I recently attended a mini-National Speaker’s Association session in Oakland, CA.
A room full of speakers, professional and wannabes gathered together to discuss the professional speaking field. My interests were in people who want to speak on cruise ships. In addition to the many speaking opportunities that come my way, one of them is doing special interest talks – read edutainment talks to the cruising demographic.
At the NSA meeting everyone brainstormed on ‘what professional speakers need most.’
The first shout out – “A good marketing team!”
Lots of folk are quite good at what they do … except for the part where they think they need to sell themselves.
Marketing is not selling. Marketing is messaging. Letting people know what you do and that you do it well. When people know what you are/do and it’s a match, the connection is made. No sales is necessary.
1. You need a good product. That’s the speaker. If the speaker is no good, no amount of marketing will sustain the business.
2. You need a good project manager. Speaking is often like a book. Both are tools to deliver something else. A book is a calling card to get a speaking gig. Speaking is an opportunity to let people know who you are and what you offer. The project manager is the person who actually delivers what it is you want to do for people. In my case, I do Social Media Marketing. When I speak, people go away KNOWING that I can deliver solid and measurable results. And that I do it well and could do it for them or teach them how to do it. 100 times out of 100 a portion of my attendees will ask, can we work together. The project manager delivers the product.
3. You need a closer. When people line up to give you a business card and ask to meet/talk later, you need a good closer who can do the follow up for you.
4. You need a good admin.Somebody needs to keep the books. Do the accounting. Accept money and pay the bills.
5. You need a good gopher. Somebody needs to do the mousey things. Run errands. Do data entry and such.
Often all five of these are done by 3 people – me, myself and I. Or by two people. A husband and wife team.
What is important to understand is that the jobs are different and require different skills.
In the next article, I will tell you how I assembled my team. Maybe you can tell me how you assembled yours?