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Finding Your Identity and Market with Josh Shipp

Finding Your Identity and Market with Jane Atkinson and Josh Shipp
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Quote: “Every kid is ONE caring adult away from being a success story.” Josh Shipp

Have you narrowed down your niche and pinpointed your target market? Are you passionate about your message and getting it out to the right audience? On this episode of The Wealthy Speaker Show, we’re happy to welcome back Josh Shipp to share his thoughts on booking in the youth market and how he created a successful speaker’s bureau to fit that mould.

Statistically, Josh should be dead, in jail, or homeless. But his success as a preeminent author, speaker, and youth advocate is living proof of the power of one caring adult. A former at-risk foster kid turned youth advocate; Josh is renowned for the documentary TV series on A&E that followed his ground-breaking work with youth and families.


Read Full Transcript

00:00:01.920 --> 00:00:13.170
Joshua: hey welcome everyone to the wealthy speaker podcast I am so pleased to have the amazing josh shipp back with us josh welcome it is an honor good to see you.

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Jane Atkinson: i'm so happy to see you we haven't had you on the show in a few years, so I wanted to go like right back to the beginning with your story, you know, like tell everybody how you grew up and how that kind of formed your earlier life in speaking.

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Joshua: yeah so I sort of got into speaking in the youth and education market because I had this very you know sort of tumultuous upbringing with lots of difficulty I grew up in that I was abandoned by my biological parents.

00:00:47.670 --> 00:00:55.950
Joshua: I got I was very sort of angry as a kid you know I say what kids don't talk out they act out and that was certainly true for me so.

00:00:56.520 --> 00:00:59.730
Joshua: You know the way I dealt with that anger is I got myself kicked out of.

00:01:01.170 --> 00:01:02.400
Joshua: All my foster homes.

00:01:02.460 --> 00:01:05.910
Joshua: and actually kept score in a notebook and I would try to get kicked out of.

00:01:06.360 --> 00:01:09.420
Joshua: My current foster home quicker than the previous one.

00:01:10.440 --> 00:01:11.010
Joshua: And so.

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Jane Atkinson: The game for you how many foster homes, did you live in.

00:01:14.370 --> 00:01:21.420
Joshua: Altogether 12 to 14 sort of depending on your definition of them So yes, it did become a game to me, as you said it.

00:01:21.480 --> 00:01:28.740
Joshua: As as a vehicle to sort of deal with the psychological and emotional trauma and gain some sort of control.

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Joshua: You know in something that felt so so much out of my control so at 14 i'm moving with what would be my final set of foster parents delightful people loving people.

00:01:41.100 --> 00:01:46.260
Joshua: Key key additive I think relentless people, regardless of how much I pushed back and.

00:01:47.160 --> 00:01:49.950
Joshua: You know, looking back as an adult and the dead now I realize.

00:01:50.160 --> 00:01:57.210
Joshua: Just how terrible in moments I was to them and now how deeply I regret that and then frankly embarrassed of it but.

00:01:58.770 --> 00:02:12.420
Joshua: Eventually, there was a teacher and you know, I imagine, not uncommon to the speaking profession, the way I was sort of dealing with being this foster kid is I developed a sense of humor.

00:02:13.110 --> 00:02:18.780
Joshua: And I realized if I could make my peers laugh, then they were less likely to sort of make fun of my situation.

00:02:19.110 --> 00:02:25.140
Joshua: Right and understandably, this was a disruption to most teachers, but one teacher pulled me out in the hallway.

00:02:25.890 --> 00:02:34.500
Joshua: And said, you know josh you can't act like this, but I do see a gift in you have you ever considered joining speech and debate.

00:02:35.850 --> 00:02:37.530
Joshua: And so I did.

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Joshua: I loved it I got into it, I joined other student leadership organizations and I eventually I grew up in Oklahoma became the State President of that leadership organization.

00:02:50.130 --> 00:02:52.140
Joshua: And this was my entry.

00:02:52.200 --> 00:03:00.330
Joshua: into public speaking, is that I would have to go around I was a high school student, but I would have to go around to the middle schools and give.

00:03:00.960 --> 00:03:13.770
Joshua: The organization was called deca and I would have to give sort of a deca propaganda speech to the middle school kids like hey when you come up to high school there's all sorts of clubs, you can join here's why you should consider deca.

00:03:14.190 --> 00:03:19.650
Joshua: Right and then what would eventually happen is certain teachers would circle back and say hey.

00:03:20.220 --> 00:03:28.080
Joshua: The kids really responded to you, they seem to like you hey you're welcome to come back sometime and you don't even have to talk about deca.

00:03:28.620 --> 00:03:42.510
Joshua: just maybe talk to them about life and things are that are going on, so that was my unknowingly sort of ignorantly backing into the public speaking profession and then having to go and learn the entire business side of it.

00:03:42.990 --> 00:03:57.750
Jane Atkinson: Is there anything other than an accidental speaker I mean, do you know I don't know very many people, maybe a handful of people who said in college or or in high school that's a profession i'm interested in.

00:03:57.750 --> 00:04:11.100
Joshua: Like yeah I know a handful of sort of altruistic cases as you speak of but, but then the other ones that come to mind it's like ooh that's so like manipulated and so calculated that it kind of feels icky as to.

00:04:11.430 --> 00:04:13.500
Joshua: Why they're getting into the profession for.

00:04:14.220 --> 00:04:20.040
Joshua: You know, being on the stage or getting you know the big check which those don't come in the beginning, anyway, so.

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Jane Atkinson: Right right, and you have paid your dues What was your teachers name, who made the difference for you.

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Joshua: Jane sadowsky.

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Jane Atkinson: name was Jay.

00:04:29.100 --> 00:04:32.640
Joshua: Yes, that's that's the only reason I agreed to come on this podcast.

00:04:36.240 --> 00:04:40.380
Joshua: Now ski Irish American making making James look good.

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Jane Atkinson: I love it um you know isn't it funny how one person in your life so i'm gonna give you a little backstory here.

