Guest Post By Agape Redwood (Learn more about Agape at the end of this post)
Many aspiring speakers wonder if they should take their new speaking career to a bureau. Well, here are some questions to help make that decision.
- Do you have experience in public speaking?
- Do you have a current bio, photo, video of you speaking, and other promotional materials?
- Do you know your brand?
- Do you have a brand?
- Are you an expert on a subject of substance?
If you answered “NO” to any of these questions, proceed with caution before approaching a speakers bureau. Here’s why…
You simply waste your time and money trying to build a foundation without the proper tools. Many aspiring speakers want to go straight to a bureau or join irrelevant speaking organizations, in hopes to jumpstart their speaking careers. They fail to realize they lack the tools that are required and beneficial for the bureau and event planners.
Experience is essential. Bureaus work with speakers who complement their brand. They provide their clients (event planners) with credible and experienced speaking experts. If you lack experience, it will show and you will be considered a liability to a speakers bureau’s brand. Moreover, experience is the greatest teacher, the more experience you have, the better you can engage your audience and get your point to resonate in their minds.
Effective marketing materials are necessary. How can you solicit a product that has no label, no past reviews or testimonies, no website, no form of marketing collateral at all? It’s not possible to do. Don’t get me wrong; a bureau doesn’t need an encyclopedia of your speaking platform, just enough information that articulately expresses your brand.
Equity in a strong brand is important. When you think of Donald Trump, Madonna, or even Flavor Flav, you instantly see their faces. This is because they are frequently in the media and they specialize in something specific. Everyone has a brand, whether it’s weak or strong. It is a reflection of who they are. Does your brand really reflect who you are and what you do? Is it visible virtually and in person?
Before you go into a pity party about what you lack, or brag about what you have, each trait is accessible with diligent work and the right resources. Moreover, each should be constantly developed.
Get experience by offering to speak to audiences for free. While speaking, capture video, and don’t be afraid to ask for feedback.
Connect with a marketing professional or brand strategist to help create effective marketing collateral that helps event planners and bureaus learn more about you. The more they know you, the better they can secure events on your behalf.
Brand development doesn’t happen overnight, but by understanding your values, your expertise, and your target audience, you can enhance it.
Now for those who have experience, take your marketing materials and connect with a bureau that will help you meet your goals. Remember that a bureau can be just like a gym membership, it only benefits you when you are mentally and physically ready to commit the time to reach your goals.
About the Author
Agape Redwood is Chief Marketing Officer of Signature Media Group Speakers Bureau.