tually out of Nebraska, Lisa Betts. She has
been almost totally responsible for handling all of my bookings, and that’s all that
she does for me 100 percent of the time.
We share the leads back and forth. I funnel everything in her direction and she
takes it from there.
Furniss: I, too, have hired someone part-time
to do my marketing. Before, I wasn’t able to
devote the amount of time that I needed
to grow the speaking side of my business.
So she was a great find and a great investment. But, even before that, my investment
was made in a PR person who is constantly
looking for opportunities to make me into
happened over a three-year period from
one article at a time.
Weisman: I do a good job. I don’t call anybody, and I have interesting marketing
pieces. They’re interesting enough and
people like them enough that they keep
them. I’m working on one right now that’s
called: Carol Weisman, A Movable Feast:
A menu for people with a taste for philanthropy, governance and fundraising.
There is a “blue-plate special” with tips just
for specific groups, and people tend to
keep them. And there’s a lot of humor in
them. I have funny Web site too, but I
don’t call people.
“I think you have to know if you really want to
get to the next level and what it looks like. A lot
of people think the next level is going to be one
thing, but it’s actually totally different.”
an expert. If you hit my Web site and go to
my news page I now get comments from,
and she now gets comments from, people who say, “I Googled your name and
you are everywhere.” I used to think that
people found you and realized you were
an expert. But in reality, PR is something and
somebody that works for me, who is out
consistently looking for opportunities to
pitch me as an expert.
Just this month alone I was quoted in
CRM magazine along with people that
are much larger in scope than I am, and
they’re in that article right next to me and
my business. In addition to that, I just finished writing an article for Contact Center magazine, I do a lot of work in the
customer field, in the CRM field, and so
those opportunities came about because somebody is focused on that
opportunity. And now I’m a full-time writer
at CRMguru.com and have become a
full-time blog writer for CRM. All of this
Creamer: What advice would give for
others about how to successfully raise fees?
Weisman: I send out a funny note to all my
clients—like the postcard I did where I
look like Dame Edna on a bad day, and
had this crown on and it read, “On sale.
You can get this 1949 model at her 2002
prices, if you purchase before this date.”
Huff: I’d probably been in this business four
or five years and I was at an NSA winter
workshop breakout group called How to
Raise Your Fees. The essence of presentation was like Nike—Just Do It! I thought
about how after I left that workshop how
disappointed I was, there were really no
tips, no tricks to doing that, just going
ahead and doing that. But as I thought
about that over the next weeks I thought,
“You know what? This guy’s exactly right!
But in order to be able to successfully
raise your fees, I think one, you have to
believe that you’re worth that next fee,
whatever that next fee is. And if you don’t
believe it, if you don’t truly believe that
you’re in that league or you deserve that
amount of money then my guess is
you’re probably not going to do the
things that you need to do to impress
meeting planners or speaker bureaus.
Once you raise your belief level to say,
“I’m X, I am worth this much for a keynote
or a half day or a whole day or whatever”—and you feel a sense of certainty
around that—then I think everything else
is going to come into place.
Murray: We came up with a pricing schedule that was based upon the number of
times someone would hire me or make a
commitment for this year and next year.
It’s worked really well for us.
Creamer: What strategies do you rec-
ommend for working with bureaus?
Huff: I work with bureaus five or six times a
year and my staff and I treat bureaus just
as we do any other client. My mantra is
“Treat them well, treat them like a client.”
Weisman: Well, I think if you keep sending
them checks after you’ve done a gig from
follow-up business, it’s as nice as cards
and letters. They do like those checks!
Creamer: What are your best practices
for keeping in touch with clients?
Murray: My permission-based marketing
pieces work best. My newsletter has
grown to about 4,500 now, and I use it for
everything when marketing.
Furniss: I think that blogging and the Internet, for me, has been powerful because
whenever an article comes out or whenever there is an opportunity to be quoted
what my PR person does is use that
opportunity to reconnect with somebody.
So, if she’s talking to somebody and I’ve