A Speaker's Evolution
Nine months ago, in the lobby of an absolutely gorgeous hotel, a quiet girl turned to an impressive coach and said "I want to be a speaker someday...like all of you."
Less than 30 days later, she walked into her first entrepreneurial speaking gig, in front of just 8 women, and brought the metaphorical house down.
Nine months later, she's a formally recognized international speaker, a visible force in the entrepreneurial space, and a woman who finds herself on folks' dream speaker wishlists.
how? what? who?
Let me take a few steps back and catch you up. Hi, I'm Dannie. Nine months ago, I hired Reina Pomeroy (the awesome woman pictured above) on the spot in the middle of our first ever conversation while at The Savvy Experience in Phoenix, AZ. I had a ballsy goal - I wanted to become more visible, but I wanted to do it in a way that produced income and didn't just gain me notoriety.
Mid-September, I had that first speaking engagement (with Creative Women's Co, appropriately titled "Pitch Perfect"). I had secured this engagement prior to connecting with Reina, but felt a renewed sense of confidence as I entered the room that day, because there was intention behind my action. October 1st started Reina and I's time together and on October 5th, I also started working with Jessica Rasdall.
When the three of us started working together on this major goal, I had no speaking gigs booked past that first mini-gig. I had approximately 5,000 followers on Instagram. But I had goals. I had dreams. I had things I wanted to accomplish.
it wasn't easy.
Reina, Jessica, and I quickly got to work. Reina and I worked together to tighten up my brand story (and actually went through a full rebrand in about 30 days' time), reshape my business processes, lean out my business expenses, and all in all set me up for success. Jessica and I delved into my experience, identified speaking topics that made sense, crafted outlines, and created presentations. We also worked together to create a list of all the places I wanted to speak (both in and out of the creative industry) and I got to work pitching.
By the end of 2016, I had booked a dozen or so speaking gigs and as of this writing have 31 booked/confirmed speaking engagements (+ 10 JV webinar partnerships, etc) and another 15 pending applications through May 2018. 56 total potential speaking gigs. In a little over a year. As someone who was not very visible online at the time of starting this process, I am truly floored by how far we've been able to come in that amount of time. Additionally - many of these conferences invited me to give more than one presentation at the event. Adding in second presentations at conferences, that number climbs to 64 individual presentations in a little over a year and it's only June 1st.
Beyond just speaking gigs, I've also worked with brand partners and through other avenues to net over $15k in revenue from this process. (If you want to learn more about this, check out the webinar I did with Jess that explains it all.)
A couple weeks ago, somebody told me that I was on their dream speaker list. I didn't pitch to speak at their event. I was invited.
There have been many moments along my entrepreneurial journey that I've thought "damn, that was fun." In the past year, specifically, there have been so many moments that have made me go "shit, that was AWESOME." But today, announcing this...well, this might take the cake.
Mom, I think I've officially made it.
I don't say all of this to say wow, look how easy it is to become a speaker. I don't share this story to say that things haven't been difficult and that I haven't worked hard. I share this story to say that with some grit (and by truly investing in yourself), literally anything is possible.
12 months ago, I would never have imagined that I'd be in this place.
12 months ago, I had no idea that I could be an international speaker, a sought after marketing strategist, a podcaster, someone that people looked up to, someone that was respected.
12 months ago, my brand wasn't even my name, the idea of nomad life hadn't even crossed my mind.
12 months is an awful long time. How will you have grown 12 months from today?