As the Vice President of Sales & Marketing at eSpeakers, my job is to help speakers fill their calendars and grow their speaking business. Over the years, I’ve learned how to design an online profile that will catch a client’s eye; I would love to share with you what I’ve learned.
Hopefully by now you’ve had a few minutes to input your personal data into your speaker profile. It takes only 15 minutes—here’s the info:
1. Go to www.espeakers.com.
2. Log in with your username and password
3. Choose “Marketing Dashboard” from the menu
4. Click “Edit Your Profile”, and fill out the fields in the tabs.
I’ll share more tips about how to maximize your online exposure in the coming weeks. Today, it’s all about presentation; more specifically, how best to present your main photo and topics in your profile listing.
Post your best photo
The saying is true: you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. Your profile photo is the first thing meeting planners will see as they browse the directory. Make sure what they see compels them to learn more about you. If you don’t already have a professional headshot, it’s time to get one. A professional headshot doesn’t have to be expensive. Many camera shops offer headshots for less than $50 USD. Another option is to use a professional photo of you taken during a presentation. Just make sure your face shows clearly and fills at least 20% of the image (unless you have a signature pose that is part of your branding).
To upload the photo to your profile, you’ll need the image saved on your hard drive in one of these standard file formats: JPG, GIF, or PNG. You can use any image editing software to save files in at least one of these formats. Your image should be 130 pixels wide by 180 pixels tall. If you aren’t sure how to resize a photo, that’s okay; the system will do it for you when you upload your photo. One thing to note: if it’s not the right size, you may have white space at the bottom and/or right side of your photo, which will definitely detract from its appeal.
Choose your topics wisely
Meeting planners want to know what you’re talking about in your presentations. eSpeakers keeps a master list of hundreds of topics and gives you the option of selecting up to six. On your profile page, you’ll see six drop-down lists on the left-hand side. Each list contains the full list of topics. Use the first drop-down field to choose your most important topic. And trust me, the order is important.
You only need select a single topic, but if you speak on a variety of other topics you can select those from the drop-down list as well. Some speakers like using all six boxes so their profiles occur in more search results. Other speakers prefer to use only two or three so they appear “more focused” to meeting planners. Both are valid strategies; choose the one that best suits you and what you’re trying to accomplish. So far we’ve covered your profile photo and topics. Now it’s time to talk about your bio text and the need for streaming video in your profile listing.
Your bio is what sells you
After your photo and video (see next section), your bio is the first place a meeting planner will look to learn more about you and decide if you’re a good fit for the event. Your bio is your opportunity to tell potential customers why they should choose YOU.
Your bio should be several paragraphs long and take only a few minutes to read. But don’t overdo it! A bio with two or three full pages of text often discourages readers. You want your bio to be informative, yet concise. It’s a fine line, but we’re here to help you walk it.
Your opening paragraph is your value proposition. This is when you need to hook readers and convince them to keep reading. What are your qualifications? What makes you unique? Why are you the best speaker for your chosen topic(s)? If you don’t grab their interest in the first few sentences, they’ll quickly move to a speaker whose bio will.
After the first paragraph or two, stop focusing on yourself and talk about the benefits the audience will receive if they book you. Meeting planners always have their audiences in mind, so let them know how an audience will be improved after hearing from you.
The bio editor section on your profile allows some simple formatting options like bold and bulleted lists. Use these sparingly, but use them. Don’t leave your beautiful words lumped in one big (ugly) block of text. Use paragraphs to keep ideas separate. Use bulleted lists for items like speech titles, client names, and published works.
Along with your full bio, you have a one-line bio on your profile. This one-line bio is shown next to your photo on your profile page. The one-line bio is a statement about you. Make it powerful and direct so if it’s the only thing a buyer see, they know what you’re all about.
Streaming video and audio
If you’re serious about your online presence, streaming video is a must in your profile. Your eSpeakers profile may be picked up by participating speakers bureaus all over the world in addition to being shown on association websites and on eSpeakers Marketplace. Make your profile memorable by letting clients see you in action!
You can have up to 30 minutes of video on your profile. We’ve found video most effective when edited into several short clips (three to five minutes each) rather than one long video. You can title each clip to indicate what the viewer will see.
Examples: “Change is Good presentation”; “Plants Need Water presentation”; “Robert with large audience”; “Robert interacts with focus group.” Meeting planners can then easily view the item they are most interested in. Streaming video is available when you upgrade to eSpeakers Plus. Click the PROMOTION MATERIALS tab in Starter for more information.
HOW TO: Let the buyers and the media know you’re coming to town
eSpeakers Local lead Pool helps you do twice the amount of work in one trip. Use the Local Lead Pool to receive a list of premium leads—people who hire speakers—for each of your engagements. Turn every event into a sales opportunity when you leverage hundreds of names, phone numbers, and addresses for potential local buyers.
Fees: How much should I charge?
Obviously, an emerging presenter in the early stages of a career starts at a lower fee level. As you gain greater experience, you work toward charging a higher fee. Established or seasoned professionals and those with celebrity status are able to demand a higher fee for their presentations based on experience and/or content.
In my experience, a range of $1,500-$3,000 USD is common for an emerging professional speaker. Using a fee range is fine, but you should not exceed a maximum difference of $5,000 or a minimum difference of $500. Also, never charge clients more simply because you think they have more money to spend!
Ensure the service you give your customers is of a higher perceived value than what they pay. You want your client to feel their money was more than well spent. Once you set your fee, use your bio and sales materials to emphasize the value you’ll bring the client.
So when will you know it’s time to raise your fee? When the following two things happen: one, your clients say your fee is relatively inexpensive; and two, your calendar is filling up quickly.
You have two options when listing your fee on your profile. You can choose to offer either a fee range or a flat fee. In addition, you can enter fees for local speaking events and itemize your common fees, expenses, A/V requirements, and other items that affect the total fee to the client (“full day,” “keynote,” “international,” “travel expenses,” etc.).
Associations and experience
If you belong to a speaker association, make sure you choose the appropriate association (and in some cases chapter) from dropdown list on your profile. This will help speakers bureaus and meeting planners searching the Marketplace database find those who belong to a particular association.
Showcase your profile by selecting any of the appropriate designation and awards boxes like CSP, CPAE, or CAPS HoF and entering your years of experience. If you regularly use any of these credentials after your name, you should also type them in the credentials box in the Personal Information section of Your Profile.
HOW TO: Roll out the red carpet for your customers
The easier it is for clients to work with you, the more often they’ll hire you for events. eSpeaker’s Online Assistant is the perfect addition to the personal touch you’re already providing. Online Assistant allows clients to do everything from place holds on your calendar to digitally sign your PDF contract. You can see Online Assistant in action by clicking here. Add this rich, interactive tool to your site by upgrading to eSpeakers Plus today.
VP Sales & Marketing
P.S. If you have any questions or need help with your new eSpeakers account, please send a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be happy to assist you.