25 tips to help grow your speaking business

Today I celebrate 25 years in the speaking business.  Yes, I started on April Fool’s Day in 1998.   As it’s a special I thought I’d share 25 tips to help you to grow your speaking business. 

Let’s just get right into it:

  1. Focus on one specific area, go deep in your expertise rather than wide.  This will differentiate you and your content.
  2. Be totally clear on who your target market and audiences are and speak specifically to them in all your materials and on social media.
  3. Have a clear USP (unique selling proposition).  If you are struggling to define a USP you might find that it is You.  Your experience, who you are, what you have done may well be the USP you are looking for.
  4. Create a speaker website with video, topics, and testimonials.
  5. Produce high-quality videos: Record and share clips from your speaking engagements or record pieces to camera.  Bookers need to see how you speak.
  6. Be visible on LinkedIn, share posts, comment on other people’s posts, grow your network.
  7. Network with event organisers, decision-makers and other speakers who can recommend you for speaking engagements.
  8. Attend industry events; conferences, workshops, and seminars to meet potential clients and stay up to date with what’s going on in the market.
  9. Tailor your content to each event and audience.  You’ll be surprised to know that many speakers don’t tailor, this could be a huge selling point for you.
  10. Leverage your existing network.  Ask friends, colleagues, and clients to introduce you to their contacts who may run conferences or events.
  11. Be brilliant!  Every time you speak, exceed expectations.  Go above and beyond.
  12. Follow up after events.  Thank the organiser, ask for feedback and for more work.
  13. Make it as easy as possible for bookers to find you, book you and work with you.
  14. Join speaker bureaus, see free resources on our website for a How to Guide on the subject.
  15. Prospect – look for people and organisations who run events and tell them you are available if they need you (and can afford you).
  16. Offer workshops and training sessions as well as speaking.  
  17. Collect testimonials from clients and add them to your website, LinkedIn, etc.  Paper your office wall to remind yourself how good you are.
  18. Price yourself correctly, don’t under value yourself or price yourself too high in the market.
  19. Work with other speakers, support each other, pass enquiries to one another, give each other regular advice and encouragement.  Speaking ban be a very lonely business.
  20. Speak for free or at a reduced rate to practice new content, get more experience, or to reach a target audience you would otherwise struggle to meet with.
  21. Write articles and guest posts.  If you’re listed with a bureau that regularly shares a blog, they will constantly be looking for new content, offer to write them an article/blog.
  22. Start a podcast to showcase your expertise, or guest on other people’s podcasts.
  23. Offer value after the event.   Workbooks, checklists, slides, recorded videos etc.  Stay top of mind for longer than the presentation itself.
  24. Reply to enquiries quickly.  If you don’t bookers will move on. 
  25. Keep working on improving your speaking skills:  Book a session with Mary Tillson
  26. Track your success, analyse your results so that you can adjust your approach and keep growing your speaking business. 

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