Welcome to another episode of Explode Your Expert Biz Show, brought to you by https://gtex.org.uk/,
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Today I have the pleasure to Interview Tonya Hofmann
-CEO & Founder of the Public Speakers Association
-Globally Sought-After Speaker
-Host of Tonya Hofmann’s Share Your Message TV Show
-Best Selling Author of 7 International Books
-Winner of multiple national and international Industry, Organization and Association awards
-Cover of 5 Magazines with supporting article
In this episode, we talk about
- How to connect with influencers
- The unusual place to look for when building your audience
- How to find your “affiliate” tribe
Connect with Tonya Hofmann
The Public Speakers Conference: http://publicspeakersconference.com/attendee-info/
Chat bot system recommended by Tonya https://botmazing.com
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– Hello ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of Explode your Expert Biz Show, I’m here with the one and only Tonya Hofmann. How you doing, Tonya?
– Fabulous, fabulous, with this wonderful long, incredibly long blonde hair, oh my god. It must take ages to cake care of.
– I know I love showing people when I was an introvert ’cause I had this little wavy brown hair that was ugly and people are like, “What?”
– So we’re going to talk about leveraging other people audiences, leveraging other people stages and so, this gonna be really interesting topic we’ve never covered on the show before some, so I’m super, super, excited about this but before we go into it, let’s give you a bit of a background, let’s get to know you a bit more. So how did you arrive to this point, what has your journey been?
– Well I had to get over all my issues, like most people, you know we come with our baggage and I was such an introvert and you know, my brown short wavy hair that didn’t make any sense, neither did my life. And so when you start looking at the journey, everyone sees us, you know they see you Simone, they see me as today and they don’t really see the journey that we go on to get to where we are and I, pretty much like everybody, but even probably more where I’ve gone through things that, there’s a reason I was an introvert, there’s a reason I pulled back from life and crawled up in a ball for most of my life and then finally in 2005 I’m like okay Tonya, you know you’re 38 years old, now get going. You know, get over your fears and so I did, I tackled every single one of them, I wrote them all on a sheet of paper, no matter how ridiculous they were. Like, walk up to a man in a tie, oh my gosh, you know. And so as I kind of tackled everything, no matter how stupid it was, it kept moving me forward and then I created my first and only goal. I have the same goal every year, and that is to look back at myself year before and not recognise myself. And to do that you’ve gotta really push yourself to do some pretty amazing things.
– Wow, that’s really inspiring, so how did you stumble into the world of public speaking then?
– Yeah well I got into networking and I was trying to work on all of these fears and the biggest one, well there was two big ones, one was the fear of my voice and the other one was standing up and speaking in front of people. And so in 2006 I started an AM radio show to get over the fear of my voice and then I’m like oh my gosh, how am I gonna get over this fear of standing in front of people, and so I started my first networking group ’cause I thought well, you know if I’m there every week, and I have to get used to at least talk in front of 20 people. Well, come to find out I’m really good at that, people loved it my group, I grew to 80 people and then I started doing conferences and I had 150 people show up to my first one, which my knuckles were white as white holding onto that podium. But yeah, you’ve gotta kind of move past this fear level and speaking is the most effective tool for your business to market yourself and when I realised that people that would stand up in front of these little groups would be like, people would be like, “Oh, I need that business,” and I’m like oh my god, I’ve got to do that, so that’s kind of how I started pushing myself to speak.
– And then it led to founding the Public Speaker Association there in America, so how did you found it? Because now you were organising a talking event so at what point did you say actually no, “This is now what I want to do, I’m going to be a champion “for four speakers all over the world.”
– Yeah, again it’s the progress of seeing what is needed. I quickly changed my networking group into a statewide networking group organisation and then I sold it and then I was like, “Oh I wanna be a speaker,” and so I got into the speaking realm and people kept asking me to help them, I’m like “Oh, y’all need to start “networking with speakers,” but what I couldn’t find was groups out there that weren’t elitist, that were focused on the new way of speaking, not the old traditional, you know that’s gone, let that go. Let’s move into this new world of speaking. Exactly. So yeah, it was like, okay. So I started in 2013 and it’s been great, it’s been awesome. Get to meet the nicest and most amazing people in the world.
– That’s fabulous, so now you’re coming to London organising one of your conference, that a first conference you organised in London?
– Yeah, so we’ve done it here in the States since 2014 and I’ve been putting on conferences since 2006 but I started looking around and people were like, “I really want to be an international speaker,” and I’m like well where have I not spoken yet and London was one of those areas and I had so many nice friends over there, I was like, “Well let’s go ahead “and put on a conference in London,” and then that way all the London people get to meet all of my US friends that all put on their own events, so this nice combination of worlds.
