There are ways to promote your book, and a way to do it is to get yourself in front of an audience. In this episode, Leisa Reid, the author of Get Speaking Gigs Now: Learn the Secrets to Booking 500+ Speaking Gigs, unmasks the art of booking speaking gigs to get you in front of an audience and promoting your book. Positioning yourself to be ready and using other resources makes room for opportunities to get speaking gigs. Leisa shares Five Tips to get more speaking gigs. Get speaking gigs with Leisa Reid today, and you will get the chance to promote your book. So, tune in to this episode now!
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Unmasking The Art Of Booking Speaking Gigs
I’m pretty excited about our guest. It’s a new year, and we have a new theme on the show and at Breakthrough Author Magazine. Our theme is Ditch the Middleman, Strategies to Bypass, and the Book Distributor Fees. You’re going to hear a lot about ways to promote your book with your own copies of your book.
I’m excited about that because, between the cost of paper and the distributor fees, authors are making next to nothing. I’m very excited to share that with you. If you have not gotten your subscription to Breakthrough Author Magazine, please go over to www.BreakthroughAuthorMagazine.com and get your free subscription. It’s going to be a challenging year, so I encourage you. We’ve got new people coming on board, health experts and business coaching experts, things that we haven’t had in the past that will be helpful for authors to learn to run their books as a business.
Our guest is Leisa Reid, the Founder of Get Speaking Gigs Now. Leisa trains professionals who want to use their speaking skills to grow their businesses. Clients who work closely with her get their talk-ready-to-rock program and build their speaking skills and confidence through the speakers training academy. As a speaker herself, Leisa has booked and delivered over 600 speaking engagements, and she teaches her clients all the strategies she uses to get booked, stay booked, and monetize their talks.
Leisa is going to share the number one secret she uses to get speaking gigs. I’m pretty excited about that because that’s the hardest part. Having your signature talk is something that you can put together when you know how, but it’s getting your foot in the door to giving that talk that matters, so stay tuned for Leisa.
Leisa, welcome to the show. I’m glad to have you.
I’m so excited.
I was telling everybody in the intro that you were the first episode of the year, and this year’s theme is Ditch the Middleman, Strategies to Bypass, and the Book Distributor Fees. I’m excited to have you because, being out there talking, whether it’s a podcast or media, is the best way to sell books on your own and dump that 55% to the distributors. The hardest part, though, is what we’re going to talk about, getting booked. Why do people find getting booked so scary?
It’s because you’re putting yourself out there. Also, for a lot of heart-centered, purpose-driven folks, sales haven’t necessarily been at the forefront of their skillset. Maybe they have skills in other areas. It comes to not only selling but you’re selling yourself. You’re selling your message. It can flush up a bunch of triggers and insecurities that even the most confident, intelligent person has. They’re like, “I’ll write something else, I’ll work on this other thing, or I’ll scrub the bathroom floor, then I’ll get to those calls.”
“You can eat off my bathroom floor. Thank you.”
It happens to the best of us, and I like to make it not so intimidating and not so cumbersome. It can be cumbersome. I’ve been through that where it’s like cold calling, scratching, scrambling, and looking under every nook and cranny. I don’t find that in-flow way to be, and it takes us out of flow. There are probably some other things that keep us from that, too, but those are the main issues that come up.
Probably. It’s scary, but a good reason why you need to build a relationship is to have that warm intro because somebody thinks you’d be good for an event. It’s a much better way to go. When we’re getting booked, we have to start with the speaker sheet. You said something valuable there about giving the materials and having a third party look at them. When we write our own material, at least, I find this for me: I downplay a lot. I don’t see the value that maybe a third party would see. How do you feel about that as far as that’s being put together? Having somebody else look it over and critique it hard.
It’s funny that you put it in that framework. I never thought about it in that way, but it would make sense, given what your expertise is. It sounds so easy to put your speaker sheet together. I come in before that. Some of my clients come to me, and they already have it done. For context, in case people are like, “What’s a speaker sheet?” It’s one page highlighting your speaker stuff. It’s not all your context or all the stuff that you do. It’s not every single thing under the moon like your website would say. It’s just you as a speaker.
