The road to establishing and running a sustainable business off the back of your personal brand can be a long and winding one.
For some people, they have a simple offering that quickly hits the mark with those in their desired target audience. Often, these people go from a business where they are employed and – if permitted contractually – simply offer the same services to the same prospective clients they’ve been dealing with, albeit under their own name, or via a different business brand.
Think of this approach as ‘business as usual’. It’s quite common, but nowhere near as much as it was in years gone by.
People today are increasingly opting to take a different path, whether by default or design.
For instance, you might decide to start a business, but in a field that’s different to what you’ve been doing, and hence, you have little demonstrable track record. You have an idea and lots of enthusiasm, but you’re basically starting from scratch and probably need to build your bona fides from the ground up; most likely, you’ll need to hustle for your early clients or customers.
Alternatively, you might embark on a new business venture in the space where you’re a known quantity, but with a view to doing things differently and shaking things up a bit.
Or, perhaps you want to build a business that fits around, and supports, your lifestyle – a trend we’re seeing more of these days.
And sometimes, you might be cut loose from your job thanks to a bout of corporate downsizing and find yourself in need of doing something in order to put food on the table.
In all of these instances, how you package your expertise and structure your service offering/s will matter.
That’s the ‘how-to’, and it’s going to be a topic we regularly explore in this newsletter and on the Reputation Revolution podcast.
However, what does it look like in real life? Sometimes we might land on the ideal business model straight away and knock it out of the park, but the reality is we don’t see that happen all that often.
While there’s definitely an art and science to how we commercialise our personal brand (and package, articulate and communicate our skills and experience), more often than not we’re fumbling a bit in the dark, zig-zagging, experimenting, following our heart and our intuition.
Yes, we can (and definitely should) learn from others who have gone before us and done well. But let’s face it, we’re all different; what worked for them might not work for us because:
- we have our own unique circumstances,
- our own goals and aspirations are not the same, and
- our knowledge and life experiences differ greatly.
Some of us come with emotional baggage and/or limiting beliefs, while others have breathtaking ambition that might not be matched by their abilities.
This is why it’s great to listen to other people’s stories, to get under their skin and understand what their journey has been like and what challenges they might have faced along the way (and learn how they overcame any roadblocks that may have come their way).
How Jackie Goddard has commercialised her knowledge and expertise
Jackie is an acting and voice teacher and public speaking coach who helps business owners and professionals to get performance ready and excited about stepping in front of an audience to share their message.
[ N.B. I’ve previously chatted with Jackie about grounding yourself in your story and your message – check it out here ]
In this interview on the REPUTATION REVOLUTION podcast, Jackie shares her journey from being an art development officer and drama teacher to becoming a public speaking coach who helps business owners and professionals to get performance ready and excited about stepping in front of an audience to share their message.
Key points covered:
- Jackie’s background in fashion design, acting, and working behind the scenes at the Royal Shakespeare Company.
- How teaching drama led her towards coaching adults which inspired her business, Power to Speak.
- The impact of Covid lockdown on Jackie’s career path and how it prompted her transition into online platforms.
- The inception story behind Power To Speak, and how Jackie helps individuals confidently express themselves before their audience.
- Importance and challenges around articulating what you do when building a business around your expertise.
- The concept of impostor syndrome – why we undervalue our abilities and how understanding and valuing personal stories can be empowering.
We also delve into Jackie’s journey in establishing her business including positioning strategies used along the way, and why she opted to create the Power to Speak brand versus trading solely under her own name.
Jackie also unpacks her sources of revenue, and explains how she integrates her various programs and offerings under the Power to Speak banner.
How acting and voice coach, Jackie Goddard, has commercialised her knowledge and expertise
I asked Jackie to provide some context about her journey: what was she doing 10 years ago?
“In 2013, I was an Art Development Officer … my daughter was very small so I was working part time. It’s in an arts centre and I used to run all of their arts projects and organise the program and curate the exhibitions. It was a very creative job … I loved it. And on the side, I was also teaching their youth theatre, so I was running drama classes as well,” says Jackie.
Let’s dig a bit deeper …
Initially after school, Jackie became a fashion designer but always wanted to be an actor. Eventually, at 28, after working behind the scenes at the Royal Shakespeare Company as a dresser, she pursued acting professionally.
Jackie explains that teaching drama led her towards coaching adults which inspired her current business – Power to Speak. This venture began in 2021 due to lockdown when she shifted from conducting workshops physically to online platforms.
