Today’s Side Hustle interview is with Kristin Thompson, founder of Rock Your Talk. Kristin helps authors, experts, coaches, and consultants deliver high impact talks and workshops that give great brand visibility and bring in sales. She believes One Rockin Talk Can Change the Course of Your Whole Year!
But if you are an introvert like me and think this interview is not for you, not so fast! Kristin says she is an introvert too.
I got connected with Kristin through Rose, remember Rose’s Side Hustle Interview? Thanks for the intro Rose!
*Questions in bold followed by Kristin’s responses.
Thanks for joining us, Kristin.
How did you get started teaching people how to rock their talk and show up?
I know, it’s a real Debbie Downer of a situation. Speaking for me was a fluke. I’m not extroverted. I am very nervous by nature. And I never thought I’d make a living this way.
But in 2008, I stumbled into a position working for a personal development company, and they had speakers all across the country giving talks, and selling people into their workshops.
I saw how well it worked for them and didn’t make much of it, until I found out I was pregnant.
A Biz Is Born
First I knew I didn’t want to work full time when my son was born. But the challenge was that I had a very high-risk, high-drama pregnancy. This means my pregnancy included monthly specialists, tests, scans, some time spent in the hospital on bed rest, and when my son was born, he spent some time in the NICU as well.
This meant we were racking up the medical bills. Oooof.
I came home to spend some time on maternity leave which meant I had no income, it was late 2008, the economy was tanking and my husband got laid off. Double oof.
But the silver lining is that I was so scared for our future, and I so wanted to protect my family, that I decided it was time to head out on my own & make something happen. I gave a talk to a local networking group, and at the end of the talk I offered them the opportunity to learn more and attend a workshop (my own workshop this time), and what happened next changed everything.
Of the 40 people in the room, 30 said yes to a $100 workshop ticket, and I generated $3,000.00 instantly right then and there. Remember, I walked in flat broke that day, and I left with thousands in hand, so I was PRETTY excited.
Now I’ve gone on to generate much more from my talks, $10,000, $20,000, $1000,000….but that was the start. And more than that, I saw how I could walk into a room as a total stranger, and leave with clients and cash in my hands.
That was the day I knew this was a strategy that could change my life and others as well.
After a few years, more and more people were asking for help, and so I created a system, now known as the Rock Your Talk system, which teaches other people how to create a stand out brand personality, how to share their message, and how to monetize that message so it’s helping to grow your business.
It’s an amazing way to help people generate more leads & clients without chasing or pressuring people…. which usually gets people pretty excited.
Ah, so many businesses born out of necessity and to protect our families. As an introvert myself, I love that you were brave enough to step up and try something new. What made you choose to build a work from home business serving online and on stage?
Being a mom was so important to me, and as I mentioned earlier, it lit this “mama bear” energy in me. I really wanted to contribute to my family and protect my sweet little boy.
So working from home was a decision I would NOT waiver on. And it’s part of why speaking is the strategy I love so much. It gives you a lot of leverage so that you can grow your business without growing your hours. You can walk into an event, give a talk, and leave an hour or so later with clients in hand. Pretty amazing.
And thankfully, for the same reason, I’ve always focused heavily on speaking online too, because I love being an involved mom.
Brand Visibility From Home
So right now, while the world is closed during the pandemic, you can leverage speaking in the same I do. Speak at an online event, live stream on Facebook, get interviewed on podcasts, live streams, and other shows.
These are all great ways to keep your business visible, without ever having to leave your house.
In fact next week, I’m leading an entire 3-day event, right from my living room! It’s amazing what we can do now-a-days thanks to some pretty easy-to-use technology.
Technology Allows For Business and Life
So knowing how to share your message from home (or from a stage) is important so that you’re growing your business by leaps and bounds, and being an awesome mom too. Knowing how to market yourself, and sell one-to-many allows you to reach more people and sell to more people, without having to work more hours. And for most business owners that’s good news.
What is your number one goal with all you do in your business?
