Enhance Productivity and Efficiency with Stephen’s Innovation Insights

Innovation Insights by Stephen Shapiro

There is one thing I realized early in my speaking career: being a great speaker does not mean you will necessarily have a great speaking business.

This past weekend I gave a presentation on how to have a great speaking business. Although my tips were targeted at speaking professionals, they are relevant to anyone in any business.

Over the next week, I will share several tips from that speech. Today’s concept is on how to identify your target audience.

From my experience, there are two questions you need to ask in order to determine your target market/audience:

  1. What pain do you relieve?
  2. Who has this pain AND who has the money to eliminate it?

What’s the pain you relieve?

I speak on innovation and creativity. Although these are buzzwords in the industry, they are not necessarily an easy sell. However, if you focus on the problem it solves, it feels more relevant. For example…

  • Competing in a commodity market (de-commoditizing commodities)
  • Eliminating internal blocks to business growth
  • Recession proofing your business

Organizations are more apt to want innovation when it is the antidote to a pain rather than a grand aspiration. People are more likely to buy your product or service if it addresses a specific need.

The next challenge is to find out who has the money to eliminate this pain.

Find the money

My innovation services have a clear buyer: large corporations. These organizations typically have some money to solve their pain – if it is important.

But what if you are a speaker on financial planner or nutrition? Although these may be of value to individuals, they are probably not of direct value to corporations. You could try to get corporations to hire you (or use your product) as an employee benefit. But since you won’t be contributing to the bottom line of the organization, the sale will be more difficult.

What are your other options?

As a speaker on these topics, you can either hold public seminars, but that is a lot of work.

Maybe a better solution is to find associations where individuals with this need/pain gather. These can be trade associations, non-profits, or event multi-level marketing organizations.

One PR firm I know has a somewhat unique model. They connect “for profit” enterprises with non-profits who use (and can potentially) recommend their products. For example, a medical device manufacturer might connect with nursing trade association.  Or a technology manufacturer could connect with an association of freelance “geeks.”  There are associations of all kinds out there.

These symbiotic relationships can help both parties achieve their goals. They can make it easier for you to access your target audience.  It might give you greater credibility.  And you can help the associations add value to their members.

If you can articulate the pain you solve and then find where these people gather, you may find greater leverage in your marketing initiatives.

I will continue these tips in future blog entries.

  1. Yes this is so true! I am similar to the financial planner you mentioned with a fun fresh spin. I coach people to a financial lifestyle that works- for the life they have and the life they want.

    The pain– the stress, panic and unknown that is a total distraction to living in the present and often keeps them from making as much money as they can. Plus stats say employees with financial problems cost employers >10% of their salaries in productivity. Yet people are often so used to living in this stress, getting out seems to show a chink in the armor and is somehow more uncomfortable.

    I like your idea of going to associations, like trade organizations and MLM. I will let you know how it goes!

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