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Jane Atkinson: My step daughter had a baby when she was 18, and so I have a 14 year old grandson who we joke was 10 years premature.

00:05:04.500 --> 00:05:22.110
Jane Atkinson: And he is having some trouble right now, and I was excited to come on I just set up a date for us to bring them up to the lake with us for a weekend, because I feel like he needs somebody just to like really, really, really believe in him.

00:05:22.350 --> 00:05:23.700
Joshua: Indeed, indeed I mean.

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Jane Atkinson: that's what Jane did for you.

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Joshua: She did and and, eventually, you know I look back at Jane I look back at my foster parents rodney and Christine I look back at you know my counselor Dr Harrison i've looked back at that baseball coach.

00:05:40.440 --> 00:05:44.310
Joshua: You know, and eventually my entire message as a speaker would become that.

00:05:44.670 --> 00:05:48.390
Joshua: Every kid is one caring adult away from being a success story.

00:05:49.020 --> 00:05:49.800
Joshua: so good.

00:05:50.430 --> 00:05:55.620
Joshua: And that's something looking back, I can go, will you know she was the one caring adult he was a one caring adult.

00:05:56.010 --> 00:05:59.670
Joshua: But then, if you dig into the research Harvard did a research, study on it.

00:06:00.420 --> 00:06:10.920
Joshua: they're their exact one sentence was the key difference between you know kids have become a statistic versus a success story is having one stable committed.

00:06:11.310 --> 00:06:27.270
Joshua: Adult in their life, and I think many of us can kind of look back and go, you know, hopefully, you had more than one, but you can at least look back and say I didn't realize it at the time, you know, I was, I was a pain to them at the time, my way at the time but, but they were that one.

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Jane Atkinson: yeah I think my grandson will be doing some apologies when he's.

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Joshua: later on in life, I had to do many, many hours of those.

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Jane Atkinson: Do the apology tour.

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Jane Atkinson: Oh Okay, so all right, you you fall into speaking in this way.

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Jane Atkinson: And you get on to the education circuit the youth and education circuit, I just want to tell people in a an easy This is like road warrior at it's like.

00:07:00.390 --> 00:07:18.480
Jane Atkinson: Times 100 because when you get to a town one school Board will use you but they'll really try to make sure that they get their money's worth and you'll do talk about what a day looks like in an education speakers world now we're talking middle school up to what high school.

00:07:18.630 --> 00:07:23.940
Joshua: Well, I mean the way I define it is speaking to students or educators, but the educator.

00:07:24.270 --> 00:07:38.670
Joshua: That you know, the first five years, I did not speak to educators and school staff that's an entire different message its entire different marketing, but just to just to specify middle school and high school, you know I got into it.

00:07:39.690 --> 00:07:57.360
Joshua: And mainly I would start getting initial invitations locally in Oklahoma just because I was this deck a kid you know they heard about me something that I did, and so yeah I mean my I was starting to get paid speaking at night teen years old, but you're talking about you know 250 bucks.

00:07:57.450 --> 00:08:01.680
Joshua: yeah you know 500 bucks was sort of the first couple years.

00:08:01.980 --> 00:08:14.760
Joshua: of my speaking career and my my my desire to do it was very high my earnestness to do it was very high and my message was extraordinarily undeveloped.

00:08:15.450 --> 00:08:25.020
Joshua: The, the only thing I had going for me was passion and relate ability to the audience merely by default of my age.

00:08:25.980 --> 00:08:32.880
Jane Atkinson: So, by looking back now Is there something that you wish, you would have done sooner.

00:08:33.960 --> 00:08:34.290
Joshua: well.

00:08:34.770 --> 00:08:38.430
Joshua: You know I mean I feel like I just got kind of swept away in it so quickly, I.

00:08:38.430 --> 00:08:43.020
Joshua: didn't want to miss out on the opportunity I was enjoying it when I did.

00:08:43.290 --> 00:08:59.940
Joshua: sort of you know minor research into it, I was like Oh, there are people out there that make a living at this, so I don't want to miss my window of opportunity so looking back on it, I mean the good news is I wasn't saying anything egregious that you as a parent or teacher would.

00:09:00.390 --> 00:09:07.980
Joshua: wildly disagree with whatsoever it's just looking back it's like you know my message wasn't that helpful, it was sort of like.

00:09:08.460 --> 00:09:17.010
Joshua: entertaining anecdotes that I could relate to, because I was still a teenager they were a teenager and then sort of some success or repost or quotes.

00:09:17.670 --> 00:09:19.440
Joshua: Right sprinkled in there.

00:09:19.560 --> 00:09:36.600
Jane Atkinson: Let me talk about that for a second, because I think it's not uncommon for people to deliver book reports when they become speakers okay so you've read some motivational books.

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Jane Atkinson: Yes, and you decided that you wanted to speak and and you know who I see this with is an athlete's.

00:09:46.110 --> 00:10:04.080
Jane Atkinson: They kind of somehow don't recognize that their own personal story is the most important part of what you know that's why they're hiring is you, is for you, for you people don't want a book report, they want to know what you personally have experienced in now.

00:10:04.350 --> 00:10:11.730
Joshua: Yes, yeah I mean, I can tell you that anecdotally and now qualitatively now I run a speaker's bureau in the education.

00:10:12.000 --> 00:10:23.910
Joshua: world and we book, you know 1000 paid engagements each year and and the hardest thing to do, as a speaker, but the most effective thing to do is to be yourself.

00:10:24.330 --> 00:10:29.850
Joshua: is to bring you know, whatever sense of humor you do or don't have just all of that.

00:10:30.480 --> 00:10:32.370
Joshua: In service of the audience but.

00:10:32.580 --> 00:10:41.220
Joshua: That is the most terrifying thing to do when you get started, so what I did is it's like you know it's like i'm going to be Ziegler, but if he was 19.

