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Monday, September 25, 2006

Marketing Tips for Speakers

As speakers we should always be marketing. On my recent trip to Dubai I spoke five times and each day after my talks attended three marketing appointments to set up my next trip. Here are the strategies I used and you can apply there to yourself wherever you are speaking:

1 - Prior to the trip, I contacted all my existing clients and associates in Dubai and set up
breakfast or dinner meetings, one of these meetings could result in a joint venture in Dubai and another a long term consulting contract in ten countries – TIP – whenever you speak in a city or country, always meet with current and past organisations who have used you in the past. Circumstances change, staff change and you will always create new opportunities.

2 - I spent some time on the internet looking for potential organisations that I could meet up with and contacted them prior to my trip. This resulted in some good meetings and as soon as I get home I will be following up to see how to turn these into relationships and speaking engagements. TIP – before you travel to a new engagement, take the time to research the internet and set up meetings with potential bookers. Once you have met with someone face to face, developed a relationship and sold yourself (like only you can do), you stand an excellent chance of being booked. Someone would rather do business with a person that they have met rather than some information in emails being received without ever meeting the speaker. Remember, these bureaus/agents/ associations are receiving hundreds of marketing packs and emails from speakers each week (and binning most). The one that they will remember is the one who took the time to meet with them.

3 - I have a close relationship with a few speakers who I refer to my clients, and they refer me in return so we create two way traffic. I contacted some of these speakers and met with their contacts and I know business will follow. – TIP – Develop a few key relationships with other speakers who you feel confident to refer to your clients, but know that they will do the same in return.

4 - Research your target market – prior to my trip I made some calls to find out who the key people were in Dubai in my niche markets and set up meetings. This resulted in immediate bookings after I met with them – TIP – build your exposure and brand in your specialist niche and let people know who you are and how you can help them.
5 - Talk to everyone – On the aircraft from London to Dubai, I spoke to the lady sitting next to me and discovered that her husband is one of the top consultants in a large International Financial Services Company. By the time we reached Dubai she had given me the key contact people and after a couple of calls I will now be meeting with them on my next trip. – TIP – Speak to everybody

6- Ask for referrals – I ask everyone that I meet with for referrals. When I met up with a large bureau/training organisation, I had a great appointment and by the end, discovered that this organisation is one of the largest in the world and I was referred to the head of the Singapore operation which looks after Asia who I will be contacting next week. – TIP – always ask for referrals if your appointment goes well and you can show them how you can contribute to their organisation.

So there it is, from this two week trip I am organising talks into the first quarter of next year and have secured numerous other speaking assignments this year. We always have to be marketing. If you are not a film star or have written a genuine best seller, the phone won’t be ringing unless you make it.

Take a look at 'How to Find New Business for Speakers

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