– Absolutely, there is a one rule in a speaking world which is speakers give speakers work and it’s something that when I train also the speakers that we train, I drill into them like, speakers give speakers work. The majority of the biggest speaking engagements I had were introductions that other speakers made so I’m really on board with the concept of actually let’s connect speakers from different part of the worlds because in this way we can create more opportunities for each other, so the conference that is going to, is coming up soon, think on the 20th of June, there are going to be the links here on the show notes, we’re going to be talking about the conference later on towards the end of the show, so stay tuned for that. Now we’ve got to know Tony a bit more I’ve got one last question, now I found personally that we have other interests or passions or hobbies in our life that actually influence a lot the way we think and the way we run our business, I always give this example, I’m a professional basketball player, love playing basketball and basketball is a team sport. That’s why in GTeX we do things together, because I believe that together we can do more than we can do on our own and definitely my basketball background and my basketball training influences a lot the way I think about business. So, do you have something similar with yourself or like it can be a person, it doesn’t have to be a huge passion or it can be a hobby or something that made you see business in a different light.
– Yeah I used to be the president of the National Art Honour Society and I take my creativity in the art world into business and I think a lot of times people are so afraid of not making something perfect, that they never actually launch a business or product or something and I try to use the analogy of you know a painting, not a realistic painting where everything’s got to be pristine, but more there’s so many other fabulous styles out there where your emotions and your excitement shows up into the painting, you’re you’re putting your personality into it and you’re not so stuck on if a line goes outside of the, you know, if the colour goes outside of the line, you’re not doing a colouring book, right? And so the creativity of creating something new that you feel really, that’s a part of you is really important in business.
– Fantastic, thank you very much for sharing, I love asking this question because we found we all run our businesses in different ways because we are different people and our other passions or belief or things that we care about, they influence a lot the way we actually run our businesses or the way we create and grow our projects. So thank you thank you for sharing Tanya, I really appreciate it. So now it’s time to talk about how to leveraging other people audiences, other people’s community to to grow our businesses and so before we go into the strategies a bit more the details, how did you stumble across this strategy and why was that important?
– Oh it first started when I was that introvert Tonya and I started in the networking groups here in Austin, Texas and what I found is especially as an introvert, I needed other people to pull me out of my shell and introduce me. So that was the first a-ha moment, as it was so much easier and more productive when someone else introduced me to their people. So they would invite me to a networking group, I would go, here I was shaking because I was so nervous, you know, oh my gosh new people and then it was so easy because you walked in, this big smile is standing there waiting for you, she’s introducing you around, and I’m like, “Oh, this is the way to do it.” So when you start realising if you just connect to the people that you fit, that will take you into their arms and introduce you, it was such an easy prospect for your business and for everything you’re wanting to do.
– Wow, so that’s how it started, so let’s talk about how speakers, in particular, experts they can start creating this processes because some people might be like yourself at the time, very uncomfortable they’re not even confident whilst for that first introduction or that first meeting, but others maybe have been around and I’ve found that there are some people that have been literally you know, grinding, building their audiences, building on their stuff but they only went up you know, they just went down one road without exploring collaborations with others. So how do we get started?
– So first you gotta look at every single person that you meet as a potential great collaborator, now you have to decide and discern really quickly if that person is the right person for you because whoever you connect yourself with, you are now connected to that type of person. So it’s very important to know the person, what is their core value, not if they’re, just their target market is the same target market as you, that’s a given, but what is their core value, are they the same type of person, do they have the same values as you. If it’s a yes then that’s definitely a person you want to collaborate with, if it’s someone that you’re like, well no but this person such a huge group, don’t do it. Don’t do it, because you’re gonna be off down a track because people attract the same types of people. So first of all decide what kind of personalities are important for you and then figure out who you need to filter out, I’m a real big believer in filtration, not just in, but importantly out. So that way you’re getting the exact same type of people that naturally fit, it’s like a puzzle piece.
– Just before you move on on the next part, next one, this is such a great conversation I would love to spend a bit more time here because I was meeting a client a few days ago and we had, they were working together to grow our speaking business and getting on more stages. One of the thing that came up is that one of the, a lot of the bigger players in their industry, which is in this case a property space, she doesn’t resonate with them, with the way they operate, with the way they run their seminars, with the products and the quality of the products that they offer, but they are the biggest opportunities that they have, that there are in the country, so she had this dilemma of “What am I going to do, should I just compromise myself “and my values in order to speak on the stages “or find, I know it’s gonna be a more difficult route “but then I stay true to myself.” Now of course she already knew the answer but what is, for you what is there any situation where you would bend this rule, where you would say, “Actually no, I’m just going for the big opportunity “right now even if it doesn’t, “is not a complete fit or alignment for me.”
