by Wendi J McNeill
If you have made it this far and are reading this article this tells me you have an interest and passion to share your message with the world and to get started in the public speaking arena…a passion so deep that it keeps you up in the middle of the night just thinking about it!
First, I say congratulations and if you have a dream, a passion, dedication and a powerful message then you are ready to take the next steps to becoming a professional speaker.
In this article I cover the very basics of what you will need to start your speaking business. They may seem like they are out of your reach, but please know nothing is out of your reach when you have a dream and desire, just take a few baby steps to get going and your on your way to fulfilling your dreams and sharing your message with the world!
The following is a list of what I coach my clients who are brand new to the speaking world and want to Get Found Now!, those who want to build a name for themselves, build their platform, have a strong online presence, increase their speaking engagements and create unlimited streams of income through sharing their message and knowledge.
- Clarify your vision for your business. You have probably heard this saying, but if you could wave a magic wand where would you want to be in 6 months to a year?
- Define your niche. This is a very important first step. Once you have a niche then narrow it down even more because this will better your chances of you becoming the Speaker of Choice in that area.
- Who is your audience? Who is your market? Where will you find them? Is this a paying market? Do your research and know your audience and market and where you will find them and know if this will be a paying market for you. I stress the importance of really knowing your target audience because if you can pinpoint their problems and can provide a wonderful solution then you’re going to do great!
- Create your topics with a great title and put your description of your topics together.
- Create your brand…always be YOU! Don’t try to be someone else or model another professional speaker. ..It’s too much work and you will soon find out that you are not connecting with your audience because you chose to be “someone else” instead of just being You. The more unique and creative you can be in bringing your message to your target audience with your own uniqueness the faster you will become the chosen speaker in your area. Remember to be the purple cow in the field…stand out from the crowd using your own personality and talents and you will be very successful in your speaking business.
- Create a simple website or blog, it does not have to be expensive or fancy…save the money you would spend on this and invest it in yourself with learning and other marketing materials. You only want to start with a simple online presence to direct planners and media professionals to your website to learn more about you AND you want to collect names for your mailing list which will become one of your most valuable assets in your business in the very near future. I coach my clients that your website should have two main purposes: 1. To showcase and 2. To collect names for your mailing list so you can start to share valuable and helpful content with them that will help them solve their problems…plus remember it is so important to build relationships! Your website of course has other functions but those are the top two. Make sure your site is easy to navigate, easy on the eyes, has a media room and all pertinent information readily available for the decision maker.
- Create a free giveaway on your site with a sign up box to collect names of your visitors. Make it helpful and enticing enough for them to be willing to exchange their name for your offering. Always have your sign up box on every page of your site because you never know what page your visitor will come in on.
- Create an ezine! This is one of my best marketing tools that I have not only for speakers but for meeting planners as well. It is important to keep in touch with your growing list on a regular basis. Share with them and build relationships. People have to come to know you, like you and trust you before they will purchase from you.
- Start creating products not only will this build your credibility but give you multiple streams of income.
- Start building your platform. There are many platform building steps you can take to grow a strong platform and your goal is to show everyone, “Hey, this is me and this is what I do, this is what I have to share, this is what I have done.” If you meet a planner or decision maker they will always want to know your web address so when they have time they can go and visit you online…when they get to your site you want to make sure you have built a strong platform to back up your “talk” or you will find them leaving your site very quickly!
- Start implementing marketing strategies into your business. There are so many marketing techniques that speakers can do to help them grow their business, gain exposure, and build their credibility. One of my top suggestions for marketing yourself to start is writing articles and getting them submitted online, this will place you as the expert and open more doors of opportunity!
These are just some of the beginning steps you can take to start your speaking business, there are many but this should give you an idea of how you can get going.
If you have a dream of sharing your message and becoming a speaker or even a coach don’t let anything stop you. If you have a vision and desire…go after it! You can do anything you want if you try hard enough and don’t give up. You have a dream…know in your heart that you have the knowledge, talent and a powerful message to share that will change the lives of many.