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How To Become an Expert Who Speaks Professionally - With Debbie Allen

Jun 02, 2021

Tom Bailey, founder of Succeed Through Speaking, interviews Debbie Allen.

Debbie Allen, CSP Certified Speaking Professional (also known as) The Expert of Experts is an award-winning entrepreneur, internationally recognized business and branding expert and bestselling author of 10 books including, Insider Secrets of International Speaking, The Highly Paid Expert and Success Is EASY.

She has been an entrepreneur since the age of 19 and was a self-made millionaire by the age of 30, she then built and sold numerous million dollar companies in diverse industries before building her speaking empire.

Debbie has been a professional member of NSA for 25 years. During that time she has presented to thousands of people in 28 countries around the world.

Why you've got to check out Debbie's episode:

- Learn how Debbie helps people who want to become an expert in their niche and the top of their game. Many of her clients are experts in their field and helps them use speaking to raise their profile.

- Why you need to use speaking to share your voice, be the top of your game and find the 'thing' that you really own so that you can become the go to expert in your niche.

- Discover how one of Debbie's clients went from school teacher to an expert industry leader and the number one neuroscientist teaching gratitude.

- Find out about Debbie's book which outlines a step by step guide to becoming the expert in your industry.

- Get access to the 30 page e-book showing you 7 ways that you can get clients.

Resources / Links


Tom Bailey: Hello and welcome to the Flow And Grow Expert Interviews. The place for experts and entrepreneurs who want high value ideas to boost business results.

Hello, I'm Tom Bailey. And in today's episode, I'll be getting to know Debbie Allen. Who's an award-winning entrepreneur, internationally recognized business and branding expert, and the best-selling author of 10 books, including insider secrets of international speaking. The highly paid expert and success is easy.

So, Debbie, hello, and a very warm welcome to today's episode.

Debbie Allen: Hey, Tom, excited to be here and let's rock this thing. Let's get people speaking.

Tom Bailey: Thank you so much on Debbie. Whereabouts are you in the world right now?

Debbie Allen:  I'm in Phoenix, Arizona. It's nice and warm. And it's going to be like I don't know, you can do the translation that degrees a hundred degrees today, starting to get warm.

I'm going to spend my summer, pretty much all my summer, in Mali Hawaii. So, I get away from this heat and that's a good thing. And being a speaker, you can be anywhere in the world. And you're gonna talk about that today.

Tom Bailey: Amazing. Especially now we have all these amazing virtual tools, which people are getting so familiar with. Okay. So let me just share a little bit more about Debbie then before we do get started. So, Debbie has been an entrepreneur since the age of 19 was a self-made millionaire by the age of 30 and has built and sold numerous million dollar companies. And as a speaker has presented to thousands of people in 28 countries around the world.

The title for today's episode is How To Become An Expert Who Speaks Professionally. And Debbie is going to show us how to do that in just seven minutes. So, no pressure to every question. Number one is who are your ideal clients?

Debbie Allen: My ideal clients are people that are wanting to become an expert in their niche market, want to become the top of their game. And when you're positioned as an expert, you can move forward and fast very quickly. So, you know, a lot of my clients didn't start out as speakers. They were coaches or consultants or they had some years of experience in something where they're now want to teach it. Now they want to become, you know, take one hat off and become something else. And I did that when I, when I was in retail for many years building and selling retail stores, I took that retail hat off running the stores and became a speaker in the retail industry. And that's how I launched my business 26 years ago.

Tom Bailey: Amazing. And when you think of these ideal clients, what's typically the biggest challenge that they face.

Debbie Allen: The biggest problem they face is they don't know how to market themselves. And if you want to be out there and share your voice, which you should be, whether, you know, I'm speaking later today to chiropractors from Australia, you know, their, their position is experts. No matter what industry you're in, you've got to be the top of your game. And so, you know, the biggest thing they is, they don't know how to market. They don't know how to find that thing that they really own. And that's kinda my brand. So, I know how to do that. I'm kind of a business intuitive when it comes to that because many businesses and I, I love building businesses, so it's kind of like they had this business and now we're building an online business, featuring them as the expert, and then they can create online courses.

