Videos in this Series (so far)
- Why Author Websites Fail (Introduction)
- Curious Cathy (Author Website Visitor #1)
- Book Buying Betty (Author Website Visitor #2)
- Reading Club Rhonda (Author Website Visitor #3)
- Impatient Irene (Author Website Visitor #4)
- Event Coordinator Evelyn (Author Website Visitor #5)
The fifth kind of reader who visits author websites is Event Coordinator Evelyn.
She’s thinking about booking you for an upcoming event.
You want Evelyn to love you!
Your most passionate readers tend to be the ones who heard you speak in person, and this is especially true if you write nonfiction.
Now, not only will they love you, but this is also the fastest money you make.
You’re not waiting 30 days on Amazon or six months for your traditional publisher. You’re getting paid by your readers in person as you sign their books.
Speaking is a great way to connect with your readers and a great way to make money.
So how do you get event coordinator Evelyn to come to your website?
Well, I know a bit about this, because I am an Event Coordinator Evelyn. I run the Austin Entrepreneurs Meetup group and we have over 3000 members.
We get speakers recommended to us all the time. So I go to lots of speaker websites, and I know exactly what Evelyn is looking for.
She likely came to your website directly because someone told her you would be a good speaker.
That someone might be you.
There’s nothing wrong with promoting yourself as a speaker.
Now what she’s looking for is a list of topics, preferably ones that you’ve given in the past or a list of topics that you’re ready to give right away.
This really helps her book you, and know what you’re able to speak about.
The next thing she’s looking for is audio samples of your speaking. I will say, for our Meetup group, we do not book a speaker unless I’ve heard them speak in person or I’ve been able to listen to audio of them speaking from their website.
This isn’t hard to do. You can get a voice recorder for thirty or forty dollars on Amazon and you can record a good quality version of your speaking.
It doesn’t have to be studio quality.
She just wants to hear that you’re able to put some sentences together, and that would put her at ease booking you to speak at her next event.
The next thing she’s looking for is a speaking length bio.
Now, a mistake some authors make is to send the event coordinator to their “About” page, where they have paragraph after paragraph of their life story, of irrelevant information.
And what the event coordinator will do is dutifully read that entire page. By the time you get up to speak, everyone is bored. Boo.
Don’t let that be you!
Have a short snappy bio for Event Coordinator Evelyn to read and then get off the stage so you can get to wowing the audience.
The next thing she’s looking for is a video promo.
If you have some video of you speaking, this really helps. If you’ve done a TED talk, put that on your speaking page.
If you don’t have a video, don’t worry. This is something that you can add down the road as you establish your speaking career. But if you have video of you speaking, that will help you get more gigs.
Another thing every event coordinator is looking for is a high-resolution headshot.
If you’ve done any speaking you know this is one of the very first things they ask for after they’ve agreed to have you come speak at their event. They want your bio and they want a high-resolution headshot.
So save everyone some hassle and put that headshot right there on your speaking page.
Now, to make making speaking pages easier, my team at Author Media developed a free plugin you can get from WordPress.org, called MySpeakingPage.
It’s very easy and it takes you through step by step, creating a professional-looking speaking page.
It makes it very easy and these are effective proven speaking pages that will help you get more gigs.
Now, pro tip: if you already speak a lot of and you have some events coming up in the future, you can use an event calendar to get even more gigs.
Event coordinators want to book people that other event coordinators are booking.
This is a powerful psychological principle and you can take advantage of it with a plugin called MySpeakingEvents.
This one is paid: it’s for the professionals, and not everyone is ready for this. But if you’re already doing a lot of speaking, this can help you take your career to a whole new level.
To your success,
Thomas Umstattd Jr.
CEO, Author Media
Co-Host, Novel Marketing Podcast