Are You an Expert or a Generalis

Being a generalist used to be a great thing. Many newer speakers still think it’s a great thing. I hate to report the bad news, but that idea is so last century. The market now wants experts, speakers, and consultants who go deep in one particular area instead of many.

Companies seeking speakers who are generalists now typically hire training companies to come in and present. They are also used to paying lower fees for this type of training. Many times, it’s a per-person fee.

As a professional speaker with expertise in a specific area, go to executive-level people to get hired. Further, if you start with someone at a lower level, you’ll have a hell of a time getting anywhere else. Also, never label yourself a trainer. Sadly, trainers are underpaid in the marketplace. You may not garner a top-notch fee if you are pegged as a trainer.

So, a mile deep and an inch wide is my suggestion. Joe Calloway, CSP, CPAE, says it best: “Pick a lane.” The reality is that clients will pay more for people who have deep expertise. And they’ll pay even more for people who apply that depth of expertise to a specific target market.

Think of it this way: Imagine a decision-maker is considering two speakers. Speaker A speaks on sales, while Speaker B speaks on sales, customer service, change, time management, and leadership.

Whom do you think the decision-maker will choose if they are looking for a program on sales? He or she would likely choose Speaker A and be willing to pay more to boot.

I had a “Frequently Asked Questions” section on my website when I spoke on sales. First question – “Besides sales, what else do you speak on?” Answer – “Nothing. I’ll refer you if you want something else, but I won’t do it. Sales is my area of expertise.” I got business based on that answer.

So, less is more in this “content is everything” market!

Copyright 2023, Lois Creamer, Book More Business. Lois works with professional speakers who want to book more business, make more money, and fully monetize their message.


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