Being a great speaker is just the first step.
We’ve been fortunate to work with great clients who were really good speakers, from leaders of health and wellness-related businesses and organizations to wellness coaches, personal trainers and exercise scientists, physicians, psychologists and on and on.
They spoke about really good, interesting topics: fitness and competition, behavior and lifestyle change, nutrition, weight loss and healthy eating, motivation, achievement, self-awareness and reflection, raising healthy kids, thriving despite serious health issues, healthy, active aging and more. The folks in their audiences were leaning forward, totally engaged, and there was a line of people waiting to talk to them afterwards. People lucky enough to hear them talked about it for days.
And yet — they struggled to market their public speaking services.
Step 2: the speaker’s kit
Your speaker’s kit lays the groundwork.
Everyone who hires professional speakers expects you to have one. It’s how the business of professional speaking works. A great kit gives you instant credibility. Anything else looks like you’re not ready for prime-time, even if the truth is that you’re an amazing speaker.
This “kit” is the comprehensive information package that you or your marketing team provides to speakers bureaus, conference and event managers and anyone else considering engaging you. It’s normally provided in PDF form and via a matching and similarly-styled website page that includes downloadable hi-res photos, videos and other key content.
Why is the speaker’s kit so important?
First, it makes life easier for the conference executive by making your speaker profile instantly memorable. These folks are usually super-busy. They have a stack of speaker profiles they’re reviewing. Their goal is to winnow down that long list into a short list to call, which means they’re looking for reasons to rule OUT possible candidates. So a well-done kit gets you successfully through this critical first step: it moves you to the “maybe/yes” pile, so you get the phone call and follow-up.
Second and even more important: an A+ speaker’s kit is the first step towards getting the healthy speaker’s fee you’re going to require in order to appear at their event.It establishes up-front that you’re a professional providing a valuable and unique product. It stops anyone who wants you to do it for free or for a ridiculously small fee in their tracks.
Typical speaker kit problems
Most speaker’s kits we review for new clients have one or more of these issues:
- Weak content — “me-too” marketing messages, topics that sound like everyone else, vague or meaningless marketing fluff, poorly written content, over-the-top self-promotional tone
- Weak presentation — homegrown Microsoft Word formatting, sub-par photos, poor graphic design
- Omits key information — the information that potential clients instantly look for, like recent speaking gigs, testimonials, edited video highlights, etc.
- Too much information, not curated — obscures the really compelling points by including every school you ever attended, trivial and unimpressive certifications, even your tiniest speaking engagements.
- No kit — you’re starting from scratch
Step 3: your marketing plan
If you’ve got a rock-solid speaker’s kit and you’re still not getting the bookings you want, the issue is usually lack of a marketing plan designed to actively increase your personal brand and visibility as a health and wellness authority and as a compelling speaker within your health, wellness, fitness or healthy lifestyle specialty.
A good marketing plan to increase speaking engagements can include lots of different elements. We tailor plans to individual clients. For example, most marketing plans should include a review of speaker’s bureaus with a decision about which bureaus are likeliest to be a good fit for your level of experience and topic.
We also find that it’s usually helpful for clients to work through potentially stressful discussions in advance, so you have talking points and know what to say. For example, what are some specific ways you can gracefully explain your fee to an event manager? How should you respond if someone tries to negotiate your fee down?
We put the plan together in consultation with you so that you or your in-house marketing team has a roadmap to follow.
Our speaker marketing services
Job #1 is for us to figure out your unique and distinctive focus. Lots of folks speak on health and wellness topics – so you’ve got to be crystal-clear on what makes you different and worth the big bucks.
It’s not enough to say “I talk about kids’ fitness” or “I focus on women’s issues” or “My topic is integrative nutrition.”
Our goal is to cherry-pick the most impressive and attention-getting aspects that underscore your distinctive qualifications, and distill those down into your “one-pager.” We:
- Discuss your wellness mission – what are you passionate about? What topics do you love? When are you most compelling?
- Go through your resume, curriculum vitae and professional experiences and accomplishments to identify the most important points
- Review important life experiences and accomplishments, when relevant and appropriate, to create your back-story
- Review videos of your actual speaking engagements so that we can describe them meaningfully
- Discuss your public speaking style and any unusually creative or memorable elements like props or demos that increase audience participation
- Review presentations, handouts and other items you actually use in your engagements so that we can market the full experience that you offer audiences
- Analyze audience and client testimonials and other feedback to help uncover what’s unique about your talks
These are the elements of a highly effective speaker’s kit, and we usually create some or all of these for our speaker clients:
- A so-called “one sheet” (it’s really two pages, the front and back of a single page if you were to print it): the marketing “brain” of your kit that presents your brand, your key marketing messages tailored to key audiences, key selling points and much more.
- Consistent website content and design
- At least one carefully-chosen high-resolution color photo in jpg or png format (we help choose and if your current pictures aren’t the best marketing choice, we WILL tell you that and help you get good photos)
- A selected video clip which highlights your content and personality on stage in front of an audience, edited as needed from the source video
- Selected audience and event manager testimonials demonstrating your performance as a speaker
- Other items that support your value as an authority in your field, like a summary of radio, TV or print media coverage, information about your published books and so on
- A speaker’s agreement tailored to your services that you can provide to event managers and other speaking clients
We also work with you to identify a carefully-curated short list of speaker topics, and we come up with great names for each one. (This step addresses a very common mistake – speaking on lots and lots of topics, and giving your talks titles that are blah and boring.)
We also help you settle on an appropriate fee and spell out the kinds of speaking engagements you’d like to do. That way you’ll be able to confidently discuss your terms with event managers, rather than sounding hesitant and inexperienced.
And last, we usually help you put together a draft speaker’s agreement tailored to your specific situation. Because nothing looks small-time faster than not having an agreement ready to send when a conference manager calls and wants to hire you.