We've started a new podcast called the "Inspire Your Audience Podcast." Our first podcast episode was recorded on February 1, and it was with our guest Bishop Alexander.
Jeremy G. Woods will be interviewing Christian speakers and Ministers as he has the opportunity, and he is looking for his next podcast guests. Is that you? Please visit here to learn more and apply.
Below, you will find a short soundbite from it along with the video on YouTube (audio only) as well as links below for the podcast elsewhere.
If you are wanting speaking gigs, I'm going to assume several things:
Let's Look at Reality First
The reality is that, if you're not known as a speaker, and your website (or other marketing materials) are not professionally done, you may be having speaking engagements in 6 months time from now that, if you don't fix something, you may not get; however, if you fix the leak in the proverbial bucket, you may be getting speaking engagements in a few months (or even a year) by not having to contact conferences.
When you write to a conference, they generally have a type of a speaker in mind (and want someone they know or others know or that has a clear story that shines through that they see as the perfect speaker for the conference). If your marketing doesn't appeal to them, they likely have many other people in line wanting to speak at their conference. This brings us to the first important point:
You Need Professional Marketing
If you are hoping to deliver an exceptional speech at a widely-known conference, the organizers are going to be looking at your website, your speaking materials, and many other things online about you and your speaking gigs in the past. The conference organizers are, in business terms, considered your gatekeepers. They will be the ones deciding if you get the green light or not. Therefore, your appearance online is of utmost importance. Not only do you need professional marketing, you also need your own reputation management done so that if anyone says something about you or your speaking gigs online, you will know about it and can find the best method to respond to it, if needed. These two things are essential to making a great impression to the decision makers.
You Need to Build a Social Following
You need to be actively engaging with your own audience that you wish to speak with - usually this is best done online. If your target audience is generally online, you need to be posting and engaging with them on a daily basis, especially through encouraging words that help them get through whatever situations they're going through right now. The major idea for building a social following is that, eventually, you can have an organic team of people who can request you to speak at conferences and help your speaking engagements get more known so your speaking can reach more people. You also need to make sure that any graphics you have on your social media profiles are professionally done so that you don't turn people away from your profiles. Since you're a speaker, it's best to also do a lot of videos as well. Another important method is inspiring people through webinars. You then also get their contact information and can follow up with them and, if they want it, you can also add them on your newsletter list to be able to reach them more times.
You Need to Write the Book That Will Help Your Target Audience
As a society, we are moving more and more away from the traditional book, but people are still buying books, even if it's an ebook. The point is that, if you are wanting to reach your target audience, you need to have multiple methods of doing so. Writing a professional book means that you're also seen as an authority to them, as well, which is another plus. Whatever situation they're going through right now, you can write on that topic and help as many in your target audience as possible. Don't get too bogged down on the fact that you need to write the book, and just write it. Too many people get an idea in their head, and that idea rarely makes it to paper, and if it makes it to paper, it rarely gets published. But, that won't be you, right? Because you know that you have a purpose to serve, and you will make sure to get out there what needs to be said so that it can reach the right people, in the right timing, using the right methods.
You Need a Website That Will Book You
As a website designer, I've seen good and bad websites, and everything in between. This being said, speakers aren't excluded from that. A website doesn't just need to look nice; it needs to be user-friendly and help you get leads. Also, the website needs to get found in order to help the website owner. Too many web design companies put a focus on design and don't focus on SEO (Search Engine Optimization), how the website gets found on search engines like Google and Yahoo. If you want to get more speaking gigs, being found organically (meaning not through paid methods) on search engines is critical. Once they're on the website, the conference organizers need to see a clear call to action (CTA) to be able to book you, as well as answers to their most important questions.
You Need to Get Your Target Audience's Contact Information
As mentioned earlier, webinars are a great way to get your target audience's contact information, but another essential way is by giving them something in exchange for their email address (and name). Then, you can keep emailing them a newsletter telling them what is going on in your speaking career and ways that you can help them with what they are going through in life. There's something called a "lead magnet," which is a booklet designed to attract their attention enough to get their email address in exchange for you giving it to them. It can help them through one of the problems they may be facing, among many other possible ideas (the possibilities are literally limitless for what you can create a lead magnet on). Be sure, though, that it is professionally done so that it will attract new subscribers to your newsletter list.
