podcast and is evolved into a communication with all of our groups.
We have masterminds and schools and she’s involved very heavily in that. She does a lot of our registration with the schools and onboarding of people and customer service. And she answers the chat on the website. And so, uh, that’s Monica and she is just an amazing, uh, person who, you know, I couldn’t even go out of town for a week without checking email, but now Monica monitors all that. Now all the emails from the website go to Monica and not to me. So she’s reduced my in-basket drastically. And then we have a team that does our podcast production and posting. And then we have another team that does all of our infusion soft work. That’s our CRM, but it’s also where all the money goes. Um, it’s also where all of our campaigns begin from. So right now we’re, we’re, um, posting about a webinar that we’re doing for, uh, intermediate to seasoned speakers who want to get to $1 million.
We have a webinar for that and we’re starting to promote it. And they would set all of that up in infusion soft force. So there’s two people on that team. And we go on from there. I’m not sure if I’ve forgotten anybody. Oh, watch Reese. So who manages our whole school and all of the lessons with in the school and all of the videos that go out there. Uh, Teresa has done a great job of putting all together. So it’s, it’s, there’s a lot of, I was just saying to the team meeting the other day, you know, we have a lot of plates spinning. Our goal is to not let too many hit the floor and we just had a hip plate hit the floor this morning is like, okay well we send out a may, a culpa, uh, email that has a funny little GIF of a guy with his head in his hands and we just move on.
I don’t even get upset about it anymore because we’ve all, we’ve all got things that have happened in our businesses and we’re all business owners. So hopefully we understand. Great. Well that just gives people a nice idea of, you know, what’s, you know, the type of roles that they could be filling. Cause I know sometimes people just get the one VA and kind of want them to do everything, but not everybody can do everything. And so at some point you do need to get people. Yeah, I like to hire specialists. So people who are really good at, um, sometimes we try that. So there’s this term hire generals, not soldiers. Um, but there’s something that needs to be explained further about that when you hire a general, you say to somebody, here’s my social media. Take it. You do it. You do it better than anybody.
Go ahead and do it. Um, but if your social media is not working, you kind of need to fix it and figure out what your plan is before you hire someone to actually implement the solution. A lot of people try to hire to fix a problem when the problem needs to be solved before they actually hire. Right. That makes sense. Yeah. Yeah. So I think a lot of people are trying to throw money at a problem when in fact they just need to kind of sit down and really organize the solution and then think, okay, now who do we have that we can come in and actually implement the solution? Yeah. People kind of want to clone themselves, but you don’t usually find somebody who’s like you in those roles. Right. And, and it may be that the best person for the other role isn’t like you, you know, you’re really hiring for your weaknesses and w okay, so let’s think about this from a a speaker stand point.
What you should be doing with your time all day, every day are probably three things. You know, writing content, delivering content, and maybe selling or relationship building with your clients, and then everything else can be farmed out. Yeah. Yeah. That’s a good rule of thumb for sure. Yeah. So speaking, writing and selling, and then everything else goes out because most of the other jobs are 15 to $20 an hour jobs. Now, I don’t pay 15 to $20 an hour for my team because I want the best at what they do. So I’m kind of more up at $70 an hour for a lot of the things that I hire out for. But those are the on the highly technical things.
Right, right. Yeah. But then you can be in the peace of mind that it’s going to be done. Right,
exactly. Fingers crossed. Yeah. Yeah.
And so give us some idea. You’ve worked with speakers and you know, so many people in the industry who are making a million, like what’s an example of how they could be a paid speaker or they could have several multiple forms of income? Like what’s an example of what you seem quite common in terms of hitting that million dollar Mark?
Well, I’ll give you two examples, actually. Totally different business models. So Ryan Estis, he’s kind of been, um, one of the speakers who came up and did it very quickly, got to a million, I think he’s probably approaching three now. And so, um, he did it by just raising his fee and giving 60 or 70 speeches a year. So he’s sitting like $30,000 to speech. And those are his numbers, doesn’t have a book, doesn’t have an online course, doesn’t have any kind of residual income. And if Ryan gets sick, Ryan’s in trouble. So we’ve talked about this a lot and, and one of those things is coming to, to uh, get the solution in place for himself, but that’s his business model right now. And then you look at Kendra hall who also got her feet up and up and up and is very, very hot right now.
