How can I market speaking and consulting services?
Marketing & Advertising mentor Lisa H. Buksbaum responds to the following question from an inc.com user: I just started a business where I book speaking and consulting engagements for a Ph.D. (Primarily, he does speaking.) I need help with how to market him. Right now I am on the phone a lot, but it seems that may not be a good use of my time because I'm not sure whom to contact. I want to stay away from nonprofits, because they can't afford his fee. I want to contact corporations, but don't know whom to speak with.
Lisa H. Buksbaum's response: You need an effective "door opener" -- a compelling piece that you can send ahead via mail, fax, and/or e-mail and that gives prospective clients reasons to hire him. Focus on two or three core benefits -- e.g., his unique philosophy, the results he garners for corporations, or his ability to foster teamwork/collaboration in the midst of change.
Create a list of corporations you think are likely prospects and call them to see who manages professional development. Often it is the director of human resources -- although it's always better to identify line managers, because they have the authority to approve budget expenditures for speaking engagements.
Also, based on what two to three main topic areas the Ph.D. specializes in, identify which industries are the most receptive to his message. Then join some professional organizations in those industries to start meeting the folks that can hire your guy. Furthermore, be aware that the National Speakers Association has chapters across the country. Networking in this group may yield excellent client contacts.
Finally, don't discount the nonprofits -- they're a great proving ground for your Ph.D. to test new material. And, if you choose recognized nonprofits, they will generate an impressive reference for your "door opener." Good luck.