There are some components in there, like your bio. Your title could even stop someone. Your photos, your talks that you’re going to do, or your testimonials. It’s small pieces, but when you start that project, you’re like, “I don’t have any testimonials. I need to get my photos redone. We’ll use my old bio. I don’t even know what I’m going to talk about.”
All of a sudden, this simple task is not so simple. That’s where I come in. I’ll even back up to the first question. This is what I wish I had answered when you first asked me that question. I typically say, “You want to be ready to say yes.” That’s it. If that means having your speaker sheet done and getting those headshots done, do that. If that means getting someone to review your bio because you left out a bunch of important things that you thought were no big deal, then we have to do that or get your talk done.
There are all these things that can keep us from saying yes. Someone could get this warm intro and hand it on a silver platter, “Please come and speak.” If that person’s not ready, they will not respond to that email. They’ll feel like, “I’ll get to that soon,” and it starts to get cold then they get embarrassed, “Maybe they forgot that they ask me.” They deleted it eventually and hoped that no one remembered. That’s why people have a hard time getting back. It’s scary.
I agree. We do a speaker one sheet and a book one sheet because we want more information like, “This person has a book. Look and see where to buy it and what it’s about.” You can’t get all that on the speaker sheet a lot of times. You can put a picture of your book, but there’s not enough room.
It’s two different pieces.
It’s always interesting to me when we put those together, and we have to say like, “Leisa, what are your 3 to 5 signature talks?” That’s where people get stuck too because they’ll say, “I talk on this one topic,” but you have to have catchy titles and descriptions in order for the person who’s hiring speakers to say, “I love that, and it’s catchy.” How do you start with all of that?
I often say I don’t recommend people start with three talks. I recommend they start with one if they’re starting. This is where it gets different. The longer you do stuff, the more talks. To get started, 100% do the one. Don’t worry about the others yet. You can beef up your speaker sheet in a way that you highlight that one talk just to get started. Honestly, I don’t even know if anyone’s even looking at the speaker sheet.To get started, do the one, and don't worry about the others yet. You can beef up your speaker sheet by highlighting that one talk just to get started. Click To Tweet
It’s more about your confidence and being ready to go. That energetically is so attractive. Say you’re at an event or conference or a virtual meeting with someone who’s influential, and you know that you’re like, “I’ve got this talk that I am so excited about that I know is going to help other people. It’s awesome.” You’re going to be the best salesperson at that moment over anything else.
The speaker sheets are important because they also help boost that confidence. Sometimes, people are worried, like, “I hope they don’t ask me for my website. I hope they don’t look at my business card. I hope they don’t ask me for a speaker sheet because I don’t have it ready.” Have it ready, but you also need to work with what you have. If you don’t have five signature talks, that’s fine. Put three. If you don’t have 3, put 1. You can always change it later. It’s okay. Work with what you have. That’s what I say.
You brought up an important point, too, about organically being at an event. I don’t send out my speaker sheet anymore. I used to, but just being in touch with someone and saying, “I like the way she presents herself,” and it is something complimentary to my audience. It could be all you need. With that confidence, nurturing, and building that relationship, you’ll find you’re probably asked more to come in and speak than you would be to send out those sheets cold.
That’s where people get a little mixed up, thinking, “This is the answer to my problem, or this is the unicorn that’s going to solve all, or the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.” If you’re ready to say yes and you are standing in that power like, “I’m super excited about my talk. I practice it. I’ve got my slides. If they want me to do slides. I got slides. If they don’t want to do slides, I can still do it.”
You have to prepare yourself to have that opportunity. That doesn’t mean that you wouldn’t be nervous or a little scared, but that’s fine. That will subside as you do it more. You’re going to probably make some mistakes. That’s okay. I don’t know an entrepreneur who hasn’t made a mistake yet. Go for it, especially when you think of the people that you can serve. When we focus on that, it’s like, “You’re not that big of a deal.” Get out of the way so you can help those other people. You’re a big deal, but you’re not that big of a deal.
