Whenever we do a survey of our clients, the same results come back time and time again. Speakers say they don’t get booked enough.
So, what might be the cause?
Let’s explore a few key areas to get your ideas flowing and taking action in the right direction.
1. THE PRODUCT– Whenever my clients aren’t getting enough business, we take a look at how good the speech really is – like really. Not what people are saying after the presentation. Every one of us has heard, “You are the best speaker I’ve ever heard.” That’s a nice confidence builder, but more importantly, is each speech getting you two to three more speeches on average?
We know that some groups are not going to brew much spin off, but a really epic keynote will have several people in the audience coming up to you with business cards for future business. Even an audience of employees will have “my wife’s company could use this message” or “another department in this organization could use you”. If you aren’t seeing a lot of spin off, my advice is to check in with the speech and spend some time and energy moving it towards “epic”.
2. THE OUTREACH – JoAnne came to me with a complaint, “I’m not getting enough bookings.” “Okay”, I responded, “what have you done in the past 30 days to prompt business?” “Well, uh…not that much I guess.” It turns out that JoAnne hasn’t taken any action to put herself in front of decision-makers.
The speaking business really is a numbers game. Back when I was selling speakers, our secret sauce was always in the outreach. Planting thousands of seeds every year which would then result in roughly 80 engagements per year. Because I had a great product (the speakers I represented were fabulous and got spin off from every gig) I really only needed to generate about half the business through outbound marketing, phone calling, and emailing.
3. THE APPROACH– Every day I receive emails from people who think I’m an agent or a bureau. So please trust me when I say that you have to examine your approach and ensure that you are not oversharing on the front end. Your approach email, or voicemail message (if you have to leave one), should be short and to the point. As David Arvin said during our podcast, entitled Selling Secrets for Booking More Gigswith David Avrin, it’s best to put the name of the conference in the subject line so that the decision maker cannot, in all good conscience, delete your email without opening. The goal should be to get them to lean in with curiosity. And if they are interested in your topic, a short and sweet email should get their attention.
4. THE MACHINE– When your marketing machine is running smoothly, you are putting great content out to the world and business is finding you. Perhaps you are writing articles for some industry magazines, or your blog or podcast are picking up more and more followers each week. The goal is that your marketing machine is running 24/7 – that social media is promoting everything you do and engaging your ideal buying audience (other speakers don’t count). When you commit to blogging, podcasting and writing great content on a regular basis, you will be positioning yourself as an expert. And when a need arises, you will be tee’d up beautifully to get the call.
No doubt some of you are doing many things right, but – what can you consider doing to put more gigs on the calendar? Food for thought.