Ryan Foland speaks with Sarah Weise, speaker, author, and businesswoman. She is the CEO and founder of a successful marketing company, BIXA.
In this episode of our podcast series, Ryan and Sarah talk about the importance of mapping out the journey, the highs and lows, of your presentation.
One of the key messages in this interview is that you have to vary your talk with different elements to keep your audience engaged.
Tune in for an interview full of ideas and advice on how to best plot your talk with different elements.
Listen to the interview on iTunes or Soundcloud.
Welcome to the World of Speakers podcast, brought to you by SpeakerHub.
In each episode, we interview a professional speaker and reveal their very best tips and tricks.
You’ll learn to improve your presentation skills, keep your audience engaged, and grow your business to get more gigs and make more money.
Here is your host, Ryan Foland.
Ryan Foland: Ahoy everyone, I am laughing because I’ve been talking with the person you’re going to hear from and meet and learn all about.
Her name is Sarah Weise, just like nice, even though how it’s spelled doesn’t look like that.
She’s a speaker, she is a marketing researcher and she’s a super.
No, not the thing you eat but a stand-up paddleboarder.
Welcome, Sarah to the show.
Sarah Weise: Thanks for having me.
Ryan Foland: I’m excited because when I met you when was that — a while ago, and it was —
Sarah Weise: It was a marketing conference but not the last one, like 2 years ago maybe?
Ryan Foland: I think your book was just coming out or it had just come out but somebody might listen to this in 2025 and be like, “Wait, what?”
But we met each other in person. I had a chance to see you speak, we’ve been in touch, there’s a number of people who I’ve just thought the top of mind to connect you with.
And when I think of how to leverage this digital space and connect in an effective way, you come top of mind. I always like to start by letting people get to know you from the story of your past.
Now, I’m not going to read through your bio and accolades and build you up here, I want people to get to know you from just a single story.
I know you’re a storyteller, you’ve written a book, you can’t write a book without being a storyteller.
What is one moment in time that if I was able to hear I could then introduce you to people using that story?
Sarah Weise: So I had this mentor named Chriss Voss, and he was a wonderful mentor in terms of negotiations and I went to him for business advice.
I went to him one time and I said, “Hey, how do you really connect with people and empathize with people quickly? How do you do that fast in a negotiation?”
He said, “The best way to do that, the best thing advice I can give you is to have you go and volunteer at a suicide hotline for a year. Actually don’t come back and talk to me until you’ve done that.”
And so I did.
And so after 250 hours as a listener at a suicide hotline, I came back to him and he said, “Okay, what have you learned about empathy?”
And that experience of that year really talking to people from all walks of life and people who were going through really rough times in their lives to the point where they were calling a suicide hotline, that really touched me and shaped me in ways that really have altered the course of my life and my career.
One thing I learned through that whole event is that we, as humans, when we’re connecting with people, and when we’re empathizing with people, we tend to share stuff about ourselves.
So you said, “Oh, I am a sailor,” and I’m like, “Aha, my husband has a canoe, we have a boat too.”
As humans we find these little connections to connect with, but what if we could do that without sharing any personal details about ourselves?
So what if we could empathize with somebody by just shifting the focus back on them and making it not about yourself at all, because when you’re talking to somebody on a suicide hotline, you can’t share any personal details, it’s against the rules.
There are techniques that I use now every day as a market researcher when I’m talking to participants in research studies that I learned from the suicide hotline.
I learned to not agree with people, to connect with them and not to necessarily share with people about myself unless I want to.
But that was a part of my life that really, really was one of those shaping stories I guess you could call it.
Ryan Foland: Wow, that’s definitely an interesting story.
So I have a couple of questions to dig into the psychology of this so that we unpack who you are.
I heard you say the word and I assume this is a big part of the research that you do, but just the human experience, how have you always been interested in that?
Were you as a kid interested in interactions between humans or did you levitate toward certain cartoons that were more humanist?
I want to know where your passion and interest for the human side of things, where that started, where you can remember?
Sarah Weise: Oh, gosh. I was a very shy introverted kid, so maybe it was just because of that, because of looking around and trying to figure people out.
