If you’re looking for something to set you apart from other speakers, no matter how long you’ve been speaking, whether you have best-selling books or an international brand, there’s one little-known secret that can make or break your business.
It doesn’t require investing in social media ads.
It doesn’t require you to publish a daily blog.
It doesn’t even require that you’re a great speaker.
It’s completely within your control, and because it isn’t flashy and doesn’t come with fame or recognition so few speakers take the time to leverage it.
It’s consistency. Specifically, consistency in your outreach.
Let’s dig into why so few speakers are consistent, the difference it makes and how you can leverage low and no-cost systems to ensure you maintain consistency in your outreach no matter how many organizations you’re pursuing.
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Why Speakers Aren’t Consistent
Unfortunately, few people are teaching speakers how to develop the fundamentals that all successful businesses have – finance, sales, administration, and systems. The one area speakers are attracted to because of the glitz and glam is marketing, which is why given the choice between talking to someone who can buy from them and writing another chapter for an upcoming book or creating the next vlog, they’ll choose marketing.
If you have a clear grasp that no amount of passive marketing will get you predictably paid, then the next reason speakers aren’t consistent in their outreach is that they don’t know what to be consistent with or to.
Being consistent with something means having a plan for outreach – the phone calls, emails, social media messages, and even direct mail you send to the folks who are hiring speakers. That plan can live on a spreadsheet or within a CRM, but it needs to live outside your head.
Being consistent in the people we reach out to means having people and organizations identified that hire speakers. Too few speakers make adding new leads into their pipeline part of their weekly tasks, but nothing makes a bigger difference in scaling revenue than adding new, qualified leads into your outreach list.
What Difference Does Consistency Make?
When we look back over all the emails we’ve received across 500+ prospects, one word stands out among all others: Persistence. As in, “Thanks for your persistence!” That doesn’t happen accidentally or randomly. Rather, it’s because we’re consistent in our outreach to decision makers.
Let’s look at this from the perspective of the people who hire speakers. This is never their full-time job, meaning they have a lot of other plates to spin when putting together events. Hotel and conference center contracts, catering, registration, marketing their event and lining up all the technical sessions their audience needs are just a few of the things they’re coordinating – not to mention they’re probably working a full-time position outside of planning the event!
That means that speakers are just one of a long list of moving pieces our decision makers are managing. When it finally comes time to hire a speaker, they’re looking for the surest bet they can find which is why referrals from other meeting planners factor so strongly in which speakers get hired. Unfortunately, relying on someone to recommend you takes the decision out of your hands. If you’re interested in taking the initiative on getting paid to speak, then it means being in front of your decision makers at the exact time they’re looking to select speakers in addition to being top-of-mind from previous interactions they’ve had with your name, videos and message.
There are three levels we need to understand to maintain consistency in our outreach so we can be in front of decision makers when they’re ready to select speakers and have our names be familiar enough that we’re top of mind when they’re thinking of potential speakers: The systems, the practice and the schedule.
First, the system: It’s easier to remember to maintain consistency when we only have a few prospects to reach out to. However, once we start scaling prospects into the dozens, hundreds or thousands, personalized consistency can’t be maintained from memory. It’s here that a CRM earns its place in our business, because it’s where we can map our outreach campaigns and let the system tell us when the next interaction should occur and by what means (phone, email, video, social media, etc.).
Second, the practice: It’s become an unassailable fact that mixing up types of outreach makes a tremendous impact on getting ahold of people who can hire us. That means alternating contact between phone calls, emails, direct mail and social media. Again, this is where a CRM campaign makes a tremendous difference as once it’s programmed and launched on a prospect, the next step auto-generates on the date the campaign tells it to, which takes the guess-work out of our consistency.
Finally, the schedule: We have to block time every day that we protect at all costs, and during that time our goal is to communicate with people who can hire us. Prospecting and reaching out to potential clients isn’t something we do when we’ve done everything else to run our businesses – it’s what we do so we have businesses to run.
If there was something that didn’t require a big investment but could yield massive returns in your speaking business, and allowed you to be in full control of your revenue and your impact, how could you not put it into practice? That’s exactly what consistency does.
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