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RoundUp: How Speakers & Bureaus Use LinkedIn To Get Gigs

Ohhhh, it’s juicy and it’s all in here.  The secrets, the strategies, the mindset.

JenningsWire online magazine queried speakers and speakers bureaus to find out how they used LinkedIn to either get booked or find speakers.

But is building an influential and far reaching LinkedIn presence too hard?

According to the speakers and experts who contributed to this article, it’s happening, it’s happening now and it can happen to you.

On LinkedIn they judge you by your looks.

That is, by how your profile looks. J.A. Rodriguez, professional motivational speaker and author, says that “your profile should scream professional speaker. Your profile is a great place to list major accomplishments as a speaker in your field. Next, join several speaker groups to get an idea of what everyone else is doing. Follow that up with performing a little homework to find other groups that reach your target market.” J.A. shares more strategies on how to book your next speaking event via LinkedIn below.

Get noticed by your target market. Most speakers have a niche market. Determine the big papa prospective customers in your market. Follow them. They will notice you. Determine where these customers gather, e.g., trade shows/conferences, public events, etc. Submit topics to speak on (often for free) at these events and follow these events on LinkedIn. Post updates from these events on your LinkedIn status. For example, “the energy I felt from the stage today at the XYZ event did not seem like 3,000 attendees. It seemed like 3 million!” Rather than chase the fox, let it come to the fox hole.

Be a guest blogger on influential online magazines. Write blogs for online magazines such as JenningsWire that are relevant to your niche market. Be sure to focus the blog topics on the customers/clients of your target customers/clients. That is correct. If you want more gigs, demonstrate on LinkedIn how you can help your target audiences reach their target audiences and the entire experience will be a win-win. They will notice you. Use this link to let JenningsWire know of your interest in being a blogger.

Warning. LinkedIn is a fertile ground to buy and sell services if you understand the rules of engagement. It is perfectly fine to boast services on your own page and profile. It is taboo to do so on someone else’s or within the LinkedIn groups unless the group explicitly allows advertising.

Tips contributed by J. A. Rodriguez Jr., CEO & Founder, Make My Day Strategies LLC, author of Not Intuitively Obvious: Transition to the Professional Work Environment. Connect with J.A at Authors Den, Youtube and SpeakerMatch.com 

This Association looks for speakers with active online profiles.

Tamara Floyd of Floyd and Associates is one of the Marketing Chairs for Houston Interactive Marketing Association (HiMA). Tamara says “we utilize all types of social media and digital marketing strategies to identify our program speakers for workshops, luncheons, and conferences”. Tamara shares these tips on how her organization uses social media to find their next speaker:

Active online profiles. As an Interactive Marketing organization our programming committee looks for speakers with active online profiles. It’s important that our speakers cross promote HiMA events with their network whether it’s through Facebook, Twitter and/or LinkedIn.

Make the most of your LinkedIn profile. Something in particular that we look for is information about the perspective speaker’s experience and topics. We like to see what topics he or she has experience presenting on and in what venues these presentations were made. A great place to add this is within your LinkedIn Profile. Take advantage of including multimedia links that support your speaking experience. You can add video links, images, documents or presentations. For example, include a Youtube link of your most recent speaking engagement or a link to your presentation deck on SlideShare.

Tips contributed by Tamara Floyd, President and CEO,of Floyd and Associates, An Innovative Solutions Group and one of the Marketing Chairs for Houston Interactive Marketing Association (HiMA). Please visit HiMA on Facebook and Twitter #hima.

Show off but don’t use brute force.

Think of LinkedIn as your public relations agent. LinkedIn is a great way to bolster your public image, but you have to use it well. It is also a great way to help potential clients research you while allowing you to “show off” all the things that might just turn a new client prospect into a new client. I like to keep all my links to my YouTube Channel, my published articles, my presentations, my videos, and my websites fresh and current on my LinkedIn profile. When I want to learn about someone my first stop is usually LinkedIn and I believe many people think the same way.

Use LinkedIn discussion groups wisely. Make sure you are joining the right discussion groups because finding new prospects and clients is not about brute force numbers, but carefully selecting groups that are relevant and most likely interested in your topical expertise. Many groups often have rules about NO advertising so you should think twice before you blast a group post about your upcoming events. Remember, the point of a discussion group is just that – discussion! The key is to post something that facilitates a good discussion and gets lots of comments. The more comments you get the more likely your post will stay at the top of the discussion group so that when fellow members sign on they see your profile and your discussion providing you maximum exposure to potential prospects and clients.

