Are you struggling to get bookings?
Are you a little puzzled as to why you aren’t growing your speaking business as you’d like? Several reasons could be contributing to your lack of growth.
Below I’ve listed some of the most common mistakes I see speakers make and walk you through how to fix them.
You can think of them as a kind of checklist that you need to go through to ensure you’re doing everything you can to build a successful speaking business.
So read through carefully and then TAKE ACTION. Without action, nothing will change.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Why Your Speaking Business Isn't Growing
Here are the minute marks that cover highlights in the episode:
Nobody Knows Who You Are
(2:34) Believe it or not, some speakers take a “build it, and they will come” approach to their speaking business.
They set up their website and social media profiles, hoping people magically find them and book them to speak somewhere!
I’m sorry, but that’s not how any of this works. You need to let people know you exist, so they know to book you!
That means you need to be very proactive with your marketing – both online and offline – so that people know who you are and how to get hold of you.
Attend networking events, post regularly on social media, write regular blog posts on your website, and try to secure slots on popular podcasts or webinars. Whatever it takes to get the word out there.
Your Speaker Website is Letting You Down
(4:07) Building your speaker website is one thing, but if it’s poorly designed or doesn’t include the right information, then nobody will book you!
Always ensure your website is easy to navigate and that your planner page is never more than ONE CLICK away from your home page.
It’s probably a good idea to highlight the button or navigation link on your home page so that it stands out from the rest of the content.
You always need to make sure you have an effective Call-to-Actions (CTA). You need to take your website visitors on a journey, but if they never receive any prompts regarding what to do next, they will leave your website and not return.
Who You Serve is Not Clearly Defined
(5:35) It doesn’t matter whether it’s your website or your social media presence; every element of your branding (online or otherwise) should deliver CLARITY.
Irrespective of what the first client touch point is, your target audience needs to know precisely what you do and how you do it. Otherwise, how are they supposed to decide if you’re the right person for them?
You need to utterly dominate your specific segment, rather than trying to be all things to all people.
The more specific you are with who you want to serve, the easier it will be for your audience to find you in the first place and then book you once they do.
So whether it’s your speaker video, website homepage, or social media profile bio, people who come across you should know within seconds who you are, what you do, how you do it, and who you do it for.
You’re Not Quite Nailing Your Presentations
(7:07) It’s one thing to get booked; it’s another to deliver a fantastic presentation or talk.
Remember, the fastest way to grow your speaking business is through referrals and repeat bookings from clients who are genuinely happy with the way you delivered your presentations.
If that’s not happening once you’ve started to gain a little traction, then it’s probably time to revisit what you’re doing up on that stage.
It could be that you’re not dressing correctly for the occasion, it might be that you’re not tailoring your content to the specific audience enough, or maybe you’re simply not putting your best foot forward when you stand up there and deliver your talk.
Whatever it may be, you need to diagnose the problem so you can fix it going forward.
Reach out and ask your clients for feedback after each of your presentations – not just the ones where you’re doing well. And if you’re struggling to connect with your audience, then it might be worth investing more time into practice or some speaking coaching to help you nail those presentations once and for all!
You’re Putting Too Many Eggs in One Basket
(8:31) While a speaking business is an enriching and potentially lucrative opportunity, it’s not the only way to make a living as a professional speaker.
While some speakers build successful businesses on the back of speaking fees alone, most also have additional income streams that allow them to invest back into their businesses.
For example, it’s very typical for speakers to offer consulting, coaching, or training services in addition to their speaking engagements.
Other ways to leverage speaking gigs include offering mastermind groups, online courses, and membership programs through your website.
Many have written a book, and speaking is a way to promote it.
Whatever you choose to do as an additional revenue stream alongside your speaking engagements is up to you – just make sure that your speaking business model allows for it so you can add healthy recurring revenue to your bottom line.
You’re Not Working the Numbers (And Making Excuses)
(10:27) Building a speaking business from scratch isn’t easy in any industry. But speaking is really a numbers game.
Speakers I’ve worked with that are treading water simply aren’t talking to enough people each day and are making excuses as to why they can’t grow the business as quickly as they’d like to.
As I mentioned at the top of this article, most professional speakers aren’t “discovered.” They get out there and introduce themselves to as many people as possible.
That means they actively seek out and touch base with dozens of new potential leads EVERY DAY.
The days of waiting for the phone to ring are over – you need to get out there and tell the world who you are.
The more people you contact daily, the faster you’ll start to build a sustainable speaking business.
Growing Your Speaking Business Isn’t Easy, But It’s Very Achievable When You Take the Right Steps
(11:42) So there you have it – six factors that may be holding you back from growing your speaking business.
Make sure you read through them again and be honest about how much each one applies to you and your current approach.
If you can eliminate these potential pitfalls from your current growth strategy, then you’re well on your way to building a successful business as a professional speaker.
If you’re struggling to source enough leads for your speaking business, or you’re at the beginning of your speaking journey, make sure to check out my online speaking resources, including my signature Charli Jane Speakers Club, which offers members thousands of leads each year for events, conferences, virtual summits, and other speaking opportunities.
Can I Feature You?
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If feature podcast listeners on every podcast (starting in 2023) and I’d love to feature YOU next! Simply leave a review and tag me on social media @charlijanespeakers to let me know. I look forward to connecting.
Again, don’t forget to learn more about The Charli Jane Speakers Club. If you are looking to get on more stages … this club will give you everything you need to accomplish this!
Resources & Links Mentioned
The Charli Jane Speakers Club – Learn more.
If you’re ready to get on more stages you’re in the right place! We provide members with 5,200 – 10,400 speaking opportunities a year! Yep, you heard that right! There is something for everyone.
I also created a program called The Booked Solid Success Path. It goes hand-in-hand with the speaking opportunities. Plus, an amazing community and more!
Episode 135: The Go-Getters Guide to Becoming a Virtual Speaker
The Breakthrough Public Speakers Community – Join us here.
My team and I are inside this community helping you, encouraging you, and supporting you through your speaking journey… along with 3,000+ speakers!
I hope you enjoyed the training episode.
Every week I release a new training episode to help you launch and grow your speaking business.
Keep Inspiring! – Wendi xo
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Meet Wendi McNeill
As the Founder and Owner of Charli Jane Speaker Services®, Wendi has been “Opening Doors of Opportunity” for speakers since 2002.
Charli Jane Speakers provides speakers with support, exposure, tools, tips, speaking and media leads, coaching/learning programs, and much more to assist them in growing their speaking business. Learn more about Wendi
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