How can you make money by building brand and community based on personal experience and charisma? This is the question I put to Adrian Starks , a Keynote Speaker, Bestselling Author and Chief Communications Officer of Connect Now Business Network Ltd. His mission is to help entrepreneurs, students and organizations with teams who are feeling stuck, uninspired or unfulfilled to become their own changemakers. The Vancouver based entrepreneur shares about the power of consistency, batch processing, being authentic and the importance of doing the years of hard labour to create an overnight success.
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I worked in a medical call center for eight years. I ran a team of five people and I worked in the trauma unit, which is one of the most stressful units in the hospital. It was the orthopedics department. So every day we were perplexed with all kinds of changes and challenges, and it was there where I began to develop the ideas and the questions about how do I walk into this scenario and make effective changes, even though there's things swirling around us that we can't control.Jim James:
Hello and welcome to this episode of the UnNoticed Show with Adrian Starks, Adrian. You're joining us from Vancouver. Welcome.Adrian Starks:
Thank you so much for having me, Jim. It's a pleasure to be on your show and I'm excited.Jim James:
Well, I'm really excited too, because Adrian, you are transitioning from one kind of coaching business to an enablement, business under the Champion of Change brand. And I'd like us to talk about not so much the content of the champion of change program, but how you're monetizing this program, how you're building the tools and the platforms to promote it and bring in the funnels and so on. Is that okay?Adrian Starks:
Absolutely. Yes, that's certainly okay for me.Jim James:
Great. So let's just dive in there, Adrian, first of all, just tell us, of course, what is champion of change and how do you help the unnoticed out there to, to change their world?Adrian Starks:
Great, question Jim, the champion of change is this. We have to think about the word champion. It's not what we think it is. We think of champion as only an athlete, a winning contestant or a competitor. And although that may be part of the case champion, if you go back to the English dictionary and you look at its history is actually a 13th century word, that means advocate warrior or defender of a cause. So if we think about what are we having a cause for in our lives, then we have to have a cause or defend that aspect of changing our lives. So to be a champion of change, you have to. Not like change necessarily, especially unexpected change, but you have to be able to go through the challenges of change. And so I advocate for people across the boards, entrepreneurs, and business owners to champion for their own changes, because you'll never be able to avoid it.Jim James:
And this takes some sort of a business acumen and some personal sort of growth. Doesn't it as well. I'd like to just focus on is how you've made yourself. Into an authority figure because that transition is very hard for most people from I've got an idea. I might've been successful myself in doing this, but to step across the breach and charge other people to learn from you is quite often a big psychological challenge. How did you accomplish that? Adrian?Adrian Starks:
Consistency. Even when people didn't see me continuing to show up every single day, making sure I'm consistent in my message and what I am doing. Big mistake, people make as they jump from different things to different beings, not specializing in that one thing. I believe it, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, he said, if you can write a better book, Preach a better sermon or build a better mousetrap. The world will beat a path to come to your door, even if you're very far in the woods. And Jim, I think you're far in the woods too, right now with that being said, In order for people to see as an authoritative figure, you need to be where people can see you. This is social media. You need to be showing up on podcasts. You need to be writing a book, putting out material. You need to be reaching out to people through certain types of events, you know, where are you going to, you know, who do you know? You know, how do you show up every single day? So I think when people see you as that expert in your field, It's not that you're the smartest person is that you're backing up what you're saying. And every time they see you, that's what you're saying.Jim James:
one of the things that's impressed me, Adrian, with what you've got on your Adrian starks.net website is the consistency. Not only of the message, but across all the platforms. Can you just take us through how you've managed to take that essential message and take that across the different platforms so that you're communicating in different mediums with different audiences at different times.Adrian Starks:
