When Speakers' Bureaus Don't Call


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When Speakers’ Bureaus Don’t Call Mary McKay

You probably ask yourself…Why are the bureaus not booking me? What do I have to do to get them to call me?

A bureau’s first responsibility is to satisfy the meeting planner or the organization. Put yourself in the bureau’s position. They want to place speakers who are.

  • High profile personalities that have favorable reputations.
  • High fee speakers: All other things equal, why not place the higher fee speaker?
  • Dependable: Respond quickly to inquiries, are courteous, keep agreements and are punctual.
  • Predictable: Have high ratings consistently, get standing ovations and stay on topic.
  • Exclusive with them: This means that all interested organizations have to go through the bureau to book the speaker.

    Here’s what you can do to increase your significance to bureaus:

    1. Increase your media exposure.

    Be the go-to person in your field of expertise. Generate articles and press releases demonstrating your competency and expertise. Learn to write press releases. Check out www.prweb.org. You may inadvertently get exposure through adversity, such as committing a courageous act like cutting off your arm to survive, becoming a war hero, championing a cause, etc. ). Let those in your field know you have some creative solutions.

    2. Utilize Internet technology to increase traffic to your website and convert that traffic to sales.

    Make sure that you’ve learned the tricks of Internet Marketing to increase the traffic to your website. Check out www.powerfulpromoter.com. It’s not as hard as you think.

    3. Outperform Your Competition.

    Do what you do so well that you rise to the top. Become a leader in your field. When you’re a top producer, or when you lead an organization to greatness, or when you originate a new idea that solves problems and creates a new paradigm, others what to know how you did what you did. You’ll make the news.

    4. Get published.

    Write a book that tells your story or teaches others what you know. Every chapter can become an article. Become a columnist in a newspaper or your industry publication or trade journal. Stop procrastinating. Start writing.

    5. Increase your visibility.

    Become a spokesperson for an organization. Volunteer your time and talents to your favorite charity. There are many people that will surface in these post- Katrina Hurricane days that will become public figures for positive change simply because they became leaders in the crisis. Serve your professional association in some capacity, such as officer, spokesperson, board member, adviser, etc. ). Write a free e-zine to your target market. Teach others how to do what you do. Be the subject of a documentary, made for TV movie or the wide screen.

    6. Study others in your field of expertise.

    Learn how you differ from others and be able to articulate it. Get a mentor in your field and study his/her behavior and performance. Gain the advantage through your service, product or your style of delivery.

    7. Always maintain a professional attitude.

    Keep your composure under stress. Bureaus aim to please meeting planners. Why not? Those same meeting planners who have a positive experience with one speaker will return many times over to the same bureau for another speaker. If you react negatively under pressure while at an event, or if you act unkindly or inconsiderate or disrespectful in a difficult situation, the word about you will spread like a virus. Bureaus have a professional association (www.iasbnet.org) and they stay in touch with each other. Maintain an attitude and presence that makes them want to call you again!

    8. Create an extensive line of information products.

    As a leader in your field, you’re demonstrating your ability to create solutions for others who have challenges. This increases your popular appeal. If you have a Nightingale Conant product, you have instant credibility. As long as you do not abuse of the privilege of speaking while promoting your products and services without permission, it’s an added benefit to your appearance. You may wish to give away a set of your products to the organization. One note of caution: Be careful with your product sales. If you get a reputation of pitching your product rather than delivering your designated speech, it’s the kiss of death.

    Continue to promote yourself and your service without relying on bureaus. Work on serving others and pretty soon, you’ll get a call from a bureau. It’s predictable.

    Mary McKay is a booking strategist for speakers, authors, experts, leaders, top producers, and cultural heroes who want to secure paid speaking engagements. She systematizes the booking process to uniquely position the speaker, optimize the appearance, generate referrals and enable more revenue potential through product sales. Visit http://www.gettingpaidtospeak.com or call 949-429-6646.

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