Tom Bailey 0:07
Hello and welcome to succeed through speaking the place for experts and entrepreneurs who want high value ideas to boost business results.
oHello, I'm Tom Bailey. And in today's speaker stories episode, I'll be getting to know Dr. Joe Martin, who is an award winning international speaker, author, educator, and certified builder of men. So Joe, hello, and a very warm welcome to today's episode.
Joe Martin 0:41
Oh, thank you for having me, Tom. It's my pleasure.
Tom Bailey 0:43
I really appreciate you being here. And just for all of our listeners, benefits whereabouts in the world are you right now.
Joe Martin 0:49
I live in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Chattanooga, Tennessee, which kind of give them a reference point, it's about maybe an hour and a half north of Atlanta, Georgia. Excellent state.
Tom Bailey 0:58
Fantastic. Thank you so much for sharing. And I also know from reading your bio before this, and that you've authored or co authored nine books, and amazingly have spoken for or spoken on behalf of more than 750 businesses, or organizations, which is huge. So my first question today is, what is it for you about public speaking that keeps you coming back time and time again?
Joe Martin 1:24
Well, as far as I've never, you know, I wanted to do public speaking, but I didn't know that it was going to turn into a lifelong career of doing it. But what brings back is the potential impact and relationships you can feel as a result of speaking, the way I described public speaking is basically, it's like, you're getting paid actually to advertise and promote what you do. Yeah. Because even though you're delivering a message,
the real work comes when you build relationships with people in the audience, certain people in that audience. So some of the clients that I've spoken for, I've spoken with them, like 1520 years straight, to bring you back year after year after year after year. So it's really not about that one time, it's about the relationships you build with them, that they'll keep bringing you back for more. Yeah, so a lot of the speakers I speak to say that, you know, you want to become a referable speaker in the right, you want your talk to be that good and move the audience that much that people want you to keep coming back time and time again. So I think you've hit the nail on the head.
Tom Bailey 2:25
And so, thinking back to the very beginning, then I'm really interested to find out. Were you a natural born public speaker did were you shy at school? What were the early days like for you? Yeah, I actually I consider myself an introvert.
Joe Martin 2:42
And it's not that I don't like being around people. But I get my energy from being by myself, and being in solitude and more cerebral. But as far as what public speaking, what got me to come out of my shell wasn't the fact that I wanted to do public speaking, it was the fact that I had a story to tell. Yeah, because I grew up in very rough conditions and abject poverty, like a lot of kids in the inner city, and survived a lot of trauma. But because of overcoming that, that past and then succeeding, you're talking about I was the first person in my family to ever graduate from high school. And no one in my family had gone to college. And not only was the first to graduate high school, I became the youngest professor ever had to teach in the state of Florida at age 24. And so going from a person, a mom, who never even graduated high school, no one in our family graduated high school, to make it history in the state of Florida by becoming a professor, a university professor. It wasn't that I wanted to do public speaking, the obvious question is how did that happen? And had my PhD by the time I was 28 years old. And so they want to know, how did this kid come from the projects. And I gave an example, a mom has 11 had 11 siblings, while six brothers, five sisters, not one male made it past the age of 40. I'm the oldest living male on my mom's side of the family. So yeah, I had a story, a compelling story to tell about how I overcame abject poverty, abuse, gang violence, drugs addiction, with with education. And so it was more so the desire to tell people how I did it, and overcame it. And it just took off after that it kind of took on a life of its own. Yeah, almost became your duty to tell that story there. Yeah, an obligation and more like an obligation to do it more so than I wanted to pursue it as a career. And I remember when I first got into, and I was telling this guy who was a public speaker that I wanted to do, and he heard my story. And he told me, I was going to do really well. I said, Well, how do you say, I've never spoken before? What do you mean, how do you know I'm going to do well, he says, because how you just told me your story. He said you never once mentioned you wanted to do this as a career. Yeah. Yeah. So what I don't he says, I know that's what you're saying. He says, but if you tell your story that way, you just told your story to me. He says you're not gonna be able to prove
Tom Bailey 5:00
Ain't yourself I'm having a career doing this because more people are gonna want to hear your story. And he was absolutely right, because it just grew grew, grew and grew. Before I knew it, I was quitting my jobs to do this. Oh, yeah. Yeah. And I guess by building the foundations on storytelling, you know, that's one of the best skills of public speaking anyway. So that's, that's fantastic. And sort of resonate, or reflect back on the fact that you said introvert, because that's something that I really resonate with. And I know that a lot of the listeners will.
