the podcast recap episode with aj & rory vaden

Ep 205: How to Start a Keynote Speaking Career with Shep Hyken| Recap Episode

Listen to the episode below

In today’s episode, we revisit our conversation with Shep Hyken, a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author who is also featured in the Professional Speaking Hall of Fame.

Shep has achieved considerable success over several decades across multiple industries as an author, public speaker, and customer service expert.

Tuning in you’ll hear Rory share his top three takeaways from their conversation and dig into some of Shep’s most prescient insights, from how to successfully market yourself in a B2B environment to gaining thousands of followers.

Rory shares how he’s seen Shep’s advice in action in the lives of his clients and why consistency is crucial to the success of your brand and reputation.

For a concise breakdown of these valuable lessons and more, tune in today!

Key takeaways from this episode

  • Rory’s top three takeaways from his conversation with Shep Hyken.
  • Why any aspiring public speaker should join the National Speakers Association.
  • Find a list of people, tell them what you do, and get really good at doing it for people.
  • How to successfully market yourself in a b2b environment.
  • Why consistency pays off in the long run when it comes to posting content.
  • Why you want to market the problem, not the solution.
  • How each interaction people have with your brand shapes their perception of you.
  • How to make sure that all the touchpoints customers have with you align with the values of your company.

Tweetable Moments

“Find a list of people, tell them what you do, and get really good at doing it for people. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.” — @roryvaden [0:11:08]

“If you can demonstrate that you understand the problem clearly that people will hire you because they’ll automatically assume you know the solution.” — @roryvaden [0:12:45]

“You have to realize that every single interaction you have with the client, shapes their opinion of you, every single touchpoint every single interaction that somebody has with you, your website, your brand, your team, your marketing.” — @roryvaden [0:16:37]

“Make sure that your emails, your voice, your energy for yourself, your team, your website, your salespeople, your videos, that they are all in alignment with the values of your company.” — @roryvaden [0:18:08]

About Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken is a customer service and experience expert and the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. He is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Hall of Fame for lifetime achievement in the speaking profession.

Shep works with companies and organizations who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees. His articles have been read in hundreds of publications, and he is the author of Moments of Magic®, The Loyal Customer, The Cult of the Customer, The Amazement Revolution, Amaze Every Customer Every Time, and The Convenience Revolution.

He is also the creator of The Customer Focus™, a customer service training program which helps clients develop a customer service culture and loyalty mindset. (Now available as an online/web-based training program!)


