How to Successfully Pitch Speaking Engagements

November 11, 2015

 

A great way to gain exposure for your personal styling business is to pitch yourself as a guest speaker to organizations, networking groups, and businesses where your ideal client works or plays. Everyone has to start somewhere so this week we’re going to offer some of the best tips we have for building your public speaking muscle.

 

Research All The Places Your Client Base Gets Information

Before you panic and imagine yourself speaking to a few hundred folks, start small and look for opportunities to speak for free to groups that are always looking to entertain and inform their members. Check out local Meetup groups, the Chamber of Commerce in your city, or co-working spaces that hold events on topics that of interest to their participants.

 

The best way to gain the attention of the person in charge of booking speakers is to be super specific about the topic you’d like to speak about and connect explicitly for them why your topic is a good fit for their audience. A great question to keep in mind when you write your pitch email is: what new information of value will their audience be left with after you give your talk?

 

Show Your Expertise

Whenever you’re getting started looking for speaking opportunities, you won’t have a list of past speaking engagements to refer to as social proof but what you do have is a blog. Link to one to two high-quality blog posts in your pitch email on the topic you are looking to speak about to their group. Linking to your blog posts serves as social proof that you are an expert on the topic you want to speak about and allows the person coordinating the event a chance to get a sense of your voice and personality. Another great way to build your social proof as an expert is to link to guest posts you’ve written for other sites.

 

Success is in the Follow-Up

It’s easy to get discouraged when you don’t hear back shortly after pitching a speaking engagement. However, it’s also important to remember that people are busy so wait about a week or so and be sure to follow-up. If they reply saying they aren’t interested, don’t take it personally. Ask them to keep your information on file in case they need a speaker in the future. Often organizations and companies don’t have specific events on the calendar when you reach out but that doesn't mean that the perfect opportunity to speak about the topic you proposed won't arise down the road. You can always follow-up again in six to eight months if you know that the organization or group you'd love to speak to is an ideal match for your styling services. Persistence often yields the biggest opportunities.

 

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