Um, but she has a book, she has a course, um, and she’s got a lot of other things in place as well as lots of team members to be able to run her business like a well oiled machine. And I think because of that, her opportunities will come to her faster and greater. So she may not be at the same income level yet that Ryan is, but she has got a book on, on the bestseller list. And I think that she has like amazing possibilities in front of her. And if she did get sick, she wouldn’t be, um, quite so in trouble. Right? Yeah. Passive income is so important. Exactly. Because the meetings industry of course goes up and down and right now we’ve got, um, an epidemic which could potentially turn into a pandemic, the coronavirus. And so that should have speakers going, okay, Hmm.
Let me think about this. If this meeting and this meeting and this meeting all get canceled, which they could, they may book out into the future, but I need to think about my cashflow right now. What would I do? And we want to expect the best, but plan the worst. Right? So that’s something that people really need to be thinking about. Yeah. And there’s lots of sources of income for speakers that people don’t often think about. Like there’s the book, there’s young course, but, uh, and the speaker fee. But what else have you heard of coaching? Yup. Uh, there’s lot of people that are doing, um, filling in the holes in their calendar with coaching clients. It could be instead of one on one coaching, it could be one to many coaching. So you could have a membership platform with lots and lots of people, or you could have a 10 person mastermind mind that pay you a higher the, the, the fewer the people or you know, price goes up.
If it’s one-on-one, it’s the highest price. If it’s one to 10, then it’s the next price. If it’s one to a whole bunch, then they get the lowest price. So your pricing goes up the more you’re involved in the process. Yeah, that’s fine. So you, you could do your own events. There’s all kinds of ways to kind of be bringing in and creating your own brand. And every opportunity you go out and speak to an audience, that’s a whole bunch of fans. You could be bringing into your database, uh, with you to be able to say, Hey, did you know, you know, if you go and do a sales talk, uh, there’s a whole bunch of sales, Hey, why not be a part of my sales club? You know? And then you’re telling stories about members of your sales club having amazing success, and then they all know, I want to be a part of that sales club.
What? It’s only $99 a month. That’s so cool. Now maybe you’ve got a thousand people paying you $99 a month. Way to go. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Okay, that’s lots of good ideas. Now you has many interesting offerings. So, uh, what is, if somebody wants more, uh, about the wealthy speaker? I know you have this amazing podcast with lots of great interviews, so that’s one thing. But now what else do you have? So we have the wealthy speaker podcast. Uh, that’s all free content of course. Um, we have the wealthy speaker school, so that’s for emerging speakers. Who want to figure it all out. We run them through the whole, um, ready, aim, fire process that we have, uh, formulated and we offer a lot of, we also have a membership community. So as a part of the school you get access to five or six classes every month that you can join into that are just small group.
And, um, then we have kind of upgraded, uh, memberships to the school. We have one called the wealthy speaker, no, sorry, the inner circle mastermind and that’s where we have our 10 people groups and we’ve got one group working towards their first hundred K and we have another group working towards seven 50K so they’re on the path to a million. And so, um, that is kind of at the next price point, I mean up and then people can also do private coaching with me. We have a year long program that works really well for people who are interested in that one-on-one approach.
Nice. Okay. So I’m going to put a, of course your link in the show notes so that pink will have that. But, uh, even if, yeah, check all those out. And of course the podcast is full of really great topics on all kinds of areas, really amazing interviews with some top people in the industry too.
Yeah, and we have a blog there as well. All free information. You can search the blog, you can search the podcast for topics that you might be interested in and there’s just a ton of free goodies out there for people.
Okay, good. Well, thank you so much. You’ve been a wealth of information and resources and tips that people can take action on right away, so that’s really good. Any parting words?
Well, you know, I think that having a strategy is a very, very good thing, but if you’re not entirely clear or I’m looking for that extra mindset piece, that’s a really good investment of your time and energy because making sure that you don’t have any financial barriers that you don’t really know about is a good use of people’s time. You know, really break through anything that might be holding you back.
Yes. Because as you say, it’s about a hundred percent of your success. Yes. It really is. Let’s just believing it is, is such a huge part of it. Yeah, yeah, exactly. Okay, well, thank you so much for your time today, and until next time, I’m Carla and this is Jane Atkinson. Bye for now.