Stage

The Anatomy Of A Great Speaker Page

A speaker page is essential for anyone looking to land stages and grow their business with speaking. While most of your stages will come from your outreach, it’s important that you have a page ready where meeting planners can find, learn about and contact you with speaking opportunities.

But what exactly do you need on your speaker page to make yourself irresistible to meeting planners?

Before You Start Building Your Speaker Page

Before you build out your speaker page, you need to understand your positioning in the market. That is, you need to know what meeting planners and your customers desire, and be able to clearly communicate how you can deliver that.

Your story goes beyond the stage–it plays a crucial role in your positioning. The story of you, who you are, what you do, and why you do it is essential for mastering how you position yourself and how you present yourself to meeting planners and your customers. Check out 5 Steps To Great Brand Storytelling With Chris Smith to learn more about building an amazing brand story.

Eye Catching Headline

Just like landing pages selling a product, you need to have an eye-catching and enticing headline right at the beginning.

You can use the same tactics the best marketers use to sell their products to sell yourself as a speaker.

Promo Video

Your promo video will probably be the first thing the meeting planner engages with after they see your headline. This video should be high-energy and show off the best aspects of your personality and the value you bring to your audiences.

Here’s an example of a promo video:

A promo video should have 4 main components:

  • Professional Quality – This is not an area where you need to go cheap or use your iPhone. A general ballpark for what you should expect to spend on something like this is $1,000-$5,000. They usually take a few hours to shoot, and the finished product should be about 2-5 minutes long.
  • Problem Solving – This is where your positioning is essential. You need to build credibility by demonstrating that you understand the meeting planner and their problems (finding great speakers). You also need to show you know the audience of the meeting planner, how to solve the problems they’re facing, and the world they live in.
  • Engaging – Your video needs to be exciting, fast-moving and interesting. By paying for professional quality editing, you can get good editing and music in the video to help it stay interesting. The key to keeping it engaging is always to be laser-focused on the needs and desires of the meeting planner.
  • Leave them wanting more – You want to give enough that you show you’re an expert, but you don’t want to reveal all your secrets and content in the video. Think of your video as a movie trailer. It gives you enough to want to see the movie, but not enough to give away the whole story.

Your promo video is a great place to test out your signature sentence. A signature sentence is your entire story and signature talk distilled into one crisp sentence. It makes for a perfect opener that explains what you do and catches the attention of the meeting planner from the beginning.

Here’s the basic formula for a signature sentence:

I [action] [who] to experience [what] so they can get [result].

Here are a few examples of signature sentences put together by attendees of Reach Academy Live.

About You

You want to include 2-3 paragraphs of text about yourself. Most people are tempted to just write out their own story and history here, but remember, the “about me” section is never really about you–it’s about the meeting planner.

In other words, don’t just spout out your whole life’s story here–make sure that every sentence in your about me section speaks to these three things:

  • The event planner’s problems
  • Show you understand their audience
  • Why you’re different

Let’s break down a sample from LaVonna Roth’s speaking page and see how she tackles all three of these points in just two sentences:

“Highly energetic and dynamic, LaVonna Roth is an internationally recognized keynote speaker, consultant and author, bridging how the brain learns (and thinks), with people’s incredible intrinsic skills and talents (how they S.H.I.N.E.) is her deep passion. Her goal is to help individuals become confident in who they are, and for them to use that aptitude in making a difference within their communities.”

“Highly energetic and dynamic, LaVonna Roth is an internationally recognized keynote speaker, consultant and author,” – A meeting planner’s biggest fear is getting a dud speaker, and this line gives social proof that she’s experienced and entertaining.

“Bridging how the brain learns (and thinks), with people’s incredible intrinsic skills and talents” – This touches on why she is different by combining learning and talent in a unique way.

“Her goal is to help individuals become confident in who they are, and for them to use that aptitude in making a difference within their communities.” – This speaks to the desires of the audience. She’s showing here that she knows what they want and can help them get it.

Popular Speaking Topics

If you only have one signature talk developed, try to write descriptions for several versions of your talk that emphasize different aspects of it. Even if it’s largely the same talk, you give the meeting planner a sense of choice in the matter, and their choice can help guide you on what to focus on for their audience and event.

Videos Of Recent Talks

Though you should have footage of you speaking in your promo video, it will probably just be short clips of you talking. Many meeting planners want to see uncut footage of you speaking, not just a “sizzle reel.” This gives them a better idea of what you’re really like on stage, and that you didn’t just edit clips together to make yourself look good.

You don’t need to have a video of a full talk up, especially if it’s a 30 or 60-minute talk. Just pick out a solid 5-minute clip to post from one of the strongest sections of your talk. Try to get clips of yourself being energetic, engaging the audience, or sharing some of your best ideas.

Downloadable Speaker Packet

A good speaker packet will say many of the same things your page will say but in a printable format. Many people still prefer to have something they can hold in their hands, share at meetings, and compare side-by-side with other sheets. By having this packet available for download, you signal you understand the meeting planner and how they work.

Here’s a great example of a speaker sheet from Chris Smith.

This can be the same speaker sheet you use as part of your Speaker Box. I recommend having a “printer-friendly” version of your packet available, too.

Social Proof

Social proof is crucial on your speaker page because it helps put the meeting planner at ease. They don’t want to risk giving away a keynote slot to someone who is inexperienced, or who may bomb on their stage. Social proof shows that you’re experienced and backs up the statements that you make in your promo video.

There are many different ways to approach social proof on your speaking page. If you’re just starting out speaking, you may not have many of these things yet. So make sure you start collecting this information to build out your social proof as soon as possible.

Logos from events

If you’ve been speaking for a while and have landed some big-name stages, using the logos of the events where you’ve spoken is a powerful way to show your experience.

Testimonials from hosts

The next level of this is to get testimonials from hosts of the events. This is great because it can not only point out how great of a speaker you are, but the hosts can also talk about how easy you were to work with behind the scenes, which is also a big concern of meeting planners.

Ratings

Most events hand out surveys at the end of the event where they rate speakers, what they liked, what they didn’t, and what they want more of. Using this can be a powerful form of social proof because many meeting planners are doing everything they can to keep their event highly rated.

Most meeting planners are happy to share any rating data they collect on you. Sometimes there’s even comments and feedback that you could use.

Speaker Request Form

If the rest of your speaker page does its job right, then the meeting planner you’re speaking to is going to want to reach out to you to talk about putting you on their stage. Make it easy for them by putting a speaker request form at the bottom of your page that collects the essential information about the event.

Here’s what your speaker request form should include:

  • Name
  • Email
  • Event website
  • Date and location
  • Preferred topics
  • Describe the event
  • Anything else I should know?

Follow Up Email Sequence

Once someone fills out your speaker request form, you should have an automated email series ready to start messaging them right away. Though you can’t depend entirely on automation to get you stages, you can have a sequence set up to make it easier for you.

You can have email set up to provide additional information about yourself, request more information from the meeting planner to further qualify them, or send them a link to book a call with you or your team.

Email automation is one of our favorite outreach strategies and a key element of The Unstoppable Stage Campaign.

Personalizing Your Speaker Page

Once you have your speaker page developed, it’s easy to make copies of it and personalize them for your dream stages. For the high-priority events on your “dream stages list,” you may want to go the extra mile and tailor your speaker page to those events.

Meeting planners are bombarded with cheap pitches from speakers all day. Most of the time it’s clear they didn’t put more than 5 minutes into copy/pasting an email template and sending them the same thing they just sent 100 other planners.

