What’s the one thing you need people to know right now?, with Helen Peckham

Overview

Playing bigger as an entrepreneur or as a content creator is a continuous process. Wether it's in your marketing, your business or the impact your'e having on an audience. If you're not growing and challenging yourself then you are not going to move forward. This is as true of learning new tactics and strategies as it is embracing your personal bran challenges and simply showing up on ever bigger staged.

There comes a time when showing up asks more of us and this week my guest is verbal communication and story coach, Helen Peckham. Helen helps people show up and play bigger both online and on stages and in this episode she's going to walk us through exactly how she does that.

If being a podcast guest, live streaming, being a guest expert or delivering in person or even virtual keynotes leaves you feeling frozen with fear - grab a coffee - chill out and get ready for a breakthrough.

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Automatic Audio Transcription

Playing bigger as an entrepreneur, a content creator, is a continuous process, whether it's in your marketing, your business or the impact you're having on an audience, if you like growing and challenging yourself, then you're not going to move forward. This is as true of learning new tactics and strategies as it is embracing your personal brand challenges and simply showing up on ever bigger stages. There comes a time when showing up asks more of us. And this week my guest is verbal communication and story coach Helen Peckham.

Helen helps people show up and play bigger, both online and on physical stages. And in this episode, she's going to walk us through exactly how she does that of being a podcast guest, live streaming, being a guest per hour, delivering in person or even in virtual keynotes leaves you feeling frozen with fear. Grab a coffee, chill out and get ready for a breakthrough. Hi there. And welcome back to Amplify the Digital Marketing Entrepreneur podcast. I'm Bob Gentle.

And every week I'm joined by amazing people who share what makes their business work. So if you're new to the show, take a second right now to subscribe so you don't miss new episodes and you can grab some older ones when you're done with this one. Don't forget as well to join our Facebook community, just visit, amplify me to have forward slash insiders and you'll be taken right there. So welcome along. And let's meet Helen. So this week, I'm delighted to welcome Helen Peckham to the show.

Helen, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for having me, Bob.

I am really excited to speak to you because for your particular specialism, I have many, many questions. But for the listener, why don't you start by telling us a little bit about who you are, where you are and the kind of work you do.

Yeah, thank you so much. So, as Bob said, I'm Helen Packham and I am a verbal communications strategist. That is the official term. But essentially I help entrepreneurs, business leaders and business owners who are ten times the impact of their communication, presentations, briefings, meetings or public speaking, which is my big thing.

I think the public speaking is the big thing, because for a lot of people it's a big thing, either because it's very, very effective and they love doing it or because it's a big thing in their head that they can't quite bring themselves to do. Where do you find when you start working with people, particularly in the public speaking side of things, have to they have some experience or is it they just know they need to do something?

It varies, I guess, depending on who I'm working with. If it's within the entrepreneurial market, as in coaches, consultants, people like that, often they don't have much experience. They may have done it a few times, but they have a burning desire. They know that they're meant to do it. They just are not sure how to do it, you know, to be confidently, to do it articulately and all of those things, which is why they come to me.

And I guess the public speaking side of things, when I look back through your LinkedIn resume, which is really all I have to touch, which is probably very limited and curated, I'm curious to know at what point to the verbal communications become your thing because it isn't immediately apparent.

No, no. It's been a very interesting journey and it's not something I ever had set my sights on. So my background is in corporate leadership development. I spent 15 years coaching and training leaders within the corporate world on how to be more effective leaders. And in that time, just it just naturally started to happen. People would gravitate towards me if they needed help with that communication. So, for example, an introverted leader who was very technically skilled but didn't necessarily have natural people skills.

So communicating, you know, standing up and in front of all their people and trying to engage them was something that felt very uncomfortable to them. So more and more leaders seemed quite senior leaders within financial services organizations in particular would come to me for help with those types of things. And so along the way, I picked up some tools. I studied heavily in specialized within psychometric development. So personality development so I could work with the leader on their personality to to make it authentic.

