Public speaking has changed my life and the value of my business. Ironically, I never wanted to be a public speaker. In fact, I had a severe fear of public speaking in my formative years. However, I realized that I was unable to avoid it. The more my business grew, the more event and meeting planners began to reach out and request my message and expertise.
Today, speaking makes up at least 40 percent of my company's annual revenue and it is a major component in our marketing. It provides a high touch point and direct access to my ideal customer/client base, while generating committed leads with the least effort. In additon, I've had the privilage to travel the world and speak to audiences of thousands of high-level industry professionals on a consistent basis.
However, the speaking business is highly competitive and those who are looking to get booked to speak at high-quality events often ask me "How do I get booked to speak consistently?"
My response - There are three things you must add to your marketing collateral and/or pitch that will make event planners take notice.
1. Share high quality videos.
You want to give meeting planners a preview of who they are hiring. Now is the time to consider presenting a lightning talk at high quality events such as DisruptHR, Ignite or Pecha Kucha, where you could have high quality sound, audience reaction(s) and slides. It is much better than forwarding a replay from your latest social media stream, and will create urgency for the meeting planner. Besides, it is great practice.
2. Create content , content and more content.
My first appearance as a guest on a major, nationally syndicated talk show came as a result of content. I published an op-ed in a globally recognized publication and received a call from the producer the following day. Following that media appearance, meeting planners started calling for keynote speaking opportunities, and it all started from consistent content.
Event and meeting planners are always searching publications and popular publishing sites looking for untapped talent. Never underestimate the power of publishing content and research, which further substantiates your credibility as an expert. Meeting planners enjoy quoting your content for the attendees in their marketing materials as further proof of your credibility as a speaker.
3. Keep an updated LinkedIn profile .
Most of the aspiring speakers who ask me for advice often underestimate the importance of an updated and active Linkedin profile. Your speaking business depends on LinkedIn. Unlike the other social media platforms, which adhere more to your "social" and personal side, Linkedin is where high level professionals are searching for talent.
Update your profile consistently, add images, update content and add videos to your profile often. Your summary should immediately amaze everyone, by listing your credentials and request endorsements as needed. In addtion, make connections with meeting planners and advise of your availability.