A: If you haven’t already done so define your niche, who would be interested in hearing your message? The answer here of course, will vary for everyone depending the subject of their book.
Whether you write fiction or non-fiction you’ve become an expert; you have something to share. Maybe it’s your nutrition and fitness tips or your experiences with character development; someone wants to hear what you have to share.
When you have one or two presentation or speech titles prepared (not necessarily the entire speech) consider these suggestions.
- Do Google search using terms like ‘Inspirational Speaker Associations’,
- Target your leads by using directories for National Associations or Meeting Planners. Check with your reference librarian to see what’s available on a regional basis. Organize a phone or [snail*] mail campaign,
- Check out speaker directories – Overwhelmed and time-pressed meeting planners often turn here when setting up an event. Two such directories you might want to check out are speakerzone.com or speakerservices.com,
- Read the community section of your daily newspaper: Do this Every Day, so that you don’t miss out on opportunities that happen only every couple of weeks or once a month,
- Ask for referrals from the platform; maybe there’s someone in the audience who would like to share your message with another group. ***As with selling from the podium speak with the meeting planner or program director prior to your presentation and ask if it is alright to mention this at the end of the talk.***
Also, you should ask the program director who negotiated your appearance for referrals,
- Maybe most importantly, do the follow-up with any contacts you might make [but DON’T use *email, it’s too easy to ignore especially for someone with a busy schedule],
- Maintain relationships by sending Thank You cards and stay in touch – you just might be the first person they think of next time they are looking for a speaker,
- Be liberal with your business card turned networking card.
Tip: For local opportunities or to gain more experience speaking in front of a group connect with the community. Think fitness club or adult school.
Have your marketing information and references ready and Good Luck!