So I didn't have to be someone else when they were presenting or speaking. And then we also I picked up a tool which I still use very much daku storytelling. And what I found was that storytelling is an innate human skill that everybody has. And when you use storytelling, it lifts your your talks, it raises your confidence and it heightens the impact on your audience. And so I tested out storytelling on these leaders and with really great effect. And then I had a baby and lost the plot and I left the corporate world.

I ran away and I hid. I never developed an anxiety disorder. And the thought of standing off in front of a roomful of anybody, maybe physically sick. And I vowed that I would never do that again. And that lasted about four years. And I didn't really see anybody. I didn't do anything. And I was very limited. And, you know, communication was not my strong point at all. But a lot of things happened to me to come out of that story for another day.

And I set myself on a journey to regain those skills and to use them again. And I set myself a goal to do a TED talk because I thought, what's the best way I can prove to myself that I do have these skills and I can stand up in front of a room full of people. And so I set my sights on that, put it on my vision board, and eight months later that came true. So for the first time in four years, I stood up in front of a roomful of fifteen hundred people at the Broughton Dome and told my story.

And that was a very, very pivotal moment for me. I proved to myself that the skills I thought I'd lost were not lost, that I could I could verbally communicate in front of a roomful of people and everything changed after that. People kept coming up to. And saying they were contacting me and saying, how did you do that, given that you've been a hermit for four years? And so I pulled up. I pulled on my corporate expertise to do that.

And it was a natural thing. So I launched a speaker program and that sold out. And then I ran various other courses all around speaking and communicating and storytelling. And then I put on my first conference in Brighton all around speaking and leadership. And then I did a virtual conference and another conference. And it's really just gone from there. And I think it was about 18 months ago, I finally opened it. I stepped into this nation, said, yes, this is my thing.

This is my thing. It's built up all over the years. It wasn't something that I planned to do, but the various things that have happened in my life have led me here. And that's where I am today.

And how has obviously anybody listening to this as it's published would be very well aware of the covid situation at the moment. How has that impacted, I guess, your business and also your clients and and what their aspirations are?

Well, personally, in March, I had a lot of face to face, corporate work booked in for the rest of the year.

And in March, that was all cancelled. And luckily, I don't just rely on that in my business. I have an online element of my business as well that I have had for six years. But it was it did have a big impact. And so what I did was I pulled my virtual speaking and training experience together and I put two courses out there.

And in speaking to my clients and people within my audience, of course, people were concerned that any type of Face-To-Face delivery, whether it be public speaking or training or whatever it might be, obviously wasn't going to happen.

And but rather than that be it, of course, you know, there was opportunity. Now, I'm also a curator for today. I'm a curator at the lead curator for Mosley. And our event was meant to be happening in October and we decided to move it to next year. And so, you know, what's happening. What we're seeing is there's three things happening. So any type of face to face, it won't be a conference or a TED event or whatever it might be, either moving or they're moving online.

So a lot of face to face events moving online in different forms, which is fantastic. I'll give you an example. The a conference, I believe that where I met you.

Yes. Yes.

The Open Air Conference. So a fantastic conference over two days. Four hundred people is now being turned into a two day virtual event with breakouts and facilitation and mastermind's and really creative ways of delivering it virtually. And not just only this is happening. New events are being created. It's absolutely exploding now. Virtual events are exploding. Online festivals are now a thing. Five day events where you have campfire chats and, you know, all sorts of things going on virtually.

And I am absolutely loving seeing what's happening. So now there's actually even more opportunity for people to speak. It may not be on a stage, but the skills are still transferable hugely to the virtual space.

I think also that it's almost like the playing field is being reset because nobody can do in-person events. There's so much new opportunity for everybody. Yeah, there's a real leveling going on at the moment, which is why I think a service like yours is potentially so useful. I think what I was thinking about actually is everybody's familiar with the idea of digital. You need to show up, but there are degrees of show up, Ignace, and it kind of becomes a little bit worthwhile.

