5 Steps to Building a Solid Client-Attracting Marketing Funnel for Your Speaking Business

Sep 19th, 2011 | By | Category: !Step-by-Step Instructions & Action-Steps Checklists!, Latest Instructional Articles, Videos, ..., Paid Publlic Speaking

5 Steps to Building a Solid Client-Attracting Marketing Funnel for Your Speaking Business

by E.G. Sebastian
(while this article was written for speakers, many of the concepts apply to coaches, consultants, authors… )

Stay Focused on Filing Your Client-Attraction Funnel!

Stay Focused on Filing Your Client-Attraction Funnel!

Difficulty Level: Beginner t0 Intermediate 

I met some really bright speakers in the past, some that started their speaking business the right way and started making a great living right away… while I also met many speakers and wanna’be speakers who were trying really hard [well.., and some barely trying], but were too unfocused.  Most of these speakers had no plan in place: no Marketing – or Client-Attraction Funnel developed and applied.

I’d love to say that I was in the first category and I was marketing my speaking business in a smart way right from the beginning, but then I’d be lying.  In the beginning I was “lucky” as I got quite a few referrals and spin-off businesses from most of my speaking gigs.

Of course, you need to grease your “luck wheels” a bit…
(besides, remember, the definition of “luck” is When preparation meets opportunity = luck – So be ready when your opportunity arises)

Here are 5 Steps that will  Help you Succeed in Your Speaking Business:

#1: Be visible
I networked as often as feasible and I was telling everyone that I got a new career as a speaker… and encouraged them to let me know if they know of any events coming up.  In about 3 weeks I got my first invitation to be the keynote speaker at a fund raiser [for Healthy Families of America]… then at that very presentation [where, by the way I was so scared I almost peed in my pants] I got two invitations to two other events: a small employee training event for DHEC and a large conference -The Carolina’s Housing Authority’s Annual Conference [this was my first paid gig – only about 3 months after I started – and I thought I’d jump out of my skin, I was sooo happy]

2. Be good!
If you are consistently searching for speaking gigs and keep speaking – even if you volunteer for many of them in the beginning – one thing will help you most to getting to the next step: be really good.  If you are good, they’ll probably invite you to speak at one of their upcoming conferences, retreats, or larger – hopefully paid – training sessions.
Also, if you are good, your chances to get referred to others increases dramatically.

*** – always ask for testimonials!  Provide participants with a feedback form at the end of your presentation (contact me if you need a sample); as well as ask for a written testimonial from the organizer (some suggest that you type up what they shared with you in person and fax it to them; then they can sign it and fax it back to you…  I never tried this with organizers; I always got some great testimonials – at times page-long ones…  (though I did try it with clients who gave me beautiful verbal testimonials and I wanted those testimonials on “paper”).

3. Pick a niche and become viewed as an expert in it.
As long as you try to serve everyone, you’ll get some speaking gigs; but as soon as you specialize, you’ll start getting known as the guy [or guyette] who can “really help our group” as now you are viewed as the “doctor” for that group’s “ailments.”

Now… I hope you didn’t run away to implement the 3 above steps… and you are still here reading…

Even before you start shooting for visibility and getting really good in your niche topic, you need to develop a simple marketing plan… or simply put a Client-Attraction Funnel

1. Decide what groups are you going to speak to (“groups” meaning healthcare facilities, high schools, colleges, hospitality industry, etc. – it should be a niched group, not a group of unrelated businesses]

2. Find out who are the decision makers.  You can call your target groups and find out a) do they use outside speakers; b) who is in charge of inviting speakers for their event, c) get his/her name, phone #, and mailing address (trust me, the mailing address is more valuable than you’d think at this moment)

You can also purchase lists of your niche-market’s HR Managers…   At many organizations, the HR manager is the one who is in charge of educational programs; If, however, it is not them, then they’ll tell you who you should talk to.

Another great resource to hunt for speaking gigs is the National Trade & Professional Associations directory.  It’s pretty expensive (around $300), but you can buy last years (or even older) on amazon.com, eBay, or other online book-sales sites at a much lower cost – most associations’ contact info didn’t change from last year any way.

2b. Call these decision makers and ask them when do they start putting their educational programs together for their employees (this usually happens in the first months of the year and it is planned out for the whole year; but they do not always decide on all speakers right at the beginning of the process).  Introduce yourself, tell the person that you are a corporate trainer, author of “…”, a productivity expert, or whatever fancy title you might have… and then ask the person about what type of speakers are they looking for.

Whenever possible, leave the introduction to after they tell you what type of speakers they need – this will ensure that you don’t shoot yourself in the foot in the intro with mentioning that you are an “expert in X,”  only to find out that they are looking for “y experts.”  This is not to say that no matter what they ask for you should have a topic! Keep your integrity by proposing topics that you really know you can deliver on.  If you do a great job, they’ll re-invite you; if you do a poor job, the word goes around and others won’t hire you either.

