MONTROSE, Colo., May 3, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — If you want to get paid thousands of dollars to speak, never pitch on the first call, is the advice of speaker’s agent Nona Prather.
“Ultimately, you should start reaching out six to 12 months in advance of the event,” says Prather, co-author with Henry DeVries of the book, 24 Ways To Get Paid to Speak: How Experts Get Paid Thousands of Dollars For Speaking (2023, Indie Books International).
Prather is the owner of Prather Marketing Services, a booking agency for speakers and consultants that works with clients to secure paid speaking engagements. As a speaker’s agent, she identifies and follows up on promising leads.
“In these uncertain times, decisions are happening at the last minute, so don’t get discouraged,” says Prather. “I have found the decision time is much shorter than it used to be. I have booked clients for a speaking opportunity in as little as one week before the event was taking place.”
Here are nine ways Prather recommends finding paid speaking opportunities:
Attend as many conferences as you are able. Especially the ones with a high number of target audience members. When you attend the meetings and events you want to speak at, you’ll get to know the conference organizers, audience, and decision-makers. It’s much easier to attend now with more hybrid and virtual conferences. While in the virtual event, be present in the chat as much as possible.
Instead of a premature pitch, start with a conversation. Compliment their event, ask questions but don’t take up too much of their time, and send a conversational but informative email with a summary.
Quickly send a follow up email. This email will include the following: first, always thank them for their time; second, include three to four sentences on who you are and what you speak about; and third, give three audience takeaways about how you can help their audience with your message.
Remember to follow up. Don’t forget to follow up a few days later. If no reply, wait another week and follow up again.
You want to remain “top-of-mind” without being annoying or pushy. You’ll be remembered when they choose the next round of speakers. It will give you a leg up if you have a relationship with the decision- maker already.
Don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Whether you are chosen for the particular event or not, you can say, “If you know of any other events where I would be a good fit, please forward my information. I would greatly appreciate it.”
Attend many virtual networking meetings as you can. Decision-makers talk to each other. If they’re talking about you, then you’re a shoo-in.
Networking with other professionals in the same field is a great referral source as well. They may be able to introduce you to a key person in the future. Or they can send you to a planner they were not a fit for, but you are.
When you are able to get into a conversation with a meeting professional, ask the right questions. The questions include: When will the planning for your event start? What date do you expect to choose the speaker? Who will be in the audience and how many? What will the theme be? How can I help you with your planning?
“These are all questions you should ask,” says Prather. “Make sure to repeat this information gathered in your calls and emails to the decision-maker so they know you are serious about the possible opportunity. This attention to detail shows your interest in them and their event.”
“Although your main goal is booking the event at a worthwhile price, you should also aim to make planners your best friend,” says Prather. “If they’re thrilled with your work, not only will they hire you for this single event, but they’ll also have you top-of-mind when they plan future events, and they’ll be more likely to recommend you to other planners in their network.”
Prather has been a speaker’s agent for more than ten years. Her first client was her father, a noted author of 12 books and keynote speaker on safety and preventing workplace injuries. Coauthor DeVries is a paid speaker, author of 17 books, weekly marketing columnist with Forbes.com, and CEO of Indie Books International.
About Indie Books International
Indie Books International (www.indiebooksintl.com) serves as an independent publishing alternative to help agencies, business coaches and consultants create impact and influence. Indie Books offers no-cost strategy calls to prospective authors and no-cost strategy calls to current authors.
SOURCE Nona Prather