My client Jamie, also a mom, doubled her business too. These results truly make my cry. Well first, it’s helpful to know there are lots of ways you can speak.
You can give an hour talk at a meeting, networking group, event or conference. You can use live streams, podcasts, and other platforms too. So there are endless possibilities in terms of places to speak— especially online.
My goal in business has always been to give other business owners the same level of confidence and freedom I now I have in my business. My client Sherri-Lee is a single mom who is 100% on her own with her kids, and she doubled her business this year using speaking and live events….even with the world “shut down”. Cat is a mom of FIVE kids, all super young kiddos at home, and she doubled her business too!
So when I can help a smart start business owner get seen, rock their talk, and create a rush of leads & clients online or off… then I’m a happy girl.
That is so great. You are changing not just businesses but legacies by helping women get brand visibility online and off! What is the most important thing business owners should know about speaking to gain more clients?
You can lead a meeting at a company (smart if you sell to C.E.O.’s or V.P.’s or SALES MANAGERS) where we’re not even limited by location. And I can show you how to get booked really easier. You’ll probably be surprised how simple it is.
Next, you want to learn about speaking strategy. It’s important to understand that you can’t just stand up and wing it (I call those people my “Wingers”.) Wingers have a tendency to be speaking without a real plan or sales strategy, and so sometimes it works out well, and sometimes it really doesn’t.
You end up being very inconsistent, often you’ll over your time, and leave people a little confused. But you also don’t want to come prepared with SO much content that you overwhelm people with teaching, and teaching, and teaching a little more. I call these folks my Teachers (no shocker).
Instead, we want you to create one talk, that’s structured properly to serve the audience, wow em a little, teach them some cool “golden nuggets” and then let them know how they can learn more. The “more” part is where you can share the next steps with your audience, like how they can hire you or buy a course, product, service, or program.
So I have an entire structure I give clients, but for now just know that we want to teach about 3 really cool main points that will wow your audience, but also be easy to understand or implement. This gives your audience the biggest bang for their bucks and leaves them curious about what else you could teach them if they kept working with you.
As long as you are clear with your audience, what you just taught them in your talk, is JUST the tip of a very cool iceberg, then my friend you will get paying clients at the end of your talk.
Such great tips! If you could start all over in your business, would you do anything differently?
There are two big things I wish I had understood more quickly. Well, there’s probably more, but let’s not overwhelm readers. lolz.
Why Fit In When You Can Standout
The first thing I’d love to skip is the years I spent trying to fit in. Having a unique brand is so important if you want to stand out. And maybe even more importantly being yourself is so important for your own confidence and your ability to attract ideal clients.
I spent a year stuffing myself into a suit with a cute blonde bob hair cut, and it just wasn’t me. Once I let go, and I let people see my quirky sense of humor, my kooky personality, I connected with audiences in a much deeper way, I stood out more in the market, and I attracted the most amazing clients… clients who adored me for who I actually am. So now I know it’s always important to ask yourself am I speaking how I actually speak? Do I dress how I really dress?
When I write, does this sound like me? At the Rock Your Talk Live Event we spend some time on day one helping clients identify their stand-out brand because this is such an important part of a successful business.
Secondly, I wish I would have understood more quickly the importance of having the right business model. This is what we do on Day 2 of my event so that you know how to maximize your revenue in the right way.
You Need Variety For Brand Visibility
In the beginning, I gave talks and sold tickets to a workshop and that was my ENTIRE business. There was nothing else. Workshop? Or no workshop? Womp Womp.
Not a great way to make a great living. This type of business model turns everything into an all or nothing conversation. Some people do this with high-end private coaching or consulting. They force clients into high-end & long term, or nothing. Also not the best model to maximize profitability.
So now I still use speaking as my primary sales and marketing tool, but I have the right offer for the right people.
- FREE Offers: The lowest level is free of course. Free classes and videos allow people to get to know you, and build a relationship with you, and that’s important. I like putting out really high-quality free goodies for people to check out.
