My name is Aaron Ashworth and I am searching for some help with a question I have struggled with for years.
How do you find your message and voice?
I have been speaking for years on a variety of topics, doing presentations, being asked to write curriculum, coaching people one on one, and the works. I have spent a decade teaching others how to launch businesses, how to work with troubled behavior with kids, how to have an active happy health family, and many other topics. I have a variety of professional background in aviation, air traffic control, licensed counseling, logistics, family develop, team build, etc.
The problem is that even though I have been doing this in small bits for 10 years I still don't feel like I have a solid message, voice, or brand that I am selling.
If I could get focused and not be so broad I feel I would be able to scale my writing and speaking to a much higher level. I would like to find a stronger personality in what I do and be able to start launching a more full time effort into writing, speaking, and podcasting.
I would appreciate hearing from anyone and everyone on what you thing works best in identifying a message, voice, and brand.
Aaron, great question and one that is a wise one to look at.
When working with speakers who are looking to build their business, we look at what their expertise is, what their passion is, who they want to speak to, who pays for their speaking, etc. The "who is going to pay" piece is often times where I see people get stuck as many speakers are passionate about a "needed" topic, however it is not a topic that event coordinators are willing to "pay for." It sounds like you have been doing this for quite a while, so perhaps you have seen speakers with the same issue.
In setting up my own message, voice, and brand, I worked extensively with coaches throughout the process as I wanted to not only learn from them, but learn from their own mistakes and mistakes they have seen other speakers make so I getting the best ROI for every penny and minute spent on the process.
Kent Julian has a fantastic Speak It Forward program that he usually hosts each spring that is AWESOME. Another program I would HIGHLY recommend is Jane Atkinson's Accelerate program that is held less than a handful of times each year. She just launched her next course which will start on 9/21/17. Spots typically sell out within a week of the course starting as she only allows 10 speakers in at a time. If you are interested, please feel free to reach out to me directly at Jen@TheIronJen.com or check out here course at: https://speakerlauncher.com/accelerate/
Best wishes on your journey forward.
Thanks for your reply. I have gone through the Speak It Forward program twice even spending time with Kent doing his master mind group and one on one coaching. I believe you were in one of my groups actually. I think you are right though, I probably just need to get more focused and do some more one on one coaching. Thanks for your thoughts, it is much appreciated.
Aaron, It sounds as though you know your message but perhaps don't really know the purpose you want your message to achieve. Just speaking on a topic, even one you are well versed in can be "hollow" if it doesn't meet a need or fill a want.
You sound like you have many wonderful skills and are certainly able to offer wonderful options to people, however there is, (as I am sure you already know) a big difference between counseling and air traffic control, logistics and business launching. While all can be excellent skills, it seems like you haven't determined which you want to hone in on and really "brand" yourself for.
I think taking some time to determine just what you want to do and with whom you want to be doing it would help. Then I think determining if you want to concentrate on a coaching aspect, speaking aspect or writing curriculum aspect would be your next step. You certainly could and might very well want to do a bit of all of them, but when you don't know who you want your message to be for and why, it is better to start with one area and be the "expert" before you expand.
I work with a lot of clients who are stuck at growing their business because they really can't express their message in a way that tells others exactly what they can offer. There are no doubt, clients right now who could use what you have to offer but if you are not reaching them in a way that helps them solve a problem or fulfill a need they might never realize your worth.
Later in the Fall, I am launching a new program called ON PURPOSE with a goal to help people really discover their purpose and develop a step by step plan towards putting an action plan together to stop wishing or hoping for a deeper purpose and start defining and growing it. I hope you might consider it worthwhile.
Whatever you decide, keep in mind that you already recognize the need to focus and get clarity. It is difficult to offer a service to someone if we don't even have a clear picture of what are intent or purpose is. You've done a lot of footwork to prepare but it sounds like you are stuck at "what's next". Please let me know if I can help you in any way.