By creating a personalized speaker page, you can create a very personal feel for the meeting planner without having to reinvent the wheel every time you create a page. This can make you stand out from the many other speakers trying to get on that stage.

  • Use the name and language of the event – Talk about the mission of the event on your page and align your topics and values.
  • Use the name of the meeting planner – If you’ve done your research on the event, you should know the meeting planner in charge of the event.
  • Mention testimonials from similar events – You can focus your testimonials to address the most relevant information to that specific meeting planner and event.
  • Tailor your keynotes to the audience – You can modify the title and descriptions of the talk to be extra focused and relevant for the specific event and their audience.

Conclusion

Treat your speaker page as a landing page that sells yourself and your story as the product. Always keep the focus of the speaker page on the meeting planner and their audience. With time, this may become one of the most valuable pages on your website.

Key Takeaways from Reach Academy Live – Day 2

Day 2 at Reach Academy Live was all about stages. This is where Pete Vargas is truly in his element. The focus of all the discussion and topics was how to get on more stages and find the stages that are the most lucrative for you. (If you missed the highlights from Day 1, check them out here)

What meeting planners want

Many people want to get on more stages, but few seem to understand the needs and mindset of the meeting planners that are the gatekeepers for those stages. To be successful on stage, you need to win the stage first, which means you need to know how to work with meeting planners. The good news is, with a few small tweaks to your approach, you could easily double the amount of stages you win.

Here’s what meeting planners want:

  • Solve their audiences problem – They want to know you understand their audience and know how to solve a problem that they are facing.
  • Powerful video – They want to see you in action speaking. It’s usually better to have a good uncut clip of you speaking for 3-5 minutes rather than a sizzle reel.
  • Know the event’s theme and purpose – Do research on the event and what it’s values are before you try to land the stage.
  • Have a unique perspective – They want someone who will bring fresh and interesting ideas to their audience, not just parrot what everyone else is doing.

There are also many common turn offs for meeting planners:

  • Being too salesy – Being too pushy will damage your trust with the planners.
  • Making it about yourself, not the audience – Many pitches to meeting planners have every sentence start with the word “I”. Frame everything you do with “you” or make it about the audience.
  • Bad reviews – Word travels quickly in the speaking world, so be careful not to get bad reviews.
  • Treating their staff poorly – Don’t treat their team poorly or be difficult to work with.
  • Jack of all trades – They don’t want to hear that you have talks on Facebook ads, gardening and leadership and you’re ready to do any of them.

Along with the common do’s and don’t with meeting planners, there’s also a lot of common misconceptions about events and working with meeting planners that many speakers hold.

  • Breakouts are bad – Many speakers have a “keynote or bust” philosophy. This ends up hurting them in the long run because there’s a lot of powerful opportunity with breakouts, and they are usually much easier to land than keynotes.
  • I’m not a celebrity, so I can’t win stages – Many meeting planners are looking for new faces, not just big names.
  • Meeting planners want to know everything about me – Like in normal conversation, we often “vomit” out as much information as possible when speaking with planners. Practice your story and be clear and concise in the information you deliver.
  • I can’t get feedback forms from past events – It’s possible to get your feedback forms from past events if you ask. They can be useful for helping you book more stages.

Most of the insights that were shared were from “The Mind Of A Meeting Planner Summit” that was held a few weeks before the show. Though the summit is closed now, we do have a post up with highlights and quotes from 15 planners. Check it out here – Inside the Mind of a Meeting Planner

The anatomy of a great speaker page

The most common questions at Reach Academy Live revolve around what assets you need to work with meeting planners. A good website or landing page that showcases your speaking topics is the foundation for all of your outreach. Here’s what makes a great speaker page.

  • Free gift – Your website and speaker page should offer a gift that speaks directly to the problem that resonates with the meeting planner and their audience.
  • A promo video – A short 3-5 minute video that shows who you are and footage of you speaking.
  • Social proof – Quotes from past events praising you, list what publications you’ve been featured in, ratings from past events.
  • Popular speaking topics – List one or two of your most popular speaking topics.
  • (Bonus) a good tagline – A short yet clever tagline can make you stand out to a meeting planner and entice them to dig deeper into your speaker page. For an example take a look at Nicolas Kusmich’s masterful tagline. “Because cute, warm-fuzzy, run-of-the-mill anecdotal quotes and stories don’t cut it anymore!

There are many misconceptions about what makes a good promo video. Most believe you need to have footage of you standing in front of thousands of people, but that’s not the case. Take a look at Pete’s video below and notice how he has a few clips of him talking on stage, but much is him speaking to the camera. Notice how the video also has social proof baked into it.

Also, as many mentioned on the Mind Of A Meeting Planner, meeting planners are looking for unedited, uncut footage of you speaking for 3 minutes or so.

Know your stages

To get the most success with your speaking, you need to understand the different types of stages and their inherent advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your audience and your business some of these stages will work better for you than others. Once you understand what your “dream stages” look like, you have more power and flexibility to focus on the stages that will move your business forward and avoid stages that will waste your time.

There’s 5 different types of offline stages:

  • Paid to speak – You get paid an honorarium to speak, but you may not be able to directly sell a product from the stage.
  • Speak to sell – You can sell from the stage, but you’re usually not paid to speak.
  • Free stages – Stages you don’t get paid to speak on.
  • Stages that “cost” – These stages you actually have to pay to get on, but they also provide valuable opportunities.
  • Your own events – You get to choose the rules for your own events.

Along with different kinds of stages, there’s different ways you can speak on those stages.

  • Keynotes
  • Breakouts
  • Seminars
  • Presentations
  • TV and radio media
  • Local Stages
  • Masterminds

If you understand what kind of stages you want to speak on and what kind of speaking you want to do, you’ll have a strategic clarity that will help you find your “dream stages” that enable you to grow your business and get the results you want. You can map this out using a tool called the Scalable Stage Matrix.

Reach academy live - scalable stage matrix

How to win your dream stages

Over 13+ years Pete has developed and perfected The Unstoppable Stage Campaign, this is his process for landing some of the most competitive stages in the world. It’s a highly detailed campaign that uses a mix of cutting-edge technology and automation with a human touch to make you stand out to meeting planners and get you on stages faster.

This campaign takes a long time to develop and perfect, so Pete outlined the three parts of the campaign that could get the audience some quick wins and momentum. These were video email, the speaker box, and the win-win script.

Video email outreach

Video email is uniquely powerful for people looking to get on more stages. A meeting planner can get dozens of pitches in their inbox every day from people who want to get on their stages. If you’re doing the same thing as everyone else, it will be difficult to stand out. Video email is great because it is unique, it catches their attention and provokes their curiosity.

More importantly, a video email is an audition. It’s an opportunity to indirectly show the meeting planner how engaging a speaker you are, how clearly you can share your story, and how well you understand their audience. Though you should have a demo video prepared, a good video email will get the meeting planners imagining you on their stage.

A good video email will introduce yourself, explain how well you understand the meeting planner’s needs, and let them know something special is coming in the mail for them.

For more on how to master video email check out The Ultimate Guide To Video Email.

The Speaker Box

While a meeting planner can get dozens of emails every day from people wanting to get on their stages, it’s rare for them to receive anything other than bills and coupon books in their mailbox.

The speaker box is the secret weapon of Advance Your Reach to make a strong impression on the meeting planners and get your materials in their hands.