“I was working with a theatre company in Winchester … we had a cast of adults with learning disabilities and we were going into schools and running workshops. So when lockdown hit, everything stopped for me. I couldn’t get into a room with people.”
For her mental health and wellbeing, Jackie started participating in networking spaces, including You Are The Media, a marketing learning community based in Dorset (something I refer to often on the podcast and in presentations – this is where I first met Jackie).
“People were scared. People were frightened”
“We were on screen, I think, every couple of weeks during lockdown. And talking to people in other networks as well … talking to business people about this new world of being online and having to show up on a screen, in front of a camera.
”People were scared. People were frightened. It was … ‘How am I going to do this? How do I find that within me that I’m going to have to start selling myself?’”
It was during this time Jackie started her business.
The concept behind Power to Speak emerged from realising that as an experienced acting and voice coach and trainer, she could help others confidently express themselves before an audience, to get them excited about getting on to a stage.
“I know the pandemic was awful for a lot of people but for me, it was almost a gift in a way to have that amount of time where I couldn’t do what I’d been doing for all of those years. The treadmill of just trying to earn a living and doing what I enjoyed doing, but you know, paying the bills.
“And actually what I knew from lockdown – from being home and and being in these networking spaces – was I didn’t want to go back to that. I didn’t want to go back to doing what I was doing.”
Breakout room feedback leads to a-ha moment
Jackie attended a coaching course online and, in a breakout room where two other participants gave each other feedback, one person told her that “you help people market themselves effectively”.
“And I thought that’s interesting. I’d never really considered that,” says Jackie. “And the other woman said you help people show up powerfully in the world. And I thought, oh, I like that. That sounds good. That sounds like I’m actually doing a service, you know.
“I thought, if that’s what I can do, that really gave me the impetus to kind of think: well, this is powerful stuff … so that’s kind of how it started.”
It was the feedback from these two women that inspired the name of Jackie’s business – Power To Speak.
Gaining clarity through insight
I asked Jackie about the process of establishing her business, including positioning and marketing strategies used along the way.
In what I consider to be a smart move, Jackie gained insights from people who knew her, asking 12 people – friends, former clients and networking buddies – for their opinion.
What was it they thought Jackie did as a job? What did they think she did well as a person? What did they think her superpower was? What could she improve?
“And then I just put those questions out there and and waited for the feedback, not knowing what was going to come back.”
What did come back?
“It was a lot kinder than I expected – not that I expected people to be nasty – but it made me realise what my strengths were, and what my weaknesses were.
”So I think that was a really, really good starting point. So I could then kinda go: Okay, well, now I know what it is that people value in me.
“And so that was a really good starting point for building a brand.”
Armed with this knowledge about how she was perceived by others, Jackie had the confidence to build her business around these attributes, and Power To Speak was born.
Jackie Goddard vs Power to Speak
I asked Jackie if she ever considered trading under her own name instead of a business brand name.
“What was the definitive that made me go for the branded name rather than my own? I was speaking in networking spaces again, speaking to business coaches, who were kind of just saying, well, … if you go for your own name, then people will always expect it to be you. And as a business, I wanted it to grow.
”It reminded me of being Jackie Goddard, drama tutor, or workshop facilitator or whatever. And I wanted to grow a business. I am determined this is a business that I will eventually employ other people, and they will come to work alongside me as coaches, I will train them to coach in a … similar vein to me. And, so it seemed better to have a business name and a name that meant something.
”So, Power to Speak, means … exactly what it says on the tin.”
Power through podcasting
Jackie has since launched a new website for Power to Speak and started podcasting again, something she initially began during lockdown under a previous handle.
The Power to Speak podcast is a live show that airs every Tuesday, targeting speakers and speaker coaches.
Jackie’s podcast focuses on personal journeys and motivations to inspire viewers and listeners.
“My feeling behind the podcast was really to find out how people get to where they are and what’s their journey … what’s that story? Because I think going back to the actor in me: What is the backstory? What’s the motivation? What is it that motivates people, which is what excites me and I think too is something that other people can learn from.
“So the podcast was the first thing … it’s been a great way of getting to know people as well, building my network.”
Jackie also uses the podcast for other content marketing, such as editing clips and sharing them across social media as a way to draw attention to the longer form episodes.
And an email newsletter
Another thing that Jackie started in lockdown was an email newsletter (again, like the podcast, under a different banner to start with but now rebranded as Power to Speak).
