When you are just starting to look for speaking opportunities, you may wonder where to begin. There are a number of organizations that look for speakers on a regular basis, sometimes monthly or even weekly. They may not pay you, but don’t let that stop you from accepting the gig. Every time you speak, you’ll still meet lots of new people and build your marketing list.
Here is a small list of groups to check into that frequently need speakers:
- Traditional Groups
- Rotary Clubs
- Lions Clubs
- Chamber of Commerce Lead Groups
Women’s Networking Groups
Women specific networking has become very popular and organizations with local chapters are popping up all over.
BNI offers its members an exclusive spot and features speakers from within the group only. But there are many spin-off groups that have cropped up in recent years that are open to outside speakers like you.
Groups tend to vary somewhat by location. For example, in large cities the Chamber of Commerce might not be the hottest spot since so many competing networking organizations exist. But in the suburbs and more rural areas, the chambers are likely to be where it’s happening. The same is true for Rotary and any organization really – you have to ask a few questions to find out if most people will match your target audience. Some Rotary Clubs have a lot of older members, where others have an influx of new and younger members.
Keep in mind too that there are probably many locally-formed networking groups in your area. You can Google to find out what groups are near you.
When I first started out, I spoke to almost any group within a 30-mile radius. So even if it was a room with only 12 people, I would pass around my sign-in sheet asking if they wanted to receive my free client attraction tools by email. While the number was sometimes small, it was still a nice addition to my list. Over time I sought out groups with larger membership and attendance. Now I won’t speak unless there is a minimum of 50-75 people because I’m already getting plenty of leads through my marketing pie.
As I gained experience with delivering my signature talk and working the room, I started reaching higher, contacting trade associations and meeting planners for more formal speaking opportunities. This helped me get in front of larger groups and over time I started getting the paying gigs. However initially, when you are starting to build your business, get some traction with the free talks so you can hone your program and skills, while building your ezine list.
Your Client Attraction Assignment
1. Discover what groups are in your area seeking speakers.
2. Ask the people you meet where else they network.
3. Make a point of inquiring if they know any other places where you might speak.
4. Contact the groups that sound like they are a good fit with your target audience and get yourself on the calendar.