This is such a great point. Leisa, you’re like me. You’ve been around the block in this business a ton of times. How many times have you seen people out there, those people who call themselves influencers who are more than willing to tell you what a big deal they are? You buy something from them, and you find out they weren’t a big deal.
That’s a big part of it too. Don’t discount. If you’re looking for a speaker, don’t discount that person who is a smaller business and probably works harder than those big influencers to serve people in a more complete way. Don’t necessarily say, “I need a big name.” It might be that you’re making a big name by having someone who is smaller and more intentional in there.
It’s so important to position yourself personally to be ready and use other resources like your company, or if they’re looking to be speakers, to reach out to me. It’s like when you’re single, and you want to be in a relationship, but you only have a twin bed and no room in the closet. You need to make room for the opportunities. If you’re going to write a book, you probably should start writing some ideas down. That’s a great place to start. You should probably start looking like, “Let me block some time in my calendar.” The same with speaking. It’s like, “How do I position myself so that I’m ready and open for these opportunities?”
If you saw my closet, you’d know I’m single. There’s no room for men. They might get this much.
My husband was just complaining about that. We’ve been together for several years, and he’s like, “I don’t have any room in the closet.” I said well, “You have the same amount of room that you’ve had the entire time we’ve been together, so I’m not sure what the problem is. Maybe you need to go and clean some stuff out.”
Instead of maybe you need to, and give more space?
I always. In fact, I gave him more room. I thought it was very generous of me, but he’s got at least 10% of the closet. That’s generous.
That is so funny. When I was married, we built a master closet because he had some little room. It was 100 square feet. It was a big closet, and when I pulled all of my stuff out of all the closets in the house, it wasn’t big enough.
I’m pretty good at cleaning out, but he’s been buying more things.
I’ve managed to get myself booked. What are my next steps that are super important in this process?
One of the things that I often say is to leverage the crap out of every presentation because, a lot of times, there are different things available to you that you may not realize, not have asked for, or not be prepared for. You don’t want to be cramming the night before, like trying to order something on Amazon, hoping it comes in.
Each time you present, I like to go through my clients almost like, “Do they have this? Are you allowed to do that? Have you asked about that?” Is it in-person, or is it virtual? Two different strategies. If it’s in-person, we want to think, “Are you traveling? What are you allowed to bring?” You don’t want to get all the way there and go, “I should have brought stuff for a table. I should have brought my books. I should have brought this.” You can’t get it. You’re already there. It’s too late. A lot of it’s preparing in advance.
If it’s virtual, the simplest mistake that I see happens. Is this free? I don’t know why people don’t think of it. They don’t think of it. You’ve got to have your link ready to go. Whatever that call that question is, you need to have the link at your fingertips. This goes for your book, too. One of the things I’ll say I want people to be able to pass the grocery store test.
Imagine you’re standing in line. You’re at the grocery store if you’re someone who doesn’t have your groceries delivered to you. That’s very popular now. You get to chat with the person, and they say, “You’re an author or a speaker. What do you speak about? What’s your book called?” I want to be able to say the title of your talk or your book. Write then and there. You don’t want to have to be like, “I don’t know. Hold on a second.” You got to say it. I like to be able to pass the grocery store test.
That’s a good point. We always tell our authors we have them go by the title of their book dot-com and then forward it to where the books are. If you’re virtual, this is where you can bypass those distributors, list build, and do all that. It’s having a page on your website where people can buy the book from you because now you’re getting their email address and contact information. You’re mailing it out. You can put a nice little note in.
GetSpeakingGigsNow.com is Leisa’s website, but she could do a spin-off like GetSpeakingGigs.com/TheBook or get GetSpeakingGigsTheBook.com. Something like that where you could send people right away, but that right there is the great strategy for bypassing those distributor fees. Mail it out yourself and build a relationship from it. Make sure that you have a strong call to action. Do you ever do that? Sometimes, people make a one-time-only offer with it, too. Get this downloadable.
My book is an Audible form or audiobook form so they can get a free chapter for that. I do everything through my website. I still use the Amazon link for my book because I don’t want to do all the shipping.
