Debbie Carr Agency

Keynote speaking, motivation, personal development

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Why Twitter is a great marketing tool for keynote speakers

Twitter BirdI’ve heard it so many times “I don’t have time for Twitter” or “I don’t have anything to Tweet about” or “What’s the point?” I used to think those exact words myself.  Luckily I’ve had a wake up call since thinking that way and discovered that Twitter is an excellent tool to complement your existing marketing. Since 2004 I have been busy building a brand for my speaker bureaus and also my own personal brand.  Without a doubt, social media has been one of the major platforms I have used to get noticed and it has worked. In fact, it was because of social media I landed a weekly guest spot on radio 2UE.

As I mentioned before, Twitter is just one of the platforms I use. For example as soon as I have finished this post I will be sending it to Twitter, LinkedIn and 3 Facebook pages.  Here’s the beauty, I will share this post on Twitter and my reach will be more than just my followers as I will strategically place a keyword (hashtag) in the Tweet that will be seen by my target market. In this case, keynote speakers and corporate trainers.

Recently I co-presented a short 15 minute video with Keith Keller, on 5 powerful Twitter Tips. I have included the podcast here, so grab a coffee and hear from one of Australia’s top Twitter experts.


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The benefits of Twitter for marketing

Twitter is a great tool to market your business….if you do it right! Many people believe that Twitter is all about telling people what you are up to or your opinion on something. Sure that’s a small part of it however Twitter is far more than that, and it is a great platform to position yourself as an expert!

One expert I know on Twitter, is Keith Keller.

Keith is in the top 1% of Twitter users in the world, with a great following. Recently Keith and I produced a podcast with slides and workbook.  By the end of the podcast you will be able to put together a Twitter strategy to market your business. CLICK HERE for more information.

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The joy of mentoring

There is something really satisfying when you take a young person under your wing and become their mentor. I have two mentorees as the moment, Niveran, a young accountant willing to do whatever it takes to find a job (Read this) and David Quinn, a young man who loves working in the events industry.

You know you are really making a difference when Niveran keeps updating you on what he is doing to get a job and asks you why you haven’t written a post on your blog today! And David mentions you in an article in your own industry, which in my case is the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences & Events) industry. Read Article in MICENET Magazine here.I can do it!

Thank you David I’m so proud of you and Niveran…like I tell you every day….”Don’t give up”….it’s all about PERSISTENCE.

Writing this and thinking about both these young men puts a big smile on my face 🙂


You want attitude? Well here’s some!

This blog post is about attitude! “Can do!” attitude that is!

As well being in the speaking industry and blogging I have another hat that I wear and that’s recruitment. I love recruiting and nothing thrills me more than seeing a candidate get a job they love with a happy client finding a star employee. I freelance as a recruiter (Deb Recruitment Profile) charging by the hour rather than high percentage of candidate’s salary. I’m getting to the point here I needed to explain why I have been mentoring a young man.

Something else I need to explain. I’m busy! Sometimes I sit and shake my head at myself for taking on so much, sometimes though, you just have to stop thinking about business and give a helping hand, and that’s what I’m writing about.

I’ve recently been recruiting for an Accounts Clerk in Sydney and received over 140 applications!  One young man, applied and unfortunately he didn’t have the software experience and other criteria my client is after so I wrote and rejected his application.

Niveran, wrote back to me and asked me “What am I doing wrong”?  My heart sank. Poor kid, I know how hard it is for them to find jobs because my own daughter is going through the same thing. So I wrote back and gave some advice.

Then it started, I became a mentor just to add to my already busy workload, and every time Niveran wrote to me I wrote back smiling with a little bit of advice.  I told him he had to stand out from the crowd.  I’ve been recruiting long enough to know this kid has the right attitude. He wants to work and he will do whatever it takes to prove himself.

I suggested he might like to build an online website with his CV and I told him if he did that I’d help promote it.

Niveran, took my advice and here is the result.  NIVERAN ONLINE CV.  Now who in their right mind wouldn’t employ this kid!

Niveran is looking for an Accounts Position in Melbourne however will relocate! Any takers?

Contact Niveran directly via CV this is not me trying to get a recruitment fee.

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Like Mother, Like Daughter

Today I had a phone call from my eldest daughter, Emma.

Emma reminds me of me in so many ways that I often think she is a mini-me.  Grace, on the other hand is so like her father it’s ridiculous.