A speaker box can include:

  • A speaker sheet – A sheet that highlights you, your speaking topics and provides some social proof.
  • Your work – This could be a book, a USB drive with digital files, videos of you speaking, articles or publications you’ve been featured in.
  • A gift – A small gift that’s useful and interesting will endear you to the planner and show that you’re not making this all about yourself. Remember that if you’re tempted to put your logo on the gift you send, change it to their logo and you’ll make yourself totally unforgettable.
  • References and testimonials – This could be people talking about your speaking, or the work you do when you’re not on stage.

Win-Win Script

The Win-win script is designed for your first call with a meeting planner. This script focuses on adding value to what the meeting planner is doing, like offering to sponsor or promote the event. This helps the meeting planner let down their guard from all the other speakers who just want to “take”.

Another strategy is to offer a gift to the audience. This could be a copy of your book, a course you offer, or access to a tool you’ve developed. Make sure to frame it as something that will help the audience with a problem they have, not as a marketing tactic.

For more details on outreach strategies for landing stages (or just about anything else) check out – Unstoppable Outreach Strategies That Cut Through The Noise.

Bonus tip – use your champions

Pete shared some insights he learned from Marc Gutman. Marc told him he only works with speakers he knows or he has seen before. Though this seems like a tough barrier, it can be easily overcome by finding a mutual connection on Linkedin and getting an introduction.

Chances are you have more than a few people who know you and your quality that could introduce you to people that could get you on your dream stages. The process of getting on stages is much easier and faster when you have a good champion to help make the right introductions. A champion can be a client, a meeting planner that knows you, a coach/mentor, colleague.

Create a list of as many champions as you can think of and reach out to them tell them you’re looking to get on more stages. Ask them if there’s anyone they know or if they have any ideas for how that could happen. Always check your social media for mutual connections between meeting planners and champions to see if you can get an introduction.

The Stage Panel

To dig deeper into the various kinds of stages and how to succeed on them a diverse panel spoke about their own experiences winning stages, or in some cases, creating their own stage.

Pat Flynn, Smart Passive IncomePat described how his podcast has become a massive stage that he can speak to on a weekly basis from the comfort of his home. He pointed out that he wanted to start a podcast in early 2008, but didn’t start until 2010. Now, 7 years later, he only wishes he started sooner. He recommended that new podcasters start with just two tools: the ATR 2100 for a mic and the Logitech C920 for video. For about $100, you can be on your way to a professional podcast and a stage of your own.

David Eaton, AxisDavid Eaton described the power of online summits to spread your message. He mentioned how the Parenting Teens Summit allowed him to reach millions more people online than he did with his in-person events. He even received messages from people in distant countries like Madagascar who got value from the summit who he never could have reached before launch the summit.

Jami King, One Orbit – Jami discussed the power of building a team to help you speak. Jami told the story of her business partner Leeroy Chao, an astronaut, was having trouble getting on stages (who could have better positioning than an astronaut?). Once Jami joined the team and helped with the booking process they more than tripled the amount of stages they were booking and it freed Leeroy up to focus on what he did best.

David Bayer, The Powerful Living ExperienceDavid spoke about the deep psychology of winning stages and how the story you tell yourself can influence your success on stages. He mentioned how often we get hung up on the small tactics and details to try and advance our work but neglect asking the tough questions and examining our inner mindset.

“You have to figure out what it is that keeps you from getting the results you want and focus there.”

Don’t miss out!

These takeaways are just a small piece of the value you can expect from Reach Academy Live, in addition to great talks you can expect to meet amazing people, form lifetime relationships, and grow your business beyond what you thought possible.

Get your tickets to the next Reach Academy Live in November here.

The Mind of the Meeting Planner

Insights from 15 Industry Leaders on Making an Impression, Booking Stages, and Getting Invited Back Next Year

Speakers are always asking us how to make a good impression with a meeting planner. How do you go from a total unknown to a booked speaker? Where should you invest your time when you’re just getting started? What are the secret mistakes that other prospective speakers make?

A few weeks ago, we hosted our first ever Mind of a Meeting Planner summit. We brought together fifteen top meeting planners, to give the inside scoop on what works for them and, more importantly, what doesn’t.

The results were outstanding. Every meeting planner brought unique insights on making the perfect first impression, standing out from the crowd, and getting invited back for next year’s event. They shared their biggest turn-offs and tore through some of the industry’s biggest misconceptions. Are you sending out a sizzle reel? Do you think you’re not famous enough for the top events? You’ll want to read this.

Dush Ramachandran

Dush Ramachandran has built Underground Online Seminar into an event that Forbes describes as a “must-attend conference for entrepreneurs.” Their focus is on presenting insightful, useful content to the marketers in attendance. And while they often have big-name speakers onstage, like Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, they also regularly book small-business owners and less-known speakers.

“A great speaker is someone with a unique point of view,” Dush says. They want speakers with a unique take, who have their own insights into the industry. If it’s a controversial take, that can be even better. “We’re looking for someone that can come onstage and command and hold the attention of the audience,” he explains. In some cases, that means a well-known, big-name speaker. In other cases, he’s seen newcomers have a bigger impact on the conference attendees than headliners – by sharing their unique, compelling point of view.

Photo of meeting planner Dush Ramachandran with quote, "A great speaker is someone with a unique point of view."

[bctt tweet=“A great speaker is someone with a unique point of view.” – Dush Ramachandran” username=”advancereach”]

Pat Quinn

Pat Quinn speaks and books speakers for with Ideas Unlimited Seminars, a seminar series dedicated to helping teachers improve their classroom management skills. Their events have trained thousands of teachers and routinely sell out, as teachers, administrators, and counselors gather to learn concrete techniques from leading experts.

What his biggest turn-off? “When the first five sentences in the email ask to start with ‘I’,” Pat responds. He’s interested in a speaker that’s here to help his audience, not to sell themselves. When the ask explains that they know a specific problem the audience has, and how to solve it, that catches Pat’s attention.

We emphasize this point in Advance Your Reach seminars and coachings, too. A speaker shouldn’t approach an opportunity thinking it’s about them. It’s not even really about the meeting planner; it’s about solving a problem for the audience. The ask is all about you and your, You, the meeting planner, are having a great event where your audience will come to learn the solution to a problem. It doesn’t matter what stage you’re trying to get, that’s very important.

Pat meets speakers through other conferences, especially in breakout sessions. Then, in narrowing down his potential speakers, he says, “concrete deliverables is the key.” The most important asset to send is a good video“not a sizzle reel that’s been cut up,” but the real video of you speaking to an audience.

Image of meeting planner Pat Quinn with quote, "The most important asset to send is a good video - not a sizzle reel that's been cut up, but real, uncut video of you speaking to an audience."

[bctt tweet=“The most important asset to send is an uncut video of you speaking to an audience.” – Pat Quinn” username=”advancereach”]

Connor Beaton

Through ManTalks and their annual Real Talk Summit, Connor Beaton brings in speakers and guests year-round as bloggers, podcast guests, and event speakers. His guests are a mix of celebrity speakers and less well-known experts.

We asked him how regular peoplepeople who aren’t celebrities, who don’t have a New York Times best-selling bookconnect with him and get hired. “If you’re not a celebrity, for me that’s actually an advantage,” Conner says, “because then you can approach me and say, ‘Here’s the problem that I see your community facing, here’s my story and how it can engage your audience.’”