- ENTRY LEVEL Offers: Then I have do-it-yourself training for people who are just getting started. Information products (like my Rock Your Talk & Rock Your Workshop courses) are great because they give new clients an easy way to start working with you if they aren’t ready to go “all in”, and they give your business scalable income. You can sell more and more people in the course, but you don’t really work more and more hours. This is KEY if you want to keep growing. I have my clients create one Rockin talk with one hot, entry-level offer so that we can keep you visible, ramp up sales, and attract more and more people into your business with ease. BINGO!
- MIDDLE AND HIGH-END Offers: My Rock Your Talk Sales Rush Coaching program allows me to serve coaching clients in a deeper way, and really show them how to build a business— using speaking as the engine that drives marketing and sales. So my event typically sells out my group and private coaching, then my talk layers more and more business on top of that throughout the year. So now instead of the yes/no business, I have a business that puts the right people into the right program that serves their needs… and everything stays filled by using speaking to attract.
That is an awesome value ladder we can all learn from. What has been your number one challenge?
The biggest challenge in my business has typically been trusting that I can really go for those biggest goals and dreams. While I’m not the most conservative person, I’m some times a little too conservative in my own goal setting.
It’s why having a coach, and having successful business friends, and a business community around me is always so important. I need big thinkers around me. I need people who can see the biggest part of me and call that forward.
This helps me, helps my business, and helps my clients too. Because now I get to call them up to a higher level too. Create a new income level. Let it become your new normal. Then up level and do it again! Woohoo!
Love that. The people around us can make or break. If you could give one piece of advice for someone wanting to turn their passion into a business what would it be?
Stop thinking and start doing. You learn the most from testing things out. So the quicker you test in the real world, the more progress you’ll make.
So jot down your ideas on a piece of paper. If you could only teach one thing and only talk about one thing, what is that? And what are the 5 most important things you’d want me to learn about that topic, in your area of expertise?
Go give a talk using those as your main points, or go live on Facebook, or offer a small class or a big one! But whatever you do shake it up! See what people want more of, and what they less of, and customize as you go.
Because the deadly sin in business is when we get stuck in our head, and stuck nit-picking ourselves. We thrive when we are in service when we’re useful when we’re helpful when we’re using our talents. People don’t need your perfection they need your spirit of service! So offer to help somebody and see what happens next.
How do you balance life and business or does it all mesh together for you?
I don’t think my life is balanced at all and I’m okay with that. I make choices, very conscious choices about how and where I want to spend my time, attention, and my money.
So what do I say yes to?
Prioritize Your “Yes” Carefully
I don’t invest in shoes too much, but I do invest in my business because it pays my back 10-fold. I don’t waste time doing long coffee chats with people who have no real interest in hiring me or partnering with me. I had to give that up when I decided to work from home and work part-time, and have a Rockin profitable business.
I say yes to business building, serving clients, giving back, and serving my family. And that means I don’t get to do everything, but I’m okay with that.
There’s likely no perfect way to spend your time. But we can choose to spend it in the places and with the people, that matter most like making a difference, having an impact, giving back, and pouring into family and friends.
Yes, time is precious. How can Immensely Social readers get in touch with you and get on their A-game with packaging their personality and expertise?
You can get access to a 7-part Get Visible & Rock Your Biz training series that is FUN, FAST, and EASY. Just click here to request access
And inside, you’ll see an invitation to check out our upcoming Rock Your Talk
Rock Your Talk Live
Live Online Event Oct 7-9th!
If you decide you want to come to join us at Rock Your Talk Live use the code gift at checkout to come as an Immensely Social Insider! You’ll get access to a preferred rate of $100.00 OFF the normal ticket price.
Thank you so much Kristin for this interview and for giving Immensely Social readers that discount code! I know Rose Jubb is speaking at the event along with others as well. Such great content coming!
Ready to Become the Highly Visible Entrepreneur you deserve to be even if you are an introvert?
This is the dream team helping you with brand visibility. Cheers
You can also find Kristin at SpeakServeGrow.com