You need to post something on social media and. Well, you need to you need to write a blog post or you need to do some video or you need to do a podcast. But then at each stage of show up, there are personal challenges and thresholds to cross. And for most people, they don't push themselves beyond the content creator show up, but put to push into the public speaking, show up or into the author or show up.

There are two different, I guess, fields of play that are very yeah, they're big leagues and most people never really overcome themselves to go in there. And I put my hand up, that's me right now, which is why I'm so keen to speak to you. But now is a great time to do this because there's just so much opportunity. So what advice would you have for anybody listening? That's thinking I need to play a little bit bigger, but I really don't know where to begin.

It might be they don't know. It's one of these things, I think, where. If people know you're willing to do it, they'll ask you if they don't know you're willing to do it. They won't ask you. So how do you crack that nut, first of all? I guess.

So I think with that, particularly in a virtual space, it's about to think is what is my next what is the next step? And the great thing about virtual speaking, as you as you said, in terms of show up, think this is there's actually six of the six platforms for virtual speaking.

So there's podcasts like this, which is a fantastic platform for speaking because of the reach, because of the leveraging of audiences, because of the promotion of self and non promotion a way, and because it's a conversation. But to think about it strategically and in a focused way can really have huge, huge results. So I think it's to say, what's the next step? First of all, what are you going to talk about? What is your topic?

What is your area of expertise and why is it hot right now? Because we can talk about lots of different things.

But if we don't know what we're going to talk about right now, then we don't know who we're going to target in terms of how are we going to get ourselves out there. So what do you what's your area of expertise and what's hot right now in terms of what you want to talk about? I mean, we're talking about something that's hot right now because we're in the middle of a pandemic and the need for virtual delivery has hugely increased. And so what's that for you in terms of your area of expertise?

And the next thing you think is, you know, where is it? For example, podcasts, interviews. There's live streams. You know, people got sick of live streams, but they're still a tool that can be hugely leveraged to get yourself out there in a verbal way, to start to tell your story, to teach people something to connect with your audience emotionally. So livestream is actually is a speaking platform that you're in charge of. So that could be a next step if you're not sure or there's guest expert sessions.

Guest expectations are a fantastic way of increasing your visibility and reach and generating leads. And all you have to do is find a colleague who's running a program or a membership community, go in and deliver a guest expert session on your area of expertise or the resume, and you get to tell your story and you get to deliver value.

There's obviously things like virtual keynotes, which some people might think that is a huge leap, but it's not. And I really want to encourage people to believe that because if you know you're passionate about something and you have an area of expertise or you have a message that goes left, I talk about the messages that go left where everybody else is going right. Messages that have an opinion around them or a story around them, then you can do a virtual keynote.

There's just a few skills you need in order to deliver one effectively. But you can absolutely do that. It's possible for you. There's training workshops, of course, in the virtual space. So in terms of the corporate market, you can actually get paid very well for those types of things. And there's webinars as well. So there's really a whole plethora of virtual speaking opportunities for people.

I think if you if people are scared about it or they're worried about, you know, pushing themselves past their current comfort zone, it's what is the next step for you? Currently, you like posting on Facebook. Could you do a live stream? What would that be like if you're comfortable with live streams? What about focusing on podcast interviews, just as an example?

Hmm. I think that's a really good perspective. I think something that I found and you'll probably resonate with this as well as confidence is a bit of a muscle. And the more you stretch it, the more you train, the more quickly you can improve your fitness. I used to do an awful lot of oh, well, I go there.

No, I won't. I'm quite accustomed to understanding how fitness works and knowing exactly how what you need to do to build fitness. And I think with getting over these sort of confidence challenges around showing up, it's exactly the same. And I guess, yeah, it's a really difficult thing to explain until you've done it. But live streaming, for example, I was terrified of live streaming. And you just take me two months back and I wouldn't have really done a live stream.