He emphasizes storytelling as the unique x-factor that unknown speakers bring to the table, a point that we dug into in our recent blog post on brand storytelling. Audiences already know the stories of his celebrity guests, so telling your personal, authentic story sets you apart. “I’m so interested when I don’t know who you are because I’m always looking for a fresh face and a fresh voice,” Conner says. That freshness comes from bringing your personal story and perspective into your speaking.

Photo of meeting planner Conner Beaton with quote, "I'm so interested when you're not a celebrity, because I'm always looking for a fresh face and a fresh voice..."

 

[bctt tweet=“I’m so interested when you’re not a celebrity because I’m always looking for a fresh face” – Conner Beaton” username=”advancereach”]

Heather Cazad

Heather Cazad books speakers for the National Forum on Character Education, an annual conference hosted by Character.org. This year, they had room for 50 speakers, and received closer to 200 submissions. She offers some great practical advice on getting the attention of a meeting planner when you’re just another face in a big crowd.

First, she says, make sure your proposal actually matches that year’s conference theme. The irrelevant proposals are first to go. Then, she looks at reviews the speakers received if they’ve spoken at her conference before. For new speakers, she says, “I would take recommendations from other meeting planners I trust.”

In fact, an Advance Your Reach client booked this very stage by putting their great reviews to work for them. After 3 years of trying without success, the client won the booking by sending an actual review from a previous conference, including a perfect score and glowing remarks. The meeting planner called the reviewer to verify, and that built up the credibility of this unknown speaker enough to land her that stage.

Heather has one final, excellent tip on making yourself memorable: focus on the long game. “I love the people who didn’t get selected, but they come to the event anyway, learn about the event and participate, then follow up right after.” Focusing on the organization and the conference content proves that you’re actually interested in the topics, not just self-promotion. And next year, your application will be sure to stand out.

Photo of meeting planner Heather Cazad with quote, "Even if you don't get selected, go to the event anyway - learn about the audience, participate, then follow up right after."

[bctt tweet=“Even if you don’t get selected, go to the event anyway.” – Heather Cazad” username=”advancereach”]

Julie May

Julie May books speakers for the Joyful Living Women’s Conference, an event that focuses on bringing women together to increase personal joy, become empowered and inspire others.

The number one thing she looks for when hiring speakers is a 3-5 minute video of them speaking. “If they catch me from the beginning, and I want to do something different with my life because I watched it,” she says, “they’re a shoo-in!” This may seem like a lot to ask of a video clip, but she says it’s accomplished by keeping the video short and to-the-point. “If they can do that in five minutes, then what can they do in an hour on my stage?”

The videos you send to meeting planners are so important, we’ve even published our ultimate guide to video email. Tools like BombBomb make it easy to record and send intro videos, and to track their impact using real-time metrics. When booking stages, video is your audition. Make it count.

Photo of meeting planner Julie May with quote, "A speaker is 'a shoo-in' if they catch me from the beginning of their demo video and I want to do something different with my life because I watched it."

[bctt tweet=“You win if watch your demo, and I want to do something different with my life.” – Julie May” username=”advancereach”]

David Bayer

For his annual event The Powerful Living Experience Live, David Bayer books speakers who will help his attendees “reignite the passion and spirit that lies dormant within each and every one of us.” He’s interested in unique, authentic speakers who fit the theme of the event and really have something to offer.

One example is Chris Smith, who we recently featured in our post on brand storytelling. Smith tells his own unique story, with a genuine passion for what he’s doing and what he’s learned. Once again, storytelling and authenticity are key—and it has to naturally fit with the event goals. “We recruit speakers who are congruent with our content,” Bayer says. “It feels good to be congruent, and it feels bad if you need to convince someone” that you’re a fit for the event.

“People need to hear your story, from you,” Bayer says. You don’t have to be a celebrity to share a meaningful story. Instead, he wants the unique perspective that only you can share. A celebrity speaker may have a similar underlying message about, say, the importance of dedication. But only you can surprise your audience with the story of your unique journey and how you see the world.

Photo of meeting planner David Bayer with quote, "Become obsessed with what you're doing and stick with it... people need to hear your message from you."

[bctt tweet=“Become obsessed with what you’re doing… people need to hear your message from you.” – David Bayer” username=”advancereach”]

Phil Mershon

Phil Mershon is a meeting planner for Social Media Examiner’s annual Social Media Marketing World conference. The enormous conference has over 5,000 attendees each year. It brings together industry leaders from the world’s top brands, subject matter and content creation experts, and professionals looking to network and expand their skills.

What do his successful speakers have in common? “A servant mindset,” Phil says. “They understand how to serve their audience.” This means not only having a deep knowledge of the subject that you’re speaking on but being an excellent communicator who can break a topic down clearly and provide actionable tips. “We’re looking for teachers.”

Phil also looks at the reviews for speakers who presented at his event in the past. A staff member watches the recording of sessions with bad reviews and evaluates what went wrong. He’ll even give feedbacknot just the scores and reviews from attendees, but his own personal, constructive feedbackbut only when asked. “I had a guest last year that had bad reviews,” he says, “but I talked to her about it and she took the feedback so well that I invited her back the next year.”

Photo of meeting planner Phil Mershon with quote, "Great speakers have a servant mindset, they understand how to serve their audience."

[bctt tweet=“Great speakers have a servant mindset, they understand how to serve their audience.” – Phil Mershon” username=”advancereach”]

Audrey Hagen

Audrey Hagen books speakers for numerous conferences worldwide through her event management company, Platinum Events. Because she books multiple different conferences, she has a unique position and relationship with speakers and has the power to make or break many opportunities.

Audrey tells us that the key to success is to “take every opportunity you can get and be gracious, you never know who’s in the audience.” Demonstrating integrity and commitment to the audience is sure to impress her. What doesn’t impress? “Having someone text me [during an event], saying, ‘I’m here, make room, let me on the stage.’ There’s no integrity in that.”

She evaluates first-time speakers along similar lines. It’s impressive when “they come from a place of heart, they’re authentic, and they’re putting the audience first.” When she sees that, the speaker stands out in her mind and is more likely to get booked for more opportunities down the road.

Photo of meeting planner Audrey Hagen with quote, "Take every opportunity you can get and be gracious, you never know who's in the audience."

[bctt tweet=”Take every opportunity to be gracious, you never know who’s in the audience. – Audrey Hagen” username=”advancereach”]

Karl Krummenacher

Mindshare Summit is an annual conference that brings together health and wellness entrepreneurs. Meeting planner Karl Krummenacher books speakers who can help his attendees grow their business, with a special emphasis on speakers with expertise in the health and wellness entrepreneurs.

Karl emphasizes the importance of research. He’s looking for speakers who “take the extra effort to personalize content to the audience.” A standard, one-size-fits-all approach won’t work for his niche event, and he needs speakers who are willing to go the extra mile. “Can you take the time to weave into your presentation the language that our audience is used to?”

Research is the key to stagesnot just winning them, but being successful on stage. It can require extra effort, but knowing what is going to be relevant to a specific audience makes your presentations more powerful. It can be the deciding factor in booking an event, and even more in getting invited back next year.

Photo of meeting planner Karl Krummenacher with quote, "Make the extra effort to personalize your content to the audience."

