Do you have an inspirational story or expertise that can help others improve their lives – lose weight, boost their memory, make money on Ebay or whatever?
Would you like to be known as an authority on the subject?
Would you like to increase your income while you boost your impact?
If so, you need to increase your credibility, build a strong brand and market yourself more widely.
Charleston-based Whitney McDuff Speaker Brand Strategy & PR can help you get there and literally transform your life – and all the lives you touch.
Working With Purpose-Driven Leaders
Whitney works with a roster of purpose-driven leaders to build visible, credible and profitable brands through public speaking opportunities and on-point public relations. She guides subject authorities to make meaningful impact through the power of their stories.
Whitney is a South Carolina girl who found her niche following a tragic car accident that left a friend unable to walk. When he used an exoskeleton to complete the Cooper River Bridge Run, Whitney helped frame his story and connect him to speaking opportunities around the world.
That was the lightbulb moment for her, and now she wants to set off light bulbs above the heads of everyone with a story and a passion to effect change.
“All of my clients share a story and a desire to impact others,” Whitney says.
“She Just Plain Gets Things Done”
A great example is Curt Mercandante, a branding expert for solopreneurs based here in Charleston. Mercandante turned to Whitney to help him build a roadmap to leverage media opportunities and get on the speaking circuit in support of his book, Five Pillars of the Freedom Lifestyle.
Today he is a sought-after speaker spreading his trademarked approach to delivering the right message to the right clients.
“I’ve worked with Whitney for several years, and she is a full of more energy than just about anyone with whom I’ve ever worked. Not just energy – productive, harnessed energy,” he said. “She just plain gets things done — and has the natural talent paired with skill to successfully promote events (she’s done several successfully for me), book launches (she helped me reach bestseller status), and media campaigns (she’s helping me now gain some kick-ass media placements for my client).
Almost Anyone Can Build a Brand Through Speaking
Whitney says her speaker brand strategy can help almost anyone build a brand through speaking. But there is one kind of client she avoids – those who seek fame without purpose and measure themselves against vanity metrics. “There is a fit for someone measuring Instagram followers, but I am not it,” she says.
Most of her clients are speaking to people whose experiences they formerly shared. They are people who learned to eat healthy, eliminate crippling debt, overcome depression, or tap into their inner artist.
Now they want to share their story of transformation or redemption with others, demonstrating the path their audiences can take to reach their goal.
These experts know why they want to spread their story; they just might not know how.
That is where Whitney comes in. She is a veteran PR professional, brand strategist and published author of two children’s books. One, The Lollie Tree, was described as “an incredible, heartwarming story everyone will love,” by one of many 5-star reviews on Amazon. Her newest, Where the Lollies Go, explains where love goes when a loved one dies.
Most Common Speaking Mistake: Not Considering Your Audience
McDuff says people attempting to enter the speaking circuit make many of the same mistakes. The most common is approaching the speaking circuit from their own perspective rather than from the perspective of the customer.
“It can’t be all about me, me, me, me, me,” she says. “Event planners don’t care how many degrees or Twitter followers you have. They care about whether you can help their audience achieve their goals.”
Another common mistake is shooting with a shotgun rather than a laser.
“You need to determine your niche and focus on the people in it,” she says. “You can’t be all things to all people. Which would you rather do, speak to 1,000 people and impact two of them or speak to 100 people and impact 90 of them?”
Whitney’s clients have been showcased on the most prominent stages worldwide – Forbes, ABC, CBS, NBC, Huffington Post, ESPN, USA Today and more.
“One of the most brilliant minds in the business. Whitney knows how to build brands and ignite action,” said Lauren Roach, a fractional chief marketing officer based in Greenville.
Speaker Brand Strategy Tools
The velvet fist wielded by Whitney to inspire her clients comes with a roadmap to success and a mind wired to promote thought leaders. She designs the tools and messaging to get booked for speaking engagements. She offers a speaker toolkit to land return requests, all of which elevates influence, credibility and authority.
Her training takes as little as six weeks and has launched speakers to six-figure incomes.
Her clients walk away with a host of what she calls “tools, assets and pitches.” That includes a speaker website, media bios, a podcast pitch and list of 100 podcasts to approach, a post-speech offer and more.
Clients learn how to pitch themselves as speakers to media, podcasts and publications, and establish themselves on social media.
Perhaps more importantly, clients walk away with empowerment to take control of their own brand. The tools that Whitney offers are bathed in training that allows clients to fly from the nest on their own.
“I want people to understand what they need to do so that they can do this long after they’re done working with me,” she says. “I don’t want them to be dependent on me.”
There is one more item Whitney helps her clients create: a fully formed keynote speech. She encourages them to include the power of their own story, which builds a bond with the audience, engenders trust “and tells the audience ‘I get you,’” she says.
And she reminds them, perhaps counter-intuitively, to use their hands when they talk. It exudes confidence, which anyone working with Whitney McDuff quickly acquires.