How to get gigs on others stages

If getting promotional speaking gigs is something you’d like more of, we recommend implementing some of these tips to get seen.

Using speaking to promote yourself is a great idea whether you are an author or coach, or even a paid speaker. What we mean by promotional speaking is to share your words on free stages.

So why would you do this, even though it predominately doesn’t include a fee?

  • You might want to create a speaking show reel. Many people don’t have enough video footage to put together a show reel. So you might consider doing a promo gig in exchange for getting high quality video footage.
  • You might want to get in front of your ideal audience to build your database size. When you do your presentation, many people will allow you have a call to action at the end where you ask the audience to ‘opt in’ to stay connected to you. You can use something like Text Local to do this where they text a number & go straight into your CRM software.
  • You might be new to your speaking career and you want to test your material and get feedback, and also get a feel for your skills and confidence in your delivery.
  • You might have a call to action at the end of your keynote that is promoting a product or service. So even though you don’t get paid to speak, you do earn money from the sales made as a direct result.

How to get the gigs

Now you know why you should be doing some promotional speaking. The next step is discovering where to find other people’s stages and how to get those gigs. We’ve broken this down into a few steps for you

Step 1: Know your audience.

Who do you want to serve? What are the problems that you can solve for them? What would you cover in a keynote that inspires & educates them? What are they typing into google to look for answers on?

Once you identify these points you can search for events, conferences, expos that cater for this audience & their needs.

For example if your audience are entrepreneurs who are looking for marketing advice on how to build their following on social media, some key words / phrases that you can search for are:

  • ‘business growth for entrepreneurs’
  • marketing conferences
  • social media events for SMEs….
  • specific named events like The Business Growth Show, IDigital conference, B2C Marketing expo etc

Tailor these searches to your industry, audience and market.

Step 2: Do your research.

Who have they had speak before? Who is the events manager? What size audience do they have? Where Is it held? How often does it take place?

If you can attend the event before you approach them about speaking at it, so you can give first-hand advice on why you know their audience will benefit.

How can you offer something that they’ve not had before or can serve their audience & their needs?

Step 3: Contact the event organiser.

The best first type of contact is a call. You’ll build more rapport that way. Tell them how you came across the event & enquire if they are looking for speakers for the next event. Discover the application process of applying but also build some rapport up with the event organiser.

Ask them what they would like from a speaker, what topics are they looking for as you might be able to refer other people too. Ask whether they’ve had people speak on your topic before & how the audience reacted to the topic. Find out who & when they should follow up with after you’ve applied.

Step 4: Be prepared & position yourself well.

If you have a speaker brochure / show reel outlining your bio / keynote topics / testimonials / then sent it to them as a follow up from speaking to them

Be clear on your pitch & your USP. The way you describe yourself with give them an indication on how clear & impactful you will be on their stage

What else can you offer the event organiser on top of your keynote? For example can you help promote the event on social media? Can you suggest other speakers?

Step 4: Secure the speaking engagement with your own contract.

Just because you aren’t getting paid for the gig there are elements that you’ll want to secure :

  • Can you use video / photographic footage of the event for your own promotion (will you be recording this yourself of getting the footage from the organiser?)
  • If you are selling at the event, do you giving the organizer any commission from the sales? What %, When & how will this be paid?
  • If you intent to get data from the audience, get permission in your contract
  • Cancellation policy. Your time is precious, so what compensation are you asking for if they cancel outside of the cancellation period?
  • Are you asking for them to cover your expenses? If so these need to be outlined in the contract.

Be Proactive — make a list of all the places you want to speak

Now you should be clear on why doing promotional speaking can support you, and what to do to get these gig. The action to take is to start making your shortlist of events, expo’s, gigs, people, stages, podcasts that you’d LOVE to be on or speak at. That will help you reach out and be proactive. We have a starter for you — a list of 200+ speaking platforms for you to download to give you no excuses for getting started!

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