While there could be more said, this is a good overview of how to get speaking gigs as a speaker. While you probably were expecting something along the lines of, "Cold call conference organizers," you probably are sighing a sigh of relief right now that that's not the advice I'm giving. However, that perhaps could be easier than doing everything I mentioned above.
Fortunately for you, most of that could be done for you, though. My first suggestion is that you sign up for a free platform audit, where I'll look over what you have so far and give you recommendations for how to further your platform's reach so that you can book more speaking gigs in 2020 and beyond. The best part is that, if I feel I can help you with this, I would then offer you entry into our done-with-you, done-for-you program. If you're more a DIY type of person, you could sign up for Platform University, which is like a course that leads you through the process of building a platform. Be sure to sign up today for your free platform audit so we can build your platform and, in 6 months, you could be on your way as a speaker for that dream conference you always wanted to speak at. With God's help, and with the right tools in place, it can happen. Let's make 2020 the year where your speaking gigs improved for the better.
Whether you realize it or not, your main purpose for speaking is not to get on stage. It's to transform lives by using God's Word (along with your story). Unfortunately, this either means you're going to only impact those in your area or you're going to be travelling a lot. A good way to reach those you wouldn't normally come into contact with is by duplicating yourself and sending yourself on a mission to 100 cities in one night, right? Wrong. That's not going to happen - except when it does happen.
Let's face it. As a speaker, you face many obstacles and "competition." If you're a beginning or intermediate speaker, this post is written especially for you. There are many speakers who are known that may have a bigger chance to get that speaking engagement at the conference or retreat, so what can you do as an intermediate speaker? Read the rest of this blog post to find out actionable tips.
In case you haven't noticed, we haven't been updating lately.
We're in the middle of relaunching Inspire Your Audience (with today as the official relaunch day). We have a new system now, so in case you have an account with us, that's still good, but we're relaunching with a new system. If you are interested in any of our packages, we have 5 packages available, from a free account with a monthly SEO report all the way to our VIP package with 9 tools for Christian speakers.
If you're interested in learning more, you can click here or fill out the form below:
We offer a free membership program as well as paid membership programs for Christian speakers. As part of our paid programs, when you become a Pro, Expert, or VIP member, you get access to our platform building worksheets. This set of worksheets will give you inside access to our way of thinking about platform building. When we talk about platform building, a wide reach is great, but there's something else deeper that we are attempting to create for you, and that will be revealed in our paid speaker packages (and hinted at in our webinar).
The 5 P's of Platform Building becomes the building blocks of our foundational system. It's also the first of our 4 modules (which are Discovery, Integration, Game-Changer, and Replication). You'll learn more about our system by joining our Pro, Expert or VIP membership package. The 5 P's of Platform Building is a transformational step that will guide the rest of your journey into building your platform, and it's an essential step if you want to build your platform in a good way.
It's easy to come up with a list of reasons on why you should get tools to build your speaking platform, but it's fairly simple to come up with this list. Plus, it helps you to see why you should get a package from us.
Now that I've given you 5 reasons not to use us, I want to let you in on a little secret - if you do qualify, we want to take clients who are READY.
READY is an acronym. Check out what it stands for here.
Truthfully, besides an audience, a speaker only needs a well-prepared speech. But, besides that, there are some important factors that make for a great speaker.
To build an audience, you'll need to build a newsletter list. This list can be your main support base that is interested in the topic(s) that you speak about, and they will want to be the first to be informed of your speaking engagements and some information about you and what advice you have to offer. To get their information (at least their name and email address), you'll need something to attract their attention. You can give away a booklet with information about your topic(s) that you speak about. This booklet (called a lead magnet) is included in several of our packages.
Another way to build your audience is doing webinars. These can be sporadic or regular webinars. A webinar is a web-based seminar that you give online (usually for free). It's a good way to build your audience, so that when you come to their city to speak, they'll be familiar with you and what you do. Most webinar software allow you to share your screen if you want to do something like a PowerPoint slideshow in the background. Usually, you have to pay monthly to get access to webinar software. It is included in several of our packages.
Once you have an audience, it's important to constantly get your reputation monitored. This means that if your name appears somewhere on the Internet, whether in a good way or a bad way, you'll find out about it. It's important especially if someone writes a bad review about you or your speaking engagements.
There are more benefits to joining "Inspire Your Audience" and our list of clients. If you wish, you can check out some advice that we've compiled from interviews and communication with Christian speakers. You can get that PDF here.