I’m hearing what you’re saying, and I’m like, “Maybe I should take a look at that.” I’m learning.
Amazon is still 55%, but if you want to boost that revenue, that’s a way to establish a relationship, too. As we get more into the recession that we’re going into, you’re going to have a lot of competition, and you’re going to have to take it from, “I’m just going the face out there,” to, “Leisa, how are you doing? Is there something I can help you with?” it’s building those conversations a little bit more. I’m on stage. Most events are online now. What are the things that people have to do in those situations? What I’m thinking off the top of my head is, “You’re not just the speaker. You have to be a promoter as well.”
It depends on the situation. When I’m speaking for an event or, say, on a show, I want to be linked arms without the person, the host, or the organization so that I can help promote the event. For example, I signed myself up for Google Alert, so if my name gets mentioned, I’ll get an alert that it showed up on Google. I was like, “Google Alert is sending me something. I’m mentioned somewhere.” I’m speaking for ABWA, which is the American Business Women’s Association. It’s in another state.
They had submitted something for their local newspaper press, and it was on there. I’m like, “Cool.” I took that and went ahead and promoted that link on LinkedIn and Facebook so that I could help promote that event. It’s little steps like that, setting yourself up. Maybe set up a Google Alert for yourself or ask in advance, “Is this a private event? Would you like me to promote it on my socials? Is there anything that would be helpful to do?”
That also makes you attractive for maybe next time when they’re looking at another event. Oftentimes, I will refer other colleagues of mine to that host. How can I help them? They’re going to have an event anyway, they might as well go with someone they’re getting referred to personally versus grabbing out of a random Google search. There are ways that you can create partnerships with the people that are hosting the events.
Here’s the key to it, too. If you commit to it, do it. How many times have you been a part of an event where you can see half the people aren’t promoting the event at all? It’s a little disconcerting. If you’re going to be a good partner in this event promotion, you need a good email list. You’ve got to distribute it to your email list. You need a good social media presence. Would you say those two things are the key to you getting more bookings, too?
It’s part of the whole process. It’s like putting dinner on the table. It all needs to get done, and it isn’t done exactly at the same time, but it’s coordinated to get out on the table at the same time. It’s a little tough to say. It’s important to consider those components. I had a client. She does not like getting emails. She does not like sending emails.
She asked me. She said, “If you tell me that I need to have an email list, I’ll do it.” I said, “You need to have an email list, but that doesn’t mean you need to be an annoying emailer. It doesn’t mean you have to email all the time.” Not collecting that information is leaving all those dollars on the table. You’re walking away from all that money. It’s like, “While you can collect it, collect it. What you do with it is another strategy, and we can address that another day.”
You don’t want to leave them there. When you bring social media to it, this is the analogy I gave her, “Emails is owning. Social media is renting. You need both.” It’s like diversifying your portfolio. Who knew we were financing like that? You want to have a social media presence. You also want to, if you can, garner those emails so that you start to own that rentable property.Email is owning, while social media is renting. Click To Tweet
Here’s why she’s saying that. If you look around in this world, there are a lot of people that are going to cancel. You could lose your entire audience that you’ve spent years building and even an algorithm change. I remember one of my partners years ago. When Zuckerberg decided that Communities were the way to go, thousands of people on that business page, all of a sudden, lost their page access. The business page was there, but the contacts were blank. She was starting from scratch because she had never transitioned to email, and they’re not going to take your email list away. Those contexts are yours.
That’s where it’s the owning versus renting. If you’re renting, the landlord can say, “We’re selling the property, or we decided to kick you out because our sister’s moving in.” You may not get any explanation or may not be able to recover from it. Not all social media platforms make it easy for you to get an email. You got to work with different strategies, but it’s like anything. You have to think, “How can I leverage this opportunity?”
I don’t mean it in a way that you have to work harder and do more. If you have a moment to step back and think, “What are my top platforms, or what is my top platform?” You go, “Am I leveraging that one the most? Is there a couple of tweaks I can create an automation to make that?” I’m not a social media expert, but learning a lot being an entrepreneur and business owner, there are a lot of things that you can do.