00:10:41.460 --> 00:10:48.420
Joshua: You know i'm going to be i'm going to be this proven entity of a speaker that I saw you know if they were 19 so you.

00:10:49.500 --> 00:11:00.330
Joshua: Know part of me wishes that you could skip over that phase and maybe some people can, if your strategic intentional enough hire a coach do the homework.

00:11:01.020 --> 00:11:10.320
Joshua: You know, but for some folks maybe that is just a phase that you have to pass through and like looking back at your middle school photos you're like what was I thinking like.

00:11:10.770 --> 00:11:10.860

00:11:12.120 --> 00:11:15.390
Jane Atkinson: My goodness I can't believe anyone hired me, are you kidding me.

00:11:16.560 --> 00:11:16.890
Joshua: But.

00:11:17.430 --> 00:11:31.650
Jane Atkinson: You know, this really is a good conversation about finding your identity, and I have seen it over and over again, when someone steps into their truest most authentic self.

00:11:32.310 --> 00:11:40.950
Jane Atkinson: Is when it's almost like they put out this vibration, to the universe that says, I have something really cool and really unique because it's only me.

00:11:41.250 --> 00:11:45.630
Jane Atkinson: Yes, then the world responds with bookings.

00:11:45.690 --> 00:11:46.530
Joshua: Yes, yeah.

00:11:46.740 --> 00:11:48.900
Joshua: Because now you're a product category of one.

00:11:50.010 --> 00:11:57.480
Joshua: But I mean you know, I think, looking back working on that message and delivery and being comfortable in yourself.

00:11:59.070 --> 00:12:10.260
Joshua: That is so incredibly hard because it's so wrapped up in your emotional psychology of you know why why aren't you comfortable being yourself why.

00:12:10.590 --> 00:12:23.520
Joshua: Why are you only skating over your personal story of foster care, instead of going deep into it and talking about the emotions and not expecting the audience to extrapolate the lessons.

00:12:23.940 --> 00:12:27.390
Joshua: But having the personal healing where you can speak about it.

00:12:27.690 --> 00:12:43.320
Joshua: From a place of you're you're healed you're not still hurt and you can extrapolate the lessons and hand them to them to to your point I think some folks look at the youth and education industry as well, this is an easy place to get started.

00:12:43.920 --> 00:12:46.710
Joshua: I would say it is all the difficulty.

00:12:47.040 --> 00:12:49.140
Joshua: of presenting in the corporate market.

00:12:49.350 --> 00:12:50.580
Joshua: Yes, you know.

00:12:50.670 --> 00:12:52.950
Joshua: One half to one fourth of the budget.

00:12:53.430 --> 00:12:53.940
Jane Atkinson: that's.

00:12:54.660 --> 00:12:56.250
Joshua: It that's the frank reality.

00:12:56.460 --> 00:13:12.630
Jane Atkinson: it's not easy for sure, and what I was alluding to earlier is they work you so you might come in and maybe three school districts are sharing you so you're you're you're doing multiple events, every day, sometimes.

00:13:12.630 --> 00:13:18.360
Jane Atkinson: Those kinds of things are you booking today, you said you do 100 bookings a year with your speaker's bureau.

00:13:18.570 --> 00:13:21.330
Jane Atkinson: which by the way, tell everybody, the name of that congratulate.

00:13:21.450 --> 00:13:23.580
Joshua: Oh, thank you it's top you speakers.

00:13:24.090 --> 00:13:28.020
Joshua: Top you speakers calm I started that five years ago.

00:13:28.410 --> 00:13:35.790
Joshua: And yeah we do not 100 but 1000 paid bookings each year and we only have a roster of 30 speakers.

00:13:36.180 --> 00:13:45.150
Joshua: they're all exclusive so that we can handle the marketing and administrative side of things, so that they can solely focus.

00:13:45.450 --> 00:13:48.540
Jane Atkinson: A lot of things for speakers and that holy cow.

00:13:48.720 --> 00:14:02.490
Joshua: It is and that's 1000 contracts, so to speak to your point of like you know, often a district will work you hard so you know I said I got started in 19 doing $250 speeches by the time i'm roughly 24.

00:14:02.760 --> 00:14:03.120

00:14:04.440 --> 00:14:06.960
Joshua: i'm doing about $250,000 a year.

00:14:07.230 --> 00:14:08.370
Joshua: yeah but.

00:14:08.490 --> 00:14:09.810
Jane Atkinson: How many speeches, is that.

00:14:09.840 --> 00:14:11.700
Joshua: that's 100 dates.

00:14:12.300 --> 00:14:20.940
Joshua: You know, at about 2500 bucks a pop and a typical day would be two to four presentations.

00:14:21.000 --> 00:14:21.780
Jane Atkinson: yeah yeah.

00:14:21.840 --> 00:14:23.520
Joshua: So a typical day could be.

00:14:23.760 --> 00:14:38.190
Joshua: speak at the middle school twice at the high school because we can't fit them all in the auditorium at once, and then in that evening we want you to speak to the parents, you know, or you know, in the afternoon you're going to you know pull together our student Council or leadership kids.

00:14:38.490 --> 00:14:48.960
Joshua: And there's going to be a bit more Q amp a, so it is, I mean the bad news is they work too hard The good news is, if you get your REPS in.

00:14:49.560 --> 00:14:51.930
Joshua: And with suit you know now.

00:14:51.990 --> 00:14:59.040
Joshua: When I do occasionally speak it's only to educators and staff and that even if you're not great.

00:14:59.130 --> 00:15:02.340
Joshua: they'll be super polite like worst case they're just going to.

00:15:02.730 --> 00:15:04.380
Joshua: pull out their phone kind of check out.

00:15:04.680 --> 00:15:06.510
Jane Atkinson: This is, educators and staff.

00:15:06.720 --> 00:15:08.850
Joshua: Not school staff yeah.

00:15:09.630 --> 00:15:14.850
Joshua: Like on it with middle school and high school, you will like they will just talk.