And not being a naturally social child.
Ryan Foland: Defaulting to not sharing about you, but being interested in what’s happening around you.
Sarah Weise: Yeah, and really observing people.
And maybe that’s why I gravitated toward research.
Ryan Foland: Yeah, the observing. Now, how did you go from introverted to speaking?
Was there a certain moment where you had that transition?
Sarah Weise: I am still introverted.
I worked very very hard to extrovert it.
But this COVID situation, let me tell you, this has been rough on me because normally, my kids go to school, my husband is at work, I have all day to myself to just think.
And now everybody’s in the house!
Ryan Foland: I will rephrase the question — as an introverted speaker, are you finding your groove?
Because I think there are a lot of people that are introverted and some of those people want to speak as a way to sort of break past that, but you’re kind of this mold here who is still introverted proud of it, but aware of the fact that you’ve got to put yourself out there.
So how is that working?
I mean, are the kids all on mute right now, or did you kick them out of the house?
Sarah Weise: I literally told my husband, “Go take them, buy a Christmas tree. Come back in an hour.”
Ryan Foland: Okay, perfect. Adaptability.
Sarah Weise: Yeah, they won’t bother us today.
I mean, you just have to find your groove, I’ve been speaking for a very long time so I feel like I found my groove many years ago.
Ryan Foland: Yeah, just for me as an introverted child and now you’re an introverted adult, I’m always curious where the flip is switched to where you actually are putting yourself out there, and you are speaking.
Can you be a speaker and still be introverted?
Sarah Weise: Oh, absolutely. I actually think some of the best speakers are introverted because we think, we really spend time by ourselves thinking and brainstorming in our minds.
Ryan Foland: As opposed to people like me who just like to talk over people.
Sarah Weise: Kind of like half the ideas out there.
Ryan Foland: Yes, this is why we need people like you to do the market research so we’re actually talking about things that are relevant in the moment.
Sarah Weise: Yeah, absolutely. And this is one of the reasons that when people say, “How did you write your book,” like, “How long did it take you to write your book?”
And I tell them, “Well it took me 3 weeks, it took me 2 weeks to write it and one week to publish it.”
People say, “How is that possible, it took me a year to write my book.”
And it’s because I had been thinking about these ideas for a very long time and I had years of research to back up all the ideas, so when I sat down to write I was just taking what was in my head and putting it on paper, I wasn’t thinking as I was writing in terms of really doing the analysis.
Ryan Foland: That’s a great perspective.
It makes me think of Abe Lincoln and if he had what was it, he said, “If you gave me 5 hours to cut down a tree I’d spend the first 4 sharpening my ax.”
Sarah Weise: Right.
Ryan Foland: Yeah, that’s so smart.
Sarah Weise: That’s a great comparison.
Ryan Foland: Yeah, you might want to fact check me on the number of hours but that would be right in line with how you, it’s not about writing the book, you just basically translated what you had created over years and experience and things like that.
Sarah Weise: And actually when I called my editor, and my editor is Jon Wuebben who you know, right?
Ryan Foland: Sounds familiar.
Sarah Weise: Yeah, he was also a speaker at a content marketing conference. I think we were hanging out together a couple of years ago.
But I called him and I was like, “Hey, can you edit my book?”
And he said, “Well, how many words did you have written?”
I knew that without at least 30000 words or something that he wouldn’t take me seriously and I had about 2 pages written.
So I was like, “I don’t know, 30000 words.”
And he said, “Great, send it over to me.”
Ryan Foland: And you’re like —
Sarah Weise: “Give me 2 days.”
And literally, I was writing the back half of the book while he was in the Google doc editing the front half.
Ryan Foland: That’s good, that’s real-time.
Well let’s talk, in real-time, about your advice for speaking as an introvert, what extroverts can learn about introverts, what all of us can learn about thinking maybe a bit more before we speak, but in particular, to the art of speaking, your presentation, how you’re communicating the ideas?
Where would you even start in this COVID world to help someone who’s upcoming or someone who’s already where they want to be but want to go further?