[bctt tweet=“Make the extra effort to personalize your content to the audience.” – Karl Krummenacher” username=”advancereach”]

Keith Yackey

Keith Yackey found success from the start with his approach to the Amped Life seminar, which gives subject-matter experts tools to get their message out and monetize their expertise. He tells us about his approach, which focuses on generosity and long-term success. “You can tell when people are self-serving,” Keith says, and “you can just tell when people are supportive of each other.”

The biggest mistake is to reach out and make it all about you. When Keith was planning his first event, David Bayer reached out and offered to help promote it—David was excited about the event and wanted to share it with his list and audience. Instead, Keith invited him to speak. The offer to help was selfless and generous and made Keith want to work with him and help him in return. David ended up booking that stage because he was able to “raise the level of the event,” bring in an audience and lead with generosity.

One final tip Keith offers is to give praise and thanks to the meeting planners. The event promoters often get attention for a successful event, while the meeting planners go unnoticed and underappreciated. Set yourself apart by thanking them.

Photo of meeting planner Keith Yackey holding child, with quote "The biggest mistake is to reach out and make it all about you."

[bctt tweet=“The biggest mistake is to reach out and make it all about you.” – Keith Yackey” username=”advancereach”]

Marc Gutman

Marc Gutman books speakers for the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a global network that hosts events ranging from small forums and panels to large, international conferences. He offers practical tips to navigate fee negotiations. He knows the topic can be touchy, but he recommends speakers be concrete and realistic about their proposed fee. “I’m always very frank,” Marc says, and going into that conversation he already knows roughly what his budget is. He’s seen speakers demand a high fee because they thought it would make them seem impressive or high-demand, even though they’re really being paid a fraction of that amount. This ultimately just slows the conversation down, and it can be a real turn-off.

Beyond that initial budget conversation, he looks for speakers to fit different roles. “There’s always room for an inspirational speaker with an amazing story,” Marc says. There’s also always room for a subject matter expert who is there to teach great tactics. Both styles can work, and his job is to find a mix of different approaches that will make the event a success.

He has an extra tip for unknown speakers. “If I don’t know you, I’m not sure I’m looking for you,” he explains, “but I’m probably only a few clicks away from an introduction from someone you know.” Speakers don’t have to be famous to be “heard of,” if they can leverage their existing networks to make an impression.

Photo of meeting planner Marc Gutman with quote, "There's always room for an inspirational speaker with an amazing story."

[bctt tweet=”“There’s always room for an inspirational speaker with an amazing story.” – Marc Gutman” username=”advancereach”]

Kym Yancey

For their events and summits, Kym Yancey of eWomenNetwork books speakers who can teach his attendees concrete strategies in marketing, entrepreneurship, and business growth.

With Kym, the content is key: “People buy topics, not speakers,” he says, so “make sure your topic is engaging.” He’s interested in polished presentations where he can immediately see the benefits to his audience. “Put thought into the title of your talk and the takeaways” in your proposal, he advises. “We’re making a decision in 60 secondsif you don’t see it in 60, then you’re done.”

He also agrees with many of our other planners, that a great video clip is a key to booking stages. “Don’t give me a sizzle reel, give me five uninterrupted minutes.” Kym uses the video to see who you are as a speaker and uses the proposal to see what you bring to his audience.

One bonus tip to really stand out is to do a little research on the organization first. “When reaching out, lead with something about the organization… some compliment.” It shows that you’ve done your homework and care about the person on the other end of your email.

Photo of meeting planner Kym Yancey with quote, "When reaching out, lead with something about the organization or the audience they serve."

[bctt tweet=“When reaching out, lead with something about the organization.” – Kym Yancey ” username=”advancereach”]

Deanna Rogers

Deanna Rogers is a meeting planner for Traffic and Conversion Summit, an event described by Inc. Magazine as “the largest, and best, marketing event you’ve never heard of.” She offers some crucial no-nos for speakers looking to break into bigger stages and book a second year.

“A big pet peeve is not being prepared to give us all the materials we need on our timeline,” Deanna says. A difficult, disorganized, or unpolished speaker may book her stage one year, but they’re not getting invited back. “It’s a big problem if you or the company that represents you is difficult to work with,” she says.

Speakers must also be impeccable in their presentation and ready to make a great first impression. Deanna will often travel to see a speaker on stage in person, and invitations to do so catch her eye. “There are things like fidgets and twitches that speakers will do that you don’t see until you meet them in person,” she says. Practice to iron out these problems before you take the stage, then take the extra step to find out meeting planners in the area whenever you’re presenting. It’s an opportunity to make a great impression and to build trust by really showing what you can do.

[bctt tweet=“Make sure you’re easy to work with – fit with the meeting planner’s timeline.” – Deanna Rogers ” username=”advancereach”]

Sandra Kurland

For the California Association of Student Leaders annual conference, Sandra Kurland books speakers with special attention to the unique needs of her young audience. “With the youth, the delivery of the message is very important,” she says. “You need to grab their attention early.”

It’s important that her speakers have stellar educational content. Beyond inspiring the audience, they must provide resources to help them take action. “If they come off the stage and can teach those skills, it makes a big difference,” she says.

Speakers should have goals and plans beyond just landing the stage and giving their presentation, too. “I need someone who is looking beyond just the stage,” Sandra says, because “there will be more opportunities if they do well on our stage.” Sandra is always on the lookout for speakers who she can book for additional school visits and workshops. If a conference presentation has excellent content that really sparks the interest of her audience, she’s ready to book that speaker throughout the year. The best speakers are always on the lookout for ways they can contribute to the organization’s long-term goals.

Photo of meeting planner Sandra Kurland with quote, "With the youth, the delivery of your message is very important, you need to grab their attention early."

[bctt tweet=”“The delivery of your message is very important, you need to grab their attention early.” – Sandra Kurland” username=”advancereach”]

Don Schaffer

Don Schaffer books speakers for various events hosted by the California Association of Directors of Activities, including regional and state conferences.

The relationship is very important to him when booking speakers. “The biggest thing is being willing to be a partner,” Don says. “We don’t like the blow-in, blow-out speakers. We want them to be a part of our event, not just speak and leave.” He rarely hires speakers he hasn’t already heard. A prospective keynote speaker once contacted Don’s team, letting them know that he was in town speaking, and invited them to come hear him speak. That helped build the trust needed to land the booking.

This can have a huge impact on your career. Prospective speakers should make contact with event planners anywhere they speak. Identify your dream stages, and find out who books them. Then, when you’re in town, invite them out. Take them to lunch and invite them to hear you speak afterword. It helps you stand out, puts a real face to your ask, and scores the undivided attention of someone with the power to book big stages.

Photo of meeting planner Don Schaffer with quote, "We don't like the blow-in, blow-out speakers. We want them to be a part of our event, not just speak and leave."

[bctt tweet=”“We don’t like the blow-in, blow-out speakers.” – Don Schaffer ” username=”advancereach”]

Time to win some stages!

There you have it. Insights and wisdom from fifteen top professionals on the do’s and don’ts of contacting meeting planners, making a great first impression, and setting yourself apart from the crowd.

What’s next? How do you take these tips and organize them into a plan, to actually win stages? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Our Unstoppable Stage Campaign will give you the next steps to turn advice into action. This is your step-by-step guide to getting noticed, building rapport, and making yourself impossible to ignore.

The Ultimate Guide To Video Email

Why Use Video In Email?

The technology that drives our modern culture has provided us with tools to connect with almost anyone instantly. Ironically, it has also left most of us starved for a true human connection.

When you hear the words “human connection”, the last place that comes to mind is the email inbox. It’s a jungle of spam, pitches, and “brain pickers”.