00:15:15.240 --> 00:15:16.380
Joshua: You will get heckled.

00:15:17.070 --> 00:15:31.020
Joshua: They will throw things at you, I mean it can it the feedback loop is instant and there were times when I was getting good and earning the right for my speech to be good.

00:15:31.740 --> 00:15:47.730
Joshua: There were three or four instances genuinely were three minutes into a 60 minute speech it's like this is going to be the most painful hour of my life, even if I was getting paid, you know Bernie brown money like 80 grand to give the speech it like no I would.

00:15:48.300 --> 00:15:49.020
Joshua: This is our.

00:15:49.350 --> 00:15:52.470
Joshua: And then I would like cry for half hour afterwards.

00:15:52.800 --> 00:15:57.690
Joshua: And i'm a very pragmatic like non emotional person, and then I would say that is it.

00:15:57.810 --> 00:15:58.620
Joshua: I am done.

00:15:59.070 --> 00:16:01.770
Joshua: Now, forget about this, so the feedback loop.

00:16:02.160 --> 00:16:18.720
Jane Atkinson: Cry what happened at the three minute mark that made you think this is going to be incredibly painful there was just a zero connection like where do you think people can make the biggest mistakes, if they are speaking to youth speakers.

00:16:18.810 --> 00:16:20.520
Joshua: Okay, so there's there's there's.

00:16:20.850 --> 00:16:37.200
Joshua: there's two parts of this first is all the premeditated elements, meaning being professional enough that you politely demand a certain setting like AV requirements.

00:16:37.890 --> 00:16:40.860
Joshua: People brush us off because they're like I don't want to be a diva and.

00:16:41.280 --> 00:16:45.060
Joshua: My response to that is you're being a diva if you ask for it last minute.

00:16:45.990 --> 00:16:47.190
Joshua: You communicate it.

00:16:47.280 --> 00:16:49.680
Joshua: At the three month mark, where we signed the contract.

00:16:49.980 --> 00:16:56.910
Joshua: or one month ahead of time hey just want to remind you of this, you know couple weeks before in the call hey not trying to be difficult, but these three things.

00:16:57.120 --> 00:16:58.500
Joshua: really make a big difference.

00:16:58.560 --> 00:17:00.600
Joshua: yeah i'm not trying to be difficult.

00:17:00.660 --> 00:17:01.620
Jane Atkinson: But those things.

00:17:03.060 --> 00:17:09.000
Joshua: So, for example in a gym you want all the students on one side, not on both sides.

00:17:09.060 --> 00:17:13.410
Joshua: Right in a gym which is made for basketball not communication.

00:17:13.710 --> 00:17:21.990
Joshua: hey go grab those stand up speakers that are in the band room and let me speak through those instead of the ones, out of the ceiling.

00:17:22.440 --> 00:17:24.360
Joshua: which are going to bounce all over the place.

00:17:24.420 --> 00:17:25.200
Jane Atkinson: Okay, good.

00:17:25.320 --> 00:17:34.950
Joshua: So half of the equation is being professional enough and systematic enough in treating each good with that level of intentionality and respect.

00:17:35.130 --> 00:17:35.490
Jane Atkinson: Right.

00:17:35.520 --> 00:17:37.800
Joshua: That you get yourself into a system where you're.

00:17:37.950 --> 00:17:41.610
Joshua: or or a environment where you're more likely to connect.

00:17:42.240 --> 00:17:44.730
Joshua: And then the second component is the speech.

00:17:46.170 --> 00:18:05.730
Joshua: And what I have found works best with students is in the beginning, if you can have self deprecating humor at all, you know sort of you know they're coming in expecting to be preached at lectured spoken down to.

00:18:06.390 --> 00:18:12.630
Joshua: You know yelled at you know stay off drugs, you know get the College, you know pull your pants up these sorts of things.

00:18:13.080 --> 00:18:13.920
Joshua: So anything.

00:18:14.040 --> 00:18:15.810
Joshua: anything you can do to.

00:18:16.530 --> 00:18:21.960
Joshua: Appropriately self deprecating make fun of yourself and to combat what they're expecting.

00:18:22.350 --> 00:18:24.720
Joshua: Surprise them suck them in.

00:18:25.020 --> 00:18:29.940
Joshua: then get vulnerable, so you start you get vulnerable, so you start funny.

00:18:30.210 --> 00:18:40.620
Joshua: Then you get vulnerable and then now you have earned the right to extrapolate hey here's how my story relates to you what about you and your life, and how are you.

00:18:41.730 --> 00:18:43.560
Joshua: People who can do that.

00:18:44.550 --> 00:18:45.960
Joshua: And i've seen people do it.

00:18:46.140 --> 00:18:47.940
Joshua: In 100 different flavors.

00:18:49.260 --> 00:18:52.740
Joshua: But if you can make them laugh make them cry and give them hope.

00:18:53.910 --> 00:18:56.370
Joshua: They will, unlike the corporate audience.

00:18:58.350 --> 00:19:00.660
Joshua: If you nail the speech.

00:19:02.490 --> 00:19:18.090
Joshua: And I have friends who are phenomenal corporate speakers i've done a handful of corporate speeches they've gone quite well that's not a world i'm interested in, but was student, they will treat you like the Beatles they will line up a mile long afterwards.

00:19:18.600 --> 00:19:19.920
Joshua: tell you, thank you to.

00:19:20.160 --> 00:19:26.340
Joshua: genuinely say hey I was going through a tough time this was super appreciate it, you know i'm very appreciative of this.

00:19:26.730 --> 00:19:27.300
Jane Atkinson: isn't that night.

00:19:27.660 --> 00:19:37.170
Joshua: So the response in both if you ain't good like they're going to give it to you, and if you are good they're going to give it to you is really unprecedented.

00:19:37.380 --> 00:19:54.930
Jane Atkinson: Lots of love lots of left what you were talking about though disarming them with self deprecating humor and the the scenario all of that is good, regardless of who you're speaking to I think that when you open with something that self.

