What It's About
A librarian books gigs as a presentation skills coach.
Words of Wisdom
Don't forget the importance of pricing when it comes to your service or product. Keep adjusting as needed to find what works best to attract your target audience.
Up Front Communication is not the first side hustle Lauren has had. She is also a semi-professional belly dancer and has danced in restaurants around her city for years.
Notes from Chris
Episode 1064For many years, Lauren Sergy worked as a Librarian at a Library Consortium in Canada. In her role, she coordinated conferences, organized slide decks for the CEO, and ran training programs. During these programs, she’d often be asked to give presentations to a variety of audiences. While training presentations can often put their listeners to sleep faster than reading the dictionary, Lauren’s presentations were different. People would approach her after she spoke and ask her to present at their conferences. But they didn’t want to hear her speak about library databases, they wanted her to teach them how to present. With a background in acting and radio announcing, it’s not surprising Lauren excelled at speaking to a crowd. And she was happy to share her knowledge and support others in improving their skills. However, the more requests she got, the more she realized that she could add to her financial bookshelf by offering her knowledge to others in exchange for a fee. To start, she made a free posting on Kijiji—Canada’s version of Craigslist. She positioned herself as a speaking and presentation skills coach, and within two weeks she had received her first paid client. From there, the requests slowly started rolling in. Gaining clients and being compensated for sharing her knowledge helped Lauren to boost her confidence. She began to wonder, “What if I could get paid for giving presentations on how to give presentations?” Based on the number of requests she’d received, she suspected there was a real demand—so she decided to give the idea a try. She created a website under her name, Lauren Sergy, (her only real startup cost), and positioned herself as a professional speaker who specialized in presentations. From there, she started reaching out to all the Rotary Clubs in her city to build up her experience. She also told every single person she knew about her new business. Her hard work paid off, and her first speaking gigs came from word-of-mouth recommendations. It’s not just her number of clients that has increased—the number in her bank account has also gone up. Within the first couple of years, she had earned $10,000 from coaching and paid speaking opportunities, and that number seemed poised to rise. However, she was still working as a librarian, as well as raising children at home, and was starting to feel burned out. Looking back, Lauren is grateful that she saved her side hustle income so she could smoothly transition after her job loss occurred. Having a side hustle also supported her during two maternity leaves with little change to her family’s lifestyle, and has allowed her husband to become a stay-at-home dad. She recommends that anyone starting a side hustle remain flexible. By leaving herself open to work with different types of clients, she’s been able to custom tailor her services based on their input. She’s also determined to keep things simple, and not worry too much about getting everything perfect. Those qualities have allowed Lauren to now bring in a steady yearly income. Looking forward, her goal is to improve her systems to become more efficient.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Up Front Communication: Learn more about Lauren and her business at her website.
- Kijiji: It's like Craiglist, but for Canadians.
- College Lecturer Makes Money by Helping Other Instructors Teach Better: How a woman who uses skills she learned in her day job as a college lecturer to instruct other teachers how to be more successful in the classroom.
- Charismatic Coaching Duo Earns $50,000/Month: These two friends knew that charisma and confidence were important to success—but the success they create goes far beyond their wildest imaginations. They begin by selling $10 ebooks, and now sell $600 courses every single day.
- New Mother Gives Life To Self-Care Coaching Business: In need of some routine before returning to her job as an Ultrasound Technician, a new mother creates a side business focused on self-care coaching.
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