It’s quite simple. Just make yourself and your material so compelling that people beat a path to your doorway. It’s much more effective than the ‘push’ approach to marketing which sends the buyer running in the opposite direction.

Marketing is simply communicating the value of what you have to offer to those who can benefit from it.

The first step is to position yourself not only as an expert but as THE expert. Develop a personal tagline that sets you apart from your competition. Make it memorable so that people remember who you are and what you stand for.

Find opportunities to publicize yourself and your work. Write press releases and send them to your targeted media list. Write articles for magazines and newsletters that your prospects subscribe to. Don’t forget the hundreds of on-line newsletters that will publish articles along with your byline and a blurb. Check these out at and Prepare a great promo kit that you send to your prospective clients. Send postcards to your clients and to bureaus when you’re on vacation.

Make sure your materials are top quality and high end so that you leave a lasting impression on your client. People pay more for quality.

Having created a great impression with materials that stress benefits to your clients, also create a sense of urgency, scarcity and added value.

Consider offering a package deal to clients, i.e., offer to do a seminar and toss in a free consultation, free book or position paper to audience members or a follow-up two months later to assess the situation and/or impact on the audience members.

This is something you need to prepare beforehand. Do not offer to reduce your fees before being asked and when and if you are asked (trust me, you will be) your standard response is this:

“Let me talk this over with my agent and get back to you.”

Create a sense of urgency without hype by saying things such as:
“Fees in effect until ….(3 months from mailing date)”
“Clients who book before (date) will be entitled to a free follow-up consultation.” Go into detail as to what this means and the benefits that the buyer gets from this follow-up. It’s human nature to respond to deadlines.

Have a call to action on your materials. Many clients are not quite sure what to do. Make sure that the suggestion to visit your website or call you is on your materials or in your cover letter.

One speaker sent an email to all the bureaus on his list, offering a cash ‘reward’ of $250 (on top of regular commission) to any agent who booked him before a certain date. I’m sure he got the bookings he was looking for during his slow period.

Define your ideal buyer and Grade A speaking engagement. What would be ideal for you? Concentrate your efforts on getting more of those engagements.

Defining your ideal client is important because you can sell more services to the client in the future, keep in touch with the client by sending him/her clippings of interest or periodic postcards, ask that client for referrals, check out other branches or related services that you can sell your services to, etc. Put your best client into the appropriate category and focus your future marketing efforts on any prospects that fall into that category.

If your category is health care professionals, find directories that list applicable organizations. And begin a phone campaign, asking to speak to the conference organizer. Once that person’s on the line, ask whether speakers have been lined up for the next conference yet. If not, ask what the theme is and what they’re looking for in terms of speakers.

If your topic is a good fit, offer to send off your materials – this will include a well-defined bio, a client list, and some great testimonials from previous clients.

A week after you’ve mailed out your materials, make a follow-up
phone call to see if they’ve been received, what the response is and what the procedure is at this point. Often decisions about booking speakers is left to a committee - if so, ask when a good time would be to check back.

You won’t hit a home run every time but if you persist, you will hit a home run. And what’s interesting about home runs in the speaking profession is that they build on themselves. Once you have a few speaking engagements under your belt, a momentum will build up.

Eventually you’ll get most of your speaking engagements by word of mouth.

So let’s say your topic and the conference theme is a good match and you’ve been asked to do the opening keynote at the upcoming convention. You’ve got your keynote totally polished and you’re ready to go.

No, you’re not. Don’t stop working once you get the engagement. Circling that date on your calendar means your work has just begun. Now it’s time to start looking at how you can maximize your returns on that engagement. A lot of effort goes into getting a speaking engagement so it’s important that you get the most out of it.

If you master all of these steps with dedication, focus and persistence, you’ll have an absolutely brilliant speaking career.

Author's Bio: 

Cathleen Fillmore owns Speakers Gold bureau and is a well known marketing consultant to professional speakers who want to make more money doing what they love. She’s a well known journalist, having written five books and hundreds of articles for trade magazines. She leads annual seminars and Think Tanks for speakers. Contact her at 416-532-9886, or visit