I'll never forget the day I landed my first 5-figure speaking gig.
Where the lead came from still surprises me because it shattered a myth I still hear other speakers believe.
Because you're interested in building a successful speaking business, you'll want to take a quick moment to read how it happened.
My largest speaking gig came from .... LinkedIn.
Almost daily, I post a motivational quote image (like the one you see here) on all my social media channels --- Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, my app, and LinkedIn.
Sometimes I share the quote image by itself, sometimes I link it to a blog post I wrote, sometimes I link to someone else's blog, etc.
This particular quote post was ultimately shared with several of my LinkedIn connections. Turns out one of my connections shared it with their boss who, in turn, shared it with their senior executive team.
Another member of that executive team, a Senior VP, happened to like the quote as well. This person so happens to be in charge of hosting an annual meeting for the company each summer ... where they bring in speakers.
The Senior VP scanned at my LinkedIn profile for more quotes to share with their employees. While doing so, they saw another post I recently made about being the keynote speaker at an event.
The Senior VP knew a few people who worked for the company where I had spoken and reached out to them about my speech content and performance. The response was extremely positive. (note: I found out later, that in their words, I had "rocked it.")
The VP went to my website, checked out my demo videos, watched my TEDx talk, looked at my presentation descriptions ... (note: They later told me they were looking for a reason not to hire me.)
After being somewhat impressed, I guess, they finally submitted information on the contact page of my website.
* Important: When a speaking inquiry comes to me, I handle it very strategically. I outline this process in my book, PAID to SPEAK. I respond to inquiries in a way that ensures we talk briefly on the phone to ensure fit, I get information that helps me research their event and company beforehand, and ... I know their budget for a speaker. All this information means ... I have leverage.
Long story short ... when we connected on the phone, it was a great, upbeat conversation. Because I had asked the right questions in advance before talking with them, i.e. my process, I knew quite a bit about their event and had a specific angle prepared.
I brought up the speaker budget first to confirm range (important!). Once confirmed, I told them I would follow up with a proposal for them to consider different options on booking me.
I outline this process in my book in much more detail - and even provide a sample contract template - but below is the snapshot of how I structure my speaking proposals:
Option 1: my standard keynote
Option 2: my standard keynote + breakout + 50 books
Option 3: my standard keynote + breakout + books for everyone + customized book with their logo and welcome message + emcee any portion of their event + free eBook download for everyone through their entire organization + welcome promo video for their event
If you were a Senior VP, which above option would provide the most value for your event and organization? (rhetorical question)
I sent the proposal and patiently waited ... unsure if they had the budget or interest in Option 3.
After waiting for near 2 weeks, they responded and agreed to contract with me for Option 3. Woohooo!!!
Option 3 was a nice, 5-digit amount.
* You just never know where speaking leads will come from. Don't assume.
* You can get speaking inquiries from social media. Your posts are your brand.
* Build connections on social media. You'll be connected until people disconnect.
* Invest in a professional website and demo video. Don't have either? Contact me for a referral.
* Have a process for when speaking inquiries arrive. Respond strategically.
* Have a script for your phone conversations.
* Never agree to an amount on the phone.
* Follow up with a tiered proposal (i.e. options)
* HAVE A BOOK!!
* Know that if you don't have a book, you're leaving thousands out of each speaking contract.
* Contact me if you are struggling in your speaking business and want more leads.
Desire to become a professional speaker?
Not getting the speaking business you had hoped for?
Contact me to schedule your free speaker consultation!
In addition to my own speaking business, I have a passion for helping and coaching speakers develop their own. Whether it's in crafting a speech, identifying target groups who can pay, and/or how to get the speaking gig itself, I can help. I've keynoted over 1,150 presentations in practically every industry you can imagine. My book, PAID to SPEAK, outlines a proven model for speakers. If you are serious about becoming a professional speaker, contact me for a free consultation. I don't want you to flounder like I did and be frustrated. If you're not a subscriber to these speaker articles, submit your email today!
Social media: @ KevinCSnyder
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