Not too long ago a member of the Charli Jane Speakers Club asked me, “How can I attract meeting planners?”
That is the million-dollar question, right!? The answer is just as valuable.
There is no magic wand. But the results from the work you will put in can be magical.
Simply, you have to build and maintain a strong speaking platform.
Here are 4 ways to start attracting planners to you:
- Be a magnet. Everywhere they turn, there you are. Get in front of them
- Have a clear website with everything they need to understand what you do and how you work
- Send postcards to planners to let them know you are available as a contingency speaker
- Have a crystal-clear message
Let’s dive into each one of these a little deeper.
“Be a magnet” means be everywhere planners are. It means every time they turn around, there you are! Get on social and interact with them. Comment on their posts with meaningful and genuine comments. Follow them, share their stuff, etc.. This isn’t just a one-time fly by either. This needs to be done every day. Carve out 15 minutes each day and be online where they are. You have to do the work, but this can be fun as well as very rewarding.
Have a clearly and logically laid out website. Nothing makes a planner click off your website faster than when they can’t find what they need! And where are they clicking to? To the next speaker’s website on their list. You just missed an opportunity. How to fix it? Make sure your website is clean and crystal clear in explaining what you do. Don’t make them go clicking around on a time-consuming goose chase. Have ever tying they need in a very well-organized, central location. Your OneSheet, keynotes and descriptions, testimonials, videos, images, client list,etc. are all laid out before them and easily found with only a few taps of the links. This makes for an easier and more immediate hiring decision.
Market yourself as a contingency speaker. What is the top thing that scares the ba-jeebies out of a planner? A no-show speaker, that’s what!
Some planners have their jobs on the line when they hire speakers. When a speaker doesn’t show up, what will a planner do to save their 200 tickets-sold event? They will scramble for a backup speaker, fast. If you can position yourself to be available as a backup speaker, also known as a contingency speaker, you have just become the planner’s best friend. Their worries are gone. They can perform in their role better now knowing you are there for backup in case a speaker doesn’t show up, it happens. It’s a real thing. Life happens. And when it does, you’re there to save the day. Start getting the word out with a simple postcard campaign to planners in a short travel distance from your homebase.
Have a clear message. Last on this list, but top in priority, this one thing is paramount. I’ve been helping speakers and planners for 18+ years. When a planner can’t find what it is that you do, what happens? They move on quickly to their next candidate. We want them to stay on your website to learn more and so you can take them on a journey – just a very short and concise journey. Destination? Your gig-winning, platform defining message. If you can be spot on with your message when they first land on your site, it’s a win-win instantly. You win the gig, and they win with a sold out event that fills rooms with happy audiences and excellent word of mouth for next year.
I’ve touched briefly on 4 key things that you can work on as you seek to attract meeting planners to you. Remember, building (and maintaining) a strong speaking platform is key to growth and a booked schedule. Consistency, clarity and seeking to meet the planners’ needs first are what is takes to build the expert reputation and speaking business of your dreams.
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