What’s your speaking advice?
Sarah Weise: Wow, that was a lot of stuff you rattled off of.
Ryan Foland: That was a question monster, I’m going to have to remind myself to just think for a minute and come up with one question.
Sarah Weise: There are a few very key tips that I would give somebody starting out.
The first one would be to really think about the structure of your talks.
In market research, we often do journey maps of a buyer’s journey where we’re plotting the emotional highs and lows of how somebody goes from awareness to learning about a product, to researching competitors, to actually purchasing, and then beyond that to sharing their purchase and doing things, engaging with the company after they purchased.
So in the same way you can do that for your talk and you can say,
“Okay, I’m going to start with a really emotionally highly charged story, and then I’m going to drop and give some tips and then I’m going to take it up a notch, I’m going to tell something really funny that happened and then I’m going to tell something that really kind of makes your heart warm and fuzzy inside.”
And so what I intentionally do in my talks is plot that journey and figure out where there are highs and lows so that I am not just giving tip, tip, tip, tip without a peek in there somewhere.
Ryan Foland: Okay so this is interesting to dissect and I want to go a bit more meta into it. Because if somebody’s hearing they’re like,
“Oh, that sounds good but they might not know these components.”
So if we were going to look at the I think it’s called the key, like if we were in seventh grade and we’re making a map for social studies and we had to make the key, right, which is —
Sarah Weise: Oh, the legend.
Ryan Foland: The legend, that’s what it is, okay.
So I want us to create a legend for mapping out a talk or a presentation, so there’s going to be like the little star and the star is equal to —
Sarah Weise: I actually do it on post-it notes with a different color. So I have a legend already.
Ryan Foland: Okay, well so this is the good stuff, so tell me the post-it notes legend, and then that way people can have this framework and I now have the visual of you using post-it notes up on the wall or whatever else it is.
Sarah Weise: Yeah, so I use one color post-it notes for stories and another color for more tactical tips, how-to type of thing.
So if I’m doing a talk, say on marketing to Gen Z, I may tell some great stories about interacting with teenagers while doing research.
They may be roaring funny stories.
And then I might get into the nitty-gritty of, “Here are some tactical, research tools that you can use to do this yourself.”
Well, then we’re in a tactical, tactical, tactical area, so it needs some sort of push of emotion and so I might either tell another story or play a video or do something that will bring the energy back up.
Ryan Foland: So do you only have 2 colors of post-it notes then?
Sarah Weise: No, I do 2 colors and then I do different types of emotions for what I want to elicit.
Ryan Foland: Okay. So for example, the story would be a color and that would identify, “This one time ________.”
Sarah Weise: Yeah, and I do have a third color for videos. But I see them as stories so if I have in my Instabrain talk, my marketing to Gen Z talk that I give quite often, I have specific videos from participants where they’re doing something.
And they’re narrating the videos, it’s almost their story instead of my story and then I am analyzing it before and afterwards.
So that would be a different color post-it because it’s still going to bring the energy up, but not in the same way as a personal story.
Ryan Foland: Okay, so maybe, you know how at Staples wherever you buy, we’re officially not sponsored by Staples, although Staples if you’re listening and you want to sponsor this podcast that’s cool.
You have these different hue sets like the different color boards where maybe there’s a whole bunch that are in this fuchsia tone and of others that are muted, so it’s almost like for stories, whether it’s a video, or a personal story or maybe a customer experience story, maybe they match sort of colors but they’re in one genre in the legend?
Sarah Weise: Yeah, and then I have another color where it’s for takeaway points, where I may just have 1, 2 maybe 3 in the entire presentation but you might want to have one toward I don’t know the first half of the presentation and maybe one at the back half.
So I strategically put those in so you’re not getting one slide with just 4 or 5 words over and over and over again.
Ryan Foland: Right, okay.
Sarah Weise: So those are kind of the tweetable moments, I would call them.
Ryan Foland: The takeaways are the tweetables?
Sarah Weise: Yeah.
Ryan Foland: And those are the things that you’re challenging the audience to take away which also might be the ones that they’re most impressed with to then share out.
