Professional speaking is a very competitive business. The National Speakers Association has thousands of members and many other professional speakers are not even members.
As I wrote last month in the Balancing The "3 D's" of Building a Professional Speaking Business you must have a system for building your speaking business.
Once you get the speaking gig you need a strategy to leverage it as best as possible to obtain other speaking opportunities.
There are two things that are part of every speaking job I get that generates other opportunities for are:
- Asking audience members for referrals
- Being relentless about generating testimonials for my website and other marketing materials
This month I'll address the speaker referral process I use that will work for you, too and next month you'll read about how to generate audience and meeting planner testimonials that will build social proof you provide high value as a speaker.
Getting Referrals from Meeting Planners
Most meeting planners have a network of colleagues in similar positions that put on events like you just spoke at.
After your presentation engage the meeting planner in a customer service conversation as to what they liked about working with you and the value you brought to their event.
If the meeting planner gives you positive feedback on their experience working with you ask them who else in their sphere of influence they know who puts on similar programs they could introduce you to.
Most every time I’ve done this it has generated follow up conversations for me about future speaking events.
Getting Referrals from Audience Members
Your audience members are part of companies and organizations that also need to hear your message, and you need to get feedback from audience members as to what works in your talks.
You can use a simple feedback form to get referrals and ideas on what resonated with your audience.
On my feedback form I bribe my audiences with 3 free gifts (usually an e-book or assessment downloadable from my website) if they submit a completed form at the end of my presentation.
The feedback form, in addition to asking what the audience members’ “aha or learning” was, and what question they would have liked to have answered but didn’t also includes a section where they can check off a box if they would like information on having me speak on a similar topic for their company or organization.
It always generates a few follow up speaking opportunities each time.
Next month you’ll learn a sure fire way to obtain more testimonials than you can imagine.
Skip Weisman is The Leadership & Workplace Communication Expert, and is a member of an elite group of international World Class Speaking Coaches.
Skip works with the owners of companies with between 6-60 employees to transform workplace communication in 90-days and create a more positive, more productive and even more profitable company.
Additionally, he coaches and trains business professionals and professional speakers to become a World Class Speaker and presenter that can inspire and motivate any type of audience. You can learn more about Skip at www.YourChampionshipCompany.com and www.SkipWeismanSpeaks.com .