If you’re going to use social media to get your gigs, you need to make sure you’re on the right social media. If you’re someone like Leisa, you’re probably not trying to get business on Facebook. Your core audience is on LinkedIn.
For me, it’s both. Facebook and LinkedIn are my top ones because I’ve been on Facebook for so long, and I’ve used it for groups. I like the groups on Facebook more than I like the groups on LinkedIn. I like LinkedIn.
The groups are obnoxious.
The groups are clunky and weird. It’s like, “What is the deal guys? Can we figure this out?” Facebook, to me, has an easier group function, and I love that. I’ve had those communities for so long. It’s like, “That works. Great.” I started beeping up LinkedIn a few years back because I was getting leads from LinkedIn without lifting a finger, and I’m like, “What if I lifted a finger? That would probably be helpful.” I do it that way. It depends on your age as well as your comfort. They’re all good. It just depends on what you’re trying to accomplish and what you enjoy doing.
There needs to be an evaluation there. We had a client several years ago. She wanted to teach solopreneurs how to get out of their businesses. It was very interesting because everything was on Facebook. It was like, “If you’re a solopreneur trying to grow a company, you’re more likely to get something over on LinkedIn.” The campaign failed because Facebook was not where her people were. You do have to look at that pretty deeply. Leisa, if we wanted to find out more about what you do and work with you, where do we find you?
You can go to GetSpeakingGigsNow.com. You can get five tips to get more speaking gigs. It’s also available on that site. There are lots of goodies in there. You can poke around and find the book and the audiobook however you want. If you can’t get a hold of me, you’re not trying very hard because it’s available.
She is everywhere. What is the name of that? Is that an eBook, the five top tips? Can you can you tell us a little bit about that?
The 5 Top Tips to Get More Speaking Gigs is a PDF that you’ll get, then we’ll give you some bonus tips like expanding each of those tips a little bit more, too. Lots of opportunities there. I have a community, the International Speaker Network. That’s for anyone of any speaking ilk. As long as you’re a relationship-based person whose heart is centered nice to people, and you’re thinking about being a speaker, or you already are a speaker, it’s a great community for people to join. That’s at ISpeakerNetwork.com.
Is that a group that’s over on Facebook? How does that work?
It’s a group on Facebook, but we have a membership. You just check it out on ISpeakerNetwork.com. There’s a bunch of bonuses when people join. We have monthly calls on Zoom. It’s an opportunity for people to dive into making it easy to get booked. It’s so easy because what you do is make friends with other speakers. You have that virtual handshake, your Zoom handshake, and get to know other people. All of a sudden, magically, you get referred places without having a cold call, Google search, and fill out applications that take forever and lead nowhere. I’ve heard all the horror stories. I’ve lived them.
Go over and check that out, especially if you’re struggling. It’s the beginning of 2024, so step up and commit that this is going to be the year that you go out and build those relationships to get yourself booked. I would say speaking is probably the easiest way to sell books and meet people who could become potential clients, too. Leisa, thank you so much for being here.
- Get Speaking Gigs Now
- American Business Women’s Association
- International Speaker Network
- 5 Top Tips to Get More Speaking Gigs
About Leisa Reid
Leisa Reid: Do you want to be a speaker, but aren’t sure what to talk about, where to go to find gigs, or how to offer your services from stage? As the Founder of Get Speaking Gigs Now, Leisa trains professionals who want to use public speaking to grow their business. Clients who work closely with her build their speaking skills and confidence through the Speaker’s Training Academy. They get their “Talks Ready to Rock,” and learn how to STAY booked as speakers through easy to implement strategies. As a speaker herself, Leisa has successfully booked and delivered over 600 speaking engagements. She is the CEO of the International Speaker Network, a community of heart centered speakers who value collaboration, relationships, results and fun. In her book, Get Speaking Gigs Now, she shares her 7 Step System to Getting Booked, Staying Booked & Attracting Your Ideal Clients Through Speaking.
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