idea do you wish you had
and what was the impact
when you finally did?
THAT’S A GOOD QUESTION
Speakers respond to burning questions
Design a high-end coaching
program to sell during presenta-
tions. The result: I tripled my revenue
during one of worst economic years in
—Sarah Hathorn, Duluth, Ga..
Create a polished speaker video
optimized for search. Once I did,
I received numerous paid speaking gigs
internationally simply from Internet
—Crystal Washington, Houston, Texas
Discover Contactually. It has
revolutionized my marketing
strategy. I also wish that I would have
started my brand using my name out of
the starting gate. I wasted resources
branding a company name rather than
my name (even to the point of trade-
marks). Using my name is much better
for a thought leader’s branding strategy.
—Dan Diamond, Bremerton, Wa..
Move to self-hosted WordPress
for my blog and website. For a
long time, I used hosted services like
Blogger and TypePad. When I finally
moved to a self-hosted WordPress blog,
I showed up in search engine results
more frequently, resulting in more in-
quiries for speaking and consulting.
—Phil Gerbyshak, Milwaukee, Wisc.
Focus on a niche. That felt
incredibly risky, but it was the
best decision I made.
—Marc Pitman, Waterville, Maine
Select a business name. The
Software Pro, and tagline,
‘Geek Speak Becomes People Friendly,’
describe my expertise, and both very
repeatable by others. I evolved from
Bjork & Associates to PC Specialists
to The Software Pro.
—Dawn Bjork Buzbee, Parker, Colo.
Start writing a blog. I generated a
huge upswing in sign-ups on my
web page. If you haven’t starting blog-
ging, start now!
—Lois Creamer, St. Louis, Mo.
1. Write a book. 2. Pick a one or
two-word phrase to “own” and
be contrarian; not a cutesy cheesy
—Kevin Kruse, Richboro, Pa.
Target financial services profes-
sionals. I helped my friend and
colleague, Mary Beth Moran, CPA, a
partner in an accounting firm, develop
a strategic marketing plan. She urged
me to specialize in helping other ac-
countants. The result: clarity, momen-
tum, increased referrals, and a genuine
connection with that audience.
—Vickie Austin, Wheaton, Ill.
Use my name for my business
name. When I relaunched the
business, I decided to just go with
Nancy Vogl Speakers Bureau. Soon, I
discovered there are great advantages
to using one’s name, and that it’s not
egotistical to do so.
—Nancy Vogl, Traverse City, Mich.
Mary Byers, CAE, composed
the question and solicited
feedback for this column.
She is the author of Race
for Relevance: 5 Radical
Changes for Associations, an association
consultant and a leadership development
speaker. Visit www.marybyers.com.