Written by Wendy Keller
A book is your golden ticket into the speaking business. If you had a book published in the last 12 months, you have the calling card you need to get paid speaking engagements starting now.
Precisely how do you leverage that book into speaking? First, when the book is printed, ask the publisher for a few hundred copies of the cover, as “overrun.”
Usually you can have them free or at cost. They make large-sized, noticeable postcards to send to meeting planners to attract their attention. In addition ask for a copy of the press release the publisher used and find out if you are featured on your publishers website.
Next, you want to get media. Radio, print, television appearances based on your book are all critical. Record the name of the show, the host and the date you appeared and put it on your website, in your speaker’s package, and in your file.
Your publisher’s PR team will be working on your behalf, but take responsibility for your own press. Eventually, you will collect all of your TV clips and ask a professional video editor to combine it into an excellent montage. These will impress the heck out of a meeting planner and should be used liberally.
Now that you’ve got some ammo, and assuming you have a website touting your brilliance and your book, it’s time to petition all those hapless meeting planners out there. Write letters, make phone calls, send post cards, follow up and be persistent.
You can buy a book of meeting planners in any industry online. Then, you make them your new friends. Go to their meetings. Hang out. Cold call them and be friendly. Learn to be your own favorite employee.
I personally love cold calling. I also don’t even notice rejection any more because it’s just one step on the road to getting accepted. In the speaker trainings I do, I make them all recite a mantra that will help their business:
“The most important thing that I can do is make 12 calls between 10 and 2.” That is the minimum I expect from a speaker-to-be. Make 12 calls each day to meeting planners, offer them you, a free copy of your book, send them a postcard thanking them for their time on the phone written on your book jacket cover, and make at least three follow up calls (or fewer if they tell you to quit calling.)
Make those 12 calls five days a week. Give them what they ask you for. If you do this, you will make 3,120 calls in a year. You will have gotten speaking engagements simply by the law of averages. Your investment of time will be small, but results can be huge.