Make a connection with just one association today
For each target audience you feel you serve, find associations that benefits or consists of your target audience. Seek them out. To earn their admiration, present new strategies and skills to help improve their industry and the skills of the participants. The key here is how you can benefit them, set aside how they can benefit you. The better you serve others, the more will come back to you.
1. Where do you want to speak?
Today, locate one industry association you feel would be a fit for your target audience. Dig. Quality over quantity, and take your time. Google is your friend.
2. Find a Contact
Find the contact information and mailing address, email and phone number for the association. See if you can find a current or past call for presenters and whether there’s a submission contact.
3. Gather more information
Make a quick call and ask about their next conference, when they will be putting out a call for speakers, and who is accepting and reviewing the applications. Ask if you can be added to their list of people to send it to.
4. Keep Track!
Add this information into a spreadsheet for this challenge: you’re starting a marketing calendar for speaking engagements. Keep 1 column for the date their call for presenters goes out and another column for a marketing campaign date (which should be 1-2 weeks before the call goes out) so you can sort the sheet by a “take action” date.
5. Take Action
When the time comes, contact the person in charge of the call for presenters with something memorable like a postcard with a hand-written note or hand-addressed to a specific person. Send the postcard on your take action date. Be creative or make it short and mysterious to keep them intrigued. Check on the status of their request for presenters, and have your submission materials ready. As soon as it’s out, give your materials a check to make sure you fit their requirements, and submit.
Industry Associations are a great way of finding a specific business target market. Usually these associations have the money to pay Speakers if you ask politely and are within their secretive budget. It is easier to find paid speaking jobs at industry conferences.
Quality over quantity; this is not a numbers game. It’s important to only pick a handful of well targeted associations and ones you feel are a perfect fit to start. Nurture them, build relationships and amazing opportunities can happen.
Extra Bonus Tips
- Be sensitive to their mission and their members, and make sure you take that into account so your suggestions are in alignment with their views and needs.
- Comment on their blogs, submit articles to their magazines.
- Look at previous conference topics over the last year or two and devise a list of “hot topics” you can suggest in your pitch or proposal.
- Research the Speakers being hired or booked by the industry associations you want to get into. Investigate their website and marketing materials.
- Why do you feel they were selected?
- How can you use that information to improve your chances of being accepted?
- Consider sending something a little different: a magnet with your name and topics on it and your social links. Even more useful is something that connects with your topic.
- You know me; I’m always preaching Stand Out, do something different.
- Don’t be the same ol’ cow in the field, strive to be the purple one.
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