Sarah Weise: I also would make sure that the slides would say it, that the words on the slides, there wouldn’t be too many words so that somebody could literally copy it verbatim and put it into Twitter which happens quite a bit or they’re taking a photo of it and there’s not that many words on a slide, there might be 4 or 5 words.
Ryan Foland: The tweetable slides.
Sarah Weise: The tweetable stuff, yeah.
Ryan Foland: Got it.
Sarah Weise: It’s more Instagram stories these days.
Ryan Foland: Right, yes, this is true.
Well, talking about stories — stories, tactical tips, which are also tools, videos which are stories, takeaways which are tweetables, is it takeaway the same as an action item?
Sarah Weise: Maybe.
Ryan Foland: Because one thing, and I ask this because one thing in these digital talks, they are typically, like they’re just shorter; you just don’t have as much time with your audience as you typically would and it’s almost more challenging to put together a 20-minute or a 15-minute talk, because you’re like, Jeez.
Sarah Weise: So much harder, because you’re like,
“I’ve got these 5 great points, but I can only pick 3. And will number 3 make sense without the one that was number 2?”
Ryan Foland: Right, right.
So when it comes to that, one thing that I’ve been seeing or I’ve been trying to do is to make the talk really the start.
And I’ve been working with putting challenges to people, so this idea of a takeaway or an action item or a challenge, like if you take this and you actually after this talk you go do it, and you tag me, I’ll amplify that.
I’m trying to create something beyond the talk because I almost feel like it’s just not enough time.
So when you’re using your post-it notes whether it’s an hour and a half or an hour or even 20 minutes, you’re just limiting the number of notes and just reducing the information.
Sarah Weise: But I’m still making sure that the emotional highs and lows are tracked throughout the presentation, even if we’re getting rid of a couple of points or a couple of videos.
I want to make sure if I strip that video because I’m taking it from a 45 minute to a 30-minute talk if I strip that video out, is there still a high energy peak at a specific moment.
So I’m really tracking the experience that I want the audience to feel while they’re in that talk.
Ryan Foland: Do you physically have the post-it notes and if you have 5 stories do you have 5 post-it notes with the stories?
Sarah Weise: Absolutely. I’ll put on a post-it note and I’ll say “Hedgehog story.”
Ryan Foland: Okay. And then emotional value or some sort of key within that?
Sarah Weise: I do emojis.
So I’ll do like an excited person emoji or your stick figures, it’s similar to your stick figures.
So I’ll put little emotions or it might be like a heart for a touching story or something like that.
Ryan Foland: Gotcha.
Sarah Weise: But I try to vary them so it’s not just funny, tactical, funny, tactical, funny, tactical, I think that’s almost a little boring.
It’s funny, tactical, heart-warming, tactical, funny, tactical, heartwarming, tactical.
Ryan Foland: This is going to sound bad, but it’s like the little rats that when we’re tapping for bits of cocaine and they found that it’s intermittent rewarding is the most effective, right.
If you give them a little shot every time they do it then they just overdose, if you give it to them in a regular pattern, it’s not as good.
But when they just keep clicking just not sure and then all of a sudden they get it, then they’ll just keep clicking so it’s the audience.
Audience I’m not calling you rats, but we need to be considerate of how we’re delivering the information out there and you’re really messing with their head a little bit to keep it exciting.
Sarah Weise: Also people are so distracted today, especially if you’re doing a talk virtually.
Everyone is multitasking while that’s happening so you have to keep them engaged, really it’s critical to do that.
And a lot of times since COVID, I try whenever I can to pre record the talk and edit it so that I can get the video appear on the whole screen instead of doing the Zoom window where I’m presenting and then the video plays and you’re seeing my awkward face that they’re waiting for the video to be over.
Ryan Foland: Okay, so tell me about that real quickly.
So you’re recording it and then editing it as like a picture in picture or you’re editing your screen and your video?
Sarah Weise: I’m editing my screen so that the video would go maybe even over — like if there’s a video playing while I’m talking, you’re going to see the video and you’re just going to hear my voice, you don’t see me through the whole talk.
