"Everyone can brighten a room. Some when they enter it and others when they leave."

3 Costly Marketing Mistakes that Speakers Make

Successfully booking a speaking date is not rocket surgery, however, it does require skill and tact. The real key to being the speaker who is selected as the one who will be getting a check versus those who don’t has to do with your ability to showcase your uniqueness and branding. Let’s face it, being someone who can speak, versus someone who is booked as a speaker for a convention are two very different things.

Imagine you are an event planner who has $5000 budgeted for a speaker to speak at your conference. You post the job on Speakermatch,  (the greatest speaker lead service on the planet!), post a speaker request on your website,  and the applications start pouring in from people who feel that they could bring great value to your audience.

Many times speaker selection committees will sift through hundreds of qualified speaker applications before narrowing the list to 3-5 potential candidates to speak at their event. The only problem is that most speaker’s marketing materials just flat-out sucks.

Why? Because they are boring and bland! Boring promo sounds like Charlie Brown’s teacher yammering on about nonsense! Here is what most promo letters begin with:

 Lame Speaker promo letter, how to not sell yourself, cover letter for speakers

Here are 3 ways that you can avoid boring speaker promo:

1. Lead with a great headline.

The Headline is the first (and sometimes only) item that an event planner will notice. The headline is designed to grab the reader and capture their attention. Some of my promotional materials talk about Recipes for Success, which maintains my brand consistency. Other great headlines include Brad Szollose’s Bridging Generational Chaos, Tony Rubleski’s Mind Capture series, and Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Workweek.

2. Stop talking about yourself and start describing the benefits the audience will realize

You can use one paragraph to describe why you are an authority on your particular subject area, but watch out for a cardinal sin in copywriting by using “I” and “me” all of the time. They don’t really care about you, what they care about is how you can help them.

For example, I was talking with coaching client the other day who is an authority on weight loss. I reminded her that her audience isn’t interested in losing weight, they are interested in feeling better, looking better, and having more confidence. An audience filled with salespeople is not necessarily interested in how to close more deals, they are interested in how they can build a more sustainable business with less effort.

3. The more specific your niche, the more desirable you are as a speaker

I cringe every time I hear a speaker say “Just let me know what you want me to talk about, and I can do it!” You are not a damn chameleon! Specialize in an area that you have a unique knowledge or perspective on. It is important to do your homework before a speaking date so you have a feel for the organization and any specific jargon they may use; but they are hiring you for what is in your head.

These are just a few strategies that can help you grow your speaking business, never forget that it is a business and requires a tremendous amount of work and endless prospecting. You can check out a previous article on business building strategies for speakers here.

What are some success strategies that you use for booking speaking dates?


This entry was posted on Friday, December 13th, 2013 at 2:48 pm and is filed under Building a Speaking Business . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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