4 Top Tips to Get Your Speaking Business off the Ground

A highly effective way to reach and engage with your audience is through speaking. If you’re passionate and knowledgeable about your subject matter, what better way to share and add value than in person? Once you decide to pursue speaking as a way to grow your platform and share your big ideas, where do you start, and what’s next?  

Develop a home base

A current and on-brand website serves as the most critical touchpoint for existing and prospective readers and clients, as well as for speakers’ bureaus and conference planners. This is your digital home base; ensure it represents you accurately and serves your goals. For more tips on optimizing a website, check out these 5 ways to make the most of your author website.

Create ancillary materials

Developing ancillary materials conveys your speaking credentials and professional experience.

  • A speaker press kit functions as a one-sheet that easily communicates your value as a speaker and the subject matter in which you have expertise. This document should be available for easy downloads on your website and look just as good printed as it does digitally.
  • As you log speaking engagements, be sure to capture them on video. This footage can be spliced into a sizzle reel to help an event planner envision you speaking at their next event. 

These materials, along with your contact information, should be housed in a section of your website clearly marked “Speaking.”

Do your research

Think about your target audience: Consider gender, age range, occupation, and pain points. Next, think about what kinds of events would allow you to reach these individuals. For example, what professional associations cater to your target groups, and are they organizing events and conferences? Might your alma mater be running a speaker series? Are there reputable speakers’ bureaus that feature similar subject matter experts? This type of questioning will pave the way for your next step: Outreach.

Launch your outreach

Once you’ve developed a good idea of your target audience and prospective speaking engagements, you can start getting tactical. Take note of conferences and speakers’ bureaus that provide guidelines on their websites for submitting a keynote or workshop proposal. Consider conducting an influencer mailing to your intended speaking outlets with a clear call-to-action and ancillary materials. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t get many responses at first. Be confident that you’re putting in the legwork to spread the word about how you bring value, and be persistent!    

Speaking allows you to serve your audience in the most direct way, and it’s an effective tool in building your name brand as a thought leader and relevant voice in your field. Looking for more information? Check out Greenleaf CEO Tanya Hall’s advice on building a speaking career