Shep Hyken

Shep Hyken on LinkedIn

Shep Hyken on Twitter

Shep Hyken on YouTube

Shep Hyken on Amazon

Nido Qubein

AJ Vaden on LinkedIn

AJ Vaden on Twitter

Rory Vaden

Rory Vaden on LinkedIn

Rory Vaden on Twitter

Take the Stairs

Brand Builders Group

Brand Builders Group Free Call

Brand Builders Group Resources

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Stitcher

The Influential Personal Brand Podcast on Apple

RV (00:02): Welcome back to the influential personal brand podcast. This is the recap edition of the episode with Shep Hyken. It’s your man, Rory Vaden. I’m rolling solo today on the recap, as you know, AJ my wife, our CEO at brand builders group. My business partner is a run and gun and a hardworking woman and mom of two toddlers. So we don’t always catch her, but I am excited to walk through this recap of what I’ve learned from Shep Hyken. And I’ve learned a ton from Shep Hyken over the years. I do every single time that I talked to him. And of course, you know, the focus I would say of this whole conversation ended up being like how to start a keynote speaking career. Shep is in the professional speakers hall of fame. He’s the New York times best selling author. And you know, here’s one thing that we probably don’t say enough directly, that we should is like, if you want to be a speaker, join the NSA, the national speakers association, like it’s ridiculous because people like Shep are walking around there and you know, so many of the people that we have on this show just walk around the halls and you can just like meet them and build relationships with them and the national speakers association. RV (01:20): So just a special shout out to y’all unpaid advertisement, voluntary promotion of NSA. It’s been such a huge organization for me, such an important point of my life, of our career and just encouragement. And you get you learn, you know, from really, really amazing people, which I, I have always. And you know, it just took me a back a little bit on memory lane, listening to the Shep, talk about how did he build his career in a lot of ways, very similar to how we have built ours, but you know, here’s what it boils down to. And even if you don’t want to be a keynote speaker, I would say, you know, this, this is it. Wasn’t specific to keynote speaking. It’s really specific to marketing any, any personal brand. And I’d say specifically in like a B2B environment business to business but really just marketing yourself in general. RV (02:14): So here’s, here’s my very first takeaway. Okay. here’s what shep’ said. He said, find a list of people, tell them what you do and get really good at doing it for them. Find a list of people, tell them what you do and get really good at doing it for people. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. And at a high level, that’s what this is. I remember hearing Larry, Winget say one time, he said, you got to have a really good product and you got to ask a lot of people to buy it from you. And if you’re not generating revenue, it’s because one of those things is broken. You either don’t have a really good product or you’re not asking enough people to buy it from you. And chances are, it’s a little bit of both, if not a lot of both. So Mike, if you’re frustrated and you go like, Hey, my side hustle is not working my business. RV (03:08): Isn’t growing dah, dah, dah, like you can’t blame brand builders group or your marketing agency or your social media assistant. If you’re not doing those two things, if you don’t have a really good product or if you aren’t asking a lot of people to buy it, that is like, that comes down to, to you. That is your fault. That is your responsibility. That is your decision. Like it comes down to you. You gotta make sure those two things are happening. And how do you have a really good product? Well, that’s, that’s a bigger conversation. That’s a lot of what we’re going to help you with a brand builders group. We have our captivating content curriculum, which is where you create true original IP thought leadership and intellectual property. We have world-class presentation craft, which is all the mastery level mechanics of preparing it for the spoken word. RV (04:02): But then when you go, how do you get a lot of people to buy it? That is, you know, a lot of the other curriculums we teach around marketing, but like one of the things that Shep said, that’s so simple as that LinkedIn is the new telephone, especially in a B2B environment. If you’re selling something business to business, which means, look, if you’re a personal brand, what are the things that we sell B2B business to business simple. You’re calling on companies for sponsorship deals. Usually it’s companies who sponsor you, not individuals, companies have big marketing budgets. They will pay for impressions. Without having to hold you accountable for specific results, they just need awareness. They’ve got money set aside for that. So that’s a brand deal. If you’re selling consulting, you typically consult with companies, you coach individuals, you consult with companies. If you are trying to sell keynotes, right? RV (04:54): That’s a B2B thing. It’s typically a company or an association or an organization is gonna hire you to speak. And if you’re selling B2B, like you gotta be crushing it on LinkedIn. If you’re not on LinkedIn, like, what are you doing? I literally just got off the phone with one of our longtime friends, brand builders, group clients, his name’s Ian. And he has been following our formula to a tee doing a weekly five-minute video every single week, week in and week out for two years. And two years ago when he was posting his videos, you know how many people were watching them for six, eight, like 10 views, three views, 14 views, 25 views two years later because he followed what we told him to do. Save the best for first teach what, you know, give away everything you have for free in one