00:19:54.930 --> 00:20:09.870
Jane Atkinson: deprecating you do disarm and you say I don't take myself very seriously and i'm not here to preach to you like it sets the stage for a lot of audiences there's a lot of audiences who would appreciate that so.

00:20:10.620 --> 00:20:11.670
Jane Atkinson: that's a good one, that regard.

00:20:11.670 --> 00:20:12.720
Joshua: Agreed agreed.

00:20:13.290 --> 00:20:17.820
Joshua: Now speaking to educators and staff, I actually take a slightly different approach do.

00:20:17.970 --> 00:20:22.920
Joshua: sort of I sort of very serious I get right to the moment of vulnerability.

00:20:23.340 --> 00:20:33.090
Joshua: I try to within the first three minutes deliver one of my best takeaways because I, I think the posture of a student is.

00:20:35.640 --> 00:20:37.170
Joshua: skepticism.

00:20:37.440 --> 00:20:38.160

00:20:39.240 --> 00:20:40.920
Joshua: A worry of irrelevance.

00:20:41.220 --> 00:20:45.720
Joshua: Okay, so you kind of win them over that way, I think the posture in interviewing.

00:20:46.080 --> 00:20:54.810
Joshua: In serving educators and school staff is you know what does the speaker know they don't spend day in, day out in a classroom.

00:20:55.110 --> 00:20:56.220
Joshua: I.

00:20:56.370 --> 00:21:06.330
Joshua: With educators and staff, I tried to get to the point of like hey this guy's got some things to say, and then I started sprinkling in self deprecating humor and like now we're off to the races.

00:21:06.690 --> 00:21:08.820
Jane Atkinson: Give them a little gold first.

00:21:08.880 --> 00:21:13.680
Jane Atkinson: Yes, and disarm them I love that approach josh this is.

00:21:14.190 --> 00:21:30.150
Joshua: The way I think about it honestly if, like if I think if I was a band if I was like ranked my most popular songs i'm not playing songs number one, but I am giving them song number two in the first three minutes, like, I want to prove to them i'm not messing around.

00:21:30.510 --> 00:21:32.610
Joshua: This is going to be valuable, this is going to be worth.

00:21:32.910 --> 00:21:34.560
Joshua: The 6090 minutes of your time.

00:21:36.180 --> 00:21:42.990
Jane Atkinson: This is so good, I have so many questions for you, and so many things to unpack, let me just look at my notes and see if there.

00:21:42.990 --> 00:21:43.320
Joshua: was a.

00:21:43.620 --> 00:21:47.910
Jane Atkinson: thing in here that I think what is worthwhile um.

00:21:48.120 --> 00:21:58.860
Joshua: Well, I have something that's kind of interesting dancing around what we're talking about yeah so we did i'm talking about the importance of getting the speech right, I mean that's a lot of what we're talking about whether it be with.

00:21:59.100 --> 00:22:21.000
Joshua: Students or with educators and and staff folks at work with students so for our for agency, we surveyed 1300 of our clients so roughly you know year and a quarters of our clients and and got them to articulate what was the single decision point of you hiring X speaker.

00:22:21.570 --> 00:22:25.050
Joshua: So and and rough and.

00:22:25.770 --> 00:22:30.450
Joshua: Like 88% of them came back with one of the following four categories.

00:22:30.810 --> 00:22:31.320
Jane Atkinson: You tell.

00:22:31.590 --> 00:22:35.760
Joshua: us all of these point back to the common denominator of the quality of the speech but.

00:22:36.600 --> 00:22:40.380
Joshua: Number one I the decision maker so i'm the superintendent.

00:22:40.770 --> 00:22:42.960
Joshua: Right saw that person speak.

00:22:43.440 --> 00:22:46.170
Joshua: And knew we had to have them so that's that's.

00:22:46.260 --> 00:22:49.590
Jane Atkinson: Your has got to be.

00:22:50.040 --> 00:22:50.610
Joshua: For sure.

00:22:50.910 --> 00:22:54.390
Jane Atkinson: One business builder and if it's not happening.

00:22:55.020 --> 00:22:56.040
Joshua: The speech is broken.

00:22:56.130 --> 00:23:08.820
Jane Atkinson: His speech, we do examine the speech, there is no better form of marketing than a great speech and that's why you were able to build such an amazing book of business so quickly.

00:23:09.060 --> 00:23:16.650
Jane Atkinson: Even though you're saying you weren't super super good, you must have had something, because the business came in the repeat business.

00:23:16.770 --> 00:23:25.350
Joshua: Yes, yes, and I eventually got good, but the first couple years just being honest, it was it was Okay, it was okay all right so so category number one.

00:23:25.740 --> 00:23:32.910
Joshua: I the decision maker saw you speak right so so I saw you and I am the final say I can sign the check I can send contract.

00:23:33.060 --> 00:23:38.820
Joshua: Yes, way number to someone one seat away from me, the decision maker.

00:23:39.120 --> 00:23:39.630
Jane Atkinson: mm hmm.

00:23:40.050 --> 00:23:41.880
Joshua: Maybe my assistant principal.

00:23:42.240 --> 00:23:45.420
Joshua: Yes, i'll you speak then circle back to me but.

00:23:46.110 --> 00:23:50.580
Joshua: But then I want to, I want to ask trick that one because of these next two categories so that's category two or four.

00:23:51.120 --> 00:23:57.480
Joshua: Category three or four I the decision maker saw a video not live of you speaking.

00:23:58.290 --> 00:24:10.440
Joshua: And I was impressed or number four someone one seed away from me so video of you speaking, was impressed forwarded it to me now the interesting thing is, if someone one seat away from you.

00:24:11.820 --> 00:24:21.030
Joshua: From the final decision maker sees you speak you almost think Well, this is a done deal, but at least in the youth and education world here's what happens so let's pretend Jane you're my boss.

00:24:21.150 --> 00:24:23.280
Joshua: Right you're the superintendent you're the final say.

