If you’re a professional speaker and you want to get speaking engagements
then this is the first thing you must do. Before the marketing, before the social media, before the…everything…you must do this. In fact, if you don’t have this then no amount of marketing, business plans, money, or whatever, is going to help you get speaking gigs and build a real speaking business.
What am I talking about?
Let me tell you the story of a real-estate agent I recently met…
I doing a gig in Arizona and before the gig, I was hanging out in the hotel lobby. I started talking with this lady and she told me she got her real-estate license 4 months ago. Now…one thing I know about real-estate agents is that it’s like any other business (including the speaking business)…
There are a few speakers making money and everyone else acts like they do.
So I asked her how she’s doing with the marketing and getting clients. To my surprise, she told me the truth…
She wasn’t selling a darn thing. Zero! Zip! Nada!
I couldn’t help but ask how she was marketing herself. She said she was telling her friends and family and pretty soon she was going to start a newsletter. But I asked her what tasks she was doing every day…not what she planned on doing. Her answer?
“Well I have a normal job so I can pay the bills and when I get home I’m tired. But I’m going to make a plan and make the newsletter soon.”
Ok…what does this have to do with you building your speaking business?
When I started my speaking business, I didn’t have a budget to do marketing. The only thing I had was laser-focus on what I wanted and I was willing to do what it takes to get it.
The real-estate agent, like most speakers, have a dream of building their business. They see other speakers who are getting speaking engagements and they wonder why they’re not getting as much business. What they don’t realize is that it’s not the tactics they’re lacking, it’s the psychology.
All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved. -Sun Tzu The Art Of War.
What the biggest factor that distinguishes the speakers who get speaking engagements from the ones who want speaking engagements?…It’s all about the psychology.
Suz Tzu talked about how everyone can see the tactics but nobody can see the strategy. When it comes to getting speaking gigs, all the tactics are there for you. YouTube, PPC, SEO, Cold Calling, Referrals, everything. You see the tactics of how to get the gigs but what about the psychology?
Every tactic that’s available to speakers who are getting gigs is available to speakers who aren’t getting gigs. The difference is the psychology of the man behind the tactics.
One person says, “Oh, I don’t know how to do the internet stuff. I can’t do Facebook advertising. Hmm, I wonder what’s to eat tonight.”
The other person says, “I have no idea how to do this internet stuff…but I’m going to figure it out. It sucks, but I’m going to do it even if it kills me.”
Someone who really wants to build a speaking business will do whatever it takes. Maybe they really don’t know how to do something, so they learn. Maybe they really do have another job to pay the bills so when they get home they’re tired, but they would rather live their dream of being a full time speaker rather than just dream about it.
They will wake up early and go to sleep late, making calls to people who can hire them. They will send emails all day, every day.
If you’re serious about building your speaking business and you’re in the same place as you were a year ago, 6 months ago, then you’re not working hard enough.
When I talk to speakers who want more speaking engagements, I notice a common thread…
Very few speakers are FOCUSED
What do I mean?
Speakers who are focused know exactly what market they’re in and they know exactly what one or two things they should be doing every single day to build their business.
Most speakers want to be in the corporate market AND the seminar market. They want Fortune 500 companies to hire them for keynote speeches and they also want to get on stages in seminars to sell products because they see all these other speakers making a boat-load of money.
And that’s the problem…they’re not focused.
You have to make a choice. You’re either a seminar speaker or a corporate keynote speaker. Eventually, you can do both but in the beginning you have to focus because the things you do to build your business are different than the things you do to run your business.
You need to get laser-focused. You should be so focused and so clear on what you want that you ignore everything except the thing you have tunnel-vision for. You want corporate keynote gigs that pay you $10,000 for an hour? That means you get up every single day and contact the people who can hire you…all day, every day.
A friend wants to go out to a movie, you can’t because you’re working. Your favorite show is coming on, you don’t watch it because you’re working. Get serious because this is how the big boys play.
Your psychology is what gets you the speaking gigs, not the tactics. The tactics and all the information about how to build a speaking business is out there…so what’s stopping you? Are you holding yourself back?