How to Secure Speaker Spots

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Introverts rejoice!  Guest speaking can be a perfect venue for you to come alive – you can plan your message, deliver it, answer questions, and be done.  The bigger challenge is how did you line up these coveted opportunities?

The following steps will help secure speaking engagement as part of your marketing plan:

  1. Know Your Target Client – All marketing starts here.  If you don’t know whom you want to attract, you will not be able to determine if the organization with the speaking opportunity is a worthwhile match.
  2. Know Your Signature Topics – Title and summarize three topics that you could teach to your Target Client.  A decision-maker is more likely to consider you if you package up your presentation.
  3. Create a Speaker Request Form – Do you have a dedicated page on your web site for speaking?  If not, it’s time to add a tab.  Include your signature topics and a “Speaker Request” form to capture speaking engagement leads.
  4. Create Your Speaker Kit –Design your ‘Kit’ to include an introduction letter, your bio (see “The 5 Essentials of a Bright Biography”), your speech topics (#2), and other visuals or information that is relevant.  Have printed pieces you can mail as well as downloadable pdfs.
  5. Find Outlets with Your Target Client – What organizations, clubs, memberships, and companies have an audience that closely matches your target client?  Build a list of prospective partners.
  6. Identify Specific Opportunities – As you research, take note of the specific meeting, conference, webinar, or other content-sharing opportunities available.  You want to ask for a specific event and date when you request a spot. 
  7. Reach Out Systematically & Intelligently – Direct your resources for distinct periods of time to campaign for speaking spots.  Send out your Speaker Kit to 10-15 organizations at once, customizing your letter with the group’s pain points.  Request the privilege to speak at the event date (from #6).  Follow-up three times over the next two weeks.  No response? Add a tickler to email them with a link to your form (#3) in 3 – 6 months.
  8. Promote – Once you’ve secured your spot, you want to share the news.  The organization will appreciate your efforts, and you reinforce your expert status.  Tweet, post, update, and share with your followers, prospects, and clients!
  9. Show Up – I mean SHOW UP.  You’re there to educate their audience, whether it is two people or 200.  Bring your best game and deliver incredible value to their members. No exceptions!
  10. Appreciate – A hand written thank you note or a small gift to the organizer(s) goes a long way as a gesture of appreciation. 
  11. Circle Back – Strike while the iron is hot.  Inquire about additional content sharing opportunities such as guest blog posts, newsletter articles, or webinars.  Be sure to indicate your interest in participation in the next scheduled date of the event you just finished.
  12. Update Your Website – Make sure you update your speaker page with this new experience and make note of the results of the event.  You’ll want to weigh this opportunity with others as you begin to secure more spots!

Structure and follow this system and you eliminate the angst that often accompanies your requests for consideration.  When you reach multiple organizations at a time and adhere to the process, opportunities to share your knowledge will start to emerge!

Kristin Harad 2014Kristin Harad, CFP®
Marketing trainer for advisers
San Francisco, CA

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