But the problem still remains. Where can you find speaking gigs?
The answer is right under your nose or at the very least in your iPhone contact list.
The best place to find speaking gigs is through your network
I’ve talked to TEDx speakers, World Domination Speakers, and professional speakers and they all tell me the same thing: Your next big speaking gig will come from someone you know!
I look back on the speaking gigs I had in 2014 and I applied for only 1 of them. The rest came through my network.
How do you activate the power of your network to find speaking gigs?
Step One: Be specific about where you want to speak
Do NOT, for the love of all things good in this world, just tell people that you want to speak more and hope they can hook you up.
Be specific where you want to speak and who you want to speak to. Do you want to speak to dentists? Veterinarians? Entrepreneurs? Zombies? (bad idea − terrible audience).
Your ask needs to paint a picture of the audience you want to serve.
Here’s your action step:
Come up a list of 10 places where you want to speak.
While it’s great to have stretch gigs likes TEDx or Oprah’s next tour, start local. Develop a list of organizations, companies, associations or networking events, where your target audience hangs out.
Step Two: Do your research on LinkedIn
Are you on LinkedIn? Yes. Good.
No. Get on LinkedIn and start making connections. Why?
Because cold emailing or cold calling is an huge energy drain.
Go through your LinkedIn contacts and see if you have any connections that are associated with the places on your list.
If the answer is yes, shoot them an email. Ask if their company brings in speakers for training. If the answer is yes, ask them if they know who makes those decisions or if they could find out for you.
If you don’t know any peeps who are associated with the organizations where you want to speak, then see if there are any 2nd connections they can introduce you to.
If you hit a roadblock and have zero connections, then and only then, do you send a cold email to find out if the organization hires speakers.
Step Three: Write an email that does not suck
I know enough meeting planners to know that they HATE this kind of email:
Hey there! I’m an awesome speaker. I want to be speaking more. You should hire me to speak at your organization.
Bleck. An email like this is all about what the organization can do for the speaker and not what you can do for the organization. (Remember that JFK quote, “Ask not what your country can do for your, but what you can do for your country”? It applies to speaking too.)
You need to do your research. Be familiar with the company or organization, make a connection between their mission and your message, and explain how your message can benefit their people.
If there’s a match, they’ll be more likely to want to talk to you.
Pro Tip: Keep it brief.
These people are busy! They are not going to read an email the length of War and Peace. Be brief and show them the benefits.
Step Four: Follow-up – always follow-up
What happens if you don’t hear anything?
Follow-up! Most people SUCK at following up (I know I’m guilty of this as well).
I get a million emails a day. If you want an answer immediately from me (and you’re not my client), you need to follow-up. Wait a couple of days then send a follow-up email.
No answer does NOT mean no. Keep following-up. Follow-up more than you think you should.
If you want to find speaking gigs, you need to be tenacious.
There it is! Your four step process to finding speaking gigs.
Let me know how it goes for you in the comments. If you need some help figuring out who is your audience and your 3 topics, titles, and takeaways, I invite you to my program, 3 Steps to Your 3 Speaking Topics.
Keep speaking and making your message meaningful for the audience!