Highlight what others say about you on LinkedIn. For the past few years I have tried making it a habit to get my clients to write testimonials about me on LinkedIn. Testimonials are a great way help your new prospective clients verify that you’re actually pretty good at what you do and no one says that better than happy customers! It is not uncommon that I hear prospects tell me that they found someone cheaper to speak at their event and then I hear that their “discount” speaker was a major flop. Now, when I tell prospects my fees I immediately tell them that I guarantee they can find someone cheaper than me, however I encourage them to look at their LinkedIn profile to compare the quality and quantity of testimonials before making a final decision. Just like my grand mom used to say “when people don’t have anything nice to say, they shouldn’t say it at all” so perhaps this is the reason why prospects should be skeptical of the “expert” without the endorsement.

Real story. It wasn’t long after posting a short video entitled “Whistleblowers: Rats or Referees?” that I was receiving a check in the mail for speaking at a virtual seminar addressing over 400 audit, fraud, and risk management professionals. My posted video link was a short 2 minute and 22 second excerpt from an interview documentary that happened to cross the desk of the seminar organizer who contacted me after my video post went live. During our initial conversation, my then client prospect (and now client) told me that he just watched my video and thought I would be a great guest speaker at his upcoming event about whistleblower hotlines. While I still wonder whether this episode was a little luck, a little genius, or perhaps a little combination of the two it did get me to reflect on some my practical tips and strategies for LinkedIn success.

Tips submitted by Michael Brozzetti, President of Boundless LLC, who is a speaker, trainer, and consultant on the topics of auditing, risk, compliance, ethics, fraud, enterprise and IT governance. Michael is also a member of the Board of Directors for the National Speakers Association Philadelphia Chapter.

Connect with those who have booked similar people to you before.

As a speaker, June Archer has been able to book speaking engagements via LinkedIn. June says he does it “by educating potential opportunities of my experience, education and passion of my area of expertise” and shares the following tip with us.

The key to making magic happen and unfold is to network. Your opportunities lie in the power of networking. The more people who know you, know what you do and how to reach you, will assist in getting you booked as a speaker. One of the ways to make this happen is to connect with those that share the same interests as you and/or have booked similar individuals before.

Speaker tip contributed by Marketing and Motivational Life Coach, June Archer, author of Yes! Every Day Can Be A Good Day.  Please visit June at his Blog and on Twitter.

Showcase yourself by joining groups.

Susan Levin of Speaker Services, who coaches and trains speakers says to “join groups that match your area of expertise to showcase your skill set to your natural target audience. The goal is not to promote yourself but to simply be helpful. The idea is to contribute your knowledge, wisdom and experience as needed.”

Speaker tip contributed by Susan Levin, owner of Speaker Services, a firm that offers coaching, marketing and training for speakers since 1992. Please connect with Susan on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and Youtube. Susan also offers speakers an opportunity to be a guest on her Internet TV Show that airs out of Los Angeles. For more info on getting booked on the show, please contact Susan via email susan@speakerservices.com.

Include a great photo of you speaking so they get the idea fast.

Diane Danielson says that she would get speaking engagements via LinkedIn in two ways. Diane says “I used the slideshare app to incorporate my slides from my latest speeches into my profile. People have called me based on that and I also made sure I had a picture of me behind a podium or sitting on a panel, to ensure that  everyone got the idea that I am a speaker. I’ve also included my publications there, as it seems most people want speakers who have a book.

Speaker tip submitted by Diane K. Danielson, Chief Platform Officer, Sperry Van Ness International Corporation. Please connect with Diane on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

This speaker agency says speakers find him on LinkedIn.

Robert Tuchman has a speakers agency on LinkedIn and says that his firm is approached by folks who find him on LinkedIn.  He offers this piece of advice to speakers to better their chances of securing his interest: “Make sure the topic you speak on is clear. Speakers have to have a specific niche or relevant topic that they speak on. The speaker  has to be polished and appeal to a corporate environment.”

Tip submitted by Robert Tuchman of TotalSpeakers.com, a firm that matches high-profile talent with corporations and organizations.

Give the bureaus all they need to say YES to booking you.

