When it comes to topics in the speaking industry, you’re going to find “hard” or “soft.”
A “soft” topic is theoretical. It speaks in broad terms, as opposed to giving a person a strategy or system for change. “Personal growth,” “mindset,” and “influence” are examples of soft topics.
A “hard” topic is designed to effect change and get results. It would normally include a specific system or process for applying information in people’s lives. “7 Steps to Seven-Figure Sales” is a hard topic.
It’s Hard to Make Money with Soft Topics
Soft topics are appropriate in your coaching and teaching, or for keynotes, and they will sell some books as well, but if you’re trying to make money in back-of-the-room sales, they’re not a lucrative way to go.
The soft topic may be ground-breaking and fascinating, but if people aren’t shown how to apply the material, there’s no compelling reason to buy.
In addition, it’s difficult to even get speaking engagements, because promoters know that soft topics don’t sell. And since they’re typically receiving half of your sales, they’d be reluctant to book you.
A hard topic is another story. Promoters will book you, and people will shell out money for your products or programs, because they’re clearly designed to help people change their lives or businesses in specific ways.
Put a Hard Shell Around It
Thankfully, you can put a hard shell around almost any soft topic by articulating the specific system or strategy that allows purchasers to apply what they learn.
For instance, Ali Brown’s and my program,“7 Mindset and Manifesting Secrets of Multimillionaire Entrepreneurs,” is a hard shell around the soft topic of “mindset.”
Other examples include:
Soft: Finding Love After Divorce
Hard: 7 Never-Fail Steps to the Perfect First Date
Soft: The Science of Persuasion
Hard: 4 Pillars of Influence to Motivate the Most Skeptical Buyer
When you’re creating your hard shell, you want to use words such as:
But creating a hard shell is not just about the words you use. You want to think hard as well, which may require a mindset shift of your own.
How to Think “Hard”
If you’re in the habit of thinking in broad, theoretical terms, start focusing on how other people can apply what you’re teaching.
What is the plan or process or system in what you teach? How can other people get results from it? And what are those results likely to be?
Once you start creating your products and speech topics with the results of your clients at the forefront, it won’t be long before you start seeing better results as well.
You’ll get more speaking gigs, you’ll sell more products and programs, your promoters will be happy, and your clients will finally experience the change that they’ve been seeking in their lives.