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August 2018

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Three I’s to Increase Influence through Stage and Media

Three I’s to Increase Influence through Stage and Media
by Allison H Larsen

 

It’s not who you know, it’s who knows you.

Think about it. Do you know who Oprah is? Of course! But, does SHE know who you are and if she did would things be different for you and your business? What if more people knew who you were and what you did? Would you make more money and influence more people?

It’s simple, the more the world sees you and hears you, the more people will know who you are.

I will never forget the first time someone recognized me from tv. They came up to me with tears in their eyes and expressed how something I had shared on my show had touched them deeply. Or, the time a lady approached me at an event and told me she had heard me speak from stage a few months prior and had changed her business model to fit the advice I had given. She thanked me for inspiring her to take things to the next level. Or the time an influential leader in the personal development world called ME and asked if I could help connect them with some speaking time. I had been following this person online for years and they had heard about me!

So, what is my point? If you have a business model that requires clients for success, stage and media is a great way to reach more people in a very efficient and impactful way. The good news is that with social media and modern technology, there are more platforms than ever. The bad news is that there is also more competition than ever before. Here are three effective I’s that you can implement to set yourself apart from the competition and grab the attention of television, radio and event producers.

I- IMAGE
Whether you like it or not, people will make a judgement about you in the first 7-10 seconds based on your appearance. And, if your image does not match your message it will be a much harder sale.

For example, remember Sarah Palin who was the candidate for vice president when John McCain ran for office? Ms. Palin often wore dark, boxy and very sophisticated clothing with dark rimmed glasses and a classy hairdo. Upon first glance, one might think she was a very serious individual. However, when Sarah Palin spoke, she was bubbly, funny and often cracked jokes. Her image did not match her personality or message. Subconsciously when someone’s message or personality does not match what we think based on their look, our brains mistrust them.

One speaker I had in my coalition was a delightful individual who spoke from stage about finding happiness in life. But, when he sent me his headshot for the website, it looked more like a mug shot. He was not smiling and did not look happy. I encouraged him to send something that would be more of a match for his message. After all, who wants to learn about happiness form someone who look like a kid who just got his tricycle stolen!

When you are considering what to wear on stage or getting your head shots, make sure your dress and expression portray your message and represent your brand. If you don’t know where to start you may want to consider hiring a good stylist for a few months. That is what I did when I first began my speaking and media career and it was one of the best investments I have ever made!

I- ICON Status
What is the first thing that any tv, radio or event producer will do when they are considering featuring you? They will want to look you up. This is why it is so important to have a good website. And, preferably an icon site, a url where they can go to find out all about you! I have a website about my speakers coalition (www.speakerscoaliton.com) which is great when someone wants to find out about what I do. More importantly for speaking and media, I also have an icon site, a website all about me where people can go to find out who I am (www.allisonlarsen.com).

Another important thing to have to increase icon status is an E.P.K. (Electronic Press Kit). This is basically your headshot, bio and credentials in digital form. I house my E.P.K. on the “about me” page on my website. If you don’t have a website, a pdf with this information that you can send to producers works as well.

When you are putting together your icon site or E.P.K. make sure and include a good head shot, an impactful bio and any logos from programs or publications that you have been featured on in the past. This looks very impressive.

I- INTERVIEW
If you know how to give a good interview, you will be more likely to be featured in the media. You will also be able to have a greater impact with the stage and air time that you have. Here are some things you can do to prepare to rock your interview.

Come up with a few stories that illustrate a point. You could have a story about why you do what you do, a success story with a client, or even a story about a failure that you were able to learn from. Each story should have a clear moral or point at the end that people can learn from. You should have a 60-90 second version of each story ready that you can tell during an interview. Think short and sweet. That is what the media wants.

Next, come up with 3-5 quantifiable steps that people can implement. These steps should be easy to write down and demonstrate your expertise. This will leave the audience wanting more of you.