Ryan Foland: Got it, okay. Have you ever heard of an ATEM mini pro?
It’s made by Blackmagic and there’s a whole different versions but I learned from a gentleman, another speaker, his name is Vinh Giang, just a brilliant presenter, he’s a magician and he’s a fantastic communicator.
I went to one of his mastermind workshops and I was fascinated because it was like he was on stage but he had a switcher like camera 1, camera 2, video 1, video 2 so it was almost like in real-time, it was like, “Come over here,” he hits the button and now he’s got camera 2, he’s like let me show you this trick, he hits it and now it’s camera 3.
Sarah Weise: Then you have to have 3 cameras to make that happen.
Ryan Foland: Yeah, yeah which gets crazy.
Sarah Weise: Yeah. If the videos are short, let’s say I’m doing an Instagram video and I know exactly what I’m going to say, I will actually script it out on a teleprompter, film it into the camera, move the camera, read exactly the same thing, move the camera again, read the same thing again and then cut so that it looks like I have 3 videos.
Ryan Foland: Creativity at its greatest. But what I’m hearing is you’re taking control of the technology instead of the technology controlling how you’re able to present.
I don’t think enough people are doing that.
Sarah Weise: Absolutely.
That’s the experience that you want the audience to feel. I want at the end of my talk that at least 75 percent of that room texts “Hi” to 66866, signs up for my free chapter, gets on my email list, and that’s how I get.
In-person I would expect that 90 percent of the room would sign up for my email list.
On a virtual talk it’s more like 75 percent, but I think that’s because people are really multitasking and Zoom fatigued.
But that’s my goal, it’s to really make connections while I’m there, especially because when you’re not at an in-person talk you’re not going to the happy hours afterward, you’re not standing by the screen and people are forming a line and coming up to ask you questions and talk with you and build those in-person relationships.
Ryan Foland: Yeah, totally.
With a stack of business cards that then becomes another process which is all these other follow-ups. I like it.
Now, this is a great transition into some of the things that you’re doing to help build your speaking business.
But before I do, there’s one element of the legend that I need clarification on.
You have all these post-it notes, are you on a whiteboard, are you on a wall, are you on a glass mirror are you moving them around?
Sarah Weise: I usually do it on the whiteboard and I stick them all up here and that way I can actually draw on the whiteboard.
Ryan Foland: So then you’re almost mapping out, so one might be higher or lower?
Sarah Weise: Yeah, I am literally drawing the lines. I do that, but recently I’ve been using Miro to do virtual whiteboarding.
Ryan Foland: Miro?
Sarah Weise: It’s called Miro, it used to be Real-time board and it got bought by Miro so.
Ryan Foland: Interesting.
Sarah Weise: It’s a good virtual whiteboard and I think you get 5 for free on the free plan.
Ryan Foland: Awesome.
Sarah Weise: I use it a lot for market research, I’m kind of a sticky aficionado when it comes to market research.
Ryan Foland: Yeah, well let me know when they sponsor you because I’m still trying to get them to sponsor me because I love post-it notes so much, I talk about them all the time, and I figured I might as well get some products to emerge out of it right?
Sarah Weise: Yeah, Miro’s good if you’re working with someone else on a talk especially, or if you’re working, at least for me, I work with the research team, we have a research team that does a lot of the analysis, so I can be working with another researcher and we can be playing around with the stickies at the same time even though we’re remote.
Ryan Foland: All right, that is a legendary legend for a very tactical and strategical way to think through ahead of time, spend time looking at the experience.
Sarah Weise: I will tell you since I started doing that, I started doing that a couple of years ago.
Actually, I got this from someone, I didn’t just make it up. I got it from Oli Gardner who was with Unbounce, I don’t know where he is right now. Is he still with Unbounce?
But he and I were speaking and we were like the 2 Americans speaking at an event in Finland, and so we became fast friends, I actually think he’s Canadian, but we were the 2 English speakers.
Really, he’s the one who introduced me to the mapping and since I started doing that, my talks have been much, much better. I’ve noticed it that I’m getting a lot more response from the audience.