– Yeah I’ve been asked to be on the biggest stages, I’ve asked to you know play with the biggest players and my answer was always no if they did not align with me, ’cause it doesn’t help me long-term, it may do something immediately at that moment but long-term it really hurts you in how you want to grow your business and really your life, because these are gonna be now your peeps, these are gonna be your community that you’re building and if you start off and you’re going down the wrong, no matter how big it is you build the wrong community, at some point you’re gonna have to leave that community behind and start all over. So why build it wrong in the first place no matter how big it could be if it’s wrong. You just have to, and believe me, I’ve done it, everyone’s done it, you know we wake up one moment, you’re like, “Wow, why is my community so funky?” Happened to be in 2016, I’m chugging along and my husband went blind, our house was completely destroyed by a water pipe bust, so I went into a negative space that year and I started attracting and saying yes to very transactional, very kind of negative focused people and they had big events, so I went down that road because I naturally gravitate to negativity, it’s just from my past, it’s just what happens and then I woke up in my conference when I was you know, all these people came to my conference because that’s where I’d been networking and going and speaking. And my friends that were there was like, “What is wrong with your people?” And that’s when I realised that I had gone and started creating a community that did not fit me and so I had to completely stop, wipe out the list that I had been building for the last six months and start again and everything took off again. So I wondered why it was like slowing down, and it felt like it was grinding yeah, that’s when you know you’re doing it wrong.
– Thank you for sharing, very, very powerful. I’ve been there myself, there were some transactions that I would say, “Okay maybe for a one-off.” It wasn’t the right fit but I don’t regret doing it. The majority that I did say yes without listening to, knowing that it wasn’t the right thing, it went wrong or it happened exactly what you described. So I just make it a must for myself, if it doesn’t, if it’s not, I think it was someone saying, “If it’s not a hell yeah then it is a no.” And it is a great, great, great way to leave it, but also if you are at the beginning sometimes you just gotta say hell yeah to everything to then find out because it requires a very high level of self-awareness to understand exactly what kind of person you want into your community, it’s not something that you have from day one, so at the beginning you know what, say yes to everything and then and then you’ll figure out. Or maybe you already know who you want to attract, who you want to find, who you want to be associated with or not and then you’re already putting those boundaries down but there is not one way to approach this situation, everyone will have their own different beliefs and ways to approach it so thank you very much for sharing Tonya.
– [Tonya] Yeah.
– So you mentioned that it was the first part before I interrupted you, so the first part was the finding out, making sure that your network is a hundred percent aligned with yourself, what else? What else do we need to put in place to leverage other people audiences into growing this way?
– Yeah, one of the things that I started seeing and hearing from lots of people was the promotion of only talk to people who have massive lists, and it’s great to connect to people who have large lists but don’t discount the person who has 250 people on Facebook, because that person, their 250 people know them and love them. So don’t discount people who have small lists because you actually have bigger impact when they promote you versus, you know, I’d be honest I’ve got you know 65 to 68 thousand people with, I promote to my list, I don’t know everybody, I know a lot of them but I don’t know 68 thousand, right. So when I you know when I promote, I’m hitting the quantity instead of the person who has 250 that’s quality. So I never, I love it when I connect with people who are just getting started and that’s probably a relief for people who are listening, they’re like, “Oh good, I only have 500 people, yay.” So be happy with the list you have and don’t fret about, “Oh, my list isn’t big enough.” It will grow but you want to grow it in a way that you’re connected to most of those people and never by a list or something that is artificial because again, you don’t know who’s on your list and there’s no interaction because they aren’t connected to you.
– Very powerful so quality over quantity in this case and that’s so true, so true, whenever you have a smaller list that’s you are connected with them. Me and, there are some of the people that recommended us to a lot of their clients that are clients that don’t have massive lists, but actually the people that come from them, they actually had a personal interaction with them. Was not just you know, an email that was blasted to thousands of people but it was a personal invitation to come to one of our events and they had a conversation about it. By the time they came into our room, they were already closed and those things will not happen with big lists so. Is there something that you found, I’m just thinking more about approaching now, let’s go to the bigger lists, have you found something that are some do’s and don’ts if you want approaching people now with the bigger list, going up the quantity route?