I did a live stream. Suddenly I'm happy with live streaming. I'll tell you a secret. I got approved for LinkedIn live today. I'm so excited.

Excited. Very exciting. Congratulations. I know.

And I'm going to go nuts with that because it's really where my audience is. But I could never have said that with enthusiasm even a month ago showing up in other people's audiences. That's a little bit intimidating for me. But I understand the. It's just a case of once you do it, it won't be intimidating anymore and you are the expert. Yes. However, this is my next question. Many experts are experts on lots of different things. And Helen Peckham is an expert in verbal communication.

So when you're choosing to show up, how do you avoid the complete works of digital marketing, according to Bob, or verbal communication by Helen? Were you how do you choose what to hone in on to what to focus on?

Yeah, really great question. So there's two main ways of helping you with that. So the first the first is always, always starting with your absolute area of expertise. So within digital marketing, the best thing that is your thing. And there may be a number of things within that. How to narrow that down is to go back to a few things and look at your story, the core story of your business, and have a look at that and see how that may have evolved.

Now, a lot of people, they don't have a core story, so I help them to get that together. But a lot of the time we evolve, we evolve and our expertise evolves. And so it's really important to cast back and think, OK, how have I got here and what are the things the things that I can really hang my hat on. And secondly is is the thing that makes you unique in terms of your expertise. Generally speaking, we can we can find our uniqueness within our story because nobody else can have your story.

We can also find our uniqueness in a method we may have created or a framework we may have put together within that particular area of expertise. Those are just a couple of things. There are obviously more. But you can you can start to look within that, I think. Okay, well, I've got a thing. I've got a thing.

It's a framework or it's a process out of working with this many people or working with this many digital marketing strategies or whatever it might be. I've got this thing that you can talk about. That's your thing. The other thing to think about in terms of what do you talk about is I go back to what's hot right now and then look at the market, look at the industry, look at the audience, look at what's happening and take a pulse on that and think about topics that are really important to be discussing that are in line with your area of expertise, because particularly if you're going to do a keynote or a podcast interview, for example, the topic has to be hot, as in it's relevant to the wider world is in the wider world within that particular industry or the audience that you're talking to.

What do they need to know about that? You know, about that they might not know about? What do they need to start thinking about in terms of being ahead of the curve? These types of topics are always going to go down. Well, if you're doing a guest expert session, then you're probably going to be pointing towards an offer. So it's about thinking, what topic can I talk about that is aligned with an offer that I'm promoting?

So it could be a special offer that you put together. It could be a program or a course or workshop, whatever that that is.

Then you can track back and think, OK, so what's the problem that I'm solving? Just thought you might do if you were doing a launch marketing terms and you want to do a webinar live training, you would focus it on a problem that you can solve your clients in your program. Just the same with speaking. Think about a problem that they need that you can give value to by telling them about it that would naturally lead into promoting and offer the help that does.

That's really, really useful. What do they need to know? This is, I guess, is bringing mission into it a little bit.

It's a nobody really wants to come to a talk and be hustled, but what they want to see is somebody that's on fire. And where's that going to come from? It's going to come from somebody that almost evangelical who needs to communicate. This is what you need to know. So that's really very helpful because the last thing anybody wants, I remember. Oh, my God, I went to what was it? It was the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Oh, I thought this was a good idea. I went to one of their public events and there was this very knowledgeable geophysicist giving and giving a talk.

And I swear to God, I just wanted to sleep. He was transmitting what was obviously really incredibly valuable information, but he was transmitting information. He wasn't communicating. And he went on for about an hour and a half. Yeah, I never went back to them.

