One of the most common things I hear from
professional speakers is that they are not
interested in marketing themselves. They’d like
to hire someone to do it for them. For those of
you who have tried to hire, and failed, you know
that this is easier said than done. Let’s face
it – hiring, in any industry, is a crap shoot.
Here are a few questions to determine whether you
are ready to hire a marketing person to help build
your speaking business:
1. Are you losing business because you don’t have
time (or desire) to fill your business pipeline or
follow up leads?
2. Have you ‘worked’ the business yourself for at
least a year and know how to get bookings (and can
train someone else to do this)?
3. Can you afford to pay a base salary plus
commission? (Most good marketing people will not
work for straight commission).
4. Can you afford to make a mistake in hiring? (Or
will a bad choice put your business in jeopardy?)
If you can answer ‘yes’ to most of these questions
then you are ready to take the next step.
One of the biggest mistakes speakers make
when hiring is not getting clear on their needs
until AFTER they have hired.
Hopefully you have fully assessed whether you
are ready to hire or not after the last Inside
Track Tip: Are You Ready to Hire?
The hiring process has 5 steps:
1) Are you ready?
2) What should this person do for me?
3) How much should I pay them?
4) Where will I find them?
5) How should we get started?
We’ll cover #2 and #3 here today, and #4 and #5 in
the next part.
At this point we need to get clear on what
tasks we want this person to perform for us.
Remember back to April’s Tip: Focus to Earn More
we talked about the $10/hour jobs vs. the
Well it’s the $10 jobs that you should be farming
out to an admin person. But be clear that this is
not the same as the “sales and marketing” role.
Here is the long list of possible job tasks -
separated into 3 categories 1) Getting Speaking
Engagements 2) Administrative duties and 3)
1) Getting speaking engagements:
marketing to and working with bureaus
developing or updating marketing materials
sending out marketing materials or e-mail
closing deals (overcoming objections, etc)
meeting with clients
mass marketing – mailings or e-mails
following up leads from gigs
new product development
2) Admin duties:
Product fulfillment (shipping)
Web site management
Managing other businesses
3) Personal Assistant
Picking up dry cleaning
Feeding the fish
Keeping you organized
Arranging family trips, etc.
JOB DESCRIPTION: Choose your requirements
from the list above and then design the job
Note: As stated in the last tip, if you don’t know
how to sell yourself, you may not be ready to
SALARY: If your job description includes tasks
from all 3 areas, then you’ll want to consider
offering a base salary (for the admin and/or
personal assistant work) plus commission for the
marketing work. You may get creative and offer an
admin only person a bonus when you meet quotas.
One combo that seems to be successful is the
“business manager” role that encompasses all 3
areas and pays salary plus commission. You and
your business manager will grow the business
together along with both of your incomes.
WHO IS RIGHT?: Now that you have a job
description, make a list of the qualities that the
person doing this job would possess and then make
a list of the values of the person you’d work best
with. (You’ll notice that the people you surround
yourself with often have similar values to your
NEXT STEP: Once you are clear on what you need
and what that perfect person looks like, in two
weeks I’ll provide some ideas on how to find that
perfect person. In the meantime, continue to
visualize yourself finding that perfect person. It
Part III: Let’s Find You That Perfect Staff Person
In Part I of this series we talked about whether
or not you were ready to hire.
In Part II we covered how much to pay and the job
Now we delve into actually looking for this
person. Some of the things that should go on your
list of traits of a marketing person should be:
“Gets” what you do
Able to persevere
If you are checking behavioral styles, you might
go for someone with a Driver and Interpersonal
Now that you have the vision of the person in
mind, here are some places to look….
1. Your inner circle – put out a notice of the
type of person you are looking for to everyone you
know in your business and personal life.
2. If you attend a church ask around there.
3. Your audience – often someone who comes to
talk to you after a presentation might be a
candidate. You might even mention it from the
platform if you can turn it into a relevant story.
4. Virtual Assistant – they are popping up every
day on-line – and there are several who specialize
in coaches and professional speakers.
5. Speaker Management companies – it’s getting
more and more common for 1 person or office to
manage several speakers. Ask around at your
NSA or CAPS Chapter to see who is in your area.
The biggest problem that these companies face is
that they cannot take all the speakers that
them so it’s hard to get your foot in the door.
6. Advertising – locally or on a www.Monster.com
type website will probably get you a fair
Make sure you mention that you are a professional
speaker – people are intrigued by our industry.
You’ll have to weed through a stack of applicants,
but it could be worth it if you find that perfect
Keep in mind the principle “hire slow, fire fast”.
Take your time. Be prepared to spend a lot of time
training this person. (This is why it’s so
important for you to know how to book speaking
business). Do not bring them in, leave them
alone, and expect them to start booking business
for you. That, most likely, won’t happen. Have
them come out to several of your speeches, read
your books, watch your videos. Let them listen to
you sell and role play prior to picking up the
Have a training agenda.
Hiring is like a marriage and the stats might even
be similar (50+% failure rate). So take your
time, visualize the perfect person coming into
your business and give them the training and tools
to be successful.