October 30, 2017

“karmaSpeaker was a lifeline for us”: How Pro Speaker Rebecca Heiss Evolved Her Business

BY Caitlin Delohery IN Professional Speaking 0 Comment

Evolutionary biologist Rebecca Heiss knows a bit about what makes modern businesses run. She’s built her professional speaking career on exploring the ways we can overcome our Stone Age brains and hardwired impulses to speed professional growth. She brings awareness to outmoded patterns — such as fearing outsiders and being chronically stressed — and helps companies implement strategies that will make their brains work more productively.

When she first started out as a speaker, Heiss knew that she was using another “Stone Age” brain to run her business: she used a spreadsheet to organize thousands of contacts, important outreach plans, and a dense follow-up schedule.

“I don’t even like to talk about it because it was so painful and frustrating,” Heiss says of her spreadsheeted past. “I was losing things left and right and forgetting to reach out to people.”

As her business started to grow, Heiss hired other employees, and her team members would often be editing the spreadsheet simultaneously. “We spent so much time just trying to figure out what everybody else was doing — it was a nightmare.”

Contacts would receive multiple follow-ups in a short period of time. “It was really tough to handle anything more than a hundred people,” Heiss says. As her database grew by thousands of names, the spreadsheet method couldn’t keep up with the job. Her business brain needed to evolve.

Enter karmaSpeaker.

“karmaSpeaker came at the right time,” Heiss says. “The efficiency and simplicity appeal to the scientist in me.”  

With karmaSpeaker, Heiss improved her referrals process, expanded her prospective client base, and increased email touches.

Here’s how.

Kicked off with ease.

Heiss found karmaSpeaker intuitive from the get-go. “I’m pretty old school when it comes to technology, and with karmaSpeaker, I could immediately plug and play. Everything was very user-friendly and I was able to figure things out pretty quickly.”

For anything that Heiss couldn’t solve on her own, she tapped karmaSpeaker’s accessible, responsive customer service team. “They’ve become like friends of mine,” Heiss says. “It’s always quick, thorough, and thoughtful. They really streamlined everything for me into a very simple, tailored system. It’s been an incredible experience.”

Customized solutions.

Like many professional speakers, Heiss needed a highly customizable way to manage her potential clients, gig contacts, and referral base — and she found that, and more, in karmaSpeaker.

Using karmaSpeaker and the highly responsive customer service team, Heiss developed a personalized system of tags and top-level fields so she could quickly access only the most important contacts and information. It was easy to filter out the noise.

“Every time I need a feature tweak or a workaround so the system mirrors the way I think and work, I call or email customer service, and it’s done. Their customer service has been all about customization.”

Increased meaningful email touches.

Before karmaSpeaker, Heiss and her team wasted a lot of time trying to get a clear picture of who had followed up with leads and clients. What’s more, they lacked a system that allowed them to follow up with contacts at the optimal time.

With their new system, Heiss and her team developed a coherent, time-based email strategy that expanded their outreach and made their communications more meaningful.

“In the time it used to take for us to send one or two on-target emails, we can now send 100 to 200 email touches, confident they are reaching the right contact at the right time.”

Brought in more leads.

And, the targeted outreach is working. Heiss has found that karmaSpeaker is putting her in front of more potential clients and giving her more opportunities.

“It’s the nature of the speaking business that it’s difficult to quantify the boost precisely. I’m working to nail down leads for summer 2018.”

“But, without a doubt, karmaSpeaker is increasing our business, bringing in more leads, and boosting the probability that we’ll get booked for new gigs.”

Improved referrals process.

The professional speaking business runs on referrals. Remembering how all your contacts are connected, who recommended you to whom, and when to optimally follow-up on a referral can make or break a speaking business.

Heiss says, “In this industry, which is so referral based, talking to the right people at the right time is essential. The karmaSpeaker referral tool helps me keep all my connections and details about our relationship together. So, the next time I open up the contact for Jane Doe, it reminds me that John from XYZ Company gave me a great referral. I can bring up John in my follow-up, to remind her of his good experience.”

Heiss keeps more than just relationship details in karmaSpeaker. She relies on notes about previous phone calls, emails, and in-person meetings to close more gigs. “Those notes are absolutely essential,” says Heiss.

Boosted productivity.

When you’re professional speaker or a solopreneur, it’s all about the hustle. When Heiss isn’t rocking the platform, she’s working her contacts for her next gig. Before karmaSpeaker, Heiss was noticing important follow-ups and lead nurturing was falling through the cracks.

Now? karmaSpeaker helps her hit her goals, remember to make all her follow-ups, and keep herself motivated.

“You know how people say that they would die without their phones? Well, I would die without karma. It’s the first thing I look at when I get to work. I check karma before I check my email.”

She sets automatic reminders that schedule out everything that needs to be done in a day and the contacts each activity is linked to. “It outlines my day for me. It keeps me posted on what’s due today, what’s coming up tomorrow, which clients I last connected with, my brainstorming session with my team that I need to follow up on — everything.”

It also helps Heiss keep track of the work she’s already done and motivate herself to push a little harder. “It holds me accountable to myself, which is crucial when you’re running a really small business. I’ll feel like I’ve spent the entire day on the phone, and check my outreach list and realize I’ve only made 10 calls. Then I know it’s time to make another push.”

“People say humans only use 25% of their brains,” says Heiss. “While that’s not exactly true, I do feel like I’m only using about a quarter of the great features karma has to offer.”

And she knows that the CRM will continue to evolve with her. “karmaSpeaker has been a lifeline for us. I’m excited to see where it goes next.”

Ready to give karmaSpeaker a whirl? Get access to karmaSpeaker now.

Caitlin got her roots in inbound marketing before it got its name. As a teenager in the 90s, she promoted her independently published magazines by writing about the importance of indie publishing all over AOL. Now, Caitlin is passionate about moving people and society forward. She follows thought leaders in the National Speakers Association, the staffing industry, and all human rights movements. She loves learning and helping people learn.

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