So this is this is where so as you said, transmitting and communicating, presenting and speaking very, very different things. Also, experts need to understand that they can't talk within their own language. And so this is where storytelling comes in. So any expert, any type of technical expert or an audience have no idea what they're talking about, even if it was a completely different audience. You can use storytelling in various various different forms to communicate an idea, to articulate something, no matter how dull or dry or boring or complex, so that it can actually hit home and be heard with intrigue, inspiration and delight.

I found quite a big claim, but it's true and a lot of the time people won't even remember what you said.

They just remember how you made them feel. Yes. And they might remember an idea. Yes. But that's about it.

That's what you want. That's where they talk with a keynote speech. You don't want to be people don't need to learn anything that's training with a talk. It's the golden nugget. What golden nugget can that person in the audience take away? How do you want to make them feel? What do you want to make them think? What are they going to take away and what do you want them to do as a result of you speaking to them?

So for the listener, that's maybe thinking, OK, I have established some credibility online, I have some emerging expert status. I'd like to take this next step into being a podcast guest doing guest expert sessions, maybe virtual keynotes or webinars, webinars, potentially not because you can own the webinar. You can there's nothing in the way there. You're not depending on a new relationship to make it happen.

But for the person who doesn't have the credentials to demonstrate or they've been doing this for a long time, they're reliable. They're legit. Obviously, they're a no brainer. How do you communicate? I'm somebody who should take a chance on me.

Really great question. So there's a number of ways that you can do it, depending on whether that person is cold, as in you've never had any type of connection with that person, whether they are warm as anything you may have heard of each other or whether they are hot. So you have a good relationship with that person. Maybe I should focus on the cold because a lot of people might find themselves in that situation. Now, I have always been a fan of the I call it the back door method.

So it's how I landed my TED talk and in my various programs and Ted course and I've got various other courses where I help people pitch for things and land gigs and whatever gig it might might be. The backdoor method is is a really great approach. And essentially what it involves is there being a some type of connection with that person. So, for example, if you want to get on a podcast and it's a really great podcast you listen to already that you are a fan of, then you would show the podcast host that you are a fan and that you.

Really value their work first and foremost, and that could be as simple as sharing things on social media. It can be simple, sending them an email and just thanking them for a particular episode, always genuine. I will have to say this always has to come from a genuine place and then that can lead into more content sharing. Maybe they might have a book that you've read that you can share an article about. This is a very great way of building a relationship with someone.

And then when you feel it is the right time, you would send the email showing them what you're made of and why it would be great for them to have you on their show for their audiences benefit always. See, I'm a curator, so I curated events. And when I get emails from people saying I'd like to be a speaker in your lineup, that doesn't give me any information about them or how their talk can help my audience. So it's always really good to think what is the audience?

How can your subject help them and why would it be a benefit to them? That's essentially, in a nutshell, my back door method. It's build relationships first.

Yeah, I guess that sounds like common sense. But one thing I'm also taking away from that is you need to have decided what's the value you want to bring before you go asking? Absolutely. Yeah, that's that's really, really helpful.

Even if you don't use the back door method and you go straight in for the pitch, which is I've done I've done as well, it's about really thinking and considering what's the hot right now topic. How is that aligned with your expertise? What is the audience? What do they need to hear? And so you have to know that to do your research, it really doesn't take long to find out, to listen to podcast episodes, to look at someone's audience, to tap yourself into what's happening and then make a really considered pitch that explains those things.

I think people think, oh, so not a lot of effort, but it's the thing that will get you the results.

Well, that's exactly true. I think if I look at I I saw Pat Flynn this morning on Instagram and he just made like a really short video and he was using his hands as a clock. And for anybody that's not familiar with an empire, Flynn but Flynn in the online world is as close to God as you get. And he was just doing a very funny image with his hands showing the amount of time people pay attention online. And he just put his hand up at the top of.