Jeff Zelaya of Miami Public Speakers, a Florida speakers bureau that books local speakers on Fortune 500 companies and non-profit organizations and represents hundreds of speakers nationally and globally, says:

Get Recommendations. When doing a presentation, ask that people connect with you via LinkedIn and to let you know in the invite that they were present at ABC event. Once you accept their invite, you could follow-up with them and ask for a recommendation.  LinkedIn recommendations make your profile more visible and more search engine friendly. Potential meeting planners can now scroll through your recommendations to see the reviews of the speaker.

Use Multimedia. LinkedIn allows you to post videos and powerpoints and associate them with certain jobs or speaker appearances. For the major speaker appearances or conferences, fill it out like a job on LinkedIn and attach video clips or the powerpoint for that specific clip. This will build traffic for your slideshare.net profile and drive views to your YouTube clips.

Search LinkedIn by Titles. Find CEOs and Execs and the next time you are doing a conference, send an invite to these people to come check you out for free. If they come, they’ll see you in action and are more likely to book you as a trainer or speaker for their next event. The same principle could be applied to find meeting planners.

Join LinkedIn Groups. There are all types of great groups on LinkedIn – if you don’t see one you like then make your own. I created Florida Public Speaking. It now has over 200 members. I use this to find new speakers that my speaker bureau could represent and it provides a place for speakers to network and share tips, stories and strategies.

Tips contributed by Jeff Zelaya, Miami Public Speakers. Please visit Jeff at JeffZelaya.com

Go ahead and pack your LinkedIn profile, here’s how.

Viveka von Rosen, author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour A Day, often speaks at the National Speakers Association on booking gigs with LinkedIn and says “there is so much you can do with LinkedIn these days as a professional speaker.”

Here  are Viveka’s 11 Ways to Get Booked and Stay Booked on LinkedIn:

1. Sure you are a speaker, but you need to be clear about what you speak about and who your audience is. I’m sure you already know that but make sure that your LinkedIn profile reflects it.

2. Do you have a book, or a keynote you are known for? Add them to your “Professional Headline” section. You have 120 characters to work with. Mine reads: “Author of Wiley’s LinkedIn Marketing: Hour a Day, Forbes Top 10 Most Influential Women, International Keynote Speaker.”

3. Add your presentations and or books to your “Experience” section. In the “Company” field write down your book and/or keynote title: LinkedIn for Legal Professionals. In the “Title” field you have 100 characters to share your areas of expertise, niche markets: International LinkedIn Speaker working with Legal Firms and Legal Professionals. Then you have 1000 characters to describe your book or keynote and why they are an essential resource to your key audience.

4. Finally, you can add a video of you speaking, video or written testimonials, your speaker’s one sheet – anything that has an online presence using the new media share button.

5. Encourage friends to recommend your book in “Recommendations.” It is best if you have the book listed in “Experience” first.

6. Edit your website link by clicking on “Edit” and then “Other” to read “Buy (or read) my book here” or “Click here to see me speak” and add a direct URL to your book’s sales page or a video of you speaking, or your one sheet, or really any website you want to promote.

7. Use the “Update” feature to tell people about your book or speaking event. Share your update with groups and Twitter.

8. Talk about your services and why someone should hire you in your “Summary” section – you have up to 2000 characters. Make sure you give them the WIIFM (What’s In It For Them). You could also put a promo code in your “Summary” section.

9. In “Edit Profile” you will notice an “Add New Sections” link. One of the options is “Publications”. Add it.

10. Send teasers in your messages. I recently received a message from an author who was sharing his book one chapter at a time.  If you wanted to read the whole book at once, you had to buy it. I thought this was very clever. At the very least he has more people reading his book. I am sure it boosted sales as well.

11.  Create a LinkedIn “Company Page” for your speaking business (You have to add the email address to your settings: Go to settings, click on account, then “Add & change email addresses”). Once your Company is created you can add more video, describe the WIIFM (what’s in it for me?) of your service, list your keynotes, sell your book, add special offers and promo codes, links to download, etc.

Viveka von Rosen, Founder,  Linked Into Business and author of LinkedIn Marketing: An Hour A Day (J. Wiley & Sons). Viveka has the following accomplishments:

  • Forbes Top Ten Most Influential Women in Social Media
  • Forbes Top Fifty Most Influential People in Social Media
  • LinkedIn Contributor to MarketingProfs.com
  • PRWeek “Master Class” with online marketing chiefs from Ford Motor Company and Dell Computers.
  • Creator and Moderator of #LinkedInChat on Tuesday Nights at 5 PM PST (Voted a Top 10 business chat by Mashable and PRDaily)

Please visit Viveka at LinkedIntoBusiness.com, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Slideshare and Youtube

Speakers bureaus are searching for speakers on LinkedIn.

