Taking your business international
Another question I get asked is how your bio can help you to ready yourself for new clients, markets or countries.
I worked with a speaker Elin Hauge, in 2021 who wanted to move from mainly speaking in her native Norway, where the market is fairly limited, to speaking internationally. Re-writing her bio helped her to really think through her positioning for an international audience and write something that reflected the added value that she brings.
Elin told me, “You can kind of get by and survive just by being good on stage in Norway, so the big question was, what do I have to say about myself to work internationally? I had no clue. Although I had some ideas I felt insecure about what to say about myself and what the international market would expect. Maria gave me really helpful guidance, she helped me to get more specific about the outcome of my talks and to make my value proposition much clearer for clients. I’m a business speaker who helps people to realise the value of AI in their businesses today. That clarity helped me understand where I fitted in a global context and how I was different from other AI speakers; there are lots of other speakers talking about the future of AI – but I help people in the ‘here and now’.
In my home country of Norway, the bureaus want my topics to be wider because the market is smaller, but Maria helped me understand that to get booked internationally I needed to really narrow things down.”
So, Elin caters for her local market and her international market. She cleverly created different versions of her bio; one for her bureaus in Norway (local versions give her bookers the chance to book her to talk about wider technology and AI issues) and a more narrow and specific version for the international market.
There was one other element that Elin shared that I think is really important for women speakers particularly, “By going through the process of re-thinking and writing my bio, I realised that I needed to have more guts to say that I’ve actually done all these things. I think that men have more confidence to tell people about their successes – women can struggle more about talking about the things we have achieved. I now have the confidence to write about my achievements, before I followed the Speaking Business process, that would have felt awkward for me.”
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