– Right so even for myself, when someone comes to me and they’re like, “Oh, Tonya “can you help me promote my blank?” Right, “My book, my event,” whatever it is, and of course I love helping people, I can’t just always push out somebody’s information, I need to have it connected to me in some way and this is the part that a lot of people don’t quite get, is you want somebody with large lists to promote your theme but if they’re not really connected to it in some way, it’s just some mew you talking about something and there’s no real spark that makes your community go, “Oh I need to look at this yeah.”
– So when I promote an event that I’m speaking in, I get better results of those people coming to that event versus me just promoting somebody’s event that I’m not connected to. So the most important part with influencers is how can you have them involved in some way in that process, if you’re wanting them to promote a book, have them have a testimonial or part of a foreword or something in that book. That’s a great way for them to then promote, “Oh I’m on the book, I did part of the foreword or, “I had a quote in there,” or something like that. It’s easy to quote people right, so that way there’s a reason for them to mention your book and there’s a reason for people to go, “Oh wow, “I need that book because my bestest friend is in there,” or whatever, so always trying to tie that person to whatever you’re wanting them to promote.
– And how is it different when you’re talking to people now with a smaller list, would you do something different in the way you structure the joint venture or in which you structure the campaign? Would it be exactly the same process or, what has been your experience?
– So if someone has a small list and you’re wanting to you know have them promote it, it depends on what they’re wanting, you know usually they aren’t the biggest of influencers but like I said they have impact. So how can you support them by connecting something they’re doing to your people or a section of your people. So it may be, like the other day for example there’s a lady who, she’s got a show that she’s wanting people to have an opportunity to have guests on. So I promoted it to my group which then people are like, “Great,” right, because they want to be on her show and so suddenly I’ve just connected her with 20 new highly connected people, which is helping her and then she then turned around and promoted my conference in London and so she is like oh that’s awesome, I’ll help you promote your, to her small list. So it’s is a very, and a lot of times people try to play tit for tat, don’t try to equal out everything, you can’t equal out everything, just what feels good to you and then do it.
– That’s very good point, thank you very much for sharing because there are a lot of opportunities that are not explored in terms of collaborations and in particular if you don’t have a lot of money to put into advertisement, but even if you have a lot of money to put into advertisement, the quality of the connection that you will get from someone else’s list I found that shortcuts the process of relationship building by weeks or months, where you can actually get someone that never heard of you become a client immediately, just because they have the relationship with the other person on the list. So please make sure you’re listening to this interview and write down everything because this is absolute gold if you apply it. If you apply it. Okay, one more thing, is there something else that we can do to leverage other people audiences or that we need to be aware of before we’re go into the final part of the interview.
– Yeah always, I think the hardest part for most beginners or even people who are just, they’ve been speaking for a little while or they’re just starting up their business and they’ve been going on for a little while is figuring out how to leverage. Most people are horrible at leveraging and so whenever they talk to people, it’s always with their hand out wanting something versus their hand out to shake a hand. So you’ve got to create something that you can leverage that says, “Hey Simone, I’d love to have you involved in this,” right, you’ve got to figure out what is it that Simone, what would Tonya you want to be involved in. And the easiest is a podcast, a TV show on YouTube, Facebook lives are huge right now, I’m always doing Facebook lives and they’re easy to do nowadays with all the technology, it’s simplified everything. So do something like that and now you can say, “Hey Simone, I’d love to have you on my show.” “Oh wow that’s awesome.” There’s very few people that would say no to a show opportunity, no matter what size your list is. So, yeah that’s the easiest way to leverage.
– Absolutely, that’s such a great point have a show. Even if you don’t have a show you, have a Facebook group and you do an interview, do it. Do it, do it, do it, because it is a networking opportunity. Is a networking opportunity and I love what you said about having a hand, putting out a hand for a handshake, because before you ask, most of the time you gotta give unless you are already like a huge name where people actually would just want to collaborate with you because they want to be associated with your name, but if it’s the other way around then you got to give a reasons for people to care about you. And first of all you gotta show that you care about them, otherwise the whole game is broken and you’re just gonna end up building this transactional relationship, you know it’s fascinating how Tonya and I met. I think Tonya and I, so we saw each other the first time was at three years ago on Blob. Remember when when Blob was still a thing and Tonya used to have her show on Blob, I used to run my podcast, that’s how actually my podcast started, from Blob recordings, it was the first three episodes were there. And because Blob, you could be jump in on the live stream and ask a question, Tonya was running her show and I got in and became part of the conversation, just because I was their own Blob and now like three years down the line, Elliot a couple friend connected us to say, “Hey, why don’t you collaborate or why don’t you speak at her event?” And here we go, so never know who you’re going to meet and the most important thing is to just be able to be helpful in in one way or another to build that relationships.