Right. A street above him as a as a minute hand and his social media posts, you'll get like maybe a minute YouTube video, maybe three minutes or whatever else it was. Again, you're talking minutes with podcasts, seminars, workshops. You're up towards an hour. It's quite unique. So it's worth the investment because if you want people's attention, you're going to need to show up where people pay attention. And a lot of the time that's not social media, that's not YouTube.

So it's the gateway to other things.

That's what I see social media as, something I do help people with content marketing in terms of storytelling and impact in their verbal communication, but also written communication. But it's the gateway to the podcast episode. And you think about the reach the podcast episode can give you over. Now, you know, saturated social media feed is. Yeah, I love that. I'm going to go look up that video because I wholeheartedly agree.

Just I had never thought of it in those terms before. But when you when you watch him doing that sort of little comedy gesture, you think, well, obviously. So looking at you and your own content marketing, I know you're quite busy with Instagram and LinkedIn, but you also have a radio show. How did that happen? Well, you co-host a radio show. Yes.

So the story behind that is I, I somehow managed to get a guest, a guest again, not a guest expert, a guest slot on BBC Radio Sussex. So every month I would go in I think it started because I was promoting my conference and she liked the banter that we had. So I came in every month. I read the newspapers, I picked the stories and I chatted with the presenter about stories and it went really, really well.

And pretty much the only person that tuned in to listen to me with my beloved dad.

And he would listen and my and my stepmom I know my mum did as well, but it was a very few amount of people that did. And my dad would always say, after listening to each month thing, you should do this, Helen. You've got a fantastic voice for radio. You should pursue this. And I never really thought too much of it. But then I lost him last May, and it was something that I really wanted to pursue because he said that.

And so I enrolled on a radio course.

Presenting course, and I thought, oh, my God, it's really tricky because of all the channels and the dials and the jingles and the oh my goodness, but I did. And then out of that came an opportunity to host the Brighton Business Show on Radio Reverb, which is a local community radio station in Brighton. We've got about 80000 listenership. It's extending. We're getting new masts up in different places. But it is a small radio station. It's volunteer run.

And I got the opportunity to host the show with my my colleague and friend Lisa Moore, and I jumped at the chance. And so we've been doing that since November last year, every month. And I absolutely love it. And obviously, we can't go in the studio at the moment, which was the most amazing experience. But yeah, we love it.

Living the Alan Partridge Dream. Aha. Sorry for the US audience. You'll need to Google it. So what else does how intentional are you about marketing the Helen Peckham brand?

I'd say I'm I'm quite intentional now. I'd say maybe within the last three years I've become much more focused in on that since I rebranded in the last 18 months and particularly stepped into the speaking niche. I've been very, very focused in on it and I have quite a specific strategy around it. And I'm developing all the time.

And it's the one thing that I guess over the years I really had to learn in order to get myself out there.

And I think your Instagram is really on point. I really enjoy your Instagram because, yeah, you you are very consistent in your visual storytelling, which a lot of people aren't. And it comes back to showing up. A lot of people use Instagram to point out to look out. What you managed to do quite well is take people with you, which is really surprisingly rare. But what I mean by that is I used to be guilty of this a lot, that you would take pictures of stuff, but you would never appear in your own social media, where we're quite accustomed to people in the online world taking selfies all the time.

But the truth is, that's quite rare. It's a very tiny proportion of people who actually show up in their own social media. Most people are busy showing other people stuff. Yeah, and you do that very well. How do you handle LinkedIn? Because I think I know you're you're active on LinkedIn, but I find LinkedIn really noisy would be the way to put it.

Very different, very different strategy. So I'd say Instagram really is only been the last year that I've been able to kind of get a handle on it and understand of using stories on Instagram has been huge for me, really interacting and showing the behind the scenes to build relationships with people. I'd say that's probably my most successful strategy on Instagram, but on LinkedIn, I'd say it's been really the last six, only the last six months that I've really, really focused in on.

