We will be living in the changed world caused by coronavirus for a long time, so many people are having to move their businesses online. How do you do this if you are a professional speaker?
Speaking and events are two of the industries that have been hit hardest by the pandemic, but some stars of the industry are doing an amazing job of adapting to the new normal. One of the best examples of this is Erin King.
Erin is an international keynote speaker, the bestselling author of Digital Persuasion: Sell Smarter in the Modern Marketplace, and a three-time entrepreneur.
Erin has been hired by The Academy Awards, The United States Navy, ABC/Disney, VISA, Hilton Worldwide and dozens of others to elevate their digital communication style to attract attention, increase influence, and sell smarter.
She founded Socialite Agency, the world's only social media firm specializing exclusively in live events. For the last decade, Socialite has helped Fortune 100 brands catapult their social media success via award-winning digital activations and campaigns.
She’s the perfect person to speak to about this, then!
Here's a video where I explain more about the episode.
Read on to find out how Erin King turned her keynote speech into a recurring revenue stream with creativity and clever repurposing.
How to design a course from your keynote
Repurposing your keynote into a course is going to take some creativity, but your original content is all about teaching people. Creating your course is more a matter of changing the way you deliver the lesson of your keynote than totally reinventing the content.
Find the a-ha moments
“The first step to taking my keynote and digitizing it is to find the a-ha moments” Erin explained on the podcast.
She watched back all the footage she had of her speeches. When Erin speaks on stage, she has two cameras recording – one on her and one on the crowd.
When it came to planning her course, Erin watched all the footage she could from that second camera to identify the “a-ha” moments. What are they? The moments where the audience take notes or nod their heads.
These are essential building blocks for your speech, because “what resonates for multiple audiences live will definitely resonate in a digital space.”
Analyze your quantitative feedback
Erin’s second step was to go through all of her social content from the last 18 months and look for peaks in engagement.
“I looked at the types of posts that had the most comments and shares,” but didn’t really account for likes. “Likes are a dime a dozen”, not really indicative of quality content. I loved her approach to being critical of her own engagement rates!
If you aren’t repurposing your speech on social media yet, I’ve written a blog post that will take you through How To Repurpose Your Speech for Maximum Social Media Impact that should help!
“We took all those topics and listed them out and looked for patterns. Which segments of the talk were people surfacing in a public forum?”
Doing this helped Erin to pin down more of those a-ha moments and get a deeper understanding of how people, over time, have received and consumed her keynote.
Analyze qualitative feedback
For the third step, Erin and her team “went into dark social” and reviewed all of her direct messages and rich, written feedback.
“Whenever people say ‘I loved your talk/event’, we always ask ‘which part specifically are you going to be able to apply today or tomorrow?’ and “what was your a-ha moment?’”
“Once you get into that, you start to uncover the real thread in your presentation that wins round people.”
All in all, this process helped Erin create a course that reflected what people want, need, and enjoy from her talk. Following this kind of process makes repurposing a keynote far easier than “just writing an outline of what we think people are going to want”. Instead, you can reverse engineer your course from the content that you know is helpful.
Erin summed it up perfectly when she said:
“If it helps people live, it’s going to help people virtually.”
The art of repurposing a keynote into a course
Now that we’ve gone through some of the preparation required if you want to repurpose a keynote into a course, we can look at some of the essentials Erin brought up in terms of actually delivering the content!
Focus on the highlights of your keynote
Your course isn’t going to be a carbon copy of your keynote. You’re going to have to be brutal and strip out the parts of your speech that work so well live but don’t really translate when you piece them together virtually.
“When you create a course, it is a one-way download,” explained Erin, “there just isn’t that immediate two-way feedback.”
Of course, people can leave comments or send messages, but it’s a-synchronistic and nothing like in-person communication.
“So you have to make sure that every moment in your course is either building up to, revealing, or restating an a-ha moment.”
Attention is a precious resource – don’t waste it
Online courses are a hyper-competitive market.
