Speak For Yourself (& Your Business!)

How to Build Your Business
Through Speaking Engagements

Cheryl Heppard - How to Get Speaking OpportunitiesSpeaking gigs are one of the best ways to build your business. People respond to other people—especially given our growing reliance on technology. When you have the opportunity to connect, face to face, with others, you are going to make a bigger impression and put your business in the spotlight while also establishing yourself as an expert.

It is important to identify your niche and then build your reputation within that niche. This will help you become more recognized as an authority, which is going to make a difference when you are trying to book paid speaking engagements. People want to trust that you are successful and that you are qualified to present information that is going to help them go further in their own business efforts.

The trick to building your business through speaking engagements lies mainly in finding the leads for paid speaking opportunities. Here are some tips that you can use to find great leads, and really get you and your company noticed!

1. Use Speaker Directories. Believe it or not, there are actually websites that list speakers who will present for a fee. Meeting planners sometimes go to these directories looking for a speaker on a certain topic. Get yourself on these lists, and you will find that you can get more speaking engagements.
Here are two that you can check out:
Speaker Services – SpeakerServices.com
Speaker Zone – SpeakerZone.com

2. Get Dialed In: The old fashioned method of cold calling still works. If you put in the time and effort (and this may mean making 40-50 calls per day), then you will most likely find that you can secure a few speaking engagements. The key is to find the best targeted leads for your business.
Here are three sources for this information:
a. Cole Information – ColeInformation.com: They make 2 publications:
b. NTPA Directory (National & Professional Associations): This organization lists The Directory of Association Meeting Planners and Directory of Corporate Meeting Planners, national conventions, meetings, and trade show dates for over 7,700 trade and professional associations with an annual report published each February. 
c. Columbia Books, Inc. – ColumbiaBooks.com

3. Publicity rules! Some of the most effective marketers claim that hiring a full time publicist has made all the difference in being able to develop a speaking career. When people have seen your face enough times in publications, they start to recognize your face, think that they know you and develop a trust with you. This will certainly help your business.

4. Use Google Alerts to Your Advantage! Set up your Google Alerts to notify you when there is any mention of a “call for speakers” or “call for presenters.” If you keep an eye on these, you may just find a bunch of places that will make great leads for finding opportunities to speak.

5. Keep an Eye on Large Conference Centers. When you make it a habit to follow the calendars of the large conference centers in major cities, you will start to notice patterns of events, and probably even find some events that you can get in on the action.

6. Subscribe to Industry Newsletters. Most business newsletters and journals have an “upcoming events” section where different types of events are listed. This may be a great resource as you are looking for places to speak publicly about your business and hopefully get yourself a paid engagement. Be sure that you are on top of all the big journals and newsletters for your business or niche.

The more that you can put yourself out there, the more likely you are to become recognized in your field as an authority. It is the authorities in the niche that will be invited to speak at conferences and conventions, and this should be a goal of yours if you want to make it big in the business. Use these simple yet powerful tips and get to the top!

Which of these tips are the most helpful, and which one will you implement right away? Please leave me a comment below and let’s get the conversation started!


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  1. Very helpful and great tips. I would follow up on tips 5 and 6. Your materials are always very resourceful.

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