On it now, again, I'd say that the the main strategy that works on LinkedIn is the building relationships through DMS. I do broadcast content, but I must say that I need to do a much better job of engaging with other people's content on LinkedIn. It's just a tiny factor in terms of time spent. But the most successful strategy has been writing articles and sharing those with people through DMS.

Now I'm going to sort of just nibble into this a little bit because I get random DMS from Hustler's every day.

How do you sidestep that?

You know, obviously there is a lot of noise in the DMS on LinkedIn and as I say, I'm quite new to this, so I'm definitely not an expert in terms of giving advice. Maybe I just I guess I've just got to share what works for me. I have found that obviously. Yes. You know, I'm making contact connection requests and I am sending out my article to quite a few people. Of course, there's going to be a lot of people that ignore it.

That's fine. There's going to be a lot of people that say thank you for sharing. I'll take a read. And then there's a small percentage of people that engage. And what I found is from that percentage of people that engage, you get results because it leads to a business development conversation about what's happening within the organization.

And I literally have literally just before this podcast, I sent an article to Dan and the lady had asked for a call. She's an H.R. director for a large organization. And I'm putting forward a proposal for four pieces of work tomorrow night.

Yeah, so it works.

I guess Fortune favors the bold, but I guess as long as you're able to come back to content at the end of the day, if you're going with what do they need to know rather than what can I get exactly? You're going to be received quite different.

That's it for the article. I guess what's hot right now at the moment in terms of organizations, people are suffering from virtual fatigue. So I wrote an article nine Ways to Prevent Virtual Fatigue, and I view storytelling in there and loads of other tips and tricks on how people can communicate more effectively over their virtual meetings and briefings. So it's very aligned with my expertise, but it's covering a hot right now topic.

I think when it comes, I'm a big believer that the the word digital marketing expert or social media platform expert is a myth. Everything moves so quickly, so fluid. It's somebody who uncovered what's working right now and understands why is about as good as it gets. So you're saying I'm not an expert? Well, I would say right now you probably are in it's working. So another question I really like to ask frequently is anybody's business work will typically come to them in one of several ways.

It's either referral based or it's inbound opportunities as a result of content marketing or its paid ads. Is there a fourth way? I'm not sure. But how does that typically look for you?

Sorry, in terms of in terms of is your work coming through predominantly through referrals or as a result of your content marketing or as a result of outbound sales or prospecting?

I would say it is. The majority is coming through content marketing. That's really good.

You wouldn't understand how unusual the answer is. I ask it often and a lot of the time with the people who you would think they're very big on Facebook ads, for example, those people get all the work through referrals or when their social media experts, they most of the work comes through open sales activity. So that's really encouraging to hear that. And I think it's testament to the power of showing up on LinkedIn.

I guess content marketing is sending someone an article in a D.M. as well as broadcasting. That's how I guess I see. I'm writing content and I'm sharing it. So I may have targeted that person specifically, but I'm sharing content. So that's on LinkedIn with Facebook and Instagram. Yeah, it's it's putting out content and engaging with the audience.

I'm being a little bit courageous, I think. So I'm curious to know, I think you are quite accustomed to being uncomfortable, but where do you feel you struggle or you don't quite push where you know you should? Hmm.

Oh, gosh. And let me think about that. So, yeah, I know it's a challenging question I can answer, I can answer it. So this is going to be a bit of a vulnerable one, actually, because I think losing my dad, I will say that I've really dipped into periods. It's happened about three or four times where I've not wanted to show up at all, like because of, you know, understandably grief and all of these sorts of things.

And when you feel those feelings, you don't want to be visible. And so what's happened since he died and I would say definitely come out of that period. Now, I'm all guns blazing at the moment. But, you know, from May last year to the end of last year, there were some significant periods where I did not want to be online at all. And in that time, so I used to do live streams all the time.

I stopped doing night streams. I literally just had my content strategy of just writing content and then getting that scheduled out. And that's all I did. So I wasn't actually showing up at all for periods. And in that time, I guess I became more uncomfortable with showing up on a life which I used to do all the time.

