You've got a great story to tell. You've built up a ton of experience and knowledge over the years, and you want to share that with an audience. But it's hard to get paid speaking engagements if you don't know where to look for them! That's why we've put together this list of tips for finding paid speaking engagements in any industry. Read on!
Make a list of your past speaking engagements and sponsors.
This should be the first step you take as you need to keep track of all your past experiences. Make a list of every speaking engagement and sponsorship, along with the details about each one. These pieces of information will help you in two ways:
First, it will provide you with a clearer picture of your experience level and who might be interested in hiring you as a speaker. For example, if you've spoken at dozens of conferences but never been paid for it, that might indicate that someone in your industry wouldn't pay either. Therefore, they might not be worth pursuing as potential sponsors.
Second, this list will let you see which types of businesses have already sponsored or hired speakers similar to yourself before. This gives insight into how much money they're willing (or able) to pay so you know how much you should ideally be charging.
Contact event organizers directly.
If you're not already a regular speaker at an event, the best way to get your foot in the door is to contact the organizers directly. You can find them on LinkedIn or Twitter and send them a customized message. (If you don't know who organizes an event, look for the person who is listed as its founder or owner.)
Once you've done that, make sure you are tailoring your pitch email to meet their needs. If they want someone who will talk about how to grow their audience on Facebook Live or Instagram Stories, focus on those topics. If they need someone who can help with social media strategy across multiple platforms, then highlight that expertise in your message.
The most important thing is to make sure your tone sounds friendly but professional—not overly casual like you're asking for a favor from someone at work! You also want them to think of hiring you when they hear about other speaking opportunities down the road too—so try not to come off as desperate for work when reaching out here!
If sending an initial email doesn't get any responses from event organizers after two weeks (or whatever timeline seems reasonable), you can follow up politely with another message asking if there has been any movement on their end regarding speaking opportunities at future events.
Contact professional organizations in your industry.
These are the most likely to have a speaker's bureau, and they often provide free or discounted memberships to professionals who want to speak at various industry events. They are also great sources of networking opportunities and can help you build relationships with other professionals who might be able to refer business your way. Make sure you are a member of the organization before contacting them about speaking opportunities. Most organizations will not let non-members speak on their platform, so make sure you're already signed up before contacting them directly!
Send out a press release about your speaking business.
One of the most effective ways to get your name out there as a professional speaker is by using a press release. Press releases are also known as "news releases" and can be sent to local newspapers and websites, or trade magazines, blogs and other publications that might be interested in your speaking business.
The key is knowing how to write a compelling headline: something that will catch their attention at first glance. This can be tricky because different publications have different audiences with different needs so there's no single formula for success here. Just be sure to always ask yourself who the audience is for any press release you plan on sending out.
Use social media to promote your speaking business.
Social media is a great place to start building your speaking business.
Use it to promote your speaking business, and use it to build relationships with potential clients. You can use LinkedIn to network with industry professionals. It's also a good idea to join groups related to the topic of speeches you'd like to give. This way, you can connect with people who might have opportunities available for you or even become your future clients themselves!
Offer free talks at first to build your portfolio.
It's a great idea to offer free speaking engagements at first and build your portfolio. You can use the talks to get yourself in front of people who will then be able to refer you for paid gigs that are more suited for your skill level and experience, but remember: don't just focus on building a portfolio; also make sure you keep learning as you go!
Ask past speaking clients and sponsors for referrals.
If you have past speaking clients or sponsors, ask them for referrals. This will help you find more potential opportunities as well as get an idea of what type of event would be best suited for your speaking style and expertise.
We hope that these tips have given you an idea of where to start when looking for paid speaking engagements. Whatever your industry, there are opportunities out there, and we’re sure that the right one is just waiting for you!
Learn how to grow from an entrepreneur to CEO with Blaze Group. Access community messaging, virtual co-working sessions, customizable business templates, business courses, and more — all from a single source. Try it free today. LEARN MORE