by Lois Creamer
Professional speaking is not an easy way to make a living. That said, I wouldn’t do anything else! Even if you want to speak only to draw attention to what you do, it can be a great marketing strategy.
In order to have your best shot at truly making it in this business, here is a list of things that I’ve put together with a little help from my friends!
5 Things To Do
- Join NSA’s Academy of Professional Speaking. Then join a local NSA chapter and get involved. If they have a protégé group, join it.
- Speak as often as you can. For fee or not. Speak, speak, and speak! Get the experience you need. Toastmasters is a great venue – the “Off Broadway” of speaking. Go there, get experience and feedback.
- Know what your expertise is and develop a positioning statement™ so you can communicate what it is to others. Then find out where your knowledge can make a difference. This is the #1 thing my clients hire me to do!
- Treat speaking like a business. Get dedicated phone and fax lines. Work everyday as if you were working for somebody else. Create a plan/goals for your business.
- Have sufficient financial reserves to carry you through the time that is needed to get your business off the ground. I say a year.
5 Things To Not Do
- Map out an exit strategy from your current job. It takes time, energy, and careful planning to get a speaking business to the point where it’s profitable.
- Do not plan on speaking on every subject under the sun. See #3 above.
- Do not spend tons of money on marketing materials and preview videos.
- Don’t expect bureaus and agents to knock on your door. It will take time before they have an interest in you.
- Never hire anyone to help you with any of the above unless you check references. This will insure your money is well spent, and you are on the right track.
Speaking is a great business! It’s also a challenging one. If you pay attention to the above “do’s and don’ts” you’ll have a much better chance of not only succeeding in this business, but also enjoying the journey.
© Lois Creamer, 2005. Book More Business. Lois works with professional speakers and small business owners who want to book more business and make more money. She can be reached at 314-822-8225, or www.BookMoreBusiness.com — firstname.lastname@example.org