Everything changed for Steve Gilliland in 1999. After spending 11 years working in sales and marketing for a major greeting card company, Steve launched his career as a speaker and founded Steve Gilliland, Inc. at the turn of the millennium. Within a year, speaking became his primary source of income.
Steve was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, lives in Mocksville, North Carolina, and travels the world. His appeal transcends barriers of age, culture, and occupation. He believes if you continually learn more about your company, your industry, your customer, and yourself, you will always be a leader. You will be purpose-driven rather than process-driven and you will make a difference. He speaks to more than 250,000 people a year and influences the lives of millions through his keynote speeches, books, CD’s, and DVD’s.
Below is an excerpt from our exclusive interview with Steve. The rest of his interview is featured in volume 1 of Finding Speaking Success: Mentoring Tips from the Masters, along with 25 other insightful interviews with highly successful professional speakers.
Q. What are you doing now in your speaking business that you should have started doing sooner?
A. I now print an eight-page, full color newsletter that is sent out to previous clients and various other specific targets. The newsletter is distributed electronically and also via the mail. I make sure that my name is in front of them repeatedly so when they are thinking about hiring a speaker for their next meeting, Steve Gilliland comes to their mind. The key is to make the newsletter in a format that makes them want to read it and pass it on to someone else. I write an interesting article for the front page of the newsletter then sprinkle items throughout the pages that make you want to save them and share them with other people. The more your newsletter is shared with other people the more chances you have of being contacted by one of them. I always ask myself, what is in this newsletter that will make a person say, “I need to give this to…”