Let’s start with a story.
I call it, “A Tale of Two Speakers.”
Let’s say that their names are Aidan and Steve.
Aidan is dynamic. Bold. Charismatic.
His speaking magnetism could out pull Tony Robbins, Steve Jobs and Oprah. (*Gasp*)
At the end of his talks, he’s mobbed by audience members wanting to buy his book and to schedule a (paid) coaching session with him. Each time that he speaks, at least three people in the audience recommend him as a speaker for future events.
It’s partly due to his message – it resonates with almost everyone and doesn’t apply only to a particular occupation or niche.
It’s mostly due to his charming, confident delivery and how he makes his audience members feel.
Then there’s Steve.
Steve is dynamic, too. Audiences also love his energy, empathy and wit. Each time he speaks, about 20% of audience members buy his book and a few sign up for his upcoming coaching event.
Who is the more successful public speaker?
Aidan speaks 5 or 6 times a year. (He wishes it were more, because that’s how he spreads his message and gets most of his clients.)
Steve? He speaks about 25 times a year.
What makes the difference between these two speakers? It all comes down to one thing – consistent marketing.
The best speakers, the most charismatic personalities get gigs without asking. But consistent marketing is the great leveler.
The speakers who get booked the most use a system to market their services, week in, week out. And so they speak, usually as often as they’d like.
A few months ago, a VIP List member named Ed, wrote in asking, “How easy is to break into public speaking?”
Well, Ed, it’s not hard, but to get booked for speaking opportunities before you’ve built your cult-like following, you gotta #werk!
There are three ingredients to create this Magical Mudslide of Speaking Opportunities cocktail:
- Networking (online or in person)
- Asking for the opportunity
- Following up
Wanna make it easy on yourself? Create a system:
Schedule a certain day of the week, or time that you’ll research new opportunities and contacts. (Or give clear instructions to someone on your team to research new speaking opportunities each week.)
Steve tracks organizations and opportunities on spreadsheet. His college intern assistant updates the spreadsheet with new organizations or events and any new information about existing organizations.
Steve and his intern have a status update meeting each week. This keeps Steve up to date and keeps his speaking funnel full.
2. Reach out.
Call or send an email to these meeting organizers/event coordinators/new contacts and offer yourself as a speaker.
Include enough information to demonstrate your message’s fit with the audience and your skills.
To cover the consistent part, commit to doing it regularly. Once a week, every other week…you do you.
And set a number for yourself! “Each week, I will reach out to three new organizations or contacts.” Then, during your scheduled update meeting (even if the meeting is only with yourself), you can track your progress.
3. Follow up!
The fortune is in the follow up, my friend.
Anyone can send out a burst of emails to contacts and event organizers, but you’ll probably still be w-a-i-t-i-n-g for that reply while the Steves of the speaking world are getting booked.
Meeting planners, association staff and organization volunteers are BUSY. Help them pick you by staying in touch on the reg and showing that you’ve got exactly what their audience needs to improve their lives.
Here’s another genius nugget from Steve: during each of his speaking engagements, he asks the audience about other groups that could benefit from the information he shared. Then Steve’s assistant follows up with those people to book more gigs. Moneymaker.
Bam! Full speaking schedule leads to full client roster.
Your Fame Boosting Assignment:
This week, set up your system to book speaking opportunities. It doesn’t have to be fancy! Schedule a regular recurring time slot on your calendar to research, reach out and follow up. If you believe in your ideas and your message, you owe it to us to get it out there.
“I think you should be serious about what you do because this is it. This is the only life you’ve got.” Philip Seymour Hoffman.