AskPat 7 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, hey. What's up, everybody? This is Pat Flynn, and welcome to Episode 7 of AskPat. I want to remind you to come follow me on Facebook. You can find me at Facebook.com/SmartPassiveIncome.
Come join over 53,000 other community members where we talk about online business and we can interact with each other and ask questions. It's super cool. I love the community over there on the Facebook page. Again, it's Facebook.com/smartpassiveincome. And onto today's question.
Today's question is asked by Alease. And she asks about something that I've been doing a lot of lately, something that I've fallen in love with, public speaking. So here is Alease and her question.
Alease: Hi, Pat. This is Alease from AleaseMichelle.com. I'm a personal branding coach where I help women business owners create marketing messages so they can sell more products and services. So before I even ask my question, I want to say I love your show. Absolutely love it. I found it a couple of months ago and I started from episode one and work my way up to . . . I’m right now at Episode 67.
And so, this is when I really thought I want to ask you this question. It's a little off-topic about other than creating niche sites. It's really about your speaking gigs. How you've been able to get speaking gigs. I listen to one episode and you say that you like to gather testimonies so you can send out to event managers about how to get . . . so they can see how your audience responds to you.
So I have no problem speaking in front of people. I'm a college professor and I've been doing it for years. So public speaking, I have no problem with that. It's just I don't know where to start. How do you get more speaking gigs so you can be around your target market so you can just know who they are, what they're interested in. I don't want to get paid to do it right now. Totally understand that I'm just getting my feet wet.
I just want to know what do you do? Do you just find a list of people and send them a packet of email? I don't know what I should do. So I really hope you can help me with this question either live or a quick email. So anything that you can share with me, I will love. Again, this is Alease Michelle. And Pat, I just want to say love your show and thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your wonderful knowledge and bringing on guest speakers to actually share their knowledge. I just love it. Thanks again.
Pat Flynn: Alease, thank you so much for your question. Speaking is something that I've been doing a lot of over the last two and a half years. And before that, it was something that I was completely and definitely afraid of. But I'm so happy that I dove into this arena because it's just helped me in my business and in my life in so many different ways. It has helped me by going to these different conferences and speaking and meeting so many other people. But it has also helped me become a better communicator behind the microphone in my podcasts and on my videos.
And it's also helped me learn how to better present my ideas just in everyday life to friends and family that I'm speaking to, even with my wife. I'm better able to communicate the things that are in my head with the people around me. So for those of you who are out there who are listening to this and you're like, “Oh, I'm not really into speaking.” Do it. It's just so awesome. And Alease, thank you so much for this question because it's hard to speak if you don't have anywhere to speak.
So here are some tips for you for those of you out there who are looking to get more speaking gigs. I have six things for you. The first thing is to find the conferences you want to speak at and look for a speaker application somewhere on the website or look up “speaker application” and the name of that conference. A lot of these conferences, they're looking for new talent. They want new people speaking at their conference.
And to find that new talent, they often have an application process. So before you apply, of course, you want to think about what you could possibly present about. So you want to go into the history of that conference and look for topics that may not have been covered. And of course, you want to know what your strengths are and what you can bring to the table that you can help fill in those gaps with.
So find the conferences you want to speak at and look for a speaker application. If there is no speaker application, you want to contact the director or somebody on their team directly. Preferably with or through a connection that you already have. So a smart thing to do would be to find who is in charge of this conference or who works for this conference, and possibly go through a site like LinkedIn to see if you are connected to anybody that that person is connected with.
And more often than not, there's going to be a second or third degree connection there. And you might be able to get your way into that conference through the people that you know or the people that the people you know know. Right. I mean, when you think about how people get jobs today. I mean, sort of the same thing. A lot of people go through that traditional resume process, and a lot of times what works best is actually just knowing the right people. So go find out how you can make a direct connection with these directors.
I mean, you might even start through Twitter. I mean, that's an easy way to make quick connections with these conference directors who you want to speak with eventually. And that way, when you contact them through email, it's not going to be a cold email anymore. Or when somebody who you know contacts them for you, especially if that's someone who has possibly spoken at that conference before or who may already know that person. It's going to be a warmer email and you're going to have a better chance of being remembered and making that connection, and then, therefore, possibly getting a speaking gig from that point forward.
And I like that you mentioned that you want to do these things for free as well. A lot of times, you're going to have to start out that way. That's how I started. I did free speaking gigs for about two years until I finally got paid. And now I'm doing opening keynotes where we're talking five figure range now. But of course, it doesn't start there. You have to sort of make a name for yourself. You have to develop your own style, and you have to get the word out there about you and what you could bring to a conference.
So of course, in addition to all that, you just want to bring your “A game” any sort of time you have the opportunity to speak, because that's how people start to remember who you are to talk about you. And these conference directors, they talk to each other, they know each other. And a lot of times they'll say, “Okay, well, who were the top ranked speakers at your conference?” And that's how my name has been dropped to a lot of people, is through those connections.