– Tonya, thank you, hope this summed up what you said, what you said in this interview today. So if you guys that make sure that you check also the link in the show notes, there is going to be the link of the conference, we are going to be talking about that in a moment, but before we get there I would love to ask you Tonya, this time to go into the part of the interview where we are lifting the veil. And what I would love to ask you is a tool or a book or practise that you do or you found or an app that is worth sharing that can make the life or businesses of our audience better.
– Yeah I’m always trying to figure out how to adjust what do I do in a cost-effective way. I think that’s most people’s, you know, what can I do that has a bigger impact that doesn’t cost me a whole bunch more money?
– [Simone] Buy me out.
– So I started realising that my emails like everybody, either isn’t going through or nobody’s opening them, you know it has such a small open rate. And I’m like, “Okay, what else can I do?” And I just got into a chat bot system and it’s through messenger, Facebook Messenger so you can send them a drip campaign so that you’re giving them free stuff and then guess what, then they get interested, they start following, they start connecting, they start buying and so I love that. That Facebook has opened up their opportunities so that you can use them for what you used to use for emails, so I’m using a system Botmazing.com, it’s very cool, it’s so easy to use, once you get it set up you just let it go and you just, it’s amazing the results that I’ve got, so B-O-T-M-A-Z-I-N-G, Botmazing.com. So that’s what a new tool I’ve just–
– You can send me a link as well at the end of the interview I can put that in the show notes so guys probably you’ll be able to check it out in the show notes, great tool, absolutely messenger bot, make a good impact in terms of open rate so make sure you check it out, because you can reach out to more people and actually have the people that are supposed to receive that message actually open the bloody message.
– That is just so frustrating. We get 60% versus 5%, you’re like, “I love this.”
– Yeah, absolutely, absolutely, I am 100% with you on this. All right Tonya, so let’s talk about today the conference you’re running in London, so what’s happening, who is it for, I’ll be there one of the speakers, I’m super excited about that, tell us a bit all about the conference?
– Oh my goodness, so it’s gonna be incredible people like yourself, I mean hello who doesn’t want to see Simone in action right. So it’s really been about, how do you cross the pond, right how do you connect people so that they can create momentum internationally and more national, you know just in their own area obviously. So for me and all of my conferences, it’s always about who’s in the room. I’m not a real big fan of these massive massive conferences with a thousand people, because to me you want to get to know the people in a room and I mean really know them. So we do a lot of networking, lots of breaks, lots of let’s go and have dinner, lunch, breakfast, let’s get to know each other. And then you put all the experts into one room that can actually give you real content so that it’s not a pitch fest, it’s real training. Then you have this amazing things that are happening where you’re learning what you need to know and it’s not just, “Which side of the stage “should you be on when you’re speaking,” but it’s more about the business, how are you gonna make money, how are you gonna use this to really market yourself, what do you really need to know to get out of your head game and all the head trash so that you can make an impact. But then, again it’s all about who’s in the room and the connection so we always say, you know you got to be in the room where it’s happening right.
– Absolutely, dates of the conference again?
– June 20th through the 22nd in Cricklewood area.
– Fantastic, so make sure that you get a ticket, I’m going to be there doing a session on selling from the stage, so have your speaker, how can you sell effectively but without like using all the manipulative sleaziest techniques and brainwashing people, hate that. But there are ways where you can have exactly the same conversion or even more and making the same amount of money that the speakers are use these kind of strategies but never resonated, with me and I had to find my own way so that’s what I’m going to share there at the event on the first day and then we’re going to have other incredible speakers talking about the other aspect of the business of speaking and skills and the craft. It’s going to be all within three days as well as connecting incredible people, like Tonya said and also make sure that you come along because then you can connect with Tonya and as you can realise, she’s well-connected in the speaking world so come along, connect with Tonya, with the other speakers so then you can expand your network internationally. The link is going to be here in the show notes and make sure you check it out and you book your ticket right now. Ladies and gentlemen, well thank you very much for listening Tanya thank you very much for being on the show, it’s been an absolute pleasure to have you here.
– Loved it, love it. You do an amazing job, I’m so excited to be on your show.
– I’ve done a couple of these. It’s like you, you were a pleasure to interview. First time.
– Yeah right.
– All right guys, thank you very much for listening, if you haven’t subscribed to the show make sure you subscribe right now, hit that juicy subscribe button. I know he’s calling you and if you want to win one of our free courses, and were going to start getting questions from all the listeners, so send a question at info@GTeX.org.uk, the email is going to be as well in the show notes with your questions and we’re going to answer it and you can win a free course. Until next time, thank you very much for listening or watching, wherever you are and remember that together we grow exponentially. Ciao.