“Even to this day, I don’t have a huge mailing list, but the newsletter is something I put a lot of effort into. Because you know, I want to give value … there’s a little bit in there about what I’ve been up to, but also a piece that’s a tip or a technique.”
Unpacking Jackie’s service offering
As far as revenue streams go, one-on-one coaching forms the core of Jackie’s business model; this is where she help clients improve their communication skills whether in client meetings or addressing large audiences via the stage.
This service is split evenly between local face-to-face sessions and Zoom calls. In some cases, she works with a company’s employees.
Jackie has broken her coaching into various offerings, viz:
- Power Hour – this is a one-hour consultation to discuss your content and get constructive advice on how to prepare your presentation for maximum impact.
- The Power of Collaboration Workshops – for groups and teams: energise and inspire your people with a motivational team-building workshop that will encourage collaboration and creativity
- Speak Like A Speaker Signature Talk Masterclass – create and perform a signature talk that makes an impact, builds your influence, and inspires your audience
- Get Your Story Straight – uncover your story and why it’s important to your personal brand, plus learn the techniques needed to share it with confidence
- The Power to Present – create a talk or presentation that makes an impact, builds your influence and inspires your audience
- Speak Like a Speaker Speaker Club – this is a supportive, collaborative and creative community that meets monthly, both in person (UK based) and regularly on Zoom (world based).
Need or gut feel
Has Jackie crafted these offerings based on gut feel or a demonstrated need that people have?
“It’s a combination,” she says, acknowledging that many people will tell you that’s not the right way to go about it.
I hear Jackie loud and clear! There is no shortage of marketing gurus who proclaim loudly that you should have only one tightly defined offering for one niche audience, and I get it, but in reality, it doesn’t always work that way for many people, myself included.
And yes, while it’s good that people will proactively come up to you and say they need a particular product or service – “is this something you provide?” – there’s another side to this marketing debate, and that is, if you’re close to your audience and you understand them well, you will get a good feel for their challenges and pain-points, relative to your area of expertise.
You can then take this knowledge to create standalone service offerings. Of course, it always pays to do your homework, but you get the idea.
Showing the benefit
Jackie says the actor’s training she received back in the day was very beneficial for every aspect of her life, and this plays into how she runs her business today.
“It’s given me the confidence to be able to speak, to be able to be curious and creative and empathic. And so I really want to share that with people.
“So part of it is me really wanting to share what I love to do and showing the benefit to other people
“But also I can see there is a need … I can see that actually people are afraid, whether it’s to do with impostor syndrome, whether it’s to do with something that happened way back when a teacher said this, or a school friend said that, or whatever … people are frightened of doing this.
“It’s a mindset and there are tools and techniques that can make it more comfortable and actually quite enjoyable. And so I know that, and I just want to be able to pass that on,” says Jackie.
Things are beginning to happen!
As for next steps? Things are falling into place for Jackie after two-and-a-half years of building a trusted presence within her community.
“I’ve built that trust and now I’m being seen as somebody that people can trust and that they would like to work with. So now it’s beginning to happen … it’s sort of getting to that point where the ball is beginning to roll.
“You do have to be patient, but it’s beginning to happen now,” says Jackie.
Does Jackie want to go global?
“Yeah. I’d like to,” she says. “Last year, I was getting a few clients (from the US).
“Networking is key … talking to people and building relationships. So if I want to be working with people in the States, then that’s what I need to do … I need to start showing my face over there. Because a lot of what you do when you’re building a business … is building those relationships.”
Writing a book remains a goal for Jackie:
“It’s on AA4 piece of word document. It’s it’s all there … 30 years of experience of … what I’ve been doing. It’s all there in my head, it just needs to come out onto the pages really. It’s not far away … it’s just having the time to to do it.”
And as for doing paid keynote presentations …
“I’d love to get on stages. A lot of the presentations and the talks that I’ve done have been on Zoom. To get on the stage and to be paid would be joyful.”
If you’re in the early stages of building a business around your knowledge and expertise – or you’re thinking about doing so in the future, you’ll love this interview with Jackie Goddard! Check out the audio of the interview above, or via your podcast app of choice!
CONNECT WITH JACKIE:
👋 I’m Trevor, I’m an experienced content and digital communications strategist, coach and mentor
✅ I help credible business leaders and industry experts elevate their profile, build their reputation and grow their sphere of influence in a way that’s strategic, sustainable … and respectful
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