Ryan Foland: That’s awesome.
I have historically drawn and mapped it out but I haven’t taken the core elements of those pieces as post-it notes to move around, it sounds like a very logical way to go about thinking before speaking.
Okay, so speaking of speaking, you had mentioned that you’ve got a text this to that, you’re building your email list and you’re growing this.
Let’s talk business and be as giving as you would like because I know you have businesses, you have your speaking business.
How would you help support somebody who wants to learn how to monetize sharing their voice, sharing their message?
Sarah Weise: I speak in order to get people to buy my market research services.
It’s not a full-time business.
That is a primary lead gen for me.
And yes, I get paid and that’s great to get paid and get your travel taken care of, well, pre COVID travel taken care of.
But it’s great to be able to get paid to do lead gen on your own.
But the primary purpose for me is to build Bixa, to build my market research company.
And that was the purpose behind the book as well.
I published the book to get more speaking gigs so that I could reach more people, have a bigger platform so that I can have more reach in terms of selling market research services.
Ryan Foland: Okay, so what are some of the things that get you the gigs in the first place?
Because once you get the gigs, it turns into the lead gen, turns in the business, which is awesome.
But maybe you can share some of the modern-day tactics of outreach and how to not get lost in the shuffle or if you’re doing any specific type of advertising or your market research on how to get more speaking gigs to then create that chain of events?
Sarah Weise: I will say most of my speaking engagements come from somebody who was in the audience.
I’m sure you’ve heard this a lot, somebody is in the audience and then they see you and they’re having an event so they end up inviting you.
I go on a lot of podcasts, I get some inquiries from podcasts like this one in case anyone’s listening and is having an event.
So I get some inquiries that way.
I am with London speaker bureau as well, a couple of times a year they book me, but not on a regular basis.
Ryan Foland: Is that the only bureau that you’re with?
Sarah Weise: That’s the only bureau that I have consistently gotten business from.
Ryan Foland: I like the way you framed it because I know somebody who belongs to 18 of them and it’s like how many gigs you get.
Sarah Weise: I mean, I am registered with a number of bureaus but I think unless somebody’s saying, “I need a market researcher,” and they go to their database and they’re like, “Who’s in market research?” and they look for it.
I literally just got a gig from them for an upcoming talk in January where they specifically said,
“We needed somebody who had customer experience in their talk topics and they were able to speak about international business. Only stories from international business.”
So I’m like, “Great, my 3 stories, great.”
Ryan Foland: Now you’d mentioned just prior in reference to just speaking at Facebook, for example, how did you land that?
Sarah Weise: Actually I think the Facebook keynote came from a random Google ad that I had.
Ryan Foland: Your Google ad?
Sarah Weise: Yes. So let’s back up because I told you before this call that I couldn’t wait to talk with you about this.
So during COVID, when my market research business tanked back in March, by the way, it has completely shot up again since then.
But we had a couple of months where we had no research projects, like none.
I was able to keep employees on but did not pay myself at all, it was a rough few months.
During that time, I started looking into what different types of ads I could put out there in a digital way.
Because I had canceled 24 speaking engagements when March hit, and a couple of them went virtual but I think at that time a lot of the speaking engagements were just like,
“No, we’re going to cancel until further notice.”
And so 24 of my speaking engagements got canceled and I kind of freaked out.
And I went online and I was on YouTube watching videos on how to advertise and stuff like that.
And my kids were being homeschooled and so I was split, I was trying to do these Adwords things, I’ve never worked with Adwords before and I’m homeschooling my kids and I got distracted and I accidentally set up a Google ad.
It wasn’t going to the YouTube stuff at all it’s just in order to get to the settings in Adwords you have to have something there.
So I set up just some silly thing, it was like top market research companies and just directed it to my website.
It was not well thought out, there was no strategy behind it, it was just something that I assumed I was going to delete an hour later when I figured out all the rest of the settings in Adwords.
Ryan Foland: So I know you might be able to use that as a really bad template for the course that you launch on Adwords later, just saying.
