When I first hung out my shingle as a speaker, coach, and consultant, one of my areas of expertise was supporting organizations to set their new hires up for success through their onboarding programs. (I even wrote a book on it.)
Onboarding is the practice of making it easy for employees, during their first 90 days, to succeed.
There are lots of onboarding practices that are relevant for solopreneurs and small business owners. For example, you can:
- Create new client and new hire welcome and informational resources
- Devise dynamite first sessions (or for employees, first day experiences) that show someone they made the right decision by choosing you
- Connect new clients/team members to a community to further support their success
To speak with moxie (and market with moxie), speakers can also employ an onboarding mindset to how they engage with event organizers to make it simple for them to say yes to you (and your keynote, business presentation or workshop).
Here are five of my top tips to make it easy to get booked for speaking gigs.
1. Craft speaking pitches that are first and foremost about event organizers and their audiences – rather than about you and your achievements. (Yes, prospective speakers need to make themselves credible, and a chief way they do so is by showing how they are uniquely poised to address the desires and frustrations of the prospective audience.)
2. Have a virtual speaker marketing kit with your promotional materials. Whether you are just beginning and only have a simple speaking page on your website with a description of your signature presentation, or you have been in the game for a while and have a speaker reel, speaker one-sheet, in-action speaking shots, and so forth, be sure to drive event organizers to a single location online where they can look at (and ideally download) key assets. Here’s the link to my speaking and media page in case you are curious about how I have set this up for myself – and what I recommend to clients and students.
3. Discuss speaking opportunities (and your fees, travel requirements, etc.) on the phone – rather than over email. This will help both you and the event organizer avoid sending time-consuming emails back and forth and give you the opportunity to learn more about the event organizer’s audience and frame yourself and your content in the best way possible. To move quickly from email to the phone, be sure to include a call scheduling link in your first (and follow-up) speaking pitches.
4. Another way to adopt an onboarding mindset and set an event organizer up for success and ease is to fold all of your fees into one flat speaking rate. While many professional speakers have a speaking fee, and then ask event organizers to cover airfare, lodging and ground transportation, you make it easier on the event host to quote one all-inclusive fee and then have a member of your team take care of booking those logistics for you.
5. Show event organizers that you want the opportunity to speak to their audience. One of the biggest mistakes I see speakers make is acting “busy” to event organizers (i.e., sending generic and non-personalized pitches or avoiding phone calls) rather than showing event organizers they genuinely want to make a positive impact on their audience. While boundaries are important, as are speaker agreements (once you get a speaking gig), to ensure your expectations are met and there is no scope creep in what you are expected to do in an engagement, taking the time to send a personalized video, thank you note, and most importantly, clearly communicating how you can create long-lasting transformation for an event organizer’s specific audience – super-duper valuable for making the right impression and ultimately winning speaking opportunities.
I hope you found the above recommendations helpful, and if so, let me know how you are putting these tips into action.