Another thing you want to do is actually go to the conferences and meet these people in person, meet the people who have already spoken there or who are speaking there, and meet the people who work there as well and just introduce yourself. I mean, you don't want to go there and be like, “Hey, my name is Pat Flynn and I think I should speak next year.” You don't want to do that. You want to just make real genuine connections. A lot of times, there are these mixers and networking events where these people show up, and you want to introduce yourself and get them interested in who you are.
And then, that's when you can sort of share that you have this wanting to become a speaker. Or maybe you share other speaking gigs that you've done and you share that you're open for more speaking gigs down the road if that conference is looking for more speakers. So that's a great way to make that introduction, is in person. A lot of people don't even think about that route. And another thing you could do is you can create your own speaking gigs. You want more speaking gigs? Create your own.
So you can hold your own event. It doesn't even have to be that big. It could be in your own hometown. Again, you could even do it for free. You can put it up on Craigslist, you can go to Meetup.com and set up these Meet-ups where you can go and speak in front of a crowd and just get your foot in the water and just better your craft. You can test things and you can work on your own material and you can have other people. You can, of course, make great connections with these people in your area who might share the same values and interests as you.
And you might be able to grow that into a bigger speaking gig or turn that into something that you could record and turn into an application later or put on your speaker page later as well. I mean, those count. If you speak in front of an audience, no matter if you've created that audience yourself or not, that counts. And so, that is something that you could put on your “speaker resume” or into your sort of arsenal of things you can mention when you are trying to get these other speaking gigs.
Another thing that I sort of briefly talked about that you want to make sure you do, is make connections with people who are already sort of on the speaking line or who are doing a lot of speaking already. That's how I've actually gotten connections into a lot of other conferences, was actually making friends or being friends with people who've been speaking a lot. And so, I make connections with these friends and they sit and chat with the directors. And a lot of times, these directors will ask, “Okay, well, who do you know is also a great speaker?”
And of course, if you come to mind, you're going to be mentioned and you might get an email down the road where you can then apply or you'll just be invited to a conference. So make connections with other speakers. And lastly, you want to make sure you have a great speaking page on your website. And I've been fortunate enough to been asked to do speaking before I had this. But this is something that I'm working on right now. I'm actually in the middle of creating a speaker page on my website where I can sort of highlight the talks that I've done, testimonials from people who are in the audience, and testimonials from conference directors as well, and also include a high-quality sort of teaser video, and also a way to contact me as well.
That's a lot of . . . for some reason, a lot of people don't make it easy for people on their speaker pages, where they're sharing a little bit about themselves, to contact them. Make a big giant button there that says, “Hey, if you're interested in me, contact me. We'll talk and we can figure out what sort of presentation is good for you and your audience and all, and I'll help you out.” So those six things, really quick. Just to recap. Find the conferences you want to speak at and look for a speaker application on those websites.
If they don't have them, contact the director. Preferably, make a connection through someone that you already have. Number three, go to these conferences in person and meet the people who speak there, and also meet the people who put on these conferences so you can get to know them and develop a real relationship with them that could turn into a speaking gig down the road. Number four, create your own speaking gigs.
Meetup.com. Just setting stuff up on Craigslist or doing Meet-ups in whatever area that you may be traveling to. Set up your own things. Might cost a little bit of money to rent out a restaurant or whatever or a conference room at a co-working space. But do that. It's going to help you get that experience. Number five, make connections with other speakers. And number six, make that speaker page on your website. Put a high-quality teaser video on it and make sure there's an easy way to contact you so you can talk to those people who are interested in possibly hiring you.
And of course, overall, you want to make sure you always bring your “A game” like I said earlier. That's how people start to talk about you, and that's what's going to give you the most cloud when it comes to finding more speaking gigs. So Alease, I hope that helps you. I hope that helps all of you listening who are interested or who are already speaking and want more gigs. I hope that's helpful. Thank you so much, Alease, for that question. I will send you an AskPat t-shirt for having your question featured here on AskPat.
And if you have a question, if you're listening and you have a question about entrepreneurship, blogging, podcasting, startups, online business, internet marketing, whatever you have a question about, head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask your question for free there. If your question gets featured here on the show, I will send you an AskPat t-shirt. Thank you so much for your time today and I'll see you in the next episode.
Thanks again for listening to AskPat. This was episode 7. And if you aren't following me on Facebook yet, I would love to see you there. Head on over to Facebook.com/SmartPassiveIncome and join the community of over 53,000 other fans. It's awesome, I love it. I love all you guys who are on there already.
And of course, I want to end today's episode with a quote and this quote has to do with public speaking. And it's a quote from Somers White and that quote is, “Ninety percent of how well the talk will go is determined before the speaker steps on the platform.” So keep that in mind. That's why I put so much time and preparation into stuff that goes on before I get on stage and I hope you will too. Thank you again, and I'll see you in the next episode.