Absolutely. So the message that I have is. Quite a simple message, which I believe is effective because people get caught up and complications. We have too much information now, so it's being very strategic about it. It's simple, but I have so many areas. I go with it and what I do with my website is I take this message. I put that message into blogs. And by the way, when I talk about change, there's so many perspectives to change and it falls into business. It falls into personal life. It falls into health wellbeing, all the above. So that goes into multiple social media channels. People ask me, well, what do you focus on for social media? I focus on everything. The key is to be everywhere. The key is to, like I said before, show up every day, but to make sure that when you're doing things, you provide people with some action steps, not just telling them, Oh, I want you to be positive. we all know that positive is great, but positive is not going to get you too far other than just being positive. People need to know what action steps did you take, Adrian. What are you currently doing now? I show people also my challenges, so I'm vulnerable, but at the same time I lead and this is shared through setting up things on automatic platforms. Like for instance, I'll use an example buffer, you know, I will load up all my social media on there and I'll make sure that it goes out at certain times of the day to certain areas. And everyone is doing this, and this makes it clear that you are effective, you are consistent.Jim James:
And then are you having a sort of production day then Adrian, where you're taking your key content and repurposing it and putting it to buffer and that's done for the week, or are you doing a little bit every day? Just take us through that because that's often a big challenge for people.Adrian Starks:
Yes. Great question too. So I usually start on Mondays. And for me, I call it a sweet spot. My sweet spot is between 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM. When my brain is just going and creativity is sparking. So I use that time to do all my social media and I will spend about two or three hours finding the content, making sure that does it go better on this platform or this platform? Let's make sure I'm not repeating things here where my video is going. When, on what day do I need to have videos? On what day should I have. You know, an interaction with my audience, all these things are important. So I usually do that on Mondays, but if I can't gym, some days I'll set time aside, maybe an hour to just look at, okay, what did I post today? What can I post tomorrow? But I would say to the listeners, it's highly effective to choose a day that you say is your social media day. Get it done, get it out of the way. That way you can spend the rest of your week being fully present into things that require your attention at that time.Jim James:
Okay, this is this idea of sort of batch processing, you mentioned buffer, which is the amplification tool as we call it in the speed PR program. What about your content creation tool? Because you've got your podcast, you've got your video, you've got your social media. Do you want to just share with us Adrian, the benefit of your wisdom on what tools you're using as well?Adrian Starks:
Well, the platforms I use for my podcasting one is Riverside dot F M. They are remote recording platform. And the reason why this is important, because right now we are in still in COVID. So obviously you're going to be recording things from home. And so you want to make sure you use a platform, especially if we don't have a room that is soundproof. You want to record on a virtual platform that provides you with already the technology to be able to buffer out those sounds that you will hear at home. And then when I'm done doing that, I take that through a Udacity when I'm done recording and I will use a Udacity to do my editing, and it's a simple process, but I also set it up in my schedule. This is my recording day. This is my editing day, and this is the day that I post that way. I streamline it. So I know that on, for instance, on a Thursday, I'm going to spend maybe an hour or two hours editing. I block that time out. And then I know the next day I'm going to post it and I will do this every single week for the podcasting.Jim James:
Okay. So that really is about getting routine at his phone. Harney says routine sets, you free, right? That you've got a plan and scheduling, which of those mediums that you're using Adrian to build your personal brand under the champion of change is proving to be the most impactful when it comes to. Building the funnel or getting people to have a conversation with you.Adrian Starks:
Speaking doing professional speaking right now, the thing is virtual presentations because we can't be in person. Right? So it's getting in front of those people, the organizations, teams of entrepreneurs and business owners that I'm able to present the message to. And to share my skills and I'm doing this right now, currently with my business network connect now business network. And this is part of the evolution of what I've done recently. And I own this with my fiance and we work strategically with business owners and entrepreneurs. And within that system, I do presentations outside of that system. I do presentations. So speaking for me is my bread and butter, Jim, because if it's anything I know. It's speaking.Jim James:
you have a wonderful tone and wonderful set of ideas as well to share very positive as well about being courageous and taking ownership of change Adrian, then do you get the speaking opportunity? Cause you make it sound as though, you know, you just have all these opportunities and most people that's. The hard part is getting not just any opportunity, but are high quality and even paying opportunity. How are you doing that?Adrian Starks:
Well, I'll be honest with you. This has taken me four years to develop. And for anyone that's listening today, the speaking industry, any industry you're trying to get into, there are a plethora of people trying to do the same thing. The key is how do you become different? You have to learn what works for you. Your style. When I first started out Jim, in the industry of speaking, I wore the suit and tie. I tried to be like everyone. I tried to talk like everyone, and it did not work until I got rid of the suit and tie and said, you know what? I'm going to wear a nice polo shirt and jeans. I'm going to wear my tiger earrings, tiger eye earrings. I'm going to do a little facial. I'm going to be me. And when that happened down the road, I became more aware of what I wanted to do my target audience. So for the people listening. You got to find out who is your audience? Who do you want to serve? What do they need? You got to go and do your research research, the industries who are the speakers speaking on this topic, where are they? What are the trends? And you gotta be a student of speaking and also free talks. I talk with a lot of speakers and they don't understand that you have to give. Free talks. Don't walk into it thinking, well, I need to make money speaking. Yes, that's true. Money is good, but you had to provide the service first and provide the quality, the value to the marketplace before the marketplace plays, you know, pays you back.Jim James:
And are you getting those speaking opportunities by proactively reaching out to groups that you'd like to speak to Adrian or people reading about you and having referrals?Adrian Starks:
Both. I reach out to people, certain platforms like LinkedIn, you know, that's how you and I met. Jim is through LinkedIn. I reach out, you know, I reached out to people through certain medium and channels of social media that I feel are connecting. Like for instance, here's a quick tip for everyone. Go to groups within LinkedIn speaking groups, go to groups in Facebook, you know, and find out what the topics are. Joining those groups. Start communicating with those people start commenting on some posts, let people know that you exist. Right. And if you do it enough, people will get curious and say, okay, who is this person? They've got some good insight. I'm going to go check them out. Then they go to your profile. Then they find out about you. And also too, by having a podcast, having something that you're giving people, podcasts, be on YouTube, something that you can share with the public, because you don't have to be in front of a, a room full of people, boardroom or on stage to be an effective speaker. You need to create your own platform right now that is virtual platform.Jim James:
Thank you for that. This idea that a being authentic is kind of the number one feature for success. You don't have to be somebody else that's reassuring. Isn't it. And secondly, this idea of virtual, I know a number of speakers in the UK Whose business kind of dried up during COVID and are really looking at some of the platforms that will enable them to still carry their charisma that they have on stage across a virtual platform, Adrian, a guidance on which tools you see are working or a near live experience.Adrian Starks:
I would say the tools that are working right now is. Doing live videos going online and doing lives because of how the algorithms work with social media. Right now, if you're doing live videos is more that your audience to people that know you are going to see those lives. Let's be honest. People want to be in real time. They want to know that, Hey, I'm with you right now in this present moment. And it strikes them a lot more different clean and watching a video that you recorded back maybe a couple of few days, a few days ago. So being live with you, they have the opportunity to interact. To be right there and there's so much more effective. And if you're wanting to up your speaking game, I would say, get effective on presentations, PowerPoints. We cannot ignore the fact that right now, People that are online or shifting and you would say pivot, but what's going on is presentations are the key. Now slide shows because people don't want to just see your face. They want to see what else is going on because they're highly distracted by the computer screen. So it's not like standing in front of an audience and them seeing you walk around and move. So now you have to show them something else, and get good about using PowerPoint. Start looking at stories start changing up. Yeah, your presentations a little bit now as a time, because here's the thing I'm planning for 2022, Jim, and for the speakers out there, I'm planning for when we can go out. So right now I'm sharpening my skills daily by doing virtual presentations, by being in front of people online. And by thinking about what do I want to change with my current stories? And that's what we should be doing as speakers is sharpening our skills right now. And so use your platforms. Facebook linked in, go to Facebook, live use LinkedIn, you can do LinkedIn live and Instagram also too is a big one right now. Instagram life.Jim James:
Now LinkedIn, Live, we'll ask you about, cause I've seen people go live, but I haven't figured out myself how you do that. You just press a button and go live. How does it work? Or, and also, how do you get anyone to watch it?Adrian Starks:
Two great questions. Well, for LinkedIn, you have to apply to go live because right now they have a limited number of people that can go on. So there is a process that you can go through LinkedIn and request to go live. And I don't know where it goes from there. But apparently you have to do that first. And your second question I'm going to say this, reach out to people and let people know you are going live. We are so scared to tell people what we're doing, but yet we want people to see what we're doing. Don't be shy. If you've got a message you want to share with people, go online and say, Hey, I'm going live in 20 minutes and give them something that you're talking about. This is important. This is a mistake I made in the past. Don't just tell people, Hey, I'm going live. They they're going to be like, great. Cause if it's like your gym, you're busy, you got things to do. You're trying to help people. You do not have time to be online saying some people rant about what they ate last night. So make sure that you tell people I'm going live. I'm going to be talking about this and hit a pain point. What's people's pain point right now. Well, right now pain point is people are frustrated. Talk about frustration a little bit, share some of yours, give them an action step at the end that they can do. Get creative with it. Find something that you can talk about that interests people and just let them know I'm going live on this day. If you have a planner, put it in Facebook and create an event and just say, Hey, I'm going to be going live on this date. And that way you can send it to people and people can say, yes, I'm going, no, I'm not going.Jim James:
Yeah. Really good idea. Thanks that now I'm going to ask you the money question. Cause I always liked to find out as well about the money, although I'm British, I lived in America for a while. And so I'm less shy about it. How did people charge, or overcome the anxiety about charging for speaking? Cause you talked about giving free speeches, but one can't live on that alone. So at what stage do you say I need to charge?Adrian Starks:
That's a good question too. And it comes down to you when you're ready. When I first started, I started out saying, I want to be paid and guess what happened? I didn't get paid because I wasn't doing it enough for people to say I was worth paying. So if you've got the backup view, people can go to your website and see that you've done some talks. You've done some major events that you're active right now. You and for the speakers are listening. You mentioned this before, Jim, about some speakers now, maybe no, slowing down, stay active, let people know that you're still going strong. Then people will, then you can negotiate with people and say, Hey, I want to get paid this. And they can say, okay, great. Let me go to your website. Well, it looks like they're doing their thing. Okay. All right. Well, we'll pay you that. I had someone reach out to me a while back literally a month ago and they just asked me right up front. What are your speaking fees? When you can get to that point? Did people ask you, what are your speaking fees? That means that they have gone and done their research. They see what you have done, and they want a piece of that action. They want you to come into serve them. Now I want to go back to speaking for free. I didn't mean like, so I don't mean you have to speak for free all the time, but there is some talks you got to do for free. For instance, people don't talk about that rotary clubs where rotary clubs in your area apply for rotary club, go in as a free speaker. And guess what you can do. If you have a book that you have written or anything, you can sell that book within that club after you have done. So you've given a free top, but you can also sell your product, makes you ask them if that's okay. But you can make money by doing a free talk.Jim James:
Well I can see why having spoken to you Adrian, just for 20 minutes, and having looked at your website at adrianstarks.net, why people are finding you and paying you to speak. If you want to find you, Adrian, I have given the game away a bit by giving you a domain name already, but where can they find you? In Vancouver,Adrian Starks:
they can find me. They can find me at adrianstarks.net. And you can also Google me too. Like I said, I am everywhere because I want to be where everyone can see me that way I can help whoever I can.Jim James:
Adrian, thanks so much for helping me and the unnoticed learn so much about building a personal brand as a speaker. Thank you so much for joining me today.Adrian Starks:
Thank you. Jim has been absolutely a pleasure.Jim James:
So you've been listening to the UnNoticed show with Adrian Starks all the way in Vancouver and me here, Jim James in the UK. Thanks for listening to this episode of the unnoticed and talking this week about how you can build a brand for yourself by being consistent with your content across multiple platforms and showing up for yourself and for everybody else until they're ready to pay you for doing so. Thanks so much for listening to this episode of the UnNoticed.