Above all just remember to be yourself. Your Image, Icon Status and Interview Skills should magnify who you are to reflect the best you. Once the world truly understands who you are and what you do, you will be able to reach more people and get more clients.

My Secret to Successful Networking

My Secret to Successful Networking:

How I went from a monthly reach of thousands to millions in less than a year.
By: Allison H Larsen
People are constantly asking me how I became such a successful networker. How did I, a mother of four living in small town Idaho, accomplish a reach of millions in just a matter of months? After all, I never went to business school or had any formal sales training. In the beginning I wasn’t even consciously trying to be a “good networker.” I was just being me. And it took me a while to pinpoint why I connected so easily and efficiently with others. In the end it all came down to one very important thing. One very simple skill. So simple in fact, that much like the Israelites with the bronze serpent, many have dismissed it thinking it is too easy to be the key to success. But, those who have heeded my advice are constantly calling me and thanking me for sharing my secret, having often doubled or tripled their client and joint venture base in a relatively short period of time. You too will experience greater connections if you choose to implement what I am about to share with you.
What is my secret to successful networking? It is the Art of Listening.
Just think for a moment. When is the last time someone was trying to sell you something and they talked your ear off? They were so engrossed in giving you their sales pitch that they never asked you about your business or your needs. All they did was talk about how great they were or how their product or service could change your life. How did you feel? What were you thinking? Did you want to listen to them or work with them? OR, were you saying a silent prayer that the fire alarm would go off or sending a ESP to one of your friends to call you, rescuing you from this person’s unapologetic sales pitch?
I spend a lot of time talking with people at events or on follow up calls. The other day, I was on a call with someone who talked about themselves for 27 minutes straight before I finally had to interrupt them to end our call for an appointment I had scheduled. I literally had the phone on mute for almost half an hour. There wasn’t one question about me or my business during that time. There wasn’t even an acknowledgment that I was still on the phone. In the end, after I expressed that I only had a few minutes left to talk, the person on the other end asked me to host a webinar for him. “Do you even really know what I do or who my audience is?” I asked. “No,” he replied, “but I am sure they would love my product.” I couldn’t believe it! After the call ended I found myself wondering how this guy had ever had any success in sales. And, in case there is any question, I did not agree to the webinar.
To be successful at networking you must listen to people. When you meet a potential client or partner at an event, you must first find out about them, figure out what their needs are and what they are looking for in their business before you present yourself as the solution. This is accomplished by listening. Here is a fun challenge I give myself. When first talking with a potential client of partner, I P.E.G. the person’s potential before I talk extensively about myself or my services. The acronym P.E.G. stands for Passions, Experiences and Gifts. Let me explain.
PASSIONS: I ask them questions that let me know what they are passionate about. A really simple one is “So,what are you passionate about?” Easy enough!
EXPERIENCES: The next thing I ask about are the experiences that the person has had that led them to do what they are doing. Almost everyone has had a life altering experience or two that has led them into the line of work they are in.
GIFTS: As I am talking, I notice any gifts that the person has with whom I am speaking. For example, maybe they have a great smile or a way of talking that makes me feel comfortable. I compliment them on this.
Once I have all this information I may answer some questions about myself or share a bit about what I do. Notice I said bit. This way the other person knows that I am listening but feels that they are part of a conversation and not playing 20 questions.
After I  P.E.G. their potential and share a bit about me, I ask where they would like their business to be in a year and what they need to reach their goals. After I have listened to their answer it is as simple as letting them know how I can help. They really feel at this point that I care, which I do. After all, I have taken the time to listen about them, their goals and their needs.
Bottom line is that we all want to connect with and work with people who care about us and our business. I don’t know of anyone who is excited to work with someone who seems to care more about their own success than that of their clients. It can be so easy to get excited about talking to someone about your product or service that can improve their life or business BUT, they have to know that you care about them before they want to work with you. You have probably heard this quote that proves my point. “Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” How can you let them know you care? Practice the Art of Listening and you will have greater connections and more success at your next networking event.