00:24:23.580 --> 00:24:24.750
Joshua: On the assistant principal.

00:24:25.110 --> 00:24:30.030
Joshua: And I see I see you know, Michelle speak she's unbelievable we got to have her she's great.

00:24:30.510 --> 00:24:39.090
Joshua: I come back to you, I say all this she's great exactly what our students need to hear exactly what our staff needs to hear, even though you trust me.

00:24:39.330 --> 00:24:43.140
Joshua: Yes, here's the big thing in the education world.

00:24:44.070 --> 00:24:45.600
Joshua: they're not risking their money.

00:24:46.620 --> 00:24:48.120
Joshua: they're risking their reputation.

00:24:49.710 --> 00:24:57.960
Joshua: As a superintendent if I put you up in front of our 2000 students or our staff and it isn't a home run.

00:24:59.340 --> 00:25:02.310
Joshua: Like I don't care about the five grand eight grand 12 grand.

00:25:03.840 --> 00:25:16.380
Joshua: I got to do with the blowback so what you're going to do is you're going to go watch the video just to make sure and typically what happens is the person in person, indeed, is a nine out of 10 speaker yeah.

00:25:16.440 --> 00:25:19.530
Joshua: And you heard that when I came back from the COMP they're great we got to have them.

00:25:20.070 --> 00:25:21.270
Joshua: You go watch the video.

00:25:21.750 --> 00:25:25.500
Joshua: Very common with folks we work with the video is a six out of 10.

00:25:25.890 --> 00:25:32.250
Joshua: A seven out of 10 so now there becomes this chasm between my enthusiasm and your due diligence.

00:25:32.400 --> 00:25:33.510
Jane Atkinson: become skeptical.

00:25:33.720 --> 00:25:38.790
Joshua: And so, if you can close that gap where step one work on the speech.

00:25:39.360 --> 00:25:46.680
Joshua: You know, make sure the in person speeches as good as humanly possible because there's no video editing or trickery you can do to solve.

00:25:46.980 --> 00:25:58.950
Joshua: For a speech that's lacking, but then secondly intentionally strategically obsessive Lee focus on that video you know when I say we're doing 1000 bookings a year.

00:25:59.700 --> 00:26:01.200
Joshua: Our internal research shows.

00:26:01.260 --> 00:26:12.270
Joshua: 85% of those are either from speaking on that stage, or that video that's why we, those are really the only two marketing elements we obsess about.

00:26:12.870 --> 00:26:21.720
Jane Atkinson: That is so, in what you're talking about crosses into all industries, no but everybody's reputation is on the line.

00:26:21.930 --> 00:26:24.240
Jane Atkinson: mm hmm, especially in corporate.

00:26:24.480 --> 00:26:32.160
Jane Atkinson: You know the VP tells the President, you need to get this person, and then it doesn't go over well that.

00:26:32.250 --> 00:26:44.940
Jane Atkinson: That could be ending I mean that could be very, very bad thing right and so reputation is always on the line and I love this decision making this the one seat away.

00:26:44.940 --> 00:26:54.090
Jane Atkinson: idea so good, and your emphasis on making sure that your video is indicative of your talent.

00:26:55.050 --> 00:27:04.020
Jane Atkinson: Yes, not not spend the money on the video because you think something else will be more important it won't.

00:27:04.380 --> 00:27:08.040
Joshua: And I remember one time very early in her.

00:27:09.630 --> 00:27:26.490
Jane Atkinson: career trajectory kendra hall had an idea will speak for video so well before she was getting the 30 K speaking fees she might have taken five in order to get this absolutely.

00:27:26.670 --> 00:27:41.160
Jane Atkinson: Big stage footage because that three camera shoot with audience reactions, is going to do the trick for you there's a lot of ways, so that phrase will speak for video becomes more and more important.

00:27:41.220 --> 00:27:41.700

00:27:42.900 --> 00:27:45.690
Jane Atkinson: Long videos we're talking under three minutes right.

00:27:45.870 --> 00:27:48.810
Joshua: yeah I mean most of our videos that we create.

00:27:49.290 --> 00:27:53.520
Joshua: Are between five and seven minutes and two things i'll say about this.

00:27:53.760 --> 00:28:03.180
Joshua: Number one what I tend to see well intended speakers do is they go well i'm a great speaker so what I need to do is I need to go find a great videographer.

00:28:03.450 --> 00:28:06.270
Joshua: And then I put my trust in them to make the video.

00:28:06.930 --> 00:28:21.600
Joshua: This you will inevitably get a great video, but not a persuasive or priests waste of video to the decision maker, so you need to think of yourself as a speaker, as both the talent, yes you're the one in the shoot but you're also the director.

00:28:22.800 --> 00:28:30.150
Joshua: know your client, you know your customer you know the decision making rubric not the videographer and nor should they.

00:28:31.200 --> 00:28:42.150
Joshua: And then, and that leads to why kind of the five to seven minute range is you'll see some videos that are awesome like you know here you are being interviewed by oprah or whatever and it's like.

00:28:42.960 --> 00:28:45.480
Joshua: You understand i'm not hiring you for an interview.

00:28:46.620 --> 00:28:48.630
Joshua: that's not the due diligence on.

00:28:48.990 --> 00:28:49.890
Jane Atkinson: A game yeah.

00:28:49.920 --> 00:28:53.790
Joshua: I need to see you know we talked about those best songs like I.

00:28:54.390 --> 00:28:58.140
Joshua: Do not my best advice put the best stuff in there.

00:28:58.290 --> 00:28:59.280
Joshua: Yes, i'm.

00:28:59.400 --> 00:29:19.530
Jane Atkinson: hide it don't keep it concealed we made that mistake with vince pesenti he would get up on the chair and demonstrate what it was like to speed ski at the Olympics at 150 miles an hour and I thought originally when we first got together that seeing him on the Chair would scare people.

