Simone & Lovelda: Building a brand through public speaking
“A public speaker needs to know how to sell to secure those paid speaking engagements and build a name for themselves.”
Married entrepreneurs Simone and Lovelda Vincenzi both run independent businesses that support monetising public speaking. Simone focuses on teaching speakers how to sell from the stage with his business GTeX (Growing Together Exponentially). As an international MC, moderator and host, Lovelda’s niche is working exclusively with female speakers to market their speaking businesses with her business World Class Female Speakers. Here, we find out more about their successes to date and explore how to make money from public speaking.
1. You have both carved out a solid career in public speaking. What inspired to you to get started in this highly competitive industry and what skills do you possess that have been crucial to your career ascension?
Simone: When I quit my job as a restaurant manager, I did not know what to do next so I started attending a lot of seminars for my personal growth to help me figure out what I was my next step. I was immediately fascinated by the speakers on the stage and I noticed how many lives they were changing.
It was during one of these seminars that I felt a calling- my future was going to be public speaking. However, I had never spoken in public before that time. So I started hosting events with other speakers while I was building my confidence.
The most important skill that helped me grow my speaking business faster than 80% other speakers in my industry, was the ability to sell myself. I understood very early that I could become the top speaker in the world but if I did not focus on selling myself, I would never have the career I was dreaming of.
Lovelda: I’ve always loved the stage, as I child I loved drama and dance and sought out opportunities to be on stage. My earliest memory of speaking in front of an audience was age 13 at a school assembly of circa 300. I stumbled quite accidently into sales working for a number of organisations, including Microsoft, over the years. The skills I learnt during these years selling, have supported my speaking career. Just because you are talented, doesn’t mean that the marketing fairies inform event organisers: public speakers need to know how to sell to secure paid speaking engagements.
2. What challenges did you face and still face as a couple working in the same industry? What’s your advice for couples who may be thinking of starting a business together?
Simone: Lovelda and I have always been very supportive of each other. The biggest challenge we are facing is creating time for each other. As a speaker, we spend a lot of time on the road and it’s hard to say no to opportunities. Now we have clear rules in place to make sure our career does not impact our relationship and time together. The best advice I can give to couples working together is to always set time aside for each other to keep the spark and love alive.
Lovelda: Ironically the biggest challenge has been not getting to caught up if the other one gets a gig that you don’t. I love my husband and there are more than enough opportunities out there for both of us. We’ve both been incredibly fortunate over the years- Simone has had the pleasure of working with Les Brown and Gary Vee, whilst I’ve had the pleasure of introducing Monica Lewinsky, Rachael Elnaugh and founders such as Karan Bilimoria. Sometimes we’ve been fortunate enough to work together such as a Simon Sinek event. Other times, one of us has to be the cheerleader- but we are happy for each other. If we can work together all the better, if not, there’s another amazing opportunity around the corner.
3. What’s the common thread between your work strategy and style?
Simone: The common thread, in my opinion, is our work ethic. We always strive to become better and give the highest level of service to each client that works with us. We are also both very competitive and want to be the best in what we do.
Lovelda: We are both incredibly hard workers. We started videoing what we did on stage from the beginning, it’s allowed for both of us to grow our businesses very quickly. We both also have a strong focus on marketing and sales strategy and a dedication to improving our skills and talents. You’ll never find either of us at a dull low energy event. We’ve got far to much of a sense of adventure for that.
4. You are migrant entrepreneurs, like most members in High Profile Club. Can you tell us what prompted you to move to the UK?
Simone: My background was in the catering industry and I received an offer to work in one of the most famous Michelin star Italian restaurant in Notting Hill and I took the leap of faith and moved to London. After marrying Lovelda, this was the best decision of my life.
Lovelda: My parents decided to make the UK home when I was 16, so I didn’t have much choice in the matter.
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