Emma lives in the country of NSW, actually in the same town as my parents. She lives with her boyfriend who I adore, and even though they are young, they have my blessing to build a future together. I feel they are made for each other and I couldn’t ask for a better boy to be with my girl.

Emma left school at 16.

“Just like her mum”.

She made a mistake and has tried to compensate for it ever since. She’s worked as a casual  and permanent child care assistant in the country town, she even tried to sell network marketing and has done everything she can to be independent.

“Just like her mum”.

Emma faces challenges and stays cools.

“Just like her mum”.

Emma doesn’t ask for help.

“Just like her mum”.

Emma trusts and believes in her own abilities that everything will be OK.

“Just like her mum”.

Emma never gives up.

“Just like her mum”.

Today Emma called me to tell me that it’s been a couple of weeks now and she has no work on and is doing everything she can to get a job in a bank or office.

She is studying for a Business degree part-time and I’m so proud of her, because she will end up with a University Degree.

“Not like her mum”.

Emma has knocked on doors with her CV, she has been to interviews but always someone has more skills than her. Her mum, who is also a recruiter as well as in the motivational speaking industry,  knows what she faces. I see it every day with young students that don’t get a look in for whatever reason and it breaks my heart.  Emma faces one more obstacle: She lives in a country town, however close to two main towns Forster and Taree, NSW.

I can’t hire Emma she lives too far away but I’d give her a job just on her attitude, and not just because I’m her mum. This kid really rocks.

The reason for this blog? I’m hoping someone in my network, which is a vast online network, might read this and just might know someone who wants a “can do and will do 21-year-old” and give her a chance in Taree or Forster. Big call I know, what else can a mother do? Maybe I am jeopardizing my professional reputation writing this but I’m a risk taker and you do whatever you can to help your children.

While I am at it. I’ve taken another accounts candidate of mine under my wing. His attitude for getting a job is out of this world, he is more than qualified but his English is not 100%. He writes to me every day asking for my advice and I can’t help but give him my time because he tries so hard.  I would love to hear from anyone looking for an Accounts Clerk in Melbourne who hire on attitude and dedication because I have your man. No recruitment fee needed I’m just paying it forward.

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Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life


“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”

Confucius: 551BC – 479 BC

My eldest daughter, Emma, always puts a lot of thoughts into her gift giving. Last year, Emma bought me some delightful gifts for Christmas and one of those was a little book of inspirational quotes. She knows what I like! I love this little book and I’m using the quotes in some of my posts, like the one above.

I can relate to those words from a very wise man all those years ago.  That’s because I’m always in trouble from my family for the amount of time I spend working, to me though, it’s simply not work. I love what I do. I love blogging, booking speakers for events and recruiting – all things I believe actually help other people. I love it when I put a keynote speaker in a conference or training session and people are inspired. I love it when I put people in jobs, it really makes me happy.

The most thoughtful girl on the planet (in her mum's eyes).

The most thoughtful girl on the planet (in her mum’s eyes) and chicken lover.

Along the way I’ve met some very inspirational people. Some of them have gone through very challenging times in their lives like Carol Cooke, Kate Allatt and Erin McNeill who are all now on my books.  Their stories inspire me beyond words and it fills me with gratitude that, so far, my challenges have been nothing compared to these ladies. Yes, I have my own health issues, however by choosing not to focus on that and being totally in gratitude that I can keep myself pretty healthy by diet and my attitude, I manage OK.

I’m loving what I do, so even when times have been tough, I have never given up and I’ve forced ahead despite the naysayers who have tried to convince me otherwise.

I feel I never work a day in my life, because I’m so happy with what I do. I’m so happy with the people I meet. I am so happy that I can work the hours I want. I am so happy that I’ve met people from around the world that make a huge difference.

Find your passion, find something that you love to do and you, too, will never have to work a day in your life.


How important is a cover letter when applying for a position?

standing out from the crowdI’m recruiting for an Accounts Clerk and whenever I advertise for positions like this I know I am going to be inundated with CV’s.  This time has been no exception and as I knew this would happen I made a very clear statement in my advertisement on SEEK and other job boards that I required a cover letter and one paragraph in particular needed addressing, as pasted below:

 You will have already been working in a similar role for a stable amount of time. Your attention to detail will be proven in the cover letter attached with your application detailing your experience with the above criteria points 1 – 5. 

I purposely wrote my request for a cover letter to help me sift through the CV’s quickly. How?