00:29:19.680 --> 00:29:23.220
Jane Atkinson: I thought they would be like that guy doing is he crazy.

00:29:23.550 --> 00:29:31.950
Jane Atkinson: And so, but as soon as we recognize that that was a mistake let's bump it up to the very beginning that's the best song.

00:29:32.010 --> 00:29:40.740
Jane Atkinson: Indeed, to the very beginning we're not giving away, you know the the gold on the preview video everything changed.

00:29:40.800 --> 00:29:43.530
Joshua: Indeed it's impossible to give away the gold, I mean.

00:29:43.710 --> 00:29:55.530
Joshua: Even in schools where if you're quite good, I mean the youth and education fee elasticity if you're quite good if somewhere between 20 $515,000.

00:29:55.830 --> 00:29:57.240
Joshua: that's that's sort of the range.

00:29:58.770 --> 00:30:05.100
Joshua: Put the golden there, because if a school is so budget strap that that they can't do any of that range.

00:30:05.670 --> 00:30:10.770
Joshua: What the worst case they're going to show your five minute video in a classroom they were never going to bring you in anyway.

00:30:11.040 --> 00:30:18.660
Joshua: yeah for all of those schools and organizations and nonprofits that work with youth that are qualified to do have the budget.

00:30:19.320 --> 00:30:27.480
Joshua: Again, they don't want to risk their reputation, so they you know they're worried about what are you actually going to say to our students, what are you going to say to our staff.

00:30:27.930 --> 00:30:42.480
Joshua: Because again reputation and want this to go well, I don't want parent blowback you know if you're funny I want to see some of that funny so I understand it's like PG PG 13 because, as a principal I get you need to engage the kids.

00:30:42.810 --> 00:30:52.110
Joshua: But you know I don't want parents calling me up mad because you made you made some inappropriate joke to their kid and now they're telling the parent about it, there are lots of subtleties.

00:30:52.800 --> 00:30:59.580
Joshua: You know the make the the youth and education industry a joy, but also, you know there's there's different externalities in there.

00:31:00.540 --> 00:31:01.680
Jane Atkinson: let's talk.

00:31:03.390 --> 00:31:13.740
Jane Atkinson: The idea of not putting your top three songs in the DEMO video I liken that back to being a decision based in fear.

00:31:14.940 --> 00:31:16.290
Jane Atkinson: just give it to them yeah.

00:31:16.680 --> 00:31:21.600
Jane Atkinson: yeah so So what if they show it to all their teachers and students and they don't pay, you who cares.

00:31:21.660 --> 00:31:26.910
Jane Atkinson: yeah yeah yeah exactly gonna destroy the church directory of your career, no, no.

00:31:27.360 --> 00:31:38.940
Jane Atkinson: let's just go ahead and put it in there um talk a little bit about your average booking fee level right now I know you're being worked really.

00:31:39.390 --> 00:31:51.720
Jane Atkinson: Hard during a day, but what might a day rate be in the youth and education again let's just clarify we're talking what elementary middle school high school, but not college right.

00:31:52.080 --> 00:31:56.430
Joshua: We do book college stuff, but most of our most of our stuff is K through 12 school.

00:31:57.150 --> 00:31:59.700
Joshua: Students or the educators.

00:32:00.450 --> 00:32:07.500
Joshua: So so i'll talk you through those and and let's for all these examples i'm going to give you let's say that you're a.

00:32:07.770 --> 00:32:09.660
Joshua: Eight out of 10 speaker.

00:32:09.870 --> 00:32:12.840
Joshua: Okay, with a eight out of 10 DEMO video.

00:32:13.020 --> 00:32:16.290
Joshua: Okay, good so let's let's have those two underlining assumptions.

00:32:17.040 --> 00:32:18.150
Joshua: In elementary.

00:32:18.630 --> 00:32:28.650
Joshua: This is a space you're going to get work the hardest just because of budget and size and venue most middle schools and high schools, a lot of them have a nice.

00:32:29.610 --> 00:32:31.050
Joshua: 800 seat auditorium.

00:32:31.410 --> 00:32:38.280
Joshua: thousand seat gym most elementary schools, do not have this so it's simply out of a you know limited space.

00:32:39.360 --> 00:32:50.520
Joshua: If you are that eight out of 10 speaker in the elementary space you're going to command 2000 to 20 503,000 for a bay and you're probably going to speak two to four times.

00:32:50.670 --> 00:32:51.060

00:32:52.170 --> 00:32:59.910
Joshua: middle school high school if you're that eight out of 10 speaker you're going to do 123 school assemblies in a day.

00:33:00.420 --> 00:33:03.120
Joshua: And you're gonna get paid three to five grand.

00:33:03.690 --> 00:33:05.250
Joshua: Or you defy hmm.

00:33:05.880 --> 00:33:13.980
Joshua: If you're an eight out of 10 speaker for college you're not a celebrity nor micro celebrity that's known for something.

00:33:15.000 --> 00:33:18.780
Joshua: you're going to get four to seven.

00:33:19.230 --> 00:33:23.040
Joshua: Okay, and if you're speaking to.

00:33:23.520 --> 00:33:25.710
Joshua: educators and school staff.

00:33:26.700 --> 00:33:29.550
Joshua: And you're the eight out of 10 you're going to get.

00:33:30.210 --> 00:33:32.310
Joshua: Eight to $15,000.

00:33:32.670 --> 00:33:35.550
Joshua: Okay, for and that's typically for one speech.

00:33:36.420 --> 00:33:47.070
Jane Atkinson: that's good that's very, very helpful, I think, for a lot of people who might be thinking about dipping the toe in the water, or maybe they're just saying nope i'm good i'm going to stay here in corporate.

00:33:47.400 --> 00:34:05.640
Jane Atkinson: A lot of people in my world will come up through education and then transfer over to corporate and it makes perfect sense, but what I know about those people is that they they have proven themselves over and over.

00:34:05.670 --> 00:34:06.690
Joshua: And over sure.

