Member Spotlight: Rodney C. Burris

by | Jun 3, 2021

Each month, BSN wants to highlight a different member who has seen success using BSN’s resources and community. They have agreed to do an interview about their experience and we are sharing their takeaways below:

Meet Rodney C. Burris

What’s your occupation? 

Leadership Mindset Development Trainer

What kind of resources were you using before BSN? 

Before BSN, my work was very much word of mouth. It kept me gainfully  employed, traveling around the country, and interacting with countless groups. In 2020, when the globe shut down and few of my warm-clients went out of business, I realized that without marketing and widespread branding, my initiatives would be at risk of going extinct if my warm contacts went under. This is when I decided to join the Black Speakers Network. I was familiar with the name, but I had not realized the power of being backed, trained, connected to, and exposed to a large network of professionals. Being connected with Brian showed me something value about myself that I didn’t even know I didn’t know (yes, read that again). 

 What were your goals when signing up for BSN? 

Yes. Well I had no real expectations of the organization when I chose to join BSN. I was open to the experience and receptive to learning. For a while I  remained a general member while I felt them out; how did they communicate, what  did they communicate, what was the vibe, etc. After a while, I chose to level up my  participation out of curiosity of what might lay ‘beyond the veil’. Doing so has  been a great decision.

What has been the most valuable part of BSN for you?

There are tons of relationships and opportunities that exist within the BSN  network, many of which have proven invaluable to me. For example, the speaker  alerts that have been one of the many perks. Remember, I was used to connecting  with people who had already heard of me, were already impressed with me, already  had a spoken need that they believe I could help address, and already wanted to  bring me in (this was the warm, word-of-mouth circle I spoke about earlier). I did  not have hardly any experiencing with the need to market myself to organizations  from scratch. 

And I didn’t realize the deficit I had in this regard until I started reaching out  to the organizations that were listed in the Speaker Alerts. It was through these  (futile) attempts that I realized that I did not have the packaging to attract and/or  land a cold contact. Instead of blowing off the Speaker Alerts, I instead challenged  myself to level up my packaging so that I came across as the type of Leadership  Development Trainer via web presence that I successfully proven myself to be in  person. 

I developed ‘bank’ of sorts of stored responses to the familiar questions, and  used this document as a pool from which I would fish out the proper responses for  each request for speakers (realizing that organizations generally asked for the same  types of information). 

This intentional practice really help me bolster how I came across to new &  prospective clients. Grateful for BSN for the opportunity.

What advice would you give an aspiring public speaker?

Attend the free Classes! On Facebook, weekly there are 1-4 (sometimes more) free webinars designed to help build and strengthen Black Speakers. Take  the opportunity to view and listen to these webinars. There is a ton of information  shared within each webinar, some free some at a cost, and we have unlimited  opportunity to take advantage of as much of it as we want. So Take Advantage of  It! — It’s just one of the many perks of being a member within the BSN network. 




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