4 Effective Methods for Reaching Out to Planners
There is simply no getting around contacting event planners when finding opportunities to speak.
Yes, you can revamp the planner page on your speaker website and other inbound marketing methods, but that takes time. You cannot take a “build it, and they will come” approach to landing speaking gigs. You need to go out there and grab them yourself.
With that in mind, this post will give you a quick overview of four of the best methods (in my experience) of reaching out to planners that result in landing gigs.
1. Call Them
There’s no getting away from it. You need to call planners to make those initial connections. Yes, nobody likes cold calling, but if you are willing to put your neck out on the line, you will reap the rewards.
Remember, you aren’t pressure-selling them into anything. You are simply making them aware of your existence. Also, bear in mind that these are people that are actively looking to book new speakers, so it’s not like they are going to hang up the phone.
Keeping that in mind should get you over any fear of calling someone cold. You aren’t selling anything (at this stage). You are simply looking to introduce yourself and enquire about any upcoming opportunities. You can then follow up your initial conversation with emails and touchpoints on social media to set up a face-to-face meeting to “close the sale.”
2. Reach Out via Email
Email is bread and butter for planners – they will receive dozens of speaker email pitches a day. However, it’s for that exact reason that you’re going to find it tough to grab their attention. Worse, a wrong subject line or sending out an email blast with an automated email software provider could trigger spam and junk filters, meaning your information may never even land in their inbox anyway.
That’s why I suggest calling first, so the planner can expect your email and actively search for it if they haven’t received it. Another advantage of calling first is that you can reference your initial conversation and make the connection stronger.
The email itself should be pretty brief. I suggest thanking them for their time and highlighting one or two of your biggest strengths and successes in the industry to date. For example, if you sold out a 2,000-seater venue on a previous occasion, then you could include that as a point of difference over other speakers.
Lastly, I have email templates that help you avoid the spam filters that you can access for free inside the private Charli Jane Speakers Club Facebook Group. Click here to sign up and find those templates.
3. Make a Connection on Social Channels
Social media can be one of your best friends when it comes to making contact with event planners and organizers. However, for this method to be effective, you need to do your research. Generic DMs are just not good enough. You need to know everything about this event organizer before you initiate contact. It’s the only way you will open the doors of opportunity.
So when researching conferences you want to participate in, find the organizer(s) on social media, and get busy with your online detective work to find out as much as you can about them before making a connection.
It’s also an excellent idea to BE SOCIAL. One little message isn’t going to give you much. Instead, set aside time to occasionally like, comment, and share their content, allowing you to occupy their notifications and keeping you front of mind when they next come to consider booking new speakers.
Of course, don’t be annoying here. No more than 3-4 interactions a week. Otherwise, you will annoy them into blocking you and slamming the door shut on any chances of speaking at their conference or event.
4. Direct Mail
I’ve already spoken about the power that direct mail still has. Event planners are far more likely to open snail mail than any email campaign, so never write off this method of reaching out!
That said, you will need to get creative to grab their attention. Plain white envelopes ain’t going to do it. You need to think outside the box. If you’re lacking inspiration, you can read my post covering direct mail strategies for planners.
Whatever you decide regarding strategy, make sure it stands out, and do not forget to follow up! Once again, a phone call is best, and you have the benefit of an icebreaker right off the bat, which should take the edge off any nerves you might have.
Reaching Out to Planners is Easy – But It Requires Hard Work
The good news for you as a speaker trying to grow your business is that you have plenty of opportunities to get up on that stage. The only thing standing in your way is a lack of planners knowing you exist.
Reaching out to planners changes that. They suddenly know you are, can evaluate your marketing materials, and assess whether you are as good of a fit for their event as you think you are.
The one drawback is that it’s a numbers game. You can’t contact one event planner expecting to hit the jackpot. You’ve got to put in the work.
But, little by little, as you work on cultivating those relationships, the speaking opportunities should come trickling in, one by one, until you have a long trail of inbound inquiries and you get to pick and choose which events to attend.
It’s a long journey, but one that is incredibly worthwhile for your business.
Again, if you would like to get hold of those email templates and gain other hints and tips for reaching out to planners, then make sure to join our free Facebook group Grow Your Speaking Biz today.
Meet Wendi McNeill
As the Founder and Owner of Charli Jane Speaker Services®, Wendi has been “Opening Doors of Opportunity” for speakers since 2002.
Charli Jane Speakers provides speakers with support, exposure, tools, tips, speaking and media leads, coaching/learning programs, and much more to assist them in growing their speaking business.
When it comes to Wendi’s clients she is very passionate and laser-focused about how they can grow their speaking business to levels of great success and fulfillment. They work together on strategies to quickly & easily position them as the top expert in their subject matter.
The results are success, financial freedom, and limitless lifestyle choices. Her primary objective is to help speakers/experts properly position themselves so they can get found easily, fill their speaking schedule and increase their income to incredible levels. Also, through the development of multiple streams of income, her clients learn how to rely on more than speaking fees alone to sustain their businesses.
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