  1. I know if the candidate actually read the job advertisement or he/she is just applying randomly.
  2. It shows me how keen the candidate is – if they don’t bother to address what I ask in the advertisement they are probably not that keen.
  3. A cover letter tells me a lot – CV’s are often created over time and with the help of other people, cover letters are usually written by the candidate and I can quickly pick up spelling mistakes and poor grammar. It also shows me if they have an attention to detail.
  4. Often, candidates supply a generic cover letter which has the wrong job described in the letter.
  5. If it’s not addressed to me personally when I have supplied my name and instead I get “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear Recruiter”  I know the candidate really hasn’t read the advert.

This makes it so much easier for me and my method is quite brutal:

  1. No cover letter – delete
  2. Cover letter generic – delete
  3. Cover letter spelling mistakes – delete
  4. Cover letter – addressing wrong job – delete
  5. Cover letter addressed to me personally and outlining what I have requested – go to the top of the queue.


Taking time out to show the recruiter/hiring manager that you understand the role, have read the advertisement and you have taken the time to write a great cover letter will get your application noticed, and you will stand out from other candidates.


If this is the only post you ever read on this blog then my job is done

I returned from a conference in Melbourne today and literally had to fumble on to the train when I landed as I was carrying my corporate banner, 2 handbags and my overnight bag AND  I was wearing stiletto heels just to make the task for myself even harder.  When I got on the train I had to put my bags on the seat in front of me as I had so many.  As I sat down I noticed a young guy across the aisle. He had tattoos and a crew cut and I thought to myself…”I’d better watch this one”.  He gave me a polite smile so I then decided he was cool and I could let the guard down for the one hour and 15 minute journey. As they say first impressions count although when you get to the end of this post you might wonder …do they?  One thing I did notice he was neatly dressed and was wearing trendy jeans, a nice shirt and polished shoes.

As we were moving along the train became crowded so I had to move my bags off the seat for others to sit down, and the young man offered to put them next to him so I thanked him. For some reason we kept exchanging smiles and later we started to chat. OK let’s establish something here please, this is not a cougar story and I plead for you to read on as I’m asking for your help.

As we kept chatting I found out that Tyson (we had exchanged names now) was coming home from a week’s training as he was trying to get a job.  I asked him some questions and I suggested maybe he could try doing some labouring as I had a contact he could call. Tyson told me he didn’t have the ability to do labouring and I didn’t quite understand what he meant by that.  As we kept talking across the aisle I mentioned I was going to get up and close the door behind us as I couldn’t hear properly and before I could stand Tyson immediately jumped up on the seat and closed it for me. It was then I realised that Tyson didn’t have the ability to do manual work because he had an obvious disability, yet he just jumped up to close the door for me without hesitating. Such good manners!

I suggested we move the bags to the floor and I moved over to his side and sat next to him. I asked Tyson what happened to him and he said he was born with Spina Bifida and asked me if I knew what it was, and I replied yes.  He then told me the wheelchair I walked past in the vestibule area was his. Tyson is in his mid-twenties by the way.

As we continued to chat I realised that I was sitting next to a very special person. I mentioned to Tyson that I was a recruiter and also in the motivational speaking industry and perhaps he should consider speaking as a career.   I also told him about one of the speakers who I represent, Carol Cooke, who had just won a Gold Medal in the Paralympics. However, Tyson is certainly not ready to jump straight on the circuit, I’d need to coach him on that so I mentioned I could possibly help him find a job in customer service as that is what he told me he loves to do. By the then end of our train journey I had found a special new friend and also an excellent candidate. As we chatted I asked Tyson a lot of questions and I gathered a lot of information about this young man.  Which is:

  • He is considerate
  • He is polite
  • He has excellent communication skills
  • Obviously great people skills
  • He is willing to learn
  • He has a can do and will do attitude
  • He will work for 2 weeks for free to prove himself (but I’m not going to let  him do that because I know he deserves to be paid)
  • He  is prepared to travel up to 2 hours to go to work via public transport despite he is in a wheelchair
  • He would make a very good, dedicated employee if given the chance.
  • He’s great on the phone because we have chatted again tonight via telephone
  • He has proven he can overcome obstacles
  • He has willpower


So the reason I called this post “If this is the only post you ever read on this blog then my job is done” is because if  this blog was to help Tyson get a job within customer service or as a concierge with a club or hotel, then the purpose of this blog would be meaningful.

For anyone reading this in Sydney, if you have a position going or know of someone who is looking for a great customer service person preferably on the Central Coast, Hornsby, Epping, Strathfield or Sydney CBD train line then I have the candidate for you! If not could you please put this post on your social media to help Tyson get a job (and of course there is no recruitment fee involved).