Some people might have more time right now (many don’t – as a business owner who’s now become a full-time teacher to my two boys, I laugh whenever I see people say we’ve got lots of free time now!), but the number of people and businesses pivoting online means there’s more competition for attention.
When it comes to creating your course, you need to design it so that each section is delivering these milestone a-ha moments. Every moment of your course needs to deliver value or, as Erin put it, “it’s like a greatest hits playlist”!
Be sympathetic to the current circumstances
You also need to think about the “general vibe” of your course. A virtual course is a different situation to a live in-person event.
“I’m high energy and speak quickly. The audience walk in, the DJ’s pumping, we’re ready to go,” laughed Erin, “but right now, we’re in the middle of a global pandemic. People are dying, losing their jobs, their healthcare. Everything. We’ve gone from a hyper-productive, ‘be your best self’ message to one of survival.”
With this in mind, Erin “took the temperature of what’s happening and decided to call it a Social Media Spa.”
“I wanted to create an experience that was sort of an antidote to the vibe that we’re feeling right now. I wanted my course not to be ‘more to learn’, ‘more to do’, ‘get fired up’, because I think we have enough to figure out and enough high emotion right now. I wanted it to be the antithesis of that.”
So Erin designed her course to be calming, easy-to-navigate, and lighter-touch. Some of the features she focused on include:
- Calming background music
- A "less is more" approach
- Gentle stories, not high-octane
- Appropriately subdued and mellow tone
- Reducing options – “instead of five things, it’s one”
Her mantra has been: “try to deliver what they need not just from an educational standpoint, but from an emotional standpoint as well.”
Creating your course
Erin built her Social Media Spa using Kajabi, breaking it up into 15 ‘treatments’. I loved this creative way of branding her course…doesn’t it just give the content so much more pulling power?
Each treatment features a video that’s under 10 minutes long. Erin made sure to “keep it moving with lots of stories and motion graphics” and the treatments include a transcription, an MP3 download, and a downloadable workbook with key points and exercises they can apply.
“What was helpful in building this was to answer the really tough question of who this course is really for.”
Right now, so many keynote speakers are panicking because they have lost all their revenue. The instinct might be to “want to build a course that appeals to everyone and that we can sell en masse, however, there is every single speaker, author, and thought leader trying to play in this new space. It’s hyper-competitive.”
I think @mrs_erin_king put it so perfectly when she said: “there’s never been a better time to discover, decide, and commit to who your audience is.”
Of course, a course isn’t the only way to repurpose you in-person offerings online, it’s just one of the six ways I’ve suggested previously!
Social media is “the most saturated industry in the world,” according to Erin. She harked back to when she started her agency, Socilaite. “It wasn’t until we found our niche that we really started to grow the business.”
“Taking that same mentality to creating this course really helped – asking who is in need of what I offer and who is an industry that is open to this?” This set Erin on the path to finding an industry that isn’t imploding, laying employees off or furloughing them. An industry that is in a growth phase who can afford to invest in something at a time many people can’t.
“For me, that was the direct selling industry,” so Erin designed her course to serve them.
Learn more from Erin King
If you want to hear more from my conversation with Erin, you’ll love her whole interview on my podcast. We talked about so much alongside this vital bit of repurposing magic. There really is something for everyone in this episode.
And if you’d like to try Erin’s course for yourself, she has been kind enough to set up an exclusive discount for Content 10x fans. Use the code “content10x” (without the quotation marks) to get 50% off!
It was so great getting to learn more about Erin’s work as both a speaker and as a digital entrepreneur. I really recommend checking out her course and definitely give her a follow on Instagram.
If you’re feeling inspired to repurpose your speech but aren’t ready to create a course, take a look at our Talk 10x service and grab your free copy of The Ultimate Checklist To Repurpose Your Speech For Social Media. It’s got everything you need to know about repurposing your keynote so it works harder for you on social media.