And then there was just no way I wanted to do that. So I'd say probably now very much is pushing myself to speak in more situations that might be a bit more of an uncomfortable audience or get more visible on video. In general, I think now, because of what's happened over the last year, I've tend to slip into written content as comfort.

I think that's actually a really important thing for people to hear, because I recognize elements of it and myself that when your energy is high and you're feeling very positive, it's very easy to be courageous when you're feeling vulnerable and things aren't quite going your way. There's every reason not to try and pushing through that is really hard. But I think understanding and shining a light on it will actually, when you understand something, it's much easier to move past something when you can see the monster in the light, you know, it's just a pillow.

And that's that's really, really helpful. I love that.

It's so true. But when you're in it and you're in the depth of whatever you're feeling and you can't see a way out, it's very tricky. And so what I would say, Don Meredith always says about the minimum effective dose. So even when I was feeling like I did like I wanted just to hide away from the world, I had my minimum effective dose, which was the minimum amount of times I could show up on social media a week to to make sure that I was still consistently visible.

Yeah, and the minimum effective dose is great for maintenance, but it's not so great for growth. So you can't stay there for too long. And I think for a lot of people, the minimum effective dose is actually to go first.

So, Helen, I'm looking at the clock thinking we've been going for quite a while now. If people want to connect with people, if they want to go further with you, how would you like them to do that?

Well, actually, just from our conversation, a few things came up that I guess I didn't know where the conversation was going. And I guess the thing maybe that people might be needing help with now is really how to get themselves out visibly as a speaker on those virtual platforms. And I have put together something that can help with that. It's a low cost cause. I actually put out in lockdown that it's called virtual speaking pro, and it covers those six methods that I talk to you about.

And it also has modules on how to decide what your hot topic is and how to actually land the gigs.

I had a look at that earlier. Actually, you don't know that, but I have a good rummage around people's websites before we have interviews and it looks like a really great product. And for the cynical listener, I don't benefit when guests promote their stuff at all, but I genuinely think this looks like a brilliant course. Helen, I'm going to ask this question that the listeners know I'm getting quite good at remembering. And that's what's one thing you do now that you wish had started five years ago.

It's a really great question, I guess is a number of ways I could answer it, but I wish five years ago I could have stepped into the niche that I stepped into sooner because I was a really good one.

And in terms of what people need to know, I think this is a big one.

Also, just having the confidence to own it that that's been the thing that's delayed me. And I think probably to be the same for lots of people. You may have that thing, but you're scared to step into it because it will cancel out loads of other people or it will narrow you down too much and you won't get other business. But I can I just want to say that is not the case. More business will come to you when you step into your greatness and you own the thing that is your thing, 100 percent brilliant.

And if anybody listening wants to jump on Helen's course, what's your website address? Dr. Helen Packham dot com. And you can find links to all Helen's other stuff right there. Helen, thank you so much for your time. You've been a fantastic guest. Thank you so much for having me. Bob has been great. Ask yourself this, exactly what is it you're scared of right now if you're like most people? The answer is probably one of the things we just discussed.

And if that's how you reflect on that for a moment and just imagine what life could look like if you just got past it. It's pretty exciting. So before I go, just a quick reminder to subscribe. And if you haven't already join our Facebook group, you'll find a link in the show, notes or just visit, amplify me form forward slash inciters. I would love for you to connect with me on social media. A lot of people seem to prefer doing that on LinkedIn, which is amazing.

But wherever you hang out, just find me at Bob Gentle. I'm super easy to find. If you enjoyed the show, then I would love for you to review on iTunes or whichever platform you listen on. Sadly, on Spotify you can't yet. So go somewhere else where you can. It means a lot to me and it's the very best way to help me reach more subscribers. My name's Bob Gentle. Thanks again to Helen for giving us her time this week and to you for listening.

And I'll see you next week.

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