bite sized chunk and all random miscellaneous order and do it week and week out, hit the schedule no matter what be consistent. RV (06:01): He’d been doing it for two years. His average video now on LinkedIn, 8,000, 10,000 views, he’s doing multi-six figures as a side hustle. Like he’s making money on as a side hustle more than what most people make in real life. Just from inbound leads coming from the fact that he’s been following the system, teaching what he knows adding value to people’s lives give first. And if you’re in a B2B environment, do it on LinkedIn. Look, the number one reason people hire you to speak is because someone has seen you speak. It has never been easier than it is now too. To show people what it’s like to hear you speak. You can push a button on your phone, hit record and post it, show people what you do. Show them that you have a good product. And if nobody’s hiring you guess what? It’s either because you’re not showing enough people or what you’re saying, not that good, right? RV (07:00): It’s one of those two things. There’s a good chance. It’s a little bit of both. Maybe a lot of both, but, but LinkedIn is, you know, the B2B world there. Everybody has gathered in one spot and you just, you gotta be consistent and you gotta be, you gotta have quality and you just gotta keep on it. And and, and this has never changed, right? Like it never will change. It takes a lot of work to build a good product and a lot of work to tell a lot of people about it. And you gotta do it consistently. But if you do it for a couple of years, you’ll change your life. You do it for a couple years. It’ll change your life. That is something that we told the in few years ago, three years ago, it took them a year to believe us. RV (07:41): Then he started doing it. Two years later, changed his life. Like you can do the same thing, but you have to start. You have to start now. You ha you cannot wait. Now you, is it discouraging to go? Well, I’m starting from zero. Yes, it’s discouraging. We had to start over three years ago, we had to start on zero, zero emails, zero followers, zero connections. Like I spent a lifetime. I spent a career 15 plus years building something. And then I had to start over again. Zero. It’s very discouraging, but it’s the old Chinese proverb. The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time to plant a tree is right now. Right? So plant the tree, do the work, build the reps, dig the ditches, build the infrastructure and give, save the best for first. Give, give, give, teach everything, you know, for free one bite size chunk and all random miscellaneous over order and hit the schedule consistently. RV (08:44): And you do it. You’re going to showcase that what, you know, people are going to love you. And eventually a bunch of people are gonna show up. So you can shortcut that by doing actual sales, rather than marketing and content marketing, and actually picking up the phone and calling someone or sending a messages and send an emails and doing all that. But at the end of the day, find a list of people, show them what you do get really good at doing, doing it for them. Number two, takeaway from my conversation with Shep, which was kind of a modification of something that he said, but it reminded me. It made me think of this, which is why you don’t really market a speech. You, you market your expertise and then you deliver it in a variety of ways, or, you know, even a better way of saying it. RV (09:34): Like, you know, we say at brand builders, like one of the big mistakes that people do is they market the, they market the solution. They market the answer. You don’t want to do that as much. You want to market the problem. You want to be an ambassador of the problem. You want to promote the problem you want to celebrate the problem you want to sell. The problem you want to agitate the problem by talking about these are the problems. This is what people are. You know, this is what people do wrong. If you do that, people will buy from you. So you’re like, you’re marketing the problem. I mean, think about this way, right? Like if I start talking about the solution, the right way to do something, most people won’t even understand it or connect to it because if they understood it or they connect it to what I was saying, they would have already done it. RV (10:20): They wouldn’t have the problem. So what they do understand though, is the problem, because that’s the thing they have now, the problem is what’s right in front of their face. The problem is what is like damaging their life, what they’re struggling with day in and day out. And so when you talk about the problem and they hear you talk about the problem, they go, oh yeah. Like, this is me. This is what I, I, this, this guy, or this guy gets me. They understand me. This is what I’m struggling with. And if you can demonstrate that you understand the problem, clearly the people will hire you because they’ll automatically assume, you know, the solution. So you don’t just market your speech. You, you market your expertise. And, and I would say the first step of that is marketing the problem, celebrating the problem. You know, talking about the importance of, of what it is that you do. RV (11:13): I, I remember another hall of Famer at NSA is a guy named Nito Cobain who is, you know, very, very smart. One of the wealthiest people that I probably know, he also started high point university in North Carolina, which is amazing university, very entrepreneurial minded. And one of the things that Nieto said one time, this was a private group that he was talking to. There’s probably, I don’t know, less than two dozen people in the room is he said, you know, if somebody hires you to come do a speech and then they never hire you again, you missed the mark. Because if someone just hires you to come to a speech, basically just entertainment. You’re, you’re basically just a talking head for