Joe Martin 5:26
So there's this almost belief that you have to be extroverted to be able to be onstage. And that's not true. Is it? And I guess, how do you? How do you get re rebuild your battery? How'd you rebuild your energies after doing a big talk, which takes a lot of energy from me?
Well, you take a nap.
But what I would revives me after I speak is more so of the connections that are made. I reflect on it, and I look at the impact that I made. And I just kind of okay, what could I have done better? What I think I really connected. Because normally if you if you do public speaking long enough, you kind of do even though you have a plan, program, a presentation, you kind of still doing extemporaneously because things will come to you while you're speaking. It just flows. And then you say, then you go back and you say, Okay, I gotta remember that. I gotta remember that next time I speak. But more so I just kind of get by myself and reflect in and I'm joking about it. But I do take a nap. Yeah, go to sleep. Normally, you get back on a plane. And I mean, before the plane takes off, I'm asleep. Exhausted. Yeah. So yeah, so it drains my energy, I never get drained being by myself, I want to get drained when I'm from an audience,
Tom Bailey 6:46
so So I guess for any introvert, listening, just know that you can do it, you know, might not be in your comfort zone as such. But there's ways to recover and absolutely worth that energy expansion. So next question is, so I want to kind of go back again, to the beginning. So you've obviously figured out that you can tell your story, you had a great story, and you weren't a skilled public speaker at this point. So what what do you now know that you'd wish you'd known back then, in terms of some of the lessons you've learned about how to become a better public speaker?
Joe Martin 7:19
Well, as far as when I taught at the university level, I actually taught public speaking, I taught power relations, I taught Communication, Journalism, so I was in the communication field. And so I know how to craft a message yet know how to grab people's attention and how to keep their attention. I know how to do voice inflection to speed it up to slow it down and know how to make dramatic pauses and all the other stuff in anybody can be taught how to be a good public speaker, that's not that difficult. Learning the skill of public speaking, they said, well, then what makes a speaker gifted? Yeah, you know, to me, what makes a speaker gifted, is how they can respond on the fly without being prepared. In other words, I think I'm a pretty decent public speaker. But I'm even more effective when we're doing q&a. Yeah, I don't know what's kind of like this kind of format right here. Yeah, I don't know what you didn't send me question what we mean here. But I'm really good at knowing how to craft a message and put it together, if you if you ask me a question. And to me, those are the gifted type of speakers who can do that. And they don't need prompting, they don't need preparation, they just kind of go with it. And they say, Wow, I can't believe that person was able to do that. But as far as knowing what I know, now, and going back, it wouldn't be more about the skill of public speaking that would give myself advice on it would be more so about the business side of public speaking of knowing how to make it a career, I would just do it just because I wanted to share my story. And but I didn't know that I can make a living doing this for the rest of my life. And I would have been more intentional about planning that out. And so I tell people, I say there's two, two pieces of advice, I would give myself back to go back and see my old self over 20. Now IS LM has been almost going to 30 years this year. Yeah. If I could go back, I would tell myself, one, um, create product quicker. Yeah, create a product or write a book or something quick. Do that and to be intentional while building your platform. I don't even know what a platform was. And now with the internet, social media, I realized how important in people now in the internet know how important a platform is. And so you talk about seeing over a million members of my audience or target audience and not being a teacher by building a platform around that. I would have been more intentional about doing that the skill you can learn that yeah, the business side of it that takes training. You got to be trained on how to market from the stage how to see the audience, how to put in the The how to get them to ask you for the product that you're offering, as opposed to, quote selling your product. And so all that stuff takes skill to learn the marketing side of it.
Tom Bailey 10:11
Perfect. So just a couple of questions to kind of build on that. And the first question is around that that product, you mentioned, it could be a book, what are the things? Do you think that speakers should be built? I guess it depends on the industry. But are we talking online courses? Are we talking coaching programs? What kinds of products are we talking about?
