A lot of speakers have heard about sites like eSpeakers or SpeakerMatch. But should you use them to get gigs?

If you don’t know what these sites are…here’s a quick rundown…

You pay to post your speaker profile (videos, etc) on the website and when meeting planners are looking for speakers, they could hire you from the website.

To most speakers, it sounds great.

You pay a couple hundred bucks for the year and meeting planners just come to you.

But before you join, you need to read this.

First, you have to figure out why you’re joining one of these websites.

99.999999% of speakers join because they don’t know how to get themselves booked. They don’t have any lead-generation methods for getting paid gigs…so they join because they think this is their golden ticket to success.

I did this when I started.

I used a website that’s very similar to these speaker sites and I thought…

“Hmm…well even if I just book ONE gig, it will make up for the entire year.”

And of course I pictured meeting planners just flocking to me. I thought I would post a profile and voila!…An instant speaking-business!

Well…things don’t work like that.

The reason I joined one of these sites when I started was because I didn’t know how to get myself booked. Actually…I kinda knew…but I didn’t want to do it.

And that’s what you have to figure out for yourself before you join one of these websites.

If you’re joining because:

  • You don’t know how to get yourself booked…or…
  • You know how, but you’re too lazy to do it and you think gigs will ‘roll in’ …or…
  • You think that if you get ‘one’ gig then it makes up for the cost…

…If you’re joining for any of those reasons, then you’re going to be very disappointed.

Think about how the sites are structured.

These sites have TONS of speakers…one stacked on top of another. And there’s no way to differentiate yourself.

When a meeting planner does a search…what do they see? They see a headshot of one speaker after another…after another…after another.

There are too many options. And it has been psychologically proven that the more options you have, the harder it is to make a choice.

So not only do you look like every other speaker on the website, but you can’t communicate how you’re different from the get-go…all they see is your head.

When they click on your head, they see a profile….which looks like every other speaker’s profile. They can browse and look at your videos, pictures, etc…but guess what? Your profile still looks like every other speaker’s profile.

And the most effective way you can get hired as a speaker, is to differentiate yourself.

The first impression you make as a speaker needs to have a lasting impression on people…and these speaker-directories will never be as effective as a great speaker-website.

Not too long ago, I was talking on the phone with a well-known mentalist named Uri Geller. Uri Geller is famous for bending metal…and do you know how far he took the ‘differentiation’ status too?

He wouldn’t even hang around other entertainers who were remotely close to him. Why? Because he wanted to show that he’s different. He’s the real thing. Not some entertainer doing balloon animals. And by doing this…he became extremely famous.

The more similar you are to other speakers, the harder it will be for you to get hired. And these directory sites make you look like every other speaker out there.

If you’re dead serious about building up your speaking business then you need to stop kidding yourself and get in the game of building a real speaking business.

If you don’t know how to get yourself booked…then that’s what this website is for.

Second, if you already know what to do, but you don’t want to do it, then you’re in big trouble. I’m talking about BIG trouble.

The number one reason speakers don’t get booked is because they’re not willing to do what it takes to build their business. It’s hard…But if you can push through that, then you can build a great speaking business.

So if you’re joining these websites because you don’t want to do the work…then you’re going to have a huge wake-up call once you see that things aren’t working out the way you pictured it.

And third, you might think that if you got one gig…just one…then it would make up for the cost of these websites. Technically it does. But let’s get into what Warren Buffett always talks about… Opportunity Cost.

Opportunity cost is what you have to give up, to get something else.

So lets say that you spend $400 on one of these websites. What else could you have done with that $400 to get booked?

You could have put it into a Google Adwords campaign…which will get you higher-paying gigs than those types of sites.

You could have used that money to hire a VA who’s sole job is to contact meeting planners to hire you…and put them into your CRM so you build up a directory of meeting planners to keep in touch with.

Or you could have used that money to invest in education…so you know that what you’re doing is the right thing…versus just doing ‘something.’

When Warren Buffett has extra money to invest into stocks, do you know what he does first? Before buying a new stock, he says, “Should we just put this money into stocks we already own?”

You should be asking yourself the same question.

If you have an extra $400 or so, why not use that money to multiply what you’re already doing? If you normally spend $1,000 a month on Adwords…spend $1,400.

But lets say that you still want to join one of these sites.

The next question you have to ask yourself is…

“Are my marketing materials good enough to get the speaking gigs?”

eSpeakers & SpeakerMatch are only as good as your marketing materials.

If you have a great website, great videos, tons of testimonials, then you improve your chances of getting hired on these sites.

When it comes down to it, you have to think…

Are you joining these websites because you don’t know how to get gigs yourself? Or are you joining these websites to compliment what you’re already doing? If it’s to compliment what you’re already doing, then why not use the money to ramp up what already works instead of trying something unknown?

So what do I think of these sites?

There’s nothing wrong with using them to compliment what you’re already doing. But if you’re using them as an excuse for not getting gigs yourself, then don’t join…because you will be very disappointed.