Classic email restricts us to text, and words make up only a small portion of how we as humans communicate. The tone of your voice, your body language and your facial expressions do much more to drive the meaning and emotions of your message than the actual words you pick.

For the exception that proves the rule, look no further than Michael Scott, who always seems to have the best intentions when he speaks, but can’t quite pick the right words, which is what makes him so entertaining.

Bad jokes by Michael Scott

Using video in your emails is the next best thing to a face-to-face conversation. It gives you the power to convey that extra meaning and emotion in the messages you send and to put a face to your name.

[bctt tweet=”Using video in your emails is the next best thing to a face-to-face conversation. @bombbomb” username=”advancereach”]

How Do I Add Videos To My Email?

There are a lot of different apps and services out there that can help you add a video to your emails. Our favorite is BombBomb. It’s an incredible tool that makes recording a video from your computer or phone a snap.

When you send a video email in BombBomb, it appears as a short animated GIF at the top of your message. It shows a quick thumbnail of your video and gives a call to action to click it. If you click it, it opens up a window in your web browser to play the video. Below your video, you can include text and all the other common elements of the email.

BombBomb video email preview

BombBomb is very easy to get started with, and you can start seeing good results right away from adding a video to your email.

What If I’m Not Good At Video?

Great question! First, you should take comfort in knowing nobody is good at the video at first. It takes practice just like everything else. But before we get into how to practice, I want to hit you with some more good news.

You don’t need to be an amazing videographer to be successful with BombBomb. You don’t need expensive equipment, a polished script or hours of editing. In fact, a raw, unpolished video that’s authentic and honest may get better results than a more “professional” one.

[bctt tweet=”You don’t need to be an amazing videographer to be successful with #videoemail @bombbomb” username=”advancereach”]

With BombBomb, you’re sending a video to 1 person or a small group of people. If your video looks like you spent hours working on it, people feel like there’s some sort of trick happening. With a simple video that’s more personable, people know it’s something just for them and they pay attention to you, not your fancy video skills.

Tips to improve your video skills

Do it a lot – I know, this one is obvious, but BombBomb provides a great platform for practicing. If you make a bad video, there’s not much risk. One person will see it, that’s all.

Since you’ll need to make a new video for every email you send, you’ll get a lot of practice fast if you use it for your outreach. You’ll improve quickly and get more comfortable in front of the camera. You’ll start to feel less pressure to make each video perfect, which will make you more relaxed and engaging in your videos.

Over time, you may become so comfortable with video on BombBomb that you’ll expand to using video in other areas of your business.

Watch your own videos – This can be painful at first. We’re not used to seeing or hearing ourselves on camera. What’s worse is the first impulse to compare ourselves with the masters we’ve seen on our social media feeds and expect that our second video ever needs to be on the same level as theirs.

By consistently reviewing your videos, you’ll get used to seeing and hearing yourself, which will lower your discomfort on camera. You’ll also start to spot ways to improve what you are doing and develop your skills faster.

Get clear on what you want to happen – Make sure you know what you want someone to do before you start recording your video. If you have a clear purpose and call to action in mind when you start your video, you’ll be more confident and direct in your videos.

Check your posture – Your body language has a big impact on how other people perceive you. But it also impacts how you feel and perceives yourself.

So before your video, get into a good posture and a strong pose. You’ll start to feel more confident, and it will become a virtuous cycle.

Be energetic – When starting out with video, it’s best to err on the side of “over-energetic and enthusiastic” when creating your videos.

On the video, the pace and tone of a normal, relaxed conversation feel slow and uninteresting. We make this worse this as beginners. Often, when we’re just getting started, our shyness or nervousness cause us to dial back our personality, which makes our videos feel awkward or boring.

Get excited, jump around and get pumped up when making your video so that the person on the other end gets infected with your excitement.

Be forgiving – Give yourself permission to take risks and make mistakes. Remember that you are your worst critic. Nobody else is going to notice that stray hair or that you said a word kind of funny.

A few slip-ups in a video makes you personable, so don’t force yourself to be perfect. You’ll want to experiment with your approach to find the best results, which means you’ll also make mistakes.

Go easy on yourself, keep learning, and you’ll get better.

Practice on social media – If you’re unsure about practicing video in your cold outreach, why not try with your friends first to get comfortable.

The Facebook Messenger app allows you to record and send 15 second video messages from your phone. Get some practice there and try to send a video message to your significant other (remind them how lovely they are) or invite your friend out for a drink.

Do I Need Fancy Equipment For Video Email?

You don’t need to break the bank on expensive cameras or editing software to be successful with video emails.

Most laptops and smartphones have cameras that are good enough to work for video email. Remember, we’re not trying to be the next James Cameron, we just want to make a personal impression.

A simple, unedited video can actually be more effective at creating a sense of personal connection and authenticity. This is what you want in your email communication.

When To Use Video Emails

First impressions – Any time you’re making a first impression with someone through email is a good time for video. A video will make you much more memorable and relatable than plain text.

People are used to getting blasted with automated emails that are impersonal and “pitchy”. A personalized video that addresses them by name and puts a face to your name is more likely to get a response.

Following up and picking up an old thread – A video email is a great way to reconnect with someone you have not heard from in a while. Whether they’re a lead, someone you’re collaborating with or an old friend, a video will put you back at the top of their mind.

Complicated or nuanced messages – Sometimes you need to make an announcement to your team that involves a lot of information. This information may be sensitive, detailed, emotionally charged, or controversial. It’s better not to leave anything up for interpretation. With a video, you can emphasize certain details, explain subtleties, and communicate your own emotions better.

To express gratitude – There are few better feelings than receiving gratitude from someone you helped. Don’t let bland text get in the way of those good feelings. Saying “thank you” in the video is very powerful. It conveys your gratitude in a more authentic and powerful way. This will invite more of whatever you are grateful for from that person.

Holidays and special occasions – A holiday greeting is a great excuse to reach out to someone and spark new conversations. Seeing your face and expressions will make your greeting feel more personal even if you’re sending it to a large list.

When you’re on the go – For some, it’s much easier to speak a message than it is to write one. Especially when you’re on the go, and you need to use your tiny phone keyboard. Sometimes you only have a brief moment between meetings on the road to send a message. With BombBomb, you can record and send a video email right from your phone.

Here’s an example of Pete on the go with the BombBomb app:

 

For more great ideas of when you use Video, check out BombBomb’s guide “10 times Bombbomb video says it better than text

How We Use BombBomb At Advance Your Reach

We specialize in getting people with a message to share onto stages in front of people who need to hear that message.

The meeting planners who control access to those stages are often bombarded with dozens of requests every day to get on their stages. They have to tune out 99% of these requests because they don’t have time to look through them all and truly find out who would be a good fit for their stage.

In our experience, most of the competition is sending out bland emails that are poorly thought through and impersonal. They lead by asking for things right away with no consideration of what the meeting planner wants or needs.

BombBomb is our favorite tool for cutting through the noise that these meeting planners experience. The video is personalized to them, and we use that first video to let them know that they should keep an eye out in the mail for something special. We emphasize that we’re excited to help them instead of asking for things right away.

Here’s an example of one of Pete’s video emails reaching out:

 

For more strategies on outreach to meeting planners, influencers or anyone else you want to connect with, check out “Unstoppable Outreach Strategies that Cut Through The Noise

Optimizing Your BombBomb Emails

Get a good thumbnail – The first thing people see when opening a BombBomb email is a short animated GIF image of your video. People can sometimes mistake this for the whole video and think maybe you made some sort of mistake by sending this strange half-second clip.