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The Twelve Tips of Christmas

Since we are heading up to Christmas, it’s a good time to start planning on ways to woo your clients, lift the staff morale and plan for 2013 to be a cracker!!!


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Say goodbye to outrageous recruitment fees

Last year I met up with Michael Overall the CEO from RecruitLoop. RecruitLoop was founded after years of frustration the owners had with traditional recruitment, i.e. agencies were too expensive and DIY recruitment can be extremely time-consuming.  RecruitLoop was formed which is a platform for employers to automate and outsource the recruitment process, on-demand and saves thousands of dollars.

When I first met Michael, I thought his idea was great, and I have to admit that I felt rather threatened since I have my own recruitment company.  I’m always thinking outside the box and realised RecruitLoop could actually enhance my own business.  It crossed my mind I could save money by not having to employ my own consultants.  Since I was already under-resourced, and about to take a long earned week off to Bali, I decided I would utilise RecruitLoop’s services.  Rather than feel threatened by this new business, I realised it could actually help my business! So I jetted off to Bali and left the candidate sourcing to an experienced recruiter who I paid by the hour and saving me a lot of money.

To fast track a bit, I eventually decided to close down the recruitment office and start freelancing myself and yesterday, I’m pleased to announce, I actually joined the RecruitLoop team!  I’m charging out at an hourly rate rather than taking a 12-17% of the total salary package.  Any employer could see the costs savings there without even doing the sums!  CLICK HERE to see how simple recruitment as become.

As well as saving thousands of dollars in fees, I am able to arrange for candidate video interviews for my clients, a really good way to go through the shortlist prior to a physical interview.  To see if it’s worth your while CLICK HERE for my BIO

Read the article about video first interviews in The Australian

Read the article in Antillonline


Networking made easy

Whether you are in sales, own a business or an employee, having a vast network will be an asset. The more people who know of you and like you, the more you will get referrals, recommended for jobs, clients and of course make sales. I recently met a number of Executive Assistants at a conference and the majority of them thought it wasn’t important for them to network or build a profile on Linkedin or to network. Wrong!

First things first, you will need to keep a database.  You could use Excel but that’s really not going to be as effective as a CRM = Customer Relationship Management software program. I suggest using – it’s a good tool to start with and it’s free for up to 3 users.  I like to work in the ‘cloud’ so I can access my database from anywhere in the world. It’s worth spending some time investigating what CRM system will be the best for you. Once you start building contacts you will be surprised how quickly your database grows.

Never underestimate the value of every single person you know or meet as each one could become a prospect, client or referrer.  A good way to start building your network is to start by adding everyone you know to your CRM.  Once you have entered your contacts tag them with a keyword i.e.  “prospect” “referrer” “client” “personal” etc.  Note: prospects only convert to clients once they have paid for your service or product!

Networking Events

Attending networking events, especially in your industry or related industry is something to try and achieve at least once a month.  I suggest joining industry associations, chambers of commerce and networking breakfasts to start and subscribe to their newsletters to keep informed of upcoming events.

Networking doesn’t always come free of course, so if you don’t have a budget I suggest you that you research trade shows in your industry. These are often free or a small fee to attend and you can make connections with the exhibitors.  Other great ways to network is to join the business chamber in your local area and other chambers and groups such as AMCHAM, BNI, networking clubs etc. Networking is a key to business success so it’s worth the investment.

ACTION STEP: Starting from today research networking events and trade shows (relevant to your target market and industry).

NOW book yourself in!

How to Network at an Event

The Golden Rule for networking is “It’s not about me, it’s about what I can do for YOU”.  Working the room trying to collect business cards from as many people as you can, with the intention that hopefully you will find a client is not going to work.  I can’t stress this enough, it’s not about me it’s about what I can do for YOU!  Go to every network event with the attitude of adding value to others.

Many people hate the idea of walking into a room full of people they don’t know. What I do,  in the unlikely event I don’t know someone, I will go up to somebody who is standing alone and start a conversation, (that’s true, in Sydney where I live, it’s almost impossible for me not to know at least someone at an event).

After an introduction you might like to ask how the person is enjoying the event or bring up a newsworthy topic (because of course you would have read the latest news prior to attending!!!) Ask questions about the other person, show an interest, keep eye contact and please never look around the room for someone more interesting.  Remember everyone you meet could be a potential prospect, client or referrer!  You just don’t know who the person you are talking to is connected to. During your conversation make a mental note of what is discussed and if you get a chance make a note on the back of the business card if you have been offered one. I sometimes fold the tip of the card over to remind me that there is potential for a great connection with this person and to follow up.  Maybe you discussed something in the news and later you could send an article or white paper that you have found.

