Booking new gigs is a multifaceted process. As much as research, relationship management, and outreach play into the equation, so too does getting proactive in your marketing efforts.
After all, while outreach might put you in direct contact with prospective customers, it also means sifting through people who aren’t necessarily interested right now.
On the other hand, marketing offset those challenges and provides you with an influx of prospective leads that are interested for the services that you offer.
But what are the best tactics to help professional speakers to market their businesses in 2021 and beyond?
We tapped into our network of experts for the insights.
Utilize SEO and Search Ads
One of the most effective ways to put yourself in front of your target audience is to use two tried and true digital marketing fundamentals: SEO and paid search ads.
“Here’s my question for you,” says Yoram Solomon, PhD and author of The Book of Trust. “Would you rather cold-call someone who may not be in a position to hire speakers, not now, not interested in your topic, and knows nothing about you? Or would you rather be called by someone who is in a position to hire speakers, interested in your topic, needs a speaker right now, found and researched you online, and thinks you might be a great speaker for their next event?”
He continues, “Rather than cold-calling event planners, I prefer to spend time on SEO and Search Ads to make sure that people who are in a position to hire speakers and are interested in my topic will find me at the exact moment they are searching for a speaker like me.”
Be Consistent and Persistent
Marketing only works if you’re consistent. In fact, in many instances, marketing professionals will advise you to allow six months in order to see the full results of your efforts.
“The trick to successful marketing is to be consistent and disciplined in how you market yourself,” says Wolf Millstone, Founder at Wolf Millstone Group. “While there are many different strategies to do this, once you’ve identified your approach, commit to it and stick to it.”
He elaborates, “So, if you decide you will reach out to 20 people for proposals every single day, commit to that. It’s not good enough to do that only when you feel like it or when things are going well. You need to do that every single day, week in and week out. While strategy is important, a lot of speakers give up simply because they don’t stick to their plan long term. Choose your strategy. Be consistent with that strategy. Be disciplined with your consistency.”
Jane Atkinson, Author of The Wealthy Speaker 2.0, Founder of The Wealthy Speaker School, agrees fully.
She explains, “Consistency is king when it comes to marketing your speaking business. Whether you’re new to speaking or have been around a while, delivering consistent value to the market is what is going to get you noticed. If you have a blog, do it on the regular. If you have a podcast, pick a day and time to release it and do it consistently. Even social media can be on a schedule, with an editorial calendar so that the topics all align back to your core expertise. Doing the work is what is going to put more dates on your calendar.”
Use a Marketing Approach That Fits Your Brand
For your marketing efforts to produce optimal results, your tone and approach should align with your brand.
“Every speaker needs to find their own approach and know what works for them,” explains Lauren Schieffer, CSP, Keynote Speaker, Author, and Consultant. “For me, I stick with the ‘warm puppy’ approach rather than the ‘pitbull’ approach.”
She continues, “The pitbull approach works for many people. It just doesn’t work for me. Because if you see a pitbull coming toward you on the street, you might slow your step and cross the street to avoid contact. Meeting professionals and decision-makers do the same thing when they see the pitbull approach coming. On the other hand, if you see someone coming toward you carrying or leading a brand new puppy, you instinctually head toward it. All that is to say that if you’re giving, patient, easy to work with, and willing to be an advocate for people, you become a warm puppy. The pitbull approach will get you some sales quicker, but they will be one-offs. The warm puppy approach is the long-ball game and builds clients and partners for life.”
Automate Your Marketing Initiatives
Digital marketing can connect you with leads from all over the world. But in order to capitalize on those opportunities, you need to find ways to automate your marketing initiatives.
“If you want to compete globally, you need to be available all the time,” explains Aidan Crawford at Short Circuit Media. “But that doesn’t mean you always have to be live. Consider finding ways to automate your marketing efforts so that you’re generating leads even when you’re not physically working. For instance, consider creating an automated informational webinar and let it run 24/7. Include CTAs and downloads to get people into your sales funnel… even when you’re sleeping.”
Market Yourself by Building Relationships
As much as paid advertising, content creation, and automation can help produce marketing results, it’s also vital that you market yourself by networking and building relationships.
“Building professional relationships has been the best marketing technique that I use for my speaking business,” shares Lolita Guarin, Stress Management Expert. “Meeting new people, especially those who are in the decision-making role in their organization through different networking events has been a great springboard for business. Over years I have been cultivating relationships with HR professionals, CEOs, managers, and supervisors that would hire me later to teach their team how to manage stress and burnout in the workplace and increase productivity. Building friendships and being caring towards other people paid me off in many ways.”
This is a tactic that Lois Barth, Human Development Expert, Empowerment Speaker, Coach, and Author, agrees with.
“Make a personal human connection with your speaking clients,” explains Lois. “Do it in an unorthodox and whimsical way that will delight them and let them know you care. Get creative. This can be anything. I’ve tried opting to sing versus text happy birthday on LinkedIn notifications and congratulating someone on their new home on Facebook in a playful way. It brought about surprising and delightful results. Be in the other person’s world and you’ll be on their radar. Let someone know you’re thinking of them and be in their world. Relationship first. Results second.”
Getting proactive in your marketing efforts can help your volume of leads–and, in turn, new gigs–to skyrocket. But as your leads begin to climb, it’s critical that you’re able to stay organized and on top of them all. Using a Customer Relationship Management platform like karmaSpeaker can help you automate your lead management, keep track of the status of each lead, and much more.
To learn more about how karmaSpeaker can support your marketing initiatives, get in touch with our team today!