When you decided, I mean truly decided, that you were going to jump into this highly competitive world of professional public speaking, did you have any idea how difficult it was going to be.
Some of you may have seen early successes, and some may have taken a bit longer to get those gigs that made you say to yourself, “Self, I think this is going to work out.” Regardless of your path, you had to put strategies in your bag of tricks to make sure things are sustainable and profitable.
Here are 12 of the best tips for crushing it and making sure you’re able to stay in this for the long haul.
Review Your Branding Power – Be sure to stay consistent throughout with your brand, including logos, taglines, titles, look, feel and message. Let your brand follow you everywhere and on everything. Being consistent with your brand builds integrity, awareness, and trust with your audience.
Have a Professional Speakers Website – This is one of my top recommendations for you to have in order to crush it! Why? While working with Meeting Planners for almost two decades, I have seen their frustration and heard their chatter. Nothing is more bothersome to them than to visit your site, possibly intending to hire you, only to find a messy, eyesore of a website with half the pieces of the puzzle missing. If the complete picture is not there, you will not be hired. Be very clear with your message, front and center, and let them know how you can help their audience. Have all of your marketing material readily available for download and be sure that your demo video is easily found. Be sure to have a separate page specifically for Planners that is a one-stop info shop for them.
Ask – What better way to get connected so you can create products and services for your audience than by asking them straight up, “What do you need and want?” Ask your list. Ask your followers, members, current clients, etc. You will be amazed at what new ideas you will come away with and the impact it will have on the bottom line.
Connect – Make a connection with two industry Associations per week. For each target audience you serve, find associations that benefit or whose members consist of your target audience. Seek them out. To earn their admiration, present new strategies and skills to help improve their industry or the skills of the participants. The key here is how you can benefit them, set aside how they can benefit you. The better you serve others, the more success will come back to you.
Carefully Comment – Comment on other people’s blogs and social media posts. Be sure these outlets are relevant to your own message. This will help build your credibility and increase awareness. Be helpful, authentic and willing to share. Don’t be a hater, ever, because you are building relationships through your commenting. And please, don’t be a taker – be a giver and watch the blessings flow back your way.
A Sassy or Sticky Signature Topic – I love this one! This becomes part of your brand and your the right topic title will sell you. Be unique, have fun and stick with it. Let it follow you everywhere, on everything. Create programs around it, services and even a book. Don’t be boring, go all out with this one, be different because the clichéd topics aren’t going to sell. Some topic examples: Love Laughter & Lasagna. Prepare Your Products for Premium Profit, Life is Not a Stress Rehearsal. Those are some actual memorable examples. They have been used by others, so use them for inspiration, but don’t copy.
Networking – This one will call for you to get out from behind your computer or phone and go meet people. I’m sure you have heard it before, network, network and network some more! Sign up for local meetup groups, chamber or service groups. Go wherever you believe you will find your target audience. You need to build that “know, like and trust” factor.
Crushing It As A Professional Speaker
Local & Regional Radio – Speakers need to be seen and heard everywhere. Pitch the local and regional radio shows to see if you can get a spot. Be sure to leave with a recording so you can add it to your website.
Pencil Pushing for Publications – This one will help you get seen and your voice “heard” as it will build credibility and visibility. Pitch the publications that are in tune with your core message where you can reach your audience. Once you’ve published the first time, you are well on your way to many more opportunities. Add these to your website. They are priceless.
Sexy Social Media – You need to be on social media! And not just on Facebook anymore. You are a Speaker, a professional, a person who has talent and knowledge to share. What better way to get your message out there than on the social media platforms. You need to be EVERYWHERE all the TIME. If you want to get found and crush it in your field of expertise, you have to be on social media and using it properly to grow your mailing list, gain credibility and visibility. There you will find ideal clients and the hiring professionals will find you. Be on all the platforms but find which ones work best for you and dominate there.
Introduce Yourself as a Contingency Speaker – This is one way to get your “foot” in the door. One of the biggest fears of a meeting planner is a “no-show” or cancellation of the scheduled speaker. You can send out a letter via email or regular mail to event planners, program managers, etc. Your initial contact with the event planner should be about eliminating one of their biggest fears. If you have a well written letter based on thorough research, you will more than likely make an immediate friend. This is where the business relationship begins and, in most cases, the event planner or “hiring” authority will book you in the future because you have approached them this way.
Write a Book/Info Products/Videos – This is a BIG credibility builder. I know it’s not as easy as it sounds, but if you are an expert in your field and you have information you want to share, write a book or some informational products. This is an excellent marketing tool and will add new revenue streams to your income. You have the speaking ability and you know what you want to say, but some speakers just don’t know how or have the time to put it in book/product form. You do have the option of outsourcing that task. There are many companies who specialize in that field and can assist you with your project. Create videos, videos and more videos and charge a small fee to download them or create a Membersite to house them all for Members for a fee.
Hopefully, you have found these suggestions to be helpful and that they will give you some ideas on how you can be heard, seen and get found. You don’t have to take action on all of these, but you do have to take action. Start now on what you see as the top priority in your platform-building, marketing campaign.
Find what works and just keep doing it! Consistency is key to success and is completely necessary in building a strong speaking business.
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