What have you found is the best marketing method to get paid speaking gigs?
As a professional key note speaker, what have you found is the best way to get paid to present in front of an audience? How to avoid having to conduct free gigs and what professional materials or marketing strategies work best for getting paid presenting opportunities.
Be good enough to get an agent.
Package something of your own and sell it by seminar.
Get civic clubs to be your ticket selling team in each market you wish to speak in.
Speaking engagements foster other speaking presentations.
I started by contacting my local Small business Association and my local town small business focus groups. I setup a website strictly for feedback, and comments, linked to my main website as a back link. The SBA will list your services and talents and your Small Business Focus groups will also. You can also verbally blog via YouTube, Post yourself as a mentor with groups such as MySpace and other social medias. Post a weekly Facebook ad and blog your heart out. Yes it is time consuming, but word of mouth does get around. If you enjoy blagging that can be quite prolific as well. I was in front of audiences with in my first year, with a nice sub-income.
Free gigs give you publicity, publicity gives you opportunities but in all probability of free gigs.
It must not continue indefinitely. Therefore, help yourself with the following:
1 Covert free gigs into contacts
2 Accept the fact that organisations you went for free would invite you for free. Keep few big names.
3 Explore better means of publicity like TV, print media, blogs, writing books
4 Discreetly find going rate for speakers of your level
5 Decide on a rate for yourself. It should initially be 50 to 70 % of the going rate. Fix it and do not vary it.
6 Increase the rate in future as you increase your credentials, but only by review of going rate
7 Importantly, work out best way of conveying your rates.
8 In case some opt out after giving you a likely date you could not commit to another, utilize the day in developing yourself for the next likely.
Dr. DS Narban
Ph.D. (Psychology), MBA
Without question it is primarily about being an amazing speaker first and foremost. You must touch people emotionally, provide hope and/or inspiration. You have to think of yourself as a product. If your speech is more than good the word of mouth and references and video clips will market all you want. If you are ordinary then it's all about hustling. Be truly great rather than even very good and, like any great product, the market will find you.
weekly or monthly visit to different universities, also plan visit to business sides,proper use social media e.g facebook, linkedin,...and built your own website and daily upload new article,tip, and lecture,...
Event planners will pay for someone who can truly deliver exactly what they are looking for and if you make it easy for them to hire you by having your media kit or speaker info on your website, sharing with them via email exactly what you will need to present and having a sample contract should they not have one to go.
You can speak for free without really speaking for free by making sure you have opportunities to sell your materials and/or products and also if you take a free or nominal speaking gig to get referred to others who will hire you the exposure and referrals may well pay for your speaking.
Always ask for referrals when you speak as most people will know others who would like to have you present as well. Get testimonies after each presentation as well.
Building a strong platform and network and honing in your speaking topics to ones which really resonate with your audience is the best way to market.
You could choose to join a speaker's bureau, but I don't believe those with limited credentials or who are not really sought after speakers find it is often worth the cost.
Finally, speak wherever you can grow your tribe. You may not always make the best revenue but growing your platform will help you become a more sought after speaker and eventually land larger and more profitable gigs.
Here are the things I tell clients trying to move to paid speaking:
1. Decide if this is your main business or a sidebar. If you do not already have a position as an expert, keep your day job while you get ready. If you are going to make it your main business, look into the National Speakers Association.
2. Become an expert...for real. Perception is fine until your naivete shows on the platform. I was once asked how long I could speak about Networking. My response was, "How many days do you need me?"
3. Treat speaking as your business. Market it like any other business. Have a web site. (See the diversity of examples in the NSA Directory) Have a one sheet for each keynote or breakout and as a group. Utilize social media to assist in providing awareness of your skills. That means business sites on Linked In and Facebook.
4. Practice Marketing as I define it: "Go where the money is, Sell what they want to buy and Do it again." That is not as simple as it sounds.
The money is in different places for different speakers. Some find it in associations. Some find it in non-profits while others find it in corporations. Go where the money is for you.
Sell what they want to buy. Usually it is more than a speech. They may want to change an attitude or kick off a new approach or simple be entertained. I'm not saying be a chameleon. I am saying listen to what they say and what they imply and give'em what they want to buy.
Do it well and they will ask you ot do it again or they will refer you for meetings at higher levels or the same level in another region or country.
5. Learn your craft. Find out how to tell a story so it relates to this audience. Use singular events and your reactions to build signature stories that make a point by grabbing the audience by their emotions and taking them with you.
6. Research and Write. Find out as much as you can about the audience you are going to be addressing. Write your speech. Every Pro I know will tell you that they write it down in some way. They don't memorize but they deliver points in similar order and if they have delivered it before it is very much a clone.
I was once told that when it came ot my signature stories it was like one of htose Chatty Kathy dolls where you pulled a string and out came a story!
7. Get paid some way. Sometimes cash is not available but a digital list of conference attendees is. If you have a product or service ot sell that list is golden.
Do you have some product you can sell from the back of the room or as I prefer these days from your website? Do you need to meet some key people in the organization for other possible work? The key is Value. What do they have of value to you that is similar in value to your fee for speaking? Or is there some combination of things.
The first step in getting professional fees is your speaking skills. Marketing does you no good until you have developed your skills sufficiently to be paid. If you need improvement, the industry will let others know faster than your marketing ability can work. Do yourself a favor. Have someone who is not emotionally attached to you (friends, family, co-workers) evaluate your abilities to show you your strengths and weaknesses. I just read an excellent, ebook called The Million Dollar Speaker. It interviews Steve Siebold - a million dollar speaker. He tells it like it is and what you need to do to become a professional speaker.
There are 3 key ways to get paid speaking gigs. These methods work, but so do you. Consistency here is the key.
1. Research which companies are have events coming up in the next 12 months where you think your speech will add value (convention center, Eventbrite, etc.)
2. Email/ snail mail interest in speaking at their event. Send them your materials and package - video is critical to include. Do this at least 7 times until you get a response.
3. Make follow-up calls to the contact you emailed. Follow-up at least 7 times until you get a response.
Depending on how many events are your target will determine how many companies to contact.
Drop me a line if you have more questions or would like further assistance.
Business Strategist - Business Coach - Speaker - Author