The question I get asked more frequently than any other is how do I get gigs.
It’s actually one of those interesting things because it often feels like it’s the busy speakers who seem to get all of the opportunities but for those starting out it can feel really difficult to break into.
For me it’s a mindset thing, a bit like dating – the more desperate you are the less likely you are to attract promoters to you! So the trick is to make yourself look attractive to promoters. (and I don’t just mean putting on some make-up!)
The key is to see yourself through a promoter’s eye and how easy it is for them to market you. That’s why I use the following 6 pillars as the cornerstone of my speaking business to attract promoters to me.
You should be focusing on them constantly and, ideally you want to dedicate 2 hours each week to one of those 6 pillars to make you the kind of speaker promoters will rush to book.
Pillar 1: Your Celebrity
Media exposure – television, radio, magazine and newspaper articles –increases your visibility, your credibility and your fame. Try to feature in the media to set yourself above your competitors and stand out from the crowd. Every time it happens you put it on your website (as seen on TV and in X magazine or newspaper) and this increases your celebrity status.
Pillar 2: Your Credibility
Focus on the results you get with your clients and don’t forget to show them off! This can take the form of testimonials (written and video), success stories or any evidence which backs up your work. These kind of hard results are the kind of thing promoters love. Remember to be specific, rather than abstract. Things like “my client made £60k as a result of what I taught them” works a lot better than “my client’s life improved so much!”
Pillar 3: Your Marketability
What qualifications do you have? For example, I’m a qualified doctor and I went to the same acting school as Hugh Jackman – though not at the same time! But any qualifications, even if they’re not directly related to your niche, are important. This is also the opportunity to list any awards you have. When you have recognisable qualifications and awards it’s much easier for a promoter to market you than as Joe Blogs – Life Coach, for example.
Pillar 4: Your Visibility
Where are you being seen? What events are you attending? What events are not attending? There are some networking events that a speaker of a certain calibre just wouldn’t have time to go to. So, getting gigs depends where you’re seen and also where you’re not seen from a profile perspective.
Pillar 5: Professionalism
Once you’ve got the attention of a promoter, you want to look as professional as possible. In other words, you want to look the biz! So, on your website make it as easy as possible for promoters to download your biography and headshot. (Feel free to check out my website for ideas – www.joannamartin.tv/media) Essentially you want to be both accessible and easy to promote – which makes you a great draw.
Pillar 6: Your Reputation
You need to consider how your reputation will affect your ability to get gigs. What kind of results are your clients achieving? Are you good to them? If you’re doing a great job, then this will spread and you’re bound to attract the attention of a promoter. And it’s true for the reverse too. No promoter will want to put someone with a bad reputation on their stage. It goes without saying, but be nice and care about what you do.
These 6 pillars are components of any successful speaking business. Getting gigs is not some great mystery. It’s about you maximising every speaking opportunity that you do get so you can build and grow your speaking business so you too become the kind of speaker who is constantly on stage.
For tips on how to maximise your speaking opportunities, check out this article.