How do I get involved in a speaker circuit?
I have services that I want to bring to people in their professional and private lives that will create success and harmony. What can I do to get involved in a speaker circuit in order for companies to be able to reach out and hire me?
Where is your online reputation nowadays?
It is a fact that people will research for your credibility. Obviously you need a solid LinkedIn profile and do some strong networking. Do you have a website? Fan Page? How about a budget to advertise the right audience? You need to be more specific to get better answers.
Overall everything is just a matter of strategy. Gotta find yours!
I would suggest finding someone like https://www.linkedin.com/in/dustymeehan, who has extensive experience working with speakers. Dusty would already have all of the contact information that you need and would save you a lot of time as you dive into this new side of your career.
You need to be online and create an online presence. Also you need to be able to display that you're an authority on the subject. PM me if your want me to explain exactly how to do that.
Interesting and frequent question. I suggest the following:
1. Ensure that you have the passion and can withstand frustration and early rejection.
2. Write a book and at first don't self publish but try and have an acknowledged publisher print it. Give you credibility. If that fails go to Amazon self publish.
3. Blog but have the passion come through
4. Join the local chapter of the National Speakers Association and network network
5. If you are looking to go through a speaker middle person they will want testimonials from previous presentation and a high quality video of you speaking
6. find conference you can speak at for free it build confidence and it gives you an audience that could hire you
7. Make something in your presentation a personal story preferably about you but if not one you can speak about with emotion, people remember stories not facts. Facts are only good if you are presenting on something that is empirical, something you or others have researched.
8. Most important DO NOT try and sell your services or your company. Let the story speak to why they should want you. If you are trying to start a consulting service or have one you have to collect as many business cards as possible and link to them on LinkedIn with 48 hours and follow up with an email to speak to them within 5 business days.
9 Also be humble, use humour at the beginning and also at least once during. When they laugh you have their attention.
If you don't have prior speaking engagements to refer to get some by approaching small regional and local organizations who do not usually have a speakers budget and say you will do it for free...free means no expenses covered either. If they offer great but get some experience you can talk about as a speaker and get those presentations video taped. (I suppose no one uses tape any more.)
I would attend events and speak with the other speakers, I would also reach out to the companies that run the circuit. However, when doing so make sure you focus on what you can do for them, not what they can do for you. It only takes one conversation, one connection and one foot in the door to get you started.
Some links for you to check out:
Hi Theresa -- As someone who not only runs events, but speaks at events regularly, let me share some of the secrets.
First off, there are TONS of different kinds of speaking opportunities. Everything from Meetups, industry conferences, trade shows and product-specific user conferences, to business dinners, awards programs, seminars and so much more. The audiences can range from students (at your local college) to retirees. Speaking engagements can be live, on the phone or over the web, or some combination -- an international simulcast event perhaps.
- Know who you should be speaking to. What kind of audience is interested in what you have to say?
- Be a good speaker. Have a story to tell. Being a published author is great, it builds credibility but these days, just about anyone can be an author. Be known for something.
- Be clear, concise and entertaining. Be interesting. Be inspiring. Be useful.
- Practice. Practice. Practice. If you don't have a chance to practice in front of an audience, recruit one. Friends, students, family. Big +1 for organizations like Toastmasters.
- Let people know you are a speaker. Have information about your speaking capabilities on your website. Add the word "Speaker" to your social media profiles. Tell people you are looking for speaking engagements. Be specific.
- Let people know you are an experienced speaker. Provide examples of your speaking engagements, the topics you cover, the types of speaking you do. A video is best.
- Don't attempt to sell something to your audience. Most audiences have little patience with this. Help them. Educate them. (And, then, if they need what you are offering, make it available.) Don't badger, proselytize, or harangue.
How you will be found/discovered:
- Many/Most event managers get speakers for their events from their personal "Rolodex" (does anyone have those anymore? Probably not bou know what I mean.) Or, they see a good speaker at another event and recruit them for their event. Or they ask their friends and colleagues. Or they perform an online search. If they are looking for speakers for an organization, they (should) search through the membership rolls.
- Many conferences and trade shows have calls for papers, calls for speakers, calls for submissions or standard submission processes. (Helpful hint: search on these phrases paired with keywords regarding your area of expertise.) Also take the time to attend events put on by the organizations and see what kind of speakers they use. Ask what kind of speakers they are looking for. Observe the speakers they select.
And, if all else fails:
- Create your own speaking opportunities. Run your own event. Create a seminar series or webinar.
I speak as one who has made 'live' presentations to professionals in 33 states, Puerto Rico, Malaysia, Australia, Ghana, Germany, Italy, and Austria. Long before that, when I was 28, I also won a state-wide speaking contest against intense and accomplished competition. To get to the finals, I had to win contests at the local, regional, and half-state levels.
That said, let me tell you that the 'speaker's circuit' is typically NOT for huckstering of the kind towards which you seem inclined. If audiences know ahead of time that they will be subjected to a sales pitch, that's one thing. But it is both unprofessional and, in my view, unethical to accept an invitation to speak and then blind-side your audience--and your host/hostess--with a sales pitch that was never disclosed ahead of time.
Now, if whatever you're trying to peddle is backed up by INDEPENDENT AND VERIFIABLE EMPIRICAL RESEARCH CONDUCTED BY SCHOLARS OR PROFESSIONAL RESEARCHERS, then that could be a story worth telling. Somehow, though, I doubt that's the case. My skepticism stems from your reference to services "that will create success and harmony." That sounds to me more like astrology and kumbaya nonsense than anything else.
If you really believe in what you're doing, then market-test it first: try raising a couple of hundred grand from independent investors. Make sure you have a chunk of YOUR OWN MONEY in the deal, or you'll have little credibility asking others for their hard-earned cash. That sum will underwrite the creation of an infomercial that could result in you being invited to make a pitch on Home Shopping Network or similar venue.
Start a blog, plan the posts so that you can, after a year or so, consolidate the content into a self-published book. (no less than 3 posts a month, otherwise it will be difficult to build up and sustain a following).
Tune into as many LinkedIn Groups you feel capable of contributing to and make sure you are active in these Groups.
Practice for international speaking engagements by appearing in front of local business groups, focus groups, even high schools.
Once you have evolved a pitch that you see people relate to. go upscale to videos (no more than 3-4 minutes each). Make sure you hire a pro to do the sound, lighting, recording, editing.