Speaking can be the boost your business needs—if you’re able to book the right type of gigs.
Have you ever considered professional speaking as an arm of your company? No matter what industry you’re in, chances are there are conferences or summits that are looking for experts to speak. Being a public speaker can bring in revenue in multiple ways: You can book paid gigs, you can attend conferences for free, and you can cast yourself as an authority in your industry, leading others to want to pay you.
Sound good? Of course it does. But booking speaking gigs isn’t always as easy as it looks. Here are three tricks to booking speaking gigs that will give your company the public relations boost it’s been looking for.
- Pitch conferences that you’d be a great fit for. This seems obvious, but sitting around waiting for conference organizers to come knocking isn’t the best strategy. If you’re not already well-known as a speaker, how are they going to hear about you? Put together a brief introductory e-mail that explains who you are, what you love about their conference, and what questions you could answer for their audience. The more specific you can get, the better the chances you’ll actually receive a response. Before you send a pitch e-mail, make sure you’ve done your research. Will your target market or industry peers be present? How long has this conference been around? Who are speakers they’ve had in the past? You want to ensure that this event would be a great fit for your company before putting yourself out there.
- Create a small demo trailer that you can send along with your pitch. It should be short, not an entire talk, and just give a small flavor of your speaking style. If you’ve spoken at a professional conference before, use some of that footage to demonstrate your experience. If you haven’t, you can simply whip up a professional-looking video in the office.
- Include testimonials. If you’re pitching your speaking services, of course you’re going to claim to be professional and engaging. But at the end of the day, someone organizing an event will trust a third party much more than he or she will trust you. Include brief testimonials from event managers you’ve spoken for in the past. If you’re just starting out in the speaking game, you may need to book small, local gigs before approaching larger arenas so that you have those testimonials to back up your pitch effectively.