Sarah Weise: I didn’t know it was running so it was billing me, it was running, it was charging me $10 a day and in a week I ended up getting random inbound leads for 4 big projects and I landed 2 of them and one of them was a 100 thousand dollar project.
And I was like, “Where are these leads coming from?”
I was asking people because, I mean, I don’t get four inbound leads in a week for huge projects, that’s just not something that typically happens without cultivating a relationship and everything.
So I was like, “What is going on?”
And then I realized what it was about when it hit my credit card like 3 weeks later, that’s when I realized that all these leads were coming in from Google ads.
So I dropped the YouTube thing and like, “Forget that, let’s focus on these Google ads.”
And so I tried to strategically change, and I went looked at all my competitors, saw what they were running.
I changed it, I tweaked it, no leads. None.
And so since then, I ended up hiring a company to actually really optimize it, and since then, I think that’s what got me the Facebook keynote because somebody was googling market research keynote.
Ryan Foland: So the lesson that I have from that is to try and realize that when you’re doing things that you don’t think are going to work or you’re looking at douchy templates or you’re just trying to work through something, you never know, it could pop up a whole new lead generation.
Sarah Weise: Yeah, I really didn’t think search ads would work but they did for me.
It wasn’t for my speaking, it was for my market research company, but it was still working and somebody did, I mean Facebook found me through that ad.
I still haven’t figured out how to use Adwords, I just gave up and hired a company.
Ryan Foland: But I like this, you’re trying, you’re experimenting, you’re getting your hands in the dirt, you’re trying to sort of make things work, and then once you find something that might work then that’s easy to hire out to have help and supplement for.
Sarah Weise: I will say a lot of my leads come from my LinkedIn learning courses.
Ryan Foland: Interesting.
Sarah Weise: I don’t know how many other LinkedIn learning instructors find that as well, and they certainly come, I have 3 courses in the catalog and I’ve got 3 more, I’m actually filming one on Monday and then 2 more in a month.
But those courses, one that’s on market research foundations, that one gives me a lot of market research referrals and business, even though I am just talking about just the very basics of market research, just giving vocabulary and things like that.
It’s a one-hour class total, it’s in 3 to 5-minute videos and it was filmed pre-COVID so I was actually in a studio standing up with the set in the background.
Ryan Foland: You know, that reminds me because I was whether it’s in line or in the queue or I was pitching some LinkedIn learning courses and when COVID hit just like everything else like everybody just repositioned.
Sarah Weise: LinkedIn didn’t have a good strategy.
I was talking to them in March because I actually went to my contact and my producers there because I already had relationships with them and I told them,
“I don’t have work right now, I can work on scripts for you, I can write lots of scripts, I got a studio set up in my basement, I can film them here, tell me what to do, I will do it.”
And they just didn’t have a plan.
Ryan Foland: Yeah.
Sarah Weise: And it’s taken until this point, until just this week.
I mean and we’re here in early December for them to really start even piloting live-action courses again.
They were doing audio-only over top of sites but not the live-action kind.
Ryan Foland: But that’s your style, you already manipulate Zoom to be able to get that exact thing out there, and manipulating the best way, own the camera space and that experience.
Well, I think this is a lot to chew on.
We have everything from a legendary legend system to organize your thoughts with emotional ups and downs —
Sarah Weise: To accidental Google ads.
Ryan Foland: Yeah, we have Google ads, accidental Google ads in order to spark.
We have really looking at the business of speaking more into lead generation capacity, because I would imagine that it would take a few digital presentations to rack up $100,000 in honorarium when you are looking at a larger project that still feeds the engine, gives you more credibility, and integrates your business with your professional speaking career.
How about to just sort of end this, any motivational thoughts for those who are excited about speaking but then all of this happened?
Do you see this as something that’s going to last forever in some way, as far as the digital element of speaking?
Tell us the future, I want to see the magic ball in action here.
Sarah Weise: I believe that you’re going to land a lot more speaking gigs this year then you landed last year.
And it’s because people at this point, who were organizing events have decided,
“My event is digital, I now have a plan for digital, I’m going to buy this software, I have a budget, I’m going to hire all these speakers.”