00:34:06.810 --> 00:34:20.880
Jane Atkinson: They are road warriors they know how to do it, they know how to book and the business, and now they just need to transfer their knowledge over to doing it in corporate and it's not always easy, I know I know you know that.

00:34:21.390 --> 00:34:33.180
Jane Atkinson: Well josh shipp um if somebody wanted to let's say they like to be considered as one of your exclusives what should they do you have a process for that.

00:34:33.870 --> 00:34:40.590
Joshua: yeah I mean we we get about 300 applications, a year and we tend to take on one speaker, a year after.

00:34:41.010 --> 00:34:42.600
Joshua: 12 months of due diligence.

00:34:42.690 --> 00:34:43.740
Jane Atkinson: Oh wow okay.

00:34:44.280 --> 00:34:51.420
Joshua: So, because the way I built the Bureau is I was represented by a couple bureaus coming up as a speaker.

00:34:51.900 --> 00:35:01.140
Jane Atkinson: And I built it can imagine, this is uncommon around the things i'm most appreciated about certain bureaus and the things it was like as a little frustrating like.

00:35:01.410 --> 00:35:09.510
Joshua: You know if I was to build my thing I would do it this way, so we deploy all the marketing and we pay for all the marketing.

00:35:09.930 --> 00:35:14.880
Joshua: Okay, you know, so our thing is like hey if you literally just want to be the talent.

00:35:15.330 --> 00:35:17.040
Joshua: And you want to spend your days.

00:35:17.430 --> 00:35:20.880
Joshua: Working on your next speech, making the current speech better.

00:35:21.150 --> 00:35:27.120
Joshua: You know, searching a book writing a book out parts of things that actually lift the business will handle.

00:35:27.630 --> 00:35:39.810
Joshua: Everything and marketing administrative business, so I mean, like any bureau, we want to see that you've booked I mean in our world probably 40 grand of your own business.

00:35:40.320 --> 00:35:41.280
Joshua: And it's not.

00:35:42.450 --> 00:35:45.120
Joshua: exclusively about the money but it's about.

00:35:45.720 --> 00:35:51.960
Joshua: If you've booked 40 grand of your own business, it means like I had to go through at 19 2021 years old.

00:35:52.470 --> 00:35:54.570
Joshua: You have slowly painfully.

00:35:54.750 --> 00:35:55.140
Joshua: figure out.

00:35:55.860 --> 00:36:00.270
Joshua: How to articulate what you do and your actual message.

00:36:00.360 --> 00:36:03.660
Jane Atkinson: yeah that's the scoreboard right, I mean you've paid your dues and.

00:36:03.690 --> 00:36:06.510
Jane Atkinson: Yes, we've got a number that allows us to see that.

00:36:06.510 --> 00:36:10.080
Joshua: So our typical like success story and folks that were.

00:36:10.140 --> 00:36:21.870
Joshua: Really lethal with is someone who's doing 80 grand a year on their own, they work with us and by year, two or three they're doing 250 grand and all they got to do is show up and do what they love.

00:36:22.050 --> 00:36:26.340
Jane Atkinson: I love it that's really good let's say the name of your Bureau again.

00:36:26.430 --> 00:36:28.200
Joshua: Sure, its top youth.

00:36:28.230 --> 00:36:31.560
Jane Atkinson: Speakers hop youth speakers COM.

00:36:31.620 --> 00:36:32.340
Joshua: that's correct.

00:36:32.520 --> 00:36:36.210
Jane Atkinson: Okay josh shipp you are always.

00:36:37.350 --> 00:36:45.630
Jane Atkinson: a wealth of knowledge it's so great, to talk to you i'm so excited for you in this adventure how how long is.

00:36:45.690 --> 00:36:49.920
Joshua: that the Bureau for for five for five years now and.

00:36:50.460 --> 00:36:54.750
Jane Atkinson: that's how long it's been since we've talked so well there you go and I love it because.

00:36:55.290 --> 00:36:59.790
Joshua: It was like i'm not interested in corporate my heart because of that foster kids story.

00:37:00.090 --> 00:37:07.980
Joshua: I shared is with educators and I thought you know I wish I had someone like me who could who could have guided me.

00:37:08.370 --> 00:37:16.380
Joshua: On both like you know what are you actually saying and your message and the business side of it so it's it's and if you don't check out the site.

00:37:16.770 --> 00:37:24.570
Joshua: folks can see some examples of kind of what we were talking about with the video that's five to seven minutes and making sure you give away the gold.

00:37:24.870 --> 00:37:34.500
Jane Atkinson: Okay, I love it Thank you so much josh shipp I know you listening at home will have taken a page of notes on this one, hopefully you're not driving.

00:37:35.160 --> 00:37:43.200
Jane Atkinson: There was a lot of gold in them there hills Thank you again for your time and with that we'll say see you soon wealthy speakers bye for now everyone.

Highlights you won’t want to miss:

  • Josh’s early struggles led him to the stage. [1:00]
  • Speaking to the youth market. [7:00]
  • Be s product category of one. [11:30]
  • A day in the life speaking to students. [14:00]
  • Then teachers and faculty. [20:30]
  • Why do they choose you? [22:00]
  • Play your best song early. [27:00]
  • Fees, K through college. [32:00]

 To date, Josh has written two national bestsellers, “The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans” and “The Teen’s Guide to World Domination.” Thanks to the support of teachers, counsellors, and a wonderful set of foster parents, Josh went on to be listed on Inc. Magazine’s 30 under 30 list and completed his postgraduate studies at Harvard. Josh is regularly called on by OPRAH, CNN, FOX, The New York Times, 20/20, Good Morning America, and others to provide commentary on common challenges parents and teachers face.

If you could use some great ideas to help you narrow your lane and discover your target market, you simply can’t afford to miss this episode!

I hope you’ll download and learn.


Josh’s website
Top Youth Speakers
Josh’s LinkedIn profile
Jane’s LinkedIn profile
The Wealthy Speaker School

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