Create Your Speaker Profile
If you are wanting to begin promoting yourself as a speaker, let’s get you going! For those that already promote themselves as speakers, let’s fine tune your website and your social media accounts. For both professional events and faith based events, I vet and hire many speakers. These tips will help you attract event planners and give them the professional vibes they need to have them asking for you to speak at their next event.
Promote yourself as a speaker on your website.
Go ahead! Add Speaker to your bio with “Booking speaking events for 2017.” Congratulations, you are a speaker! (Now of course this doesn’t mean you are a great speaker. Before you charge for your skill and talent, find experience, likely small and unpaid events to begin. Hiring a speaking coach would be a valuable investment.) But assuming you are an expert, who has experience, and has confidence with public speaking, put yourself out there! Your followers and colleagues may not have considered you as a speaker simply because you’ve never conveyed interest in developing your public speaking career.
Provide a speaking sample on your website.
I’ve visited many speakers’ websites and have quickly left their sites with a lack of video speaking samples. With phone cameras, it’s easy to get video samples up. If you can invest to have someone create a professional video, that’s even better. Videos on social media including YouTube gives up and coming speakers an easy (and casual) way for event planners to get a feel for your style of speaking and personality.
List your speaking topics on your website.
What are you super passionate about? What content do you already have created that would be easy for you to create a presentation with? Start there. Keep your menu short. This will create your niche. If you are truly open to creating new content for any event that comes along, please be sure that you charge for your time to research and create the content.
Hire a booking agent early on.
Nothing says professional like having an assistant. Even if this is a friend and favor at the beginning, having someone filtering inquiry emails for you is advisable. Have your scheduler ask all questions for you. When’s the event? What’s the vision for the event? How many attendees are expected? What’s the budget? It’s better that a third party has this conversation with an inquiring event planner to keep a professional tone. This prevents any nervous energy coming through your email, but most importantly this allows you to avoid messy negotiation with uncomfortable proposals (low pay or wrong audience).
Create a web page for event planners.
Have everything an event planner would need to begin promoting you right away with a webpage of marketing items such as an updated headshot (or two) and a short and long bio. If you have products to market you could have an image, perhaps you have a book, include a photo of the cover.
Determine the range of your speaking fee and your travel policy.
While you will need experience to create a speaking career, your speaking rate should be fair from the beginning. A fair rate holds you responsible and gives you a desire to do your best. Consider travel. Are you willing to go overnight for a speaking event? Will you have an assistant go to events with you? How would you like event planners to arrange hotel and air? You can change this policy as you gain experience, but have some guidelines and be ready for travel questions.
Your contact form should welcome questions from event planners. Don’t hide your contact information. If an event planner is searching many speaker sites, they won’t spend a lot of time on one website, they’ll move to the next website quickly. Make it easy for them to ask one more question. Any opportunity for you (or your booking agent) have to communicate with an event planner is an opportunity to market yourself and book your next speaking gig.
As an event planner, I’m not always looking for a well known speaker or the most experienced speaker, many times my committees and I are looking for a fresh face, a new voice, for original experiences. Be honest about your experience. Feel good about where you are in your speaking career; there is value in having an appearance by a new speaker.
As Vend Raleigh expands, Cary will continue to foster the welcoming, warm, diverse environment that attracts more than 3,000 individuals and business partners to Vend Raleigh.
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