To open doors to more speaking engagements, build a stronger speaking platform. The more credibility and visibility you have, the more doors will open for you, leading to more and more opportunities, and a fully booked schedule every year.
There’s an easy way and a hard way to do everything, and for speakers the easy way is to set yourself up as the expert in your field: build a platform first, do marketing and show the world that you indeed can “walk-your-talk.”
Searching out speaking opportunities before setting yourself up as the expert in your field can cause a lot of frustration, and an empty pocketbook. Fixing the situation often means starting all the way back at the beginning, so you might as well start there.
How much effort you put into building your platform should match how serious you are about speaking. I would recommend several hours a day, and if you are trying to build a full time speaking business, then I recommend working at it all day.
Here are 8 ways to get started strengthening your speaking platform. They’re not in any particular order. Tackle these so you can go out and seek opportunities with more confidence and with a higher chance of getting booked.
- Build a simple website. It doesn’t have to be perfect to start, you can tweak as you go. Don’t spend thousands of dollars either. Hire someone to build a simple yet elegant site that is in your budget. You only need a few important pages and ingredients on your website to set yourself up. It’s important to capture your visitor’s name and email by offering them something free and valuable. Your mailing list is one of your greatest assets.
- Niche yourself. Become known for “something.” Focus in tight on your market, and find that specialized group that you can connect with. The more specialized you are the more opportunities you will have. This tip can be tough especially when just starting because you feel you need to have many areas. Pick one. Be happy and confident with it and go for it. Give yourself a tag line. Queen of Landing Pages. The Swinging Salesmen expert. Use your imagination and coin yourself. You can also go with simplicity if it makes you feel better. Large Organization Leadership expert. Millennial Mindset expert. Just tag yourself as something that fits your specialty.
- Blog it! Blogs need to be updated frequently: you should be writing blog posts and adding them to your website, sharing with your list, minimum once a week. Put your talent and knowledge out there and post articles that are helpful to your audience. Try top 5, 7, or 10 posts — such as this one — or a “how to” post. Once you have put your thoughts to paper, edit it. If you need help editing let me know I have a great referral.
- Know your audience. You build credibility and connection when you are in sync with exactly what your audience needs and wants. If you’re not in tune with them, it will be a long time struggle and you won’t get booked on a regular basis or asked to return. So, do your homework.
- Create a killer onesheet. A onesheet is your #1 marketing tool along with your demo video. When trying to book speakers, I get asked for a speaker’s Onesheet and it’s embarrassing to say “They don’t have one.” It’s not the response I like giving. If you don’t have one, get it done here. It should be on your website as a downloadable PDF and make sure you share a link to it on your social media pages.
- Write a book, ebook, or create some information products. Create an online program, workshops or mastermind groups. To stay in sync with the title you have given yourself, create a “signature program” and create books, workshops, online classes and course around this signature program.
- Speak for free if you are a beginner. Being brand new, I recommend speaking for free, if its feasible and not going to break you. If you are just starting, speak for free in your local area to build your client list, testimonials, videos, audios, transcripts, and experience. Doing this gives you more credibility and exposure. There are many advantages to doing this. This is how platforms start.
- Set up your social media platforms to be branded. Your social pages should match your website and your message. Use the same images and messages so that your fans and buyers see consistency and can trust that you’ll be consistent on the stage as well. Build trust and people will remember you. Work the social media circuit, get in front of your audience. Write posts, share, like, follow. Be interactive and very helpful. Do not constantly be selling. Share and send people to your free giveaway. It’s about relationship building.
These tips are only a handful of ways that you can strengthen your speaking platform. With a stronger platform you’ll get more speaking engagements, and the more engagements you get the more testimonials, the more videos, the more fans you’ll have. That’s how people will seek you out and make it easier for you to get booked for speaking engagements.
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