You can make a custom thumbnail in BombBomb. A great thumbnail will get more people clicking to see your video and capture their attention. A good tactic is to write a message on whiteboard or sticky note and set that as your thumbnail image.

The written message should be a small call to action like, “Hey Kristin, click me to watch this video”. Seeing their name written will help ease any suspicion that this is some sort of email blast.

Create an enticing subject – Right now, video emails are so uncommon and new that simply adding (Video Email) at the beginning or end of your subject line is enough to capture attention in a crowded inbox.

Don’t make your video too long – Try to keep your video shorter than 90 seconds. Be brief and clear with what you are offering in your video. People may not watch the whole video if it is too long and will miss what you want to share with them.

Include a call to action at the end of your video – Make sure you give the person you are reaching out to a clear call to action at the end of the video. Usually, it’s something like “click the link below to set up a call.”

Your video email is likely to make a stronger impression than most of the communication people receive on a daily basis. That means they’re more likely to take action if you give them some specific instructions.

Make The Most of BombBomb’s Analytics and Notifications

BombBomb can let you know when people open up your emails, watch your videos, and engage with the links and content in your message. This can clue you into when the perfect time to follow up is. If you see someone opening your email and watching your video, send them a quick email to engage them while you’re on their mind.

Send history

The send history view in the Emails tab in BombBomb gives you a breakdown of how emails are performing. You can see how many opens, clicks and video plays your emails are getting. Use this information to see who is engaging most with your emails and who to focus on in your follow-ups.

BombBomb Video Email Analytics

Experiment with your tactics on your email. Test out different calls to action, thumbnails, length of the video, topics of your emails, and people you reach out to. Review how each email performed and compare them to each other; you may find certain things give you a significant boost to your engagement.

Create Automated Video Email Sequences In BombBomb

Video email can also be incorporated into your automated sequences. Email automation is a popular tool for many small businesses and startups, but it is being used so frequently that most people start to tune them out.

Including video can go a long way towards capturing the attention and curiosity of those you are reaching out to with email.

Here are a few suggestions for what kinds of automation do best with video email.

Welcome series

A welcome series is a set of emails you send to someone who subscribes for the first time but is not yet a customer.

In his post “Building a Newsletter Welcome Series from Scratch”, Gregory Ciotti outlines 2 main problems with most welcome series.

  1. “They pushed too hard for a sign-up in the first email. I didn’t feel welcomed, and I felt sold out (and I know that wasn’t their intent).
  2. The message said nothing of substance. There was no objective and zero reasons for the email to be sent.”

A video email series can go a long way to solving both of these problems. A video of you greeting them and introducing yourself as a person can make a good impression and allow for a more personal connection right away.

Follow up with a few video emails that add value through the series. The video will make the information you convey will be much more memorable than the average plain text email. Make a few videos that suggest some content on your site, give a few useful downloads or tools, or shares some tips directly in the email.

[bctt tweet=”#videoemail is much more memorable and interesting than the average plain text email @bombbomb ” username=”advancereach”]

Sales sequences

Copywriting for email is a challenging skill that requires you to conjure emotions in the reader with nothing more than simple text. This is difficult to do because 93% of communication is nonverbal. That means using text only to create an emotional response that drives action is like trying to fight with 1 hand tied behind your back.

Using video in your sales sequences can convey emotions through your gestures, tone and expressions. This can support your copywriting and make the whole experience more compelling for the viewer.

Conclusion

Email remains one of the most common and powerful tools for communication today. But it has some big drawbacks with its impersonal and bland nature. Video email goes a long way towards balancing out the drawbacks with email while making the most out of its strengths.

It’s our favourite tool for outreach and communication. It gets us more replies, clicks and conversions. But you don’t have to take our word for it. You can get a 14-day free trial here to test it out for yourself.

[bctt tweet=”The Ultimate Guide To Video Email” username=”advancereach”]

Unstoppable outreach strategies that cut through the noise

Entrepreneurs today are obsessed with leveraging the latest digital tool to grow their businesses. Sites like Product Hunt launch new applications daily. Everyone with the promise to “double your revenue in a month” or reveal the latest “hack” to get more customers. This is especially true when it comes to outreach strategies. With all the automated tools, virtual assistants, and social media robots out there competing to get noticed in your outreach is more intense than ever.

Most business owners are easily distracted by the next “new” app they need to streamline operations. In addition, they miss out on a powerful offline approach that delivers incredible results and is timeless in its effects.

There’s never been a bigger variety of tools and information available to help you grow. Most digital forms of interaction are “easy”. It takes no time at all to send an email, compose a tweet, or send a text. But easy isn’t always better. Many offline tactics, like sending a handwritten card, shooting a personalized video, buying a good gift, or having a good conversation, are harder to do and riskier. A few good offline tactics can set you apart from 99% of others that opt for whatever’s easiest.

[bctt tweet=”Unstoppable outreach strategies that cut through the noise” username=”@advancereach”]

The Best of Both Worlds – The Unstoppable Stage Campaign

Online and offline tactics don’t have to be mutually exclusive. In fact, when used together, they can be incredibly powerful. Each of their strengths compliments the other.

The Unstoppable Stage Campaign is a perfect example of this synergy in action. We use this campaign to get ourselves and our clients on stages. We use a mixture of high-tech tools like Infusionsoft and ClickFunnels to help automate and manage the hundreds of campaigns. Every major step in the campaign has an offline or personal touch to it to help foster a true human connection with the people we reach out to.

Though the Unstoppable Stage Campaign is designed for event planners, you can apply these same tactics to any area of outreach for your business.

I will share a few of the signature elements of The Unstoppable Stage Campaign and highlight some key takeaways that you can use to book more stages, nurture relationships with influencers in your space and create raving fans.

[bctt tweet=”When online and offline outreach tactics used together, they are incredibly powerful.” username=”@advancereach”]

The Speaker Box

The most crowded communication channel is the email inbox. The more recognized you and your brand become, the more noise will appear in your inbox. This is especially the case with meeting planners, who get bombarded by people who want to get on their stages.

The speaker box is one of the signature elements and the first point of contact in the Unstoppable Stage Campaign. We send it to meeting planners who we want to build a relationship with. It includes a few different materials to introduce who we are and what we’re about.

The least crowded channel these days is a person’s mailbox. Most people don’t expect to find anything more than their bills or the latest “money mailer.”

That’s why the speaker box is so powerful. With a well-designed box and the materials inside it, we can make a much bigger impression than any email.

A speaker box can cost over $30 per box that you send. If you’re sending these boxes out at scale and without any guarantee that you’ll get on stage, the cost can add up to some scary numbers. Remember that you’re investing in more than just a stage. You’re investing in relationships, not just with the meeting planner, but with the many people, you’ll potentially meet at the events you attend and speak at.

The Win-Win Script

At every interaction with our meeting planners (and everyone we work with), we focus on how we can help them achieve their goals for the event and feel like a winner. The more heroic we can make them feel, the more likely they’ll be willing to let us on their stage.

We follow “The Win-Win script” for our first call. This was developed over thousands of conversations with event planners across the world. We distilled what we learned from all those conversations into a few simple talking points. Using this script has increased our callback rate by 50%.

