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Most speakers who market their services are going about it in the wrong way.  Start from the idea that the fee-paying world is overloaded with information, marketing claims, ideas, cute kitten videos, and a thousand demands on everyone’s time from family, friends, co-workers and people asking for money for good causes.

The easiest path for someone looking to hire a speaker is to hire one that is already certified safe, clever, and in demand.  New York Times bestselling author.  CNN pundit.  The guy your CEO thinks is cool.  The hardest path is to go find a new idea, search out the speaker that best embodies that idea, check out the bona fides of that speaker, and engage that person to come speak to your organization.

The world is looking for reasons to ignore you.  Most speakers think that if they can just get their bio, one sheet and speakers’ reel in front of that gatekeeper, then their obvious strengths and merits (obvious to the speaker herself) will compel the gatekeeper to hire them.


They’re looking for reasons not to even think about you.  They don’t want to do the work.  They don’t have the time.  You have to make it easy for them to get your idea.  And once you’ve made it easy for them, you have to make it inconvenient – no, dangerous – for them to continue to ignore you.

That means you’ve got to be completely, absolutely clear on what you stand for, what your idea is, and what your brand is.  That has to ripple out through everything you do.  Then you’ve got to tell a story so compelling that the world starts talking about you.  Remember, you’re competing with kitten videos.

Once you’re talked about, once the world wants to know the rest of your story, then you’ve made it dangerous for that meeting planner to ignore you, and she will do the work.  But not before.

If you want to get hired in 2014, then make it impossible not to hire you.