Edited a day later: This entry has advice but see also related post wondering how to convert DVD to YouTube.
People ask me constantly how I get gigs – how I approach conference organizers, which events they should approach, to apply as a speaker. I don’t know, because I don’t approach them – I have never had success doing that. (I’m not saying you shouldn’t – I’m just saying I have no answers, because it never worked for me.)
100% of my marketing has been:
- this website, plus
- word-of-mouth testimonials:
“This guy was good. Hire him.”
I’ll have more to say about the website in the future but here are the fundamentals.
You need a website, or at least a blog, or at least a web page somewhere.
- Shoppers like convenience: a web page where they can quickly learn the facts.
- That’s how you shop online (right?); same for the people who might hire you. It’s your job to make it easy for people to find that info.
- Not only do you want a single URL to send people, you want others to be able to send it to their friends. Viral marketing.
- My own site is a WordPress blog, tricked out with extra pages. (WordPress can add extra pages.)
- Regina Holliday’s site is a Blogspot blog. Blogspot sites cannot have extra pages, but they can put things in sidebars.
- At the simplest level, you can just make a Facebook page about your business.
However you do it, you need a URL that people can pass around to learn how awesome you are.
If you have a site, you’re welcome to brag about it – or ask for help – in a comment here.
The basics you should put on it:
- A statement of who you are / what you’re about. You don’t have to be a celebrity and it doesn’t have to be awesome – it needs to let shoppers know:
- A video of yourself speaking. Get one. Get one. Get a video. Put it on your site. Otherwise your buyers can’t tell what they’re buying.
- The very first time someone recorded me for a meeting, I asked for a copy. It’s at the top of this post.
- Today, my standard contract says “You’re welcome to record me, as long as I get a copy for my website.”
- Your speaking schedule. As soon as you have more than a couple of gigs (past and future), list them so buyers can see “Other people have bought this speaker.”
- Don’t worry if it’s a short list at first. You’re not trying to con anyone; if you’re good, it will grow.
- Unpaid appearances count! Don’t tell me “I’ve only spoken for free.” So had I, until May 2010. Experience is experience.
- Testimonials from satisfied clients.
- Select ones that are as specific and meaningful as you can.
- How do you get specific and meaningful feedback? Ask people for it! “I want to build a speaking career. What would you say, specifically, people should know about me as a speaker?”
You can add more things, but those are the basics.