The ability to market yourself as a professional speaker is undoubtedly the key to your success. Marketing means that you must advertise your skills and talents. Since many people don’t do that, they end up leaving their career to the wind by default. You have to get your name out there. You have to find ways to connect with people who can and will hire you.
1. Network in speaking organizations. If you’re not networking, you’re not working. Building relationships with your peers and prospective clients is a must do if you’re really serious about your career as a professional speaker.
2. Have a business card. As you take time to network and build relationships with people, you’ll want to give them something to remember you by – your contact information. Your business card should have a professional look to it. Since it will be the way people remember you, what do you want them to remember?
3. Create your marketing portfolio. Also known as your promotional kit or your media kit, this portfolio will have everything that speaker bureaus and meeting planners need to determine if you are the speaker for them or not. Your portfolio consists of the following elements: a content sheet, a demo video of previous speaking engagement, your bio, testimonials from previous engagements, a price list of your products and resource materials you sell, a sample client list, and your fee schedule.
4. Develop a website. With so many people and businesses flocking to the internet for information, you’ll want to have this as a means to market yourself. You don’t have to have a website with all the bells and whistles. While your website should look professional, you can still get a started website with low to no monthly costs. Use your website to be an additional location where you sell your resource materials as well as offer information about your topic.
5. Use online social networks such as LinkedIn and MySpace to begin making connections with your industry peers. You can also use speaker forums as a place for additional resources, sharing speaking tips and tricks as well as getting to know other people in your field.
6. Create and use a direct marketing strategy. Send mailers and postcards to past clients as well as prospective future clients. While many speakers aren’t hired as a result of their mailers, they are still an easy way to keep your customers in touch with your business. Additionally, direct mail pieces are relatively inexpensive to create and send and as a result, they are a great way to canvass organizations and get the word out that you are available for hire.
7. Market yourself through articles and product materials. Using other resources as a means for getting your name out will help to spread your name like wild fire! Think of it this way, you create the article one and include a short 2 – 3 sentence bio and you’ll have that work for you for as long as it’s available!
The way you market yourself will determine whether you will have a great career or not. Start using these avenues of getting your name out there and start to get noticed by meeting planners and speaker bureaus. Start marketing yourself today!