Some ways we make the event planner feel like a winner are:

  • Exhibiting and sponsoring – Event planners are always looking for more sponsors and exhibitors to their events. If you lead the conversation with how you can help them, they’ll be willing to help you.
  • Offering a gift to the attendees – A book is a great gift if it’s relevant to the audience. A digital book that gets distributed to the attendees of your session or the whole conference makes them look like heroes. Make sure you frame it as a “gift” for the attendees, not as a marketing tactic on your part.

Though these 2 examples are great for meeting planners, you can apply this same strategy to many other interactions and areas of your business. With a good understanding of the needs of the people you are reaching out to, you can find opportunities to make them feel like a winner.

Follow Up With A Small Gift and A Personal Note

At several points in our contract campaign, we send a small gift and a personal note to the meeting planner. The notes are personalized to the planner and have a handwritten font. These cards come right after our first call or shortly after the event they were planning, as a follow-up.

A nice card breaks up the chain of email communications and phone calls. It also gives them something nice to keep on their desk as a reminder of you.

While nothing beats a handwritten and thoughtful card, the service Send Out Cards is the next best thing. Send Out Cards has many different options to personalize and customize cards you send out. They even offer lots of small gifts that you can bundle in with a card and make a bigger impression.

Stand Out In The Inbox With BombBomb Video Emails

BombBomb is probably my favorite “high-tech” tool out there. The reason I love it so much is because it creates a very personal experience. BombBomb can email or text a video message that is personalized with your branding and your message.

When you use BombBomb, an animated GIF image with the first few frames from your video email will appear in the email with a prompt to click the email to view it.

We use a video email as an immediate follow up once we send our speaker box. The video gives a brief introduction of who we are and shares how excited we are to partner with them. Here’s an example of Pete’s first email reaching out to Houston Kraft to collaborate.

Imagine how many emails the average meeting planning is getting from people who want to speak on their stages. Do you expect them to go through all that text and decide whose demo video to watch or not? They’d be spending their whole day watching demo videos!

Opening an email to see a video of someone energized, excited, and speaking directly to them goes much farther than basic text in an email. It gives people an opportunity to see who they are and get a small taste of what you might be like on their stage. This turns your first contact into your first audition.

[bctt tweet=”Email with a video of you energized and excited makes a bigger impression than basic text.” username=”@advancereach”]

If you want to learn more about how to get the most from BombBomb, check out The Ultimate Guide To Video Email.

Universal Lessons From The Unstoppable Stage Campaign

We recommend a lot of different technology to support the Unstoppable Stage Campaign. At the heart of each piece of the Unstoppable Stage Campaign is a low-tech strategy that can be used beyond booking stages. We’ve only had the Unstoppable Stage Campaign in the last few years, but we’ve been using these concepts in every area of our business for many years.

Here are some of the key takeaways you can use to make all of your outreach unstoppable.

Focus On Adding Value To Them First

The strategy behind the “win-win script” stretches far beyond booking stages. Always be focused on how you can add more value to the lives of the people you interact with. Many people are so focused on whatever short-term win they’re pursuing that they rarely consider how they can add value first. This makes for awkward interactions and usually closes the door to opportunity.

Remember that even if people have something you want, there’s a possibility for much more down the road if you work on developing a long term relationship. You do that by finding ways to add value and create opportunities for people you work with.

In her TED talk, Kare Anderson encourages the audience to become opportunity makers.

“When you connect with people around a shared interest and action, you’re accustomed to serendipitous things happening into the future“

Here’s the full video, it’s relatively short for a TED talk and has incredible insights for adding value in relationships.

The biggest mistake people make is asking for things too often and too early. This is what 99% of people do. They’re always looking for a way to help themselves, which ends up corroding relationships. They don’t see a friendship or even a person, and they see dollar signs and a quick win.

Asking for things upfront ends up killing the opportunity for a relationship before it starts.

Know What’s Happening In Their World

To find opportunities to add value to someone’s life, you need to understand what’s happening in it. If you understand their goals, events on their calendar, current problems, their hobbies or lifestyle outside of their work, you can come up unique and personalized ideas to add value and make a strong impression.

For event planners, you have a few key facts right away. You know when their event is happening, and you know how stressful planning and managing an event can be (believe me, I hosted 3 last year). You can be pretty confident that in the days after their event, they feel ready to relax. So send them a gift to help them do that and congratulate them on their hard work and success.

I like to send gifts right after their event ends, anything from a snack up to a massage coupon, depending on the person. This goes a long way to build a relationship with the person and create opportunities down the road.

The Art Of Gift Giving

Giving gifts is one of the most underused and least understood tools in the “offline” tactics category. Most people avoid it because they fear their gift will come off as “tacky” or as a bribe. It’s understandable why most people have this fear because 99% of the gift-giving I see done falls into those categories. But it doesn’t have to.

A good gift is a symbol of gratitude and friendship. It’s possible to capture the attention and leave a lasting impression on key relationships in your business.

Gifts are valuable not just for the relationships you create outside of your business, but they can strengthen the bonds between you and your team. A good gift can help your team feel appreciated and is often as effective as a raise for retaining employees.

Here are a few things that make a good gift:

  • Give unconditionally – A good gift comes from true generosity with no strings attached. This can make the difference between a gift and a bribe.
  • Personalize for them not yourself – A common mistake people make when giving a gift is putting their own logo on a gift they’re giving. Would you put your own name on a wedding gift for your friend? No. Add their logo, their names, and make it something they’ll be proud to share and talk about. You also need to make sure that it is something they would love, you don’t want to send steaks to a vegetarian.
  • Give spontaneously – As soon as something is anticipated, your expectations start to form, and it diminishes the perceived value of the gift. Use the element of surprise for both what and when you give to make it a more delightful experience for the receiver.

If you want to learn more about the art and power of gift-giving, check out Giftology by John Ruhlin.

Invest In Relationships

Outside of the Unstoppable Stage Campaign, there are a few engagement strategies that you can invest in that can provide a higher rate of return, creating stronger relationships and greater impact for your business.

One of the first tactics I used when starting to Advance Your Reach was investing in high-level events and Masterminds. I still do this today.

Often the fastest way to build a relationship with an influencer is to become a customer. This shows you have respect for them and what they are doing. You’re helping them upfront and showing them you’re serious about getting results. This means paying people to coach you, purchasing tickets to events and conferences to meet new people, and investing in masterminds.

It might sound crazy to invest in a $2,000 conference ticket or an $8,000 mastermind, especially when you are just getting started with your business, but I don’t see any better way to spend your dollar if it gets you in front of the right people.

I knew in the early stages of Advance Your Reach that I still had a lot to learn and would need a lot of help making my own event and the business behind it work. So I had to make a bet on myself and on my mentors, and start investing in them. I needed to surround myself with people who had mastered the skills I was developing.

Conclusion

Even if your business is run online and you have many digital products, there’s a lot to be said about the power of offline strategies to grow your business. Despite the rapid increases in technology and dozens of new high-tech tools launching each day, if you focus just on online strategy, you’re leaving money on the table.

[bctt tweet=”Even if your business is run online, there’s a lot of power in offline outreach.” username=”@advancereach”]

Try to find ways to add a human touch to the outreach you are already doing. You can have the best of both worlds if you combine time-tested offline strategies with the right online tools as we do with our Unstoppable Stage Campaign.

If you want to book a stage in the next 24 hours or want more inspiration for some offline outreach tactics to set you apart, check out the Unstoppable Stage Campaign.