Joe Martin 10:26
Well, you can do any, when you're starting out, you just need to have something to sell. Yeah, as long as you have something that you can, in addition to your feet, you're gonna have something to sell. Yeah. But I think the key product that eventually you want to build to if you don't start out with a product, is a coaching program is something that will allow the listener, the person in the audience to have a long term relationship with you. So that means you must have so much value that they want to stick around. That's why speakers like me are able to do what we do full time is not well, we get paid a lot of money from speaking. But that can be up and down. You know when COVID here, yeah, you know, that's dried up everything is. So what does the speaker do if you were used to getting 75 to 150 speaking gigs a year, and now you can't get on a plane and you can't go anywhere, you're broke. And so that's why you need to have product. And so the best product to have, I think long term is to have a some type of coaching program or community program where people are buying into this be part of that community. And that's what most of the most successful speakers, that's what they do. That's what I do.
Tom Bailey 11:33
And that makes complete sense. Because you know, speakers, you're really in the transformation game, you're you know, you're helping an audience transform from where they are to where they want to get to, and there's only so much they can transform in a 60 minute presentation a 60 minute presentation. Exactly. They want that next logical step to keep relationships. Yeah, great. So that makes complete sense. And then the second part then was was platform. So let's think of a brand new speaker, aspiring speaker, they haven't really got a platform, they haven't really got a following as such, what what do they do where they start to start building this, this platform,
Joe Martin 12:06
you start building your platform by getting email addresses, okay? The key is building your list, the list of people who say, Man, I love what you have. And the way you start building your list is by giving them something after you lead, say, hey, I want to give you some I have a gift for you, I'm gonna give you something which some people call them premiums, freebies, or whatever, that you can give them in exchange for their email address. Now we know what email address, even if you have a list of 100,000 people, you probably going to get about a 20 to 25% open rate anyway. So it's not like all of them are going to respond to you. But the numbers you got to play the numbers. Bigger you can make that list, the more consistently you can expect to have when it comes to selling products, or opening up selling a course, or opening up a program, a membership program or coaching program. And so you start with the list. And I know when I started out that I didn't know that in the beginning, but after I caught on to So wait a minute, I need to be capturing these names and email addresses. Yeah, so never speak at a place, especially if you're if it's your target audience. Never speak at a place where you're not trying to get the names and email addresses, you want to get as many as you can, if everybody if you can, everybody's email address, but at least I mean, my target is to get at least half the audience is no justice, but I gotta give them something of value. In order to get that from
Tom Bailey 13:25
Conan, I've seen some really cool, you know, you can have QR codes on the screen, they'll scan with their mobile, you can have a number to text and they'll get something sent back. So lots of different ways you can do that as well. So that's great. Final thing I want to talk about in the in the topic of the business side of speaking is this transition point between speaking for free, which a lot of people have to do to begin with, to asking for your first paid speaking gig. What what does that transition point look feel like? And how can people best navigated?
Joe Martin 13:55
Well, typically what's going to happen even if you speak for free, if you're getting referrals, and you're good at what you do, they're going to ask you before you even ask for it. Yeah. Because somebody has told them about you that at least that's how it happened for me. I knew that eventually told me I was gonna have to charge but I didn't know I thought no one ever pay me to do this. I'm having too much fun, right? I said, nobody's gonna we're gonna pay me to do this. So I was reluctant and scared to ask someone to pay me because I thought I was like stealing money or something. Right? So I just continued to speak for free, but after like maybe the second or third or fourth one after I got referred. They say okay, yeah, we heard about you from Tom Bailey. And we want you to speak to our group. And well how much do you charge? See they they invited me now to come up with a price? Yeah, because I didn't say I charge Um, tell me about your speaking again. When is it available? This Okay, so what's your rate? Yeah, how much do you charge? And so from there, it kind of put they pulled me in, and I'll tell you how much a novice I was the first time someone asked me that. I didn't know what to charge because I never thought about never paid me. And so I'm dating myself now, but this is over, come out. 30 years ago, I thought about Tony Robbins. And I'll say what Tony Robbins back then he was charging like $2,000 ahead here to come here is whenever we retreat he had in Hawaii somewhere. And so I'm thinking, Okay, well, I'm not Tony Robbins. I can't charge $2,000 ahead. Now awesome for those who listen and don't do what I'm doing right now. This is what I did. But don't do this. So this, Joe, how much do you charge as well? As well, I can't charge 2008. I said, I charged by the head. I said, I charge $2 per person. Yeah, and that's it. Well, this okay. I'll say how many people you expect to see at 900? Okay, that's 1800 bucks. So my first paid speaking engagement I made $1,800 Not bad. It's actually stupid. But I actually made I did well for that first game, but that's actually a stupid thing to do. Yeah, you know, but when I when? I can't believe I was get paid 1800 out. Yeah. And when I when they wrote that check at our laws, I'm thinking, Okay, I don't need to charge by the head. I need to charge an amount because they're willing to pay this. Yeah. And so here's the next tip I'll give you when you come up with your price for what you should charge. Only charge what you're confident in saying. Yes. So Tom, would you say Joe? How much is your speaking fee? $500. I shouldn't be charging $5. I probably need to charge you $200. Yeah. If you said, Joe. Joe, what's your speaking fee? 50 grand? Yeah, yeah, with conviction. I said that now, it may shock you and give you a heart attack. But I didn't stutter. It $50,000 feels credible to be able to say it with conviction. If you can't say with conviction in your voice flood as you don't need to be charged in that.