When you get back to your office you can upload their details in your CRM and make notes to follow up, or whatever information you have gathered.  As a rule never subscribe anyone to your newsletter unless you have specifically spoken about this to them and they have agreed.

Remember also:

  • Take plenty of business cards
  • Go out of your comfort zone and approach people
  • Smile and look approachable
  • Develop a decent handshake
  • If you are sitting at a table, try and introduce yourself to everyone.
  • If you don’t see anyone you know, or  standing alone, and you are too shy to go up to a group, ask the organiser to introduce you to someone
  • Have fun!

As part of your new networking skills it’s essential that you have a Linkedin account and connect with the people you have met.

Keeping in touch

Once you have started to build a network keeping in touch is crucial.  These are the things that I use:

  • Everything entered into CRM i.e. prospects/client’s birthdays, children’s names any information that you gather so when you touch base again, your prospect will be amazed that you remembered these things.
  • Create an electronic newsletter.  I use Ace of Sales.
  • Social Media
  • Scrubbing your database i.e. calling to see if the information is still relevant
  • Sending postcards and other items in the mail
  • Sending articles from news, whitepapers etc
  • An effective way to make an impression after you have met someone is to send them a personalised postcard.  I have postcards made up with a picture on the front (i.e. coffee cup) and our logo which states “Great to meet you”…and on the back my photo and the words “I’d love to buy you a cup of coffee and I’ll be in touch soon”…. You can send the postcard in the mail to people you meet and what to develop a relationship with.  Put a note in your CRM to call in a few days.  Believe me it makes an impression.

Once you have established the relationship and you feel comfortable enough, then ask the question “Do you know of anyone who might be interested in my service/product?

Some networking groups in Australia worth investigating




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Linkedin for your personal and professional image

Finalist Stevie Awards

At the time of writing this post I have 1200+ connections on Linkedin.  I’ve built this online network from attending networking events, writing articles on my blog but mostly I get invites every day from people who request to connect with me.

In my recruiting days, the more people we knew, the more potential candidates we had, so I took my Linkedin profile very seriously. As I transitioned from employee to business owner,  I realised I had to make my profile more as a sales document because I’m not actually out there wanting to get hired by someone or ‘head hunted’ – well for the right money I might! I’m on Linkedin to promote my businesses.

Some people use Linkedin as their “CV” and promote their professional image and others, like me, use Linkedin as a commercial for their business.  Therefore different approaches need to be made on your profile depending if you are an employee or business owner.

If you go to my Linkedin profile  the first thing you see is my name plus the name of my business. I have the words ‘keynote speaker‘ ‘build extra income’ in my description – they are good keywords for me PLUS I have added both my websites as I’m making it easy for people to understand exactly what I offer. My profile is written to be inviting for people to connect with me without the fear of rejection.

In my summary I mention how I can help people to hire a speaker or start their own online business then I  direct people to my testimonials.  Again, I’m using the right keywords and I am getting straight to the point on how I can help you.  I also mention I will never “IDK” which means I won’t say I don’t know you – too many of those will get you in strife on Linkedin if you are connecting with people and they knock you back!  So word of warning, be careful about connecting with people you haven’t met and don’t say ‘you worked with them’ etc – if it’s not true that is very unprofessional. UNLESS the Linkedin profile makes it clear that the person is open to connecting Profiles with “IN” or “IDK” on them means these people are open to connecting.

If are using Linkedin to be headhunted, attracting staff, connecting with other professionals to network with, be sought as an expert, then your profile needs to be like a CV – in fact it needs to be full of your achievements! Again make sure you utilise the right keywords throughout so people can find you.  If you do not have any testimonials ask for them – this is a great way to build your credibility.

I have found that many people connect with me, for a number of reasons, maybe for my connections (which I no longer hide because after all Linkedin is a networking site so why hide who you are connected to).  When anyone requests to connect with me, I send them a thank you for connecting asking how we can be of mutual benefit! My pet peeve is when I don’t get a response! Therefore, always connect with people for a good reason, i.e. mutually beneficial to both of you – not just because you think that person will connect you to someone else or you want to throw a sales pitch to them!

So with that, I would be happy to meet you on Linkedin!