4 Fundamentals to Build & Sustain a Thriving Speaking Business
There are some fundamental necessities to getting into, growing and sustaining your speaking business. Here are some basics for starting out. But, even if you are a seasoned pro, don’t discount these tips as being just for beginners. The basic fundamentals are extremely important for all speakers. To this day, I still focus on all of these fundamentals to keep my speaking business thriving.
1. Success starts with a website.
The cost of entry into the world of professional speaking is dramatically less expensive than it was just a few years ago. There’s no need for a fancy brochure. To start, you just need a decent looking website, which costs a fraction of the printed brochure. Plus, there’s no postage on emailing a link to a website. The website must be search engine optimized. In other words, when a potential client does a Google search on a particular topic, if that’s your topic, your site might show up toward the top of the page. Like any promotional material, the website should accurately reflect your value. A brand new speaker isn’t expected to have a $20,000 speaker’s website. And conversely, the high-end speaker should have a basic website that can be compared to a black and white tri-fold brochure that fits into a #10 envelope.
2. A video is key to getting hired.
Once the client is on your website, it’s important to have a nice video. Today, video is dramatically less expensive to film and edit than just a few years ago. (There is a theme here.) The video can be a nicely edited montage of short clips, ranging from just a few seconds to several minutes. Hint: The client will probably want to see more than a ten second sound-bite, so it’s best to include a longer clip that’s about three-to-four minutes.
3. Publish a book.
If you are an authority on a topic, have you written a book on your expertise? Today it is dramatically less expensive and easier than ever to publish a book. (There’s that “less expensive” theme again.) With tools like Amazon’s Create Space program, you can write a book, have it edited, hire someone to help with the cover graphics, and have an e-book published, in a very short time. The book helps with credibility in the speaking business – and may make you a few dollars along the way. At an advanced level, consider coming out with a book as your career needs updating. My last three books have come out about two-to-three years apart. If it is time to update the website and video, it may be time to update your career with a new book, as well.
4. Be amazing.
There is one thing that is probably most important to consider. Even with a great website, a great video and a great book, you better have a great speech. It’s “table stakes” in the business. Repeat business and word of mouth from your happy clients depends on you being amazing on the platform.