Your brand becomes your identity in the mind of your audience. A vague brand means vague identity, which is a reason why the careers of some motivational speakers go downhill just after a few months on the podium. If you really want to achieve great heights, follow these tips and prepare yourself for the success and fame to come.
1. Identify your niche and stick with your audience.
Many novice motivational speakers commit the mistake of grabbing every opportunity to earn and gain new followers. It does earn them more and possibly gain them more followers, but are they gaining the right ones?
This strategy works for the first few months, but without a clear brand and target audience, the audience will eventually wonder what your real intentions and specialties are. Your credibility will be questioned until all the followers you gained in the first few months of your career start to look for “real specialists.”
Limiting your audience means limiting the income opportunities at first. However, a niche does not run out of audience. With a solid marketing strategy and a whole lot of talent, you are bound to expand your audience sooner or later. It is not a quick process, but it pays of big-time.
2. Choose a specific style of speaking when delivering your message.
Motivational speakers are like recording artists. There has to be a specific style of speaking in which they can be identified with to narrow down their possible fan base. Loyal followers are your lifeline in case your career tumbles down in the future, so it is important that you know to whom your style appeal the most.
Eric Thomas is known for his “rough” delivery, but it works because he’s able to identify audiences who like to be spoken with bluntly but honestly. The late Zig Ziglar was known for his “soft” style to embody what a Christian speaker in the cutthroat business world should have looked like.
The style you choose, or rather, most comfortable with, may not please everybody. That is normal. Your goal is to please the people who matter the most to your career—your loyal followers.
3. Plan a permanent set of elements in your speech.
Putting a permanent set of elements in every speech you deliver builds anticipation because the audience get excited of what you have to offer. Doesn’t this lead to predictability? In a way it does, but it’s only going to hurt you if you are not good at it.
For instance, the audience may hate hearing you crack corny and sometimes offensive jokes. You do not build anticipation with that. But what if your jokes are a hit all the time? The predictability in this case brings life to anticipation. They know what you are going to do, which makes attending your event exciting, but they do not know what kind of laugh they are going to get.
The elements basically refer to the segments included in your speech. They are your ice breaker, introduction, media presentation, transition, etc.
4. Connect your brand to your fashion sense.
The audience are not too receptive of business attires in motivation speeches anymore. Very formal branding still works fine for a lot of niches, but keep in mind that the general perception about formality is boring. Many people may also find this image intimidating, especially for those who are not in the corporate world to begin with.
Motivational speakers usually have the freedom to express their personalities through their fashion statements. Showing who you are is often part of the message. Look at Eric Thomas and how he goes to every speaking engagement wearing a baseball cap, regardless of his attire, the venue, and the audience. Tony Robbins is also known to wear black everything, from shirts to coats and ties.