When I first started working with Authors, Speakers and Coaches to source good speaking gigs; it felt just as hard as finding a needle in a haystack. As discouraging as it was at times, luckily I stayed focused and within a year, I am now able to streamline the process for my clients. If asking me “How does one go about finding viable leads for speaking engagements?”, below are my “Top 5 Techniques” to finding good contacts and getting yourself booked!
1. Define Your Niche: I can’t stress how important it is to find your niche early on. It’s not only important for your success, but it’s an integral part of marketing and representation process. How will any organization or industry know your value or worth, if you haven’t set yourself apart? By defining a clear niche immediately, you are making significant strides to becoming an expert in your field.
2. Define Your Target Audience: If you want to be hired and paid for speaking engagements and you’ve already established yourself as an expert in your field, you need to define your target audience. For example, if you are an Online Business Coach and work with Mompreneurs; you will need to target specific women’s organizations, networks, and groups. Technical associations can also be your target if helping these women to succeed in their online business.
3. Free Speaking Engagements: If you are not a paid speaker yet, but want to start earning money for the valuable advice you bestow; you need to start somewhere. There are great places locally and within your community that will help you build your roster. Check your local libraries, schools, Kiwanis, Lions Club, Chamber of Commerce, and Rotary clubs. Get involved or become a member. Most likely these associations and contacts will lead to a paid gig down the road.
4. Social Media Groups & Communities: Many gigs I’ve secured for clients have resulted from being active in groups and communities on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. These social media platforms have many valuable business networks where information is passed back and forth. There are information seekers and information providers. People can pose questions and experts can provide their advice. Social media is a great place for establishing yourself as expert in your field. Research groups and communities where you would find your target audience as well as industry related networks where other business professionals could use your expertise to share with their connections. Stay active and be consistent. Over time, the exposure will build.
5. Speaker Directories: In addition to researching gigs or creating your own speaker series, getting found online can be expensive and time consuming. The good news is there are websites that list speakers for free and that charge for listings. Event and Meeting planners will often go to these directories looking for a speaker on a certain topic. I prefer the directories that take the guess work out by providing “by program”, “by budget” or “by genre” directories. Here is one of many directories I use and recommend for my Author, Speaker and Coaching clients: http://www.speakermatch.com
If you seek assistance with securing speaking engagements, establishing yourself as an expert in your field online, or you need a Speaker Media Kit that clearly defines you and your brand – please contact Michelle Anastasio for your free 30-Minute Consultation.