Tom Bailey 16:41
Yeah, got it. Yeah. So I guess practice, figure out your price point and practice saying it with conviction.
Joe Martin 16:46
Yeah, and also know, your, your, your audience to the target market, because I primarily worked in the education field. So I'm not gonna be to charge $50,000 for a speaking gig, but I can get away with charging about 10. Yeah, you know, for the education arena. But if I'm working corporate, yeah, I've done some corporate gigs. So I can charge double that, ya know, so you got to know the limitations of the market as well, but never charge anything you you're not confident in saying verbally.
Tom Bailey 17:14
Yeah, I understand that. So I think one last point one is just to dive into I guess is you mentioned choosing your audience. But what about choosing your niche? Obviously, you know, you kind of your story, I guess, became the foundations of your niche? Did you stick in that arena? Or have you branched out into different topics now? And what advice would you give somebody else?
Joe Martin 17:35
Well, I started I do think you need to pick your niche first. Okay, know who you're going to who you're going to target. Because even though you can speak to everybody, not everybody's gonna want to hire you. And they don't want a jack of all trades they want to master Yeah, of an audience. There's, there's better speakers than than me out there. But for my target market, I'll still get the gig before they will, because of my experience in knowing that particular market. My my I started out targeting students, college students, and then I went to Target and teachers, and administrators. And so those are my primary markets. So I know I know those. And what you start with when you choosing your niche, is I always say, if you know your story, and you know the results you can produce. There's so many different artists, you can target. Who if you if you were on your deathbed, and you had to help one particular segment of the population, who would you start with? Yes. So with me based on my story, and where I grew up, the first thing I wanted to do was help kids. Because I was I was young, and no, I didn't know all this stuff. And then as I matured, man, I need to help the teachers who helped the kids. So so I went with, I didn't go for cold go for the money. I went for Where do it where's my heart? Who I want to help the most, because I can speak I've spoken to the CIA, United States Navy, but I never targeted any of those people. They just came by referral. Yeah, but when you hit 7050 is actually more than 70 to 50. Now, it's probably over 1500 Wow. Yeah, I've done but I will say 90% or more in the education arena. Yeah, 10% of those will play something that I can't believe to see, the CIA is asking me to speak to them what I need to be to CIA for about CIA? Yeah, you know, so it kind of naturally goes with it. But I go with who I want to help the most, who can I make the biggest impact with and I start with that now. I work with men now. So that's my audience. Now I work primarily with men. And that's a
Tom Bailey 19:36
Yeah, that's a really good point. You know, it's not been nice for life is it? You know, you need to start somewhere, and then just see where it goes. So, I guess don't ever
Joe Martin 19:45
grow organically you as you get into a niche, what will happen is, as you start helping that niche, you start with, okay, what can I do to help them niche even more and you may find out is another target audience, like what educators if I'm helping educators, guess what I'm doing? I'm helping and kids. Yeah, yeah. And so and also it pays a lot better to work.
Tom Bailey 20:05
Fantastic. And well, great. Thank you so much for your time today. I really appreciate it. You've added so much value to me and to the audience as well. So the last question for me today is somebody wants to book you as a speaker or find out more about you where's the best place for them to go? Well,
Joe Martin 20:19
we have an organization called Real Men connect this real men connect to the go to Real Men connect that they'll see the link that says, Speak, you know, so we want to bring Joe in to speak mattify they'll see a picture of me on a stage a group of men, so they got a real men connect.com That's real men me and connect co nn e si t.com.
Tom Bailey 20:42
Fantastic Waldos. I'll put a link to that in the show notes as well. So people can click that and they can find out more. So Joe, thank you so much again, for your time today sharing your amazing story with us. I really appreciate it.
Joe Martin 20:52
Thank you, Tom. My pleasure.
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