Make it obvious that you are The Expert on your topics.
One of the 4 ways to market yourself as a speaker is to identify 2-3 speaking topics that are focused on ways you can help a specific audience.
Be clear that your talk or presentation will help your audience solve their issues and help them reap rewards from taking action.
Make sure your message is clear and to the point. Readers are sophisticated enough now that they can “see” through the salesy copy and that’s a big turn off. Let your know-how shine through and state what you can do for them with confidence.
Create sexy, selling, speaker marketing materials that help market and sell you.
You will need a Speaker OneSheet in digital and hardcopy form. Make sure your materials are on brand and consistent.
Avoid garish, dark colors. Be aware of what it might take a planner to print it from her or his desk to share in meetings.
Use clever and creative, but never cutesy, social media graphics to emphasize your message and engage and empower your audience.
Pull together an excellent Video Demo reel, only 2-3 minutes, but high quality – both in video and sound. Nothing is more of a turn off to planners than a great looking speaker demo vid with terrible sound. Even worse … a grainy video of you from 10 years ago in a half-empty ballroom.
Common sense rules here, folks, great sound, great visuals get you the great gigs. Honestly, no video is better than half the ones I’ve seen on some speaker sites.
Make sure yours is top-shelf.
Build your speaking platform
Your speaking platform should be ever-growing. The stronger your platform and niche, the more you likely you are to achieve a booked speaking schedule.
Be sure to know your audience so that you can truly resonate with them and make meaningful connections. Repurpose your content across social channels to get the most online mileage and be consistent with this. Consistency builds integrity and trust – two keys to sustainability in speaking.
Write blogs – You need to establish credibility and a blog is one of the quickest ways to start this. Just start. So many people see well-established blogs and get intimidated. Don’t let this happen to you. Plan to post once or twice a month at first, to relieve yourself from the overwhelm. Blogs grow over time, lots of time, so just get your first post posted and grow from there.
Guest blogging is also great visibility- and credibility-builder. Do this consistency and watch your schedule grow as well as your mailing list.
Be a podcast guest. Get in front of other audiences that are similar to yours so you can get the word out through other’s established channels.
Podcasters are always looking for people to talk with and share about, afterall, they are content creators, too. You’ll be doing them a favor, so don’t be shy. Ask for a spot with a short email pitch or comment on one of the episodes that you like and build from there
Be social: Engage heavily on social media, wherever you feel your audience is hanging out or the planner that can hire you might be lurking looking for that next great speaker everyone is asking for insights.
Leave genuine comments, share their stuff, like their posts. They notice the “regulars”. Being consistent and engaging is the only way you will get engagement back. Start communicating and being helpful because this will create relationships. Relationships are another key to building s successful speaking career.
Share your expertise on video platforms and then add the links to your website and social. Think in terms of a unified message across all your outlets.
Collect testimonials from audiences and planners. Written and video testimonials are very strong marketing tools. Take time to mingle in the lobby or hallways after a talk and ask enthusiastic attendees if you can shoot a quick video clip (use your phone, the spontaneous aspect is fun and eye-catching) of them gushing for your social and site. Most people who make the effort to seek you out to tell you how much you helped them, are more than happy to appear on your social sites with you.
Start your impressive client list and showcase these on your planner page. Planners want to make sure you’ve got at least some experience and see which companies and clients have trusted you in the past makes it easier for them to do the same.
Be brave enough to speak for free
This leads me to one of the most controversial tips I share with speakers and that is this: You’ve got to be willing to speak for free, especially if you are a beginner.
Everyone starts somewhere, and if you play it right, one terrific presentation can be the jumping off place for so much of what you need to gather on the list above. Go to each and every gig with the mindset that you are exactly where you are supposed to be, because you are about to receive what you need to get you to the next level.
And here’s the thing … you get to the highest levels by being a giver, not a taker. I know many speakers who command high fees, and they still show up for free so they can help people, pay it forward and inspire others.
Aren’t you in this industry to do just that? I thought so.
If you’re looking for even more helpful ways to get noticed and grow your speaking business, then be sure to check out our Facebook group “Grow Your Speaking Business” for more useful tips.