Do you want to want meeting planners and organizers to call YOU, instead of waiting for a Call for Speakers to be posted and competing against the masses? Do want to be their automatic ’go to’ option? Then listen up because this is something that they just wish you ‘got’ as a speaker.
I have had the privilege of being the Marketing Chair for the Canadian Association of Professional Speakers (CAPS) in Toronto for the last few years, as well as being the host of multiple speakers showcase events and in that ‘meeting planner’ capacity I have worked with hundreds of speakers. Here’s what meeting planners like me just wish you all understood.
Your role as my speaker (paid or not) is NOT just the time you spend on the stage. From my perspective, you don’t just ‘roll in’ and deliver a killer keynote, and roll back out. You need to be invested in the entire event process.
Here’s a perfect example of what I mean. CAPS recently presented a speaker who talked to us about getting sponsorship for your books and your speaking tour. She was incredible. Interactive with the audience, great energy, her content was 100% relevant to the audience, she killed it. The audience feedback after her presentation was positively glowing. But that was not why I will book her again in a heartbeat. That is not why I want to be one of her biggest champions. No, it was her pre-event and post-event work that made me love her. (PS – if you want to know who she is keep reading)
As the marketing chair, it was my job to ‘get hearts in seats”. (I hate that “bums in seats” quote. To me, it means to fill the room with just anyone. Hearts in seats means to fill the room with the right people) I had to sell the room. That was my job. This speaker got it. She was actively promoting the event on social media right beside me. She invited guests that were not on my radar. She brought her own database to the table. As an association, we are always looking for new members who share our values and this speaker knew that. She found a way to bring extra value to the table. Post event she has offered follow-up materials and a free non-sales webinar for our members.
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I’m thrilled, and here is why.
As a meeting planner, she exceeded my expectations, in fact, her events sold more tickets that any event so far, this year. She was a pleasure to work with and she demonstrated her professionalism throughout the entire experience.
But as someone who markets speakers for a living – this is what I see.
- By engaging on social media with the meeting planner, she reached the audience well before the event. They got a chance to know, like and trust her and they were much more receptive to her message and to any offering she might have made.
- She increased her number of raving fans (board members and audience members) and they are singing her praises to other associations and other speakers.
- She actively demonstrated the ‘client first’ model by knowing what we needed and supplying it. This event was not ‘all about her’, it was about all the value we as an association were offering to our members. That is a key difference.
- She supplied fantastic marketing materials – ahead of the deadline for delivery. Not only was everything together in a neat package so we did not have to chase her, but I did not have to ‘spruce anything up’ or make a single change. Her marketing copy spoke to the outcomes the audience wanted. It was not about how fabulous SHE was.
- She is building her list by offering post-event care. Obviously, attendees will have to sign up to receive access to her free webinar. Those email addresses or Facebook likes or however she chooses to deliver are gold as she launches new programs, books and speaking tours.
- She made her contact information available to everyone in the audience. Since they loved her and she now has so many new champions, you KNOW they are doing something along the lines of what I am doing. Sharing a great experience with their own fans.
Do you sense a theme? Everything she did to make MY job easier also helps her market herself and fill her sales funnel. It was a pure win/win scenario.
So, the next time you are asked to speak at an event, don’t forget these lessons. It will likely help you turn one gig into many, and isn’t that always a good thing?
PS – share this blog to Facebook, twitter or Linkedin and tag her if you know the speaker I am talking about. If you need a hint, visit Raise a Dream on Facebook 😉