Like you said, Tom, doing summits or not. Ready for our stage yet, this is a perfect time to be learning, speaking online, and then learning how to speak and sell as well. And that's what experts do is they sell their services products of their knowledge,

Tom Bailey: Of course. And when we think of these experts or, or coach to entrepreneurs that don't really know how to market themselves, or haven't found that brand niche yet, what, what impact does that typically have on their business?

Debbie Allen: Oh, I, I I'll give you a case study of one because I love to take people who were not even entrepreneurs or don't even know how to think that way and then recreate them. Right. So, one of my clients, her name is Stacy Danford and she's based out of Dallas, Texas. Absolutely adorable. She was an art teacher. And teaching school for 20, 20 plus years. And she didn't know anything except getting a paycheck. And so, teaching her to be an entrepreneur, she was like, wait a minute. I got to go out and make money. Now I'm so used to like getting a check. I'm like, wow, what a concept. I never thought of that. Cause I've been an entrepreneur my whole life.

I've never had a job in my life. And, and so you know, teaching her how to think that way. And then her topic was so soft. Teaching people how to accept gratitude and how gratitude changes their life. I mean, pretty soft topic to make money. And then what I found from her was like digging in what her background was is that she had also gone to school to be a neuroscientist, to study how the brain is actually affected.

Once you have gratitude in your life. And I'm like, oh, okay, now it's scientific. Now we got some business. Behind it. Now companies will hire you. And so, before she hired me, there was she wasn't making any money speaking. She was just out there. This is my passion, this is my hobby kind of thing. Right. So, building a whole brand around her being a number one, you know, neuroscientists that teaches gratitude and building a brand that, you know, our website taught her speaking skills and taught her how to build an online course.

And she made a hundred thousand dollars her first year. And so not bad when you're making, I think the most she ever made was 40,000 in 20, some years, you know, her first year as an entrepreneur. So, she just didn't have the direction. She was just giving away her time as a speaker. She didn't know how to monetize it.

Tom Bailey:  What an inspiring story. And I guess, if anyone's listening to this story and thinking, I'd love to go on that journey, what, what's one piece of advice you'd give them to get started on that journey today.

Debbie Allen: Well, I mean, just an overview, Tom is they can go on to Amazon and get my book, the highly paid expert, and it's a best-selling book and it really walks them through, it's a great process where a lot of my clients will find me by even reading the book. And it tells you the whole process of how to create that business, how to use your expertise to speak, write books, write articles, get media attention, right. All the steps, it's a, it's a very much a step-by-step guidebook, so that's a great place to start.

And then they can go to my website, and start following me and see how I do online classes and, and get to know this world, which is pretty exciting.

Tom Bailey: It is. Thank you so much. And also, I think we, we looked at a resource that you had available as well. So, do let us know a little bit more about that client attraction success resource, so people can get, get downloading that.

Debbie Allen:  Right. So, client attracts client attraction, success with You're going to get a 30 page ebook, and that's going to teach you seven ways of how to get clients a little bit about the expert positioning and then getting into a deeper level of that. How to create a marketing funnel, those you they're ready to create some online business.

There's also a complimentary webinar on there that teaches that same kind of thing. So, if you're ready to go out and get more clients and really position yourself as an expert, that's, it's absolutely free. Just go there, sign up, grab the webinar, grab the ebook, and it's all there for your listeners.


Tom Bailey: Thank you so much. That's client attraction, success with and I'll put that link into the show notes below. So, you can click that and you can go in and download that free guide. So, onto a slightly separate topic now, Debbie, what would you say is your greatest either failure or mistake that you've made in life or business?

And what did you learn from it?

Debbie Allen: Well, I would say I fail forward fast. Let's do a story like that. That's a little difficult, different. I wanted to be an international speaker and you know, an international is really traveling the world. And, and so not only an international speaker, but an international speaker who puts on event on the other side of the world.