an hour. But if you’re a real expert, if they view you as an expert, if they view you as having the answer to their problem, they’re not just going to hire you for that speech. RV (12:09): They’re going to try to find ways to bring you into their business over and over again, because you’re demonstrating an understanding of the problem and understanding of the solution. And they are hiring you for your expertise, not hiring you to deliver a speech. If somebody hires you for a speech, you’re just a spot on the agenda. But if someone’s hiring you for your expertise, now you’re an essential part of their business. And that’s how, you know, you have real expertise. Not only do you have real expertise, but that the marketplace views your expertise because they want a relationship with you on an ongoing basis because they understand the value of your expertise. They trust that you have it. They know that they need it and your, the door, the person that they’re choosing for that. So repeat business, deeper business long-term relationships. Those are indicators that you’re really an expert in that you’re marketing yourself as an expert, and that people understand you as an expert. RV (13:12): Now, you know, you may say, well, no, I don’t care about that. I just want to do speeches. That’s fine. Like, but nonetheless, when Nieto talks, I listened closely any time that anyone’s super successful talks, I listened closely. And that has stuck with me. And, and that’s a little bit of like, what Shep was talking about here is you, you don’t market your speech, you market your expertise, you market a problem, and you market your ability to solve that problem. You know, the problem I’m solving is not, you need a speaker, hire me to speak the problem that I’m solving. Is there something going on in your business that is a breakdown, and you bring me in to come talk about how to move past that that’s the real value, right? And, and even when you look at the price of a speech, you go, if you’re just hiring me to come talk for an hour, then you’re just paying me for an hour of my time. RV (14:07): That’s going to be hard to have a lot of value. If you’re hiring me to help you solve a problem, then the value I’m bringing is not the value of the hour of my time. It is the value of solving that problem inside of your company forever into the future. That has a huge value, right? So, so that’s, you know, when we talk about breaking through she Hans wall and finding your uniqueness and marketing the problem, like all this stuff ties together. Long-Term and then the last thing which came from shep, which was super simple and super powerful and, and, you know, he’s, he is an expert on the customer experience. So it makes sense that we naturally couldn’t have a conversation without stumbling into this at some point, which where it was, he said, you have to realize that every single interaction you have with the client shapes their opinion of you, every single touch point, every single interaction that somebody has with you, your website, your brand, your team, your marketing, collateral, your emails, your social media, your podcast, hearing you on some other, other media channel, every single interaction shapes their view of you. RV (15:28): And you gotta be mindful of that. And you, your team’s gotta be mindful of that and your copywriters and your graphic designers and your video editors. Like everybody has to be super mindful of that. That is creating the customer experience. So what experience are you creating for your prospects and your customers? What energy are you giving off? Is it uplifting? Is it inspiring? Is it positive? Is it trustworthy? Is it credible? Do you follow through on the promises you make? Do you do what you say you’re going to do? Are you adding value? Are you giving first? And, and I loved, you know, tactically, what Shep was saying is create a journey map, create a, create a journey map around just going, what is every single touch point that a client might have with you and plot the entire process it’s big and it’s long, and you go, we got to optimize each one of those touch points to maximize the customer experience. RV (16:27): Make sure you’re responsive. Make sure you’re, you’re quick to get back to make sure that your emails, your voice, your energy for yourself, your team, your website, your salespeople, your videos, that they are all in alignment with the values of your company and with the reputation that you are wanting to build every single touch point, day in and day out. And that’s why we keep coming back to you every single week as part of this podcast, which hopefully if you’re loving this, would you do me a favor and just tag someone and share this with somebody who you think needs to hear this this episode or any of our other episodes. We want these to be touchpoints for people and, and we want them to be valuable to you, and we want you to keep coming back. So we’re striving every single episode weekend and week out to make it more valuable. Let us know how we can do that. Also leave us a review on iTunes and all these things that we talk about is super helpful to us and create your customer journey, map, optimize your interactions and keep showing up, keep adding value. Keep coming back. We’ll see you next time on the influential personal brand.

follow us on
social media

get 30 days free access to our online summit

Request a Free Strategy Call

Get clear on who you want to become and how you will make more money.
free training

monetize your personal brand

with Rory Vaden and Lewis Howes
free video course

First Step to Famous

get our free video course when you subscribe to receive our weekly email updates

Subscribe to
The Podcast!


5.0 – 154 Ratings

Free Online Summit

25 of the World's Most Recognizable Influencers Share Their Tips on How to Build and Monetize a Personal Brand

Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap