How to market yourself and get booked as a speaker
Gill Walker in Business Woman Media
In this article published in BusinessWomanMedia, Gill shows a side of herself other than CRM. Here she shares some of the lessons that she has learnt on the road to speaking. This article came out of a presentation that Gill gave at Speakers' Bureau Toastmasters in January 2018. The video of this session is available here.
In order to market yourself and get booked as a speaker you must first understand why you should consider speaking at events. If you have a message, or you want to influence people, speaking is a wonderful vehicle to help you get your message to the right people. Speaking allows you to communicate with a captive audience without running the gauntlet of phone and email gatekeepers. It is also an opportunity to share with the audience your ‘real self’, which if you are providing a personal service, such as coaching or consulting, is often important.
Marketing yourself as a speaker isn't about you, it's about them.
Keep this in the forefront of your mind as I take you through the first step in marketing yourself as a speaker. You begin by creating a strategic and compelling speaker profile. Your professional speaker’s profile is a brief and relevant summary of who you are, why you are an expert in your field and what problems you solve. The goal of your profile isn’t to give your life story, it is to get you booked as speaker.
Who is your audience?
Before you start developing your profile, you need to be aware that audience for your speaker profile is not the audience for your presentation. Your speaker profile needs to explain to the people organising the event, who are usually not the event attendees, why you are good for their audience. For example, if your message is aimed at start-up businesses looking for funding, it is unlikely that the event will be organised by a start-up business looking for funding. So, your speaker profile should explain to a conference organiser or an executive assistant why your presentation adds value to an event aimed at start-up businesses looking for funding.
There are a few different formats that you should consider when creating your speaking profile.
– A one-minute video on ‘This is the problem I solve, and this is how you book me’. You can make this accessible on your website, YouTube and social media pages.
Website / Digital
A written profile communicated in language that is understood by the conference organiser, your audience and the bots. Yes, there are three audiences, each of whom needs to be considered and spoken to in a way that they can understand and use. There is no point being the world’s best kept secret. If your website is going to be found, it needs to be found and indexed by the search engines. This can be achieved without spending squillions on the black art of SEO (search engine optimisation). But, you do need to consider how the search engines work when writing the copy in your profile.
Your speaking profile on your website should include:
– Even in our current society, not everyone is permanently connected to the internet. Make these people’s lives easier by providing an easily downloadable version of your speaking profile – I suggest a pdf file. The information required is the same as above, but laid out so it works on A4 paper.
Topics and titles
A topic is a message of one presentation. So, it is far narrower than your overall expertise. For example, if your area of expertise is CRM, your topics may include CRM Leadership, managing data in CRM and the benefits of CRM to business.
A title is different from a topic. It is important to come up with a sexy title. A sexy title is one that is appealing and draws the attention of not only the conference organiser, but also your audience. The title will be first thing that a potential audience will see. It may be part of their decision about whether to go to the event or not. It is usually beneficial if you can find a visual title that lends itself to graphics. This is part of making the event organiser’s life easy. If you can provide them with a title and graphics they are more likely to want to include you in the event.
In the early days of speaking it is unlikely that you will get paid. Sometimes, you even have to pay for a ticket to a conference to be able to speak at it. But this is not all negative. There are many ways that you can leverage this sort of presentation to help you on your way to getting paid speaking bookings, or other paid work. These include:
In the modern world, people don’t want to be sold to, they want to be helped to buy. This means that rather than investing your marketing effort in email blasts or cold calls, you are better devoting your time in creating resources that explain what you offer, how you help your audiences and the problems and challenges that you solve for them. Speaking is a fantastic medium to deliver this through.