They’re organizing events that are meant to be digital again.
And I think everyone was paralyzed for a while, these companies, these events around the world were just paralyzed waiting it out, going,
“When is this thing going to end?”
And now that there’s no end in sight they’re saying,
“Okay, at this point it’s been several months, we got to have a plan, let’s just go digital and this is how we’re going to do it.”
So I’ve started to get a lot more speaking engagements.
And what’s great about them is that you can do them from your house, it’s not 2 days of travel to fly somewhere to go speak at an event, you can get an event anywhere in the world right now, and do it from your home office.
Ryan Foland: Yes, I spoke in Nigeria this week and the travel time was very, very simple and I’m going to be in Ghana in 2 weeks.
Now, I did physically go there last year and it was amazing, but you’re right like it’s still a chance to be international, to be seen, be heard, and essentially still have fun in the presentations.
Sarah Weise: Yeah, like I said, the connections, you’re not going to make as many connections, but if you connect with a few really, if you make even a few core connections by actually not just showing up for your talk, but going to the virtual coffee chats that they have at the conference or whatever that conference is doing, ask the organizer when can you network with people.
Ryan Foland: Because if you don’t ask, no one will tell you.
Well, Sarah, I’ve had a lot of fun and I’m excited to continue to see you crush this marketing research space.
You are my go-to person when I want someone else to figure out what’s going on.
And if somebody does want to grab your book or find you or book you, how does that work?
Sarah Weise: Well, they can get — anyone listening today can get a free chapter you just have to go to bixaresearch.com/freechapter, B-I-X-A research.com/freechapter or you can take out your phone and text the word “Hi”, H-I to 66866 and you will get that free chapter and you will also get a bonus, I’ve got a bonus in my email sequence right now of a PDF guide to market research for this next generation of consumers.
Ryan Foland: That’s 66866, type “Hi”.
Sarah Weise: Actually, one thing I started doing, I actually have a picture in my slides now of a cellphone and where to put the number 66866 and where to write the word “Hi” because people were coming up to me after talks and saying,
“How do I do that? I don’t have your phone number, how do I text you?”
And they didn’t understand, some of these were older people, I mean like —
Ryan Foland: Yeah, “But it’s not full, I’m missing four numbers.”
Sarah Weise: Yeah, they didn’t understand that that was the same as the phone you can just put a phone number in and you can actually text a random phone number like they didn’t get that.
So I actually put a screenshot of a phone with 66866 and the word “Hi” in there and since I did that in my slides, the people signing up went up.
Ryan Foland: You were leading the horse to the digital water, that 66866 go get your phone, open up your text message, pretend like you’re going to text somebody who has a phone number that is only 5 numbers, type it in, use “Hi”, it doesn’t matter if it’s capitalized or not just push the damn button, go.
Sarah Weise: Just put the screenshot on your slide at the end and I guarantee that more people will go, “Oh, that looks easy,” and then open their phone and do it.
Ryan Foland: Awesome.
Well, hey, thank you for your time, this was a lot of fun, and thanks to SpeakerHub for sponsoring my ability to come and just hang out and talk with amazing speakers and have fun and learn and laugh.
Sarah Weise: Yay, SpeakerHub.
Ryan Foland: And I will make sure that I get you a V. I. P. profile so that is one more place to be found, and they’ve got a great ‘call for speakers’ search engine where you can act as your own little bureau.
And again, hey, the easier it is to have another bread crumb to be found digitally, you can set up a weird Google ad and point it there.
Everybody, if you liked this episode or you know somebody who’s in market research, or you know a speaker, I don’t have a screen for this, but take this podcast and subscribe to it and then share this on your social media platforms, shoot, you can even text it to somebody to their phone number if you want to.
My name is Ryan, this is Sarah and we are moving on with our day.
A bit about World of Speakers
World of Speakers is a bi-weekly podcast that helps people find their own voices, and teaches them how to use their voice to develop a speaking business. This special series of episodes has been created to help speakers navigate the coronavirus crisis.
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This was originally posted on SpeakerHub Skillcamp.