So, I go out and I go to one country. I want to say. I spend a lot of time with which was New Zealand. So, pick one of the smallest countries and go there with zero database list, which means nobody knows me, except for the internet. If you go online, you're going to find me and know all about me. So, I had, you know, I signed a contract with the hotel in Auckland, New Zealand, and I was going to fill the room and having an event.

Then I, before I went after after signing the contract, I went and signed up. Quite a few speaking engagements, maybe four or five. They weren't like a lot, maybe five. I did, they weren't big big audiences, but I would go and speak and, and getting those speaking engagements, being an expert from the United States, that's one of the top speakers.

It was super easy. And you know, international speaking is easier when you're positioned. It's easier than you would think, you know, because you're now flying in. Like I'm going to be there. Can I speak at your event? Oh my gosh. Yes. And so, I easily got those speaking engagements and from those speaking engagements, I sold tickets to come to that event and I had a full event.

The room was full, but that was totally failing forward fast because I had never done it. I was scared like, but I'm thinking if I'm teaching people how to fill events and, and be a speaker and have their own stage, then. I got to do it. One of the scariest stages, you know, it's one of the smallest countries.

So I, I, when I make failure, I like to make failure fast. So, I learned a lesson and keep going.

Tom Bailey: And, and how easy would it have been to say, do you know what I'll leave that till next year,

Debbie Allen: Right? Or never do it because like, what am I thinking? I don't know. I think it all in a row signing the contract, you know, with a hotel and a beautiful hotel, and that's a lot of money up front. But you know, here at bought me a one month vacation, I got to do what I love doing, you know, helping people speaking and traveling and enjoying that, that trip. And then putting on an event that made me a lot of money. So it was, it was a pretty good month. But you know, it was it was scary. So I, I would say it you know, I didn't really fail at it. I think I, you know, you, you learn from something sometimes you just gotta do it and go for it. And as a, in a lifetime entrepreneur, that's, you know, you, you learn to have a lot of guts and go with stuff.

Tom Bailey: Yeah. So, say goodbye to your comfort zone and take a trip to New Zealand or Australia. Okay. Thank you so much. And the last question from me today is what is one question that I should have asked you that we'll also get some great value to our audience today?

Debbie Allen: What is the biggest challenge I overcame? What would you say is. Yeah, I would say in the speaking world, it was starting my career. Like, I didn't know anything about the speaking business. And I was in the apparel business and I would go to these shows and nobody knew there was no speaking, you know, nobody was doing any seminars. So, I thought, well, that's crazy. People are coming here. Buying for their business, but they're, they're not teaching them to be successful.

I could do that. You know, I took a business from a hundred thousand dollars to a multi-million dollar business in two and a half years, not by myself, but by the mentors that were in my life. And I wanted to give back. That's all I knew, Tom, I didn't know to be a speaker. And I said, I'll fill the room standing room only.

Okay. If you have been to Las Vegas in United States, people party and train and get people to a seminar in a morning, and their salespeople that have been out drinking all night and retailers that don't want to go, but it was standing room only. I just, I was a shameless I'll promote promoter. You know promoting it on the shuttle buses and everything and how I started my career, I proved to them they needed seminars.

So, so it was gutsy. It was scary. But you know, a lot of people say you got to speak a ton of times to get good, to be paid to speak. And that was not the case. And so, I want them to know you don't have to speak 50 a hundred times to get good, to get paid. You can get paid. If you're positioned as an expert, you're going to get paid right away.

Tom Bailey: Amazing great advice and some wonderful stories as well. Debbie and I want to thank you again so much for your time today. I've really enjoyed getting to know you.

Debbie Allen: Same here. Time. Wish you well. And everybody out there, if you're thinking about speaking, just position yourself as an expert, it's going to move you so much faster.

It's been a pleasure to be here.

Tom Bailey: Thank you so much.