I am regularly asked “Joey, where can I find speaking gigs in my area?” so I thought it would be useful for you if I answer this question in a blog post. So many people have asked me that I’m sure it is something you have struggled with too?
Elsewhere in my blog I’ve talked about cultivating relationships with event promoters, interviewing big players in your field to increase your exposure… thus increasing your chances of being found. But in this blog, I want to show you some pro-active ideas for finding openings for speaking gigs online.
If you’re using Twitter, I imagine you already recognise how powerful it can be for finding people you want to connect with. If you know who the promoter is for a specific event that you would love to speak at, Twitter can be a great way to connect with them and build a relationship.
However there is another way that very few people seem to have picked up on yet;
In the search box at the top of the Twitter page, enter #Ineedaspeaker The results will show you event organisers who have an upcoming event but haven’t yet found the right person to speak at the event. The hashtag is used in tweets to make it easy for people to find these tweets quickly.
But another tip I picked up from one of my clients is to use the search term need+speaker. This search will reveal tweets where the words “need” and “speaker” appear… flagging up similar tweets to those found in the first search… but where the hashtag #ineedaspeaker wasn’t included in the tweet.
You will have to weed out tweets about audio speakers and the like, but in amongst them will be some gems for you to benefit from.
New event listings:
My next tip is to set up alerts for press releases and features announcing upcoming events in your area. When you see a new event listing, check out the list of speakers… and keep your eyes peeled for any where the speaker is not yet confirmed.
Events can take months of planning, and details and tickets often get announced before the final line up of speakers has been confirmed… if you find an event that is a good fit for you, then you have an opportunity to make contact with the organiser or promoter and pitch your presentation.
Eventbrite (and similar event hosting sites)
Eventbrite is a free site where you can host and promote events, that also offers a portal for collecting ticket income on your behalf. There will be other similar sites too… but the site you choose isn’t as important as how you can use it for the purpose of finding speaking gigs in your area.
Using either topic or location keywords, search for relevant events, and again… look at the speakers line up to see if there are any vacant slots. Even if no speakers are listed or the line up appears to be full, it could still be worth you approaching the promoter.
In Eventbrite, there is an option to contact the host via the site’s messaging service… so you don’t even need to go looking for contact details to get in touch with them.
If it is a gig you would love to speak at, why not drop the promoter a line… you may be able to create your own opportunities with this approach?
If you feel you can add value to any of the events you find in your searches, I recommend you do make contact and ask for the opportunity. It sounds obvious when you think about it, but asking for what you want will often yield results. Most people don’t ask though.
How do you find speaking gigs in your area? Do you have any other search tips you can share to benefit our community? Please leave a comment below and share.