Win Speaking Gigs with a Niche. Step into the shoes of a conference organizer. The overall conference topic is autism. You need a keynote presenter that will attract both parents and doctors, and you have a nice handsome speaking fee set aside so that you can afford to get an expert related to your topic. You start brainstorming about experts in the field of Autism Spectrum Disorders, and what you really want is someone with a strong message on a hot topic under the wide umbrella that is autism.
You would never pick someone who is simply knowledgeable about autism in general. You want an expert on a sub-topic of autism. Something enlightening, revealing, heartwarming, something that grabs attention, or someone so well-known on the topic that their presence alone will attract the target audience.
More Speaking Gigs as a Topic Expert
If that’s what the people picking speakers are looking for, how do you think a broad, weak, watered-down message is going to serve you? You want to get found and booked more often! Niche yourself.
No one will bang down your door to be a topic-expert on something that you’re not a topic-expert on. Dig in, and create your little nook within the broader topic and immerse yourself in it.
Believe it or not, when you niche yourself people automatically assume that you possess a good generalized understanding of the broader topic at hand, but that you have depth in the specific sub-topic-area. You become a subject-matter expert. And subject-matter-experts are sought out and highly valued for their time and expertise.
By the way, that means more money per gig.
How to Discover Your Niche
How do you figure out a great niche?
- Industry news around your topic — what’s “hot” and “what’s not”
- Find out what planners in your general topic area are looking for
- Brainstorm about your topic with a friend or coach
- Look at the books on your shelves, flip through a couple of them
- Figure out where all the topics you’re interested in converge
- What aspect of your topic are you absolutely in love with?
Take that research, pick one thing, and develop a niche around it. Make sure it is an aspect of your topic that you have experience in (or can get the expertise in!) and be able to present your subject matter as a professional expert speaker in your field.
How Deep is your Niche?
In our example, you’re a conference organizer who knows that Asperger’s Syndrome is a common sub-topic of Autism Spectrum Disorders, but it’s not specific or trendy enough right now. It’s still too broad. However, if you find someone who is an expert on the role of gut bacteria in autism — that’s a current hot topic, and you know that nutrition in autism is of grave importance to parents and doctors alike. That expert would be worth their weight in gold and will definitely get a call.
Make sure your niche is deep enough to excite people who are looking for speakers — and not so deep that the topic is completely inaccessible to the general population interested in your topic. You want a niche that is still of interest to people who are already generalists on your overall topic, while not intimidating people who are new to it.
Once you have established your niche, you must continue to practice your speaking skills and update your material and presentations to keep-up with the trends and changing issues.
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