Blogger: Rachelle Gardner
If you’re a speaker or trying to become one, then your most immediate challenge will be, “How do I get speaking engagements?” In your quest to get bookings, you’ll probably want to know whether you need to consider joining a speakers’ bureau. Here are a few things to know before you get started:
1. It can be helpful to be part of a speakers’ bureau since it’s one way to get potential speaking engagements, but its usefulness will depend on who you are, how “in demand” you are as a speaker, and who your speakers’ bureau is.
2. Speakers bureaus are NOT a magic ticket to lots of speaking engagements. Most of them are not proactive, i.e. there is nobody out there “pitching you” as a speaker. Most are basically a listing service.
3. If you’re gaining a reputation as a great speaker, AND if you have an effective, dynamic website with plenty of information about your speaking topics, a speakers bureau can be valuable for getting more traffic and increasing your bookings.
4. Speakers bureaus used to be more necessary and effective before the days of the Internet. Nowadays it’s more common for speakers to do most of their bookings on their own through their websites.
5. Many speakers feel the best thing a bureau does for them is manage the billing and the event contract, which can be valuable and save a lot of headache.
6. A speakers bureau is probably worthless if you’re not yet an accomplished speaker, or if you don’t have a compelling website.
7. You could be rejected as a potential client by a bureau. Most won’t take you on if you’re not already commanding $3,000 to $5,000 per booking.
8. It’s usually not a good idea to sign an exclusive agreement with a bureau, which would mean they’re the only ones allowed to book you. Maintain the freedom to book your own engagements independently, and to sign with more than one speakers’ bureau.
9. Whether or not you’re with a bureau, always have a “speakers packet” ready to send upon request. Have an electronic version available that you can email, and a print version to mail if they want a hard copy. Some speakers have their complete “speakers packet” available on their website.
10. Getting to know other speakers and networking with them, both in person at conferences and online, is much more effective than waiting for a speakers bureau to book engagements for you.
If you want to know more, I recommend you ask as many friends as possible: What speakers bureaus are you with? Are you happy with them?
Are you a speaker, or planning to be? How are you getting bookings? Any experience with bureaus you’d like to share?
Agent @RachelleGardner shares ten tips about speakers bureaus. Click to Tweet.
If you’re an author/speaker, read this before signing with a speakers bureau. Click to Tweet.
A speakers bureau is worthless unless you’re an accomplished speaker and have a compelling website. Click to Tweet.