Saideh Browne says she is always scanning LinkedIn for possible speakers and shares the following tip that’s #1 on her list.

Join as many groups as possible. I belong to several groups on LinkedIn since I own an agency dedicated to the speaking industry.  I dedicate at least thirty minutes per day (personally) to Twitter and LinkedIn just searching for speakers and their new and innovative topics. My tip (for LinkedIn specifically) is to join as many groups as possible.

Tip submitted by Saideh Browne of Sai Browne Global, Keynote Speaker Marketing & Lecture Management

Join groups BUT join the right groups.

Dr. Carolyn Edwards who says she has received speaking assignments from LinkedIn, suggests to aways “ensure your presence on LinkedIn is professional and don’t write anything you would not want to serve as a professional representation of your work, character and ethics.”

Be active on LinkedIn. Join groups for which you can serve as a professional and be active. Serve as an expert by answering user questions in the professional forums. Post questions in your respective groups and respond too. Update your profile regularly with additional skills, training, speaking engagements and be sure to include your professional website, twitter, blogs, etc. Lastly, let others write great things about their experiences of your professionalism and expertise by endorsing you.”

Dr. Carolyn Edwards of DrCarolynEdwards.com is the author of Teach Online – 10 Simple Steps to Get Your Resume Noticed and Land the Job.  Please visit Dr. Edwards on her Blog or on Twitter.

What should speakers avoid doing wrong?

Andrea H. Gold, President of Gold Stars Speakers Bureau and co-author of The Business of Successful Speaking: Proven Secrets To Becoming A Million Dollar Speaker, shares her pet peeves:

The speaker may have just one chance to make the right impression with a speakers bureau. Do not take it lightly. Bureaus have long memories – and a database in which they keep notes. A sampling follows of Andrea’s “Pet Peeves” about how a speaker should NOT approach a speakers bureau. Andrea says that these sentiments predictably shared by most, if not all, speakers bureaus worldwide.

The speaker:

  • did not check the bureau’s website first to see how the bureau requests that the speaker approach the company.
  • did not make sure that his topic is relevant to the focus of the bureau. What if the bureau markets only minority speakers for diversity needs, and you are Caucasian?
  • lacks marketing materials or possesses few materials; he does not realize the tools required to book speakers.
  • provides lackluster, ineffective marketing materials that do not sell him.
  • video demo either does not exist or is homegrown and of poor sound and/or graphic quality.
  • approaches bureau too soon – without adequate and substantial professional speaking experience
  • possesses a questionable attitude; may be arrogant, contentious or a prima donna
  • marketing materials list speaker’s contact information instead of being “ bureau-friendly” (contact-neutral), for branding purposes.
  • is unreliable and slow to respond to bureau’s calls or emails.
  • has no focus or positioning is unclear. Bureau is unsure where this speaker would “fit” into a client’s needs.
  • has no established fee menu and is unfamiliar with the concept of commissions. The ultimate ignorance occurs when the speaker says, help me set the fees.
  • sends bureau unsolicited marketing materials, and to add insult to injury, sometimes sends huge files.
  • has not developed adequate platform skills to affiliate with a bureau or to charge the fee he requests. Clients expect top quality speakers when they approach a bureau.
  • continually nags a bureau to check him out, suggest him or to follow up – often.

Speaking tips submitted by Andrea H. Gold, President of Gold Stars Speakers Bureau and co-author of The Business of Successful Speaking: Proven Secrets To Becoming A Million Dollar Speaker. Andrea Gold offers paid consultations one-on-one to help a speaker understand fees and to customize an appropriate menu for that speaker’s level of experience and based on other criteria.  Andrea has booked world famous celebritries and speakers around the world for nearly 25 years.

Connect with Andrea Gold on LinkedIn, Facebook & Twitter.

Article compiled by Annie Jennings, Publisher of JenningsWire online magazine. To see more posts by Annie Jennings, please click here.  Annie Jennings also books speakers on the big radio talk interview shows in the major markets (campaign comes with money back guarantee and unlimited media training conducted by industry pro).  Her team of professional publicists also place speakers on select TV Shows both nationally and in any city, influential online media outlets and in traditional print.  Please let Annie know of your interest in these services here.

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To view more articles in the RoundUp Series For Speakers & Authors by National Publicity Expert, Annie Jennings, and Publisher of JenningsWire, please click here.