If you’re a speaker and you are looking for an agent, this is for you.

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As a former Speaker Bureau owner and agent, I often have speakers approaching me, hoping that I will represent them and magically solve all their booking woes. They believe that securing an agent is the golden ticket to a thriving speaking career. However, the reality is quite different. In this article, I want to shed light on why focusing your energy on finding an agent might not be the best approach and what you should be doing instead to build a successful speaking business.


The Myth of the Magic Agent:

Many speakers believe that an agent is the key to unlocking a flood of speaking opportunities. They imagine that once they have an agent, they can sit back and watch the bookings roll in. Unfortunately, this is a misconception. While agents and bureaus can play a role in your speaking career, they are not a magic solution. In fact, most agents and bureaus are not interested in representing speakers who are just starting out or who haven't yet proven their value in the market.


The Reality of the Speaking Industry:

The truth is, bureaus and agents are looking for speakers who are already successful, who have a proven track record of delivering value to audiences, and who have a strong brand and reputation.


They want speakers who are easy to sell, who have a clear message and expertise, and who are low maintenance to work with. In other words, they want speakers who have already done the hard work of building their business and their brand.  They want you when you don’t need them.


What You Should Be Doing Instead:

So, if focusing on finding an agent isn't the answer, what should you be doing to build your speaking career? Here are a few key strategies:


  1. Develop Your Expertise: Focus on honing your craft and becoming the absolute best in your field. The more you know, and the more unique and valuable your insights, the more in-demand you will be as a speaker.


  1. Build Your Brand: Work on creating a strong personal brand that clearly communicates who you are, what you stand for, and the value you bring to your audiences. This includes your website, your social media presence, your showreel, and your overall reputation in your industry.


  1. Deliver Tremendous Value: Every time you take the stage, your goal should be to deliver transformational value to your audience. Focus on creating powerful, engaging, and practical content that leaves your audience feeling inspired and equipped to take action.


  1. Cultivate Your Network: The speaking business is all about relationships. Focus on building genuine connections with event planners, other speakers, industry leaders, and potential clients. The stronger your network, the more opportunities will come your way. Do this personally, you cannot automate relationship building.


  1. Be Easy to Work With: Make the process of booking you and working with you as seamless and enjoyable as possible. Be responsive, professional, and accommodating. The easier you are to work with, the more likely you are to get booked again and again.


The Bottom Line:

While having an agent or bureau represent you can certainly be beneficial, it's not the magic solution that many speakers believe it to be. The most successful speakers are those who take ownership of their own careers, who focus on delivering tremendous value, and who are constantly working to build their brand and their business.  You cannot put your success into someone else’s hands.  It’s your responsibility.


So, if you're a speaker who's been focused on finding an agent, I encourage you to shift your energy towards developing your craft, building your brand, and cultivating your network. These are the strategies that will truly make you stand out in a crowded market and attract the opportunities you deserve. 


When you are successful agents and bureaus will notice, they will come to you.  It’s not dissimilar to dating, when you stop looking for the person you are going to spend the rest of your life with and work on yourself and having a great life they suddenly appear. 


Your speaking career is in your hands. Take action, stay focused, keep delivering value, and the bookings will come.


PS Need some help to be more bookable and charge higher fees?.

  1. Download one of our free how to guides here.
  2. Book a free consultation with me here.
  3. Binge read previous missives here.
  4. Join our free Speaking Business community herewhere you'll get inspiration, support, advice, and more.
  5. Grab our online training programme to be more bookable and make more money here.



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