3. Develop a database of decision makers!
Now, if point 2b above worked for you, great (and it does work in about 20% of your contact attempts); however, regardless whether you got the gig through direct contact or not, you still want that organization on your list and working on developing a relationship with them.  So, here’s how you can do that…

Decide how you’ll get the decision makers of these organizations into your funnel.
– Send them postcards – funny ones if possible, or have some valuable info on them that will make the prospect keep them – and have an irresistible offer on them – educate your prospect on a topic that you know they are interested.  For example “Visit www.mySite .com and download the’7 Steps to Eliminating Workplace Bullying,” video course / eBook / eCourse/ white paper, etc. or some other hot topic that you know your niche needs. The KEY is to make this first offer REALLY IRRESISTABLE, so you get your prospect into the funnel (on your list)…

!!! – the irresistible offer should prompt the prospect to get to his/her computer and download that offer that you sent… and in doing so, they’ll share their contact info: their name and email address – and this is when you can yell “BINGO!!! We’re in business!”  Well…, the business might come down the road, if you follow the “system,” but for now this is a great victory.  The KEY is to grow a LARGE, NICHED database of people who need speakers for their events.

4. Keep sending more valuable info to them (about once a month – or bi-weekly – in the beginning, then later you can drop it to every 6-weeks or so).  If you use video – or even in your articles – try to give your material a humorous – or at least, entertaining – edge.  It has been proven that most people will watch a video from the beginning till the end (or read an article in its entirety) whenever there’s an element of entertainment.  The key, though, is to keep on sending valuable info, educating the organizer on your niche topic, letting them see that you are the expert on the topic…  Always provide a link to your site and past articles/videos as well.

! Keep your messages to the organizer short and to the point

! Always focus your message on WIIFM – what’s in it for them – vs. “This is how great I am”…  They’ll know how great you are, once they see you know your stuff

5. Once you developed a relationship with your prospects, now you can start sending offers to them of your products and services.  You’d still send some great valuable info, but at the bottom of each of your value-loaded info, you’d put a blurb on one of your programs or a product – both of which would, of course, be in line with what they need.  Make sure that the titles of your programs and products clearly “speak to” the pain your niche might be experiencing.

Treat your Speaking Business for what it is – a Business (don’t let it turn into an expensive hobby)!

If you consistently apply the above 5 points, it is impossible not to build a great speaking career.  It all depends how much time you are willing to put in, how you use your networking efforts and contacts to get in touch with meeting planners… and as importantly HOW able are you to stay focused on consistently working this 5-step system.

*** once you get to speak – even when you speak for free – MAKE SURE TO ALWAYS VIDEO RECORD YOUR PRESENTATIONS!!!! You’ll be able later down the road to create a demo video that you can send out to Speakers’ Bureaus – another great source for speaking gigs – a source that takes little effort, yet once they pick you up, some bureaus can keep you busy throughout the year…  The only catch is, Speakers Bureaus usually do not promote speakers till they get some experience under their belt.  But it is all up to you: you can gain experience and be a Speakers Bureaus’ darling five years down the road… or slack off and dream about it…

I’d say, “Go Get ‘Em Tiger!”  Stay focused and build that speaking career till you experience the level of success you know you really deserve…

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**** If you do not have yet a professional quality workshop or program, check out the ready-to-go facilitator kits at http://www.egSebastian.com/facilitator_kits (hover your mouse over the “Facilitator Kit” button to see a complete list of available titles

…….

Do you want step-by-step instructions and tutorials on how to market your
business more effectively?  Visit www.getMoreClientsAcademy.com and check out
our FREE and Paid Resources!

…….

E.G. Sebastian is  a full-time speaker and coach.  He’s been speaking since 2003, delivering 100 to 150 paid speaking presentations/year.  You can visit his speaking and consulting site at www.egSebastian.com . Find out more about his Speaker Marketing Resources at www.GetMoreClientsAcademy.com!

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8 Comments to “5 Steps to Building a Solid Client-Attracting Marketing Funnel for Your Speaking Business”

  1. Frank Gladu says:

    Great info! Thanks for sharing! (typo noticed: Participants should feel out a feedback form – I usually have them fill out a form……)

  2. Frank, you rock!
    Yes, I have my problem words and fill and feel is “one” of them; as well as living and leaving… and probably a few more…

    English is my fourth language and I learned it through speaking and reading novels… I started writing in the mid nineties when I started college in the US. I came a long way from my horrible spelling mistakes, but I still have room to grow… and with the help of people like you, one day I’ll write in English like SuperMan :}

    Thanks again!

  3. Thanks for the tips E.G.! Most speakers also tend to be coaches so this is always helpful marketing.

  4. Glad you found it useful 🙂

  5. Mandy Ho says:

    Great tips! I have just started my business. I really need to get myself out there and start networking!

  6. Networking is great…. delivering teleclasses, workshops, is even better 🙂

    Make sure to dowonload my 90-Days marketing plan pdf/mindmap – at http://www.getMoreClientsAcademy.com – there you’ll also have a chance to test-drive our lead-generation and client-attraction program (FREE for 30 Days).

  7. Wow ! I have downloaded the 90 Days to Coaching Success – MindMap Pdf and that is an impressive piece of work.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Crystal

  8. Glad you found it useful!

    Let me know if you have any questions about any parts of it… or if you think I should expand on any parts of it…

    Would you do me a giant favor? Could you post this same comment on my new page at http://www.getMoreClientsAcademy.com? It’d help a lot! Thanks!

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